Posted tagged ‘health’

One Hundred Percent

April 17, 2021

coronaThere is a scene in Zero Dark Thirty, the film about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, in which a group of CIA agents is pondering whether Osama is  hiding in a certain house in Islamabad.   The CIA Director asks around the table for opinions about how certain each of the senior agents (all men) are that it is indeed Osama.   Each of them offers a cautious estimate of the likelihood on the order of 60%.  Maya, the agent who gathered all the intelligence, becomes increasingly agitated with each estimate.   Finally, the director turns to her and says, And what do you think?  Without hesitation, she says, One hundred percent.  Then, gauging their reaction, she says, OK.  Ninety-five percent.  I know certainty freaks you guys out.  But it’s him.   In my line of business, we are often trying to find a very weak signal (say, an object of interest to a radar) surrounded by other objects we don’t care about.   The likelihood that we detect the target is known as the probability of detection and our customers would love that to be 100%.   Many times we are lucky to give them 50%. (more…)

Health Care Quiz

March 8, 2021

I am concerned about the health care decision making of our populace these days, so I am offering as a FREE Public Service this health care questionnaire.   By answering the questions then checking your answers against the answers at the bottom of the page, you can assess your own decision process.

  1. Your doctor finds an odd lump on your neck which be suspects might ne cancerous and wants you to see a specialist.  Which of these should he call?   (a) a lawyer;  (b) the governor of your home state; (c) an electrician; or (d) an oncologist.
  2.  You are in a bad traffic accident and have lost a lot of blood.   What is most critical to a successful transfusion?   (a) your blood type;   (b) who you voted for in the last presidential election;  (c)  what your friends say on Facebook; or (d) what your Uncle John, the shoe salesman says.
  3. A new virus is sweeping the nation.  As the death toll rises, who do should you listen to for advice about how to avoid being infected?  (a) Your congressman;  (b) Fox news;  (c) CNN;  or (d)  the Center for Disease Control
  4. Your toilet is backing up into your guest bathroom, flooding the floor with odorous waste.  Who should you call?   (a) a surgeon;   (b) a gastroenterologist;  (c) a lawyer;   or (d) a plumber.
  5. You have a severe case of the flu and want to avoid hospitalization.  Whose advice should you follow?  (a) Sean Hannity;  (b) Dr. Jill Biden;  (c)  Senator Rand Paul;  or (d) None of the Above.
  6. Who should you trust your life to when it comes to COVID-19?   (a) Greg Abbot, the governor of Texas;  (b) the United States Senate;   (c) Dr. Fauci;   (d) what “they” say on the internet.
  7. Your brother-in-law. Bill, who works as a tech at the local hospital says COVID is a hoax.   Who should you used to fact check his assertion?   (a) Dr. Phil;    (b)  Dr. Oldereyes (I am a Doctor of Engineering); (c) Dr. Golden, your orthopedist;  or (d) none of the above.
  8.  The CDC recommends that we wear masks while the COVID vaccinations continue.  They recommend this because;   (a) they are all Democrats;  (b) doing so helps prevent the spread of the disease;   (c) they are trying to take away your rights;  (d) the virus is a hoax promoted to make money for the medical profession.

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Two Stories

November 16, 2020

I rarely watch the evening local news.  I prefer to read my news online where I can search other sources to be sure of the integrity of what I’m reading.   But tonight, after the Ravens-Patriots game, I was busy so I left the Salt Lake City news station on.  Two stories, one right after the other, caught my attention.   The first was about protesters at the governor’s house, demonstrating against the new statewide COVID mandate here in Utah, which includes a mandate to wear masks.   The protesters, which included families with young children, held signs with messages like Mandates are tyranny, End the Mask Myth, and Just say no 2 masks.  You can read about it here.   The second piece was about a four year old  boy in San Antonio who lost both parents to COVID, here.   His Dad and Mom were 33 and 29, respectively.  His grandmother has arrange a big drive-by birthday celebration but, of course, that won’t make up for the loss of his parents.  Unfortunately, if you do some internet searching, you’ll find this is all to common.

Two news stories, which when told side-by-side tell a larger story about us as a nation.  Very depressing.   How many of us have to die before people take this seriously?

Springtime

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.

