Sorry about that Happy Easter post yesterday. Clearly, I did not look closely enough at the calendar when I scheduled it.
Elder Son called on Saturday. No big changes there. Fifty-five confirmed cases and four deaths in his county, which includes Gallup, but no big surge in Zuni (yet). He gave us a long dissertation on ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and exactly how the coronavirus and the attendant immune response kills. It was essentially the same as what the video below explains. He even used the term “tidal volume”, but also threw in the role that cytokines play.
Last time we talked to him Smokey mentioned that he had stopped taking his Enbrel for psoriatic arthritis on the basis that, since the way Enbrel works is to turn down the immune system, that during this pandemic he needed his immune system firing on all cylinders. ES explained that he really didn’t need to discontinue the medication and launched into a lecture about the innate and adaptive immune systems and how Enbrel affects them and kittens. Really? We have two immune systems? Huh, who knew? The whole thing went w-a-y over my head, but I am glad Smokey can once again stop the pain from the arthritis.
ES also suggested that we should have Younger Son run our errands for us. Major problem is that YS no longer has a car; he donated it to Goodwill a couple months ago. As long as there are no confirmed cases in our county we are probably okay, but it is only a matter of time. There are seven cases in the county south of us and now four in the county directly to the east. Happily, Smokey uncovered a box of face masks that he had acquired for working on projects: a dozen N95s and a couple dozen ordinary dust masks. We will rely on those, plus the box of latex gloves left over from roadside trash pickups and antiseptic wipes, if we need to go out.
The April 7 election situation here in Wisconsin is crazy.
- A federal judge ruled on Thursday that absentee ballots 1, did not have to have a witness signature, and B, could be returned until Monday, April 13, instead of by 7:59 pm on the seventh.
- The Republicans appealed that decision.
- A federal appellate court ruled on Friday that the April 13 extended deadline to return ballots could stand, but that dropping the witness requirement could not because it could open the door to election fraud. While that would not affect the presidential primary, it could easily change the outcome in rural municipal races where the total number of votes cast is typically in the hundreds and races are won or lost by a few dozen votes or less.
- The Republican appealed the appellate court’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. It will go before Justice Brett Cavanaugh, who is assigned to our district, on Monday.
- The governor called a special session of the legislature to take place on Saturday. Only the legislature can postpone an election or change the rules. The session happened, but it was gaveled closed after five seconds. (Legislature has a Republican majority in both houses.)
Maybe the state commissioner of public health could postpone the election?
Weirder things have happened…