"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday Salon---The Coronavirus Diaries

Weather: Cold with blue skies. Great dog-walking weather. Oddly it snowed two mornings this week with minimal accumulation.

Today's post: Will include some of my thoughts and some other musings about the world and the pandemic we are experiencing. Some of things I post may be NSFW or at least not family friendly, so I will give fair warning to allow you to decide whether to view or not.

Sheltering in place: Like many others we are sheltering in our home avoiding interactions with as many people as possible. Don is still going to work but sometime this next week his office will be ready to go to completely remote work-from home. We are doing our part to help flatten out the curve of the disease spread.

Or if you prefer to use a cat example for the flattening out curve concept with cats:


Will this coronavirus pandemic be what finally undoes Trump?
The nation is recognizing this, treating him as a bystander “as school superintendents, sports commissioners, college presidents, governors and business owners across the country take it upon themselves to shut down much of American life without clear guidance from the president,” in the words of Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times. Donald Trump is shrinking before our eyes. The coronavirus is quite likely to be the Trump presidency’s inflection point, when everything changed, when the bluster and ignorance and shallowness of America’s 45th president became undeniable, an empirical reality, as indisputable as the laws of science or a mathematical equation. The Trump presidency is over. (Link)
Disturbing poll numbers reported by ABC News:
JUST IN: Among Democrats, 83% are concerned about getting coronavirus, including 47% who are very concerned, and among Republicans, 56% are concerned, including only 15% who are very concerned, new @ABC News/Ipsos poll finds. (Link)
Why is there a difference in concern about getting COVID-19 between Democrats and Republicans? Could it be the news sources used by the two groups? I think so. Check out this article on Daily Beast which describes how Fox News top executives are concerned but that is not translating down to the on air personalities who are delivering the "news."  For example Trish Regan was fired after this:
Earlier this week, Fox Business Network host Trish Regan delivered a breathless bonkers rant in which she described the crisis as “another attempt to impeach” Trump while accusing the “liberal media” of using the disease to “demonize and destroy the president. As she bemoaned the “crescendo” of Democratic hate, an on-air graphic blared “Coronavirus Impeachment Scam.”
On a much lighter and sweeter note, I made jam this week. We were running out of our favorite freezer jam and had several bags of strawberries which I had cleaned, squished, measured and froze during one summer day when it was too hot to make jam. So all I had to do was defrost the berries, add pectin, and sugar. Voila!

When others ran to the store to stock up on cleaning supplies and toilet paper, I ran to the library and stocked up on books!  Good thing, too. Our library system closed its doors yesterday for the foreseeable future. I got there in the nick of time. See my post about the books I selected here.

Juice Media: Spread the message not the virus. WARNING this video contains a lot of foul language. But if you can stand that, I promise you will laugh. (Yes, this is satire!!) Link

Good news--Major Biden: Joe Biden adopts a rescue dog, names him Major.

FDR's words of resolve: 'We are now in this war. We are all in it--all the way' can be applied to our current situation: (For more quotes that FDR used for our situation during WWII that apply to today, go to this link.)

Meanwhile, America today seems to be acting like a failed state. (The Atlantic, Derek Thompson): Here are a few snippets from the article--

...Only the national government can oversee the response to a national outbreak by coordinating research on the nature of the disease. Only the state can ensure the national regulation and accuracy of testing, and use its fiscal and monetary might to stimulate the economy if the pandemic threatens people’s income and employment.//
Throughout the world, the most effective responses to the historic threat of the coronavirus have come from state governments. China imposed a lockdown of tens of millions of people in Wuhan and other cities. In Singapore, the government built an app to inform citizens how to contain the virus and what public spaces to avoid. South Korea opened a number of drive-through centers to accelerate diagnostic testing. //
But in the United States, the pandemic has devolved into a kind of grotesque caricature of American federalism. The private sector has taken on quasi-state functions at a time when the executive branch of government—drained of scientific expertise, starved of moral vision—has taken on the qualities of a failed state. In a country where many individuals, companies, institutions, and local governments are making hard decisions for the good of the nation, the most important actor of them all—the Trump administration—has been a shambolic bonanza of incompetence.
 And yet from Vietnam comes this catchy new dance to remind us how to wash our hands:

Bad timing: I got my first shingles shot in November and had to get my second shot within the right time frame (2-6 months) so I decided to get my second shot this week. Brilliant thinking. NOT. The shot is very strong and made me feel sick for two days and my arm is still sore and inflamed. Bad timing.

