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I started writing a journal about what I’m seeing in the news, how local, state and world leaders are responding, how my family, friends and I are dealing with this global crisis. The history of the public health emergency is out there but we need to make sure our individual stories are told as well.

CDC’s COVID-19 webpage
WHO Coronavirus webpage

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Situation Summary: In December 2019, Chinese health authorities identified an outbreak of pneumonia associated with a novel, or new, coronavirus which has resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in China. The first US death was at the end of February, 2020. On April 1st, the US recorded 4476 deaths.

April 1 – 203,608 cases in the US. Of that, 6424 cases were in Louisiana and 2270 of those cases were in New Orleans. 1060 cases in Alabama with 20 cases in Baldwin County.

Made meatloaf with ground venison as Dad was out of ground beef. As venison is quite a bit leaner than beef, I made a panade to keep it moist. Recipe here.

April 2 – Louisiana cleared a backlog and jumped to 9150 cases with 310 deaths. Alabama jumped to 1251 cases with 32 deaths. Total US cases are 236, 339. Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases is now 1,002,159 with 51,485 deaths.

Went grocery shopping for the month. I started at Rouses and Wal-Mart in Gulf Shores, went by the credit union, then to Publix and Target. Dad found a sale for diet cokes so I went out to Winn-Dixie and Family Dollar after a shower and a nap. I took another shower when I got home.

I prepped the strawberries I bought for macerating and use in strawberry shortcake this weekend. Recipe here. I also prepped the dough for sandwich sourdough bread for my niece.

April 3 – New Orleans cases 3476 with 148 deaths. Louisiana cases 10,297 with 370 deaths. Baldwin County is 28 cases. Alabama cases 1535 with 38 deaths. US cases 276,995 with 7406 deaths.

Spoke on the phone with the IWO president about how we are going to handle voting for officers at the annual meeting which, according to our bylaws, is held in June. The program chair is looking for a local speaker so we might switch to an electronic or vote by mail. If the nominations committee can get a slate by Mid-May, we can send it to the membership with a request for additional nominations. At the end of 7-10 days, send out ballots to the membership for a vote due by a date in June. That way, our meeting will not have that business and anyone who is unable or unwilling to attend a large gathering still gets their vote recorded.

The plumbers came over to fix a valve that kept sticking and shutting off the hot water. While they were here, I got them to be witnesses on my advance directive for medical care, as I forgot to bring my forms over with me when I came. I confirmed that my parents, sister and girlfriend all either have or will fill out their forms.

I’ve done the dough for the sourdough sandwich bread and it is on its final proof in the loaf pans. Recipe here.

My sister and brother-in-law came for lupper (later than lunch but not quite dinner) around 3pm. Wayne had done a Boston Butt on his smoker and I made seasoned baked French fries.

The Alabama governor finally did a stay-at-home order, effective tomorrow at 5pm.

April 4 – US numbers rose to 301,902. 12496 cases in Louisiana and 3966 cases in New Orleans. In Alabama 1633 cases with 29 of them in Baldwin County.

I went with my sister and brother-in-law to their house for breakfast. Mom was running out of cigarettes so I needed to make a run to the tobacco store for her and the store is near my sister’s house. On the way home, I stopped by a bloodmobile bus in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot and tried to give blood. They took one look at my Louisiana license with its New Orleans address and turned me away. This despite me being away from there for 14 days and having no fever or cough.

Is New Orleans drivers license the new scarlet letter?

I read a Washington Post article – The U.S. was beset by denial and dysfunction as the coronavirus raged

Absolutely devastating how badly things were botched

Some of it:

The CDC learned of a cluster of cases in China on Dec. 31 and began developing reports for HHS on Jan. 1. But the most unambiguous warning that U.S. officials received about the coronavirus came Jan. 3, when Robert Redfield, the CDC director, received a call from a counterpart in China. The official told Redfield that a mysterious respiratory illness was spreading in Wuhan, a congested commercial city of 11 million people in the communist country’s interior.

Redfield quickly relayed the disturbing news to Alex Azar, the secretary of HHS, the agency that oversees the CDC and other public health entities. Azar, in turn, ensured that the White House was notified, instructing his chief of staff to share the Chinese report with the National Security Council.

…Trump was not substantially briefed by health officials about the coronavirus until Jan.18, when, while spending the weekend at Mar-a-Lago, he took a call from Azar.

