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Archive for January, 2022

Happy Holidays?

Whether you follow the weather, it seems inevitable that weather will find you, in a form and at a time you can least expect. The change of Seasons used to be reasonably predictable. Now, it is anything but. And it isn’t just the weather that is stirred up and unpredictable, is it?

The American psyche seems just as vulnerable.

Maybe it isn’t just the National Guard that is tired these days. Can we blame them? First, they were evacuating Americans in Afghanistan and then they were called to nursing homes to give baths to the elderly as part of an effort to relieve burned out Health care workers. No doubt, they’re worn out.

But so is the average American, it seems.

Here we are, in the midst of this third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, asking ourselves what role climate change, if any, plays in all of this. Why is the latest version of Coronavirus, the Omnicron variant, which is reportedly as contagious as measles, spreading as fast as it is? Are we somehow more vulnerable than we might have been any other Winter when a cold or flu knocked on our door? We seem to be. Except the CDC tells us this is no cold or flu. And given that people who aren’t vaccinated are, in some cases, winding up in the hospital, most of us will get the vaccine. If only it were that easy.

We will get it and we will give a billion doses away to countries that can’t afford it. And the United States will be pounded for not doing enough.

Yes, there are podcasts, there are Scientific journals and virologists to quote. But if you don’t have time to catch the latest update or recognize that even the authorities get it wrong sometimes, you may be left to your own devices. The recommendations this Christmas were that it would be safe to gather without masks indoors, if everyone was vaccinated. We did. And, it wasn’t.

Maybe you are fed up with having to decipher acronyms, like WTO, WHO and mRNA versus regular old RNA and DNA.

I spent my holidays ordering N95 masks and extra tests. All this while trying to parse the difference between quarantining and isolating as the recommendations changed from a 10 day quarantine after exposure to 5, seemingly overnight. That was two weeks ago. Just this morning, after hearing we had had it in this house, a visitor asked if we might wait to have visitors until 14 days after the last sick person left.

Americans are used to seeing caravans on the news. Migrants trying to get into the United States on our Southern border, sub-Saharan refugees fleeing War and famine. They’re not used to a caravan of cars, occupied by families, travelers and even a Senator and former Governor, getting stuck for 24 hours, on one of the most trafficked stretches of Interstate in the Country in a major blizzard. One that has certainly seen its’ share of Winter snow before. The reason? Disabled trucks.

Surley, there is more going on here.

A fire that started as the year was winding down in Colorado has sent fire experts there back to the drawing board. According to the Wall Street Journal, Hurricane strength winds carried embers further and faster than investigators knew they could. In Colorado; in December.

This after a record setting tornado left a multi-state scar where homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and places of worship once stood. It was the biggest and widest footprint for a tornado in the United States.

If you dont think fire investigators are a little worn out in CO after that devestating run of wildfires through the Rockies the Summer before last, think again. Let’s not forget the mudslides that closed part of another major interstate, Highway 70 in Glenwood Springs.

Again, people want answers to what role climate plays? These weather emergencies belie an underlying urgency that is going unaddressed.

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