Toilet Paper–Rest Of The Story

The weekends I try to become an FYI blog…..some things need to be explained….and Toilet Paper is one of those things in gthis time of extreme need.

One of the biggest stories of this pandemic crisis is the fact that Toilet Paper is hard to find…..so we are hoarding the stuff…..but why?

A better question is what brought on the hoarding stuff anyway…..I mean this virus does not give one any symptom that would require lots of TP….so what is the rest of the story?

Haters love to blame “hoarders” and “panic buyers” for the lack of toilet paper on store shelves and to decry the “irrationality” of people who rushed stores to stock up amid the coronavirus pandemic. But at Medium, Will Oremus explains the truth lies elsewhere. Yes, there were some who panic-bought, especially when pictures of empty shelves hit social media. But the vast majority of people are not hoarding TP. Here’s the simple reality: With at least three-quarters of the United States under stay-at-home orders, people will legitimately need more toilet paper (one estimate pegs it at 40% more) because they’re not using bathrooms at work, school, and restaurants these days.

Commercial and consumer toilet paper aren’t the same thing: The former comes on supersize rolls, is thin, and is shipped in bulk. And they often aren’t made in the same mills. Now there’s “a huge leap in demand for a product”—that would be consumer toilet paper—”whose supply chain is predicated on the assumption that demand is essentially constant.” If you’re thinking commercial makers should just switch gears, Oremus explains the problem: “Shifting to retail channels would require new relationships and contracts between suppliers, distributors, and stores; different formats for packaging and shipping; new trucking routes—all for a bulky product with lean profit margins.” Investing in that shift likely wouldn’t be worth it, because those manufacturers would have to flip back when this is all over. (Read the full piece for more on how there’s a similar issue with bananas.)

Does that help clarify why we have a shortage in toilet paper?

Speaking of crappy situations……

Even during a global pandemic there is government waste to report. Here is a great example. The toilet system on two new, state-of-the-art Navy aircraft carriers is so crappy that it must be cleansed with specialized acids that cost American taxpayers a breathtaking $400,000 a flush. It may seem like a bad joke but, sadly, it is par for the course for many government agencies. The outrageous toilet expense is a snippet of a larger problem involving the Navy’s multi-billion-dollar budget to maintain its fleet. A new federal audit offers a break down by ship class and, while there are other highly questionable losses, the defective toilets appear to be in a class of their own.

Crappy Toilets on Navy’s Multi-Billion-Dollar Warships Cost $400,000 a Flush to Unclog

More taxpayer money flushed down the toilet….well if they actually worked that is……..

Remember….stay calm…..avoid crowds…..wash hands often…..stay prepared.

Be Well….Be Safe

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Covid-19 Disturbing Stories

There is lots of disturbing crap on the Tube these days…..and in the news there are those that show just how far down the gene pool some have slid.

First, is the Hobby Lobby story….I do not shop at this place because the owners are thieves of culture for dealing in stolen artifacts….but this is about Hobby Lobby disregarding orders and opening their stores…..

Although parents holed up at home with young kids during the coronavirus outbreak may consider arts and crafts supplies a necessity to keep their little ones occupied, the state of Colorado doesn’t deem stores that sell those supplies as essential businesses. That’s the gist of a cease-and-desist letter sent Wednesday by W. Eric Kuhn, the state’s senior assistant attorney general, to Hobby Lobby, ordering the chain to close its stores during the pandemic, the New York Times reports. “For the avoidance of doubt, Hobby Lobby is not a ‘critical business,'” Kuhn made clear in the letter, adding that by reopening its stores as it did this week, the chain was violating a “stay at home” March 25 executive order by Gov. Jared Polis mandating all businesses that aren’t essential to temporarily shutter.

