Both in the world and in life. The latter is keeping me from writing here, or on anything, more than I would like. The former, well, if you are not reading Instapundit several times a day, you are missing out on a lot. The authors there cover a lot of ground, and it is well worth the time. Also, since the media detests Project Veritas with a white-hot passion for daring to do real journalism, and they and Big Tech suppress accordingly, check out the latest work by them in regards Facebook. If you are still there regularly, you are part of the problem. I left a couple of years ago, and am glad I did so.
And, yes, I am doing what I can to divest from Big Tech. I just switched cell phone providers as a part of that, since AT&T wants to go political. Hoping the new provider is far less political until I can do more research and see if the small independent provider I’ve looked at can grow and keeps doing as it’s doing. Meantime, I’m saving a good bit on the cost of my service. I’ve divested from Amazon on several levels, though I am keeping my books and stories there for now. That said, I’m also withdrawing my works from Kindle Unlimited despite a financial hit for so doing. Next up is YouTube, where I will be both pruning back use and am looking at removing my content as well. Now to find something better to replace it.
Okay, now I’m pissed. We need to finish this, and COVID-19 needs to go be dealt with permanently. Not quite the movie quote, but close enough. Honduras has shut down all cigar factories. If you thought that the U.S. was the only country shutting things down, well, you must be watching the major networks or reading the paper with a record. Stop it. The best thing you can do for yourself, outside of washing your hands, is to cut off or cut out the mainstream media.
Yes, the number of cases and number of deaths have gone up. Woo. You’ve been told this would happen no matter what, at least by responsible outlets. What matters now is the rate of increase and if we can flatten it out. We will not know that for several weeks, as Dr. Fauci has repeatedly said.
Meantime, an incident here prompts me to remind you that if you think you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it, please don’t go to the ER or anywhere else unannounced, and if you have to call first responders — TELL THEM YOU MAY HAVE IT/HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO IT! Call your state COVID-19 line, call your provider, but for the love of Pete don’t be stupid and just go without calling to warn them you are coming. We don’t need any more first responders having to be quarantined because they didn’t know they needed full protocols.
If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have been exposed: call your state health department and work with them so that you can be dealt with in a way that minimizes the chance of spreading the virus to those helping you and to the general public. Can’t get them? Call your local department or see if your health service has online/telemedicine screening set up; or see if one who has will let you use it even if you are not in their network. Do not go out in public, and don’t go to an ER or other facility without calling ahead. Be smart.
Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Yes. Is there need for panic? NO. HELL NO. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never. And good luck finding/getting stuff.
Want to avoid catching COVID19 here in the U.S.? Wash your flippin hands frequently, wash them thoroughly every time you use the bathroom, then follow with hand sanitizer after every washing, use hand sanitizer liberally when you can’t wash on a regular basis. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and stay away from those who don’t. Also, keep your bugger hooks out of/away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do NOT shake hands with anyone, and avoid touching or being touched by strangers. Or your strange friends.
Avoid travel if at all possible. Right now, there is no way I’m going to a trade show, major convention, etc. If you can telecommute, get that set up now. If you have to travel, use lots of hand sanitizer and go to full flu protocols. If you have to use a public restroom, take full precautions including using paper towels and such to handle faucets, doors,etc. Believe it or not, this was highly recommended before now, and major grocery chains have long told employees to use those practices to avoid getting or spreading colds, flu, etc. Not many actually do it, but…
If you own a business, make sure your employees know the above protocols. Have someone who refuses to wash their hands or otherwise follow the protocols? Talk to them, write them up, and if necessary fire them as they now pose a risk of infection to you and your customers. Extreme? Yes, but while the CDC and others are working to slow it down, odds are it is already here and could hit hard and fast. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
I want to reiterate that there is no need for panic, but there is a strong need to be alert, be informed, and be prepared.
There are a number of reasons I’ve backed off social media to a considerable extent, even though it means limiting my ability to market my works. First up, social media has become toxic with the SJW cancel crowd running wild. The screaming, preening, virtue-signaling fascists want to silence everyone — and the more people are on just one or two major platforms (say, Fecesbook and Jitter), the easier it is to do.
Second, you give up a good bit to be in that walled garden, particularly privacy. As in social media sites and Google (Be Evil) are mining you for all you are worth, sometimes literally. Anything you say online, search for online, etc. is more data. Add in all the apps that are also owned by one of these companies (which is why I dropped Waze), and it extends the reach even further. You also give up truly free speech, as if you say anything that can upset an SJW (and most anything can when you are dealing with people looking for a reason to unleash their anger and virtue-signaling), you find yourself in “jail” and denied the ability to speak.
Third, going back to those apps I mentioned earlier, when you have smartphones, smart televisions, and such along with apps and services, you get this. Have you checked to see how many apps have access to your microphone? Your camera and camera files? People have been talking recently about all the times Alexa listens in on you when you don’t realize it; but, how may other systems and apps do that? Can you have true privacy with smart devices? No.
Can you go in and do simple things like denying access to microphone and cameras? Yes. In fact, you should. For years I’ve had my laptop camera taped over as it has been, and still is I believe, one of the easiest systems to hack in any computer. Someone watching without your knowledge can learn a lot just by studying your finger movements — it’s remarkably easy to figure out what is being typed, including account numbers… For that matter, I would love for the built-in microphone to have a manual off switch, as it’s a lot harder to prevent it from being used against you.
Yes, there is a cost for deciding not to be a part of the extreme toxicity and for denying what I can of my personal information to as many as I can. But, it’s not insurmountable. I also hope to see more leave the big three (and to get some serious anti-trust investigations going), and a return to blogging. It’s still there, still going, and may be what saves things in the long run.
Ponder a bit, and think about what you want, and your privacy. Then, take action. It really is up to each individual to make a difference.