What? You Want to Live Forever?

 

If you die within the next six months, it will not be from the Coronavirus. Caveats for septuagenarians with pre-existing respiratory problems and/or compromised immune systems.

I cannot top @cliffordbrown or @rodin at racking and stacking the statistics and infection data about this virus. Instead, I find the all-American freak-out worth remarking on. One can hardly blame the Great American Public for its trepidation. The reporting by our junk-bond, partisan, hysterical press is one more piece of evidence for the contention that we have a garbage media. I understand that “if it bleeds, it leads,” but the hair-on-fire, doomsday plague reportage impedes our citizens’ ability to perform a decent assessment of the situation.

All that, though, is not the source of my frustration. We’re Americans; a full-fledged freak-out over a rooty-poot virus is unseemly. As quantified on other Ricochet posts, the swine flu, the bird flu, and the M1A generic, seasonal flu reap lives in numbers that are orders of magnitude greater than the Coronavirus.

There is a profound lack of perspective evident in the freak-out. Every morning when you wake, and you haven’t died in your sleep is a gift. Every morning, as you prepare for your day, you should be cognizant of the myriad ways you could face an untimely requirement to shuffle off this mortal coil. Some of the risks can be mitigated. Many can come out of the blue, and whatever risk mitigation measures you’ve employed, you’re going to wind up deader than fried chicken.

Most people, I think, are intellectually aware of the fact that they will die. Too, most are aware that their ticket might be punched far earlier than they would wish. That is a myopic view of life. One needs to accept mortality on a visceral level.

Not accepting, and contemplating, the uncertainty of life prevents a full appreciation and celebration of the gift of life we’ve been given.

Every dawn we meet hale, whole, and hearty is a cause for profound gratitude, and every sunset should evoke the same. I don’t like the term carpe diem, because it hints at an excuse for wanton hedonism (now, carpe per diem is a whole different proposition). But, one should treat each day as a gift, love family and friends as much and as hard as we can, and be ready to meet our Maker.

There is some wisdom to be gained from the philosophy of the samurai of yore. That wisdom is limited, in that upon the initiation of the Tokugawa shogunate and the melding of Zen Buddhism and Shinto, the samurai became members of a pseudo death cult. Still, I found this quote to be relevant.

Every morning a warrior should recommit himself to death. In morning meditation, see yourself killed in various ways, such as being shredded by arrows, bullets, swords, and spears, being swept away by a tidal wave, burned by fire, struck by lightening, dying in a earthquake, falling from a great height, or succumbing to overwhelming sickness. An elder warrior said, “Once out of your front door you are surrounded by death. Once you leave your gate you are surrounded by enemies.” This saying is not merely a parable, but a way to prepare for your fate.

Don’t forget to put life into living.

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  1. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I don’t even know how to be helpful in the face of this current epidemic.

    People will soon adapt and figure out how to live with this type of virus on the loose. But it will be a bumpy road on the way to that new “normal” place.

    Hi MarciN, we’ve both been all over the covid-related posts on the site. Maybe you’ll find something useful in these sources about what one can do and how to help family and immediate neighbors? Here, here, and here.

    • #31
  2. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Snirtler (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I don’t even know how to be helpful in the face of this current epidemic.

    People will soon adapt and figure out how to live with this type of virus on the loose. But it will be a bumpy road on the way to that new “normal” place.

    Hi MarciN, we’ve both been all over the covid-related posts on the site. Maybe you’ll find something useful in these sources about what one can do and how to help family and immediate neighbors? Here, here, and here.

    Thank you. I shall devour these tonight. Thank you very very much. 

    • #32
  3. LC Member
    LC
    @LidensCheng

    But Boss, I do want to live forever.

     

    • #33
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I’m not so much worried for myself (even though I’m 70, but in very good health) but for my husband who is 74, with bronchiectasis (bronchial/lung condition) who is very vulnerable. I have some trips coming up; the first is a flight in April. I don’t want to catch anything that could be serious if I bring it home to my hubby. I’m watching to see how things unfold.

    • #34
  5. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Wife: Does this dress make me look fat?

    Stad: No. Your body makes you look fat.

    Wife: Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! (drops mag, reloads) Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!

    Daughter (walks into room): What’s going on, Mom?

    Widow: Just getting in some target practice.

    Daughter: Nice grouping.

    FIFY (assumed a single stack .45 with one initially in the pipe).

    My wife doesn’t like to waste ammo . . .

    • #35
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Wife: Does this dress make me look fat?

    Stad: No. Your body makes you look fat.

