The Three Hundred

David never suspected that the Ularins targeted him to save the human race.

Blinding White Light

The white orb in the distance is all that was left of home.  Once a thriving population of over three billion people, it was a cold dead rock.  The beacon alerting wayfaring travelers to steer clear of this world was set on automatic. 

Powered by the radiation emitted from the globe, the message would repeat until such a time there was insufficient radiation to fuel it. The message created in all known languages warned of the extreme radiation hazard.

“We set the last of the beacons, what now?”

“We have enough supplies for three months give or take. Did the Ularins leave us anything in the database regarding habitable planets?”

“They wiped all of the information except one-star system.”

“Where is it?”

“300 light-years in that direction,” Bill said, pointing to a small blue dot.

“The binary sun?”

“It is nothing like we are used to.  Two blue stars locked into a death spiral.  Why that star system and not one like ours is anyone’s guess.”

“That is in the handle of the big dipper, isn’t it?”

“Yep.”

“We are looking at an image three hundred years old, for all we know it has collided and is already a supernova.”

“They selected us and brought us to this ship; they must have had a plan,” Bill said.

“They gave us a puzzle and a fighting chance.  We have two hundred and ninety-eight other souls on board; let’s hope one of them has some ideas.”

Bill turned to leave as David sat there looking at the planet, which was no longer blue.  Passing outside the orbit of the moon, the earth appeared much like Venus.  A white dot against the ebony backdrop of nothingness.

The old base on the moon was now vacant, as the last of the Ularins headed out on their next mission.

***

Years before, David had been an advocate for humanitarian groups to eradicate the diseases where the plague had popped up.  There were hot spots created by mass migrations of people who had no food.  Much like the locust that gave them a reason to migrate, they traveled in packs overwhelming ‘civilized society.’ Destroying infrastructure, taking what they wanted before burning it to the ground, they murdered the people who were there before them..

His part of the military focused on finding those responsible and stopping them by any means possible.  Finding the blackened remains of towns, David threw up the first time he saw what was left behind.

Pregnant women had been tortured, their breasts cut off, and babies cut from them only to be eaten.

Young women were taken and raped, men were killed, and children either became slaves or were eaten.  Finding children and babies on spits over what was an open fire shocked them profoundly.  David and his group were disgusted by these animals.  They sought to wipe them from the face of the earth. Society had been pushed to the brink. Those that were pushed, de-evolved into the savages they came from eons ago.  His anger was causing him to de-evolve too.

Lawlessness broke out in every country, and the government ceased to be effective.  Killing its own people by the tens of thousands only sparked outrage by civilized society.  A civil war between the people and the government pitted father against son.

David left the military when his tour was up.  He did not like where it was headed. The fabric of the military broke down when they were forced to use missiles, tanks, and other weapons of war in the suburbs where they grew up.

Turning their weapons on their respective governments, society stopped.

A virus created to eliminate the old and sickly was set loose on humanity. The elite held the formula for the vaccine and kept it a secret.  The virus would remove millions without one bullet fired.  The single strand of RNA, like most unstable viruses, evolved.  The vaccine designed to protect the elite failed.

This virus was a genetic doomsday device.  Created to be thousands of times more infectious than its closest related cousin, it was unstoppable. 

Turning the body’s defenses against itself, those who caught it died a most horrific death.  Much like fish removed from the water and left on the beach to gasp for breath, this was the fate of billions of people, young and old alike.

The earth was languishing in pestilence. Millions were dying every day.  Large fires to eliminate the bodies that were once a weekly occurrence, turned daily.  Massive fires never ceased to reduce the bodies and try to control the plague. Some countries hauled the remains up to active volcanoes, where the earth could devour its own.

The odor of burning human remains only magnified the stench of rotting flesh.  No pocket full of posies would fix this.

What were once a proud people, were now piles of porcelain teeth, titanium knees, and hips, with the occasional golden nugget that was once the pride of someone’s mouth.

The Ularins had been watching from the moon.  Listening to our broadcasts, they had seen it all before.  An intergalactic police force, they waited patiently to see if the humans would evolve.

