Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Scene from the Walk--Coping with Coronavirus

Flowering Crabapple
Elkridge, MD
April 6, 2020
As part of my new normal there is the daily walk with the dog or sometimes dogs. Makayla frequently makes clear that she is not interested in the daily activity and is allowed to stay behind and watch TV.  

Found oe Reddit
Being Springtime, the walk allows me the opportunity  to see the Spring arrive in the flowers and the trees. The past couple days have been especially enjoyable as the skies have been clear and the sun warm. Each day, it seems, there is something new to see and enjoy. I have enjoyed seeing the transition of colors in the trees and flowers. From the whites, to the pinks, and reds there seems a progression that is followed every year which allows the bees to find constant sources of food until the summer flowers emerge. 

My big "event" yesterday was going to the allergist for my biweekly shot. I considered skipping it, but Chris reminded me that it is springtime and if I skip my shot I likely will develop a sinus infection that will require going to a doctor for medicine and that doctor will also be caring for coronavirus patients, unlike the allergist. 

During my downtime between brushing the pool and projects, I have begun scouring the internet for interesting things. Yesterday I found this image of a kingfisher which reportedly took years and 720,000 attempts to get perfect. And it is a magnificent image. 

The images and my daily walk help me to find beauty and joy despite the news of the day. I can affect my personal world while I may not be able to change the larger world.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, April 6, 2020

Monday Musings - April 6, 2020

1. It is the first Monday of April and of the week which is being called the Pearl Harbor in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus for the US.

2. The new normal is affecting every facet of life. I am amazed at how empty the roads are when I have to go to the store.

3. I have been driving for the third week on the same tank of gasoline and I still have three-quarters of a tank. 

Bumblebee on Chris's Glove
Elkridge, MD
April 4, 2020
4. Chris helped a bumblebee the other day. It crawled upon her work glove and sat in the sun for a few minutes. We are careful to not use any insecticides around to house to help protect the bee population.

5. Brushing the pool four times per day is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. It goes fairly quickly. I am excited that the pool will soon bee ready for the season. We are going to have to have a big pool party when the "stay at home" order is finally lifted!

6. Chris and I are learning some new technology tools. We are becoming Zoom and Google Duo warriors! They are helping us to stay connected.

Keep Your Distance
Wegmans, Columbia, MD
April 4, 2020
7. It is Holy Week! Easter is upon us and the new normal is changing the way we approach the holiday. The pastor at church yesterday said that without all of the usual activity to keep us distracted, it will be just us and Jesus at the Easter dinner table.

8. Leadership is critical during times of crisis. I have seen examples of both great and poor leadership during the past week. Great leaders model good behavior and put their troops and people above self and career.

9. The new normal: signs on the grocery store floor to help patrons remain a safe distance from each other.

10. History Today. April 6, 1917, two days after the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare war against Germany, the U.S. House of Representatives endorses the declaration by a vote of 373 to 50, and America formally enters World War I.
When World War I erupted in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson pledged neutrality for the United States, a position that the vast majority of Americans favored. Britain, however, was one of America’s closest trading partners, and tension soon arose between the United States and Germany over the latter’s attempted quarantine of the British Isles. Several U.S. ships traveling to Britain were damaged or sunk by German mines, and in February 1915 Germany announced unrestricted warfare against all ships, neutral or otherwise, that entered the war zone around Britain. One month later, Germany announced that a German cruiser had sunk the William P. Frye, a private American vessel. President Wilson was outraged, but the German government apologized and called the attack an unfortunate mistake.


The U.S. was beset by denial and dysfunction as the coronavirus raged - The Washington Post

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Shopping with the New Normal

Me, With My New Mask
At Wegman's, Columbia, MD
April 4, 2020
Making our first trip into the "wild" yesterday, Chris and I visited Wegmans to obtain our two-week supply of food as we hunker down at home. 

We heeded the new guideline to wear masks in public and we also wore gloves to not only protect us from the world, but to protect the world from ourselves. 

