Tag Archives: Ralph Northam

Stay at Home, and if You Cannot Some Practical Advice on Personal Protection from Coronavirus

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

In our Commonwealth of Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam issued an executive order which under penalty of law dictated that all Virginians stay at home with limited exceptions until June 10th 2020. In doing so he joined the ranks of State Governors in 30 other states and the District of Columbia  to implement Stay at Home orders. Nineteen States have not issued them or allowed counties or cities do a patchwork of individual orders. Earlier in the month Northam had already shut down all but non-essential businesses and issued an order that limited any venue to a maximum venue of 10 patrons who had to observe a six foot social distance.

This came on the day that Virginia experienced its greatest increase in new cases since the disease hit with its first two infections on 28 February. Now there are 1,020 cases, and 25 deaths in the state. 993 of the cases are active which means that there have only been two people who recovered. Thus our death rate in Virginia is 92%. This will probably level out as the mild cases recover, but the disease is expanding at a relentless place here, as it is around the globe.

So what do any of us do to keep ourselves and others safe? Remember an infected person can remain asymptotic for up to 14 days, with the virus replicating by the millions by itself by attaching its particularly effective RNA receptors to the cells in our upper respiratory systems, or of you happen to get a good enough whiff, your lungs. In the latter case you will probably get a very bad pneumonia, and need ICU care and be put on a ventilator. In the the former case, which is the most common, you might experience mild symptoms that you recover from even as you spread the virus to others;  unless you practiced uncommon social distancing and washed your hands like you are supposed to do.

So I’m not going to pontificate. This shit is damned serious and everyone should be at the minimum taking CDC and WHO guidance seriously, as well as endure the pain of the momentary social isolation imposed by states and municipalities in order to save lives, maybe yours, your family members, friends, or co-workers.

My personal recommendation is that we all obey the legal, or voluntary actions to protect ourselves and others, but take it up a notch. Although WHO and the CDC initially said that it was not necessary to wear face masks, or gloves, many epidemiologists and virologists are suggesting otherwise. I wouldn’t be surprised if every national and international health agency begin to do what I suggest now, things that my wife and I are both doing. We don’t leave home without them.

First, if you have to go out for any reason, get some kind of protective face mask. The N-95 is the gold standard, but if you cannot get that, surgical masks or even scarves. The N-95 both ensures protection from the virus, as well as spreading it. The other options provide some protection to you or others, if you keep the six foot social distancing rule. That being said, there are a number of easily available designs suggested by doctors and nurses that provide protection that is reasonably close to the N-95. In fact they provide them on the internet who are willing to help make them for medical providers until N-95s and other personal protective equipment is available in the quantities required.

Likewise one should wear disposable vinyl gloves. If you cannot find them in a pharmacy you can get them online. It might take a week or two to get them, but get them. If you cannot get them get some rubber gloves, the kind that you use for dish washing or cleaning, but you will have to disinfect them after every use, and please make sure to make sure that when disinfecting them, disinfect your hands. Additionally make sure that you have disinfectant wipes at home, work, and in your vehicle. The Virus can live on solid surfaces for days, things like gas pumps, grocery shelves, tables, desks, car door handles, steering wheels, and shifters, not to mention door handles and hardware. To use an old Navy term, this is a no shitter.

However, as painful and inconvenient these measures are they are the only way to level the infection and death curve, prevent the collapse of our medical system, and make sure that we are ready for the next round in what many epidemiologists and virologists consider to be an 18-24 month battle.

By the way, here are the latest casualty reports from the novel Coronavirus War: 

Worldwide there are 786,536 cases, 37,861 deaths, and 165,660 recoveries. That is a 19% death rate, while 583,495 active cases. In the United States, which now leads the world in infections, but not yet deaths there are 164,266 cases, 3,170 deaths and 5,507 recoveries, a 37% death rate, with 155,589 active cases. Remember, on 8 March there were just 516 cases and just 21 deaths in the United States.

My advice is to take this is to do the right thing. Don’t believe conspiracy theories or in miracle cures. The first are simply lies, the second, deadly delusions promoted by charlatans who only want your money and couldn’t give a damn if you live or die.

Those are cold hard facts. Disbelieve them at the risk of your life and the lives of those you love, care about, or don’t even know.

