Showing posts with label Coronavirus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coronavirus. Show all posts

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Here We Go Again

 Another new variant?

COVID-19 is mutating again! A new, and of course more  contagious variant that could replace the Delta variant has made its appearance in Russia according to a report on Reuters this morning.

Russia reports cases of more contagious COVID-19 variant - reports

Like we actually need another variant in the world. 

According to the report, 

It is possible that the AY.4.2 variant will spread widely, RIA quoted the state consumer watchdog's senior researcher Kamil Khafizov as saying.

That could cause the rate of new COVID-19 cases, already at record highs in Russia, to rise even further.

The new variant could even replace Delta eventually, although the process is likely to be slow, he said.

Like we really need more COVID-19!

Hopefully the vaccines will stand up to this new variant. And of course, it is clear that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine

 I wonder about the real reason that the Texas and Florida governors are directing vaccine mandates not be enforced in their states?

Are they thinning the herd?

Are they callous to the suffering that COVID-19 is causing?

Vaccines have become a rallying cry for a vocal minority who have chosen, for some reason, this particular hill upon which to make their stand. I view this hill as being similar to the hill upon which Custer and the 7th Calvary made their stand--and only some of their horses survived.

The arguments do not make sense in the face of staggering numbers. The numbers are so bad that Florida's governor is trying to hide the figures--which we must remember represent people: fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters.

This is not really about the virus--it is about saving lives. And not just the people who become infected with COVID-19--but the other people who need medical care but are finding in some places that the hospitals are appropriate care is unavailable. 

Second and third order effects!

Get vaccinated. The life you save may not be just your own!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

the Booster

I did it last evening.

I received my COVID-19 vaccine booster. 

Yup, since I'm eligible and it was recommended, due to my advanced age, I am now not only fully vaccinated, but within two weeks I will be fully boosted. 

Chris and I determined that since we are traveling, and much of the travel is to the misguided and poorly led states of Texas and Florida, we needed the extra protection. And we were eligible for the booster. We are also planning on a cruise in January--so additional protection was also desired. 

The person administering the booster shot indicated that since a lot of businesses are requiring vaccinations as a condition of employment, they are seeing a lot of first timers. 

So I will continue to be free to move about the country and the world for that matter. 

Get vaccinated and if eligible, get the booster. The price is right and it is a lot cheaper than getting COVID.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Vaccines and COVID-19

CAUTION: Potentially harsh words follow.

According to the CDC, unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die for COVID-19 than vaccinated people.

I don't get it! Why subject oneself to those kinds of numbers?  The data is out it, is verified and the reasons not to get vaccinated are pretty thin.

I find it strange that people are unwilling to get vaccinated citing all sorts of unfounded reasons including that the vaccine was not properly tests and yet, when they get COVID they race for the monoclonal antibody treatment--even more untested. 

Vaccine cost: $24

Monoclonal treatment: $2100

Do you wonder who is paying for that difference? We are! Nothing is free; all of this is going to come out in our taxes. 

What are the medical reasons for net getting vaccinated? There really aren't any according to a Forbes report titled:

What Are The Medical Exemptions For Not Getting A Covid-19 Vaccine?

The report states the following, as an answer to the question:

There are no known medical conditions which absolutely prevent a person from getting a Covid-19 vaccine.

Enough said--get the shot! Save a life, save your life. Beat the virus and let's stop dancing around. 

As for it being your right not to get vaccinated--not so! The Supreme Court has already upheld that mandatory vaccine laws are Constitutional in Jacobsen vs Massachusetts in 1905

So--if you lose your job because you don't want to get vaccinated--suffer in silence. You made the decision and you don't want to do your part to beat the virus, protect other people, and protect yourself. That's just selfish.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Pandemic Crimes

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
I wonder if the Governors of Texas and Florida should be charged with crimes for failing to rationally address the pandemic?

I know this seems extreme, but it is clear that these individuals are placing themselves, their aspirations, and their beliefs above the common good and concern for the populace.

Infections due to the Delta variant of COVID-19 are running rampant in their states and not only sickening, but killing people including children.   

Local communities should be able to respond to the pandemic as they desire. Having governors force policies which are potentially harmful to the populace is not responsible. Case in point--DeSantis ordering that school districts may not mandate that children wear facial coverings while in schools and then threatening to withhold the pay of administrators who seek to do otherwise. If he is unwilling to mandate facial covering wearing for the entire state, then he should not impede or threaten communities seeking to protect their children.