With respect to wearing masks, I was distressed at the failure of the president to lead. One of the most important aspects of leadership is to model acceptable behaviors. When the president says that we should wear masks in public, but then goes on to say:  

“I just don’t want to be doing – somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk, the great Resolute Desk, I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but this will pass, and hopefully it will pass very quickly.” (The Guardian)

That, friends, represents a failure of leadership! Rationalize his statement however you will, the end result is inescapable. Leaders must lead, not make excuses. They are judged by there actions and their results.

line Waiting to get into Wegmans
Columbia, MD
April 4, 2020
So with my new mask on my face, I found that shopping in Wegmans was a totally new experience. There is a line (queue) to enter the store and we waited for about 15 minutes before being allowed inside. Once inside we were directed to a station to wash our hands and sanitize our shopping cart. Everyone practiced social distancing. It was very weird to have people obviously avoiding getting near me like I was infected with the plague--Oh wait, I might be infected, no one knows. 

Sign Directing People to the Checkout Queue
Columbia, MD
April 4, 2020
On the plus side of the new normal equation, walking the aisles on a Saturday was a pleasant experience because the store limited the number of patrons who can enter. Even the check out is different, there is a single line with big dots on the floor designed to help patrons maintain acceptable social distancing. The store needs a dictionary because the cue referenced on the sign never materialized. There was, however, a queue. The wait to get to a register was minimal and I was impressed by the cleaning that is done between each customer. 

The new normal is anything but normal. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Coping with "Stay at Home"

The Pool Filled and Inviting--But Not Yet Ready
Elkridge, MD
April 3, 2020
 It is April. Spring has arrived! 

How am I coping with Maryland's "stay at home" order? I am working around the house and getting ahead on my Springtime projects.

I have fixed the tractor and mowed the lawn. Each day on our walk I marvel at the leaves on the trees as they open more and more and their shadows change from branches into a canopy.

Mulch in the Drive
Elkridge, MD
April 3, 2020
And my pool is open! It is too cold to swim and the chemicals are still being balanced--but it is open and I no longer have to look at the cover when I look into my backyard. Yes, I have to brush the newly installed plaster four times per day for the next two weeks, and then twice per day for the following two weeks, but then it will be May and the pool will be open for activity--if social distancing is lifted!

The mulch was delivered yesterday. Another outdoors project designed to help me celebrate Spring and cope with the "stay at home" order. And there are some stumps in the yard, remnants of the majestic ash trees that used to provide shade, that need grinding. Perhaps if the weather holds I will rent a stump grinder and enjoy working with heavy equipment for a day!

Finding things to do and taking advantage of the time  to accomplish things that I would otherwise have to cram into a busy schedule is an advantage of forced "stay at home."

I think I will be more than ready, however, when I am free to move about and my regularly over-scheduled life resumes. I am feeling a trip to Florida coming on! It will never replace my lost trip to Italy--but the change of scenery when this is all over will be great!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, April 3, 2020

Another Coronavirus Day

Maple Tree Seeds, or Samaras
From My Walk
Elkridge, MD
April 2, 2020
Sheltering in place, or staying at home to avoid becoming infected, is at least saving me money on gas! There, I found a silver lining in the dark cloud. 

During my daily walk to ensure sanity, I spied a clump of maple tree seeds, properly known as samaras, hanging on a tree bearing the red color of springtime. With the blue sky behind them, I just had to try and get an image. 

But returning to the dark cloud, it is a bit darker this morning. 

There is a disturbing report in the Washington Post that suggests we will need to live with social distancing for 18 months. 

Coronavirus will radically alter the U.S. - The Washington Post

It comes complete with the following graphic:
Models from researchers at Imperial College London suggest that wide adoption of measures to reduce the transmission of the novel coronavirus can reduce the demand for critical health-care services, in part by spreading the demand over a longer period. The major challenge is that those measures will need to be maintained until a vaccine becomes available, or transmission will quickly rebound. (Tim Meko)

So the good news is that we can positively affect the course of the virus and rescue the deaths. The sobering news is that our new lifestyle may well continue into 2021 unless or until a vaccine is developed and widely distributed. 