Until tomorrow,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

 

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Filed under Coronavirus, Diseases Epidemics and Pandemics, News and current events

The Code Of Honor: Time for Governor Northam to Resign or Admit that He is a Fraud

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I pride myself in holding to a code of honor that I learned as an Army ROTC Cadet at UCLA back in 1981 to 1983. It was the West Point honor code: “A cadet will not lie cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.”

While attending the Virginia Military Institute about the same time that I was at beginning my military career as an ROTC cadet at UCLA, and enlisted member of the California Army National Guard, Governor Ralph Northam was graduating from the ROTC program at VMI where he headed the honor court of the Corps of Cadets.

Today, after the revelations of his personal page in the Eastern Virginia Medical School Yearbook became public knowledge which included pictures of him in either blackface, or dressed as a Klansman, the governor offered a bizarre explanation and refused to resign his office despite the condemnation of the Virginia Democratic Party, Senators Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, Former Governor Terry MacCauliffe, Representative Bobby Scott, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and far to many more Democratic Party leaders than I can list here.

Now I personally believe that he has probably grown into a better person than he was in 1984, but even so his political judgement is flawed and his arrogance in thinking that he can escape this is mind boggling.

I am a Democrat, and if I am going to criticize members of the GOP, including President Trump for racist rants, behaviors, and affiliations I cannot be silent when a man who I admire and respect cannot own responsibility for his actions as a younger man. If he had any conscience or sense of political sense he would have admitted that these pictures existed before he ever ran for office in the House Of Delegates, not to mention Lieutenant Governor and later Governor.

Honestly, I don’t believe that those pictures represent who he is today, but his incredibly inept explanations and disregard of his party and it’s leaders in an era where everything that he supposedly stands for today is under attack by President Trump and the Trumpified GOP is completely irresponsible and harmful to his party and the country.

For me it all comes down to honor. I have written about this before, and I must be honest. Governor Northam must resign to save himself and the agenda that he was elected to advance. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, but not everyone is elected to serve in public office. Election to such office, demands a higher sense of responsibility than being a private citizen. Had he not entered politics and been elected Governor of Virginia, such an oversight wouldn’t matter a bit, except to his closest family and friends; but he is the Governor and as such this matters far more than it would had he remained a private citizen.

Likewise, if he was only a politician, but not a former Army Officer, not the former head of the VMI honor court, and not a physician who swore an oath to do no harm. Likewise, knowing these photos existed he deceived the African Americans who worked with and for him during his campaigns by not admitting to their existence before they became the issue that they are.

The problem is, that many white Virginians, as well as white citizens of other states see nothing wrong with the pictures. But for Virginians this is part of our dark and racially charged past. My family were all Virginians, and both sides of my family fought for the Confederacy, in the same regiment, the 8th Virginia Cavalry. Both sides of the family owned slaves, and fought to to keep them. The only rights that they fought for was the right to enslave others and to,support laws that forced Free States to comply with slavery. That was what the compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Law Of 1850 were all about.

Today, Governor Northam in his policies and politics stands against what the Confederacy stood for, but privately he cannot take responsibility for his incredibly stupid, insensitive, and racist acts documented in a Medical School yearbook that he supplied the photos for his page.

Those actions took place 35 years ago, but this weekend he brought them into the present. Despite his stated desire to take Virginia to a new future, he took us all back to a past that sadly it has never fully abandoned.

It is time for him to resign and hand over the Governor’s office to Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, a descendant of Virginia slaves. Lieutenant Governor Fairfax will be much more effective than the politically, and morally crippled Ralph Northam. Every minute Northam remains in office supplies Trump and his allies with the free advantage of an unforced error. It is the “own goal” that keeps on giving.

From a point of honor, from a point of simple decency, and from the simple pragmatism of real life politics Governor Northam has no choice but to resign. Of he doesn’t he’s a fool. He needs to be honest. There is nothing else that he can do unless he hasn’t changed over the last 35 years. Of that’s who he really is he should simply become a Republican and join the ranks of every major White Supremacist in the county.

That’s just my opinion, but I still believe in a code of honor that Governor Northam at one time supposedly upheld.

So, call me an old fashioned Pharisee, but I still hold to the Cadet Code, and the Motto Of West Point: Duty, Honor, Country.

Until tomorrow,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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