Situation Summary: The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a speech:

The COVID-19 pandemic, we all know, is a challenge like no other. This is above all a human crisis, touching every area of our lives, destroying livelihoods and weakening the foundations of peaceful societies.
The economic fallout of the pandemic weighs heavily on the most fragile states, especially those that are enduring conflict or humanitarian crisis. As the devastation grows and spreads, it threatens to erode trust in public institutions and democratic processes, even in the most developed countries. 
COVID-19 is exposing and exploiting risks not only to our health, but to our economies and societies, and to our future.
From battle-scarred cities to international institutions, it is undermining efforts towards building a culture of peace at the local, national and global levels.
Not since the United Nations was founded have we faced such a complex and multidimensional threat to global peace and security.

Where I get my data:
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center COVID-19 Map
Washington Post’s Mapping the Worldwide Spread of the Coronavirus
For state/local information:
Louisiana Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
New Orleans information from Ready.NOLA.gov.
Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard

September 1 – Today there were 1074 deaths in America from COVID-19

The United Nations released a new report by UN Women, From Insights to Action: Gender Equality in the wake of COVID-19, stating that the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences will likely force an additional 47 million more women into poverty, reversing decades of progress to eliminate extreme poverty.

I had the IWO board meeting and a Forum PAC Executive meeting today. Who knew the revolution required so many meetings and details?

I was able to get funds to the yard guy so the grass is mowed at the rental place.

September 2 – US cases have reached 6,078,576 with 182,347 deaths.

I was at the rental place this morning with the contractors. We get reinspected tomorrow but they’re not done replacing the sofit and facia boards, the trim or painting yet.

Heather Cox Richardson wrote:

The president went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, today, against the wishes of both the governor and the Kenosha mayor, ostensibly to express sympathy, but really to try to change the narrative from the almost 185,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus and more than 6 million infected.

I want to pause here for a second. I try to write these Letters as if they are sort of a flowing report on the news. But I just can’t flow over this number once again. We have lost almost 185,000 people to Covid-19. That number is a 9-11 attack every day for two months. It is flying a full 737 airplane into a mountain every single day for more than two years. I cannot fathom why combatting this disease is not an all-hands-on-deck national emergency.

September 3The Louisiana Department of Health reports the total number of COVID-19 cases reported to the state is 150,651. The current total death count is 4,858. 

Got over to the rental place about 7:45 and Ron’s guys were still putting up the trim and painting. I asked about Ron and learned he had to go to the hardware store for screws and caulk. They were still at work when the inspector arrived but he passed us anyway.

On the way home, I took a cool pic of a mural of Dr. John at Dryades and Toledano.

Sept 4 – Louisiana has 151,473 cases with 4872 deaths

Did some cleanup of the kitchen in hopes that now that Ron is done with the rental place he can come replace my disposal and do some work outside.

I then spent several hours dealing with issues ahead of the IWO candidate forums and endorsement meeting. I then turned on Amazon Prime Video and binge watched old episodes of the Carol Burnett show.

Sept 5 – Worldwide cases: 26,739,782 Worldwide deaths: 876,938

Went to Target early so I could be there when they opened to pick up my new vacuum. I also bought two pints of cream so I could make ice cream later. There were lots of stores nearby with walk-in Shopkick points and after I got those, I saw they had the iTunes gift cards on sale. I went to Walmart and did the health and beauty sections to get me over the top so I could get one of those g/c’s.

Made the ice cream base when I got home with 3 of the cups of cream plus a cup of milk I had in the fridge. Now to figure out to do with the last cup of cream.

Before bed, I churned the ice cream and set up a sourdough sponge so I can make pancakes tomorrow. Recipe for ice cream here 

Sept 6 –  US has 6,224,723 cases with 185,474 deaths

Got up early to collect all the downed branches and sticks and trim the fallen ginger and elephant ears. Then, after 8am, I fired up the weed eater (actually I untangled the cord and plugged it in). I ended up over filling the trash can but the backyard can be navigated without fear of getting lost in the weeds.