With the death of so many, so too was the end of any infrastructure to supply food.  Those that would survive would need to be the ‘master race.’

Pulling pages from Joseph Goebbels’s life, the media became the propaganda machine controlling the people through fear, emotional triggers, and hunger. There were still megalomaniacs in the world who believed that some form of equilibrium would occur, and they could swoop in and offer them a solution.

The virus had other ideas.  Science had reached its zenith and fell short of its ability to sustain itself. Those who worked to cure the effects of the illness succumbed to it.

The media let the phrase slip out, ‘A man who does not benefit the world by his life does so by his death.’

Re-writing ancient text to include this aphorism into dogma, had a minimal effect.  Many who had never cracked the sacred book before, had little idea what was original and what had been added as a control mechanism.  History had been erased by those who felt they knew better.

Those that read the text and committed suicide to aid the rest were too few to be of any use. 

Extolling the virtues of abortions through the media, were also too little too late.

Little did those who tried to limit man’s population know that they would need babies.  While supply and demand for resources should equal out, the virus had other plans.

Gang warfare became a nightly occurrence as city after city was torched by the ‘have nots.’ Politicians hoping to capitalize on their votes, lost control and soon became victims of the mob.

As resources became harder to come by, the average age of those that needed to die went down from 70, to 60, and then to 50.

The virus was tweaked again and released on to the world stage.  Younger megalomaniacs took over the development of the virus, the war efforts, and the propaganda.

Children were slaves and forced to work in the fields.  If they wanted to live, they worked from sun up to sundown.

The media dutifully told the world what was wrong, and whose fault it was. Of course, what they were preaching was whatever the elites told them to say.  Government controlled fact-checkers quickly debunked clandestine videos of the truth.

Slavery by non-disabled people was praised as patriotic, even when it meant bringing most of the food to the ivory towers of the gods.

The Ularins paid attention from their base 250,000 miles above the earth. Scouting missions were a constant as even certain media would release reports of UFOs by independent journalists.  The mainstream media used those reports as distractions. 

***

David had worked hard teaching people how to farm.  People who had grown up in front of computer screens were thrust back into an agrarian culture.  He had grown up in Iowa and knew all about Farming.

With the death of the internet, social media lost its control over the masses.  Radio and TV were next to come under assault from the lack of power.

When Samantha, his old neighbor, heard what David was up to, she contacted him via radio, using solar panels and batteries for power.  Traveling home, the two were once again on the same farm. 

He listened from the porch as he heard her inside with pots and pans on the top of the old potbelly stove.  The aroma of cornbread and roasted chicken filled the air.  Sitting on the porch of his parent’s house, the stars were more vivid than he had ever seen them.  Samantha was inside, trying to keep from burning their dinner.

Once the government fell, those who still had weapons put an end to the roving gangs.  It was not only the criminals that did not turn in their guns; it was also the farmers, the people who did not live in the city, and those who knew history.

What the virus did not kill, they did.  It was kill, or be killed. Those that knew how to survive bit their lips and defended what was theirs. 

With no lawyers, judges, or politicians left, the society which survived the plague, and the riots were polite.  It was not uncommon to ride into town and see people with stretched out necks, swinging in the breezes. The law of the six-gun returned overnight. The gang bangers did not know how to react when people fought back. 

The silent majority was silent no more. 

Coyotes from the river sent out their lonely calls. David made sure his livestock was safely in the barn.  Not unlike the roving gangs, the varmints were hungry too and were much more cunning.  David had set traps, as coyotes are nothing more than dogs that are not tame.  Dog meat is edible.

While David was looking up that stars, he had little clue that someone was looking down at him.

***

The roving gangs that were still alive brought their unique diseases with them.  Setting up radio links, the farmers knew their movements.  Assaulting them on their own grounds, there were more piles of bodies that needed to be discarded.

You either provided for the common good, or you died.  Goebbels would be proud.

The population of the planet went from billions to millions to thousands.  The remoteness of the clans halted the spread of the virus.  If they controlled the gangs, the virus would stay at bay.

