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Messages - The Gem Cutter

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General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: April 19, 2020, 09:06:50 PM »
Not sure what he said, it doesn't pay to keep track. But testing is free; treatment is not. This will lead to bankruptcies and hospital financial strain, on top of everything else. Which leads to hospital layoffs etc., adding more strain. vicious cycles of vicious cycles.

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: April 19, 2020, 05:26:31 PM »
I don't know what's happening in Europe, but in America, cascading secondary impacts in multiple sectors are combining and recombining. Social, economic, medical, and political pressures are going to continue to grow and spill over from their traditional 'areas' into others. Most people without employment have no healthcare, and even a brief analysis tells you that as the spread continues, that fact will combine with unemployment to yield huge numbers of angry, sick, and desperate people, many of whom are uninformed, misinformed, and influenced by a wide variety of disinformation. I do not preach from the mount - I am as vulnerable as anyone to this dynamic.

My point is that everyone, everywhere in America, should be prepared for violence and civil unrest in the weeks and months ahead.

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: April 07, 2020, 06:15:29 AM »
It struck me how strange that we are all facing essentially the same things all across the globe at the same time. My family and I are doing well - I hope you and yours are as well. I believe great good can and will come of all this. But we have to slog through April and May, which will be difficult. Be prepared for anything and everything. I am most concerned about doubling of our troubles - weather, unrest, shortages, hostile actions, utility-losses. Even modest issues will be magnified in their impact(s). My analogy is taken from fact - most fatal car accidents involve two or more relatively uncommon or rare situations happening at once. As we swerve to deal with this virus, it would be terrible to have to deal with ... anything else. Stay frosty.

I wanted to follow up on my doctor friend, the one who was terrified not long ago (and still is, beneath the bravado). He has charged into things in the Detroit area. Short version, he brushed aside the crisis center director's emphasis on hoping this and that in a major meeting. The fallout - he has been tapped to assume control of the city's response. Of course, as a former superior in the military and as his conscience and cheerleader whispering in his ear, I get to feel a little warm about his contributions. Look at the kid go!

If there's a point, it is that giving a little support here and there make a big difference later on - so us old farts on the bench have a role, after all :)

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: March 30, 2020, 07:43:47 PM »
Adding to @Rostum 's list:

Much more telework, with related shifts in brick & mortar
Changes in popular home architecture, leaning toward older, more compartmentalized layouts that support telework better
Changes in family layout - people are huddling and although many will want to get back away from each other, many will come to prefer living communally.

Writers' Corner / Re: Only Mostly Dead Poets Society
« on: March 29, 2020, 11:01:44 PM »
Deep inside it slumbers when no wolf’s at the door,
And fear is just a small thing, far off and no more.
It only wakes from slumber when the danger's great and near,
And strength is what is needed to face down all our fear,

Remember the brave ones who came long before,
Who did what they had to with less and for more.
Remember the ones who now stand in that space,
Between the weak and the helpless and the harm that they face.

Remember the fearful are looking to you,
And courage is a choice that the will must see through.
Fear leaps heart to heart if we let it, so don’t.
Be brave, be the one who could break, but won’t.

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: March 25, 2020, 03:51:11 AM »
I had no idea my analogies could evoke geological events until this moment. Now, what to do with this power?

I veer between terrified for myself, my family, and vast swaths of society vs. a sort of numb “whatever happens we’ll deal with it” pseudo-calm. An infinity of worst-case scenarios unfolds in my imagination. Breadlines, riots, wars, and more. There is an argument that the financial impact is going to be more devastating than the illness (but that’s a discussion for the Virus thread). In any case, it’s the worry about financial impacts on everyone that have me whirling. And hungry, frustrated masses of people are not to be trusted with weapons.

A good friend is a doctor in the Detroit area. He asked me to tell him how to be brave, how to overcome fear. Of course, this is a great honor, to be confided in, to be trusted to be honest, and most of all, to be considered brave enough to answer. He is a new father; his daughter is perhaps a month old. He is at risk of exposure and has conditions that could lead to a difficult time if/when he gets it.