The chain takes issue with claims it’s not essential, arguing it sells supplies for businesses still up and running in people’s homes, as well as educational materials and materials to make DIY masks, reports CBS News, which adds that Hobby Lobby stores have been opening in Texas, Wisconsin, and Indiana as well. Ohio’s attorney general, Dave Yost, recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to the retailer after stores reopened in his state. “I received a phone call within the hour from the general counsel of Hobby Lobby, informing us they were closing their stores tonight in Ohio in compliance with our … letter,” he tweeted Wednesday. The Christian Post reports that Hobby Lobby CEO David Green sent a letter to employees in mid-March noting that “while we do not know for certain what the future holds, or how long this disruption will last, we can all rest in knowing that God is in control.”

Essential?  What an arrogant packs of douche bags.

Then there is the story that Trump will refuse to let people sign up for Obamacare in this time of need….

As millions of people across the United States lose their jobs—and their employer-provided health insurance—amid the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has reportedly decided against reopening Affordable Care Act enrollment to ease the economic pain of the uninsured and help protect them from devastating medical costs.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/01/fanatical-cruelty-pandemic-rages-trump-refuses-reopen-affordable-care-act-enrollment

Then there is the mental midget that carries Trump’s balls for him, Deven Nunes….a veritable “piss boy” (History of the World Part 1 reference)……

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) stated that it is “overkill” for schools in his home state of Califonia to be closed in light of the coronavirus pandemic on Laura Ingraham‘s Fox News program late Tuesday night – further downplaying the severity of COVID-19.

Ingraham, citing one official who said we can’t go back to normal life until there’s a vaccine, began by saying, “That would not be going back to normal life, Congressman Nunes, for 12 months. Which if parents across the country are hearing that, and workers, they are going to be showing up in Washington, even if you all aren’t here.”

The Fox News host added, “They’re going to be coming to Washington to send you a message.”

Nunes fired back, “That’s not going to work. The schools were canceled here in California, which is way overkill.”

“Its possible kids could’ve went back to school in two weeks to four weeks, but they just canceled the rest of the schools. So, I’m optimistic here.”

Devin Nunes Says Closed Schools Are ‘Overkill’ During Coronavirus Pandemic

I knew Nunes was a worthless lump of manure but this just puts icing on the pile.

Finally,  a train engineer tries to ram his train into the Hospital ship Mercy…..

A Port of Los Angeles locomotive engineer has admitted trying to crash a train into a hospital ship, federal prosecutors say. According to a court affidavit, 44-year-old Eduardo Moreno told investigators that he intentionally derailed the train at full speed on Tuesday because he thought the USNS Mercy might be there as part of a government takeover, not to help with the coronavirus crisis, ABC reports. He said he wanted to “wake people up” and knew the crash would attract media attention. Prosecutors say the train smashed through several barriers before coming to a halt around 250 yards from the Mercy. Authorities say there were no injuries and the ship wasn’t damaged, but the derailment caused a substantial fuel leak.

 

“You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to. People don’t know what’s going on here. Now they will,” Moreno told investigators, per the Los Angeles Times. The Mercy, which has around 800 staffers and 1,000 hospital beds, is docked in Los Angeles to treat non-coronavirus patients, freeing up space in area hospitals. An FBI affidavit states that Moreno told agents “he thought that the USNS Mercy was suspicious and did not believe ‘the ship is what they say it’s for.'” He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years under a federal train-wrecking statute, NBC reports.

Seriously?  Another “Covid Truther”…..just how ignorant can people be?

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Virus–Who’s To Blame?

As long as some of us are sheltering in place I thought that IST should help spread information to as many as I can….there is lots of info flying around the web…..

I have read and heard a lot about the origins of Covid-19 as that of animals….most notably the Pangolins of Asia……but is that true or just another wild conspiracy?

Maybe not so fast on that conspiracy…….

Pangolins can harbor coronaviruses related to the new coronavirus, a study finds.

Scientists studied viruses in pangolins (Manis javanica) captured in anti-smuggling activities in southern China. The identified coronaviruses, however, are different enough from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to hint that pangolins were not directly responsible for transmitting the virus to people, which had been suggested.

One of the pangolin viruses does have a structure that closely resembles the new coronavirus’ spike protein, which allows the pathogen to get into cells, infectious disease researcher Tommy Tsan-Yuk Lam of the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong and colleagues report March 26 in Nature

The closest relative of SARS-CoV-2 is still from a bat, the only other known mammal found to be infected with similar coronaviruses. 

