Posted tagged ‘coronavirus’

Uh, Not the Flu

June 30, 2020

As of yesterday, face coverings are required in public in Salt Lake County where our new home town of South Jordan is located and, perhaps surprisingly, when I went to the store today, virtually everyone had on a mask. That, dear readers, is good for Oldereyes’ disposition. Watching more than half of the people in our local stores wander around maskless (and clueless) as the COVID-19 cases surged in Utah was making me crazy because, you see, I am 76 years old, mildly diabetic and mildly asthmatic, which puts me on the edge of the coronavirus’ favorite victim-group. And as anyone with the sense to listen to the news should know, wearing a mask primarily protects OTHERS, so a decision not to wear a mask is not about your rights to choose but your right to infect other people. I wish there were some way to get that through the thick skulls of the idiots that were protesting against wearing masks outside the capitol today but a lobotomy is probably a surer thing.


Stranger in a Strange Land

June 20, 2020

Dying of old age is not the same for everyone. Some are taken by diseases, some fast and ruthless, others that slowly sap away the will to live. I suppose you could include the process of aging into that latter category. For a long time, I’ve thought that for many of us, the feeling that we don’t recognize the world about us anymore is a prime contributor to that loss of will. That’s one of the reasons that I have worked hard to maintain a positive outlook on life in spite of my natural tendency to be cynical. a tendency that has earned me the nickname Bud Dark in certain circles. And that’s why the world I see around me right now scares me.


Hello? Utah?

June 12, 2020

Yesterday, after several difficult weeks (possibly to be explained in a later post), my wife Muri and I took a day trip to beautiful Provo Canyon, about an hour from our home in South Jordan. We found a parking place right across the Provo River from Bridal Veil Falls. With sight of the water cascading down the mountain side and the sounds of the rushing water, it was a perfect spot to enjoy our lunch.

Across the river, at the base of the falls, several hundred people, mostly families with young children were sitting on the rocks or climbing the lower falls. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the warm spring day. No one was wearing a mask and no one was social distancing. Perhaps no one had looked at the Utah COVID-19 website for the last few days and seen that Utah has moved into second place in the US as to the rate of spread of the coronavirus … or that since May 29, the number of new cases per day has roughly doubled.   Or that this coincides with a 131% increase in the use of outdoor recreation areas, apparently without masks or social distancing. (more…)

Red. Orange. Yellow.

May 19, 2020

My  new home state of Utah is gradually reducing the COVID-19 Risk Levels, which define the precautions required or recommended to avoid the spread of the disease.  I was one of those who at the beginning of this said the Red precautions were an over-reaction, in particular the closing of all businesses.   But as someone right in the middle of the age randge most vulnerable to COVID-19, I have adopted what I think are prudent precautions that  probably fall in the RedOrange range.  I avoid unnecessary contact with others, work at home, wear a mask when in public places and practice social distancing. (more…)


April 26, 2020

It is seventy degrees outside here in South Jordan, Utah. The sky is blue, all the more so because the shelter-in-place (such as it is) has reduced traffic giving us smog free days. (Did you know that Salt Lake City has a smog problem ? It is nestled in a valley between mountains, just as Los Angeles is and is therefore subject to smog being trapped under inversion layers. I find it ironic that we moved to a new city and a new state, only to still have smog and earthquakes. Yes, we have had several of those since we’ve been here. This has been what they call an aside. Now, back to our regular programming,) It has been over 45 years since I’ve lived where there is a real winter, hence a real spring. I am enjoying watching the trees sprout spring-green leaves and the daffodils spring from the earth in profusion. The dead looking plans our association planted around are house are actually showing signs of life. Inspired, I decided I should begin putting out some flower pots and bowls to join in the fun, so off I went to Home Depot. Yikes!! No parking places and a line to get in a block long. And nary a mask in sight, except for mine.



