A change can do ya good

A couple of things I learned/thought/will be doing/changed.

There isn’t enough pandemic-fighting PPE equipment in Vancouver. This means that docs are refusing to see people with fever and persistent cough, and failing a lockdown, we’re all going to be exposed to coronavirus. For this reason, I will be cancelling my doctors’ appointment later this month, whether or not I am showing symptoms…. do I really want to go in a week to doctor’s office across the street from RCH? I’m thinking they’ll be using the basement and upstairs of the SOAP Hall in Sapperton – where Beacon is – for overflow beds since it’s plague ward sized and right across the street from RCH and it’s accessible and there’s a kitchen and washrooms although there probably isn’t enough power, so it wouldn’t be good for people on ventilators.

I’ve started taking L-lysine. It’s a placebo. I’m okay with that. Even if it’s not and it actually helps I’ll never know because ain’t no science here.

Estrogen offers some protection against coronavirus apparently; I am still happy to pass on whatever hormones might be coming to me as a post menopausal cis woman to any trans woman who needs them (not literally, just not using them). Seriously. I don’t need it and someone else does.

Here are instructions for clearing your lungs, which I’m also copying here: (the online instructions have pictures accompanying, so it’s better)

COPD: Clearing Your Lungs

Introduction

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a long-term illness that makes it hard to breathe. When you have COPD, air does not flow easily into and out of your lungs. You may be short of breath, cough a lot, and have a lot of mucus in your lungs. Learning to clear your lungs may help you save energy and oxygen and may also help prevent lung infections.

There are three things you can do to clear your lungs:

  • Controlled coughing. This type of coughing comes from deep in your lungs. It loosens mucus and moves it though your airways.
  • Postural drainage. You lie down in different positions to help drain mucus from your lungs.
  • Chest percussion. You lightly tap your chest and back. The tapping loosens the mucus in your lungs.

How do you do controlled coughing, postural drainage, and chest percussion?

Controlled coughing

Coughing is how your body tries to get rid of mucus. But the kind of coughing you cannot control makes things worse. It causes your airways to close. It also traps the mucus in your lungs.

Controlled coughing comes from deep in your lungs. It loosens mucus and moves it though your airways. It is best to do it after you use your inhaler or other medicine. Follow these steps for controlled coughing:

  • Sit on the edge of a chair, and keep both feet on the floor.
  • Lean forward a little, and relax.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose, and fold your arms over your belly.
  • As you exhale, lean forward. Push your arms against your belly.
  • Cough 2 or 3 times as you exhale with your mouth slightly open. Make the coughs short and sharp. Push on your belly with your arms as you cough. The first cough brings the mucus through the lung airways. The next coughs bring it up and out.
  • Inhale again, but do it slowly and gently through your nose. Do not take quick or deep breaths through your mouth. It can block the mucus coming out of the lungs. It also can cause uncontrolled coughing.
  • Rest, and repeat if you need to.

Postural drainage

Postural drainage means lying down in different positions to help drain mucus from your lungs.

Hold each position for 5 minutes. Do it about 30 minutes after you use your inhaler. Make sure you have an empty stomach. If you need to cough, sit up and do controlled coughing.

Follow these steps for postural drainage:

  • Lie down on a bed or the floor. Use pillows to help you with different positions.
  • To drain the front of your lungs
    • Lie on your back. Make sure that your chest is lower than your hips. Put two pillows under your hips. Use a small pillow under your head. Keep your arms at your sides.
    • Then follow these instructions for breathing: With one hand on your belly and the other on your chest, breathe in. Push your belly out as far as possible. You should be able to feel the hand on your belly move out, while the hand on your chest should not move. When you breathe out, you should be able to feel the hand on your belly move in. This is called belly breathing or diaphragmatic (say “die-uh-fruhg-MAT-ik”) breathing. You will use it in the other drainage positions too.
  • To drain the sides of your lungs
    • Do this step as you lie on one side. Then turn over, and do it on the other side.
    • Place two or three pillows under your hips. Use a small pillow under your head. Make sure your chest is lower than your hips. Use belly breathing. After 5 or 10 minutes, switch sides.
  • To drain the back of your lungs
    • Lie on your stomach.
    • Place two or three pillows under your hips. Use a small pillow under your head.
    • Place your arms by your head.
    • Use belly breathing.

Chest percussion

Chest percussion means that you lightly tap your chest and back. The tapping loosens the mucus in your lungs.

Follow these steps to do chest percussion:

  • Cup your hand, and lightly tap your chest and back.
  • Ask your doctor where the best spots are to tap. Avoid your spine and breastbone.
  • It may be easier to have someone do the tapping for you.

