July 11, 2020

"Mom went back to the gym, to aqua aerobics. Dad went out to pick up the recycling around town. So there you go, we expended 11 weeks of our lives, and now our parents are wading around in a cesspool of germs."

Said a woman whose parents are in their 80s, quoted in "As the pandemic surges, old people alarm their adult kids by playing bridge and getting haircuts" (WaPo).

Here's a quote from that woman's father: "Let’s face it, I’m 80 years old and I don’t have a whole lot to lose in the end anyway. It’s just at what level you’re willing to take your edge. I’m a Marine. I was in Vietnam, people shot at me, so this isn’t that much more dangerous than that, I don’t think."

It’s just at what level you’re willing to take your edge — interesting phrase. Some kind of Marine talk? I googled. Look at this hilarious failure to get what I wanted out of Google (click image to enlarge and clarify):
Back to the WaPo article:
Even when older people do understand the risks, it may not terrify them as much, said Laura Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. “Older people in general experience less stress in everyday life,” she said... “They absolutely see themselves at risk, [but] there is lots of evidence that as people come to the end of their life, they come to live in the present and they stop worrying about the what-ifs,” she said.
I think people at different ages have a different awareness of death — a different relationship with concept. Perhaps younger people have kept it at a distance and are therefore more shocked when it's suddenly in their vicinity and feel an urgent need to react and fight off what absolutely must not happen (not for a very long time). But old people are so used to having thought about it on so many different occasions that it's become a familiar part of life, and it's not so alarming. There's nothing to do about it. It's been walking alongside you for quite some time, and you know at any point your exit from the path of life may turn up but you walk on, enjoying the moment you're in, and don't worry about exactly where, up ahead, that exit is. It's somewhere, not that far.

113 comments:

Lyle said...

Sounds like my parents. Although my mother is adamant about wearing a mask in public. They haven't slowed their life down and continue to venture out. My father was still being seen by doctors at the beginning of all this, in the early hot spot of Louisiana, for the possibility of cancer. Thankfully no cancer. My 80 year mom has also sewn who knows how many cloth face masks for that cancer hospital, friends and family.

Wince said...

What does picking up the "recycling around town" mean?

Is he picking cans out of the trash for deposits?

Mattman26 said...

Urgent news bulletin: death comes for us all.

Nichevo said...

A lot of the older people here, which I gather is most of the people here, are to my mind admirably blasé or intelligently accepting of the risks. You seem to be in the I want to live forever camp.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Althouse "I think people at different ages have a different awareness of death — a different relationship with concept

This is quite true. If you are older and aware that the sand in your hourglass is just about out, you look at risk/reward of doing things in a whole different way.

PLUS....most of the older people have "been there, seen that, done that attitude".

Having lived through decades of Flu Seasons without all this drama and survived. Having survived Measles, Mumps, Chicken Pox, Scarlet Fever. Having lived unscathed through the Polio and Small Pox and Tuberculosis scares of our youth. Being threatened with Nuclear War, Commies under the bed.... and then being forced to participate in Vietnam. Listening to the Government LIE to us for 50, 60, 70, 80 years.

Looking at the current government overreach...which is of course...for our own good /sarcasm.

Surviving all of that and seeing the crazy of this current Flu Season. Is it any wonder that older people are not cowering in fear because the government decides that we must obey??

We have seen this crap already. If I have 5, 10 years to live. Do I want to live in cowering fear; my every move controlled by some power mad government lackey. Or do I want to just f**king live what is left of my life?

Guess which one I choose.



Achilles said...

I think people who panicked over coronavirus are a bunch of bleating sheep who Can’t do math and are going to be responsible for far more people dying from other causes of death.

My wife’s job is flooded right now with people who need “elective” surgery but can’t go to the surgery centers or hospital.

tim maguire said...

Making people safer has not led them to worry less, it’s just led them to worry about pettier things. Old people remember a time when life was more dangerous and so have different context in which to process the fairly low-level of danger presented by the history’s most half-assed pandemic.

Fernandinande said...

No problem, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The walking with death concept is comforting in a way and very true.

My husband and I liken it to being on a train. We are all on the same train going to the same destination (death). Some of just get off at different stops along the way.

This song, which I told my family I want to have played at my funeral...when it comes...someday, encapsulates that concept and expresses MY feelings on what life is all about.

End of the Line Traveling Wilburys. It's all right, we're going to the end of the line.. Every day is just one day.

William said...

Money, sex, ambition. There's not much point to any of of them when you're this old. Probably not much point to them when you're young either, but they help to pass the time. In some ways old age is kind of zen, but ignoble things are what gives life its savor. It's an insubstantial pageant that fades into thin air, but it's the only pageant we know....When I go for various MRI's, biopsies, etc., the thought occurs to me that coronavirus is probably not the worst way to go.

Howard said...

With proper ppe, adequate hygiene, situational awareness, avoid maskless Trumpers (not too many here in Center Mass), you can easily engage in everyday life with just minor adjustments. I treat it like a silly game which makes it fun. It's mostly safety theatre, perhaps 75% unnecessary. So the fuck what. The next pandemic may be more transmissible via air or surface transfer, so it's good practice to train hard and treat every day as a series of training missions. Embrace it rather than get all righteously angered with phony rebelliousness that is a cover for a pathological addiction to pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth.

