Day 10

I woke up at 4:30 for the second day in a row. My body wants to go back to work. But instead, I wound up falling asleep in the recliner until almost lunchtime. I watched some TV and now trying to get some writing done. I am still avoiding the news. I get snippets here and there, but I avoid watching most of the coverage.

I am going to take a look at twitter to get some ideas for my blog and maybe post a few things. It doesn’t matter much because so far nobody reads this except me. Perhaps that will change someday, but we’ll see. It gives me the freedom to go out on a limb and predict that by May 1, we will all start getting back to work. Enough is enough.

Day 9

Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent I wrote this reflection for our Church website and am sharing it here. Enjoy.

Lord, If You Had Been Here

We can very much identify with the anguish Martha and Mary are experiencing in today’s Gospel. Martha confronts Jesus in a way with questions we might want to ask of him ourselves in our current situation. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

These might seem harsh or even disrespectful from our perspective, but we have to remember the relationship between Jesus, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus was very human. There was a warm friendship between Jesus and these three siblings that shines through all these centuries later. Martha can ask this of her friend Jesus because they have gotten to know him in His humanity.  

In one way, this is what lent is about. We encounter Jesus in his humanity. In the words of St Leo the Great, “To pay the debt of our sinful state, a nature that is incapable of suffering was joined to one that could suffer.” Jesus indeed joined in the suffering and grief with the others who loved Lazarus. But presence is much more profound than mere commiseration.

His response to Martha is one we are familiar with but worth reflecting on, particularly in a time of hardship and suffering, such as we are enduring today on a global scale. “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”

Jesu speaks in the present tense because salvation is not something that we are waiting for in the future but is rather ongoing today, this moment and the question for us to reflect on this Fifth Sunday of Lent is, “Do I believe this?”

Our prayer is that each of us can respond as Martha did, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

Day 7 & 8

Day 7

Today we received the last regular paycheck we are likely to receive for a while. It is going to be a bumpy ride financially from here on out. Rent is due on Wednesday, but I have yet to hear from them on the method of payment. We can probably make most of all our payment this month but next month is seriously in doubt. Something will have to be worked out. 

Congress is supposed to approve a badly needed stimulus bill for the President to sign, but one grandstanding Republican is trying to make a name for himself by being the lone voice holding it up to force a quorum. That means legislators from both sides have to gather in one place unnecessarily to please the ego of one person to absolutely no purpose. 

Day 8

Combining entries because yesterday kind of got away from me, and I wound up not posting anything. The Tea Party Doofus, who will now be remembered only for being a grandstanding jerk at a time when the nation is in crisis, was easily swatted side, and the stimulus bill finally passed. The President signed it yesterday afternoon. 

Today we didn’t even eat breakfast until 10:00. That never happens unless we go out on a Sunday and have to wait until after Mass. Our nights are getting gradually longer. The later we stay up then the later we get up. We are going to have to work on keeping a better schedule or I will not be able to get back on a work schedule when the tie comes. Right now, it is like we are living in a different time zone, and I don’t want to get too comfortable with that.

The choice we made to stay off the news sites is turning out to be the right decision. A recap in the morning and a recap in the afternoon keeps us up to date, but the rest of the day, we watch or do anything else we can to dwell on this thing as little as possible.

Ahead of coronavirus stimulus vote, House lawmakers concerned Rep. Massie may trigger delay | Fox News

Hard to believe.

Furious lawmakers voiced serious concerns on Capitol Hill late Thursday that a Republican House member could “go rogue” and possibly scuttle a vote on the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, and potentially endanger other House members in the process, Fox News has learned. Fox News is told there is deep worry on both sides of the aisle that Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., could try to sidetrack House plans to quickly approve the coronavirus bill via a “voice vote” — a verbal exercise in which those in favor shout yea, and those opposed holler nay. The loudest side would prevail. “It’s the Thomas Massie show,” said one senior Republican source who asked to not be identified.

Ahead of coronavirus stimulus vote, House lawmakers concerned Rep. Massie may trigger delay | Fox News

Day 5

Late evening on the fifth day. I got to spend two hours on Skype with my grandson today. Then a girl he knows called, and suddenly I wasn’t so exciting. I made a trip to the local market and Dunkin Donuts. I can’t get used to how empty the streets are at 11:00 in the morning. I am astonished at the level of cooperation in people staying indoors as much as possible and away from each other, at least in my neighborhood. But I can’t help but wonder how long it will last, especially as our leaders in government insist on conducting partisan grandstanding as if nothing unusual was affecting their constituents. 

I am thinking about taking the car out soon. It hasn’t been started since Saturday, and I want to make sure it is functioning correctly when I do need it. I don’t think I am likely to catch a virus driving around in my car alone with the windows up. There is also the looming possibility that this shelter in place order could become an enforced quarantine. That is something I am not looking forward to. Tomorrow I start working in earnest on my novel, and I may start posting some more short stories on a writer’s site I belong to. 

Coronavirus bill hits hurdles as Sanders threatens to stall package over bid to change unemployment aid | Fox News

It’s interesting that all the people holding up this package on both sides are all wealthy career politicians. These guys and gals are a joke. And that joke is on us.

