Mississippi’s Pandemic Panic

Closing Thought–04Aug20

This pandemic has been raging through our country now for several months…..it has effected every portion of society and cause so many deaths to the tune of 155,000.

Most of us bloggers are helping people understand what is happening in most countries and states…..I have been reporting on my state Mississippi.

These days the South is a new “hot spot” where the virus seems to be running through the society….I will admit that the governor here has done a better job than some of the other Southern governors….but that has not saved Mississippi from the outcome.

Mississippi–Cases–61,125  Deaths–1711

Plus Mississippi could gain in its standing…..

Florida is currently the No. 1 state when it comes to new coronavirus cases per capita—but Mississippi is on track to overtake it, NPR reports. In a grim Twitter thread, Harvard researcher Ashish Jha says Mississippi is “doing VERY badly but has received little attention.” Testing is down 8% from two weeks ago in the state, but cases are up 37% in the same time frame; the daily death toll is skyrocketing; and much of the state is open with few restrictions and no statewide mask mandate. Plus, as one state doctor puts it, hospital ICUs are getting crowded and COVID-19 is “layered on top of our existing challenges,” as the state has high levels of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and obesity.

A fellow blogger and follower of IST has written about the possibility of the dead being piled up in the street because there is no room for them…..https://linesbyliming.com/

Mississippi has a major problem…..the morgues are having a hard time dealing with the amount of deaths.

In the months before his county’s morgue neared capacity, before he started wearing his face shield and “moon suit” to answer calls in neighbors’ homes, and before his own coronavirus diagnosis got him admitted to the hospital, Coahoma County, Mississippi, coroner Scotty Meredith knew this summer was going to be the worst in his three decades on the job. 

On April 3, as COVID-19 deaths in Mississippi hovered in the low double-digits, the state’s chief medical examiner, Mark LeVaughn, fired off a letter to Meredith and the state’s 80 other coroners. State law outlines a simple procedure for investigating deaths outside a hospital: the coroner collects evidence at the scene, then sends the body to a medical examiner in Jackson for autopsy. But the gist of the ME’s letter, obtained by The Daily Beast, was that when it came to deaths from COVID-19, coroners were on their own.

For years now, the severely understaffed state medical examiner’s office has struggled to handle all of the deaths in Mississippi. Doing so has often meant shifting more of the burden for handling deaths onto county coroners, who, unlike medical examiners, usually don’t have a medical degree and cannot perform autopsies. 

The problem with being shut out from the medical examiner’s office, as Meredith explained, “is not just that they’re not taking the cases, but there’s not any guidance” for what to do with a suspected coronavirus case. Several coroners said they’ve begun rationing supplies, like test kits, echoing supply-chain woes in other hard-hit states since the early days of the pandemic that experts generally believe have deflated the COVID-19 death count.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/amid-a-mississippi-coronavirus-surge-morgues-are-overflowing-and-coroners-are-scared

The horror stories just keeps building and the leadership that is missing keeps downplaying all the problems this pandemic has created.

Be Well…..Be Safe

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

04 August 1914–Guns Of August–Part One

On this day in history…….Germany invades Belgium causing Great Britain to declare war on Germany. Germany had declared war on France the day before.

This became known as the Guns Of August……

What could drive a world mad to the point of wasting so many lives?

We’ll start with the facts and work back: it may make it all the easier to understand how World War One actually happened.  The events of July and early August 1914 are a classic case of “one thing led to another” – otherwise known as the treaty alliance system.

The explosive that was World War One had been long in the stockpiling; the spark was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.  (Click here to view film footage of Ferdinand arriving at Sarajevo’s Town Hall on 28 June 1914.)

Ferdinand’s death at the hands of the Black Hand, a Serbian nationalist secret society, set in train a mindlessly mechanical series of events that culminated in the world’s first global war.