I started wearing the mask early on and developed the habit of not fucking with it, washing it every day and developed the physical fitness of breathing through it by wearing it on daily forced marches. I also wear the gloves doing business and wash them before, during and after each and every public commerce encounter.

Easy as pie, like water off a ducks back, it ain't no thang.

Michael K said...

There is a difference between nursing home patients who are confined and have lots of comorbidities and healthy 80 year olds. Nobody lives forever, which seems to be lost on these kids who live in fear when they are at near zero risk. Closing gyms, for example, is stupid as the people who go to gyms are almost all at the lowest risk category. There is way too much politics in this thing.

whitney said...

That was my 84 year old's mother's decision months ago. She said come on over and visit me. If something happens to me I'll never see you again so I don't care. I don't wear a mask I don't wear gloves. Totally normal

Casey said...

I am 73 years old. I am relatively healthy and mobile. However, I do not know how many years that will last. I really resent having to spend what may be my last years of independence and good health in enforced isolation. I do not mind being alone, I just want it to be my choice. If I get the virus and die oh well. I know people who have nearly died alone, their spouse and children kept away because of Covid. We need to have people around. I am not going to live what remains of my life in fear.

Mark said...

Read the story. They have a MUCH better perspective on things than the alarmists.

But what they express is nothing new. We've said it and read it here for at least three months now.

It's the elite betters who don't get it.

Rory said...

Again, in my county (which includes Pittsburgh) 197 deaths have been attributed to the virus. Average age of death is 84. In recent years, the average age of death from all causes has been 80. Why would anyone dwell on this?

madAsHell said...

Even when older people do understand the risks, it may not terrify them as much, said Laura Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. “Older people in general experience less stress in everyday life,”

The rubes self-identify during a crisis.

stevew said...

"Cesspool of germs". Someone is being irrational and it isn't the 80 year-old parents.

My MIL has sold her house on the Cape, the sale closes at the end of August. This is about 6 weeks before she usually returns to FL. Her attitude about Covid and all the government procedures like quarantine, social distancing, and masks is relaxed, dismissive even. However, she says she doesn't want to go south at the end of August, and is using the spike in cases there to justify staying in MA until mid October. Tosses in concerns about September hurricanes for good measure.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Your last paragraph sums it up well.

I would also add that getting older brings benefit of understanding the risks of the road not taken, the regrets we all have for not having done certaing things, or of waiting too long to do them. Each day is much more meaningful when you get older, I have found.

Inga said...

As far as I’m concerned I’d rather die peacefully in my sleep instead of die in an induced coma on a ventilator, however none of us, young or old are guaranteed to die in the way and time we’d prefer. If I feel like I must or need to be among groups of people I’m going to wear a mask and try my hardest to do outside activities. I don’t dwell on the fact that at my age (I’m a year younger than Althouse) my chances of dying are much higher, but I’m not ready to throw all caution to the wind because at 68 years old I could still live another 20-30 years. I’d like to see my grandkids graduate from college, get married, have children. I’d like to still see storms roll in, sunsets, mist in the hills, I’d like to still do the things that I can do at my age that gives me so much happiness and pleasure. I’m not ready to play Russian Roulette with Covid yet.

robother said...

Got back a week ago from a trip to Grand Teton, Yellowstone and environs, hiking trails, soaking in hot springs and even encountered 2 grizz (at a safe distance--you definitely want to social distance from those types.) Risk, yeah. But when you get into that last 10 years, months extending into a year of being housebound starts to seem like surrendering a significant part of your life to being in a nursing home, before you ever thought it would happen. Life is for living. Spent some time with an old acquaintance this week on his deathbed (he died yesterday), and that didn't change my view at all.

rcocean said...

Yes, of course. Once you get past a certain age, you know your numbers going to come up. Soon. Maybe next year, maybe 5-10 years from now. But you can look up the mortality tables and see. If the average age of death is 85, that means 50% of people die BEFORE that. It could be you. It has to be someone.

BTW, people need to stop being hysterical about CV-19. Even for those over 65, the death rate is only 8 percent. Chances are 11 out of 12 you'll survive.

Shane said...

Well put. I don’t think I am taking risks or being irresponsible. We live in a small town. But I’ve found my mantra these past months to be: “I’m 56. I’ve lived a full life.” I want to spend time with our adult children and be the grandparents mine were to me, but it’s not my call.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Viet Nam combat vets were hunted by highly motivated, heavily armed humans with all the "home court" advantages. My experiences working with these folks over the years has shown a no B.S., and fearless demeanor. They have taught me much.

Unknown said...

"Community organizer" Frank Nitty. He's not going to stop until he gets what he wants. He doesn't want to be violent, but that's a nice shopping center you have there, be a shame if something happened to it.

What an appropriate name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Nitti

n.n said...

The pandemic, following detection. exposure, and ending of Planned Parent, has been linear since early April, with excess events likely attributable to flattening the curve (and denying prophylactic treatment for demographics at risk), which delayed/shifted evolution of the pathogen.

BUMBLE BEE said...

True science illuminates the issue. We are, as a species, awash in a perilously hostile environment. An example of our government's careful attention to safety of our food sources can be found by starting here https://www.fda.gov/food/ingredients-additives-gras-packaging-guidance-documents-regulatory-information/food-defect-levels-handbook

JPS said...

Good for her parents.

And I love that the father said, "I'm a Marine," not "I was a Marine."