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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…)

What Now?

March 15, 2020

If you are anything like Oldereyes, you watched the coronavirus lockdown roll over us in amazement. I had already posted WHO Says, commenting on how we ALWAYS overreact to health threats in a predictable way. The first thing that made me realize that this wasn’t going to be predictable was when the NBA shut down the season … and cancelled one game about to get underway (sending home the booing spectators). The news quickly reported the cancellation of numerous other staples of American life. Reports began to circulate about people hoarding toilet paper and beans, which I thought was hysterical. I began work on a second snarky post about our collective reaction to the virus to be titled either Hyperbolic Hysteria or Et Tu CDC (two great titles that will probably never be used). That unfinished post included the observation that a good thing about the virus is it pushed climate change and the ubiquitous Greta Thunberg off the news. I thought that was funny, too.

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WHO Says

February 28, 2020

So, it is happening again. A new health threat is affecting a VERY small proportion of our population. The responsible organization, in this case, the World Health Organization, issues warnings filled with scary words like epidemic and pandemic and the press, always looking for a crisis to promote, tracks every case and predicts dire consequences as if its the bubonic plague. Social media joins in and before long,, people are wearing masks in places where that hasn’t been a single case. Government organizations, always anxious to feed off the fears of their constituents, cancel events and flights, or take Draconian measures in the face of minuscule real threats. And a jumpy stock market, always afraid of something that will threaten the economy, plunges. This isn’t the first time. Stop reading scary news stories and do a little historical research. Look up the SARS virus in 2002. The Swine Flu in 2009. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 when people nowhere near the site of the accident were taking iodine pills to prevent radiation poisoning. The 2001 anthrax attacks after 9-11 which elicited national hand-wringing, even though there were only 22 cases.

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Line Dancing, Chi and Me

July 29, 2018

Clipboard01Many years ago, I took a class in Transcendental Meditation.   I spent several weeks sitting in a room with several eternally smiling teachers who talked to us about the benefits of meditation and the technique, which pretty much came down to mentally repeating a mantra (my very own secret one) and not trying too hard to keep my concentration there.   Not trying.   A foreign concept for me.  For several years I meditated twice a day and since then I have tried to include meditation as part of my daily practice.   Oddly, as I get older, I find it harder to sit down and doline dancing nothing (my Inner Engineer’s description of meditation). Many years ago, too, I was at a country music venue and tried line dancing with my wife, Muri.  Some pseudo-cowgirl was teaching the steps and Muri picked up the half a dozen steps right away.  Me?  When the instructor said, OK, let’s try it all together, I only had two steps down.  I have since avoided line dancing like the plague.    If there is anything harder for me than not trying, it is trying and looking foolish. (more…)

Stars for President

January 9, 2018

There is a scene in the film Back to the Future that I think of often lately.  In it, Marty McFly, after traveling to the past in a time machine invented by Doc Brown, is trying to convince a much younger Doc that he is indeed from the future by knowing the president of the United States in the future.

The scene is actually funnier here in 2018 than it was in 1985 given the propensity of show business types to decide that, based on their vast experience in the make believe world of show business, they should bring their questionable talents to government.   If that sentence doesn’t give you a hint how I feel about the trend, then go back and read it again.

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Eye’s a Romantic

September 10, 2014

A week ago, I posted about the issues I was having with my vision, a large number of very small gray spots drifting around in my field of view like Gray Snow.  Fortunately, my optometrist was available to do a retinal exam and reassure me that they were either floaters or products of an ocular migraine.  When I saw my regular doctor for a checkup on Thursday, he recommended I see an opthamologist and sent in a referral (since my Medicare supplement is an HMO).  On Tuesday afternoon, saw my new ophthalmologist who is about my daughter’s age and just as cute (don’t tell my daughter I said that).   During the very thorough exam, she suddenly asked, Are you a romantic?   It seemed like an odd question from an eye doctor.  I guess I am, I said.  Why?   The blood vessels form perfect heart in the center of your right retina just like a Valentine, she answered, sounding just a little excited.  I’ve heard of this but I’ve never seen it before.

So when the examination was over, she put the retinal photos on the computer screen and there it was:

retina heart

And even better, my retina has no problems.  Which makes me one happy old romantic.