I know some see these governors as heroes, but the pandemic is raging and their time to act has passed, and now they should also pass.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Note: the blog was updated on 13 August to correct a factual error regarding Governor DeSantis's executive order.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Backward into the Abyss

 New recommendations from federal health officials this week on when vaccinated Americans should don face masks came with a startling bolt of news: People who have had their shots and become infected with the delta variant of the coronavirus can harbor large amounts of virus just like unvaccinated people. That means they could become spreaders of the disease and should return to wearing masks indoors in certain situations, including when vulnerable people are present. (The Washington Post)

We are taking a huge step backwards with respect to mask wearing--even vaccinated people now need to wear masks again indoors. And I have been advised this means where I work. 

Haven't we been here before?

Yes, but the numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths are forcing us to repeat history after a sweet and too short break. Life is not getting back to normal. There are too many unvaccinated people and they are getting everyone infected.

I cannot begin to explain how excited I am to wear my colorful masks again, watch my investments shrink, insurance rates rise while taxes increase to cover medical expenses. And to think, we have to go through this again because as a society could not achieve herd immunity.

It happened just as they said it would, but I am sure the non-believers are going to remain non-believers and continue to place themselves and their families and neighbors at risk. 

At least the roads should be free of traffic as everything shuts down again.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, July 16, 2021

On the Edge of the Abyss--A Rant

 Well it is happening.

As a country are taking strides backwards into the abyss of COVID-19. 

It fascinates and upsets me that so many in the country did not see this coming or if they did, they did not heed the warnings. But, the warnings were true despite all of the posturing on one of the news networks--if we do not get vaccinated we cannot get rid of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 is real. People need to get vaccinated or they may get sick and potentially die. 

I think it is clear that more Americans have been vaccinated than have been afflicted with COVID-19 and that the consequences of getting vaccinated are that the COVID-19 infection rate is near zero and those who get sick form the vaccine are also very low as compared to the virus. The anecdotal stories to the contrary do not compare well against reality.

But no! For some strange reason people continue to avoid the vaccine opting instead to become a burden on society when they get sick from the new mutation of COVID-19. 

Loa Angeles County is mandating facial coverings indoors again. 

Let me be clear: I do not like wearing a face mask!

Please--get vaccinated if you can so that we can all help protect those who for valid medical reasons cannot be vaccinated.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Please Get Vaccinated

Some of my Facial Coverings
Elkridge, MD
June 30, 2021

I do not enjoy wearing facial coverings in public places--like airplanes and stores, despite the fact that I have some of the most creative masks out there thanks to some great friends and former neighbors.

I do not enjoy lockdowns for public safety. 

The Delta COVID-19 variant is virulent. It reportedly is a threat to the over 50 percent of Americans who are not fully vaccinated. 

I have been enjoying the freedoms that living in a mostly vaccinated society provide. I even went to a concert the other evening and did not feel uneasy being around multitudes of other people who were not wearing facial coverings. 

Already the CDC is beginning to recommend that all people (vaccinated or not) wearing facial coverings to defend against the Delta variant because not enough Americans are vaccinated.

I believe the statistics are fairly obvious--the risk of getting COVID-19 AND suffering long term problems and possibly dying from it are far greater that any of the risks associated with getting vaccinated.

My conclusion--Get Vaccinated!

As an aside, I cannot answer the question that was retold to me the other day: "Why is the government making only people who are unvaccinated get COVID-19?"

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, June 28, 2021

Monday Musings - June 28, 2021

 1. Wow. It is the fourth and final Monday of June. There are 26 Mondays remaining in the year.  Next week it will be July and we will be celebrating the start of the second half of the year.

Crowd at Big Cork Concert
Rohrersville, MD
June 26, 2021

2. Chris and I went to an actual concert Saturday night on the lawn at a winery. The weather was great and the crowd was definitely not concerned about COVID.

3. I have noticed that many drivers are speeding along the roads at scary speeds and creating unsafe situations. 

4. Yesterday I moved a sofa and a mattress--what a great way to begin a hot June Sunday. Not!

5. There is something relaxing about lounging in the pool on a floatie on a hot afternoon.

6. What are decisions related to relocating so difficult? It seemed like a no brainer just a few months ago and now doubts are increasing about the planned residence change to Florida.

