Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 1,063, March 22, 2020

The left is flexing everything that
remains of its power to convince the
population that they’re all going to die
and that only government can save them.

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The Coronavirus Chronicles: Coming of the Coronavirus
by Jeff Fullerton

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Saturday morning coming up on sunrise when I started this.

What a day yesterday and what a week. I’ll pick up where I left off yesterday decluttering and sanitizing my kitchen. Got into cutting the milk containers up to make strips for filter media for ponds and rid them from my space and then sweeping the floor. Ran out of time doing that and barely had time for just a peek at the Florida Room to make sure all is well and I had to be off. Good thing I had loaded up the furnace earlier. I remembered oil and called to order some for delivery next Friday.

The ER was moderately busy when I arrived. A continuation of the changeover that started the previous day. The frequent fliers are trickling in again. And more patients with the usual medical issues. My theory that people were holding off seeking care out of fear of the virus looks valid and we’ve hit the tipping point where they are now coming in.

Friday was also the tipping point for serious measures to manage the crisis that is now coming through our doors. There were a bunch of maintenance/ facilities management people hanging around. They had just put up the plastic barriers that will seal off the back half of the unit when the decision is made for the entire section to go to negative pressure and become the area for holding suspected Coronavirus cases which are being tested and sent home to be on quarantine If they are well enough and await results.

Spent the first half of my shift at the Triage window and second half at the first station. Was supposed to go to the back but the assignment sheet was changed and they kept the other tech there—I presume because it’s better to not move people around too much-though I’m not sure if that matters so much anymore. It may be too little too late because this thing has already spread beyond any hope of easy containment. Had to be a sitter for a combative patient. Got in on that one to help out the nurse who called for help—totally unprotected. The patient was deemed low risk but anyone could be infected and highly contagious without signs or symptoms of illness so I could be in trouble. And if not that one—then a number of others before or after. The situation and what we know about the disease and how contagious it is is constantly evolving from day to day and even by the hour.

I’ve given up on wearing masks except for highly suspicious cases that present to the window or to go into a room to take care of anyone who is questionable. It’s questionable how effective those masks are and we’re burning through them fast. Gloves and germicidal wipes and hand sanitizers are other resources of concern. To tell the truth I’d rather wear the full isolation gown and PAPR mask and spend the shift taking care of patients in full isolation than mess around with those surgical masks which are miserable to wear all the time and the moisture from your breath I’m sure diminishes their effectiveness in short order. And people are taking them on and off and touching their faces in the process or they are going around with them pulled down below their chins. May not be best practice from an infection control point of view.

Best defense against this enemy is impeccable personal hygiene, hand washing, sanitizing surfaces where the virus can lay around for hours or even days depending on the type of material and minimal contact with other people. The biggest part of the problem are the panic driven crowds converging to sack the grocery stores. If that were not enough—there are actually people out there shopping who are supposed to be on quarantine waiting test results—Even posting on social media that they are on quarantine and then going out shopping a day later or taking a kid to a school function with another family member in the household that tested positive for the virus!

They have no common sense or consideration for others. And they complain that libertarians are selfish. At least most of us are motivated by rational self interest and it is in our interest to safeguard the wellbeing of others as well as our own for the sake of preserving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Tyranny and statism thrive on existential danger and chaos that gives rise to the plea of necessity and the willingness of those unprepared to trade liberty for security. No wonder the progressive media likes to sensationalize bad news in a state of crisis. And a rush to judgment on the gross lack of preparedness of the medical system with the aim to lay the blame at Donald Trump’s feet. But it’s no more his fault than any other Presidents going all the way back to Jimmy Carter and beyond. Much like the exponentially growing national debt that no one seems interested in dealing with in a rational manner. Forget climate change that might happen in the next 12 or 50 or 100 years. The Coronavirus and the debt bomb are actual dangers capable of doing harm to us all right now in the present day. Indeed the current crisis is the case for not engaging in an orgy of deficit spending like we’ve been doing for most of the post World War II era to ease the pain of economic downturns and now we have a real crisis that looks very much like the World War II of our day and here we are scrambling to deal with it at the last minute. After wasting trillions on a lot of stupid stuff.