 

…On Jan. 22, Trump received his first question about the coronavirus in an interview on CNBC while in Davos. Asked whether he was worried about a potential pandemic, Trump said, “No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. . . . It’s going to be just fine.”

April 5 – Worldwide cases are at 1,263,976. US cases are at 331,234. 13101

I made sausage biscuits for breakfast. Buttermilk biscuits paired with rounds of bulk sausage and a little grape jelly. I even had one biscuit with sourwood honey Mom brought back from North Carolina.

Played with some sand dollars I had left here. Cleaning them up and then thinking about how best to use them. I talked to Mom and she pulled out a number of bags of macramé supplies she has. I’m thinking of doing a wall hanging. Dad pulled out a broken windchime and I think I’ll use some of the cool wooden beads from Mom’s macramé stuff to make a replacement.

The sand dollars needed cleaning, so I put things on hold while they dry from their bath.

We had leftover shish kabob meat, so we made fajitas for dinner. The margarita I had with them made them taste extra good.

April 6 – US cases are at 362,759 with 10,689. Louisiana 14,867 with New Orleans cases reaching 4565, Alabama 1999.

I started the day playing with the sand dollars and some macramé from Mom. Dad pulled out several large driftwood pieces that he said I could use. I laid everything out and think it is going to look pretty cool.

The more I looked at it though, the more I realized I need more sand dollars to attach the sets of four to each other. Good thing I have a large jar filled with sand dollars at home. I took it apart and set it up to take it back with me to New Orleans.

I started to work on the windchime when I got a phone call.

The regularly scheduled pest spraying happened at the rental property. The tech saw a squirrel scamper down the power line and into the attic. On an inspection, he found 7  holes. My renters have never mentioned hearing animals or scurrying in the attic but I believed him and authorized him to put up barriers and traps. That cost $350.

I began paying my bills online. I tried to go online for the Sewerage and Water bill but needed my account number and meter number to use the online system. I called customer service but because I didn’t know the PIN number, she wouldn’t give out the info. I then called again and got into the automatic system. Seems that accounts are tied to my cell phone number. I was able to pay both bills, although the payment plan we were on for the rental property was not recognized so I had to pay almost $2000 on that bill. While I know that the Mayor has said that no power or water will be shut off during the crisis, but I can’t take the risk that my renters would be without water during this crucial time.

That meant I had to have Dad transfer money into the account and I then had to drive to the Regions branch and deposit a check to cover the expenses we hadn’t budgeted for. On the way home, I saw that Wal-Mart was selling gas at $1.62, so I filled up Mom’s car.

April 7 – US cases 398,809 with 11,830 deaths. Louisiana has 16284 cases with 583 deaths. 4942 cases are in New Orleans. Alabama is 2197.

My niece came over to print out patterns for facemasks and to borrow mom’s sewing machine.

I tried to take pictures of the supermoon but it was too cloudy.

April 8 – 404352 cases in the US. 17030 Louisiana cases, of which 5070 were in New Orleans

Forum board meeting via zoom. My parents DSL went out so I could only join by phone. We discussed some of the nuts and bolts of the organization but mainly checked in with everyone to make they were well and taking care.

April 9 –  452,582 cases in US. Louisiana 18283 with 5242 of those in New Orleans, Alabama cases2769

April 10 – 475,749 cases in US. Louisiana has 19252, Alabama 2999

April 11 –526,396 cases in US. 20041 in Louisiana and 5535 in New Orleans

April 12 – US cases hit 530,200 with 20,614 deaths

2017-2018 season, saw 61,000 deaths were linked to the influenza virus. The 2018-2019 season’s seen 34,200 flu-related deaths. Those are deaths over the course of the year. COVID19 deaths in the US are just from the first case in March.

April 13 – 5600 cases in New Orleans, 21016 in Louisiana

April 14 – 5718 cases in New Orleans with 276 deaths. Louisiana 21518 with 1013 deaths. Alabama 3953 with 114 deaths. US 594,207 cases with 25,402 dead.

The WHO posted a strategic preparedness and response plan that outlines the public health measures and takes what we have learned so far about the virus and translates that knowledge into strategic action that can guide the efforts of all national and international partners when developing context-specific national and regional operational plans.

April 15 – US cases now at 614,482 with 27,085 dead. Louisiana cases are 21,951 and Alabama cases are 4149.

I made pork schnitzel and scalloped potatoes.

New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell has extended the stay-at-home order to May 16. Here is the proclamation.