When my grandfather was 74, he was diagnosed with a heart condition that was a matter of fairly serious concern; as a doctor, he knew exactly how serious.

On arriving back home, he picked up a walking stick, put his dog on a leash, and went walking in his favorite forest, all afternoon. My poor grandmother was awfully worried when she realized: What if he had a heart attack somewhere out there? Most of their many kids were pretty pissed at him for putting her through that.

I understood her - but I understood him well enough then, and better now. Someone told him he might suddenly die, but maybe not for a long time yet. What the hell was he supposed to do, sit around and wait for it? So he took a nice long walk, had a fine afternoon, and didn't die for another twenty-five years.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Life is for the dead.

m stone said...

Your assessment, Ann, says it all in one tight paragraph. Wisdom that young people won't understand for a while.

m

Enlighten-NewJersey said...

It’s not death that worries me, it’s how I’ll get to that state that causes me concern.

Mike Sylwester said...

I remember my grandfather saying:

If you are young, you might die, but if you are old, you will die.

Bob said...

"...and now our parents are wading around in a cesspool of germs."

Oh, please. We always wade around in a cesspool of germs. Not like the germs all fled with the onslaught of civilization. Some of us get sick, and most don't. That is our day-to-day reality, right now.

Sebastian said...

"I don’t have a whole lot to lose in the end anyway. It’s just at what level you’re willing to take your edge"

Exactly. Lots of old people feel that way, as Althouse confirms. Lots of younger people feel that way about the old people in their lives. We come to terms with the prospect of dying.

Corollary: all "deaths" are not equal--most families don't stress about grandpa with Alzheimer's passing away 6 moths earlier "due to" WuFlu. Corollary to the corollary: shutting down the country (again) and keep the kids out of school to protect the 80-year-old former Marine or grandpa in the nursing home would be insane.

traditionalguy said...

FEAR OF DEATH is a cheap enemy tactic. Don’t take counsel of your fears.

JaimeRoberto said...

This could describe my parents. They are in their 90s. We've been to a pig roast, to a restaurant, for an illegal haircut, and they are planning other new excursions. They are taking precautions as necessary, but it doesn't make sense to hide at home just to extend their life by a couple months.

Michael K said...

The outdoor masks are a good way to recognize the sheep.

NCMoss said...

"But old people are so used to having thought about it on so many different occasions that it's become a familiar part of life, and it's not so alarming.

That's part of it but also that younger people in the US live pampered lives and many believe that the virtual world is the only domain that exists. Young people ought to work on a farm for at least a season to understand those unique set of realities. My son worked on a lavender farm so my wife was grateful that it successfully masked the smell of a sweaty teenager.

Paul Zrimsek said...

It's mainly a generational difference in attitudes towards risk. Not having had helicopter parents helps.

Birkel said...

Who was it who asked three months ago, who asked whether anybody had consulted the older set about what they wanted?

He must be really surprised to have been on top of that.
Oh, wait.
That was me.

tcrosse said...

Memento Mori.

JAORE said...

You can die by living. It's inevitable.

Or you can die by not living. It's inevitable.

I am living.

wendybar said...

You can stay in your house just waiting to die, or you can go out and live your life, knowing someday you are going to die...The choice is yours.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Igna, you’ve killed enough people by shoving ventilator tubes down their throats and pumping their lungs like a beach ball out of fear that hydroxychloroquine and zinc might vindicate OrangeManBad. Why shouldn’t you get the same treatment?

I'm Not Sure said...

"So there you go, we expended 11 weeks of our lives, and now our parents are wading around in a cesspool of germs."

Said a woman...


Of course it was a woman.

wild chicken said...

TBH I've been using quarantine as an excuse not to do what I was tired of anyway, the old Tuesday evening meetings and Friday luncheons for civic stuff. Right now my house is the best place to be.

But I do worry about the senior dance crowd that met at local bars to dance on Sunday afternoon. Those guys are incredible. Still goin in their 90s even. Not sure how the rest of them get about it at this point.

Those things may never come back.

Rory said...

"What does picking up the "recycling around town" mean?"

If it's similar to where I am, the recycling people have stopped picking up glass and cardboard and stuff that's doesn't fit in the little bin, so people have to haul that stuff to a scrap place or some such that has dumpsters set up for it.

n.n said...

Life is an exercise in risk management... and quality control. That said, we have to be prudent and bold.

Bob Smith said...

If you are my age, 81, and there’s a lot of stuff left on the bucket list you did it wrong. I watched my dad make all kinds of post retirement plans and have his health fail. You don’t have any guarantees in this life, go live it.

JAORE said...

I lost my best friend last week to covid. And yes, Howard - you ass - he wore a mask.

A few years ago he had multiple bypass surgeries. The docs said the next eposide would be his last and it would be sudden.

Since then we've traveled to Spain (and ran with the bulls). New Zealand and Australia, yep. Germany, Austria, Italy, Budapest, Prague and more. Taken motorcycle trips down the Pacific Coast Highway, Death Valley, Yosemite and Glacier National Park, plus many more.

He golfed. he enjoyed wine and friends. He went out of his way to help anyone around him, and always had.

Mike said, "I'm ordering the Waygu." And he did.

Me too.

Rt1Rebel said...

