Information on the Pandemic And A #freebook

This pandemic is getting more and more scary by the day, especially here in the U.S as we now have three times the rate of infections as any other country. This is sad news considering that had there been better planning and a quicker response on the National level, we might be looking at much lower numbers.

Our erstwhile leader was briefed in mid-January about the potential of the COVID 19 virus to hit the United States, and he down-played that reporting. This article, The Federal Government’s Corona Response, at  Brookings EDU has an in-depth report on the various phases of the spread of the virus and what was known by the White House from January through March.

This article, All the Times Trump Was Warned About the Pandemic, from Business Insider, lists the responses from the White House that did little to impact the pandemic in any positive way. This quote, “The Trump administration declined to use an Obama-era playbook instructing federal officials on how to prepare for a pandemic. And the president has spent the last two years slashing the government agencies responsible for handling such an outbreak.” is most disturbing.

Again and again Trump has let his jealousy and disdain for Obama control policy. That is so sad on one hand, and so scary on another.

Still, all that news is doing nothing to help. As author Max Brooks said on an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air Weekend, “panic is not preparation.” He said that panic creates fear and causes people to come to blows at the store over the last case of bottled water “Even when the tap is still working.”

In that episode of the Podcast, Brooks, who has researched pandemics extensively for his book  also recommends having good “fact-hygiene.” That means not propagating every meme or rumor or conspiracy theory that crosses our paths on social media.

I’ll admit that I’ve had the knee-jerk reaction to something and re-posted without stopping to do a quick search on the Internet to see if the information I’m sharing is true. But I’ve recently tried to be more careful and not click that share button out of fear or panic.

Now that it’s recommended that we wear masks whenever we have to go out, this information on making your own face-mask is from another podcast on Fresh Air:

Johns Hopkins Medicine has one design you might try. Kaiser Permanente has another design, as well as a video showing how to make a mask using a sewing machine. Both recommend 100% woven cotton fabric. Kaiser recommends washing and drying the fabric two or three times before cutting it, so it doesn’t shrink later.

You can make a mask out of a T-shirt, no sewing machine required. You could also try making one out of (unused) shop towels. But no matter what you make it out of, try to make it fit closely to your face and don’t touch the front of it once you’ve started wearing it.

If you use cloth masks, make a number of them so you can wear a fresh one each time you go out.

You can also make a simple, no-sew mask using a handkerchief and hair ties. If you don’t have hair ties, like me, you can cut the tops of knee-highs or socks to make the ear loops. Who would’ve known I’d someday have use for all those hair ties I gave away when I started wearing my hair so short.

On another note, In the newsletter Brain Pickings by Maria Popova, I found this quote, “… psychologist Daniel Gilbert quipped that ‘human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.'”

Gilbert is a professor at Harvard, and his truism is one that we should all keep in mind. Nobody’s perfect. Nobody’s above scrutiny.

Before closing the blog for today, I want to let everyone know that my publisher, Next Chapter Publishing, has made my book, Evelyn Evolving free through April 8. If you haven’t already gotten a copy, now is a good time, and if you do read the book, or have already read it, I’d be so grateful if you’d leave a quick review at Amazon. Those reviews do something to help a book get noticed. Something to do with algorithms and the such, which I know nothing about, except that they play such a huge role in pushing a book out there. Thanks in advance.

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