Austria-Hungary’s Reaction

Austria-Hungary’s reaction to the death of their heir (who was in any case not greatly beloved by the Emperor, Franz Josef, or his government) was three weeks in coming.  Arguing that the Serbian government was implicated in the machinations of the Black Hand (whether she was or not remains unclear, but it appears unlikely), the Austro-Hungarians opted to take the opportunity to stamp its authority upon the Serbians, crushing the nationalist movement there and cementing Austria-Hungary’s influence in the Balkans.

It did so by issuing an ultimatum to Serbia which, in the extent of its demand that the assassins be brought to justice effectively nullified Serbia’s sovereignty.  Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, was moved to comment that he had “never before seen one State address to another independent State a document of so formidable a character.”

Austria-Hungary’s expectation was that Serbia would reject the remarkably severe terms of the ultimatum, thereby giving her a pretext for launching a limited war against Serbia.

https://www.firstworldwar.com/origins/causes.htm

A war that cost so many lives and accomplished very little in the end.

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“lego ergo scribo”

2020 Voting Will Begin In August

We are closer than you might think to the general election…..and with all the pandemic/protests the media has pretty much ignored the election….so IST has decided to help out when we can…..

This Voters’ Calendar will stretch our civic attention span to make high-turnout elections a task that mere mortals can perform, not a superhuman feat that tests the endurance of even the most dedicated voters.

AUGUST is Check Your Registration month. Starting August 5 (90 days from November 3rd), it is federally illegal to make any new purges from the voter rolls. You can add registrations – you just can’t eliminate them. Therefore, starting August 5, check your registration on your Secretary of State or county election websites. (Many URLS can get you there: Vote411.org is a good place to start. Another is the U.S. Vote Foundation, which has contact information for every local election official. Engage directly with those who will be counting your vote.)

When you find your name and address are correct take a screenshot and file it with time and date. (Google “How do I take a screenshot with my phone?”) Update any incorrect information. Only take the screenshot when it’s in order. If you don’t find yourself, re-register. Do this for voters who don’t have online access—starting with your family. 

SEPTEMBER is Order Your Mail Ballot month. Maybe you think you won’t need a mail-in ballot. But what if you do? A delayed application could get caught in a paperwork tsunami (one lesson from recent primaries.) If you don’t get a mail ballot you’ve requested, complications will ensue. Order that mail-in ballot as soon as your registration is correct.

Follow the directions carefully. Some states let you apply entirely online. Others require that you print out the application, fill it in, sign it, and mail it. Unfortunately, every state has slightly different rules. Don’t procrastinate. You want to be early or near the front of this line.

OCTOBER is Vote Your Mail Ballot Monthor If You Want to Vote In Person, Keep it to Take With You Just in Case.  Mail-in ballots get issued in October. Know when to expect yours. (See your state or county website.) If you don’t get your ballot, phone the elections office. Sometimes they can cancel the first one issued and send you another. Act early.

When you do receive your mail ballot, either vote it ASAP or keep it, envelopes and all, in a safe place. Check local rules about where you can drop a voted mail ballot off in person. And check if your jurisdiction allows “surrender” of an unvoted mail ballot in person in exchange for a regular ballot.  The vulnerability of the Postal Service, in hostile conditions, and with the coronavirus, worries us all.  Help them by being early.

The safest in-person option for a mail-in ballot voter is Early Voting if your jurisdiction offers it. If you’re opting to vote in person but have your mail ballot take it with you in its envelope. If there’s a line, you could use the mail ballot to vote and sign its envelope, then drop it with the poll workers. You won’t have to wait to sign in. But check your local rules before you depend on this. On Election Day itself, many places won’t let you do this—why? Because election offices work hard to get their mail ballot envelope processing out of the way before Election Night ballots pour in. If you have your mail ballot and go to vote in-person on Election Day, by all means take it, and the envelope, with you anyway in case it is a way to avoid provisional. Again – check your local rules!