So much this. My parents are in their 80s and will take reasonable precautions such as wearing a mask as required and washing their hands, but they still go out to happy hour several times a week, get their hair cut on schedule, work out in the gym, etc. They are taking a train next week to spend time with my siblings on the DE shore. I'm meeting them at a bar for drinks and dinner tonight to celebrate my Mother's birthday. Whenever I broach the subject, the casual response is "We're not living that much longer anyway."

n.n said...

hunted by highly motivated, heavily armed humans with all the "home court" advantages

This describes the American experience in the wild frontier with indigenous people who exhibited progressive degrees of friendship, hostility, and genocidal rage.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Older people are falling into a trap all too common in our time.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Excuse Me... You do NOT get to choose when you are gonna die, or how you are going to die, excepting suicide. Nobody is promised tomorrow, or even the rest of the afternoon for that matter. "Live every day like it's your last because one day you'll be right" sayeth the late, great Benny Hill.

hombre said...

There may be some truth to this, particularly resignation among the elderly. However, given that it is WaPo I suspect it is to distract from the carelessness of young people during the protests/riots and in general resulting in infection. In our area (mostly urban) the young people are being treated in greater numbers now that before.

Francisco D said...

Living in fear of death is not living.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Pearl clutching from the WaPo. I'm only 56, but I've got the same attitude. Yes, I mask up, but I not letting this stuff stop me from doing normal things. I still get haircuts, I go to the public gun range when I get the time. I'll take precautions, I'm not going to be reckless. Something will get me in the end, might as well be this.

Njall said...

Goes back to my basic (I am NOT a scientist or healthcare worker!) premise: protect the vulnerable groups and let life go on.

My mom is in her mid-70’s. Her husband, my beloved stepdad, is in poor health.

She was going so stir crazy not seeing us or the grandkids that we had a June birthday event. Everyone is okay, thank God or Nietzsche. Thanks

Michael said...

Or perhaps today's young people have been so indoctrinated with the cult of "safetyism" - nothing bad should ever happen, no one should ever be made to feel bad - that they make totally irrational judgments about actions and probable consequences. And so trained to respond to the latest media panic that they can't understand that life is always about trade-offs and balancing, and that too much of one thing inevitably means not enough of something else.

Paul Snively said...

Rent the recent “Watership Down” on Netflix. Rosamund Pike has a whopping four lines in two episodes of the four-episode miniseries as the “Black Rabbit of Inlè.” Readers of the novel will know what that means. My reaction: not only does Ms. Pike invest the Black Rabbit of Inlé with exactly the equanimity that character requires, it underscores that she is exactly the right actress to portray Moiraine Damodred in “The Wheel of Time.”

I'm Full of Soup said...

Yesterday, someone said to me the panic-demic will be over the day after election day. I agreed with her 100%.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Yesterday, someone said to me the panic-demic will be over the day after election day. I agreed with her 100%.

I'm Full of Soup said...

United Airlines announced it will furlough 36,000 employees! That reminded me of a saying "What is worth than death? Economic death". That is what the experts are pushing on us.

tcrosse said...

As an oldster myself, it's not that I have no fear of death, but that I have seen this sort of panic before. And it didn't kill us all.

Oso Negro said...

It's remarkable to me that Democrats are so much more fearful of the virus than more conservative people. Are they always more fearful? Or is it informed by their consumption of political information?

David53 said...

Man, I miss cruising. We’ve taken 10 cruises in the past 6 years. In the early 90s I retired from the USAF after 20 years of service. Ever been to Shemya? It’s an interesting place to visit but not to live. I’ve paid my dues. My wife and I busted our asses for the next 20 years saving for our real retirement. I learned how to invest, got lucky when I bought some tech stocks several years ago. Yes, we like to gamble, casinos are fun too. I will take the risks if the government would let me. On the bright side I’ve lost 35 pounds during the quarantine. I don’t know how many years I have left but I don’t want to spend them wearing a mask.

stlcdr said...

There's a reason the younger generation are called 'snowflakes'.

Yancey Ward said...

I have pondered on how this event would have been handled when I was teenager in the 1980s. I am just about 100% certain you would have seen no lockdowns, at all anywhere in the US or the rest of the world. So what has changed? Is just the prevalence of social media on computers and smart phones today, or is it from some some deeper change in the actual people themselves?
I don't know the answer.

However, the article itself is exactly what I have observed in my everyday life- it is the younger people who are wearing masks and vehemently reacting to anyone getting within 10 feet of them, not the older people. When the gyms here reopened in early May, I had expected to see all the senior citizens stay away- I was wrong- almost all the old people who I saw every day were still there on the reopening within about two weeks- all without masks, and all of them just as chatty as usual.

My mother, who is obese, has type II diabetes and kidney disease, and is 72 has continued her life normally. Her best friend who now in her 80s and in even worse health is even more adamant about not hiding away in her house. I can see their point, but I might not have seen it were I not 54 myself- maybe my 34 year-old self would have been a Karen like Inga- I doubt it, but I can't fully discount it.

Yancey Ward said...

Michael wrote:

"Or perhaps today's young people have been so indoctrinated with the cult of "safetyism" - nothing bad should ever happen, no one should ever be made to feel bad"

Yes, this could be the issue. I know I was definitely raised differently than children today are. The things I and my friends did every single day would terrify the parents of today, and those things don't seem that dangerous to me even now.

Drago said...

