It’s Saturday morning, still dark, and at 37° a vast difference from the 80+° the other day. That day, April 9th, was our annual Winston Churchill Day; a day set aside to recall the moment when the former Prime minister of the United Kingdom was officially declared an “honorary citizen of the United States”. I raise my fresh mug of coffee to, what is probably my most favorite historical character, Sir Winston Churchill.

”There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.” ~ Winston Churchill

TeleHealth – From my pre-retirement world I am still connected through a few publications. One, which I always check, is called strategy+business. The latest contained an article on TeleHealth, and per happenstance, last Sunday my Neurologist’s office called to see if my appointment could proceed via an on-line face hookup. I was all ‘thumbs-up’ and ready; Tuesday afternoon was the moment. Now, time for a (bit lengthy) quote from strategy+business;

“Technology is poised to flip healthcare from scarcity to abundance. Think of this in the context of Google Maps. A couple of decades ago, a map wasn’t exactly scarce, but you had to trudge to a store and pay money for a physical product that was printed in limited quantities. Today, every owner of a smartphone can tap a screen and get a map instantly for free, and that map does vastly more than the old physical maps — it can even route you around traffic jams. Technology moved maps from being relatively expensive and hard to get to being free and available seemingly out of thin air.

That’s the power of shifting something that was physical and bound by geography to a digital and cloud-based format. This dynamic has transformed industry after industry: media, retail, music, banking, and education.

Its healthcare’s turn, and the coronavirus crisis looks like it could be a turning point.”

Recently the Trump administration waived some rules about cross-state TeleHealth. Here’s the potential plus; “so, if there’s too much demand in New York, for instance, the system could tap doctors with open time in other parts of the country. Doctors could see patients at all hours, without keeping an office open. And patients wouldn’t need to waste time in waiting rooms, sitting elbow-to-elbow with other sick people.”

My Doc told me he “loves it”. It satisfies for first visit and follow-up contacts especially well and using it (even in the early stages of the new cloud-based technology) satisfies 80% of what he hopes to gain from each visit. Me? I felt comfortable, interactive – to us even reviewing my recent scan, and it was super-efficient. A Five-Star all Thumbs Up!

One of our local hospitals, St. Elizabeth in nearby Edgewood, KY, said that a year ago they managed between 250 and 300 TeleHealth appointments. This year it’s over 20,000 sessions.

Just think, it hasn’t even reached the point where Artificial Intelligence has really crept into the equation. It won’t be long before AI takes over the pre-primary care. Especially once it auto-connects to our wearables collecting our vital details. It’s a new world staring us in the face.

Flatten the curve – Does bring its own set of quirkiness. On the plus side is Wimbledon. They apparently paid $2-million a year for pandemic insurance for the past 17 years (Total $34-million). This year’s cancellation payout will be $141-million.

NBC News stated that the US reported 1,264 deaths of the virus in a 24-hour period. That same period China (where it broke out) reported zero [remember Tiananmen Square? China also never reported a single death there].

Evolution to a degree that Darwin would be proud:
1) “Trump giving Americans false hope
2) Trump peddling snake oil
3) Trump made a couple drink fish-tank cleaner
4) Hydroxychloroquine might, maybe, be helpful
5) Trump is in it for the money”          (Prof Margaret Cleveland)

A vast majority of doctors concur that Hydroxychloroquine & Zithromax might be effective for the virus. The media starts blasting that it’s unproven! Fake! And not backed by science! These same ‘wizards’ insist just as loudly that we Must! listen to a high school dropout Swedish kid.

The numbers, both hospitalizations and deaths, are fractionally of the predictions, predictions which are downright garbage and forced our economy to shut down and grind our celebrations to a halt. We’re in lockdown. In Kentucky Police are recording the automobile plate numbers of churchgoers, and in Michigan it’s forbidden to travel from one residence to another. So far we’ve willingly watched as our freedoms and our Bill of Rights are torn. Maybe it’s time to act like the Buffalo which face the storm and head straight for it; not cower and run away as do cattle.

So, back to the positive. It appears that Texas Governor Greg Abbott is working for business to re-open beginning next week; “restore livelihoods… aggressively…but safely”. Leave it to Texas to display some common sense!

Final Numbers – are in. Last Wednesday evening Mother Nature put on one amazing spectacle. I sat in our sunroom absolutely mesmerized as sky, cloud to cloud, lightning blasted across all points of the sky without ceasing for about an hour. My phone alarm went off and tornado sirens wailed – a couple of different times.

By morning we were informed that 70,000 were without power and that 7 tornados had touched down in the counties east of us.

Friday evening happening – Marcia noted on our Neighborhood site that there was activity a ways away by The Belvedere. It was dusk and I took to the street. I’m still not sure exactly what transpired; but with lots of cops, detectives, Crime Scene vehicles, and a Coroner’s wagon I can make a pretty good guess. With all the face masks and milling about I didn’t think it appropriate to let them know that I was just being nosy. I guess that soon we’ll find out exactly what went on; it doesn’t look good.

I just heard an Owl, so I deduce a bothersome Owl was not the issue.

     

Fini – April 14th, 15th, and 16th, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and the moon will appear together and all should be visible to the naked eye (or try a decent pair of binoculars).

To help entertain the little tykes as parents walk them around the block, Marcia has ‘hidden’ bears in the windows of the sunroom for them to discover. She also placed a doll Vai and Dinah always deemed “creepy” in the same window, sitting complete with a knitted face mask. Kids still see it as ‘creepy’.

On this day in 1976 computer hobbyist Steve Wozniak hand-build and offered to the public a new machine dubbing it the Apple I.

As one who enjoys Jazz, I came across this photo of many of the really big names in Jazz. This from Esquire’s 1959 Golden Age of Jazz photo shoot by Ari Kane.

With music on my mind. For the past three or so weeks the various neighborhoods I walk through are abuzz with contractors. I’ve discovered that well before I get to a place being worked on I can tell about the work crew. If the DeWalt radio is pumping out modern country, not the ‘King of Swing’ Bob Wills or even Merle Haggard stuff, but the current Country genre; they’re probably from Kentucky.

If I hear a thump-thump base and then soon recognize the ‘lilt’ of some Rap-Crap I know it to be an Urban crew. Latino music is just as recognizable. And I’ve also come to realize that it’s this style that has me strain for more as I walk on past and it fades – just a little bit more please.

Lastly, do keep a journal documenting this WuVirus; Corvid-19. The loss of family contact, the face masks and the isolation, the constraints and the 6-foot rule; record it all before this event too fades into the history books. Based on all that I read, Corvid-19 will eventually be viewed as an average flu-like event, no worse and no better, and no more or less dangerous. An event, for whatever reason, exacerbated by a global panic, which then turned into a global recession (or possibly a global depression).

I’m hopeful that now that Easter is here, we’ll begin to see our leadership focused on a path forward.

Donald Trump, US President; ”We built the greatest economy in the world, I’ll do it a second time!”

I hope!

Make it great week, stay safe and healthy!
Dirk

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