The rich and powerful became the hunted. People learned the truth about the media, the lies, and what governments had done to them.  Those who were filthy rich became worm food.  Even on their private islands, they were sought out and destroyed for their treachery.  The list of billionaires who played god became the worlds most wanted.  There was not a safe place for them to hide. They had betrayed everyone, even their servants.

Part of the original design of the virus was to sterilize women.  Anti-abortion groups made it too hard to get the population under control.  The designers of the virus had the virus attack the endocrine system, among other things causing the hormones that generally control the fertility process, to stop working. 

New births plummeted before the virus mutated, eventually taking out those who were vaccinated against it.

Distancing on a massive scale would stop the spread but ensure that if they ever traveled too far from their clan, there was mutually assured destruction. Each group had their unique genetic version of the virus.  Their herd immunity only protected them.  They thought that was their answer until the biting insects infected the animals that occupied the skies, and even the livestock.

Another reason for the extreme distance requirement is the virus was airborne.  In order not to panic the masses, the governments of the world did not share that information, using draconian methods to control the spread instead.  If the virus spread, they blamed the population and not the fact that it was airborne.  They missed the mosquito as a carrier. Nobody suspected it until a researcher discovered it while researching other pathogens that seem to be mutating and traveling.

Since it could only be seen under an electron microscope, the researcher that discovered it disappeared before she had time to announce her findings, so the gods thought.

A release from a hand written note made it an underground radio station that informed the public much to the chagrin of the government.  To control the masses they needed to control the flow of information.

This bit of data turned citizen against citizen, which was another distraction from the truth.  There were reasons that the gods did not wear PPE.  They knew it was worthless.

Sterilized and separated, radio from a primitive time allowed some to communicate.  Creating energy from wind, solar, and biofuel, gave some lights, but few knew how to utilize feces as a form of fuel. Even fewer knew how to farm.  These electrical devices had a finite life span. There were no more factories.  If they could not make it, grow it, or steal it, they did not have it.

The gradual demise of the animal called man was in the works.  Those who stayed in the city did not last long.  That is where the gangs stayed until all of the resources had been depleted.  Rats soon were the only living creatures that inhabited the skyscrapers, where the gods used to live.  They carried their own version of destruction.  The bubonic plague followed the rats into the streets, alleys, and gutters where the dead and dying laid, waiting to become food for the vermin.

The gods were massacred by the very people they sought to control.  When the lights went out, and money was no longer useful, their own guards turned on them.  Some gods were tossed off the roof of the 32nd floor for an audience who craved blood.  Anger filled their hearts. After there was no more gods to destroy, they turned on each other.  The streets ran red, attracting more rats to the feeding frenzy.

History was replete with this very behavior, but of course, the history books had been destroyed. They had been labeled as racist, homophobic, and sexist. The gods knew that an ignorant society was much easier to control than one who was educated.  They had learned this from the days before the civil war when it was illegal to teach a slave to read.  The politicians who promoted that law remembered it, and used it without mercy.

A select few gods had their fingers on the buttons of a nuclear arsenal.  If they were going to go, they were taking the rest with them. 

***

With the ability to adapt, very much like a chameleon, the Ularins found the cure for the virus. Inoculated themselves before embarking on their missions, they cured and disinfected all those subjects that were under consideration before abducting them.  From their ship in orbit, the Ularins watched as once brightly lit areas of the globe went dark, they knew the end was near.  From their base on the moon, the noise of the once-bustling world diminished.  That noise is what drew them to this part of the galaxy.  As the radio emissions slowly faded, TV signals were broadcast at diminished power levels, with far fewer signals detected.

Artificial satellites went silent, piquing the curiosity of the Ularins.  Some of the satellites lost their geosynchronous orbit, raining down on the planet below in a spectacle of fireballs.  With the chaos on the streets, nobody even noticed when the international space station lost altitude, breaching the earth’s atmosphere at over 17,000 miles an hour.  Had people been alive on board, they might have been able to warn the people below that there was incoming.  Sadly the occupants had perished from starvation, as there was nobody to send supplies to them.

The fireball lit up the night sky over Siberia before exploding with the force of an atomic blast.  A few in the northern parts of Alaska felt the shockwave but had no idea what caused it.