7. I am very happy that my condo in Florida is not in a high rise building. Chris and I had looked at some like that, but decided against them.

8. Today in History. Sometime after midnight on June 28, 1969, in what is now regarded by many as history’s first major protest on behalf of equal rights for LGBTQ people, a police raid of the Stonewall Inn—a popular gay club located on New York City's Christopher Street—turns violent as patrons and local sympathizers begin rioting against the authorities.

Although the police were legally justified in raiding the club, which was serving liquor without a license among other violations, New York’s gay community had grown weary of the police department targeting gay clubs, many of which had already been closed. 

Soon, the crowd began throwing bottles at the police. The protest spilled over into the neighboring streets, and order was not restored until the deployment of New York’s riot police sometime after 4 a.m. 

Unemployment Rolls Shrink Faster in States Cutting Aid - The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Airstrikes Hit Iranian-Backed Militias in Syria and Iraq - The Wall Street Journal

Possible Failure Point Emerges in Florida Building Collapse - The New York Times

Infrastructure Deal Is Back on Track After Biden’s Assurances - The New York Times

Records crushed in Pacific Northwest amid historic heat wave - The Washington Post

Trump Organization attorneys given Monday deadline to persuade prosecutors not to file charges against it - The Washington Post

North Korea sees 'propaganda value' in slimmer Kim, analysts sayAsia Pacific - Reuters

Analysis: Shut off from the world, Australia fosters red-hot growth at home - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

The signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 marked both the beginning of a new nation and the start of a great epoch in the history of political affairs. That day in Philadelphia, a Republic was born based on the idea of liberty for all. The Fourth of July is America's birthday celebration, but it is also a day of importance for anyone who believes in freedom.

The Declaration of Independence opened government to the people as never before. Each individual was acknowledged as possessing certain inalienable rights. And these rights in turn enabled our people to take part in their political system. Here was a true revolution, embodying the idea that government required the consent of those it governed. Overnight, Americans were acknowledged as citizens of a free land where they had once been only colonial subjects of a distant monarch.

To this day, this eloquent document detailing the rights of man and the concept of individual liberty is as moving as it is timely. It continues to hold profound meaning for us. We should remember the words of John Adams when he wrote of its signing to his wife Abigail as, ``the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.''

This Independence Day, 1985, let us be guided by the wisdom of that great American statesman and of all our Founding Fathers. As we commemorate 209 years of liberty today, let us pray for God's blessing and His help in safeguarding the precious legacy of the Declaration of Independence.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Masks, Vaccines, and the Mood


I'm feeling a change in the country.

A renewed sense of positivity! 

As the COVID-19 infection numbers drop and we begin to resume our lives which were put on hold for about 16 months--things are moving forward. Finally. 

I will not miss wearing a facial covering, I have to admit. I had to wear one in the allergist's office yesterday and I had forgotten how freeing it is not to wear one. I am lucky in that I do not have to wear one at work anymore. I am hoping to see less and less of the signs above. 

The vaccine seems to be working in reducing the rate and severity of infection.

I only wonder how long it will be effective?

But as the mood improves and the country gets back on its feet, I think we will finally be able to leave the darkness of the pandemic and move forward. 

All of this is a good thing.

When will the wineries open for tastings like BC (before covid)?

That is one question I still have.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, May 22, 2021



It is happening right before our eyes--the country is reopening. 


I can tell because the morning and afternoon traffic jams are becoming routine again on I-95 and Route 100. What took 10 minutes to travel just a short two months ago at 4:30 PM now takes 20 minutes. 

As I wrote yesterday, Chris and I enjoyed dinner at a restaurant where no one was facially covered and there was no requirement to wear a facial covering to enter. 

People are getting vaccinated and that shows a definite impact because the infection rates are dropping--just as predicted. 

Outstanding questions:

When I will actually attend a movie in a theater?

Will I feel safe on a cruise?

When will the mask mandate be dropped in airports and aircraft?

Can I trust people to be honest about their vaccination status?

When will I attend a concert in a building? (I am going to an outdoor concert Friday night)

When will I play racquetball on an indoors court?

When will wineries reopen for tastings like they were before Covid?