    Wife: Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! (drops mag, reloads) Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!

    Daughter (walks into room): What’s going on, Mom?

    Widow: Just getting in some target practice.

    Daughter: Nice grouping.

    FIFY (assumed a single stack .45 with one initially in the pipe).

    Browning Hi-Power 9mm with the 15-round staggered stack.

    • #36
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Percival (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Wife: Does this dress make me look fat?

    Stad: No. Your body makes you look fat.

    Wife: Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! (drops mag, reloads) Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!

    Daughter (walks into room): What’s going on, Mom?

    Widow: Just getting in some target practice.

    Daughter: Nice grouping.

    FIFY (assumed a single stack .45 with one initially in the pipe).

    Browning Hi-Power 9mm with the 15-round staggered stack.

    I’ve always wanted one of those.  Maybe for my birthday . . .

    • #37
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Wife: Does this dress make me look fat?

    Stad: No. Your body makes you look fat.

    Wife: Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! (drops mag, reloads) Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam! Blam!

    Daughter (walks into room): What’s going on, Mom?

    Widow: Just getting in some target practice.

    Daughter: Nice grouping.

    FIFY (assumed a single stack .45 with one initially in the pipe).

    Browning Hi-Power 9mm with the 15-round staggered stack.

    I’ve always wanted one of those. Maybe for my birthday . . .

    Better not tell Neutral Observer the reason you want it ….

    • #38
  9. Jdetente Member
    Jdetente
    @

    Really enjoyed this and I completely agree. My own little pet theory is that the people who are most worried (and I don’t blame them) are people who do not believe in transcendence and a higher power. In that very real sense this is a tremendously strong spiritual event. On a personal note, we have a 98 year old grandmother in my family and I worry a lot about her health and how this will play out…but that is my own selfishness in a way. We don’t want to lose her to this virus but if that were to happen, we have to accept events as they unfold and be grateful for all of the blessings we have had in our time with her….

    • #39
  10. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    Jdetente (View Comment):

    Really enjoyed this and I completely agree. My own little pet theory is that the people who are most worried (and I don’t blame them) are people who do not believe in transcendence and a higher power. In that very real sense this is a tremendously strong spiritual event. On a personal note, we have a 98 year old grandmother in my family and I worry a lot about her health and how this will play out…but that is my own selfishness in a way. We don’t want to lose her to this virus but if that were to happen, we have to accept events as they unfold and be grateful for all of the blessings we have had in our time with her….

    Whatever happened to God helps those who help themselves? Belief in Divine Providence does not equate to fatalism.

    Families with elderly members should practice common sense and demonstrate love for them by ensuring household members limit their exposure to situations where they could pick up the virus and pass them on. Behaving in ways that minimize risk of exposure is an act of charity towards our family and neighbors.

     

    • #40
  11. Jdetente Member
    Jdetente
    @

    Snirtler (View Comment):

    Jdetente (View Comment):

    Really enjoyed this and I completely agree. My own little pet theory is that the people who are most worried (and I don’t blame them) are people who do not believe in transcendence and a higher power. In that very real sense this is a tremendously strong spiritual event. On a personal note, we have a 98 year old grandmother in my family and I worry a lot about her health and how this will play out…but that is my own selfishness in a way. We don’t want to lose her to this virus but if that were to happen, we have to accept events as they unfold and be grateful for all of the blessings we have had in our time with her….

    Whatever happened to God helps those who help themselves? Belief in Divine Providence does not equate to fatalism.

    Families with elderly members should practice common sense and demonstrate love for them by ensuring household members limit their exposure to situations where they could pick up the virus and pass them on. Behaving in ways that minimize risk of exposure is an act of charity towards our family and neighbors.

    If you interpreted my post as a way saying that we are not taking precautions…that is incorrect. I did not say that. We are taking every precaution.

    What I am actually saying is that we (as humans) have very little control over what happens to us. We must be prudent and smart about how we live and protect ourselves where we can…but at the end of they day we do not control whether today is our last day or whether it’s 50 years from now. I am grateful every day. I am frankly baffled that you think my post encouraged fatalism…

    • #41
  12. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    For what it’s worth, everyone I am talking with are just making fun of the freakout.  I have whiskey and guns…..bring me the Corona Zombies!

    • #42
  13. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    I looked up the CDC’s leading causes of death in 2019 and wondered about the impact of language. Instead of “heart failure”, we speak of “heart disease”. Instead of “cell failure”, it’s “cancer”. Half the causes indicate a critical malfunction of one organ or another. But it’s never chalked up to simple aging. If an old person dies of a heart attack, nevermind that every ticker stops eventually. 

