Saturday, July 4, 2020

Some (Not So) Random Thoughts While My Country Still Allows Me To Have Them by BJ Neblett

Some (Not So) Random Thoughts While My Country Still Allows Me To Have Them by BJ Neblett

Where: Writing den, Ballard, WA
Music: ZZ Top’s Greatest Hits
When: July 4, 2020

Happy Independence Day to everyone!

To all of this country’s dilettante leaders in politics, health care and education:
So why did I include education? Simple. How many out there even know the meaning of dilettante?

“The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.”
            John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The Boston Tea Party December 16, 1773
Humm…. The Great Seattle Mask Party
Nah…. Just doesn’t have the right ring to it.

From October 1, 2019 to April 1, 2020 (considered to be influenza season) between 35.5 million and 60 million people in the US contracted influenza, with some 16.5 million seeking healthcare, 490,000 hospitalized, and 34,000 deaths.
Did anyone wear a mask, close their business, or hide out in their houses?

As of today, July 4, 2020 there are 2,784,452 Covid-19 cases in the US, and 129,393 deaths. According to many, the recent uptick in cases is due at least partly from the increasing number of testing.

“Protests don’t appear to be driving coronavirus surge in Seattle area or elsewhere, researchers say.”
            Source: Seattle Times June 30, 2020

“COVID 19 virus particle size is 125 nanometers (0.125 microns); the range is 0.06 microns to .14 microns,” the post said. “The N95 mask filters down to 0.3 microns. So, N95 masks block few, if any, virions (virus particles).”
In other words, the post (Facebook post, no citation) asserts the virus is smaller than the filter on the N95 mask, so the N95 mask doesn’t work.
Experts say this claim flies in the face of numerous studies and reflects a failure to grasp fundamental principles of how viruses behave and how face masks work…
…But the physics involved don’t work like that at all.
The COVID-19 particle is indeed around 0.1 microns in size, but it is always bonded to something larger.
“There is never a naked virus floating in the air or released by people,” said Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who specializes in airborne transmission of viruses.
The virus attaches to water droplets or aerosols (i.e. really small droplets) that are generated by breathing, talking, coughing, etc. These consist of water, mucus protein and other biological material and are all larger than 1 micron.
“Breathing and talking generate particles around 1 micron in size, which will be collected by N95 respirator filters with very high efficiency,” said Lisa Brosseau, a retired professor of environmental and occupational health sciences who spent her career researching respiratory protection.

University of Edinburgh test results

Your choice. And that is the point: It should be YOUR choice. Is a cloth face mask the hill where you want your individual freedoms to die?

"I think we have to figure out how to honor people who have done things that are beneficial to society, and if they did things that were not beneficial to society, that we can examine in the lens of having a broad view of what we believe as Americans represents the best attributes of our national identity, then we should look at that," Crump told Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Saturday.
"Whether it should be a situation where, if we keep statues up like that, we tell the history of that individual so people will know the whole story," he added.
"I'm not sure pulling the statues down is the right thing if we now don't get the lessons to understand how we can learn from those things, so we don't repeat those mistakes of the past. You know, they say history -- if not studied -- we will often repeat it."
            Ben Crump attorney for George Floyd’s family

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana (paraphrased by Winston Churchill in a speech to the House of Commons, 1948)

“We are not the makers of history. We are made by history.”
            Martin Luther King Jr.

“I went down to the river
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t
So I jumped in and sank.”
            Langston Hughes in part from Life Is Fine

“When all of our history is removed, there will be no history from which to learn.”
            BJ Neblett

Final note:
There once was a magnificent hotel in Atlantic City, NJ, called the Marlborough-Blenheim. It was constructed in 1902 and soon became a show piece of the famed boardwalk city, known worldwide. In October 1978, a large portion of the luxurious hotel was imploded to make room for gambling casinos. I remember covering the demolition for a small local radio station where I worked. A very large crowd of spectators had gathered, and the event was even cover on TV. But after the ear shattering explosions, the crashing of concrete, the settling of the dust, there wasn’t the enormous din of cheers from the onlookers. Rather an ominous silence permeated the heavy air. The once magnificent edifice, historical marker, and proud symbol to many, lay in ruin. As the crowd began to slowly disperse, mumbled thoughts could be heard. “There goes another piece of history.” “I can’t believe it’s gone.” “How will we remember now?”
But one overheard statement has remained with me to this day. One that remains just as appropriate today: “Damn. What the hell have we done?”

Don’t shoot the messenger.
Happy Fourth. Enjoy it while you still can.


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