Njall: "Goes back to my basic (I am NOT a scientist or healthcare worker!) premise: protect the vulnerable groups and let life go on."

Be careful.

Comments like that put you in the tim in vermont citizens arrest danger zone.

Yancey Ward said...

I have also pondered whether or not the reaction would have been different under President Clinton. Would it be the Republicans clamoring for shutdowns for 18 months or until a vaccine arrives, if ever? Would the Democrats be advocating for a Swedish approach?

My answer is this- no I don't think the Republican states/governors would have acted differently in regards to policy, but I do think the Democrats would have been more balanced towards not shutting the economy down. And I have written it before- the outcome of the virus itself doesn't matter to who is president- if you don't believe me, just look at Europe. A country like the US, Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, or Germany just are going to get hit- they can't close borders very effectively and they have strong social norms about not welding people inside their homes for 2 months (which only works if the rest of the country isn't also infected). Absent a vaccine, the virus was always going to do what it was going to do- the best that could be done was to slow it down in doing it, but that might not work either.

Bruce Hayden said...

I turn 70 in a couple months, and really resent the Karens half my age trying to lecture me on why I needed to wear a mask for their, and maybe their kids’, protection. If I am with my partner, I hold my tongue, and maybe won’t even flip the meddling little tyrants off. She doesn’t like it when I make a spectacle of myself esp if she might be associated with this nutcase in public. But I am much less reticent in sharing my mind, and my inevitably superior knowledge on the subject, if she isn’t along. It inevitably feels good enough putting the Karen, and her herd misknowledge, in their place, that the added risk to me, of lingering in their presence, is well compensated for. Besides, they are wearing a mask, for my protection. Which I tell them I appreciate (while pointing out that I didn’t need to wear one, because they weren’t at appreciable risk in the first place). No doubt they go away from the interaction thinking that they had been just talking to a nasty old man who derived to die from the coronavirus, since she wouldn’t be such a Karen if she actually had much charity in her heart.

Anthony said...

Yancey Ward said...
I have pondered on how this event would have been handled when I was teenager in the 1980s. I am just about 100% certain you would have seen no lockdowns, at all anywhere in the US or the rest of the world. So what has changed? Is just the prevalence of social media on computers and smart phones today, or is it from some some deeper change in the actual people themselves?


I think it is pure politics and a media class that is quite blatantly on one side and will say anything, no matter how inconsistent or illogical or at odds with the facts to get power for their side. Social media helps spread the propaganda, but those in government and media have just become all-in on their pursuit of power at any cost.

Howard said...

Blogger JAORE said...

I lost my best friend last week to covid. And yes, Howard - you ass - he wore a mask.


I'm sorry you lost your best friend, I know how bad that hurts. Masks (the shitty masks most people wear) only work if everyone around you wears them. Also, you must avoid crowded and/or confined spaces with poor air circulation with the potential for high viral load. You can't get the bug by magic. Avoiding exposure doesn't mean not living your life to the fullest. "Discretion is the better part of valor" is a cliché for reasons.

As a newly minted college boy working on big diesel-electric drilling rigs, the roughnecks lived and worked by a code of behavior and honor. If you got hurt, it was always your own fucking fault, even if some other guy caused the accident because you should never put yourself in a pinch point. If the injury was minor, it was called a worm bite. If it was severe like broken bone, amputation or death, it was called worming out. Anybody that does not know how to make a hand is a worm, the lowest form of life. Fortune, not fate, favors the brave.

So you'll have to excuse me for not falling for your pathetic attempt at guilt tripping me just because your friend wormed out.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We just got back from a visit to Oregon to see my husband's mother age 88 who has Alzheimer's. She didn't know who is was most of the time. Is very frail We are afraid that she is not long for this earth. This may be one of the last times we can see her.

My father died at the age of 91 at the beginning of this Covid Circus (April) and I was not allowed to visit with him for fear of ???? He had dementia and was declining for quite some time. He did know us when we were talking to him, but as soon as the conversation was over...it was a blank and everything started anew.

For both of us this is a wake up call that we'd better give ourselves a kick in the pants and not put off the things that we would like to do. Because it will soon be our time and may end up on the path of our parents with their broken brains. Hopefully not but who knows? A wake up call that life is short and we are here to live it while we can.

So...Covid fears are the least of our worries. Nothing in life is "safe". The whole thing is one giant crap shoot. At our ages....SCREW WORRY. Enjoy each and every day is meant to live and enjoy to the best of our abilities. Not cower at home for fear of something that we have seen every year of our lives. A flu bug. Some people die from the flu. They always have. Always will. I've never had the flue but...it might be my turn this year....or not.

Howard and his ilk can cower; be the sheeple that the Democrats want to control. He can purse up his sour little mouth and make tsk tsk tsk sounds to try to shame others into dumb obedience. That is his choice.

My choice is to live the rest of my life and enjoy giving people like Howard the heebie jeebies.

Howard said...

This is my mask. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My mask is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my mask is useless. Without my mask, I am useless. I must wear my mask true. My mask is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories.

I will keep my mask clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will

Before God, I swear this creed. My mask and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.

joshbraid said...

"The outdoor masks are a good way to recognize the sheep."

So true. I feel for those people who have been so indoctrinated into constant fear, wearing masks while riding bicycles in solitude. Perhaps there is a little wisdom in age but only if one let's go of the fear. Stay aware from the indoctrinators! They want to control you with mindless fear. Ironically, they are the ones with "I believe in Science" signs on their front lawns :-) .

boatbuilder said...

