Patterico's Pontifications

3/31/2020

Pastor Arrested, DeBlasio Threatens Permanent Closure of Houses of Worship Defying NYC Order

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:56 am



[guest post by Dana]

Here are two troubling stories that raise questions about Constitutional freedoms during a pandemic. The first story raises the question of whether our right to freely assemble can be temporarily suspended during a pandemic, and the second story reveals a disturbingly authoritarian urge by an elected official trying to control the spread of coronavirus in hard-hit NYC.

First, a pastor in Florida was arrested for holding church services with up to 500 people in attendance, in spite of new coronavirus restrictions put in place. He showed no remorse for his decision, rather he blamed the media:

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was booked on misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and violation of public health rules after flouting social distancing orders at The River at Tampa Bay church.

Howard-Browne…has been an outspoken opponent of social distancing requirements, claiming his church has machines that can stop the coronavirus and vowing to personally cure the state of Florida himself.

“His reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people in his congregation at risk, and thousands of residents who may interact with them this week, in danger,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said at the press conference.

Howard-Browne did not respond to an immediate request for comment. He turned himself in to a neighboring sheriff’s office, was booked and released within 40 minutes, according to jail records.

On a Facebook broadcast on Monday night, Howard-Browne said, “I pray for the sheriff. He’s a good man,” and blamed the media for pressuring law enforcement to take action against him.

Efforts had been made to warn the pastor about holding services:

Friday, Sheriff Chronister said, deputies had tried to speak to Howard-Browne on at least two separate occasions about the “dangerous environment” the church was creating. He said HCSO command staff went to the east Tampa church, but they were advised by church leaders and legal staff that Howard-Browne was refusing to see them and also refusing to cancel the Sunday church services.

Additionally:

Chronister stressed that the warrant was not an attack on religious freedom and noted there are other Tampa Bay-area churches who are following the social distancing guidelines set by the CDC. He said his concern now is whether the novel coronavirus may spread following the crowded services.

“I was appalled and also frightened at the fact that those individuals [were] thinking and believing they are doing the right thing. How many people are they going to infect if they have COVID-19?” Chronister asked. “There is nothing more important than faith especially during a pandemic, but like every other church here in the Bay Area, do it responsibly.”

(There is reason to be concerned: Just days after a funeral took place in Georgia, with 200 mourners in attendance, a devastating outbreak of coronavirus swept through the small town.)

A couple of notes: Because Florida’s Gov. DeSantis has rejected issuing a statewide stay-at-home order, instead issuing an order only for residents in Southeast Florida, individual counties are instituting their own coronavirus restriction orders.

Also, Pastor Howard-Brown claimed that social distancing rules were observed during the service, and that they had “13 machines that basically kill[ed] every virus in the place.”

In the second story, Mayor Bill DeBlasio threatened to permanently shut down various houses of worship if they continue to violate New York City’s coronavirus restrictions on holding religious services:

“We’ve had extraordinary, across the board rabbinical support from all the different elements of the Jewish community and the same is true of other faiths as well,” de Blasio said in his Friday news briefing, according to The Jewish Press.

Some synagogues, however, are still holding minyanim, gatherings of 10 worshipers or more, to hold prayer services.

“A small number of religious communities, specific churches and specific synagogues, are unfortunately not paying attention to this guidance even though it’s so widespread,” de Blasio said.

“I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend: If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church, and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” he warned, however admitting that he does not “say this with joy.”

“I understand how important people’s faiths are to them, and we need our faith in this time of crisis. But we do not need gatherings that will endanger people.”

The mayor called on religious citizens, asking that anyone who witnesses services taking place to report to the congregation’s officials and request them to stop services. Should that not be enough, the authorities may “need to take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently.”

It is preposterous that DeBlasio believes he can permanently close down the houses of worship that violate the city’s restrictions on holding church services. Just under what and whose authority does the Mayor think that this can be done?

[Ed. I believe the headline at the Jerusalem Post, which I linked to, is misleading. The story makes clear that DeBlasio wasn’t singling out synagogues, but he clearly and specifically said “A small number of religious communities, specific churches and specific synagogues...]

–Dana

3/30/2020

HHS Approves Treatment Methods, Vaccine Testing To Begin In Months

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:44 am



[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. Since we’ve been discussing chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine, consider this a thread related to treatments being considered (including testing a coronavirus vaccine). Also, in light of this weekend’s comments, please remember this isn’t a place to “promote” a specific treatment...]