When will Southwest Airlines begin serving more than four Beverages on a flight? (They don't even serve coffee)

When will Orioles Park have a full-capacity sellout?

At least the reopening is coming and happening. It has been a very long almost year-and-a-half. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 14, 2021

Get America Moving Again


I truly do not know if the end of COVID-19 is in sight, but the announcement yesterday from the CDC surely makes me think we are finally making progress.

Fully Vaccinated Can Go Maskless in Most Settings, CDC Says

Maybe progress is finally being made in the fight and the end of the pandemic may be in sight. 

There are still pandemic-mongerers out there as well as those who deny its existence--but, with vaccinations underway the results seem to be as advertised. 

As we begin to approach herd immunity--the county is opening for business. Those who are not getting vaccinated as slowing the process down. Sadly, many of those who are not contributing to fight the COVID-19 by getting vaccinated will be among the first to enjoy the benefits.

Well, as I travel this weekend I am thankful for the vaccine and those who like me have taken it so that we can Get America Moving Again in a rational and reasoned manner.!

I wonder what life is like in Texas. I guess I will find out later today.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Beating the Flu

 I read an article in scientific American this morning that made an interesting point.

The public health measures that were implemented to stop coronavirus work really well on the flu.

That is actually the subtitle of the article:

Flu Has Disappeared Worldwide during the COVID Pandemic

And it makes sense. The flu spreads through person-to-person contact and through unclean hygiene. 

Here is the dramatic part. During the most recent flu season, the U.S. saw only about 600 deaths attributed to the flu when the previous two seasons saw 22,000 and 34,000 respectively. Wow.

Of course people were dying from COVID-19, but the double-whammy everyone was expecting apparently did not materialize. Thankfully. 

I'm not going to call it a silver lining in a dark cloud. But, it is something to be thankful for.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

COVID-19, The World Comes Together

 I am impressed at how much of the world is coming together to fight the COVID-19 virus and infection. 

The tragic scenes from India are motivating countries to work together, again, to defeat the virus. 

The headline in The Wall Street Journal this morning encouraged me:

U.S. to Share AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Doses With World

Why would the U.S. sit on 60 million doses that have not been approved for use in this country? Get them out to a place being ravaged by the coronavirus. 

It still amazes me that so many people in this country are unwilling to get vaccinated while in the rest of the world where the vaccine is in short supply the population is being ravaged. The rationalizations just do not add up. People are dying to get help in India and in the U.S. we have become numb to the daily death toll and spread of the infection. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Look--Up in the Sky!

Five Contrails
Severn, MD
April 7, 2021

 A couple days ago I wrote about the blue, clear sky. Last evening at a baseball game for the Severn Seminoles, I experienced the blue clear sky under the lights as twilight deepened. I looked up and saw a reassuring sight--five contrails headed into the distance. 

Travel is definitely resuming as out society and economy struggles to overcome the pandemic. I was out at game, under the lights, trying to resume life. The major remembrance of the pandemic was that I had to wear facial covering even though I was both outside and practicing good physical distancing. 

I do not remember the last time that I saw five contrails lined up together. I do know that lately, air travel has been increasing. The steady stream of arriving and departing flights to or from BWI has become evident from my house. 

MLB AL East Standing
Through Games of April 7, 2021

And in other cool news. The MLB season is one week old today. Most teams have played six games. AMAZINGLY, guess which team is alone atop the AL East? And the Orioles have still not played a game at OPACY. Opening Day at home is today and sadly, I will not be attending. 

It is Friday Eve and I am looking forward to a good day. I will keep my eye on the sky and watch some baseball as well. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Sunrise Surprise


Oo the Ramp to MD 100
Elkridge, MD
March 29, 2021

One of the enjoyable things that results from resetting the clocks for Daylight Saving Time is that I get to experience the sunrise again for a few weeks as I make my daily trek to work. 

The lengthening daylight at both ends of the day has benefits. Some mornings, like yesterday, I get to enjoy a spectacular sunrise adorning the sky and brightening my daily journey. 

I enjoy the sunrise and the dawn of the day. 

The brilliant sunrise reflecting upon the clouds started my new workweek off in a brilliant fashion. 

