If You Only Have a Hammer

On reflecting on today’s “new normal” of shutting down countries to control an infectious disease, an old adage came to mind. If your only tool is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail.

When confronted with the Covid-19 problem, politicians consulted their “infectious disease experts” for a solution. If you are an “infectious disease expert” your logical response is that the sure way to control the spread of infectious diseases is to isolate and quarantine everybody, forever. They have to say that, it is the only arrow in their quiver.

One would have thought that the leaders of the countries of the world would have considered all factors related to shutting down a country such as:

  • How will people earn a living while locked down.
  • How will businesses survive without workers or customers.
  • Once the companies have shut down, and more people are out of work than those still working, how will we finance social welfare programs for all the newly unemployed people that we forced out of the workplace.

Obviously the leaders of the various countries are more savvy on such things than me, and have this all figured out, and have considered all factors for the greater good of their populations. I am patiently awaiting the results of their secret master plans to fix all this and end up with society better off than when the pandemic started.

About This Blog

This is just a simple blog by LeRoy Rice.  Its purpose is to keep friends and family informed of my activities and as a medium to express my rambling and miscellaneous thoughts. It has no commercial purpose and you readers will not be blasted with ads.

You can email me at leroy@leroyrice.com

To access my social media accounts, go to the bottom of the About LeRoy page

Can I Go Out Now?

I am so excited, I drove around a bit yesterday and a few restaurants are opening their dining rooms! So many have been closed entirely or only doing curbside pick up of to-go meals. Outback Steakhouse in Athens was open. Donna and I went in for dinner. Things are definitely different. Only half the tables were open (every second one closed) and all the staff were wearing masks. There is nothing on the tables; no salt and pepper or other condiments, no even the cards you normally see that are advertising some special or other. The menu was a single sheet of printer paper. Not sure if this was simply because they were starting out with a reduced menu, or because it was so that they were single use and disposable. However, it was so great to have a sit down restaurant meal again.

Link to Outback https://www.outback.com/

Coronavirus Reality Check

I was so encouraged to watch President Trump’s press conference last evening (Mar. 23). He made it clear that the USA can not shut down indefinitely. If we continue with the current “shelter in place” and “social distancing” for several months waiting for the virus to go away, the US economy collapses, businesses shut down, the supply chain disappears, and we all ultimately end up living in caves or huts made of twigs and leaves; and we forage for roots and berries for food.

The current situation is that most social interaction is eliminated. People are staying put in their homes. Businesses are running at reduced capacity, Most forms of entertainment and professional sports are canceled. Businesses are shutting down or severely limiting their business. This is all being mandated by various levels of government. These are all necessary short term measures, not a long term way of life.

The reality is that Coronavirus is a new virus that the medical community does not currently have a vaccine for or drugs to treat the symptoms. There is a lot of effort by various drug companies and government agencies to find effective drugs and vaccines. They will most likely develop the required drugs and vaccines; within the next 2 years or so. These developments will help the next time we have an epidemic of Coronavirus, perhaps in 10 years or so, but they will likely be too late for the current pandemic.

The current pandemic is very fast moving. Ultimately the entire population of the globe will be exposed and that fact can not be avoided. The majority of those exposed will recover on their own without the need for hospitalization. Some number will have serious symptoms and will require hospitalization, but will recover. A very small percentage of people, with weakened immune systems, because of old age or preexisting illnesses, will not survive. By the way, I am one of those high risk people.

The problem is that this country does not have sufficient medical infrastructure to handle a sudden rise in the number of people needing hospitalization; for any reason. The sad reality is that the US has spared no expense to prepare itself for a global war, but has given little effort to preparing for a global pandemic. This reality will likely never change.

Some people think that we just hide at home and wait it out for a few months, the virus will go away and they will never be exposed. Not true. After you filter out all the useless hype the news media are spewing, the official reason for all the “social distancing” is to “flatten the curve” not to eliminate it. The medical infrastructure, as it existed at the start of this pandemic, could not handle the projected need for hospitalization of the serious cases. Therefore all the special effort being practiced now is to spread the load on the medical infrastructure from a big peak spread over a few weeks to a much lower peak spread over several months. At the same time we need a breather to beef up the medical community’s capacity. The same number of people will get sick. The virus is not going away, a cure is not imminent, it will not magically disappear when summer comes. The plan of attack is we slow the spread down until the medical infrastructure catches up. We also prepare to better handle a future pandemics a few years from now. This or some other unknown virus will come again someday.

Eventually the majority of the global population will be exposed to Coronavirus. All we can do at this point is fine tune the rate of exposure. And that process seems to be working. Have faith in God. The world is not coming to an end.

Time to Flush

I built my cabin in Lake LaRose, Nova Scotia in 1975; the year my twins were born. Off and on, over the intervening years I have made gradual improvements to slowly upgrade it from “rustic camping” to relatively modern creature comforts. However, one constant in those 44 years has been the sanitary facilities, old faithful, the outhouse (privy, head, latrine, john, or whatever you want to call it).

Finally it is time to replace the old outhouse with a modern flush toilet. This summer I have saved up enough money to get a septic system installed. What with all the mindless government rules and regulations they are not cheap these days. I contacted http://www.robbiebent.com/ for the job. Robbie Bent is well respected in the area and I received good recommendations on his work before I contacted him. Earlier this summer they came and dug a test hole , did the design, and submitted all the paper work to the Provincial Department of Health (got to feed the bureaucracy and their paper mill) for their approval and issuance of the required permit. On September 10, 2019 they started the excavation. See the pictures below>

All done in less than 2 days. Now I just have to schedule a trip to Nova Scotia to do the hoop-up of the interior plumbing to the new septic system. Then, no more late night trips down the path to the outhouse. We can all flush to our heart’s content. I’ll miss the old outhouse; just a little.

WordCamp US 2019

I'm attending WordCamp US 2019!

WoredCamp US is a yearly gathering of people who use WordPress software to design web sites. I attended last year in Nashville. his year’s session was held in St. Louis on Nov. 1 – 3, 2019.

Attending Word Camp US 2019
Attending Word Camp US 2019
Word Camp US 2019 Closing
Word Camp US 2019 Closing

Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada

Took a walk around Digby yesterday just to enjoy the sunny day. Digby is a city in Nova Scotia established in 1783 by a group of United Empire Loyalists https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Empire_Loyalist. Have a look at the town’s web site for details. The history can be found here – https://www.digby.ca/town-history.html. See also the Wikipedia write up on the town ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digby,_Nova_Scotia

Digby bills itself as the “Scallop Capitol of the World”. Certainly the best tasting scallops are harvested by the Digby scallop fishing fleet. I always enjoy seeing the scallop boats tied up at the Digby wharf.

Digby Scallop Fleet-1 20190727
Digby Scallop Fleet-1 20190727
Digby Scallop Fleet-2 20190727
Digby Scallop Fleet-2 20190727
Digby Boaedwalk 20190727

A stroll along the boardwalk is a great pastime on a sunny afternoon.

Digby is also home to the Wharf Rat Rally on the first weekend of September each year http://www.wharfratrally.com/ which is the largest annual motorcycle rally in this part of Canada. https://partners.novascotia.com/sites/default/files/Karla%20Kelly%20image%20for%20Tourism%20NS%20event%20page%20Wharf%20Rat%20Rally.jpg

If you want to explore more of the Maritimes you can take the ferry Fundy Rose from Digby to New Brunswick https://www.ferries.ca/nb-ns-ferry/