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Pam in CT

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Pam in CT last won the day on February 14

Pam in CT had the most liked content!

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About Pam in CT

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    Beekeeping Professor

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    Reading, writing, gardening, taking (not especially good) pictures, knitting. Not interested in: ironing

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  1. TJ's chipotle black bean dip Yes. It makes ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING taste better. (My aunt is compiling a book of CoronApocalypse recipes emailed in from the extended family. Most of my submissions are things like "How to Make Frozen Brussel Sprouts Taste OK" and "All-Shelf-Stable Fish Pasta Topping" and my personal favorite "How to Render Canned Asparagus into a Carrying Mechanism for Butter"
  2. The secret sauce to making turkey burgers taste "fuller" is Trader Joe's chipotle bean paste (for taste) and ~1tsp per burger of butter (for the fat). If I'm broiling I add a bit of carmelized onion as well, but on the grill that tends to make them too crumbly, at risk of falling apart. (I have also long used ground turkey for taco filling, chili, and meat loaf, also with the TJ paste; and it really truly is the elixir of life. I am, sadly, on my last CoronApocalypse jar, and have begun to experiment with actual chipotles and black beans in an effort to reverse engineer the recipe.)
  3. I'm so sorry, but so glad that your doctor is taking it seriously and he'll be attended to promptly and appropriately. re testing other household members: This. In my county this has been standard procedure since ~mid April when the hospitals starting getting sufficient tests. If your doctor is a different one from your son's, you can call your own, explain that a household member has a tentative clinical diagnosis and is going in for testing, and your doctor can/around here will order a test for you as well. (Folks here need to have a PDF or email prescription to hand over at check-in at the test site, which here are usually drive-through centers set up in the hospital parking lots.)
  4. re Robben Island That's one of the ones we saw. It was a long time ago and the first one I ever visited -- just the very beginning of still-in-progress processing, but here are my pictures and reactions from the time.
  5. I've always longed to do one of the great British gardens tours. Vineyard tours, ahhhhhh. Totally different and markedly less pleasant vein, but having visited a handful of historically relevant prisons, I think I'd.... "enjoy" is not the right word, but "get a lot out of" a world tour through the lens of different nations' prisons.
  6. Oh dear. I think I would send ONLY the people who NEED to appear in court (no others to keep company) to the courthouse, with a bagful of masks and documentation of the tests they just took... but also with every courthouse, attorney or other representative, and courthouse emergency number you can find to get instructions on what to do... and have them arrive early and just keep dialing down the list before going in... and then if that doesn't yield a good answer, have go to the official entrance on time and explain to their situation to the security personnel at the entrance. I can't remember your location, but this is happening in courthouses all across the country. Your loved ones are certainly not the first people to whom this has happened and there are surely protocols in place to protect the court officials, attorneys, LEO and other staff. And yes, afterwards everyone should isolate for 14 days... and I would urge the pregnant young woman to get tested -- I haven't heard about particular protocols for potentially infected pre-natal cases but she should at a minimum be monitored closely. Holding you all in the light.
  7. ... but be careful WHEN you prune the broadleaf type, because they set next year's buds crazy early in this year's season, so unless you do it, like, five minutes after this year's bloom you lose a year of blooms. Doesn't kill the shrub but it'll just sit there broadleaf and green for the whole next season.
  8. I have two PeeWee tree hydrangeas that I inherited from the prior owners. We've lived in the house for 20 years so they're older than that. They're between 10-12 feet, but they're cultivated and trained as youngsters to be TREES. I have Limelight, Annabelle, Nikko Blue and something like Summer Everlasting (?) in bush form that I've put in over the last 20 years. First of all, none of them are more than ~4' tall.... but more to the point, you can prune them to stay at whatever maximum you want. It does help a lot to know what type you have, since some set buds on the old wood (so you should prune immediately after blooms this year) whereas others set blooms on new wood (so you should cut back hard in late fall or very early spring while they're still dormant).
