Social Hypochondria

I admit I still have a vestige of social hypochondria. COVID, Trump, Red vs Blue, robots, budget deficits, police brutality, Children of the Corn (hehehe), zombie vaccinations, etc.

Slate Magazine: Social hypochondria: “As a society, we always seem to be obsessing about some problem like teen-age drinking or child abuse or immigration or cloning, convinced that it will destroy the country or the world unless it is eliminated. The hypochondria analogy isn’t perfect: These diseases tend to be real, not wholly imagined. But a) their perils are exaggerated—at least until they are put aside to make room for other perils; and b) the hope of ever curing them is also exaggerated.”

There is no cure. But how do we discourage decent people from believing all the social media things they encounter?

Truth helps but it is always a complicated truth and, frankly, not everyone is cut out to ferret truth from lies. There are experts out there who find a hot button issue and begin to infect society with an exaggerrated fear. How can a regular person decide if “global warming” deserves all the hyperbole written about it? Or police brutality? Or Aliens in the Arctic?

And yet, ignoring threats isn’t wise either.

Open to your thoughts…

Much ado about nothing… now

I’m done with all the hyperbole from social and news media about COVID.

I’ve been disappointed by the lack of adult response by politicians and public health officials for almost a year. My hope is that everyone just shuts up and lets the foolish be foolish and go on about your business to do what is right for you and your family.

If you don’t want to wear a mask in a crowded bar and insist on sucking in COVID virus from strangers, good for you. If you want to wear a mask while you jog in the country and the nearest person is 2 miles away, good for you. Just shut up about it.

The milk was spilt a year ago. Stop crying about the number of public deaths. The Anti-virus manufactures have done their part. The healthcare workers have done theirs, too. President Biden has done his part.

The solution is in hand.

Stop the dramatics.

The Armistice is inked. The War is over. Inform everyone and let the clean-up begin.

Foster Care and Orphanages

In the US, government-run orphanages no longer exist. They were replaced by Foster Care programs in the 1950s.

However, there are private orphanages in the US. This one is dedicated to children who were orphaned due to violence.

The US Foster Care system is well-covered in Wikipedia.

I encourage you to read all three links to become more aware of children who do not have parents to take care of them or children who have been removed from their parents because their parents were harming them.

Here’s a bit of history related to Foster Care:

In the United States, foster care started as a result of the efforts of Charles Loring Brace. “In the mid 19th Century, some 30,000 homeless or neglected children lived in the New York City streets and slums.”[9] Brace took these children off the streets and placed them with families in most states in the country. Brace believed the children would do best with a Christian farm family. He did this to save them from “a lifetime of suffering”[10] He sent these children to families by train, which gave the name The Orphan Train Movement. “[This] lasted from 1853 to the early 1890s [1929?] and transported more than 120,000 [250,000?] children to new lives.”[11] When Brace died in 1890, his sons took over his work of the Children’s Aid Society until they retired.[10] The Children’s Aid Society created “a foster care approach that became the basis for the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997″ called Concurrent Planning. This greatly impacted the foster care system. Children’s Aid works with the biological and foster parents to “achieve permanency”.[9] “From the mid-1800s to the eve of the Great Depression, orphan train children were placed with families who pre-selected them with an order form, specifying age, gender, hair and eye color. In other cases, trainloads of children were assembled on stages, train platforms or town halls and examined by prospective parents. “Conjuring the image of picking the best apple from the bin. Sometimes a child would be separated from his or her brothers and sisters, or would end up in a family that only wanted them to work. Most of the time the children were chosen by a loving or childless family”.[12

And here are a few statistics:

In 2016, there were 437,465 children in foster care in the United States.[14] 48% were in nonrelative foster homes, 26% were in relative foster homes, 9% in institutions, 6% in group homes, 5% on trial home visits (where the child returns home while under state supervision), 4% in preadoptive homes, 2% had run away, and 1% in supervised independent living.[15] Of 254,114 who exited foster care in 2010, 51% were reunited with parents or caretakers, 21% were adopted, 11% were emancipated (as minors or by aging out), 8% went to live with another relative, 6% went to live with a guardian, and 3% had other outcomes.[16] Of these children, the median length of time spent in foster care was 13.5 months. 13% were in care for less than 1 month, 33% for 1 to 11 months, 24% for 12 to 23 months, 12% for 24 to 35 months, 10% for 3 to 4 years, and 7% for 5 years or more.[13]

ReasonableCitizen on Abortion

Wikipedia has a wealth of information about abortion and the perspectives of Americans regarding abortions. Give it a read if you still have an open mind. Or not as the case might be.

I’m not about to argue whether a woman controls her body, or whether her husband can control it, or whether the father of the unborn should control it, or whether the parents of a minor child can assert their will over their child’s pregnancy.

And I’m not about to argue whether this has a moral component, or a state’s right component or a federal component.

And I’m not about to argue when is a fetus viable or not.

And I’m not about to argue whether the mother, the father, or the abortion provider should go to jail.

I am just going to ask one question: Why is it any of your business?

Please comment below. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Pre-Existing Conditions: Time for a change?

It appears to me that pre-existing conditions is a stumbling block for everyone: Patients, doctors, insurance companies, Obamacare, etc.

Perhaps there should be a new approach for America. I’d like to see someone propose that genetic diseases are pre-existing conditions and the Federal and State governments will split the cost 50-50 for genetic disease treatment and management. Persons with a genetic disease register with State and Federal government and the patient/guardian is no longer responsible for the cost of healthcare for that genetic condition for the life of that patient.

In addition,all pregnancies greater than 60 days should be considered pre-existing conditions and accorded the same benefit of government-provided healthcare until a birth occurs.

So I’m thinking out loud on this. What do you think?

The Impersonal Pandemic

Almost a full year into the international pandemic and not enough people have died to cause the Republican Party into taking continuing legislative action to protect the economy nor the people in it.

The GOP have proudly proclaimed that the best government action to take is to provide the least amount of government during the pandemic. Laissez-faire public health policy.

In multiple states, the Republican Party has pushed back on the emergency powers of its Governor and stripped him or her of any and every actionable item they can take. They have captured the emergency response into the legislative arm of government and then done nothing.

The number of deaths in the country and here in Wisconsin have not been sufficiently high enough to warrant government action.

And yet, the state legislature fails to meet due to concerns about the virus. The old white men in Wisconsin State Legislature have protected themselves with legislative social distancing and let the devil take everyone else.

This pandemic is not personal enough to act upon. No bodies in the street. Only old people are dying and a few other tragic deaths that hardly move the needle of empathy.

This is an impersonal pandemic. Few of your loved ones have died. Maybe a few of your shirttail relatives (that your parents once knew) have passed on but your personal misery and grief hardly registers on the scale of life’s events.

Of course, we are only into the first anniversary for the The Age of COVID. A vaccine will be available soon. Perhaps this vaccine will truncate the duration of the pandemic.

We can only hope.

COVID Public Health Policy

Let’s begin with three premises.

  1. Laissez-faire Public Health Policy by governments doesn’t work.
  2. Protecting the public as they conduct their lives is a government responsibility.
  3. The public includes workers, buyers, sellers, producers, consumers, creators, and their families.