I told him to acknowledge that he is afraid, and that being afraid is a sensible thing. I told him to keep busy and never pause. I told him to steel himself and develop a sense of cigar-chomping bravado, to be shameless in referencing literature and film for examples. I told him to use mantras to strengthen his courage "Fear is the mind-killer..." and to employ them without shame. More than anything else, I told him to focus on others and their fear, to convince himself that he is stronger than they are, and that they need him, to remember that he is surrounded by the weak, and that they needed him to be strong. Strength for the self limited; strength for someone else is an entirely different and more powerful thing.

I told him "Remember that you are serving and defending those who cannot defend themselves. You are their protector, the sentinel in the dark watches of the night. It is you who stands between harm and the helpless." It worked for me, and I am no braver than anyone else. Perhaps it will work for you.

Someone touched something other than the lamp in the Cave of Wonders, so I've been sent out to sort things out!  ;D

. . .

Hope you are all well in every sense of the word. Looking forward to hearing how you are all doing.

I don't know what the Cave of Wonders is, but it's a delight to have you back, @The Gem Cutter.

The biggest update for me personally is that I finally have a publishing contract, in Roumania of all places. There is a separate thread on all that, and how it came about.

"Who disturbs my slummmmmberrrr!?"

So happy for you Eli. I think of you and Iceland often.

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: March 25, 2020, 03:34:18 AM »
I don't know what kind of response has been mounted in the various European countries, but I am absolutely livid at the Government and a few of my acquaintances whose blase attitude has done nothing but make people more prone to consider this whole thing an exaggerated chest cold. This is killing people.

As Captain Analogy, I have adopted this approach to describe our situation: The water at the beach has flowed out. Lifeguards yell for people to run, and we do, calling on everyone to do the same. Fools call us names and crack jokes at the stranded sea life. Meanwhile, the water has paused and now begins to return.

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: March 25, 2020, 03:27:05 AM »
Alex went from a mild fever and nothing else to extreme fatigue. We remain under house arrest. Our long-acquired (not hoarded at the last minute at everyone else's expense) larder remains well stocked and we're actually eating better than normal, I think. No junk food. No excess. I ... I think we're 'adulting'

During my time away I went through a rough period. Almost divorced. Started going to marriage and personal counseling. I am doing well all around. I am still not immune from issues - no one is - but I am learning and growing and all that happy horseshit :)

Someone touched something other than the lamp in the Cave of Wonders, so I've been sent out to sort things out!  ;D

I've been gone awhile, so surely any bar-tab should be forgotten, I would hope. Anyways, I am back and will start checking in more often. Short version: I am well. One son infected with the dreaded virus. I have us on a war footing. Wife and son are stopping all work this week. Other sons on their own, but they're near and I will help them if they need it. I have a cat named Charlie who is very vocal and friendly and comes when I call him.

Hope you are all well in every sense of the word. Looking forward to hearing how you are all doing.

General Discussion / Re: The Virus thread
« on: March 24, 2020, 03:06:55 AM »
Someone in the Cave of Wonders apparently touched something other than the lamp and POOF! Coronavirus.

I've been busy and continue to work from home, but mostly I am monitoring things and ... being me.

My preparations over the last two years are paying off. I have a month's worth of food for myself and my family (wife plus 3). 2 of my three sons no longer live with me, so that means I can last most of the summer. I have food,  the means to defend my neighborhood, communications, medical gear (mostly itchy-owie stuff and trauma kit), and a new big old suburbitank with which to rule the highways in the post-apocalyptic landscape.

I hope you all are well. My oldest son was diagnosed as having the virus today, but other than that, me and mine are doing well. I hope you are all doing what you can to prepare and remain healthy.

Whirlwind tour of Ireland. Ferrying to Scotland tomorrow.

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