28. Veggie Squeezing

Sunday May 17 2020

Accidentally hit Airplane Mode instead of PrintScreen to get that icon on today’s chart. Closest I’m gonna get to air travel for a few months.

Now that we’re engaged in Governor DeWine’s Responsible RestartOhio, I wonder how helpful this chart is. A better visual for this period would be a line chart that shows the flattened curve and plateau of the carefully measured deaths, but will also reflect any spikes in newly diagnosed cases.

Hold on while I look for this bit of knowledge.

Yeah, so no. But there’s this from the great forecasting minds of the Ohio State University.

While this forecasting model considers actual events and numbers, it doesn’t report them. It’s deceptive because the yellow “What if” bars force the flattening of the projected weeks’ numbers.

If we recharted this with true numbers and took out the yellow, it would look more like this. These numbers are the period covered by the yellow bars in the OSU chart.

It takes that little flat area to new heights, making the data more impactful.

And what OSU’s projection may not accurately capture is Responsible RestartOhio plan. Businesses are open again, people are making hair salon appointments and going back to offices and factories. I noticed last week that more cars share the road with me on my commute. Actually, road traffic looked like it was back to normal. Which is kinda too bad in a way. I selfishly liked my post-Armageddon commute on quiet roads; just me and the other Essentials off to do the greater good.

There is chatter about seeing spikes in the numbers in the coming weeks. Which is countered by those who state that the number of people afflicted won’t change in the end. Because of the flattening, it’s just going to take longer – months instead of weeks – to reach the predetermined death toll.

The conspiracy theorists and truthers have joined forces with those who’ve merely are sick of all this shit. Those who share my ideals are fewer in number these days. I’m curious to see how this plays out and who will be right in the end.

I don’t have the source at hand, but read a story last week that one third of COVID-19 deaths are related to nursing homes, both residents and staff. I don’t know if we’ll ever be comfortable with doing our pet therapy gig again.

Also hard hit are meat packing plants, which raises the bar in unsettling news. The employees tend to be lower paid, immigrant workers who work physically close together in a pretty nasty environment. This highly contagious virus is not only moving fast among these workers, but the meat being prepared for consumer usage is exposed as well. What does that mean for home chefs? Do we need to have a raised awareness of how we cook that ground chuck; our hamburgers need to be well done to kill the virus? Of course, good kitchen hygiene is washing your hands before and after handling meat. But what if we rub a nose itch without thinking about it? Are we more at risk now? Also, those poor workers. A nasty job, low pay, and probably no health insurance for many of them.

Patio dining at House BlackSword

A meat shortage is predicted, which I don’t think it going to come true. These packing plants aren’t willing to lose that much money, so they’ll find a way to keep the consumers buying product, perhaps by paying their employees more and offering health insurance to hire new staff and retain who they do have. What I do think will be true, however, is that they’ll claim a shortage to support higher prices for chicken, pork, and beef.

Sure we can consider going vegan. But I’ve stopped buying vegetables at the grocery that could have been touched by another shopper. I stood behind a woman once who handled every fucking broccoli crown like she was squeezing the Charmin. Put her entire hand over the broccoli and felt each one up for complete assessment. Rejection was based on criteria only known to her,  as she moved onto the next one and did the same. Over and over. This was pre-COVID and I was creeped out back then. So, only bagged veggies for us right now. It’s not perfect, sure. But it reduces risk of a broad varietal of cooties.

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