How to hold a public meeting during the COVID-19 crisis

The meeting room should be Strike-Zone sanitized a maximum of two hours before the meeting.

No Sticky People permitted.

All attendees must wear PPE : masks, gloves, and overgarments. Government employees are exempt from this provision, provided social distancing parameters are maintained; however, they are encouraged to adhere to the same guidelines as the public.  A public employee’s facial gestures should be visible to communicate effectively.

Gloves are to be sanitized immediately before entering a room. Overgarments are to be worn after entering the building and before entering the meeting room. Examples of acceptable overgarments include any covering of the Strike-Zone area that doesn’t expose street clothing between knees and shoulders. For instance, Muslim jilbabs, freshly-laundered robes, freshly-laundered coveralls, disposable rain gear, and disposable ponchos. No clothing worn into the building is acceptable without an overgarment. In some situations, onsite disinfection of street clothes is allowed.

A sergeant-at-arms should be designated to remove or correct attendees without appropriate attire.

The public cannot bring materials into the meeting room unless sanitized by government employees.

Participants in meetings cannot distribute materials to the public.

Disinfectants and hand sanitizers should be available.

All attendees are to record their addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for contact tracing purposes.

Social distancing rules may be decreased or suspended by the meeting organizer when this guidance is followed. If everyone is appropriately garbed, there isn’t any risk to anyone.

 

 

 

 

 

The White House Plan to Re-Open

You can find it here.

Summary: Don’t re-open until your number of reported symptoms decreases for two weeks in a row. Don’t re-open until number of new confirmed infections decreases for two weeks in a row. Don’t re-open until hospital treatments can accommodate your current infection rate and you can test healthcare workers for anti-bodies.

This is a disaster waiting to happen.

As I mentioned other times, when you’re only plan for controlling the virus is isolation then removing that isolation will re-ignite the spread of the disease. Except now you have tens of thousands of carriers of the disease and what once took months to spread will now spread in weeks. Two weeks to be exact. That’s how long it takes between infection and hospitalization in most cases.

Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do.

The WH gives a long list of academic things-to-do but there is no practical approach to doing them. It reads like a list of goals. It is not a plan. You planners know what I’m talking about.

 

Protect the health and safety of workers in critical industries

Protect the health and safety of those living and working in high-risk facilities (e.g., senior care facilities)

Protect employees and users of mass transit

Advise citizens regarding protocols for social distancing and face coverings

Empty words. A sixth-grader can come up with a plan like that. More of the same, rinse, repeat.

And one item that irritates me is they use the wrong word throughout the document.

Sanitation is the hygienic disposal of waste. No one is talking about waste.

Sanitization is disinfection and sterilizing. This is what we are talking about.  Sheesh.

Well, I am underwhelmed by the talent and capabilities of those who serve the WH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Purpose for Testing

Harrumph.

It took me a while to cut through the baloney of “Let’s test so we know the lethality and the spread of the virus so we can make more informed decisions.” That may have had value two months ago when it came to the US, but that ship has now sailed. Every state has thousands (tens of thousands) of carriers in its population now.

The reasons for mass testing today comes down to this:

  1. a) if you love data and numbers and quantifying COVID-19, you want to make and to mine data for intellectual understanding. There are no decisions to be made about public health that have not already been made.
  2. b) if you love people, you want testing so you can isolate the concealed carriers to prevent spreading it to others AND so you can alleviate the fears in those who are worried they may have been exposed but were not.

There will always be more people infected in week two than in week one, and more in week three than in week two. It will continue until 50% of the population is infected or until a vaccine is deployed…which is the same as infecting the entire population with a weakened form of the virus. As long as there is freedom of movement, the infection will spread. You can’t stop the movement of people. You can change the speed of the spread but not the breadth of it. Changing speed is the purpose of isolation and quarantine.

Removing isolation and quarantine will arithmetically increase the rate of the spread because there are now tens of thousands of infected people walking around. It will be a pandemic on steroids. God help us.

We will all be infected. Eventually, the number of people infected will exceed those yet to be infected, and the spread of infection will become organic in society. Deaths will equal new infections at some point in time, and a balance in Nature will have occurred.

Just as millions of older adults died each year, from pneumonia before COVID-19, millions of people will die from COVID-19-induced pneumonia in the future. I am not making light of this and saying do nothing; I am saying that COVID-19 will be a much more lethal infection to fight in the elderly, and immune-system compromised people, but it will not go away.

Read the intelligent comments in this article. The author is wrong, but the comments are spot-on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing: For what purpose?

The hue and cry for millions upon millions of COVID-19 tests to be conducted every day has me a bit baffled. From a management perspective, what public health decisions are going to be made based upon data gathered?

I completely understand why a person would want to be tested to see if they are infected now or were infected and are now carrying antibodies. Makes complete sense to me.