Sporadic low power communications interested the Ularins, who soon had targets of places to visit.

The time to harvest was near. Their job was clear, find the best and the brightest of the population, and remove them before the extinction event.   They had already found the first two, they needed three hundred total.

Stars

David sat in the control center as people from different countries were educated on the ship’s systems.  The Ularins had developed a virtual teaching tool, much like some of the video games that were produced.  Unlike the video games which used the body’s senses, this tool went right into the neural pathways of the brain, creating synapses and neural pathways as needed.

The humans were unaware that their animalistic instincts for fight or flight were being modified.  Those lower lizard brain functions were responsible for the carnage of that world throughout its troubled history.

Downloading every bit of the earth’s history, the humans were also taught it in painstaking detail. 

The Ularins allowed them to see, feel, smell, and taste the entire history of their world.  From Hitler to the Rape of NanJing, they experienced all of it.  When Vlad the Impaler was part of the lesson, many were shocked beyond belief.  This was the price these three hundred people must pay for their salvation. This was their lineage, their history.  The evil people that they hailed from were responsible for the horrific deaths of millions, and these three hundred saw it all.  The end of the lesson was the creation of the virus and the evil atrocities that greedy people perform for power.

The failure of the education system was directly to blame for the massacres throughout human history.  While the definition of insanity was doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result, if they didn’t know history, they could not begin to comprehend why ideologies like socialism would never work. 

David was still ruminating over some history. The PTSD caused by the lesson was healed before the lesson terminated.  The memories would never leave.

Samantha could tell he was deep in thought.    Being healed did not stop one from thinking about what they learned. This method of teaching allowed one to experience all of it with all of your senses.  There was not shutting your eyes or plugging your ears.  The three hundred were to complete their education before being allowed to pilot an intergalactic spaceship.

They realized how evil the gods were.  Their right to vote was never so important to them after they learned why.  They and people like them put some of those gods in their ivory towers.

The importance of their vote never occurred to many, as they were all lost in their little worlds.  That was not their fault.

They were damned sure going to know how this happened. The Ularins would make sure they understood why their race was now on the verge of extinction. They would know why their world was at the beginning of a nuclear winter.

Samantha appeared, breaking David’s trance.

“Are you coming to bed?”

“I don’t know, look where we are.”

“Dave, ever since they took us off the farm, you have had little sleep. You need to rest to stay healthy.”

Dave allowed her to take his hand, leading him off the central control room floor.  Bill took over as she led him away, down the main corridor toward their quarters.

Sitting on the bed, he watched as the moon was much closer. “Look, you can see where their base was.”

Sam looked at the crater, and what was left of the edifice, they lived in.  Removing her clothes, she cleared her throat.  Dave turned around to see that sleep was not forefront in her mind.

Hours later, he awoke with her in his arm.  They were past the moon, headed out of the solar system, or so he thought.

“Can’t sleep?”

Dave looked over at her brushing her auburn hair from her face.  “I slept.”

“Three hours is not much sleep.”

“Why did they pick us?”

“Are we going to have that conversation again?”

“Sam, they put us in charge of three hundred lives.  These are all that is left of the race known as humans.  Surely there are better-qualified people on board to lead us.”

“I think your humility has something to do with why we are in charge.  Are you worried about the supplies and how we are going to survive?”

“That is part of it, we are out here in space, passing by the moon with only this small minuscule part of billions of stars mapped out for us.  Why there?  We are leaving our home in the dust as it were.”

David knew he could go where he wanted, but for some reason, the Ularins had only mapped out this particular region of space.  They did not tell them why.  It was like breadcrumbs in space, leading them to a binary star system. 

The crew was going through the education campaign that was more like indoctrination. The computer downloaded their memories and then added to them.  These would be the brightest and best of the human race.

David and Sam had gone through it first before the others were aboard.  The image of the white flashes from the planet below them still played in his mind.  Someone, several others had thought there could be a winner with nukes.  David did not know that the minuteman defense system was set to automatic.  When an incoming target was confirmed, the system responded in kind.

“I think we can go back and learn more if we need more information.” She said.

“How do you know that?”