I then made sourdough pancakes (recipe here)

Sept 7 – US cases 6,249,103 with 185,831 deaths

My next door neighbor was trimming his palm tree and noticed my gutter was filled with the seed pods. He cleaned it out for me so I made them a blueberry pound cake in thanks. Recipe here

My friends Charlotte and Thomas came over with all the fixings, including meat, for a Labor Day burger cookout. I got to grill and eat – perfect for me! They even brought a key lime pie for dessert

Sept 8The Louisiana Department of Health reports 250 new #COVID19 cases reported to the state since September 7, 2020. The total number of cases reported to the state is 153,433. The current total death count is 4,955. 

Day one of the IWO candidate forum and other than a snafu with the streaming to Facebook Live, it went pretty smoothly.

Sept 9 – Alabama Public Health reports 122,580 confirmed cases with 2,161 deaths.

News broke from Bob Woodward’s book that included 18 interviews over 9 hours with President Trump were he spoke about how he knew on February 7th, just how deadly COVID-19 was. He knew it was transmitted by air and was 5 times more dangerous than the flu.

You know what we were doing around that time in February? Mardi Gras. From Krewe de Vieux on February 8 to Rex on February 25th, thousands of us paraded, caroused and socialized while he said nothing and then lied about not knowing. People died – we are over 180,000 dead in the US alone. I cannot express the depth of my anger.

I went to get my eyes checked at LensCrafters – things have been getting blurry after all day on the computer and my far vision isn’t in focus (I’m nearsighted). Everyone at the Lakeside Mall was masked up so that was good. My prescription has changed quite a bit, so I will be getting new glasses and that meant shopping for frames.

Had the second IWO candidate forum and the Forum for Equality PAC endorsement meeting zooms. I started with IWO and then stayed with FFE until almost 11am. We did end up deferring the Baton Rouge races until Tuesday but I think we covered 88 candidates!

Sept 10 – Worldwide 27,882,000 cases with 901,000 deaths. US 6,336,112 cases with 187,821 deaths.

Ron and his guys came to fix my back stairs which had pretty much rotted away (and they found some rot in the wood connecting the porch to the house). I’m going to need to put up some gutters there to redirect the water. They also did some work on the front porch but the rest of that may have to wait to Saturday.

Day 3 of the IWO candidate forums tonight.

Sept 11 

Hard to believe that 19 years ago was a terrorist attack that killed almost 3000. Yet, we approach 200,000 dead from a mismanaged pandemic and those deaths are just brushed aside.

As Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) tweeted at 9:03 AM on Fri, Sep 11, 2020:
“How can a nation be so good at caring about 3,000 lives that ended 19 years ago and so bad at caring about 200,000 lives that ended this year? One was caused by the attack of an enemy who swore he’d kill us; the other was caused by the lie of a leader who swore he’d protect us.”

Sept 12 – US 6,453,178 cases with 190,472 deaths

IWO endorsement meeting ran from 3pm to 9:40. What a slog! We got it done, though – all the Orleans Parish races.

Sept 13 – US 6,483,473 cases with 190,792 deaths

Drove over to my parent’s ahead of Hurricane Sally making landfall. This is a slow moving storm that will drop a lot of rain and I worry about the pumps. Sewerage and Water posted on Twitter that all 99 pumps are ready but still I worry.

Paid $1.75 for gas in Slidell and $1.95 in Foley but my tank is full and I’m ready to deal with the wind and rains.

I posted the IWO endorsements on the webpage only to get a call from one of the candidates that we misspelled his name. Oops! I corrected it, made sure that everyone I had sent it to corrected theirs and then took a nap.

Sept 14 – US 6,521,940 cases with 191,256 deaths.

Hurricane Sally continues to move slowly toward us with the center of the storm no longer forecast for New Orleans but nearer to the Mississippi / Alabama line. 

I grilled a rack of St. Louis style pork ribs for lunch.

We loaded water bottles in the freezer with ice cubes, filled water bottles for flushing toilets and were as ready inside as we could be.

As of the 7pm update, the area near my parents was under the threat of a 4-7 feet storm surge. Their house sits at 7 foot, so we sandbagged the back porch before sitting out in the darkness, listening to the wind whistle through the trees.