Do you know what swimming pool water has very high levels of?

Yes, chlorine.

Germ killer.

Go Grandma, and tell your boomer Karen kids to grow up.

Narr said...

For many decades, obsessions over contamination were sneeringly ascribed to backward right-wingers. Now if you're NOT obsessed with contamination you're a backward right-winger.

Such is the media-muddled mass-mind. I can't watch or read most news stories because they are so obviously written by ignorant and frightened children.

My father died at 39; older brother 55; next brother 53; two of three male cousins about
60; old friends in the last few years at 59 and 65.

I'm 67 and just had a heart ablation; I mask as required by law just to save time and hassle, I have never had any problem being socially distant from others, and I have no intention of cowering in whatever time I have left.

Narr
Or listening to lectures about MY responsibility

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Cameron and Hidalgo Counties at the Tip of Texas probably top the list of cases/population in the State. Hospitals and ICU's are over capacity. Same for border cities Matamoros and Reynosa, Tamaulipas MX.

We are mid 70's with existing pulmonary and immune system issues.

That said, daily activity has not changed much. We live on 15 acres in a small town, have not much traveled, socialized, or patronized restaurants. Most challenging has been shutdowns and restrictions of City and County offices and some stores.

Plenty of projects inside and out; cleaning the cactus gardens, replacing two decade old Cat5 cable with Cat6.

We go shopping, mostly groceries, less frequently. We always mask up. It is required. It is a courtesy to others. Mask minds us about personal spacing, touching door pulls, etc. We carry a squeeze bottle of 75% alcohol.

A couple of observations from our daily read of the "Valley Morning Star":

..Most reported new cases are age 50 and younger; some young as 1 yr old; 30's-40's seems most frequent.

..Death notices have always been maybe 4-6 per day. Past 10 days, 8-12 not uncommon; most are 70's-90's.

Bottom line - Wuhan Flu is a credible threat, taken seriously. Thankfully the circumstances we selected for our retirement years require little adjustment to accommodate.

boatbuilder said...

My 86-year-old MIL's birthday card to my 87-year-old FIL: "Violets are blue/Roses are red/Most people your age/ Are already dead."

Michael said...

“surges”. A word in lots of text and headlines. Surge and spike. Look, only an idiot would believe the numbers would not go up dramatically with dramatically increased testing, the very test they have been whining about lo these five months. Need more testing. Vital they said vital. Gotta have more, lots more. For the headlines I suppose. It is turning out to be a dud for people under sixty, the most productive in the country, the country that shut their jobs,,kept them from their gyms, stalled their careers.

I read something that made me laugh. In one of the British papers. It seems the scientists believe that well off white people are in for a surprise when the second wave (there must be a second wave if you are a scientist). They are more susceptible because unlike the poor who have been out laying cable and fixing your plumbing and roof and building your summer cottage and repairing the lines after an electrical storm they, the well off whites, have no herd immunity. Zero. LOL.

Catch 22. If you go out you will get the virus. If you stay in you will get the virus. That’s a good catch he said. The best said the doctor.

Michael said...

Howard typed. “I started wearing the mask early on and developed the habit of not fucking with it, washing it every day and developed the physical fitness of breathing through it by wearing it on daily forced marches. I also wear the gloves doing business and wash them before, during and after each and every public commerce encounter. “

Pathetic.

Inga said...

“‘...maybe my 34 year-old self would have been a Karen like Inga- I doubt it, but I can't fully discount it.”

Ummm, Inga isn’t telling YOU what to do, asshole. I’m doing what is right for myself, you do you boo boo and here IS some advice for real, don’t make any more stupid projections regarding Covid deaths. “7,500 Covid deaths in the US tops”, eh?

Michael K said...

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...
Cameron and Hidalgo Counties at the Tip of Texas probably top the list of cases/population in the State. Hospitals and ICU's are over capacity. Same for border cities Matamoros and Reynosa, Tamaulipas MX.


Funny how those overloaded hospitals are all located on the Mexican border, isn't it? Same in AZ. I wonder why ? Prevailing wind ?

Michael K said...

Howard and his ilk can cower; be the sheeple that the Democrats want to control. He can purse up his sour little mouth and make tsk tsk tsk sounds to try to shame others into dumb obedience. That is his choice.

My choice is to live the rest of my life and enjoy giving people like Howard the heebie jeebies.


Hear, hear.

Howard is a long way from Dan Daly's Marine Corps.

"Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"

mikee said...

My wife, a pediatrician for 30+ years, has had exactly one incident during those decades of being ill, and it was a bacterial infection, not viral. She goes through the cold and flu season having her face sneezed at by small snotty children every year. I get the flu about once in 5 years, despite annual flu vaccines, and colds about twice per year. She has, over the years, sniffled once or twice but not to the extent of needing a kleenex.

People vary in their genetic disposition to infectious diseases. That said, when the pandemic started her doctor's group instituted excellent PPE and patient protocols and telemedicine. But I stilll know I'll get it.

narciso said...

the vast majority of deaths, are still in nursing facilities in this corner of the state, so we seem to failing in protecting the most vulnerable,

BUMBLE BEE said...