Bernie Sanders said Wednesday afternoon he might torpedo the Senate’s compromise stimulus package unless Republican senators dropped their objections about what they called a “massive drafting error” related to unemployment benefits, in the latest twist to a process that has been marked by delays and last-minute hurdles. “In my view, it would be an outrage to prevent working-class Americans to receive the emergency unemployment assistance included in this legislation,” Sanders said in a statement, also posted on social media. “Unless these Republican Senators drop their objections, I am prepared to put a hold on this bill until stronger conditions are imposed on the $500 billion corporate welfare fund to make sure that any corporation receiving financial assistance under this legislation does not lay off workers, cut wages or benefits, ship jobs overseas, or pay workers poverty wages,” he continued. An objection by a single senator would prevent the Senate from quickly passing the bill by unanimous consent, although it remained possible that the chamber could pass the legislation by voice vote or roll-call vote. Fox News is told lawmakers are leaning toward approving the bill via voice vote, in which senators in the chamber shout “aye” or “nay,” with the loudest side winning. Then, late Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said unanimous consent was a nonstarter in the House, and implied that quick passage in the lower chamber may be unrealistic. Pelosi has called for members to have at least 24 hours to review the bill text once it’s available. “That’s not gonna work,” she told reporters shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET, referring to unanimous consent. “Republicans have told us that’s not possible from their said. … What I’d like to see — because this a $2 trillion bill — I’d like to see a good debate on the floor.”

Coronavirus bill hits hurdles as Sanders threatens to stall package over bid to change unemployment aid | Fox News

Trump sparks anger by calling coronavirus the ‘Chinese virus’ | World news | The Guardian

Yeah, I’m angry too. I’m mad that China intentionally allowed this to get so out of control that it is now a global pandemic. I’m mad at the idiot globalists who created the perfect storm for something like this with moronic open border policies that were kept in place when they knew the virus was already spreading in China. And I an angry at the ridiculous imbeciles bemoaning the designation of the virus by the seat of origin. That is how infections are almost always named you nincompoops. That’s why its called the Spanish Flu or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. So be angry. But direct your anger at the politicians and the bureaucracy and the globalist mentality that allowed this to spread so far and wide so fast. ​

Donald Trump has referred to the coronavirus as “the Chinese virus”, escalating a deepening US-China diplomatic spat over the outbreak. After giving an address on Monday warning of a possible recession, the US president posted on Twitter: “The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Trump should take care of his own matters first. “Some US politicians have tried to stigmatise China … which China strongly condemns,” he said at a press briefing on Tuesday. “We urge the US to stop this despicable practice. We are very angry and strongly oppose it [the tweet].” The World Health Organization has advised against terms that link the virus to China or the city of Wuhan, where it was first detected, in order to avoid discrimination or stigmatisation. Ohio primary vote halted at last minute amid coronavirus court battle Read more The comment comes as Beijing and Washington appeared to be locked in a game of shifting blame. Last week, outspoken official Zhao Lijian from China’s ministry of foreign affairs accused the US military of bringing the virus to Wuhan. The US summoned Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai over the comment and issued a “stern” warning to Cui. On Monday, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, issued “strong US objections” in a phone call with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi. According to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, Yang also issued “strong objections” to attempts by the US to “slander and smear” China’s efforts in combatting the virus.

Trump sparks anger by calling coronavirus the ‘Chinese virus’ | World news | The Guardian

Asian man allegedly attacked in London by racist angry about coronavirus

This is what unreasoning panic and hysteria driven by an irresponsible press and politicians results in. Expect more stories like this as racists and other thugs take any opportunity to justify their hatred.

An Asian man was left with multiple fractures to his face after a racist assault in London by a man shouting, “I don’t want your coronavirus in my country!” Jonathan Mok, 23, was beaten on Oxford Streets, one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, the Independent reported. Mok is a student from Singapore, and posted about the Feb. 24 assault on Facebook.

Asian man allegedly attacked in London by racist angry about coronavirus

Coronavirus Hysteria

It’s amazing how obsessed people are with this whole Coronavirus situation. Schools, theatres, sporting events, religious services being canceled or severely curtailed because of what is basically a flu virus. It is being treated like an Ebola outbreak when nothing could be farther from the truth. For one thing, Ebola had a ninety percent death rate. The death rate for this is about four percent, with the overwhelming majority being the elderly with underlying health issues. 

In South Korea, there has not been single death attributable to Coronavirus in anyone under thirty, and the median age for those who have died is eighty-one. In China, it appears that new cases are already on the decline. In the US, preemptive measures taken by the government have prevented any widespread communal infection. It is almost Spring when viruses like this become dormant, so new cases will begin to dwindle worldwide in the ordinary course of natural occurrence.

The reason this is so laughable to me is that many of the same people complaining that we hear drying the lack of a vaccine or treatment or testing have not even bothered to get a flu shot. That is undoubtedly the reason that over 18,000 people have died from the flu this year. But we accept this, and for most of the winter, we have gone blithely about our business as if nothing was wrong. 

Don’t get me wrong. We should take common-sense precautions like thoroughly washing our hands, staying home if we are sick, keeping our work stations, kitchen tables, and counters, etc. clean. But why haven’t we been doing that already? Maybe this whole thing will serve as a wakeup call, and the next flu season will bring about increased awareness and vigilance in preventing the spread of the virus.