I could not resist taking a quick image of the scene as it filled my vision. And then I realized how different this March is from just a year ago when everything was shutdown. We are beginning to restore normal despite rising numbers of infections. But the traffic has returned, children are in school, and we are moving forward. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Living without Fear


As more and more Americans become vaccinated, the questions begin to arise: OK, now what?

It is a good feeling to be fully vaccinated, I know that it lessens my chances of becoming infected with COVID-19 and that even if I do contract the virus, its effects will be lessened.

But what does begin vaccinated do for me, otherwise/

The Wall Street Journal has an article this morning which goes over the do's and do nots of being vaccinated. The article is titles:

What You Can and Can’t Do if You’ve Been Vaccinated: Travel, Gatherings, Risk Factors, What You Need to Know

Basically, at this point we who are fully vaccinated are waiting for the rest of the country and the world to catch up. When I last saw statistics, about 12 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated. 

Quoting from the article:

Which activities are lower and higher risk, even after vaccination?

Vaccinated individuals can feel comfortable when doing quiet indoor activities where people are generally still required to be masked and distanced, such as visiting an uncrowded museum, says Dr. Sax. Outdoor activities are even safer.

Higher-risk situations include indoor dining, bars, gyms and houses of worship, where people are singing and talking. “We don’t want to push the limits of what the vaccines can do before case numbers drop,” says Dr. Sax. He and his physician wife are both fully vaccinated but won’t dine in restaurants until case numbers and hospitalizations are significantly lower, he says.

So, beware indoor dining, bars, gyms, and church!

But, I'm safer, right?


So when can I resume playing racquetball?  

Soon, I guess.

Get vaccinated so we can get back to living without fear!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Optimism? Finally?

It seems like the Hunger Games for vaccines at times. Trying to get vaccinated for COVID seems to be a difficult task for some, but hopefully that will soon be a thing of the past.

I was encouraged by the announcement yesterday that by the end of May all adults in America will be able to be vaccinated. If only the states and local communities can figure out how to distribute the vaccines. 

With the increase in vaccinations--as of yesterday I saw that 8 percent of Americans were fully vaccinated, the news is reporting that the CDC will be coming out with new guidance soon--maybe even tomorrow. 

Could it be? Are we beginning to turn the corner on the COVID pandemic? 

It is clear that during the past two months the mood of the country has gone from hopeless to hopeful. Where before there was no coherent plan the transformation has occurred resulting in action and results. The focus has changed from concern about one person into concern for all persons. We are beginning to become optimistic about defeating the coronavirus!

Maybe the Winter of our Discontent will blossom into the Spring of Deliverance?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Road to Recovery

The rain finally stopped after about 36 hours. At least it did not persist for 40 days and 40 nights. 

The world is a soggy mess right now. The lawn is so wet that I cannot even walk on it. I yearn to get outside and do something--anything.

I am weary of being a COVID refugee. Perhaps the world will begin to open soon. I saw something yesterday on my journey to work that I have not seen in almost one full year--a school bus. 

The big yellow bus was one of the few that were circulating through the neighborhood, much like they used to do, collecting children for school when life was normal. 

Normal--we are living in a world that is inherently not normal anymore. It is something we are striving for, but that so far is eluding our outstretched hands. 

But, even seeing a school bus represents the next step on the road to recovering our lives. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Covid-19 Celebrations


Luke's Birthday Cake
Elkridge, MD
January 14, 2021
Trying to maintain a sense of normalcy during the pandemic remains a challenge. 

Chris and I celebrated our grandson Luke's birthday the other evening. It was a much smaller and more subdued celebration than normal. I have to admit, I have really enjoyed some of the things we have done and seen associated with his birthday celebrations and many of them are documented in this blog. Wall climbing, visiting a nature center, and playing laser tag at a gaming center are among the recent highlights. January birthdays are not conducive to outdoors activities, but the indoor ons we have enjoyed have been very special. 

This year, it was a small, family gathering to enjoy some pizza and to sing Happy Birthday. The birthday cake was spectacular, but the singing was a bit off-key. Well, we are always a bit off-key but it seems to be highlighted during pandemic celebrations when there are not enough people singing to make it seem like a chorus. 

I enjoyed the celebration and the time with Luke. During the pandemic, small celebrations are they key. 

Keep celebrating--even during the pandemic, just celebrate responsibly and know that everyone who used to be there would still like to be there if the circumstances were different.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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