Mulching in the skateboard park at Nock…..brilliant?

Couldn’t agree with Mike Cronan’s letter in the Newburyport Daily News more.

The reactions of local authorities to the coronavirus are head scratchers.

Mulching in the skateboard park near Nock was an embarrassing piece of government overreach. It got Newburyport some “great” press!

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Covid-19 Dashboard for May 4th, ZERO teenagers have died from the coronavirus. Confining/Restricting teenagers is based then on what supporting health statistics? Destroying three months of schooling and activities for teenagers over these obvious numbers doesn’t make sense.

How about taking local action based on these statistics instead: The average age of the Massachusetts fatalities is 82, and 95% of the fatalities were seventy and over. How would closing schools and confining teenagers fix those stats? How has confining folks in nursing homes and healthcare facilities helped those stats?

The healthy and productive, as well as kids of all ages, have played along passively for far too long. The numbers do not support the treatment those groups have been enduring. Time for them to press the “had enough” button and at least question the actions of local officials.

(Sent this to the Newburyport Daily News on May 6, 2020)

 

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Letter to the Newburyport Daily News editor (April 16, 2020)

Things are tough at the Newburyport Daily News according to today’s front page.

Potential advertising revenue is drying up in the current climate.

No longer unaffected by coronavirus, the NDN is now better aware of the financial impacts many in this area already know.

Ending the shutdown safely/quickly would certainly be in the paper’s best interests. What could they do? Publish stories that create momentum toward a quick/safe reopening.

Today’s edition had a front-page article titled, “Gov: state seeing ‘the surge’ of cases.” Within that article, Governor Baker is quoted saying, “…we are pretty well-positioned to deal with this.” The title suggests that there’s trouble coming, not as it might have suggested, that we’re ready for it.

We need hope. We need to read that we’re making progress toward a quick/safe ending. Create some momentum in that direction, please.

 

 

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Letter to the editor of the Newburyport Daily News

I am a subscriber to the online edition of the Newburyport Daily News.

I write to commend Mac Cerullo’s efforts on the NDN sports page. He’s kept things mostly local and that’s where most of our current attention is located. Through the Q’s & A’s with area high school athletes we are learning how they are coping in our current crisis. I’m saddened by the serious disruptions these kids are experiencing but optimistic because of the drive they show to hang in there and make the most of it.

The rest of the paper? Obviously, there are fewer pages. Why is it shrinking?  Explaining how things are really going at the NDN might make for an excellent editorial.

My advice to those running the NDN is to concentrate locally. It is my conclusion that the more stories you include from outside sources, the more obvious your political biases show.

I loved the simplicity of Lisa Anderson’s attack on the President in a letter-to-the-editor, but will tomorrow’s edition include an attack of some sort on Joe Biden?  Can’t wait to find out.

Mac Cerullo has tapped into a good, reader-worthy local theme. Will the rest of the writers at the NDN follow suit?

 

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Thoughts on Katherine Quigley’s interview in today’s Newburyport Daily News

Losing is not easy.

Immediately after a tournament loss at Lowell High School I asked the losing coach for, “her take on what had happened.” She replied, “We lost,” and then gave me a look which suggested that my next question could well be the last question I ever asked!

The coronavirus has made “losers” out of all of us.

We’ve had 2+ weeks to settle into the new reality and many of us haven’t settled well.

We’re missing people and we’re missing things.

The hardest part about all this is that the end of it is totally uncertain. Therefore, putting dates on events like the senior prom, graduation, or a field trip to somewhere is foolish. Why make “promises” under these conditions? Yet the MIAA insists on doing just that by making post-CV scheduling plans. Shame on them IMO.

Katherine Quigley

The first question we ask those who are away from us these days is, “How are you doing?” Everyone has an answer and a story. Katherine Quigley of Triton responded to that question in today’s Newburyport Daily News.

It was good to see that Katherine can see the Big Picture despite all the interruptions she’s facing. “I do understand,” she said, “that the world is in a pandemic and losing these things to save lives and ‘flatten the curve’ is worth it.”

Filling an uncertain amount of time while being housebound is not easy. We’re used to time constraints. Things having a beginning and an end. What pressure do I have to get anything done when the next day I’m in the same setup?

But these are times when some folks separate themselves from the rest of us. They find something to do on their own. They get themselves engaged with a task of their own choosing and busy themselves doing it. They’re not bored. They’re not stagnant. And the time goes by productively. Easy for me to write!

I trust that the teenagers interviewed by the NDN will realize that though their lives are roughed up, it is even more of a troubling time for the adults in their lives. I can’t imagine how parents are coping all these days with school-aged kids at home.

When the school bus finally shows up at the end of the CV, the kids will run to get on the bus and the parents will not try to slow them down!

Nice to see that Katherine is staying positive with the underclassmen on the softball team. Older siblings can make a difference at home.

I have seen Katherine pitch a lot of games. She is very good at it and committed to it. She’s also way too polite when interviewed afterward! I trust/pray that the CV will end and that Katherine and the rest of us will get our away-from-home lives back again. I would also ask Katherine to take good care of a couple of my former students in the meantime that are also known as her parents.

 

 

 

 

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Schools will not reopen

Schools will not reopen

Churches will not reopen.

Restaurants will not reopen.

Someone has to say it. This is our future.

Unless, of course, social distancing ends. And what are the chances of that happening?