But exactly how will data from these tests impact public policy?  They can certainly record a snapshot in time but how is that relevant to determining public health policy for the near future?

It’s a managerial pitfall to collect data which cannot be used to correct or control the object it measures.

For example, let’s say you know that red sweaters lead to cancer. You decide to measure how many people have red sweaters in cars. Where do you measure this? Do you stop all cars on Monday and count them? How much value does that information have when there may be thousands of people who don’t drive thru your red sweater counting line?  Maybe people wear red sweaters and  stay home or maybe they  drive a route that has no red sweater counting people.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say you count 2,000 people on Monday who have red sweaters out of 20,000 people counted. That is ten percent. Let’s say you decide to count the following Monday and find only 1,000 people out of 20,000 have red sweaters on. What are you going to do with that information? And if that is only 500 people out of 20,000 the following week, what decisions or conclusions are you going to make about red sweaters and cancer that has any value?

Each week the number of red sweaters on people in cars is going to vary in accordance with conditions that you didn’t expect. Like holidays. Like warm weather or cold weather. Like tourists.

Testing and counting may tell you there is more or less of something but it doesn’t tell you why and it doesn’t tell  you if it makes a difference.

 

 

 

 

A Famine of COVID-19 Patients?

In the great state of Michigan, there is this news:

Beaumont Health announced Tuesday morning it is laying off about 2,475 workers and will permanently cut about 450 positions because of the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of the temporary layoffs involve hospital administrative staff and others who are not directly caring for patients with or without COVID-19. Of the 450 permanent job cuts, most are part of the corporate staff or are serving in other administrative roles.

At the same time, the governor of Michigan has imposed some strict StayAtHome orders. So strict that citizens are protesting in the street.

The scene from Lansing is pretty insane … hundreds of protesters lining the streets around the Capitol — very few wearing masks — to pull off what they call “Operation Gridlock.” Drivers in about 400 vehicles leaned on horns while protesters shouted with megaphones.

And yet Michigan ranks 4th in the nation for COVID-19 deaths:

“Michigan has over 27,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the virus has killed 1,768 people … fourth-most in the country. Federal health officials still consider the state a “hot spot.”

How does one reconcile a major health system laying off 2,400 staff members, having   27,000 confirmed cases, and yet people are protesting to re-open for business?

Not enough COVID-19 Patients?

Was the curve broken (not flattened) in Michigan because of the Governor’s orders or is something else at play?

Open to your thoughts…

The IDIOTS! OMG!

Oh man, oh man, oh Manochewitz! What is wrong with educated people? I am so happy I never went to college  because they turn out idiots!

For most of us who are practicing social distancing and making only occasional trips to the grocery store or pharmacy, experts agree that it’s not necessary to change clothes or take a shower when you return home. You should, however, always wash your hands. While it’s true that a sneeze or cough from an infected person can propel viral droplets and smaller particles through the air, most of them will drop to the ground.

Studies show that some small viral particles could float in the air for about half an hour, but they don’t swarm like gnats and are unlikely to collide with your clothes.

“A droplet that is small enough to float in air for a while also is unlikely to deposit on clothing because of aerodynamics,” said Linsey Marr, an aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech. “The droplets are small enough that they’ll move in the air around your body and clothing.”

What is wrong with them?

Of course, the likelihood is small that one person walking within six feet of a nose breather once in a while will become infected by droplets. But what if the other person is a mouth breather or worse yet, spits when he speaks?

…unlikely to deposit on clothing…??????

Sheesh. And the aerodynamics of air movement around the body will protect you? When pigs fly!

Oh, Lord, protect the innocent from the evils of education. Please.

If the store is practically empty and you are there for a few minutes, there is no need to change your clothes or shower. But if you are in the store for an hour going up and down the aisle AND your area has an outbreak of the virus, you would be wise to shed your clothes and change into home clothing. There’s a lot of things you can’t control but you can control your hygiene and your clothing.

I talked before about Strike Zone Sanitization. When you are in a store, you are likely touching things between your shoulders and your knees. For goodness sake, you are touching them with your clothing, too.

If you have a sexagenarian like me, be careful, don’t wear infected clothing around them.

And BY THE DANG WAY:

Do we really need to tell people that doctors wear masks to protect themselves? Do we really need to say that nurses need masks to protect themselves, too?

WTF is wrong with people who believe they only need a mask if they themselves are sick? Do you think every doctor who looks down your throat is wearing a mask so they don’t infect you? When pigs fly, my friends, when pigs fly….

Why do you think there are all these complaints about nurses not having N95 masks? Why do you think there is a shortage of masks for doctors and  nurses? Is it because they are all sick?

Give me a break. So let me be the first to tell you: masks protect you and the person to whom you are speaking.