From Health and Human Services:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today accepted 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated by Sandoz, the Novartis generics and biosimilars division, and one million doses of chloroquine phosphate donated by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, for possible use in treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or for use in clinical trials. These and other companies may donate additional doses, and companies have ramped up production to provide additional supplies of the medication to the commercial market.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to BARDA to allow hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products donated to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.

Sandoz and Bayer are the latest companies stepping up to strengthen the U.S. response to COVID-19, and ASPR is working with additional companies willing to donate doses of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine…

Use of the donated medications is expected to help ease supply pressures for the drug, and the FDA is also working with manufacturers of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to increase production to ensure these drugs also remain available for patients dependent on them for treatment of malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Some states and retail pharmacies also have taken action to preserve the supply of these and other drugs for these patients.

In addition to accepting and distributing the donated medicines, HHS is funding clinical trials of two drugs, Kevzara (sarilumab) and remdesivir, and is supporting the earlier development of multiple potential therapeutic treatments, vaccines, and diagnostic tests for COVID-19.

Time is not your friend during a pandemic. Doctors in France and Italy are already prescribing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as treatments for coronavirus patients.

Also, vaccine testing will begin in September:

Johnson & Johnson said Monday human testing of its experimental vaccine for the coronavirus will begin by September and it could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.

J&J also said it has committed more than $1 billion of investment in partnership with the federal Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to co-fund vaccine research.

J&J’s lead vaccine candidate will enter a phase 1 human clinical study by September, the company said, and clinical data on its effects is expected before the end of the year. If the vaccine works well, the company said it could be available for emergency use in early 2021.

On top of a lead vaccine candidate, J&J said it has two back-ups. The company said it began working on COVID-19 vaccine development in January.

–Dana

The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Things I Never Said”

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am



On Friday I debuted a song that I wrote in early 2018, which was recently re-recorded by Jamie Woolford of the groups The Stereo and Let Go. If you missed it, here it is again:

As I said on Friday: the background image you see above is a partial photographic portrait of Mrs. P’s grandmother from her younger days. Here’s a better image:

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 9.02.35 PM

Below are the lyrics to the song.

THE THINGS I NEVER SAID

In spite of all this time
There is no reason
The things I want to say
Cannot be said

I could weep that
The old is out of season
Even though you’re gone
The words stay in my head

Everybody said
You were their best friend
But only when they knew
You could not hear

There’d always be tomorrow
Or the weekend
How could we have known
That you’d just disappear?

And everybody knows
The time will come
When everyone moves on

The picture is erased
Before it’s drawn

In spite of all that’s been
And all that’s coming
In spite of all those dreams
We never shared

What you are
Is now what I’m becoming
I know if you were here
You’d tell me
“Don’t be scared”

And everybody knows
The time will come
When everyone moves on

You’re here
For a moment
And then you’re gone

I should acknowledge that I stole the line “I could weep that the old is out of season” from Yeats, from his poem titled “The Arrow”:

I thought of your beauty, and this arrow,
Made out of a wild thought, is in my marrow.
There’s no man may look upon her, no man,
As when newly grown to be a woman,
Tall and noble but with face and bosom
Delicate in colour as apple blossom.
This beauty’s kinder, yet for a reason
I could weep that the old is out of season

So as I hinted at on Friday, the songs is about things never said — in this case, the things I never said to my wife’s grandmother, LaVerne Jackson Yandell, who is one of the people I have admired most in my life.

In recent years, my mom, whom I love and adore, has given me as a birthday present a trip to Fort Worth in May, to watch the Colonial golf tournament and hang out with my brother Kerry. (My mom made it to the tournament one year recently, two or three years ago, but it’s tougher for her to do so these days as she lives with my sisters in Bryan and it’s a nearly three hour drive to get to Fort Worth.) (I don’t think the tournament is happening this year. Another victim of the dread disease whose name I refuse to mention in this post.)

The last time I saw Bram (which is the name the whole family gave Mrs. P’s grandmother) was on one of those trips. She was living at a managed care facility and, as in years past, I used my presence in town as an excuse to go see her and play 42 (a traditional Texas dominoes game) with her and her son Mike (Mrs. P’s uncle) and his wife Glynda. It was a great time, as any time with Bram always was.

At the end of the evening, she made a special point of telling me how much she loved me, and said very nice things about me. It was the kind of thing someone says when they worry they may never see someone again. She had said similar things the previous couple of times I had seen her. As on those previous occasions, I told her I loved her. But, to my shame, I held back on giving her a long speech about how she was one of the people I admired most in the world.