My friends with Arthritis are in great pain as gyms/pools are closed in my state. My wife has become "de-conditioned to walking", (her neurologist's term), due to the prolonged lock down, leading to several in house falls. She is now going to Phys Therapy to relearn/regain what she lost vis. balance and coordination. Governor is asshoe.

Gospace said...

My mother-in-law died at home In January 2 weeks short of her 95th birthday. She told the family not to bring her back to the hospital. She was tired of them. In another month, they would likely have called it a covid death. She was ready to go. No cancer, no terminal illnesses, just the aches and pains that come from being, well, old.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Remember this... "Journalist" is currently a BA in English level job. Previously the provenance of elementary school first grade teachers. Remember Ben Rhodes' comment?

MadTownGuy said...

Count Imperial County, California in, too.

"It's a war zone." Tents mounted in Imperial County hospital parking lot to handle surging COVID-19 cases

Birkel said...

I also am doing the things to protect myself.
That includes hoping BLM rioters attack Inga and Howard.
It would make the world safer.

BamaBadgOR said...

The older you get, the less attached you are to life.

Walter said...

From Fran Lebowitz’s coronavirus interview in the New Yorker:

One thing I’ve absolutely noticed about myself, and which should be true as you get older: it’s not that you want to die, but you are less attached to life. You’re less panicked. I’m not very panicked by this...

She’s 69

Drago said...

Nga: "Ummm, Inga isn’t telling YOU what to do, asshole."

LOL

That's right.

According to Inga its Steve Bannon telling people what to do!

Phil 314 said...

Drago, why don’t you let individuals defend themselves other than your tiresome “Hey look at stupid, he’s not like us smart and cool kids”

Darkisland said...

Instead of a mask I carry a rabbits foot in my pocket. I also wash my hands every day

It provides the same degree of protection to myself and others as Howard's obsessive-compulsive behavior.

John Henry

Yancey Ward said...

Inga, we remember your earlier comments- they haven't been down the memory hole for most of the people commenting here. You and the other Karens have definitely been rewriting the history of your commentary the last month or so, but we do remember it still.

Darkisland said...

Here's how they are defining kung flu cases in Texas now. According to the Texas health agency in charge

"Subjective fever" meaning you feel hot but no temperature taken plus headache defines you as a "probable case."

In contact with a "probable case" in the previous 10 days makes you a probable case too.

For reporting, probable cases are lumped with confirmed by testing cases and reported as "cases"

I'll post the link later when I get to my laptop.

John Henry

stevew said...

I am not spending whatever time I have left holed up in my house, isolated from the people I love and who love me. Besides, there is no scientifically proven reason to do so.

Someone that works for me, with whom I spent the day in meetings on March 12, came down with Covid symptoms March 16 and tested positive for the virus on March 20. As mandated by my company's HR department I did a phone screen with my primary care physician (actually his office staff that were screening cases at the time). Confirmed no symptoms of any kind. Was told at the end of the call that I was a "probably case" of Covid infection and mandated to quarantine for 14 days starting from the day I spent with my rep that had a medically confirmed case. I quarantined through March 26, which was two days after my call with the doctor's office.

Seeing as I've already had Covid I am good to go with not wearing a mask. Right?

ALP said...

"I think people at different ages have a different awareness of death — a different relationship with concept"

Not just age - I would say your experience with death and disease in total. For example - anyone that has suffered a tragic death before this - like the death of a child, may be more triggered by all this possibility of death or spreading it around. Or you saw your partner through a long illness with lots of hospital visits and dammed if you want to go back there.

My own partner is an only child that watched his dad die slowly of cancer at 63 (not that much older than we are now) and he found his mother in a coma in her home - long story short a few days later he's making a 'pull the plug' decision. No other family ties (in the US at least, some in Japan). I am all he has. The mere *idea* that I could fall ill - well, he's VERY keen on me NOT getting covid-19. Took him years to learn to handle the various grief 'anniversaries'. Some people are just more triggered by death and disease.

Josephbleau said...

"As a newly minted college boy working on big diesel-electric drilling rigs, the roughnecks lived and worked by a code of behavior and honor. If you got hurt, it was always your own fucking fault, even if some other guy caused the accident because you should never put yourself in a pinch point. If the injury was minor, it was called a worm bite. If it was severe like broken bone, amputation or death, it was called worming out. Anybody that does not know how to make a hand is a worm, the lowest form of life. Fortune, not fate, favors the brave.

So you'll have to excuse me for not falling for your pathetic attempt at guilt tripping me just because your friend wormed out."

So you say you were a Marine? Did you do your 3 years and then go to school? or did you do ROTC and do 5 in the Marines and go to the oil industry as a "Newly Minted College Boy?" Please tell us to save your credibility. I am willing to take your invective if you answer.

Josephbleau said...

Dilbert Cartoon: We must use data! Dilbert: You are stupid.

Social Scientists: We must make data!

There was an Althouse conversation about Bayesian analysis a few months ago. I think the strong priors have taken over truth. Bayesian probability is based on estimating outcomes on personal estimates. Like Jessie Jackson and those who are walking behind you.

John henry said...

Here's the link I promised on the new definition of "probable case":

Aisha Souri, an epidemiology department official for the county, informed Collin County commissioners of the reasoning behind the state’s decisions at a May 18 meeting.

The definition for a confirmed COVID-19 case has not changed and is determined by a positive polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test result from a lab, Souri said.