I hope you have a great day. The day is dawning here with bright blue skies and sunshine! I hope that you are experiencing the same.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Creating a New Normal

From This--The Pool
Elkridge, MD
March 31, 2020
 One of the hardest things to do during the lockdown is to find a new normal. 

What is the new normal? Everyone has a different idea about it. But everyone also needs to determine what is going to be normal for themselves. Life has changed.

A new normal example might be waking and reading for a while, then getting breakfast, taking care of the morning hygiene, going for a walk, then accomplishing at least one project before lunch. After lunch, I am finding that having one more project to accomplish and then finding some time to relax before sliding into happy hour is effective.  And then begins the evening.

We were lucky, yesterday, that we had the replastering of the pool to break the new normal.

To This - The Pool
Elkridge, MD
April 1, 2020
Chris and I were spectators as a crew replastered our pool. It was quite a thing to watch during the day and I hate to say it, but it dod break the new normal monotony. When the replastering was complete, the pool was transformed from an ugly hole in the ground that I ashamed of into a beautiful new structure designed to ensure enjoyment of the summer and the weather that is ahead. 

Now the real work begins and it will help with the new normal as the pool needs regular, multiple times per day brushing for the next four weeks! Something to add into our coronavirus shelter in place. 

Find something to do, like a multi-day project, to fill the days while confined to our homes.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Deepening Lockdown

It's not a quarantine!  

Newly Mowed Lawn - First of the Season
Elkridge, MD
March 31, 2020
Quarantines are for sick or exposed people. For those of us who are not sick nor have been exposed, it is isolation!

Of course, the word isolation has been softened to "social distancing."

Snake in the Grass
Elkridge, MD
March 31, 2020
Chris and I complied yesterday with the stay at home order, only venturing out once during the early morning for essential food items. That written, we did have a number of workers over to work the pool project late during the day but we maintained our distance.  Today, hopefully the plaster will be applied and the real fun can begin. 

As I was reinstalling the pool pump, I discovered a snake out sunning itself--well, there wasn't any sun, but it is now the second time I have seen the snake in a week. 

And the news still gets bad. The New York Times is sponsoring a free section to provide news about the outbreak.

The Coronavirus Outbreak - The New York Times

Despite the bad news, don't lose heart. Remember that it is April Fool's Day! No, the bad news is not a cruel joke, it is real. 

From everything I am reading and seeing, closely following the guidelines for social distancing and personal hygiene is successful in keeping us safe.

Stay safe:

Do not congregate with strangers! 

Don't go into crowded stores or places where people are not practicing good social distancing. 

Wash your hands! 

Don't forget to wipe down your car in addition to the common surfaces in your house. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Finding Beauty in a Coronavirus World

Flowering Crabapple Against the Blue Sky
Elkridge, MD
March 30, 2020
Despite the beautiful day, with a crystal blue sky, the coronavirus threat lingered everywhere yesterday. During the day, the Maryland Governor issued new orders regarding businesses and a stay at home order which is a misdemeanor if violated. The order went into effect at 8PM last evening. 

Residents of D.C., Maryland and Virginia are ordered to stay at home - The Washington Post

Crabapple Tree in Full Bloom
Elkridge, MD
March 30, 2020
Chris and I are very respectful of the coronavirus and we made two attempts to go to Lowes for home project items and one attempt to go to the grocery store. We decided that the stores were too crowded to venture into and went home. We did actually enter Lowes on the second attempt only to see an incredibly long checkout line where people were not practicing social distancing and turned around and departed. Hopefully we can get what we needed on line. 

I was amazed, as I made an emergency trip to the grocery store as it opened this morning for the things we could not get last evening, at the traffic on I-95. I had expected the road to be mostly empty, but it was not. Apparently, the governor's stay at home order is not having the desired effect. 

In other news, the pool sat yesterday waiting for the next part of the process. But, Chris and I went for a walk with Finnegan, something which is still allowed under the stay at home order, and found that the flowering crabapple trees are in beautiful full bloom. Against the sky, they were stunning! It brought joy to our hearts during a time of such serious anxiousness. 