There’s no evidence the coronavirus jumped from pangolins to people

In another story I have heard it is a bat’s fault that viruses are spread…if so why is that?

While people across the world were celebrating the holidays with loved ones at the end of last year, somewhere in China the coronavirus pandemic began with a virus moving from bats to pigs and, ultimately, to the first human. 

The rest, as they say, is history. Or at least it will be when the final chapter of the great COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 is written. 

But why are bats so often behind viruses that sweep across the globe and kill so many of us?

Why Do Pandemics Often Start With Bats?

There is a report that this virus may have been around for years…..

Scientists studying the origins of the coronavirus have found similar strains in bats and pangolins, leading to speculation that it jumped from one or perhaps both of those animals to humans earlier this year. But a new study floats a different idea: that the virus was spreading in humans for years, undetected and growing ever more dangerous, reports Science Alert. Under this scenario, the virus would have passed from animals to humans a while back, but it would have been harmless to us at the time. “Then, as a result of gradual evolutionary changes over years or perhaps decades, the virus eventually gained the ability to spread from human to human and cause serious, often life-threatening disease,” writes National Institutes of Health chief Francis Collins at his blog. Collins was not involved with the study by US, UK, and Australian researchers in Nature Medicine.

The scientists found that while strains found in bats and pangolins were indeed similar to SARS-CoV-2, the strain causing the current pandemic, the gap between the animal and humans versions remains too large, per the South China Morning Post. (The human strain has a genetic mutation that makes it particularly lethal for us, and the SCMP goes into detail on that.) It’s possible that a closer version in animals exists and just hasn’t been found yet, but the researchers suggest it’s more likely that the strain mutated within humans as it slowly spread. Among other things, that raises the possibility the disease did not originate in Wuhan, China, where the first cases were detected. Another key component of the study: The researchers say it’s all but impossible that the coronavirus originated in a lab—it has all the hallmarks of a natural origin.

Just a little more information for my readers…….I like to be FYI as often as I can especially now when we are all become hermits and a bit of a recluse.

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Stay calm……avoid crowds…..wash hands often……stay prepared…..

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Those Covid-19 Myths

Closing Thought–01Apr20

Every day as we sit in our homes and shelter ourselves from other people we are bombarded with information on all sides….and not all this info is accurate.

We hear that our pets can give us the virus…..or gargling bleach will kill the virus…..rubbing bleach on skin will protect….and there are so many other myths and misinformation that has most of us pulling our hair out……

Here are some of the more common myths and their validity busted.

The World Health Organization (WHO) officially changed their classification of the situation from a public health emergency of international concern to a pandemic on March 11.

To date, the novel coronavirus — currently dubbed “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2,” or SARS-CoV-2 for short — has been responsible for more than 245,000 infections globally, causing more than 10,000 deaths. In the U.S., the virus has affected 14,250 people and has so far caused 205 deaths.

As ever, when the word “pandemic” starts appearing in headlines, people become fearful, and with fear come misinformation and rumors.

Here, we will dissect some of the most common myths that are currently circulating on social media and beyond.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/coronavirus-myths-explored

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing a great deal of anxiety, we might come to think people are irrational, selfish or downright crazy. We see people showing up to public venues en masse or clearing supermarket shelves of toilet paper.

Experts are often ignored. We hear inconsistent information and arguments filled with fallacious reasoning being accepted by a seemingly large number people.

The answer for the kind of panicked flurry in reasoning may lie in a field of critical thinking called vice epistemology. This theory argues our thinking habits and intellectual character traits cause poor reasoning.

https://theconversation.com/how-not-to-fall-for-coronavirus-bs-avoid-the-7-deadly-sins-of-thought-133069

Please take these to heart…..do not fall victim to lies and misinformation….it can be deadly.

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The Virus And Social Media

I am sorry but social media can be doing more harm. than good.