There I told you. Now go and sin no more. If you are worried about catching or giving COVID-19 to someone, wear a blasted mask. Your mucosal areas will thank you.

Change your clothes when you spend time in public or within crowds, too. You can’t always control social distancing. You can control yourself though, so just do it.

COVID-19 and John Galt?

Near the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, I proclaimed, “WHO is John Galt.” A slight play on words of the famous line at the beginning of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. John Galt is a character in the novel who protests collectivism by going on strike. John Galt is a producer in a world of consumers and communists. Quoting Wikipedia, John Galt

“believes in the power and glory of the human mind, and the rights of individuals to use their minds solely for themselves. He serves as a highly individualistic counterpoint to the collectivist social and economic structure depicted in the novel, in which society is based on oppressive bureaucratic functionaries and a culture that embraces mediocrity in the name of egalitarianism, which the novel posits is the end result of collectivist philosophy. “

..and this quote:

The use of Galt as a symbol in the context of political or social protest has taken root in some places. The phrase “going John Galt” or simply “going Galt” has been used by psychologist Helen Smith[12] and others[13][14] to describe productive members of society cutting back on work in response to the projected increase in U.S. marginal tax rates, increased limits on tax deductions, and the use of tax revenues for causes they regard as immoral. “Who is John Galt?” signs were seen at Tea Party protests held in the United States and at banking protests in London in April 2009.[15]

When I said, “WHO is John Galt,” I was referring to the World Health Organization (WHO) and its impact on the industrial engine of the world. While John Galt is fictitious, the result of WHO’s pronouncements is not. The effort to preserve and protect the lives of people around the world comes at the expense of our abundant and productive livelihood. What legacy of poverty will we leave our grandchildren if preventing the spread of COVID-19 reduces our standard of living?

We are seeing early signs of economic collapse in the US. Store shelves once full of goods are now about 66% full. The price of oil has fallen to unheard-of levels. The future price of oil is -$37/barrel. There is such a glut of fuel it’s now thought you’ll have to pay someone to consume it.

Protesters wish to open the country for business. The thought among working-class people is, “If this continues, where are we going to work, and how are we going to make money to buy food, shelter, and clothing?” Good questions.

Removing social distancing and opening the economy to profitability means there will be more people infected with COVID-19 and more deaths. Until there is a treatment plan, and until there is a vaccine, COVID-19 will spread throughout the world. In terms of fatalities, we are at the beginning of the curve. There is a whole continent, Africa, that will be infected and die in huge numbers due to lack of healthcare.

But American issues are closer to home.

HOW WILL WE LIVE WITH COVID-19 UNTIL THERE IS A TREATMENT PLAN AND A VACCINE?

This is the question we must answer very soon.

These supply chain interruptions will grow and grow. Fewer and fewer goods will be produced. There will be fewer goods to buy anywhere, of any kind, if factories close and if consumers don’t have money to buy them.

Right now, we are living off the wealth in our storehouses. When the storehouses are empty, people will die. When the producers can’t produce, and the transporters have nothing to transport, people will suffer. We are six weeks into this crisis, and we still struggle to find toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitizer. This is not the result of a thriving economy but a struggling one.

I suspect we have another four weeks of food supply before shortages hit the major cities and become news. I heard today that local food suppliers could fill only about 60% of food orders. The number of brand options is already reduced. Coca Cola is no longer producing its off-brands. Others are doing the same.

 

 

 

 

 

Biden’s Running Mate

Should Joe Biden choose Michelle or Barack Obama as his running mate?

Either one would be historical. A black woman as VP who ascends to the presidency would be monumental.

And wouldn’t it frost every Republican’s behind to have Barack take over again when it’s determined that Joe doesn’t have the go to finish? And if the VP can’t serve then it all goes to Nancy Pelosi. WOW! How exciting would politics be at that time.

OMG. What a wedgie that would make!

Go read the 25th Amendment Section 3 and Section 4.

 

How to operate a government building during the COVID-19 crisis

Here are my thoughts on the operation of a government facility during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s time we start talking about living with the risks instead of avoiding them with Stay-At-Home orders. If you have a better process than local control, let me know. —-ReasonableCitizen

Living with COVID-19 is a reality. This operational plan doesn’t prevent all possible occurrences of public transmission of COVID-19; however, it reduces the risk that a mass outbreak will occur as a result of a single infected person.

Top government officials within a function or a facility should be responsible for establishing an Infection Control policy for employees and citizens it serves. In addition, an Infection Control Committee should be established in functions or facilities that have more than 30 employees. The size and scope of the Committee should also be determined by top government officials. The purpose of the Committee is to reduce the propensity for an outbreak infection when conducting government affairs. The purpose is not to prevent all possible infections; these infection risks occur naturally in our environment. The Committee is to reduce, not eliminate, the risks that one infected person may infect many others.