In half a month, social distancing has gone from being considered a joke to now being close to a law.

I leave my house to go for a walk and see my neighbors keeping away from me, crossing the street to avoid being close to me.

There’s something in me that wants to be cavalier and return to the way things were. To take my chances.

I was working in close quarters with kids. I was attending church several times a week. I was occasionally eating out. But now each of those activities could prove fatal. I may not be afraid myself, but would I want to be responsible for bringing a fatal disease onto someone else? Definitely not.

And so, I optimistically cooperate, but after nearly two weeks, I see no end in sight.

I try to imagine what would have to be true for parents to feel comfortable enough to send their children back into the intimacy of a public/private school. Wouldn’t the fear of getting the virus have to end? How close is that? Each day there are stories and numbers shouting that there is no control.

Nice picture today in the Newburyport Daily News of the Rail Trail. Dogs and families were out of the house, getting some exercise and fresh air. Except that the story that went with the picture was that the mayor of Newburyport was threatening to close the Rail Trail because the social distancing rules weren’t being followed.

Hampton Beach is now closed to the public for the same reason.

Things are not trending away from social distancing. Just the opposite, so it seems.

Yet we’re supposed to believe that schools/churches/restaurants will reopen on a certain date in the near future? Are you naivete enough to believe that we are now capable of putting a date on when this crisis ends?

We must get the virus under control, and so far it hasn’t happened. There appears to be treatment available for most of the afflicted but not a means to prevent folks from being afflicted.

Promising reopening dates based on where we currently are is pure folly.

My advice: Pray for a miracle but also prepare for a very long haul.

 

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Lenovo Yoga C740 – Camera trouble fixed – Skype works

Are you having trouble using Skype on your new Lenovo Yoga C740?

I’ve been there and just gotten away from “being there!”

I tried to make Skype work yesterday. I could see the other party and hear the other party. They couldn’t see me.

Lenovo provides NO manual. They seem to make the false assumption that we can figure out things on our own. Sometimes we can. Other times? Not so much. We get frustrated with them and it goes from there.

I did not have any reason to even wonder about the camera part of my computer because I hadn’t used it. However, yesterday morning I was invited to a Zoom conference meeting online. It didn’t go well. I had trouble with the audio and the video, and it wasn’t the best of experiences for me.

I knew that Skype used both audio/video via the computer. I figured that if I could get Skype to work, then my next Zoom conference online would have a better chance to work properly too.

A relative of mine did me a favor and installed Skype on their computer. I tried to Skype to them. Didn’t go well. We could hear each other, and I could see them, BUT they couldn’t see me.

Obviously, something was wrong with the part of the computer that pictures me.

I have pictured what was attached to the top of my computer. It sure looked to me as if it had something to do with the camera. But without a manual I didn’t realize that what I was seeing was NOT supposed to be permanently attached to the top of the computer. IT WAS A STICKER!

I removed the sticker and underneath it was the “eye” of the camera. Above that “eye” I found a very small lever. It can be moved, and it closes off the “eye” of the camera.

With that sticker off, I was able to connect to my relative and have the video working just fine.

Quite embarrassing that it took me so long to figure out that what I saw at the top of the Lenovo Yoga C740 was a sticker and only needed to be removed to make the camera work.

If you’re reading this, please make sure the sticker I pictured is removed from your computer. Skype works a whole lot better when it is!

 

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Are you worried about the rising coronavirus cases and deaths?

Scared yet?

How can you help but not be!

Every day another set of numbers.

And every day those numbers include more deaths and more coronavirus cases.

It’s depressing. It’s discouraging.

What will it take to get those two numbers under control?

Avoid everyone?

Stay inside?

But for how long?

The upturning numbers won’t stop upturning.

Will it be days? Weeks? Or even months?

Who knows?

Let me offer some good news. Let me offer some hope. Some encouragement.

Those numbers we’ve been seeing may mean something positive.

I will now post some data. Please, don’t quit reading. There’s a positive to be found. Here’s the data:

March 8       22 deaths                541 cases                4.06%

March 9       26 deaths                704 cases                3.69%

March 10    30 deaths                 994 cases                3.01%

March 11     38 deaths                1295 cases                2.95%

March 12    42 deaths               1695 cases                2.52%

March 13    49 deaths               2247 cases                2.27%

March 14    57 deaths               2954 cases                1.93%

March 15    68 deaths               3680 cases                1.84%

If you look at the information, you’ll see that the deaths and the cases are indeed rising. As we’ve been told and told!

BUT then there’s the third number. That number is the percentage of fatalities on each day.

Are you seeing that this number is going DOWN?

More cases BUT less fatalities.

What’s going on there?

Could it be that on the early dates those being tested were mostly there because of symptoms?

Could it also be that, as the days passed, more people were tested because of their association despite having no symptoms?

Marcus Smart of the Celtics played a game against the Utah Jazz recently. Several days later, a Jazz player had symptoms and tested positive.

Then because of association, Marcus and the other Celtics were tested. They were tested without symptoms. Marcus tested positive. He was then quarantined and as far as I’ve heard has not exhibited any symptoms.

I’m guessing that the number of those likely to be tested because of association will increase. Some like, Marcus Smart, will not only be tested but will turn up positive without symptoms.

They will be on the case list but not on the fatality list.

What do the numbers suggest? The percentage of deaths from the coronavirus is declining. We need not panic over the cases/death total as long as the death percentage continues to decline.

 

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