Life in a small town

Social … fill in the blank …

Counter-top Sneeze Guard

Today I caved to social pressure … having noticed the proliferation of Plexiglas shields and barriers of many kinds, popping up everywhere in all retail locations which are still open, like toadstools in the night.

Instead of spending the required $300 plus to get an “official” PPE screen, I resurrected a large sheet of plexi from my parts rack and hung it across the counter beside my till, making sure that folks still had room to put their purchases down and room to use their swipe cards and so on.

My counter now resembles every other retail counter in the western “FREE” world and hopefully the “Burn The Witch” crowd will pass on to some other unfortunate scapegoat who failed to bend the knee. My cost … $15.00 and about 15 minutes to hang it up.

Taken by the Fairies in Dubuque Illustration by Arthur Rackham, 1933 for “Goblin Market,” Christina Rossetti.

Said shields are believed, by the superstitious masses, to “Protect” us from the “deadly” Chinese Communist Red Bat Flu demons.

“Officially” it’s COVID-19, a nice terrifying “official” sounding moniker suitable for scaring all us stupid little peons who our lords used to look down upon from their 20th floor corner office windows until they all ran away in terror to “work from home”.

Of course we peons are no longer running around out there because our leaders have all scared themselves and their voters bat-shitless.

I have noticed some folks have also started leaving little offerings out on the step at night to placate the “fairies”, a practice unnoticed since at least my great-grandmother’s day. Or maybe they are just old Pizza boxes that never made it to the dumpster. Who knows.

Protection from Speaking Moistly

Another interesting sign of the times is the resurgence of sacred mystical charms and such, prominently displayed on faces or worn on hands and heads. We give some of these away free with every purchase to those who are become practicing Wiccans literally overnight.

Ours are not quite so fashionable as the outfit in the image but they are free and available for our regulars, and come with a link to “Speaking Moistly”.

And we have “official” endorsement from our very own highly paid drama coach that wearing masks is “OK”. So there you go. I have pulled info from another blog site regarding the size of the virus and the value of filtering with HEPA filters.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is approximately 0.125 micron (125 nanometers) in diameter. It falls squarely within the particle-size range that HEPA filters capture with extraordinary efficiency: 0.01 micron (10 nanometers) and above.

Many media outlets have incorrectly stated that HEPA filters don’t filter below 0.3 micron and therefore could not capture airborne coronaviruses. That is flat wrong. (This NASA study of HEPA filtration is quite technical, but the graph on page 7 and the preceding paragraph do a good job of explaining why HEPA filters are actually most efficient—almost 100 percent at 0.01 micron—at capturing ultrafine particles below the 0.3-micron HEPA test standard.).


So to cover off the possible help from HEPA filters I am running 6 Amaircare 3000 HEPA filter air purifiers 24/7 in my building, but that is just normal here because we are in the heart of farming country and things are notoriously dusty. I have been running them for years and routinely changing filters, etc, etc.

But that doesn’t mean an air purifier will protect you, because it’s not certain that the virus can survive and remain infectious in the air. The position taken both by the CDC and by other global health agencies is that the coronavirus is primarily transmitted by person-to-person contact and by contact with virus-laden droplets expelled through coughing and sneezing.

Although coughs and sneezes certainly suggest “airborne” to most people, the droplets travel only about 6 feet before dropping out of the air and settling on surfaces. This is one reason health agencies worldwide are recommending 6-foot/2-meter “social distancing,” as well as related efforts such as frequent handwashing and disinfection of surfaces, as the primary means of protecting yourself.

Seems to me like nobody is “sure” about anything and what we do know is far outweighed by what we don’t know. And as some famous guy once remarked: “It’s what we don’t know that we don’t know that is going to bite our butts”. So a blended approach, barriers and masks for droplets, nitrile gloves for surface protection, HEPA filters for the airborne stuff.

And of course a healthy immune system and a healthy lifestyle helps a lot, because one thing apparent from the stats is that the biggest predictor of deaths seems to be various co-morbidities related to bad social habits, eating bad stuff, smoking, drinking, all the usual things that kill you eventually as you get older.

Remember, if you are reading this it is highly likely you have a fatal STD … “life” isn’t forever … everyone dies of it eventually, and then eternity. So it’s not all gloom and doom, right? So we end it with a link to a witty and enjoyable commentator, unlike those talking heads in the MSM.

A fellow blogger of much greater skill than me writes :

“… Horrible things do happen on this planet, and from the accounts I’ve read, the Chinese Communist Batflu is among them. If you get it, you could indeed become quite ill. But this is unlikely, unless you are already severely immuno-compromised. In a world that could think straight, the old and weak would be the very people we were racing to shelter: not de-prioritizing because they’re going to die soon anyway.

Your chances of getting the Xi Jinping Batflu are slight, and falling, but not actually zero. Of course, it is in the interest of the media of entertainment (which is to say, all the Western media today, with their heavy Chinese investments) to sensationalize; and thus produce a sensation that every political operative may apply to his self-interested, political ends.

It is hard for people, especially while scared, to consider anything in proportion. And it is difficult to find contextual information: for we cannot expect the media of entertainment to tell us anything that might ruin the show, while they’re in the theatre business.”

He also has another good one here.



Just a little rough patch