Do you know why? Here’s why: and don’t let this happen to you. The reason was: I always felt as though, if I said those things right then, I would be signaling to her that I thought I would never see her again. And I wasn’t going to do that! By gum, I was going to see her again! It was an attitude of denial. And a couple of times, that attitude worked!

Until it didn’t.

In the short time between when I saw her and her passing, Mrs. P. and my daughter had the chance to visit Bram. Lauren interviewed her for a school project. They got to give her a hug goodbye — like me, not knowing if it would be the last hug they would give her, but wondering nevertheless.

Bram was always so kind, to everyone. She suffered a lot at the end, both in her health and in her treatment at the hands of the people where she was staying. But my memory — which I acknowledge may be imperfect, but this is my memory! — is that I never heard her complain. At all. I never heard her criticize anyone. At all. I never once heard her curse. And indeed, she was famous in the family for not cursing. She would say, at most, “Oh spit!” Everyone knew what she really meant — but Bram would never ever say that word. She was, as a personalized domino set given to her long ago attested, “the sweetest.” And she really was.

I wish I had told her that. I hope she knew it’s how I felt. How we all felt.

I think she did know.

Don’t think or wish or hope about your loved one who is still alive. If they are near you, give them a, I dunno, an elbow bump or something. (Don’t kill them for goodness’s sake! There’s no vaccine yet!) If they are remote, pick up the phone and give them a call. Tell them all the stupid things that, if they were gone tomorrow, you would wish you would have said.

Do it. For me. Thanks.

3/29/2020

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 156

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 8:39 am



It is the fifth Sunday in Lent. With in-person church services temporarily a thing of the past (mine will be online today) let’s worship together in music. Today’s Bach cantata is “Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe” (I am standing with one foot in the grave):

Today’s Gospel reading is John 11:1-45, the story of Jesus restoring Lazurus of Bethany to life after four days in the tomb. “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”

The Death of Lazarus

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

Jesus wept.

Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

The Plot to Kill Jesus

Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, which are a reminder in these times of widespread bodily illness of the importance of keeping our souls healthy:

My fear and suffering,
my life and my death
are placed, dearest God, in Your hands;
therefore also turn upon me
Your gracious eye.
If You lay me, for the sake of my sins,
in a sickbed,
my God, then I beseech You,
let Your goodness be greater than Your righteousness;
yet should you intend, on this account,
that my sorrows should consume me,
I am ready,
Your will shall be done to me,
spare me not and continue on,
let my suffering not last long;
the longer here, the later there.

. . . .

And if it is Your will that I should not fall ill,
I shall thank You from my heart;
yet grant to me as well
that also in my healthy body
my soul be without illness
and remain always sound.
Take it in Your care through spirit and word,
for this is my salvation,
and if my body and soul languishes,
yet You, God, are my comfort and my heart’s portion!

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

P.S. Riffing off the title of the cantata: I can’t hear that phrase without hearing these ten seconds of Jellyfish’s “Brighter Day” in my head.

3/28/2020

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:39 am



[guest post by Dana]

Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.

I’ll start.

First news item

And so it goes:

In a signing statement released hours after Mr. Trump signed the bill in a televised ceremony in the Oval Office, the president suggested he had the power to decide what information a newly created inspector general intended to monitor the fund could share with Congress…Under the law, the inspector general, when auditing loans and investments made through the fund, has the power to demand information from the Treasury Department and other executive branch agencies…But in his statement, which the White House made public about two hours after the president signed the bill, Mr. Trump suggested that under his own understanding of his constitutional powers as president, he can gag the special inspector general for pandemic recovery, known by the acronym S.I.G.P.R., and keep information from Congress.

Second news item

Another young person dies from coronavirus:

The death of a 25-year-old pharmacy technician this week from the coronavirus has prompted Riverside County officials to remind residents that the elderly are not the only ones as risk….Health officials said that the technician was exposed to the COVID-19 virus outside Riverside County and was in self-quarantine in La Quinta. The individual did not have any underlying health issues, according to county officials.

Third news item

Five-minute test on deck:

Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting.

The medical-device maker plans to supply 50,000 tests a day starting April 1, said John Frels, vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics. The molecular test looks for fragments of the coronavirus genome, which can quickly be detected when present at high levels. A thorough search to definitively rule out an infection can take up to 13 minutes, he said.

Fourth news item

State-to-state travel becoming more difficult:

Governors, who also now find themselves competing with one another for urgently needed medical resources like ventilators, say they are placing restrictions on visitors to save their own people, trying to prevent the contagious virus from spreading further into their states. They are on particular alert for travelers from New York City, which has far more confirmed cases than any other area in the country.

