Washington State’s Stay Home order officially expired on Sunday night.
Some counties have moved to Phase 2, but not so for King County and Seattle. (Phase 1 is strictest, then Phase 2, 3 and 4. Phase 4 is the one which allows big sporting events and concerts, but still urges at-risk populations to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene).
It seems it will be really hard for King County to get its new Covid cases under 25 per 100,000 population soon (required for Phase 2). Even so, the County will immediately apply for a modified Phase 1 transition, to get some stores, businesses and restaurants to open a limited fashion.
These pictures are from the Molly Moon ice cream store on Pine St, today.
You know it has to be bad when multiple emergency alert messages pop up on your phone.
In downtown Seattle today, a peaceful protest march was turned into a destructive riot, with evil-doers throwing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police, breaking storefront windows, looting them, and setting three or four vehicles on fire.
Seasoned reporters say this one was the worst since the 1999 World Trade Organization protests here in the city.
A curfew is now in place for tonight & tomorrow night, and the National Guard has been called in by the governor.
The streets were all quiet around Capitol Hill tonight as I walked down to Broadway at around 7.
Later on tonight, protesters squared off with police in downtown Seattle, though .. same as in many cities in the US tonight: Atlanta*, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St Paul (of course), New York City, Washington DC.
*Where CNN’s headquarters is being attacked by the very protesters (turned rioters) that they had supported as noble & just.
‘White people, by and large, do not know what it is like to be occupied by a police force. They don’t understand it because it is not the type of policing they experience. Because they are treated like individuals, they believe that if ‘I am not breaking the law, I will never be abused.’
– Khalil Muhammad, author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
There is a lot of trouble in Minneapolis over the police brutality that led to George Floyd’s death on Monday.
So here it is, four months in: the United States reached the 100,000 mark for Covid-19 fatalities. We have a long way to go – but at this point the US has a far, far worse outcome compared to most other countries in the world.
Moreover, the actual number for the pandemic may already be as high as 125,000, if one adds in what is called ‘excess death*’ statistics.
*The observed number of deaths, minus the expected number of deaths under normal conditions, for a certain population.
There was not a word out of Trump about all this, who was at the SpaceX launch event in Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Fla. (scrubbed at the last minute due to bad weather).
The last Monday in May is Memorial Day.
The Korean War (1950-1953) is called ‘The Forgotten War’, but let’s also remember those soldiers that had paid with their lives in the very recent wars in Afghanistan (2001-present) and in Iraq (2003-2011).
Oh boy. I see there are pointers for a ‘pandemic’ Memorial Day barbecue with extended family or friends, in the New York Times. All good advice: keep it small, keep your distance, plan the seating, avoid finger foods, make it a potluck, or serve food straight from the grill, and so on.
Hmm. As one reader commented, doing all that may just not be worth it. Another reader offered : ‘Stressing over social distancing, and keeping people out of your house, kind of defeats the purpose of having them over .. have people over who you trust to have hunkered down just like you, assume some minimal risk, and have a great time and enjoy each other’s company’.
Here in the USA, the CDC now advises that the virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals. Avoiding humans is the most important thing, and especially sharing enclosed spaces with them.
The pressure is mounting on everyone to wear masks — even outdoors— it seems to me.
With all the States here now starting to reopen (tentatively, and with restrictions), I think it’s a legitimate concern that people will let their guard down, and that there will be a second wave in some States and cities later in the year.
Who knows, though: the miracle of an effective and widely available vaccine may appear by the end of the year.
‘After a dinner party in 1892, the guests went from Krøyer’s home down to the beach to enjoy the summer’s evening, and Anna Ancher and Marie Krøyer went for a walk together along the beach. This is where he first got the idea for this motif. During the 1890’s in particular and until he died in 1909, Krøyer painted several works from Skagen, in which he depicted the twilight hour, the so-called ‘blue hour’, when the sky and the sea seem to merge into each other in the same shade of blue. Krøyer was far from the only artist to paint evocative, blue-tone paintings’. [From Google Arts & Culture]
Here’s the Doon Drive house, now replete with Chev truck by the front door, back yard, tennis court, swing set, swimming pool, trees and flower beds.
Did I go a little overboard? Well no – this is really not going overboard, given all the crazy things LEGO builders have come up with!
I will let it occupy my dining room table for a bit, and then decide what to do! Maybe I will put the bricks for just the house, in a shoebox, with pictures, so that it can be rebuilt again.
‘Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!’ – Radio message from David Johnston (30), United States Geological Survey (USGS) volcanologist who was killed by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State, May 18, 1980 at 8:32 AM
It’s 40 years on, and Mount St Helens is still an active volcano and under constant surveillance. From the USGS website: The 1980 eruption jump-started interest in the study of explosive eruptions and monitoring efforts to improve warning systems that help mitigate hazards. The eruption underscored the importance of using as many monitoring tools as possible to track unrest and eruption activity.
President Obama made welcome and rare appearance on national television tonight, delivering two virtual commencement addresses to the Class of 2020 high school graduates.
His main messages:
1. Don’t be afraid.
2. Do what’s right.
3. Build a community.
He commented on the pandemic as well, and criticized the handling of the outbreak that has now killed more than 87,000 Americans, and crippled much of the economy. “More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge, know what they’re doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.’
Well, here are what the ‘curves’ for Washington State look like now, courtesy of the New York Times. Yes, we have flattened the curve, but new cases per day is still above 100, and average deaths per day above 10. (Today, Thursday, for the first time since early March, no death was reported).
Governor Jay Inslee says he cannot yet commit to go to Phase 2 on June 1 – limited restaurants, in-store retail, barbers, tattoo parlors.
Should I then run out to get a tattoo? Definitely not.
Need to cut my hair? Maybe later on. I finally found hair clippers to buy and I’m learning to cut my own hair with it.
I ordered groceries online & picked it up today, and it went very well. They substituted some items, asked if that’s OK. Yes, yes, I said, no problem, just throw it all in the trunk.And here’s a tip. But no, they’re not allowed to take any. I hope the grocery store pay them decently.
I had to go to the doctor’s office yesterday (booster shot for an old vaccine). Should I ask if there are stairs up to the 3rd floor? I wondered for a moment, but then stepped into the empty elevator.
Tara Parker-Pope writes in ‘Ask Well’ in the New York Times about a hypothetical situation where infected Person A rides up to Floor 10 for 30 seconds. No mask, coughs and talks on a cellphone, exhaling tiny droplets that contain the virus. Some droplets fall to the ground, some hit the sides of the elevator, and some float in the air.
A lot depends on the elevator size & design, and if it has air-conditioning, but let’s say the door opens for 10 seconds, and goes back down to pick up Person B. Person A might have drawn out enough air when upon exiting, to dilute his germs and viruses in the air by 50%. The same might happen again when Person B steps in, so let’s say 25% remains, that Person B is exposed to.
Experts don’t know for sure, but generally do not believe that these airborne particles in empty elevators pose a significant real-life risk when it comes to coronavirus. They note that even when a person with Covid-19 is living in close quarters with other members of the household, the infection rate has been estimated at only about 10 to 20 percent. (For reference: measles is a true airborne disease, highly, highly contagious, with an infection rate of 75 to 90 percent).