We can always point to the access to information almost immediately as a positive….and on the other hand we can point to the morons that are challenging people to lick toilet seats or those dweebs that are spreading some sort of conspiracy instead of much need clarity of information.

“The facebooks and twitters of today are nothing but tulip manias and other pyramid schemes that were well-known in late 18th century Europe. They provide no service and make nothing of value, but they are rather adept, for a brief while, at convincing quite a few people that they do.” (Baruch Pletner)

We are staying home and interacting through social media….but is that a good thing?

Everything that we’re currently enduring would be worse without the Internet. Without it, we wouldn’t be getting nearly as much information nearly as quickly. Our ability to look up what doctors are saying would be nil. Our ability to know what the coronavirus is doing in other countries would be limited to foreign correspondents. Our knowledge about the crisis we’re facing would be limited to what we could find out from the television, the radio, newspapers, and magazines.

https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/internet-and-social-media-in-the-age-of-coronavirus/

The optimistic view is that social media could prove useful at a time when many of us are otherwise isolated from one another. Conversations around the coronavirus, especially those at the community level, can help us navigate this crisis, says Jeff Hancock, a professor of communication at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Social Media Lab. Those discussions are “reflecting how society is thinking and reacting to the crisis,” Hancock says. “They’re allowing society to sort of talk its way through what is an unprecedented kind of threat.” Scientists and other public health experts are also using social media to more directly engage with the public or discuss emerging research, while community leaders are using it to form ad-hoc volunteer networks to help vulnerable neighbors.

https://time.com/5802802/social-media-coronavirus/

https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/12/21175570/coronavirus-covid-19-social-media-twitter-facebook-google

WHO and other public health organizations also use social media to inform the public about the outbreak, and control the panic. Of course, it doesn’t mean that misinformation is not being circulated among social media users. For many people, conspiracy theories are a natural response to the senseless cruelty of this crisis. They offer clarity and an opportunity to blame someone for the havoc. So it’s not unreasonable that a number of dangerous conspiracy theories ‘blew up’, offering interesting, albeit completely incorrect ways of viewing the situation. Some claim that the virus is a biological weapon, created by either the US (to kill Chinese people) or China (to kill Americans). Some claim that the outbreak was orchestrated by big tech – to undermine China’s status as the world capital of high-tech manufacturing.

https://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2020/03/03/the-pandemic-infodemic-how-social-media-helps-and-hurts-during-the-coronavirus

All I am trying to say is to be leery of the information you may get from social media…….go to reliable sites for that info.

“Virus Truthers” have made their appearance…..remember those types from a decade ago?

NBC News is calling them “coronavirus deniers”; the Daily Beast is going with “coronavirus truthers.” These are the people—most of them conspiracy theorists or far-right activists—who started the #FilmYourHospital hashtag urging people to head out to their local hospitals, film the entrances, and then post the results on social media. Their argument: Things seem pretty quiet at these hospitals despite harrowing reports to the contrary. As NBC points out, just because the outside of a hospital appears calm doesn’t mean the inside is. And an expert notes that some hospitals, even in hard-hit areas like New York City, may simply be quieter than others: “There can be particularly high-risk neighborhoods within a hot spot. There may be hospitals where they’re not putting refrigerated morgue trucks out the door. If you take it all together, it’s one big picture. If you look at it separately, it may look like another.”

Adds Will Sommer at DB, “The videos also don’t consider that, as hospitals cancel elective surgeries and ban visitors, fewer people could be parking at the hospital. The videos also don’t take into account the fact that coronavirus patients are likely isolated from the rest of the hospital, meaning they can’t be easily seen by walking past an entrance or lobby.” The phenomenon started when former Fox News commentator Todd Starnes tweeted a video Saturday of a calm-looking Brooklyn Hospital Center; the next day, a New York City councilman tweeted a video of bodies being loaded onto an 18-wheeler outside the same hospital. Even so, the hashtag (which Sommer notes was started and proliferated by QAnon conspiracy theorists) and accompanying conspiracy theory had already taken off, with thousands tweeting about it by Monday and people including a onetime California congressional candidate posting similarly quiet-appearing videos of hospitals. A Fox News contributor retweeted, then deleted, that video.