And in a spiraling health crisis that has largely been managed by individual governors rather than a cohesive federal government, there has been little to stop them from making their own rules.

Fifth news item

U.S. pushes for support of Taiwan:

Donald Trump has signed into law an act obliging Washington to help bolster international support for Taiwan, putting the US on a collision course with China even as the two countries try to stabilise relations that have deteriorated over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act, a law passed with strong bipartisan support, requires the Trump administration to reward third countries that have strengthened or upgraded relations with Taiwan.

The law also says the US must “alter its economic, security and diplomatic engagement with nations that take serious or significant actions to undermine the security or prosperity of Taiwan”, and calls on Washington to advocate for Taiwan’s participation in international organisations.

The move raises US support for international recognition of Taiwan to a level rarely seen since Washington cut diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1979.

Related:

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu extended a personal invitation on Saturday for three major U.S. newspapers to station on the island their China-based journalists whose expulsion Beijing has announced…“As @nytimes, @WSJ & @washingtonpost face intensifying hostility in China, I’d like to welcome you to be stationed in Taiwan – a country that is a beacon of freedom & democracy,” Wu wrote on Twitter…“Yes! You’ll find people here greeting you with open arms & lots of genuine smiles.”

U.S. lawmakers make more moves to recognize Taiwan as independent state.

Also related:

Stay safe and have a good weekend.

–Dana

3/27/2020

Coronavirus Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:30 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Because everything is in such a state of flux, it’s difficult to stay focused on the subject of a post. Commenters seem to want to discuss any number of issues related to coronavirus – including, but not limited to: coronavirus aid package, bailouts, treatment and protocols, current trajectories of the virus throughout the nation and world, etc, etc. Here’s a fresh post to talk about it all.

–Dana

Gov. Cuomo Weighs Out His Coronavirus Strategy

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:07 am



[guest post by Dana]

Striking the right balance for their state is what every governor is trying to work out:

Sweeping statewide quarantine orders may not have been the most effective strategy to combat the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo conceded on Thursday, as he weighed plans to restart the economy.

“We closed everything down. That was our public health strategy,” said Cuomo during an Albany press briefing. “If you re-thought that or had time to analyze that public health strategy, I don’t know that you would say ‘Quarantine everyone.’”

“I don’t even know that that was the best public health policy. Young people then quarantined with older people, [it] was probably not the best public health strategy,” he said. “The younger people could have been exposing the older people to an infection.”

Further:

Cuomo’s office said the governor was referencing a study by a Yale professor, who wrote a column that appeared in the opinion section of the New York Times last week.

They pointed The Post to nearly identical comments Cuomo made about the topic during a press conference Monday, when he explicitly named the piece’s author, Dr. David Katz.

“There’s a theory of risk stratification that Dr. Katz who’s at Yale University is working on, which is actually very interesting to me,” Cuomo told reporters then. “Isolate people but really isolate the vulnerable people. Don’t isolate everyone because some people, most people, are not vulnerable to it.”

He added: “And if you isolate all people, you may be actually exposing the more vulnerable people by bringing in a person who is healthier and stronger and who may have been exposed to the virus, right.”

This was Cuomo on Tuesday, defending his lockdown order:

Why all of this? Because it’s 1 percent or 2 percent of the population. It’s lives, it’s grandmothers and grandfathers and sisters and brothers…And you start to see the cases on TV. It’s a 40-year-old woman who recovered from breast cancer but had a compromised immune system and four children at home. That’s what this is about. It’s about a vulnerable population…

It’s still really tough going in New York:

New York continues to see its infection trajectory rise unabated, with cases soaring to nearly 45,000 and deaths surpassing 500 by Friday morning, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced more than 7,000 new positives overnight.

COVID-19 has, in two weeks, claimed more lives in New York City than homicides did all of last year.

The number of hospitalizations is up 13-fold over the last 10 days, Cuomo said, but the rate of admittances doubling is slowing — from every two days earlier this week to every four days by Thursday. That, despite the surge in overall numbers, could signal a slowing rate of spread, Cuomo says. But, he acknowledged, the height of the crisis is still ahead — about 21 days out.

Here’s Cuomo today, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst:

–Dana

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:55 am



[guest post by Dana]

Actually, Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock both tested positive for coronavirus:

Both announced their infections Friday on Twitter and tried to allay concerns that Westminster’s response to the virus might be compromised.