And life goes on: It is hard to imagine that everything hasn't completely stopped. Nature is still preparing for Spring (Northern Hemisphere). Today on our walk, Don and I saw beautiful trees budding out, hyacinths and daffodils blooming. We heard frogs croaking and a Pileated Woodpecker calling. My mother, who is almost 91-years-old, has neighbors who are checking in on her daily offering to buy groceries or help out if she needs it. My youngest daughter is preparing to adopt a cat. We move forward.
Flowering plum street trees. March 2020.

Books read this week: (I know it is a lot, but heck, I'm sitting around the house a lot these days.)
  • Undefeated by Kwame Alexander---an award-winning children's book with illustrations by Kadir Nelson about the strength and accomplishments of many African Americans. Print.
  • Almost American Girl by Robin Ha---a graphic novel about the experiences of one girl who immigrated to the USA from South Korea. Many of her experiences were very unhappy. Print.
  • The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman---The second book in the series The Book of Dust. I loved every moment of my listening experience now want the third book, which isn't published yet, now! Audio.
  • Little Pierrot, Vol. 1, Get the Moon by Alberto Varanda---Another graphic novel. The illustrations were darling but I didn't understand the story line. Maybe there wasn't one. Print.
  • Cicada by Shaun Tan---a favorite artist and author of mine. This book is short and hilarious. Print.
  • The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown---It is ghastly what has happened and is happening to a whole group of Syrian refugees. No one wants them but they will die if they remain in Syria. The world has turned its back on them. So sad. This is another graphic/illustrated book. Print.
  • Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving a Wider Distribution edited by Shaun Usher---The subtitle tells you about the book. I enjoyed this very much. Many of the letters caused me to do more research, too. Print.
  • The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown by Mac Barnett---a children's book which talks about the author of Goodnight Moon. Print.
Currently reading:
  • Lonesome Dove---I will be reading this book for a LONG time. It is 800+ pages long. Print.
  • Nanaville: Adventures in Babysitting by Anna Quindlen---An admired author is experiencing life as I am...as a grandparent. Print.
  •  I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley---the 4th book in the Flavia du Luce series. I got derailed a few years ago and am trying to get back to the series. We'll see if I am still interested. Audiobook.
Meet Fred and George:  Carly did not adopt one rescue cat but two. Their names are Fred and George, after the Weasley twins.

Fred, under the covers, and George, sitting up.

That seems like a good note to close on.

My prayer for you today, my readers, is that you find ways to delight yourself, learn new things, and enjoy your quiet days as we wait out this virus in seclusion.



  1. Fabulous post! I laughed out loud at the two videos, love the cats' names, and am astonished at the number of people not taking this seriously. As someone who has a parent in my house with a lung disease, we are being very careful.

  2. I’m so glad that Carly adopted two! I’ve been reading much more as well. Hoping that the warmer weather will allow Gary and I to socially distance as we redo the raspberry patch. Love reading your updates!

  3. Anne, What a terrific post - I learned a few new things so thanks. and, I got a laugh or 2 as well. I didn't know, Uncle Joe B adopted a dog - how cute! My library also closed Friday and they were nice enough to call and let me know some holds came in so I raced there before they closed. The kitties are so cute as well. Stay calm and well!

  4. Hope Carly is managing OK in SF. It sounds like they have major restrictions in place. It's a beautiful day and I'm headed out for a walk. The rest of my life feels surreal but at least I can get out into the fresh air. Isn't "The Secret Commonwealth" by Philip Pullman?

    1. Oh yes it is. Thanks for the catch. Changing now...

    2. I absolutely loved the 2nd book (preferred it to the first) and can't wait for the final installment.

  5. I hope you stay safe! Toronto is shutting down as a result of this virus. Schools, libraries, government buildings, museums, and many shops are closed due to it. And the restaurants that are still open are carryout/delivery only.

    I hope all of this social distancing saves lives. What a scary disease this is.


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