I Want My Old Normal Back

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© James Pyles – Selfie in the age of COVID-19

I’ve been hearing the phrase the new normal a lot lately. It’s the idea that even once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, the U.S. and the world won’t simply go back to “business as usual,” as if the pandemic never happened.

There are some people who even see this “new normal” as an opportunity to “improve” things. For instance, House Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is advocating for people to not go back to work once restrictions are lifted. She is specifically referencing people who work 60, 70, and 80 hours a week at low paying jobs and who feel no security in their lives. You can watch a video of her statement on YouTube.

Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden has said that the pandemic response is an opportunity for structural change. Of course that might only be a good thing if you share his political viewpoint.

Yet, from what I’ve seen, the protests people are actually doing go in the opposite direction from Ocasio-Cortez and Biden.

A few days ago, people in Orange County, California (where I used to live) held a mass protest at Huntington Beach opposing Governor Gavin Newsom’s closing beaches in Orange County and only Orange County. He did this in response to a perceived overcrowding at Newport Beach the weekend before. Just how crowded the beach was has been disputed, but based on the photos, it looks crowded.

Nevertheless, Californians are pushing back, including at a rally at the California State Capitol where 32 people were arrested, both because they were in violation of Newsom’s stay-at-home order, and because of the ban against protests on state property (but I thought people had a constitutional right to protest on any public property as long as it was peaceful).

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Coronavirus is no laughing matter…or is it?

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Sorry about the “language”

I’ve read a number of social media memes that have suggested the death rate due to COVID-19 has been exaggerated. I also read a New York Times article that said New York City added more than 3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive, which seems to support that suggestion.

And yet, when I tried a Google search on overestimates of Coronavirus death tolls, all I came up with is info on how the death rate is underestimated.

Here we have more or less the same news from ABC News, Nature, and CNN among others.

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“The Apollo Containment” Accepted into Lockdown Sci-Fi #3

 

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Promotional image for the Black Hare Press anthology “Lockdown Sci-Fi #3”

Black Hare Press is producing a number of “lockdown” anthologies, all based on themes of SciFi, Horror, Fantasy, Phantom, and Paranormal Romance. My short story “The Apollo Containment” was just accepted into Lockdown Sci-Fi #3 (on that page, keep scrolling down).

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COVID-19 Log: WIP for April 23, 2020

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Image: hongkiat.com

Editing an over 28,000 word novella takes a long time. I’m actually okay with that, since I’m not (paid) working today, and we don’t have the grandchildren. My wife is going nuts since she’s far more social than I am, and she’s spent long periods of time talking by phone to our daughter and my Mom.

I thought I’d share portions of my current work in progress (WIP), which involves space travel, time travel, espionage, aliens, and real technology. I’m especially proud of the research I did on mid-1960s American spy satellites.

Here’s a sample of what I’ve been working on. Let me know what you think (and remember, this is not the polished form):

“That son of a bitch,” Smirnoff spat out as ear-splitting klaxons and flashing alarm lights on the bay’s walls announced the opening of the primary launch doors over fifty feet above their heads. “What’s he doing? Romanovich knows the first trial flight isn’t scheduled for six weeks, and Cosmonaut Dobrovolsky won’t arrive here until next Tuesday.”

Utkins could smell stale cigars and vodka on his breath. “Well, Lieutenant! Stop that ship. Don’t let it get off the ground!”

She screamed at her troops and they all rushed forward. Smirnoff ranted at nearby technicians to override the launch bay doors as they were vainly pounding keys and gibbering something about the security lockouts being disabled.

The ramp had been fully retracted by the time the Lieutenant’s complement reached the ship. She ordered them to fire their rifles, sparks flaring off the impervious skin.

To the left, from around the edge of the craft, the two men Smirnoff had ordered to check Romanovich’s quarters were accompanying a very recognizable, diminutive figure, spindly legs extending out of oversized boxers. “Fuck you, Volkov,” Smirnoff murmured with satisfaction. “I see Romanovich pulled one over you.” Then he watched as a blast of force exploded outward from the slowly rising spaceship, vaporizing the irritating Lieutenant and seven other “heroes” of the state.

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It’s Okay To Be All Three

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Social media meme

First off, I’m going to say for the record, that a lot of you aren’t going to like this.

My previous blog post Presenting “What good are constitutional rights if they are violated when Americans get sick? drew a certain amount of attention because (I believe) there’s this notion that governmental intervention in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic (lockdown, quarantine) and U.S. constitutional rights are mutually exclusive. That is, you can’t be a responsible citizen in this crisis and still retain civil rights.

If you complain that there is a potential for certain governments to take advantage of the crisis to not only temporarily relieve citizens of their rights, but to plan to never give those rights back after the crisis has passed, you are considered something like a “pandemic denier” (and there are a few other things that being accused of being a “denier” is like being accused of mass murder).

However, as the graphic and title above suggests, it’s okay to be all three.

That said, I’ve seen a few things on twitter lately that have caused me concern.

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Presenting “What good are constitutional rights if they are violated when Americans get sick?”

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Image found at washingtontimes.com

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

With the grand kids over this weekend (long story but it’s coronavirus related), I haven’t had a lot of time to write (even though I’ve still got a lot to say, especially on Easter Sunday and during the week of Unleavened bread). So I’m just posting the Washington Times article What good are constitutional rights if they are violated when Americans get sick?.

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The COVID-19 California Police State

cdc map

Found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

No, I’m really not that paranoid, but you have to admit that people are probably getting nervous about not just the pandemic, but governmental responses.

First, the rise of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic across the globe. Then the hoarding, including guns and ammo, and then martial law…well sort of.

Yesterday, I heard that San Francisco and several of the surrounding countries all went on lockdown:

Almost 7 million people are affected by the lockdown that went into place Tuesday as Bay Area counties followed San Francisco’s lead in ordering residents to shelter in place. It was the first of such measures in the United States as authorities try to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Okay, I get it. The northern California authorities are trying everything they can think of to flatten the curve.

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