Sept 15 – Worldwide 926,000 people have died from coronavirus with 29.2 million cases reported.

13 hours later and water is well over the bulkhead and creeping up the lawn.

Tacos for lunch. We washed clothes and took showers as the storm is expected to hit tonight.

More than 5 inches of rain before the power went out at 8pm.

Sept 16 

Needless to say, the sound of pounding surf in the house is not as soothing as the manufacturers of white noise machines would have you believe.

My parent’s home took a direct hit from Hurricane Sally and the water began crashing against the house at 4 am. We huddled in the dining room as the storm surge came up above the level of the windows. We could hear things hitting the water side storm shutters and one finally gave way at 4:30 so we listened to the waves crash in and the water rose to 2 feet in the house before it stopped rising and then slowly, so very slowly began to recede. When the sun was up, it was ankle deep still but then we could open the door to see the damage.

The back porch is gone, the metal doors to the garage were busted in, and there was so much debris around. There is still water lapping very close to the back of the house.

My car had two inches of water in it but no water in the oil. I bailed it out and called in a claim.

Finally left after we determined my car was driveable and went to my sister’s house. They have no power and water but were clean and dry. My brother-in-law fired up his propane griddle and we had a warm meal.

Sept 17 – 194000 people in the US have died with 6,634,000 cases.

Slept like a log on my sister’s extra bed. 

Checked in on two neighbors before getting back to my parent’s house and getting to work videoing and taking pictures for insurance. We then dug out mom’s car from all the debris and pushed it out of the garage.. There was water in it but none in the oil so we will drive it for now.

Got to my sisters and they have water so I had a beautifully cold shower. It was a bit warm in the house so sleeping was fitful but it still was very relaxing after the day we had.

Sept 18 – 197,000 dead in US with 6,674,000 cases.

Did some more work at my parents house.

Teague Brothers came out and dragged out all the oriental carpets in the house to take them for cleaning and storing until my parents get situated. They were a stinking, soaking mess and covered in debris so the excavation was quite a chore but they did it pretty quick.

Was woken up by my sister’s dogs barking their fool heads off at about 2 am. There was a skunk in the yard but they stayed out of the spray just made a lot of noise. 

Sept 19 – 6,712,000 cases in the US with 198,000 dead.

During March 1–September 19, 2020, a total of 277,285 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in school-aged children were reported in the United States, including 101,503 in children aged 5–11 years and 175,782 in adolescents aged 12–17 years (Table).

Loaded up three coolers of stuff from Dad’s freezer as my niece has power back and an empty chest freezer (she consolidated freezers once they lost power because the generator could only run one major appliance at a time). I then babysat her three kids while my sister did errands in trade for using her washing machine to clean my clothes. I’m not sure I needed clean clothes this bad!

Sept 20 – 6,769,000 cases in US with 199,000 dead

Went over to the house and grabbed mustards for us to have with smoked brats and German sausage at Kathy’s house for dinner. I also needed to grab some heavier clothes as it was 64 degrees F when we woke up. I don’t have anything from t-shirts and shorts so I’m in borrowed sweats and a flannel shirt from Dad – and he ain’t never getting the flannel back!

Sept 21 – COVID-19 is now 4th largest mass casualty event in US history. Topped only by the Civil War, WWII, 1918 flu pandemic.

We couldn’t find boxes locally and I needed to get my car title so the insurance company would release the money, so I drove over to New Orleans in the morning. There was a horrible wreck at Spanish Fort (before the Mobile causeway) so that delayed me by about an hour. Add to that the constant rain from the outer bands of Tropical Storm Beta and it was nearly noon when I made it to Lakeside Mall to pick up my glasses. After those were fitted, I went to the NOLA Box Company and picked up close to 200 boxes or enough to fill my mom ‘s car.

I took a bath and found all the stuff I needed to bring back – warm clothes were a priority.

Later, I had a FFE PAC Board zoom on the East Baton Rouge Races and I did the minutes and put it on the blog. I watched the Saints lose to Oakland and had another lovely bath.