I don’t believe a goddamn word about how long you can be shedding virus. You can test positive for coronavirus a month after you no longer have symptoms. Is it live virus? are you infectious? Do we really know? On that basis, we’re going to be living and dying with this mofo, especially once it starts mutating locally, for a looong time. By the time this is over, the Venetians who died after their kin brought plague from Caffa will be rising from their mass graves and saying DID I STUTTER WHEN I SAID QUARANTINE, WHICH MEANS FORTY FUCKING DAYS? Or no, everything’s fine, we’ll catch most of it in 14 days.

Don’t smoke, don’t vape, and especially don’t vape anything with glycerin in it.  Do not do anything at all that could reduce your lung capacity, you will need all of it.

Did you know that Trump specifically told the CDC not to test for COVID-19 because it would interfere with Republican chances for the elections? Now that you know, are you surprised?

…..but it would be fucking swell if we could keep the mortality down to a dull roar while we Canadians come up with a vaccine and the Senegalese come up with the world’s fastest and most accurate test and the Cubans set their antiviral manufacturing into HOLY FUCK PANDEMIC mode. The idea of a bunch of expressionless Senegalese doctors saying that it would be their preference if Europeans stopped visiting because they bring disease gladdens the little rancid piece of gristle standing in for my heart these days.

I changed my website, because in a time of plague a brand refresh is always on point. My twitter logo is now part of the site, so anyone who ends up here from twitter knows this is me.

cancellations

Saw Keith, Paul, Katie and Alex yesterday when I went to pick Alex up from the school. I walked to but Katie gave me a lift back from Planet Bachelor. Alex is doing well and we had a lovely walk. I didn’t bug him or try to talk to him. I let him be. I walked next to him, and at every intersection, his little cold hand slid into mine, and then he let go as soon as we crossed the street.

Keith enjoys living with Alex. He says some days are better than others.

I burst into tears when Paul said he’s staying on this side of the border until things settle down, which, candidly, who can say?

And it all happens again two Wednesdays from now, if we aren’t in lockdown. Seven new cases in BC yesterday.

Started reading the Newsflesh Trilogy yesterday. It’s entertaining as hell; but describing the zombie apocalypse like that and then saying ‘look how much infrastructure survived’ makes me hope that she will at least provide an explanation of how the power grid and cell towers survived well enough to make an instant news economy work, and where all that bleach gets manufactured, is not really explained well enough to keep me happy.

I have a sudden mental image of people driving up to crematoria with loved ones in garbage bags sealed with duct tape and leaving them outside with the phone number of whoever’s got the credit card number to get them cremated.

70 million years ago days were 23.5 hours long. Longer days were God’s answer to critters saying ‘THERE’S JUST NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY”.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are in COVID-19 isolation in Australia. Lucky them.

Guess who has diplomatic relations with Cuba, which manufactures the most powerful antiviral in the world right now? Canada. Guess who doesn’t? Trumplandia.

Dinosaur the size of a hummingbird.

6.7 times sillier

You’ll see.

John Cleese, genius of physical comedy!

Rewatched Contagion yesterday. Remarkably prescient and science oriented for a work of fiction.

I had my mammogram yesterday, we’ll get results in 2-3 weeks. To treat myself I went to a Japanese restaurant, Kiku, and oh my god their sushi is so much better than our local I nearly screeched in ecstasy while I was eating it.

You can’t socially distance yourself from somebody jammin’ yer tit in between two sides of a vice….

The latest Capilano review is FANTASTIC, as always, there’s a series of photographs that’s pure fire and also BEAU DICK‘S MASKS omg omg omg they are so frickin gorgeous and … anyway…..

Coughing in public is considered gauche now.

bless the Spaniards

The Spanish, because their public health people are a) funded and b) adequately fixed for cerebration have started autopsying folks what died of Pneumonia of unknown origin and guess what, the first person to die of Coronavirus in Spain was February 13, a 69 year old man who had recently flown in from Nepal.

In consequence of this they know what iteration of the virus is circulating and have a long list of folks to contact, the way you’re supposed to.

Whereas in the US, 45 says everything’s cool and his son is organizing a donor meet at Mar-a-Lago in August, at which I hope the Masque of the Red Fucking Death shows up (hat tip to Bae’d Runner on twitter for that).

Please don’t say that the coronavirus will only kill the elderly and disabled. My best people are elderly and disabled.

I’m taking Jeff out to brekky this morning and then we will do a small shop.

email circulated by a world famous scientist

Thanks to me exchanging emails with Carolyn Porco back when I was still stanning for Unitarianism, I got this this am. It is actually from a friend of hers.

Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Dear Colleagues, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources. The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average – everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon.  This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth. >>>>>>> OKAY THIS WAS THE POINT I SAID hunh

Because this disease has cell receptors all over your body, as previously mentioned in this blog. HOWEVER he’s right that it can only infect you by getting into your respiratory system, usually by you transferring live virus to your facial mucosa. Once it gets in you, it can hurt your heart and your circulatory system surfaces as well.

2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you – it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth – it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available. I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email.

Good luck to all of us!