April 25, 2020

Years ago (probably 30) when I was working in Big Industry, a manager decided we needed to bring more creativity into our laboratory.  He introduced a form of approaching problems as a group known as Brainstorming.   Just in case you were lucky enough to never have to go through a Brainstorming session, I’ll review the concept.   You get the entire team in a room with a facilitator and everyone starts tossing out ideas, which the facilitator writes on the board.   The group in encouraged to use wild thinking and no criticism is allowed as the ideas are collected.  The phrase There are no bad ideas is a guideline.  The emphasis is on speed and quantity which supposedly unlocks creativity in the group.  I hated it.  Now I admit, I was pretty arrogant back them.  To me, the whole thing was proof that that there were in fact bad ideas … and and plenty of them.   I was also prone to whispering to my cohorts that some of the people in the room weren’t capable of a brain-squall, much less a brainstorm. (more…)

That Masked Man

April 14, 2020

medmaskThese are difficult times and I have tried to keep my Inner Curmudgeon at bay as I considered the response of the county to Covid-19.   I have particularly been gentle on the CDC since they have to deal with our current political climate in which who’s right sometimes seems more important than who lives.  But I am very frustrated with the CDC’s handling of the issue of masks.  For weeks we were told that masks didn’t prevent from catching  COVID-19, they just helped keep you from spreading it.  They said that masks weren’t necessary if we kept a 6 foot distance from each other and that we should not buy up masks so they would be available for medical personnel.  Being a good listener, I went unmasked, scoffing at those wearing them.  Meanwhile, the hoarders grabbed  up everything from medical masks to those made for carpenters.  THEN, the CDC changed their tune, recommending that everyone wear masks when out.  They specifically said leave the medical masks for doctors but that horse was already out of the barn.  (more…)

Easter. Passover. Pandemic

April 13, 2020

20200413_005227It is Sunday morning. Easter Sunday Morning.  Easter hasn’t meant much to me personally since I gave up Christianity years, although I will occasionally indulge in a dark chocolate coconut egg or a few licorice jelly beans.  I used to like Peeps, too, but they are too sweet for me these days.  It is also the middle of Passover, which I have more or less celebrated since I married my wife, Muri.  In our house that has meant a nice dinner in lieu of the Passover Seder with which many Jews mark the beginning of the holiday, followed by a week following (more or less, in my case) the dietary restrictions.   Just in case you’ve lived on another planet … or in Utah, where Jews are hard to find … that means only unleavened bread (matzo) and no legumes or grains.  I have never really adopted Judaism even though in many ways it lands closer to my spiritual inclinations.  This year we attended a Seder with the family of some dear friends online using Zoom.  It was good to see the faces of friends in the midst of the Pandemic.  Zoom has become a lifeline for many people as we (more or less) shelter-in-place while experts and politicians scramble to save us, the economy and themselves.  I’m sad to say it is not one of the finest moments of our country.   I remember after 9-11, for an amazing few weeks we stood together, cried together, and prayed together, even though we lapsed back into partisanship after that.  There’s been no such coming together against COVID-19. (more…)

Shelter-In Place Scavenger Hunt

April 9, 2020

So, we had no sooner settled into our house in Utah and started to enjoy visiting with our grandkids than the coronavirus reared it’s ugly (if microscopic) head.   At first we visited carefully but as things got worse, we stopped regular visits and, of course, all their activities which we love to attend are shut down.  We still get to see them car to car in the park, or at quick visits when their Mom drops off some goodies for us and we can still Facetime.  But I wanted to have a more regular presence in their lives and perhaps provide a break from boredom.  So I came up with a game I call Shelter-in-Place Scavenger Hunt.   Every day I text them something for each of them to find and text back a picture.  Of course, these are 21st century techie kids who can Google, cut and paste and download pictures on their devices, so I try to make it educational and interesting.  This is this morning’s game and their answers (click to enlarge):

It keeps us in touch every day and they seem to enjoy it.   Or maybe they just know it makes their Papa happy … they are good kids that way.

Stay home and stay safe.

What To Do

March 28, 2020

In case you don’t know, as we get older we become more attached to our routines. In case you are new here, I am 75 … and VERY attached to my routines. Since we moved to Utah in December many of our routines have been shattered, in particular those connected to particular places and particular people. Now this, this being the COVID-2 pandemic and whatever degree of shelter in place (in my opinion a really dumb terminology) you see as prudent. Ours is probably not as strict as the most rabid would advise but it keeps us in the house much more than we are used to, particularly since we decided to limit our visits to the grocery stores. I had been using the stores to get my steps in each day when it’s cold (and almost all Utah days feel cold to this former Californian), so now I’m bundling up and walking outside. It’s actually better to be in the fresh air. But I get stir crazy being in the house and stir crazy leads to boredom and, for me, boredom leads to mild depression and depression leads to loss of interest in things I enjoy. Ouch. So it’s important for me to be conscientious in finding things to do. Here are a few that help me stay sane.