Enter the R.1 Variant

Living with Coronavirus
Sunday September 26th, 2021
6:05 AM

Here we go again. 

“The R.1 variant of COVID-19, which scientists fear is more infectious and could evade current vaccines, has been detected in 35 countries and in two U.S. territories. The variant, which initially spread through 45 residents and staff at a Kentucky nursing home in March, has since been detected in 47 U.S. states, according to data. First detected in Japan, the variant contains a mutation that could enable it to bypass the antibody protection present in those who are fully vaccinated. There have been 10,567 reported cases of R.1 detected around the world as of September 22, according to Outbreak.Info, which uses data from the GISAID virus reporting network to provide open-source data on COVID-19 variants. Both the U.S. and Japan lead the world in the number of cases detected with 2,259 and 7,519 infections recorded respectively.”–Newsweek

The upside here is we do not expect the R.1 to overtake the Delta variant, due to how contagious that variant is.  However, this illustrates why we need everybody to get vaccinated.  Until the world is vaccinated such variants will remain concerns, and the virus will continue to mutate.  Globally very few are vaccinated, 1-3% of Africa and India, poor rural areas everywhere, and in America the “Head in the sand” minority, almost all of whom are GOP locked into a misinformation media bubble they choose to reside in.

Global Infected      228,258,394                   231,614,338                       
Increase             3,355,944
7-day average       479,420 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN slightly

Global Dead          4,687,959                                          4,744,918
Increase              86,959
7-day average       12,422 deaths daily –UP

USA Infected         42,052,054                                       42,940,458
Increase             888,404
7-day average      126,914 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN slightly

USA C-19 deaths      673,474                                         687,751
Increase           14,277
7-day average        2,039 deaths daily –UP, still a Titanic+ a day

Maine Infected       83,910                                             87,189  
Increase             3,279
7-day average       468 infections diagnosed daily –UP

Maine deaths         984                                    1,013
Increase             29
7-day average       4.1428 deaths daily  –UP

Speaking of the GOP, the “Bullshit Express” continues its trek throughout America, with Donald Trump as the engineer.  Trump attends rallies and misrepresents the result of the BS express Arizona audit.  The BS audit by “Cyber Ninja’s” reveals Biden won with more votes than they thought.  Trump falsely asserts it shows he won.

Fox news bans Rudy Guliani from the network for spreading election falsehoods, even as their hosts continue to do the same thing.  Tucker Carlson openly promotes white supremacist “replacement theory” and edits old Biden speech as evidence.  In that speech Biden reflects that American history has been a continuous history of immigration, Tucker edits it to make it appear that immigration is only of Black and brown people, with the aim of replacing whites.

There may be cracks in the GOP façade. Last week Former POTUS G.W. Bush held a fundraiser gala, for Liz Cheney, one of the few GOP who actually show respect for America’s institutions and laws. Trump is supporting whomever decides to run against her, so Bush is throwing weight behind Cheney. I never thought I would see a day where the Bush presidency was “the good ole days”, when GOP did not equal lawless.

How is it that people see Fox as news at all?

Our numbers have plateaued at a Titanic a day, largely because a significant sector of the GOP base refuses to be vaccinated.  This forces the POTUS to mandate the vaccine in employment in order to stop the spread and future mutations.  GOP then uses this action to save us, to declare the Dems as autocrats; authoritarians gone wild!  This is not only false but inverted.  It is projection onto the Dems when it is the GOP which is acting in an autocratic fashion.

Worst; the GOP is threatening to again shut down the Government by refusing to raise the debt ceiling to cover the money they spent under Trump.  The USA functions on credit.  We authorize spending routinely which exceeds our allotment from previous years, like over drafting your debit or credit card.  We then raise the debt ceiling to pay what we owe.  The GOP is threatening to refuse to do so, an act against America and American interests.  It could trash our national credit rating and force a global recession.  The GOP thinks this will give them political clout in the next election, how it affects America seems unimportant to them, when that is their job.

This is like an employee refusing to do their Job, insisting on a raise, and then still refusing to do their job even as their lack of action tanks the business.  It is childish, irresponsible, and dangerous.  To me it is proof positive that the GOP is not “America First”, but “Only GOP are worthy Americans”, which is in itself unamerican.

Those members of the GOP who were participating in, or organizing the Jan 6 attempted coup must be punished for all to see, from the top down. If they are not, then we can expect the last election and this unending refusal to accept the result to become the new GOP norm. Thereby crippling America itself in order for the GOP to blame Dems for what they did. In a misinformation bubble the GOP base will likely believe the lie, as they have already been shown to do.

Are you aware that the residents of southern Louisiana are still without power from hurricane Ida? In the west fires are not only still burning, they last longer into the night and burn hotter, forcing smoke jumpers to wrap Sequoia’s, a species evolved to reproduce in wildfires, but now those fires even burn out Sequoias.

On the canary islands a volcano is erupting. This particular volcano presents a tsunami danger documented over twenty years ago. Back then the fear was of a mega tsunami created by half of this volcano falling into the sea, all the way down to the abyssal plain which could create a wall of water hundreds of feet tall which would impact the entire US east coast. This remains danger, and it increases with every day of continued eruption. Modern volcanologists disagree with the original numbers and formula, and while agreeing the volcano could produce such a mega tsunami, they think it would never reach the US, or be a non event if it did producing little or no damage. Modern science thinks the original work overestimated certain factors and failed to consider others, ending up with a result which is overblown.

Wildfires are still burning all over the globe, floods are still devastating other areas, and we are seeing our first true climate refugees, from Haiti. Haiti had it rough last year. A new government not of and by the people took over, a devastating earthquake demolished large chunks of the nation, followed by several brushes and one direct hit from hurricanes. Our response is to chase them down with mounted border agents and forcibly eject them back to Haiti.

The Statue of Liberty was given to America by France and is graced by the following sonnet:

The New Colossus

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus
November 2, 1883

Once the world saw America as a refuge of liberty; no longer are we seen as such. Nor do many Americans desire to be such.

As I worked at this in my retreat another 86,959 of my fellow humans lost their fight with Covid-19, of those 14,277 were my fellow Americans, and of those 29 my fellow Mainers.

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