“Dave, they made me a kind of doctor.  As we proceed, I have to go back and learn more.  That thing creates these pathways between the hemispheres of our brains. The more pathways the more we can learn.”

“I don’t want another history lesson.”

“We come from pretty shitty people.  They wanted us to know that.  We are capable of great things too, we have to choose.  We can dream wonderful things or we can dream evil things.  Now that we understand the evil, I don’t think anyone who goes through that would pick it.”

“I hope not, I would hate to have a psychopath on board.”

“They will not allow a mentally disturbed person to inhabit this ship.”

“What does that mean?”

“If they are defective we will jettison their body in to space. That teacher is also judge and jury.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“You do now, hope the Ularins picked wisely.”

The beeping sound from the door buzzer brought him back to the present.  Pulling the sheet up over Sam, he dawned a robe and went to the door.

“Bill wants to see you; he thinks he has an idea.”

“Give me ten minutes; I will meet him in the conference center.”

Sam turned over to see him tossing the robe on a chair.  “No time for an encore performance?”

The chuckle caught her by surprise.  “I don’t remember you ever being this amorous on the farm.”

“We were not safe on the farm.  I had to cook as a cavewoman might cook.  No, I was not in the mood.”

“We are in space, we have a limited amount of supplies, and I am still waiting on the crew to be educated before I can plan anything.”

“Do you want to kill my mood?”

Turning to face the bed, he laughed, “no, I have a lot on my mind.”

“I know, once you are on task I don’t stand a chance.”

Jumping back on the bed landing on top of her, they were now facing each other. “I have loved you since we were kids.  We may not have haylofts or swimming holes, but we have a huge ship that even with the others on board, it is like we are the only ones here.”

Brushing his blond hair back away from his eyes, she kissed him again.  “There is an area on the ship that is made for Farming.  I would bet the Ularins got the seeds for such things.”

“Farming takes water. I need to go see Bill; when I am finished I will come back here.”

“Promise?”

Kissing her, he headed to the bathroom to dress and leave before he was distracted once again.

Bill was looking at some charts he pulled up when Dave walked in.

Handing him coffee Dave was wide eyed.  “Where did you get this?”

“One of our crew is now a chef.  She always liked cooking but after her ‘education’ she learned how to use the equipment in the kitchen.  Programming it for humans, out comes coffee.”

“Does this solve our supply problem?”

“Yes and no.  This device uses the same energy that our engines use.  We have to find dark matter, and we have less than three months to do it.”

“Perfect, we have to locate and figure out how to get a theoretical compound within three months, or we all die.  Do I understand that correctly?”

“It is not theoretical; we have storage tanks full of it.  We need to learn how to handle it and more about it so we can speculate about where it might be.”

“That wasn’t in my education, was it in yours?”

“No, presumably, someone on this ship will be a physicist.”

“I hope they turn up fast, the sooner I know where to head, the quicker we can get that part of the puzzle behind us.”

“Our tanks are full, think about that skipper.”

“Shit, that means we make regular trips to the gas station.”

“Bingo, I am betting this stuff is more abundant than we think.”

***

Ok, ladies and gentlemen.  This is where you come in. 

Years ago, I was working on writing more judiciously.  When twitter was more restrictive than it is now, I wrote several chapters of The Saga of the Starduster in tweets.  Stream of consciousness. 

This story you just read is, act one, of a stream of conscious session with the keyboard.

This blog is un-edited and a rough draft.

 If you want an act two, tell me.

If you have an idea for act two, let’s hear it.

What I would like from you is this, do whatever it is you do to reblog or copy or share or what have you.

Since the COVID virus, sales of my novels have cratered.  Now I realize that people are hurting, and that is one reason I am going to create this story on my blog for my followers.

If you can do anything to drive traffic this way, I would appreciate it greatly.  I can even make that little heart sign with my own two little hands.

As a business owner, I am not eligible for unemployment insurance.  I have been frugal with my money, and book sales have assisted in the past.  Too many more months of this, and I don’t know where we will be.  Maybe the Ularins will come to get us.  J

Much love -TW

COVID -19.  My take on the mask and what I am doing to stay safe.