The announcements come as British health authorities announced another 181 fatalities on Friday, bringing the death toll to 759. More than 14,500 infections have been recorded, but as the UK is not testing widely, true infection numbers are likely to be much higher.

While it is unknown where he got the virus, he certainly was playing fast and loose with his conduct as recently as early March:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that coronavirus would not stop him greeting people with a handshake, adding that he had shaken the hands of everyone at a hospital where infected patients were being treated.

“I’m shaking hands,” Johnson said when asked how he planned to handle visiting dignitaries.

“I was at a hospital the other night where I think a few there were actually coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody, you’ll be pleased to know, and I continue to shake hands.

He said people were free to make up their own minds, but referred to the scientific advice he had received: “Our judgment is washing your hands is the crucial thing.”

No wonder some are labeling him an “imbecile” in light of his diagnosis.

–Dana

The Patterico Music Project: “Things I Never Said” Recorded by Jamie Woolford

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It’s time for Song #8 in the Patterico Music Project. If you are a long-time reader, you are familiar with the idea. Over the years, I have asked some of my favorite musical artists to record cover versions of songs I have written. Most of those songs, I wrote in the early 1990s — about 28 years ago. This one is a little different. I wrote it in early 2018, just over two years ago. I wrote it thinking about my wife’s grandmother, LaVerne Jackson Yandell, who passed on in July 2016.

If you remember previous entries, I generally publish the lyrics in a follow-up post, but reserve the original post for the cover. All I’ll say about the lyrics at this point is that they are a tribute (and a lament about the things I never said) to my wife’s grandmother. She is one of the greatest people I have ever met. I admired her deeply, but never quite told her just how deep my admiration ran. This song expresses some of my regret in the words I left unspoken. This cover version is yet another performance by Jamie Woolford, another special influence in my life, who (to my everlasting amazement and deep satisfaction) has covered several of my previous songs. I told you about Jamie here, in my post announcing his cover of “Alien Song.” Click the play button to listen to today’s entry:

The background image you see above is a partial photographic portrait of Mrs. P’s grandmother from her younger days. Here’s a better image:

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 9.02.35 PM

If there is someone in your life who means something to you, and they’re still around, don’t leave anything unsaid. No matter how corny or overdramatic it might seem, say those things. Say them as soon as you can. Before you lose the chance.

P.S. Here are the previous entries in the series:

3/26/2020

President Trump To Introduce New Coronavirus Guidelines

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:48 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Working toward his goal of having the economy up and running by Easter (April 12), President Trump is proposing new guidelines based on geographic risk:

President Trump said in a letter to U.S. governors on Thursday that his administration is working to publish new guidelines for state and local governments to use when making decisions about “maintaining, increasing or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures” for the coronavirus epidemic.

Trump said officials are gathering testing data that will suggest guidelines categorizing counties as “high risk, medium risk or low risk” for the virus. The data will drive “the next phase” of the response, he said.

Here is the critical part of his letter:

This is what we envision: Our expanding testing capabilities will quickly enable us to publish criteria, developed in close coordination with the Nation’s public health officials and scientists, to help classify counties with respect to continued risk posed by the virus. This will incorporate robust surveillance testing, which allows us to monitor the spread of the virus throughout the country. Under these data-driven criteria, we will suggest guidelines categorizing counties as high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk.

With each passing day, our increasingly extensive testing capabilities are giving us a better understanding of the virus and its path. As testing gives us more information about who has been infected, we are tracking the virus and isolating it to prevent further spread. This new information will drive the next phase in our war against this invisible enemy.

This comes one day after Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned about setting any sort of timetable:

You’ve got to understand that you don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline. So you’ve got to respond in what you see happen. And if you keep seeing this acceleration, it doesn’t matter what you say. One week, two weeks, three weeks — you’ve got to go with what the situation on the ground is.

CNN notes that a task force member said that the guidelines were a work in progress, and that, surprisingly-not-surprisingly, not all the members of the White House coronavirus task force saw the President’s letter before it was released publicly.

While Trump wants to see businesses up and running, he said in a news conference today that social distancing measures should still be observed when Americans returned to work:

“When we are open, as soon as we open, that doesn’t mean you will be stop the guidelines. You will still try and distance yourself. Maybe not to the same extent because you have to lead a life, but the timing is coming,”

On his conference call with governers, the President again reiterated his view that

the country needs to reopen soon and that not every place needs to be under the same restrictions…[and] said certain places had almost no problems with the virus and shouldn’t be kept to the same restrictions as areas with high case loads.

–Dana

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