So Garry and I are listening (Audiobooks) to the biography of John Wayne written by Scott Eyman. We can’t turn on a baseball game, which we would normally be doing. There’s nowhere to go because it’s cold and rainy outside. We could go to the parks. They aren’t crowded and I could take pictures.

But the book is interesting. It’s mostly old news for Garry, but mostly new to me. While we listen, I’m also checking email and pondering what to do about supper. We are not out of food, but we don’t have much variety. We have boneless pork loin X 2. Boneless chicken thighs X 2. Leftovers from dinner the other night. A couple of packages of chopped meat.

Uxbridge still has no toilet paper, so Owen bought all the rolls in the shop he runs — 12 small rolls for $9.00. But we can’t run out of toilet paper. That would be really bad.

I keep reading a lot of rants by people who think the whole Coronavirus thing is just to scare people. The problem is that because we have no tests available, we have NO idea how many infections there are … or where they are. Even people who need to be hospitalized can’t get a test. Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that Trump and his nasty band of sycophants are intentionally slowing down the testing so we don’t have to admit publicly how bad things are in the U.S.? Am I being cynical?


For all of you who think you are living someplace where there is no virus, think again about that. With no testing going on, you have no idea if there is or isn’t some or many infections in your area. No tests? No information.

Meanwhile, even if you are sure this isn’t going to be a big deal for you, if you have any passing relationship with other human beings who might be over 60 or have medical issues, like asthma, Lupus, MS, diabetes, heart disease, or be under treatment for cancer, AIDs, and other chronic medical problems … your staying healthy might save their lives.

This is inconvenient. More than merely inconvenient. But this siege won’t last forever. In a couple of months, assuming we start acting responsibly, it should peak and then recede.

Assuming we do what we should be doing, that is. If we keep doing nothing, it’s possible in the end this will be the country to be the hardest hit by the virus.

Think about that.


This was originally a comment to my post from Bette Stevens, but it is the first substantial information I’ve gotten about symptoms and what we are supposed to be looking for. So I am passing the information to you and maybe it will help.

Here’s a message a friend sent me:


Last evening dining out with friends, one of their uncles, who’s graduated with a master’s degree and who worked in Shenzhen Hospital (Guangdong Province, China) sent him the following notes on Coronavirus for guidance:

1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold
2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26 or 27 degrees Celsius. It hates the Sun.
4. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
5. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours so if you come into contact with any metal surface, wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.
6. On fabric, it can survive for 6 to 12 hours; normal laundry detergent will kill it.
7. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses; try not to drink liquids with ice.
8. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5 to 10 minutes, but a lot can happen during that time. You can rub your eyes, wipe your mouth, unwittingly, etc.
9. You should also gargle as prevention; a simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
10. I can’t emphasize enough; drink plenty of water!


1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3 to 4 days.
2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and your lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5 to 6 days more.
3. With pneumonia comes a high fever and difficulty breathing.
4. Nasal congestion is not the usual kind. You feel as if you’re drowning. It’s imperative you seek immediate attention.


I can’t guarantee how accurate this information is, but it made sense to me. Take good care of yourself!

Bette Stevens


Responding to:

Open Book Blog Hop – Are audiobooks considered reading?

I got addicted to audiobooks while I was commuting to work. There were periods when I was driving as much as 5 hours a day — just to get back and forth to work. Living in Massachusetts, even when the distances aren’t huge, the traffic is heavy in every direction. I think if I hadn’t discovered Books On Tape and after that, I’d have lost my mind. I was in the car for many hours a day. I was at work another eight to ten hours.

A Kindle and a Bluetooth speaker for listening to audiobooks

By the time I got home, there was cooking, trying to spend a little quality time with Garry — which wasn’t easy because for many years, he wasn’t home on weekends. He was getting up for work when I was going to bed. There was also my son, shopping, cleaning, and just trying to keep the house from becoming a wreck.

I was younger then and managed to do a lot of things at a time. Running laundry while straightening up the rest of the house. Learning to cook meals that were quick to prepare and easy to clean up after.

There was no time to read. Since reading had always been my escape from the world, after a while, I felt like the walls were closing in.