My advice--don't spend all day watching the news. It is too depressing. Watch enough of the news to know what is happening and then find else something to do!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday Musings - March 30, 2020

1. It is the last Monday of March and the month had effectively slipped away. Spring arrived, but the country has effectively been shut down by the coronavirus. 

Pool Refurbishment
Elkridge, MD
March 29, 2020
2. A team of three dedicated workers attacked my 27 year old pool yesterday with the intent of getting it ready for new plaster. While I was happy with how diligent they were in finding the bad places, I was appalled at the totality of the work. It will be ready for summer, of that I am sure.

3. Well, the baseball season has not yet gotten underway, but the good news is that the Orioles remain tied for first place in the American League East. 

4. It was a very busy Sunday around the house, the pool workers arrived shortly after 8 AM and I had to have the water on in the pool house and hoses ready for them--meaning, I had to hook them up after the winter. 

Tractor with Carburetor
Elkridge, MD
March 29, 2020
5. As part of the busy Sunday, my job was to clean the carburetor on my tractor and preform the springtime maintenance. The parts I needed arrived during the week and I had prepositioned the tractor in the garage. Let the fun times begin. I made one small mistake with the carburetor, I missed getting one of the jets back in properly and had to correct that problem, but everything came out OK in the end. 

6. The news about the coronavirus spread is not encouraging. We each need to continue to do our part to be safe, but it is becoming apparent that the actions we take today cannot erase the indiscretions of last week. With testing running a week behind for results, the virus remains ahead of the healthcare system.

7. The year 2020 is definitely off to a rough start. With a quarter of the year gone by, the stock market has crashed, there is a pandemic that is shutting down business, and people are afraid and sheltering in their homes afraid of their neighbors. Perhaps it can only get better from here.

8. Today in History. On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.
The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahanty was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.


How Much Should the Public Know? - The New York Times

Rich Europeans Flee Virus for Second Homes, Spreading Fear and Fury - The New York Times

President Trump extends social distancing through April 30th - OANN

Saudi officials stop 2 ballistic missile attacks - OANN

Russia weighs nationwide coronavirus lockdown after Moscow acts - Reuters

U.S. crude dips below $20 as lockdowns hit demand - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Waiting out the Coronavirus

The cat and the dog are providing much needed entertainment during the coronavirus confinement. 

Finnegan Watching the Squirrel
Elkridge, MD
March 28, 2020
Finnegan believes that he is the great protector of the porch. He sits at the door and watches the squirrels cruise the porch looking for peanuts and other morsels that Chris feeds to the bird. Every so often, we open the door and he launches himself onto the porch to chase the squirrels--it is humorous to watch the six pound Yorkie purposefully walk along the deck to ensure no squirrels are hiding or attempting to access the area. The birds do not seem to mind him as they are up on the railing enjoying the peanuts free of squirrel interference. 

Riordin and the Coffee Pot
Elkridge, MD
March 28, 2020
Riordin has become another source of entertainment. He is inquisitive and clearly fits the old saying that "curiosity killed the cat." He wants to know and be involved in everything. We acquired a new coffee pot the other day to expand our coffee options--K-cups for our Keurig have been in short supply. Riordin was all about the new pot and the box to the point where I had to physically remove him form the area so that we could prepare cleanse the pot for its first brewing. 

The movies on TV--and all of the available channels, have become so much the same. Chris and I have begun watching the old Blue-ray movies that we have in our collection. Last evening's movie was Angels and DemonsThankfully, we also have some "live" entertainment in the cat and the dog to change things up a bit. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Today is Gonna Be a Great Day

Dawn over the Truck
Elkridge, MD
March 27, 2020
I could tell, yesterday was going to be a great day! 

The Pool, Mostly Drained
Elkridge, MD
March 27, 2020
It was Friday, after all! The day dawned beautiful and clear.

Yes, I had to go to work, but the day was mild with temperatures in the 60's and mostly blue skies and sunshine. It was also the day when Chris and I tool the cover off the pool in preparation for having it resurfaced. 

The pool did not winter well. It was warm this winter with not a great deal of precipitation and although the water was clear, the pool was not in good condition. We drained it to begin the resurfacing process. I was, frankly, embarrassed by its condition. But, I am hopeful that the new plaster that will be installed next week will inhibit the algae growth by being smoother. 