Greetings to you, my usual followers; and thanks for being there.  For you who just hit that magic follow button, I am grateful.

Tonight I want to dispel the myths of the mask.

What is a mask going to do for you, regarding Covid-19?

  • Peace of mind
  • Blunt the distance your water droplets travel away from you.

Notice I did not say the virus, I said water droplets which might contain the virus.

 

Shocked?

Here is the reason; The Science is,  The virus is  .005 um in size.  You can only see it with an electron microscope.

Your surgical mask blocks contaminate as small as .1um. In case you’re math-challenged, the pores in your mask look like wide-open doors to the virus. .005um is orders of magnitude smaller than .1um.

You can test if the mask is working, or if you have it on correctly by the following.  Spray some Isoamyl acetate close to the person with the mask.  If they smell bananas, it is a failure.

You don’t have that, use this.  Smoke is .04 to 4 Um  Light a match.

No matches, Perfume, another ‘ester’ not unlike Isoamyl acetate is .3 um.  Can you smell it?  It is a fail.

As you can tell from the ‘science,’ you need some serious PPE to protect yourself.  Surgical and N95 mask both block a percentage of particles to  0.1um.  They have several layers that would have the virus weaving in and around the fibers, unlike a bandana.

The face shield, along with the N95 mask, properly worn, will protect most, from picking up the virus.  Those that know better don’t tell you this, because they need the ‘good ppe” to be available to the medical professionals.  Most civilians would probably not wear the mask properly anyway, and if there are any air gaps, it is a waste of a mask.

Another thing about these respirators, the N95, is you need to be medically fit to wear one of these things.  They restrict the flow of oxygen (air), so breathing can be a bit of a challenge.

There is a dark side to this whole thing, which I am not sure about.  It is this. Let’s say you are asymptomatic, and you are positive.  Instead of shedding this virus through respiration, you are re-inhaling it.  As the virus multiplies, which it does like rabbits, you are adding more of the virus into your system.  For all of the press briefings and all the hysteria, I cannot believe why the good folks that are paid to keep us safe, have not told us these things.

Let me tell you what I am doing.  Firstly, I am getting outside as much as possible.  I have worked in the garden, spent time in the pool, and walked the neighborhood.  I have even spent some time laying in the sun, although no more than about ten minutes a side and not during the hottest parts of the day.  Well before noon, or after five…

Here is something else I am doing, and I wish I had stock in the company.  I have ozone generators.  Why, and what do they do?

Ozone is well known to inactivate viruses that are on surfaces.  I spend a lot of time in my office.  When I leave it in the evening, I turn on the generator and let it run.  By morning that half of the house has been flooded with ozone.  Any virus or bacteria is most assuredly worse for wear.  Now, I could take that one step further and put it in the bedroom during the day, which I have done on occasion.

You can run these things in bathrooms or other areas like the kitchen at night.

Your mileage may vary, and ozone is an irritant. Don’t run it when you are in the room with it.  Ozone can and will most of the time cause mild irritation to your sinuses. Don’t be in the same place with it, and air out the room you have sanitized before you occupy it.  I have no idea if breathing ozone would have any effect on the virus in your body.  I would think the irritating effects of the ozone, would just add to your misery.  Since the virus would be in a damp warm area I seriously doubt it would have any effect, other than to make you more miserable.

I am just telling you what I am doing to minimize my risk of exposure. Don’t come after me if you follow what I am doing and get sick.  That is your disclaimer.  My blogs are for entertainment only…LOL  Yes, there are litigious people out there that would go after the tooth fairy if they knew an activist judge who got cheated as a kid.

Ozone generators are available on Amazon.  They have been sold for eons through different manufactures of expensive air filters.  I used to have one of those fancy air filters.  The fan motor went out, and I could not find a replacement.

I have a theory about this whole thing, which I will also share.  See what you think.  This virus is a very hyped-up version of the coronavirus, which exists in many forms.  This one is more contagious than the others, and like the flu, there are different strains.  Some strains tend not to be so severe,  and some appear to be doing other damage than just to the respiratory system. ‘your lungs.’ It is a single strand of RNA, which, if I remember my biology, makes it less stable.