Audiobooks saved my sanity. I would get to work and sit in the car just a few extra minutes to get to the end of a chapter. It absolutely saved my sanity. These days, as I’ve gotten older and find reading print more difficult — Garry thinks I have a terminal case of eye-strain — I listen far more often then I read. I have trouble focusing on a printed page. It’s easier to write than read which probably accounts for my appallingly bad proofreading.

I actually prefer listening to reading for other reasons. The speed of speaking is much slower than the speed at which I read. I’m a very fast reader which is great when you are trying to collect information for work but isn’t so great when reading for pleasure. The human speed and level of a voice especially when it’s a really good narrator helps me be absorbed by the book.

It’s like watching a really good movie, except I get to create the pictures and they are always perfect.

I wanted to add a short note:

A lot of how you respond to audiobooks versus words on a page depends on why you read and how you absorb the information. For many of us, we no longer find reading comfortable. Our eyes are old and close vision gets dodgy. Quite a few people lose their sight as the years pile up. Garry is part of a group now that produces audio for those who can’t read whether they are blind or otherwise unable to hold a book in place, or otherwise have problems that make focusing on a page difficult.

If you can read and like to hover over the text, going back and forward to read, then reread sections, you’ll probably be happier with pages. True it’s easy to drop off and lose parts of a story if you read at night, but rewind is pretty good for getting you back to where you were before you nodded off.

If you read during the day, you will probably drift off less easily.  If you are commuting, I have to assume you are awake. I found music in a car puts me out like a light and classical music is so absorbing I forget I’m driving.

I need to have something that makes my mind engage if I am going to stay awake at the wheel.

I do listen to poetry on audiobooks, though typically, I have read the poem before I listen to it and/or will read it after I hear it. To me, poetry is the most musical of all types of writing and deserves to be heard out loud.

Trump fails in desperate attempt to save his political skin – REBLOG – The Shinbone Star

This is a good summary of how we’ve gotten to where we are. How long will we stay here? Very good question. As one of the vulnerable ones, I would really like tests available. I’d like to know if Worcester County has many, few, or no cases. As it stands, Massachusetts has almost no tests available, not even in our biggest and best hospitals and here in the boonies, I’m sure we have none at all. Thus, the only people who get tested are athletes who get paid in the millions of dollars. Apparently, a knowledge of the risks is available only to the rich and famous.

What a shock, eh? Hey, there’s no inequality in THIS country!



Impeached President Donald J. Trump failed last night in a desperate attempt to save his political skin with a television talk designed to calm a nervous nation confronted with a killer virus.

After using the power of the media to deliver details of a series of legislative and economic actions — including a ban on travel from Europe for 30 days — and bragging about how his administration had managed to keep the deadly novel coronavirus from sweeping across the country, Trump uttered this unforgettable line:

“I will always put the well-being of America first.”

Those words must have been comforting for relatives of the 38 Americans who have already died from coronavirus and the nearly 1,200 others diagnosed with the disease over the past few weeks.

But the real problem with that bogus and pandering statement is that it came after more than a month of Trump downplaying the…

View original post 619 more words



On a day that felt like a form of madness, another flower bloomed on my orchids. I always wanted to go back and check out the 14th century and I feel like I really am … but with better technology. And medicine. We may not have a cure for Coronavirus, but we do have medicine, something they were mostly missing in the 14th century.

Five flowers and one more big bud

For all the people who have said this is no big deal … is it a big deal yet?

Pretty flowers

Just because you don’t have it and figure you’ll survive it, remember that we are all in contact with people whose lives are threatened by this disease. It would be nice if we don’t wipe out my entire generation, you think?

I love how the light makes the flowers translucent

This is about as insane as the news and reality get, at least in my lifetime. Please everyone, even if you figure you’re safe enough, remember that you meet other people and they are more likely to die from this illness, even if you are not.

Square Orchids

We are in the middle of a plague. It’s not the Black Plague of the 1300s, but it’s bad enough for me and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive it. Since I had been hoping to have a few more years of life, be careful and don’t expose others to something you feel isn’t very serious.