    Though we would like to address many concerns with plain and objective calculations, the significance of conditions and events often require judgment and not just recognition. The impact of a disease on a body can be objectively observed. Its impact on a person’s choices are subject to abstract values and purpose.

    Sometimes our relative judgments influence our ostensibly objective measurements.

    • #43
  14. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Boss Mongo: If you die within the next six months, it will not be from the Corona virus. Caveats for septuagenarians with pre-existing respiratory problems…

    Check … and check. Plus working retail where people like to project their illnesses. Cough in the elbow. Nope. Lean forward and pretend you’re the town crier, announcing your condition. 

    Oh, and test kits? I heard yesterday at work that the Government is what created Coronavirus, just to make money charging people $4500 for a test. The virus is just a money-making venture from the gummint, And it’s aimed specifically at people who can’t afford the test. Ah, libruuls…

    • #44
  15. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Both-and.

    My goals are to 1.) not get sick so I’m not clogging up an ICU bed needed by someone else 2.) not get sick so I can bring food to sick neighbors 3.) not get sick so I can help my colleagues with the state’s emergency responses 4.) if I get sick, take it as it comes and be grateful. 

     

     

    • #45
  16. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Here’s my problem. When was this supposed decision made to put on a happy face?

    “The flu is worse. Wash your Hands. Don’t stop your activities.”

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Precisely what decisions were made that prevented you from having immediate access to a test kit? I

    The CDC decided to forbid any private companies or University labs from developing test kits.  Then they STB (S### The Bed).  We lost at least a month.  As of today tests are still not available  to me, or a lot of other clinicians.  South Korea has tested over 100k people with a fraction of our population.

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    So the hospital is getting the test kits first, rather than a clinic. Doesn’t this make sense? How else would one distribute test kits, if there were a limited supply?

    Other countries have managed to set up drive through testing sites.  

    Once again.  Compare and contrast.

    • #46
  17. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    Kozak (View Comment):
    The CDC decided to forbid any private companies or University labs from developing test kits.

    Have any idea what their reasoning was for that? (Serious question. I’m only semi-following the situation.)

    • #47
  18. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Weeping (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    The CDC decided to forbid any private companies or University labs from developing test kits.

    Have any idea what their reasoning was for that? (Serious question. I’m only semi-following the situation.)

    Yeah.

     

    “We’re from the CDC and we got this. Stand back”.

     

    • #48
  19. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Weeping (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    The CDC decided to forbid any private companies or University labs from developing test kits.

    Have any idea what their reasoning was for that? (Serious question. I’m only semi-following the situation.)

    Yeah.

     

    “We’re from the CDC and we got this. Stand back”.

     

    Ah — so more of a guarding of “their” territory than anything else.

    • #49
  20. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    Weeping (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    The CDC decided to forbid any private companies or University labs from developing test kits.

    Have any idea what their reasoning was for that? (Serious question. I’m only semi-following the situation.)

    Bureaucratic pathologies.

    First, a summary of CDC incompetence: They shipped out testing kits to public health labs, so testing can be carried out locally. In mid-Feb, they announce that the tests are unreliable. They promise a replacement and there’s a further hitch; in the meantime, samples that can’t be tested locally are sent to CDC HQ in Atlanta. While this was going on, Germany had produced a testing kit for the WHO, which recommended it for US use. Somebody ask the CDC poobahs why they didn’t source kits from abroad.

    The FDA is also implicated in the testing failure (ain’t just the CDC’s fault). I learned this from the latest 10 Blocks podcast. The FDA has authority to regulate testing developed in private labs. They have enforcement discretion and they almost never regulated such testing. Somebody ought to ask why of all times the FDA would start exercising its enforcement discretion, it would do so precisely in Jan when Sec Azar declared the covid public health emergency–and it limited the available tests just to the CDC one.

    • #50
  21. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    The only change I’ve made is a dietary change. No more fresh bats, I’m strictly a canned bat type of guy now.

    • #51
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    The only change I’ve made is a dietary change. No more fresh bats, I’m strictly a canned bat type of guy now.

    Marinated or plain?

    • #52
  23. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    On the test kit issue — Kozak and Snirtler, thanks for #46 and #50 above.

    On the other hand, it seems easy to mess up the test kit.  CDC apparently messed up its test kit.  This is a big mistake.  But it is important for the authorities (CDC and FDA) to make sure that private test kits are reliable.  What if private providers mess things up, just as CDC apparently did?

