NYTimes: The vaccine news continues to be better than many people realize.

As some folks sweat the effectiveness of COVID vaccines on the market, NYTimes points out that studies for all five vaccinnes have shown they essentially eliminate COVID deaths:

By those measures, all five of the vaccines — from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson — look extremely good. Of the roughly 75,000 people who have received one of the five in a research trial, not a single person has died from Covid, and only a few people appear to have been hospitalized. None have remained hospitalized 28 days after receiving a shot.

To put that in perspective, it helps to think about what Covid has done so far to a representative group of 75,000 American adults: It has killed roughly 150 of them and sent several hundred more to the hospital. The vaccines reduce those numbers to zero and nearly zero, based on the research trials.

Zero isn’t even the most relevant benchmark. A typical U.S. flu season kills between five and 15 out of every 75,000 adults and hospitalizes more than 100 of them.

2020

2020. A year that will go down in infamy. Despite the plague and anxiety and stress of The Great Stay Home that made some days feel like weeks and weeks like years, looking back, 2020 turned out pretty good – mainly thanks to the same reason every year prior turned out pretty good – the amazing Ana. We are where we are now compared to a year ago (two years ago, five years ago, ten years ago) because of Ana’s drive, dedication, planning, commitment, love, dreams, and absolute devotion to our family.

Where 2020 went right for us:

  • Work: We were both blessed to have jobs that allowed flexibility when working from home, especially when it involved keeping two little ones home as well. There was stress and a little chaos and moments of uncertainty, but compared to so many others we were lucky.
  • Home: 2021 finds us in a new home, our dream home, and the process of selling one home and buying another in the middle of a plague certainly wasn’t without stress, but also went about a smoothly as one could hope. The old house will be missed – it’s where we brought both boys home, it’s where we grew our family, but the new place is already feeling like home because it’s where the family is.
  • The Boys: Six and three already and where has the time gone? The nearly six months where Sammy and Jasper were home with us all day, every day, seem so long ago and feel like they went by so fast and were fun time that will feel like a missed opportunity when we look back on it years from now. There will be no other time in our lives where we’ll have that length of a stretch of time together as a family. While it was hardly a vacation because of both of us having to work and COVID restrictions, having that time to see the boys grow and play and learn and just be amazing little dudes and brothers and sons was a blessing is so many ways.
  • Ana: Of course she gets another shoutout, she deserves a million shout outs. Everything that went right in 2020 had Ana at its core. Everything that went wrong in 2020 had Ana as part of the solution. She makes me a better person – makes me want to be a better person. A better man, husband, father, everything.

If you’d had told me a year ago that’d I’d be where I am right now, even if you glossed over all that 2020 stuff in between, I wouldn’t have believed you.

It’s been a heck of a year, 2020. I’m ok with 2021 being a little quieter. As long as it’s with Ana and the boys.

Coronavirus: Day 122

22 days since the last update and what’s changed? Virginia’s entered into Phase 3 of reopening and numbers are starting to tick up. States that reopened without mask mandates are seeing record numbers. Even states with mask mandates are seeing increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, people are debating whether or not our kids should be in school in the fall despite there being no vaccine and social distancing 6 year olds is a joke.

On the flip side, mass homeschooling isn’t a reasonable alternative for so many families where parents work (you know, most of them) or for families that may lack the steady resources necessary for online coursework – internet, computer, time.

By no means an easy decision no matter how hard someone screams about it on Facebook.

Coronavirus: Day 80

80 days. We’re in the 12th week of everyone being home. That’ll all change by the end of June with work places reopening and phases and such.


At some point in the past the the 5 year old picked up the chorus to REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You.” I’m very OK with that.


The 2 year old’s new thing is to react to smells by holding his nose and stating “What’s that pee-ew?” I’m very OK with that.

On Recent History

There have been multiple days of demonstrations and riots throughout the United States in response to the death of George Floyd. There’s a lot to be said, but it’s tough to approach the right way. Noting it here, maybe for posterity, maybe to come back to with clearer thoughts in the near future.

What I can say now is that I do understand that my place as a white male who grew up in the suburbs gives me a very limited, very different, very sheltered perspective. I can tell myself it’s an objective view, but it’s tainted by my experiences that, while not invalid, are significantly less relevant than so many others impacted and involved.

Just stay safe, everyone. And respect each other.

Coronavirus: Day 75

The 5 year old had a Google Hangout for school today with some classmates and the guidance counselor. They spoke about feelings and read “Worry Says What?” and I think I got more out of the session than he did.

After the reading and a few activities, the counselor wrapped with three takeaways for when you’re feeling worried or down:

  1. Think about things you’re thankful for
  2. Get some energy out by exercising
  3. Do something fun

Noted, guidance counselor. Noted.


Blogged a couple times today.


Welp, this happened:

Virginia: Deputizing The Walmart Greeter

I’ve been mulling over Governor Ralph Northam’s mask mandate for businesses I keep coming back to the story of the Family Dollar employee who was killed after trying to enforce MI’s state-mandated mask policy:

Calvin Munerlyn, 43, died at a Flint hospital after he was shot in the head Friday, said Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser.

“From all indications, Mr. Munerlyn was simply doing his job in upholding the Governor’s Executive Order related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of store employees and customers,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said in the statement.

Many of us have worked in retail and know of the almost universal mandate that if someone bolts for the store with unpaid product you do NOT pursue for legal and insurance reasons.

And that’s to enforce a law on the books.

Here, Northam is telling business owners and employees to enforce an Executive Order and refuse service to people who won’t wear masks – prohibiting them from entering stores or making them leave.

Or they risk the state penalizing them and putting their business at risk.

Enforcement comes down to business owners whose permit or licenses to operate could be on the line.

“The criminal code is not the place you want this enforced. There are tremendous equity issues with enforcing this that we’re cognitive of and there are very practical issues of our police and sheriffs had to enforce this. So we’ve taken that off the table,” said Clark Mercer, Northam’s Chief of Staff.

By putting the burden of enforcement on stores with the threat of losing their ability to lose business, Northam is putting shop owners and employees on the front-lines of enforcing rules and regulations while having zero real authority.

And that puts their lives at risk.

And which businesses and employees are going to have to deal with this the most? The very same low wage, essential business employees who’ve already been working through this entire pandemic.

I get it, Northam is trying to find a way to make this happen with the powers at his disposal, but clearly those limits are creating burdens that are unsustainable or just irresponsible.

If he needs permission of the General Assembly to give it teeth, then call a special session (though based on his Chief of Staff’s quote above it sounds like they don’t want to go that route). Or find other ways to educate and promote mask usage.

But don’t continue to saddle businesses already struggling with more risk.

On Masks: Don’t Be A Jerk

Pro Tip: As masks become more common, either by mandate or public embrace, please don’t berate people who are not wearing them. You don’t know their situation or circumstances. There are legitimate and invisible health reasons for some people to not wear them.

Treat this like a herd immunity situation – please do what you can for the sake of those who can not. And assume the best intentions of those you observe not practicing until given a reason otherwise.

Even then, don’t be a jerk.

Of course I can’t find an exact quote right now, but your beliefs don’t prescribe how others should live but how you should live.
So live by example and be patient with and understanding of others.