Public Health Policy During the Age of COVID

  1. All public-facing activity shall have a COVID Protection and Sanitization Plan (CPSP) posted for the public to review and determine if the sanitization is sufficient to protect them while engaged in that public-facing interaction.
  2. A CPSP Plan shall consist of the methods of sanitization,the scope of sanitization, the frequency of sanitization, the responsibilities of the public who enter, the responsibilities of staff who serve, and any unique requirements for participation in the public-facing interaction. There shall also be facility contact information if the public believes there is a breach in the CPSP Plan as well as the Public Health contact information to report a breach.
  3. Federal and State Public Health officials shall inform the public on how to evaluate protections offered by CSPS Plans and determine if they are suitable for their needs. The needs addressed may include age, gender, health, and items pertinent to the activity. Information to the public shall include radio and TV Public Safety Announcements as well as social media.
  4. Federal and State Public Health officials shall issue guidelines for large public gatherings as well as individual interactions. Those guidelines shall include associated and varied social distancing requirements as well as appropriate mask wearing while participating.
  5. Federal and State Public Health officials shall report on the capacity and capabilities of medical facilities available to treat COVID infections and provide locations of public testing facilities.
  6. Mask wearing in non-public facing operations is the purview of the facility except in the protection of food or drug production, packaging, and preparation, for interstate distribution. As in all interstate commercial activity, the federal government has the authority through the FDA to regulate the safety of food distribution.

Freedom of Something?

“The first mask mandate went into effect on July 30 when the seven-day new case average was, according to the Department of Health Services, 887 new cases daily. Case growth would gradually decrease, reaching a low point on Sept. 3 of 674 average daily confirmed cases over seven days. However, once students returned to classrooms, especially in colleges, spread of the virus exploded. The seven-day daily average is now 2,155 cases, according to the Department of Health Services.”

And so it goes…more Republican judge shopping… the intent is to find a judge who thinks Republican goals HAVE MORE VALUE THAN COVID-19 PREVENTION!

Draw your own conclusions…

Damn the Infirm and the Elderly! No Mask Mandates Allowed!

Once again, Wisconsin Republican leadership doesn’t give a Shinola that the elderly and the infirm may die from COVID-19. Determined to preserve the personal liberty of not wearing masks at somebody else’s expense, Wisconsin Republicans continue a let-them-eat-cake attitude regarding compromised immune systems and susceptible citizens during a pandemic.

They are banking on the fact that there will not be enough deaths in Wisconsin before November 3rd to impact their election chances. Does that sound harsh? Well, maybe. Forcing herd immunity through inaction seems pretty harsh to me, too.


A recent favorite of mine, UP NORTH NEWS is smack on top of all things Wisconsin. You may have read my email exchange with State Rep. Romaine Quinn a few weeks ago. As I predicted, the Republicans don’t care about the spread of COVID among the general population. But it also appears their duplicitous behavior is oh-so-much-more.

This building where Scott Walker, having never campaigned in 2010 on a promise to slash workers’ collective bargaining rights, announced he and legislative Republicans were going to slash workers’ collective bargaining rights. This building where Walker, having spent his 2014 re-election campaign never fully embracing the perversely named “Right to Work” laws, cheered when legislative Republicans rushed the union busting bill to him once the campaign was over.

This building where Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos –having hurriedly passed lame duck legislation curtailing the powers of the incoming Gov. Tony Evers– said they were shocked, SHOCKED that the governor had no contact person for them as legislative leaders, only to be reminded that they had been told repeatedly to work with Evers’ chief of staff, just as they had with Walker’s. 

So when Republican legislators claimed on Wednesday to be apoplectic at learning a recent telephone conversation with the governor had been recorded, it only begged one question: what had Fitzgerald and Vos said after previous meetings that made someone on Evers’ staff determined to ensure there was an accurate record of what was actually discussed?

To be fair, nobody on Evers’ team is publicly claiming as much. The official response was that for such an important meeting –negotiating a new potential set of coronavirus safeguards after Republicans successfully got the state Supreme Court to kill the existing rules– recording was necessary to ensure accurate note-taking so that any new rule drafts would reflect the conversation.

But as it turned out, notes were not necessary. The Republicans, whose argument to the Supreme Court was that they wanted “a seat at the table” in crafting a new set of rules, told Evers there would be no seats needed, no table, no new rules; they would veto anything Evers offered.

And yet they now claim to be shocked that there was a lack of trust to the point where someone felt a recording was necessary?