NOVEMBER is Last Chance Month: The Endgame.  If you vote on Election Day, you know to expect a line. Especially in a blue epicenter in a red state. If you didn’t get a mail ballot that you had requested, check your local rules to know what to expect in person. Maybe you can cancel your ballot to avoid provisional, maybe not. But VOTE. Persevere. Activists will observe the count, especially if the provisional numbers are high in vulnerable communities. Know the rules that protect you from the traps. Teach others.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/17/2020-voters-calendar-general-election-starts-august

This is voter PPE – personal protective education – in the time of pandemic. Voting Season is not just about November 3rd anymore, not for vote-counting (it might take weeks) and not for vote-casting. Protection of your voting rights starts three months out.

Use the calendar and foil the treasonous vote suppressors.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

On The Border

I could go off on a tangent about the Trump Wall but in this case it is a conflict in the making in the Caucuses of Central Europe…… between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

History of the Caucasus - Wikipedia

There has always been an animosity between the two……Armenia is a Christian country while Azerbaijan is Muslim…..read about the two countries here (if interested)……

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17398605

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17043424

Years ago I wrote about this region as a possible linch pin event that could start a major world incident that may lead to a war…..FYI my post on the subject and region……https://lobotero.com/2013/06/13/looking-for-the-linchpin/

The war of words between Armenia/Azerbaijan has almost always been a part of the region’s history……but there have been several border clashes between the two and they are still readying themselves for the possibilities….

The senior adviser to Azerbaijan’s president said the situation at the border with Armenia reminded him of World War I between France and Germany, with heavily armed soldiers facing each other in border trenches. Hajiyev warned that any spark could lead to a full-blown conflict. He accused Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of advancing a bellicose nationalist agenda despite claims when he was elected that he wanted to achieve peace with Azerbaijan.

Hajiyev said the threat by Azerbaijan to strike a civilian nuclear plant in Armenia had been made by a low-level military officer and did not reflect his country’s official stance. He went on to accuse Armenia of targeting civilian targets in his country.

He brushed aside claims that Turkey was the reason for the recent flare-up of tension and said that Baku was ready to address and resolve the long-standing conflict with Armenia. 

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20200722-interview-adviser-to-azerbaijan-s-president-we-are-expecting-provocation-from-armenia-at-any-moment

Things are getting more and more heated between the two nations…..

The mid-July 2020 escalation on Armenia and Azerbaijan’s densely populated state border, which killed over a dozen people and sent women and children fleeing, should sound as a warning. Villagers on both sides of the 230km, trench-lined border have long lived in fear of clashes and landmines. Three decades after the 1992-1994 war over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, children go to schools behind ever-thicker cement walls, farmers shun fertile but mine-riddled fields and young people seek their future elsewhere. International mediation efforts have largely ignored the border regions, focused on untangling disagreements over Nagorno-Karabakh itself. But July’s violence shows how critical it is to pay attention to the safety of more than 150,000 civilians living there. Yerevan and Baku should keep channels open to find mutually beneficial ways to cooperate along the border. The shooting should not stop them from exploring collaboration on narrow initiatives to allow children to attend school, farmers to harvest crops, herders to put livestock to pasture, and water to flow to taps and fields.

For both sides, the potential cost in lives and property of violence is higher along the border than in other areas. Neither side has a clear military advantage in the border zone. Military positions and front-line trenches are so close in places that residents can shout to soldiers on the other side. The border is at the crossroads of the three post-Soviet states of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. As such, it is criss-crossed by key roads, railways and pipelines pumping natural resources from Russia to the region or from Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea to Europe. Both sides not only have an interest in avoiding disruptions to this infrastructure but also stand to benefit from repurposing and repairing sundered cross-border Soviet-era water supply networks

https://www.crisisgroup.org/europe-central-asia/caucasus/nagorno-karabakh-conflict/259-preventing-bloody-harvest-armenia-azerbaijan-state-border

I still believe that this region holds the key to a wider war……another region is the Pakistan/India/China in the Himalayas…..

I will be watching!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”