  9. re explicit premises and "logic" Funny. I first became conscious of the critical importance of premises in microeconomics, where every problem set started out with a prelude along the lines of... which from the outset struck me as so wildly not-relevant to the lived realities of the real world that I felt the entire (beautifully logical, arithmetically elegant) field was an intricate house of cards built on a pile of sand. I nonetheless did a graduate degree. But I've pondered the business of premises ever since; and have noted that some of the fields that have some of the best CAPACITY to be explicit and rigorous about exactly what the premises are -- philosophy, statistics and other social sciences -- are more often than not quite silent on the subject. Whereas for me, plumbing comparative *religion* with other IRL people who were stumbling and faltering just as I was to put words to things I'd never considered any more than air or gravity, was where I finally began to be able to see my own premises. I am still not at all good at it -- really it is surprisingly hard to see the ground beneath my own feet -- but I did begin to appreciate that they are there, down deep and unseen and unvoiced and driving me in ways I cannot see.
  10. re unstated premises Most disagreements ultimately peel back to premises. Most premises are unvoiced. It is actually remarkably difficult to see our own. (That is IME the greatest gift of interfaith / other sustained encounters across substantive differences -- the experience of having people ask enough questions and probe deeply enough in enough unexpected places that we begin to "see" our own never-once-considered assumptions and how that affects the worldview we've built atop in ways we hadn't before understood.)
  11. re various routes to economic disruption Right. The "let 'er rip 'til 'herd immunity' is achieved naturally" presumes -- nobody SAYS, but that route is based on the unvoiced premise -- that every pocket of America gets to something like ~70-80% immunity. Which the best data yet collected, more will be collected in June once blood banks start doing antibody testing as part of their basic screens, is ~4x the level that NYC has thus far "achieved." So play that out, in terms of economic disruption. Not lives or health or scaredy-cat fears of transmission, just the economic disruption alone. Not of SIP measures but of the illness itself. NYC has not merely lost 16,000 lives, which is more than 5x the number of lives lost in 9/11, 16,000 people who are no longer working or paying taxes or going to restaurants or buying stuff. There were another ~50,000 "mild case" New Yorkers who languished in hospitals for days or weeks -- also not working or going to restaurants or buying stuff... and left afterwards not just weakened for weeks thereafter, but also with bills that entail postponing or canceling expenses before they can dig out. Thousands others fear, not irrationally, that the uncertainty associated with the illness itself puts their jobs at risk, so even if they're still pulling a paycheck they aren't spending nearly as much, out of uncertainty about the future. Uncertainty that is WARRANTED. Because it's a PANDEMIC. Not a red-blue Rohrschach blot like we've all become accustomed to and in a real sense still long for. An actual disease that makes people dead and sick and thus unable to participate in The Economy. What we appear to have chosen, by default, is to let FOUR TIMES the NYC-level economic disruption play out through the nation's economy. Because NYC has only "achieved" ~20% exposure citywide, and to get to "herd immunity" they - we - every geographic pocket in America -- has to get to something like 70-80%. That is the economic plan we are by default choosing. The costs -- not just lives and health costs, economic costs -- that the disease has wreaked there, needs to be wreaked everywhere, 4x as much. That is the (unstated) premise of "naturally occurring herd immunity." (This is NOT a bleeding heart or moralistic plea about how all lives matter even urban / elderly / minority / undocumented lives. I believe all that but it is not the point at hand. The point is that those human beings ARE PART OF THE ECONOMY, at all levels. Retirees fuel the tour group, cruse ship, hospitality sectors. Undocumented workers fill crucial essential services that we take very much for granted like, as we have already seen, meatpacking and food processing. And etc. All lives matter as an ethical matter sure, but all lives also have economic consequences.) There cannot be a healthy economy built on the backs of a workforce through which a deadly virus is running rampant and a consumer base who's making "individual risk assessments" staring down life-or-death potential consequences for riding airplanes or public transport / facing down staggering financial catastrophe in the event the virus hits their families. There is no choice between public health and The Economy. They are intertwined. They are intertwined whether we choose the Hammer and the Dance with widespread masking/ close monitoring/ ubiquitous testing/ mass investment in contact tracing/ phased stop-and-go re-opening like most of our peer nations are choosing, or if -- as seems the default to which we're headed-- we choose Let Er Rip. Either way there will be massive economic disruption.