A crisis like the Coronavirus is the case for governments to live within their means in better times so they are not already in a financial hole when such a crisis arises or we end up in a major war. We are lucky that hasn’t happened yet. Pandemics usually pop up during the course of a war or afterward so the timing of this might be good in that regard as nations preoccupied with managing a pandemic may be less inclined to engage in conflict. Even much of the anti Trump rhetoric has died down. In part that the media now has a much more exciting story to cover and the democrats probably realize they will look bad if they go too over the top with blame laying or foot dragging. Of course this is going to be a boon for the Crisis Industry like 9/11 was. Hopefully some good will come out of it in the way of developing better strategies for dealing with crisis instead of it just being a power grab and opportunity for another big feeding frenzy on government largess. But I’m not counting on it.

For now the only thing we can do it deal with the circumstances as best we can with what we have available to work with and get through this. Last night I saw that a portion of one of the medical units I took a patient up to already has a section closed off behind a plastic barrier and it was also the day they went from one visitor per patient to no visitors at all. Earlier in the shift they were trying to discourage people from hanging out in the waiting room. Now it’s forbidden altogether. Waiting rooms may be a thing of the past when all is said and done. We were already moving in that direction already well in advance—taking every patient strait to a room for triage for customer satisfaction reasons which turned out to have good unintended consequences in the way of infection control. Now that’s just as obsolete as asking people if they’ve been out of the country. All surgeries except emergencies are canceled and I heard they are turning the outpatient registration across the lot from the ER into a testing center with security guards sorting and separating people who just want to be tested from those seeking emergency treatment and redirecting them there. It’s turning into a whole new world. I‘m not even going to speculate what it will be like when I go back on Monday.

Last night I noted; it felt a lot like my Air Force Days in 1991 on the eve of Desert Storm. Dealing with the last mad rush in a series of rushes when they emptied the military hospitals on bases in Germany to make way for a surge of casualties that was coming when the troops went into Kuwait. There has been pulses like that every so often during the course of Desert Shield through the fall of 1990 leading up to the day the ball dropped. In the ER the pulses started coming this week after a rather unsettling calm before the storm when census was as low and staff were being sent home.

The pulse that hit us Friday afternoon subsided by the end of my shift at 11:00 PM. That’s 23:00 military time which is also used by civilian hospitals like mine. I went home with a somewhat heavy heart worried about my fellows. It’s pretty much a war and we are like the 2 E facility—the MASH unit where the casualties will be coming en mass. It’s not the end of the world and may not be as bad as the 1918 Influenza but some of us will likely get sick and some may even die. I’m going to do my best to stay alive and well and do my job which is helping to keep other people alive and well. I’m quite the lone wolf apart from work and the restrictions on non-essential movement by state authorities have just implemented are not that much of a problem for me as missed opportunities to get stuff done and buy things that are now in short supply that once could be taken for granted.

As things stand now , there is ample supply of food and other life essentials. It’s people who are acting foolishly who are causing the shortages and contributing to unnecessary spread of a contagious and dangerous disease. They need to settle down and follow basic common sense so they don’t stress the supply chains and put themselves and other people in danger. And put what remains of our freedom in general. The worst danger long term is the destruction of personal liberty by those who have aspired to do so for along time and will always try to take advantage of a crisis like this one. We must keep vigilant and prevent that.

Got stuff to do. Critters to feed and get ready along with other things to prepare so they can fend for themselves more if I get busy or fall ill. And some necessary spring cleaning.

Will continue this saga parallel or in place of my usual contribution known as The Norseman’s Diaries for the duration of the crisis. Hopefully I and every one of you reading this will still be alive and our country will be back on track to restoring freedom and prosperity again by then.

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