Infection Control Policy should include:

1. Developing a Function or Facility Sanitization Plan

Strike Zone Sanitization: Sanitize all horizontal surfaces in the Strike Zone that the public or employees may touch when entering, conducting their business, or exiting the building. The Strike Zone is between the knees and shoulders of an average height adult. Sanitize all Strike Zone areas of vertical surfaces like doors and windows and trim, which the public or employees may encounter.

Frequency of Strike Zone Sanitization: Door handles, customer windows, and public work counters/surfaces: every two hours. Trim and other Strike Zone areas before and after the work shift.

Equip all customer-facing personnel with disinfectant to clean as often as they feel it is necessary.

Establish a Sanitization Station at public entrances/exits for the public and employees to sanitize when entering and leaving a government building.

2. Reducing human-to-human (H2H) droplet transference:

Employ transparent plastic shielding between employees and the public at all public-facing windows and counters.

Employ masks and gloves where appropriate. Changing as needed throughout the day.

Implement a “No Sticky People” policy for employees and the public. People with runny noses, sneezy, coughing, drooling, or leaking bodily fluids are not permitted to enter unless they have an appointment. They should be escorted to and from the appointment area wearing appropriate PPE. A designated meeting area for Sticky People is preferred but not required.

3. Signage and Cautions: Deploying signage throughout the facility explaining the Sanitization Plan for the building and the No Sticky People Policy. The signage should remind everyone that personal responsibility to prevent infection is just as crucial as Sanitization Plans for the public-at-large. People should be told they are in control of themselves. They may choose to accept risks for themselves; however, they should also be mindful of risks to others. Because the nature of COVID-19 allows for asymptomatic transmission, all adults are encouraged to protect their mucosal areas from virus infiltration.

4. Protecting personnel:

  1. Government employees should be provided with the necessary PPE for the performance of their responsibilities. Such PPE is determined by top government officials in conjunction with the Infection Control Committee.
  2. Personnel may employ additional personal protection as they feel necessary to perform their responsibilities. If those additional protections interfere with other departmental employees or the departmental work, the department supervisor will provide coaching and set PPE standards for the ongoing performance of the department. The employee has the right to appeal those standards to Human Relations and Infection Control Committee for adjudication. A decision by HR and the Infection Control Committee is binding on the employee.
  3. Social distancing policy is to be utilized in areas where the public-at-large has access. Social distancing rules may be relaxed in non-public areas of the building, as determined by the Infection Control Committee and top government officials. Meeting rooms and conference rooms should have the sanitization schedule posted in a visible location.

5. Change the operational nature of government and citizen interaction:

  1. Provide phone assistance with e-form completion and provide web-based tutorials on the use and purpose of government services.
  2. Change the business hours for all governmental public-facing activities from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Retain the hours for non-public-facing activities as appropriate. These hours may assist employees in finding convenient and suitable childcare and provides greater opportunity for flexible work hour arrangements. This will also ensure citizens are able to fit government services into their daily schedule as many working Americans work 8-5 pm.

6. Special Conditions and Rules:

Cafeteria and restaurants: Within a government facility, cafeterias and restaurants are subject to the policies established by the Infection Control Committee and may include: sanitization efforts sufficient to prevent the transmission of surface-to-human infections, droplet protection for sanitized utensils and dinner ware, droplet protection for foods and condiments, and caution signage that advises and informs users of the risks in utilizing the food service, i.e., increased human contact and increased risk of infection.

Handling of money: It is the responsibility of government facilities to accept traditional monetary method of payment employed by citizens. Traditional methods are checks, money orders, cash, credit cards, and e-technologies that represent the traditional methods. The Infection Control Committee is charged with reducing the infection risk associated with each type of payment.

Childcare for Employees: It’s the responsibility of the employee to provide safe custody and care for his/her children during normal business hours. The supervisor of the department may grant, upon request and suitability, flexible hours and flexible work conditions to employees with safe-childcare obstacles.

Closure of childcare facilities present such an obstacle. Supervisors are not required to provide alternatives to childcare obstacles but are requested to be flexible where possible.

The closure of schools does not present an obstacle to safe childcare. It is common for schools to close for three months of the year and to have specific dates in which schools are closed while a government facility is open. These are standard closures under normal conditions for parents to problem solve their childcare needs. The COVID-19 crisis does not require additional childcare mitigation.

Open Beaches! OMG, YES!

What the heck is wrong with opening beaches? If golf courses are open, why not beaches? If bike trails are open, why not beaches?

Hot sun, UV, sterilization? Should be on everyone’s list!

Egads! Six feet of separation is normal on the beach.

Ok, salt water does not sterilize but it does prevent the growth of bacteria under some conditions. So go to the beach, just stay out of the water to be safe. The water goes into your mucosal areas and then comes out. It does that with infected people, too.

So go to the beach and stay out of the water.