James Robb, MD FCAP

roundup for Thursday

Throwback Thursday picture:

 

 

Roberta on Melody Maid, 1949. south end of barnyard; the circular water trough is downslope and right.

mOm has consumed by latest little puff pastry of a fan fic story and enjoyed it, so there. I cannot bear touching or looking at UPSUN right now so I won’t.  This is a temporary state of affairs.

Lovely walk in the neighbourhood yesterday with Paul; came home and fed him Flower Bread (Balkan style pullapart rolls) and lentil soup, which he removed entirely.

Here’s Helen Branswell on our plague year.

Jesus Fucking Christ, said Jesus Fucking Christ, looking down from heaven at the Korean woman who went to church TWICE AFTER HER DOCTORS TOLD HER TO BE TESTED FOR CORONAVIRUS

Discovery of Witches has been renewed for two more seasons YAH but no release date BOO and of course the whole world will be up in the air as COVID does its thing

The Correction does her thing

So, this morning, Coronavirus. 80k infected and 2.5k dead, approx, as of this date.

Holy shit, the lies and propaganda about COVID-19 on line – I’m doing a skip-dive this am – are horrifying. Once again, there is zero evidence that the Chinese government made the virus. They’d be releasing it in the Uighur camps if that was true, come on dear people think.

Also, apparently abandoned babies are appearing in orphanages because their parents haven’t been paid since January and they’re being evicted – there was a heartwrenching picture with a letter indicating that the parents would be back to collect the kid when they had a home again. ABSOLUTELY no idea if it’s true, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

there are reports of entire families (all over 50 yoa) perishing within a fortnight, also reports that there’s no systematized autopsies of the dead so we’re not getting a clear idea of what aspect of the virus procession through the body is actually killing people which given that it can kill you more than one way, which would affect treatment protocols, is just one more thing that CDCs in the rest of the world are going to have to figure out, because China’s a little busy right now. The ACE2 receptor is the main target in the human body but that means it can attack lungs, organ linings (endothelium), kidneys, blood vessels and the heart. Death by this organism can masquerade as a heart attack or a fatal asthma attack and you won’t know without an autopsy, so current cause of death info is bullshit and we need to poke the Chinese to do better

and to top it all off you’ll be way more susceptible to any lung bug at all for months afterward if you do get it so just imagine the first groups of people who survive COVID-19 only to die from regular flu and how angry their families will be GET YOUR FLU SHOT

A THREAD.

June 2005 is up

I got lazy and put the last half of the month under one post.

I wrote 690 words of fanfic yesterday but I’m completely sessile today. I had a ‘bad digestion day’ which was basically me eating a probiotic for the first time in months plus eating cheese and two bowls of lentils in a single 24 hour period and I must say it was windy in here, mighty windy. The cheese & probiotic formed a plug and then the lentils had things to say for about 45 minutes after they rudely and forcefully pushed past the cheese plug, at the end of which I briefly thought of taking a picture and then comparing notes with my pOp but I, even I, restrain myself at the ultimate edge of really poor taste and merely suggest it. Then I nearly passed out. I felt faint for about ten minutes and actually thought about yelling for Jeff but the ghastly weakness faded. I kept my phone close just in case. This much pressure is normally accompanied by high exhaust gas temperature but nope. If Paul ever reads this he needs to know I repeatedly thanked fortune that I had a flush, as opposed to hand pump, toilet, as I would naver have kept up.

That plus the bruised possible broken or cracked floating rib is not making me lively, that’s for damned sure.

I light a candle for a young comrade in Sweden who’s feeling crappy and unloved. I sent him a note to indicate that his crappiness is not evident at least to me.

pleased

bp was 132/87 this morning, which is most pleasing; got three more months’ worth of prescription this morning. Apart from being a little more tired than usual (which might be my thyroid slowing down, too) I’m tolerating the inderal really well. Monday I go back to the doctor and get some bloodwork for the thyroid.

Did a little shop, got thirty minutes of walking (half of it burdened like a camel-with-hands) and in general I’m feeling quite fine.

Now it’s time to do laundry and run the dishwasher and the rest of that stuff while I wait for Jeff to get back from a client’s.

Feb 2005 is done!

174 252 438 words on HOTM Redux so far today, I imagine I’ll keep going.

Dr. Appointment this morning, switched to the 60 mg Inderal last night. Apart from feeling super tired and a little pukey I don’t feel any different, and I slept like a log for 8 hours so WELL DONE ME. I’ll be leaving by bus around 9.

My blood pressure still sucks though. 133/97 in morning 148/87 in the afternoon.

This is for Sean one of my internet buddies. He claims to be a shitposter so I wrote him a filk.

TTTO GOLDFINGER

shitposter

he’s the man a man with some shit to post

he does it most

such a gitposter

Beckons you to enter his web of shit

It’s big, you’ll fit!

Fecal words he will dump through your screen

So much so that you’ll never feel clean

And his readers know that once he has posted

he has made his point, then ghosted

shitposter….