TWL: going back up

I’m waiting for the Johns Hopkins data to update, and it seems to be three hours behind. Maybe the election day drama caused a delay. Even with the early data I’ve rounded up, it is evident the number of weekly US COVID-19 cases is going back up again, breaking our 8-week run of consecutive weekly decreases. We saw a similar bounce and plateau through March 2021 after the winter case surge so hopefully we’ll get back on track to decreasing cases in November before the holidays when we know cases will increase again.

While I wait for the data to update so I can fix my graph, I added up the total new cases in the US for April until now, basically looking at “ridiculous cases” or “unnecessary cases,” a huge waste while we had a vaccine in hand. Brace yourself, the number is huge. One-third of the total cases of COVID–that’s more than 15 million cases–have occurred in the last six months since we had vaccines available to protect us. History will look at this idiocy and wonder what was wrong with the human race, particularly in America. I wonder the same, embarrassed for us.

I will update this post as soon as the Johns Hopkins site shares updated numbers. Please excuse the delay, and check back later.

Update 10:15 pm:

The Johns Hopkins site isn’t updating so I’m using the case data they showed from 4:20 pm today, though I have consistently waited for the 7:30 pm data for the last ~90 Tuesdays. Note the disturbing jump in cases this week. Let’s hope the approved vaccines for kids helps us get back on track. It’s late and I have to go to sleep so I can get up at the crack of dawn and do it all over again. Good night.

TWL: caught at 93 weeks

For 93 weeks we’ve bided our time, being so careful. We’ve been painfully boring and bored. We got our vaccines and even the booster. We have weekly family zoom meetings. We skipped Christmas and Thanksgiving and New Years and Easter and on and on and on. We weren’t even invited to our beloved niece’s wedding. We had an outdoor birthday party and a mini family reunion for about 5 hours one day last month. We are back to work, driving the long commute (and sacrificing 2 hours per day, 10 hours per week of work to do so), wearing a mask all day, showering off the sticky COVID particles when we get home. We even drove 32 hours to visit our moms. For 93 weeks we’ve watched the world suffer, wondering when the creepy tendrils of virus would finally reach us.

And then it did.

In our combined family “us” is a very large number. This week four of our “us” have COVID. They attended a surprise anniversary party. Indoors. Presumably unmasked–they’re afraid to give me many details as you can understand. So many of us did not go, but we know the jokes that were told at the party surely involved how the heck did she put up with him for four decades? It’s a loving joke. We all love that guy. He’s a riot. And he now has COVID.

My anger is a tsunami. Four of them. So far. Plus non-family members, too. Though sustaining such anger exhausts me, it cannot touch my insomnia. Such is this hell.

Realize my molten lava anger is for people I love. Imagine my anger for those I don’t even know, who brought the virus home to more than 700,000 dead Americans, because they were bored and it was their right to do what they wanted. Blah blah blah. You are so important. Pandemics suck.

A hug to my in-laws. I love you all. Stay strong. Stay apart. Stay away from you know who. No. Do not tell me to mind my own business. I’ve been in your family for almost 40 years. Don’t make me come over there. Stay away from her.


Here’s the week update: less than half a million new cases. I apologize on behalf of our family for their collective ridiculous contribution of four of those cases. Stay vigilant.

It’s not easy being human

When you were tiny, your humans fed you, bathed you, dressed you, hugged you and gloried when all you did was smile at them or sleep through the night.

When you rolled over, sat up, and pulled yourself to standing they applauded.

You learned to color, and worked hard to get better, trying to color inside the lines.

You learned your letters, how to count, and read and add. You never gave up. You just kept getting smarter and stronger and your humans nudged you along and picked you up when you fell.

You learned to run, you ran faster. To jump, you jumped higher. You shot free throws and tried to make ten in a row. All of life is about the challenge. We feel most human when we stretch ourselves to see how much farther, how much better we can be.

I teach a very challenging college science course. This course is so hard, my doctor squirms when I quiz him on drug molecular structures and functional groups and stereocenters and why interactions between drugs might happen. And my students stretch. They work. They come to class. They try.

I wish they interacted more, but they are timid behind their COVID masks fresh from online “learning” environments. They are improving and trying. With time they’ll relax with me and learn to trust the loud woman behind the mask. I can ask for nothing more. Well, maybe a larger salary, but that’s another (whiny) post for another rainy day.

It’s Tuesday, so here’s your update: another week of about 10% decrease in US COVID-19 cases. That’s good. Keep it up.

TWL: 4 week update

I almost missed a Tuesday update. I almost completely forgot to do this on the 91st week since I started tracking and blogging the pandemic. I almost fell asleep and shirked my duties, exhausted by normal life, my job, driving, laundry, the neighbor’s dog pooping on my lawn, email, a Zoom meeting, seeing an old friend, editing a book, making coffee. But here I am awake and still at it.

It’s a 4-week update Tuesday and as you can see from the handy dandy graph, 3.2 million sick Americans in the last 4 weeks. That’s one percent of us, one out of every 100 of us are still sick while a vaccine is available. Still spreading the virus while we’re all still wearing masks for them. The idiocy is unfathomable.

At least cases are slowing down. Now we can wait for the next variant to hit for the holiday season and the winter surge. Always an optimist, this one.

unaware nevermore

A year ago I posted a puzzle, and so far to my knowledge only three people have solved it. In the middle of last night, while I worried about insomnia, another puzzle came to me. Try it.

These words fit in the unaware nevermore puzzle:

zero morons, one scarecrow, seven women, azure cosmos, sun screen, mauve moon, erroneous venus, unaware uranus, mars ocean, mourn men, warn woman, oreo mom, xenon or neon, crave romance, measure once, crown concern, namesake reason, cavernous museum, exude or ooze aura, cancer snooze, cameraman zone, revenue razor, rum scene, morose zoo, summer cow, moose ear, excess oxen, swan menace, worm curve, mouse nose, ares ram, mean wren, arm marrow, sour carcass, ever armor, we seem, see us, uncover me, serene snooze, sue sure can answer now

When you figure out the criteria (or think you did), post other words that fit the list (and at least one that does not) in the comments.