Fire Pit in Action
Elkridge, MD
March 27, 2020
But, in a great ending to the day, Chris and I enjoyed some wine around the fire pit and since we could not share Happy Hour with our friends we had Chipotle delivered and relished in the excessive calories making up for the lack of the usual Friday evening hors de oeuvres. Of course, there was only one bottle of wine, rather than the usual selection of multiple bottles from which to enjoy. 

Friday evenings have changed living under the coronavirus restrictions. But, we must strive to maintain our connectivity and some sense of normalcy. 

So, for some weird reason the theme song for Phineas and Ferb, titled Today is Gonna Be a Great Day came to mind as providing a template for dealing with coronavirus isolation. The first verse is as follows:

There's 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it 
Like maybe...
Building a rocket
Or fighting a mummy
Or climbing up the Eiffel Tower
Discovering something that doesn't exist (Hey! )
Or giving a monkey a shower

Surfing tidal waves
Creating nanobots
Or locating Frankenstein's brain (It's over here! )
Finding a dodo bird
Painting a continent
Or driving your sister insane (Phineas! )
As you can see
There's a whole lot of stuff to do
Before school starts this fall (Come on Perry)

Have imagination to find new things to do each day. We are only isolated when be believe that we are!

Today is Gonna Be a Great Day!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, March 27, 2020

Opening Day 2020, Not!

Yesterday was the originally planned opening day for Major League Baseball's (MLB) Baltimore Orioles and most of the league. 

Why do I get so excited about Spring and baseball?

Rogers Hornsby, a baseball star from a century ago said it best when it comes to the return of baseball.

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball,” Hornsby once said. “I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”  
-- From the New York Times article It’s Opening Day. Baseball Is Closed.

People who know me know that I, similar to Rogers Hornsby, look out the window during the winter and wait for spring. Why? Because spring is when baseball begins again, and in truth it begins before spring in Florida and Arizona with Spring Training games. I am more fortunate than many MLB fans because I was lucky enough to attend four Spring Training games in Florida during February before the season stopped and then delayed. 

Orioles Game on TV to Celebrate Opening Day
Game from June 7, 2017
March 26, 2020
Of course, the real MLB opening day will now likely be in June, but I decided to enjoy yesterday as if it were Opening Day. I wore my Orioles jersey to work along with the cap I bought at Spring Training and my Orioles jacket. I was not the only person who similarly attempted to infuse some springtime cheer into those around me. During the day I imagined when I would be going to Camden Yards and reveling with the crowd--yes, a real baseball crowd not adhering to social distancing, and then enjoying my first beer of the baseball season. Chris also got into the spirit of the day. When I got home she had a ballpark dinner planned and we enjoyed sitting on the back deck in the full sun talking about Opening Days past and reveling in the warmth dressed in our best ballpark clothes. Oh yes, and there were adult beverages served as well. 

Trey Mancini
Once we came inside, we joined the broadcast of an Orioles game classic on MASN, from June 7, 2017. The game went 11 innings and the Orioles scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game--the two that tied the game were powered by a homer from Trey Mancini. The Orioles went on to win the game in the bottom of the 11th on a walk-off homer from Trey Mancini. It was good to see all of my favorite old Orioles who are no longer with the team while watching my favorite new Orioles player. Sadly, only four players from that team remain: Trey Mancini, Richard Bleier, Mychal Givens and Chris Davis. All four of these players appeared in this game. 

But hey, it was Opening Day, in my mind, and the Orioles won! What could be better?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, March 26, 2020

New Normal

The hardest part about sheltering, social distancing and the reduction in services and stores is finding a new normal. 

Hey, let's head out to a movie tonight? Nope!

Where are we meeting for Happy Hour? We aren't meeting.

Let's go to Orioles Opening Day! It was supposed to be today, but, well, baseball has been indefinitely delayed. 

Let's go over to the mall and checkout the sales. Not happening. (at least in the Baltimore-DC region)

The weather on Monday looks great, let's play golf! Also, not happening.