  12. The NYT has a good in-depth dive this morning on how various facets of the pandemic have hit different geographic areas differently, and thus -- to the points being made on this thread -- the on-the-ground realities that different segments of Americans are seeing are quite different. It speaks to many of the issues we've discussed and provides some explanatory power to why different segments are seeing the risks, tradeoffs and policy issues so differently. (They've suspended the paywall for COVID coverage.)
  13. re role of "personal responsibility" / individual risk minimization Sure. My whole family loves to travel, both domestically and internationally; and we also have family members sprawled up and down the Eastern seaboard. In a typical year each of the 5 of us takes several international & domestic flights, several RT trains to WDC and/or Boston, innumerable road trips, hotels and apartment rentals and restaurants, plus all sorts of sightseeing and etc. This year there will be no air or train travel at all; perhaps one road trip to a suitably remote open-air cabin setup if I can organize something with my mother that we can all feel comfortable with. Maybe. My youngest (high school junior) was planning to do a residential filmmaking program this summer at university. It has been canceled, but even if it were operating we would not feel comfortable with it. I really really really love going to theater and dance and museum openings and indie movies. Nope. It's all i"personal responsibility" and "individual risk assessment" and it still contracts the economy. You're on the UWS. My launching-age daughter lives on the UWS (well, in real life she does; in COVID life she's hanging out here). How many people are, say, looking to buy apartments on the UWS? How many people -- based on their personal risk assessment and judgment about where things are headed -- are looking to make that kind of investment? Around here real estate is at a complete standstill. Because based on "individual risk assessment" the market is contracting. Investment in the really-big things (apartments, houses) requires trust that real estate values won't languish or crash. Investment in the pretty-big things (new car, kitchen remodel) requires trust that those savings won't be needed for (say) massive medical bills or other emergencies around the corner. Consumption in large discretionary things (travel, Disney, theater, professional sports events) requires trust both that those funds won't be needed for (say) massive medical bills around the corner and also trust that going to such places won't be a transmission vector. In other nations, testing and contract tracing (along with masking and PPE where called for) are tools used to BUILD that trust and SUPPORT return to safe employment, return to safe interaction in smaller and safer and better-ventilated contexts, return to renewed consumption in the marketplace. If we persist here in viewing them as too expensive, or incursions on liberty, or worthy of scorn... well, OK. Decision-making by default, perhaps; to not-take actions that other nations are taking. It still contracts the economy. It's a pandemic. There are no shortcuts. We cannot fast-forward to the end. We cannot get through it on the cheap. One way or another there will be costs.
  14. re relationship between testing and getting the economy going again Right. We want to re-open and get back to Normal, but we also want to do it on the cheap. We are not willing to make the investments -- in testing, in expensive contact tracing, in trading off (perfectly real) privacy concerns. But The Economy!! cannot go back to Normal when employees in crowded workplaces are smitten, when accrued medical bills for the "mild" cases pull households under, when every interaction and every transaction and interaction involves unknowable assessments of probabilities of possible infection/ probable severity if infected/ possible transmission to other household members. It just can't. Fast-forward back to Normal isn't on the table. The economy of the nation is related to the health of the nation. We don't get to choose one or the other, they are intertwined. Getting the economy "moving" again will entail investing in public health -- repeated and free testing, contact tracing that is more invasive than many of us are comfortable with, a larger government role than many of us would prefer. It's a pandemic. We can't deal with it cheaply or quickly, and there's no return to Normal without dealing with it. (Neither can any other countries either... but most of our peer nations seem to have cottoned on faster and more fully than we have that this can't be addressed on the cheap or without substantial disruption to the old way of life.)
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