    It is not reassuring that the CDC — supposedly the best in the world at these things — developed and distributed a flawed test kit.

    As I understand it, the flaw in the kit was a high rate of false positives.  This is bad, but it is not the worst possible flaw.  False negatives would be worse.

    • #53
  24. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    What? You Want To Live Forever?

     

    Well, ideally, yeah, I do.

     

    • #54
  25. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    What? You Want To Live Forever?

     

    Well, ideally, yeah, I do.

    The nation needs, dare I say requires, it.  Best of luck!

     

    • #55
  26. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    The only change I’ve made is a dietary change. No more fresh bats, I’m strictly a canned bat type of guy now.

    Marinated or plain?

    Braised bat in an Armagnac peppercorn sauce with a nice Pinot Noir – hmm, yummers.

     

    • #56
  27. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Snirtler (View Comment):

    Maybe you’ll find something useful in these sources about what one can do and how to help family and immediate neighbors? Here, here, and here.

    Thank you. I shall devour these tonight. Thank you very very much.

    @marcin , you’re welcome.

    Shoulda done the obvious and linked to the CDC’s guidelines too: here, middle left for “What You Should Know”, here for work/home/school general guidance you probably know already [but still], and here for community measures depending on extent of local transmission.

    • #57
  28. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    Snirtler (View Comment):

    Weeping (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):
    The CDC decided to forbid any private companies or University labs from developing test kits.

    Have any idea what their reasoning was for that? (Serious question. I’m only semi-following the situation.)

    Bureaucratic pathologies.

    First, a summary of CDC incompetence: They shipped out testing kits to public health labs, so testing can be carried out locally. In mid-Feb, they announce that the tests are unreliable. They promise a replacement and there’s a further hitch; in the meantime, samples that can’t be tested locally are sent to CDC HQ in Atlanta. While this was going on, Germany had produced a testing kit for the WHO, which recommended it for US use. Somebody ask the CDC poobahs why they didn’t source kits from abroad.

    The FDA is also implicated in the testing failure (ain’t just the CDC’s fault). I learned this from the latest 10 Blocks podcast. The FDA has authority to regulate testing developed in private labs. They have enforcement discretion and they almost never regulated such testing. Somebody ought to ask why of all times the FDA would start exercising its enforcement discretion, it would do so precisely in Jan when Sec Azar declared the covid public health emergency–and it limited the available tests just to the CDC one.

     

    Sigh. Thanks for the info, though. ‘Preciate it.

    • #58
  29. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    On the test kit issue — Kozak and Snirtler, thanks for #46 and #50 above.

    You’re welcome. Oh, I responded to your question on cost-benefit analysis on the other thread, in case you haven’t seen it. Here’s a link. No reply necessary, just letting you know it exists.

    On the other hand, it seems easy to mess up the test kit. CDC apparently messed up its test kit. This is a big mistake. But it is important for the authorities (CDC and FDA) to make sure that private test kits are reliable. What if private providers mess things up, just as CDC apparently did?

    It is not reassuring that the CDC — supposedly the best in the world at these things — developed and distributed a flawed test kit.

    One silver lining: the advantage of private over public. Just one CDC, but way many more private labs.So if we can only reel in more non-govt labs to do this work.

    That’s why the CDC-FDA axis of incompetence is infuriating. What I heard on the 10 Blocks podcast is borne out by this info on emergency use authorizations (in this case for private laboratory tests) on the FDA website. I gather they’re a kind of permission granted by the FDA for these privately-developed lab tests, protective personal equipment (PPE), and others(?). Even with Azar’s public health emergency declaration, the FDA baldly states:

    “Please note: A determination under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act that a public health emergency exists, such as the one issued on January 31, 2020, does not enable FDA to issue Emergency Use Authorizations. A separate determination and declaration are needed under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to enable FDA to issue Emergency Use Authorizations, provided other statutory criteria are met.”  [emphasis mine]

    And actually looking at the webpage, I see a similar declaration for protective equipment.

    “On February 4, 2020, the HHS Secretary determined that there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves the virus that causes COVID-19. On the basis of this determination, the HHS Secretary declared on March 2, 2020, that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of personal respiratory protective devices during the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Manufacturers and strategic stockpilers are able to submit a request to FDA at in order to have their products added to the EUA.”

    Why on earth is the FDA adding, instead of eliminating, hurdles to the production of med supplies during a public health emergency?

    • #59
  30. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    What? You Want To Live Forever?

     

    Well, ideally, yeah, I do.

     

    If you were granted three conditions – not including everlasting life – what would you pick? 

     

    • #60
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