It will get crazier as the pandemic rages on…….

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How About The Conventions?

All this stuff about the virus and the damage it is doing…..during this time very few are thinking ahead to the nominating conventions this Summer…..and yet even with all the horrid news these conventions are still being planned to go forward as usual….for now……

Major summer events including the Olympics have been canceled or postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic—but it’s full steam ahead for the Republican National Convention, according to organizers. The North Carolina Republican Party says they are still planning to hold their statewide convention in May and the Republican National Committee is still planning to hold the national convention in Charlotte Aug. 24-27, Fox 46 reports. “We are fully committed to holding the Republican convention in Charlotte as planned and re-nominating President Trump,” says RNC chief of staff Michael Walters. “We have not had any substantive conversations about alternative scenarios.” Some states, including Texas and Virginia, have delayed party conventions and discussed virtual alternatives.

The Democratic National Committee has said it is going ahead with the July 13-16 convention in Milwaukee, though it said Monday that organizers are “exploring a range of contingency options to ensure we can deliver a successful convention without unnecessary risk to public health,” Politico reports. RNC organizers say the convention is in far better financial shape than the 2016 event and they hope to raise $65 million by the end of June.

Really?

Apparently politics takes a backseat to NOTHING….not even a pandemic that is killing the voters.

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Those Ventilators!

Closing Thought–31Mar20

We all have heard the horror stories of the shortages for must needed ventilators……there have been all sorts of accusations….from hoarding to shortages in supply….and then Donald of Orange decided that GM should get money (a billion dollars) to start-up manufacturing……

President Trump ordered General Motors on Friday to make ventilators for U.S. hospitals treating COVID-19 patients through a 1950’s wartime act⁠—but the company says it was already rushing to make the devices, the latest development in a weeks-long drama as officials rang alarm bells that ventilator shortages could lead to a higher death toll.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/03/30/trump-orders-gm-to-make-ventilators-10-days-after-company-says-it-started-making-them/#74e352cc7315

But wait!

MIT has come up with a ventilator that would cost $100……

Clinical and design considerations will be published online; goal is to support rapid scale-up of device production to alleviate hospital shortages.

One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators. These machines can keep patients breathing when they no longer can on their own, and they can cost around $30,000 each. Now, a rapidly assembled volunteer team of engineers, physicians, computer scientists, and others, centered at MIT, is working to implement a safe, inexpensive alternative for emergency use, which could be built quickly around the world.

The team, called MIT E-Vent (for emergency ventilator), was formed on March 12, 2020, in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its members were brought together by the exhortations of doctors, friends, and a sudden flood of mail referencing a project done a decade ago in the MIT class 2.75 (Medical Device Design). Students working in consultation with local physicians designed a simple ventilator device that could be built with about $100 worth of parts. They published a paper detailing their design and testing, but the work ended at that point. Now, with a significant global need looming, a new team, linked to that course, has resumed the project at a highly accelerated pace.

https://scitechdaily.com/mit-posts-free-plans-online-for-an-emergency-ventilator-that-can-be-built-for-100/amp/

MIT is offering the instructions for free on-line…..and yet GM is working on $1 billion as a start-op price tag…..now thinking about that people.

One more….taxpayer money used to make profits off of ventilators……

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tried to plug a crucial hole in its preparations for a global pandemic, signing a $13.8 million contract with a Pennsylvania manufacturer to create a low-cost, portable, easy-to-use ventilator that could be stockpiled for emergencies.

This past September, with the design of the new Trilogy Evo Universal finally cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, HHS ordered 10,000 of the ventilators for the Strategic National Stockpile at a cost of $3,280 each.

https://www.propublica.org/article/taxpayers-paid-millions-to-design-a-low-cost-ventilator-for-a-pandemic-instead-the-company-is-selling-versions-of-it-overseas-

Then there is GM and its demands…..

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/28/pers-m28.html

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