And since the gyms are closed, I'm not playing racquetball either.

So, let's walk the dog! At least we can walk the dog. Well, maybe the dog has other ideas. Finnegan has been a trooper and has been doing in excess of three miles per day on multiple walks. Makayla, on the other hand, is not so interested in heading out and chooses whether to walk or not based upon the weather. 

We each need to find the new normal and settle into the routine. Wishing we were doing something else of able to do something that we cannot do is not going to be healthy.

Chris and I found a new technology app last evening. Google Duo. It is an older app, but it allows video calling across platforms--like iPhone to Android. We called my parents and were able to see them and converse with them. It brightened both of our evenings. We may try having Happy Hour on Friday via Duo--together, but yet still apart. And it seemed to work every as bit as well as FaceTime, only better.

All part of finding the new normal!

Settle in, it is going to be a few more weeks before a sense of the old normalcy returns.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Mixed Signals?

Are we fighting to save lives or save the economy? Or, will saving lives ultimately save the economy?

The Governor of New York prophetically said it yesterday--"we are your future!" He was referring to the increase in coronavirus cases in New York, specifically the NYC region during the past days.

The New York Times reports:

Thousands of new coronavirus cases are being identified across the United States each day, including in large clusters in the New York City area, along the Gulf Coast and in the Pacific Northwest. As of Wednesday morning, at least 53,852 people across every state, plus Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories, have tested positive for the virus, according to a New York Times database, and at least 728 patients with the virus have died.

The graph below, from the same New York Times article, shows the numbers of new cases being reported in the U.S. each day. Here is the real rub, because of inadequate testing, we really do not yet have a handle on the actual numbers of cases out there. The virus is weeks ahead of our response.

Now is NOT the time to think about changing directions, despite the Lieutenant Governor of Texas being willing to die of the coronavirus for his grandchildren economic well-being and suggesting that other grandparents should likewise be willing to sacrifice themselves. My opinion: that is not the reasoned opinion of responsible leadership!

The shortsighted approach says that "we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself." The problem is that we really do not have a good handle on the magnitude of the problem! Look at Italy! The virus is a generation killer! The country has stopped. The medical system is overloaded and failing.  People are afraid.

There is a sobering article in Vanity Fair about the change of directions. The article, 

Surprise: Trump Started Itching to End Social Distancing After His Six Most Profitable Clubs Closed

opens with the following paragraph:

Over the past 24 hours, Donald Trump’s coronavirus journey has gone from telling people the disease is bad and they should stay home to pushing to “open up” the country by Easter, even if it means hundreds of thousands, if not millions, dying as a result. Obviously, some of his about-face can be attributed to caring more about the economy than literal lives, a genetic condition doctors describe as “being a giant asshole.” But on Tuesday evening, a shocking new report from the Washington Post shed some additional light on the president’s thinking: It’s possible Trump is suddenly gung ho about getting people back to work far earlier than public health experts recommend because—and you may want to sit down for this—his own financial situation will suffer otherwise.

If you want to try to digest some scientific analysis of the growth of the virus in the U.S. compared to other countries, I recommend a Forbes article titled Population Adjusted Coronavirus Cases: Top 10 Countries Compared. It is difficult reading, but provides a scientifically based assessment of where we are right now in the spread of the virus. The scary assessment is that we have not yet affected the spread of the virus in the U.S. and it is growing.

So is now the time to change "horses mid-stream?" I think not. The economy is down, but we should not be willing to sacrifice potentially thousands of Americans. I could not find a good projection of the potential death toll, but using Italy's numbers and comparing with the U.S. would translate to 37,000 US deaths--and the number continuing to rise. Remember, Italy is a few weeks ahead of us. AND, according to my analysis of the Forbes article, we are not being as effective at controlling the virus as Italy as this point. 

Leadership and encouragement is what we need. We need hope. 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
So let me give you some hope and encouragement. President Roosevelt closed his December 8, 1941 address to the nation after the Japanese attack on Hawaii with the following words:

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God.

This is our time. Let us be united in purpose and not be confused by the mixed signals that our elected leaders are sending.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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