Sept 22The Louisiana Department of Health reports the total number of cases reported to the state is 162,214. The current Louisiana total death count is 5,218. Alabama Public Health reports 131,988 confirmed cases with 2,304 deaths.

Drove back to Foley after going to FedEx Kinkos to print permission from my Uncle for my Dad to access his house.

Had to go to my nieces as she has power and wifi to run a zoom meeting for IWO on police reform.

Sept 23 – The total number of Louisiana cases is 162,645. The current total death count is 5,225. 

Got my nieces to help me get suitcases out of the attic for my parent’s clothes and the comfortors and blankets which got soaked into contractor bags. I will take them to the laundrymat tomorrow.

Sept 24 – Alabama Public Health reports 133,433 confirmed cases with 2,349 deaths.

Started to move my folks from my sister’s and Gillian’s to my uncle’s house on Ft Morgan Road. The hurricane knocked out power and destroyed the dock but the house was fine. Power is back on, so they’re going to go down there to live while figuring out what to do.

It involved filling up two cars (one of my nieces, Kat, is down and helping everyone including her husband Jacob’s family who got badly hit in Orange Beach) for the trip to Gulf Shores then back to their ruined house for another load, then going to the laundry mat, dropping off the clean/dry stuff at the house for packing material and then heading back to Kathy’s for the night. 

We will be taking mom’s car in to get diagnosed and serviced and it is easier leaving from north Foley than west Gulf Shores.

Sept 25 – Alabama total cases is 150,658 with 2491 deaths.

Was finally able to publish my experience of Riding Out Sally on this blog. It was hard to write and is harrowing to read.

Sept 26 – The US surpassed 7 million coronavirus cases and could see a surge of COVID-19 cases as fall and winter set in.

My friend, Ayame, came over from New Orleans to help with the clean up today. We also had my sister and her family there plus the yard guys removing more trees. We took a break around midday and sat on what was left of the waterside porch and an eagle came to visit.

After we had exhausted the cleanup we could do (and exhausted ourselves), I took her to Wolf Bay Lodge for some local shrimp. After a good meal, she headed back to NOLA and I headed to Gulf Shores.

Sept 27 – The total number of cases reported the Louisiana Department of Health is 164,851. The virus has claimed the lives of 5,283 Louisianans.

Helped my uncle around his place (more like I carried smaller branches as he cut up the fallen limbs and trees and watched him do the heavy lifting). He paddled out with his dog to view the damage to his dock and found several of the chaise lounge chairs in about 6 feet of water (which he then rescued and used the power washer to clean).

September 28 – Coronavirus deaths pass one million worldwide

They’ve totaled mom’s car. Once they pulled out the seats and carpet, they found that the electrical system was compromised by the floodwaters.

Sept 29 – The total number of cases reported to the state of Louisiana is 165,624.The current total death count is 5,308. Alabama reports 153,554 total cases with 2517 deaths.

Spent the first part of the day at the laundromat washing more blankets, towels and other wet, stinking things. The change machine wasn’t working so I took $20 of the proprietors money and $50 of my own to several banks for quarters. PNC would only give me $20 and BBT wouldn’t give me any as I wasn’t a customer. Regions gave me $60 without blinking an eye.

I went back and used over $50 as I had to wash some things twice as they were still stinky plus drying. I finally got out of there after almost 6 hours.

Sept 30 -The United States recorded 42,185 new coronavirus infections and 914 virus-related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The nationwide totals now stand at 7,190,230 cases, including 205,986 fatalities.

Went to the Honda dealer to get mom’s personal possessions from the car only to find they’ve already released it to the tow truck company. They make several calls on our behalf and then we drive another 40 miles to Theodore/Dawes and the catastrophe lot of Copart. We finally get the car located and it is brought to us by forklift. They just threw all the parts back inside before transport so it was quite the adventure to find the glove box, center console and anything else not in a door pocket. Needless to say, we didn’t go shopping for a new car for mom as both of us were exhausted from the drive and treasure hunt.

I was able to take this picture of a Great Blue Heron in the tall grasses at the water’s edge. As Mehmet Murat ildan wrote: “Wherever there are birds, there is hope.”