A probable case of COVID-19 can now be confirmed by a positive FDA-approved lab result paired with certain clinical criteria or certain epidemiological links, she said.

However, a probable case can also be determined without an FDA-approved test if someone meets definitions of certain clinical criteria and epidemiological links, Souri said.

[snip]

Clinical criteria needed to meet the definition of a probable COVID-19 includes:


at least two of the following symptoms: fever that is measured or subjective, chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, or new smell and taste disorders;

at least one of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; or

severe respiratory illness with at least one of the following: clinical or radiographic evidence of pneumonia, or acute respiratory distress syndrome and no alternative more likely diagnosis.


Epidemiological links needed to meet the definition of a probable case includes:


close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19;

close contact with a person with clinically compatible illness and linkage to a confirmed case of COVID-19; or

travel to or residence in an area with sustained, ongoing community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Close contact, Souri said, is defined by being within 6 feet for at least a period of 10 minutes to 30 minutes or more depending on exposure.

“There are 15 different options on how you can be classified as a probable case,” she said.


https://communityimpact.com/dallas-fort-worth/frisco/coronavirus/2020/05/19/new-covid-19-definitions-by-the-state-could-raise-case-counts-in-collin-county/

Also from the article:

“That still gets counted towards the case count,” she said. “It’s different. It’s not confirmed; it’s probable; but it’s still a case.”

Given this, I am surprised the REPORTED number is as low as it is. I whould think this diagnosis would cover 90% of the population of Texas.

Although this is a Texas story, the diagnostic guideline comes from the national CDC.

John Henry

Valentine Smith said...

Jung said the neurotic spends the first half of his life afraid to live and the second half afraid to die.

ken in tx said...

I have allergies and sometimes a mask helps keep me from having a sneezing fit. Now I am reluctant to wear one because some nut might assume I am trying to make statement.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Went to estate sales today. Full of decrepit old people whom I'm supposed to give up my community completely to protect. Whatever. You do you, grandpa. I wouldn't want to sit in my house alone either. But it would be nice if you could go explain that you know you are going to die, probably fairly soon, and have made peace with that, to the brainless Suburban Empathy Moms who have used you as an excuse to take away school, church, museums, sports, live music, and a dozen other things I could list off that are not coming back. I don't have the energy to engage with them anymore so you're going to have to do it.

Paul Snively said...

Josephbleau: Bayesian probability is based on estimating outcomes on personal estimates.

Not necessarily. That's one variant of Bayesian probability, "subjective Bayesian probability." As this excellent review of "Probability Theory: The Logic of Science" explains:

"To 'pure' mathematicians, probability theory is measure theory in spaces of measure 1. To the extent to which you remain a 'pure' mathematician, this book will be incomprehensible to you.

To frequentist statisticians, probability theory is the study of relative frequencies or of proportions of a population; those are 'probabilities'.

To Bayesian statisticians, probability theory is the study of degrees of belief. Bayesians may assign probability 1/2 to the proposition that there was life on Mars a billion years ago; frequentists will not do that because they cannot say that there was life on Mars a billion years ago in precisely half of all cases -- there are no such 'cases'.

To _subjective_ Bayesians, probability theory is about subjective degrees of belief. A subjective degree of belief is merely how sure you happen to be.

'Noninformative' _objective_ Bayesians assign 'noninformative' probability distributions when they deal with uncertain propositions or uncertain quantities, and replace them with 'informative' distributions only when they update them because of 'data'. 'Data', in this sense, consists of the outcomes of random experiments.

'Informative' _objective_ Bayesians -- a rare species -- ask what degree of belief in an uncertain proposition is logically necessitated by whatever information one has, and they don't necessarily require that information to consist of outcomes of random experiments.

Jaynes is an 'informative' objective Bayesian. This book is his defense of that position and his account of how it is to be used."


We actually do know, mathematically, how to construct objective prior probability distributions of a proposition given nothing more than a data set. "Probability Theory: The Logic of Science's" entire second half is devoted to the issue, and there are annual conferences on some of the specific techniques, in particular Jaynes' "Solomonoff's universal prior, and so serves as the basis for a completely objective, universally applicable means of "scientific"—that is, inductive—inference.

The sorry performance of the "public health experts" and their "statistical models" is particularly shameful in light of these facts.

Donatello Nobody said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donatello Nobody said...

Howard at 11:23am 7/11 once again demonstrates that the central motivating principle of his life is hatred.

Christopher said...

This thing is contagious enough that the moment it got out of China it was pretty much here to stay.

Consequently there are basically three outcomes to this:

1) A safe/effective vaccine is developed and it fades as a threat,
2) Enough people get sick that herd immunity is developed and it becomes very limited in its effect, or
3) People reach a point where they just say "fuck it" and get on with their lives

Given that 1 and 2 are not guaranteed to happen any time soon (if ever) the question for the lock down crowd is: How long are you willing to continue all of this?

Nichevo said...

Paul Snively said...
Rent the recent “Watership Down” on Netflix. Rosamund Pike has a whopping four lines in two episodes of the four-episode miniseries as the “Black Rabbit of Inlè.” Readers of the novel will know what that means.


I don't know what you just said but man, is she a piece of ass! Looks like a stiff in bed but that's all right as long as she obeys, I'll do all the work. A classic beauty, I hope she doesn't go the plastic surgery route.