I have doubts that they will create a vaccine for it, certainly not by this fall.  We ‘the human race’ have become where we are by taking risks.  When you get in your car, crawl in the shower, or even eat your dinner, you are taking risks.  4000 Americans die each year from choking on their food.

I think sooner or later everyone will be exposed to it, and will either get very sick and die, or they won’t.  The older you are or, the more comorbidities that you have, change your odds as to how you will fair.  Weigh your risks versus living your life.

I am not advocating throw all caution to the wind, but what I am saying is this, If you have to work to support your family, you might have to make some tough choices.

I realize that is a sobering thought, and I hate to leave you with that note.  We can watch the southern hemisphere and see how they do through their fall and winter.  We can hope that greed motivates companies to create a vaccine or, at the very least, therapeutics that decrease your odds of needing a ventilator.

Yes, I meant greed.  There are very few companies that are so altruistic that they are only motivated by the selfless act of spending millions on saving millions of people.  Big Pharma does not work that way.

I am also convinced without capitalism (greed) we would still be living in caves.

Wash your hands, social distance, and use common sense.

If you like what I have written, hit that follow button and tell me hello. Many of you have over the years, and I feel like I know some of you through your blogs.

Till Next Time…

Much love, Stay Safe…-TW

Day 47

Should we give up on wearing clothes? Would zoom meetings be more interesting?

How has your life been affected?

What changes have you made to affect a positive effect on your life?

I joke about naturism but I did read a blog post about naturists getting together on zoom.  How would that work?  Why?  I thought the purpose of naturism was to be one with nature?  Is it something else?

Life goes on, my friends.  We do what we must to make ends meet.  Currently, I am pulling from savings to keep everyone happy, but that can only last so long.  Sadly there are many out there that cannot scrape together $500 if they needed to.

Today the blog is not about writing; it is about being human.  If you have followed me for any time at all, you know that I am a humanist.  I love people.  With luck, one-day people will be my bread and butter.  By that, I mean studying that which we do, all end up as fodder for my novels.    Some of this stuff seems unreal that it could be made up.

Months ago, when this all started, I wrote a blog about mental health.  I knew that this much of a change in people’s lives would bring out or manifest aberrations in their personalities.

Did you see the video of the two police harassing a mum who lived in a mobile home?  Two officers banged on her door and spoke to her in a very demeaning manner.  They, in fact, talked to her as if she were stupid.  The story made the rounds on the media, and they made sure to tout the fact that she lived in a mobile home.  Not everyone can live in a gated community with $24K freezers filled with $16 a pint ice cream.

Whatever your station in life, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  They did not need to be terse with her.  Her child plays with one of the neighbor’s children and has done so for some time.  This child cut across one of the neighbor’s lawns, and they called the police.  For real?

I was out getting the mail the other day, and my neighbor was walking their dog.  I stopped as usual to visit, but on this day, she stays a good ten feet away from me.  Her dog didn’t hesitate to get her belly scratched or give me a doggy kiss.  Are we becoming a nation of paranoid people?

A comedian was making fun of Biden.  We all know he is a little on the creepy side when it comes to women and their hair.  They said this social distancing is going to kill him.

Ok, I am a hugger.  Not any of those half-ass hugs either.  Again if you read my novels, you know that I preach about being there for the hug.  I get it.  For my neighbor who has also been in her house for 46 days, to stay ten feet away from me, is alien.

I have noticed that many are talking about how China is going to repay the world for their deception.   The more we learn about the lab, the virus escaped from, the worse it gets.  While many leaders of countries might feel like letting it slide under the rug with a few good old boy deals in cigar smoke-filled rooms, occur I don’t think all countries will deal with Xi Jinping in that manner.  I saw a picture of Vladimir Putin talking about this virus.  Somehow I don’t think he will settle for some Chinese made crap in exchange for the damage to his economy, not to mention the death and destruction in Russia.

The problems with this virus are many.  We don’t know what we don’t know.  All of the research was destroyed.  In a face-saving move, the propaganda has been prolific, but, somehow I think the chickens will come home to roost.  The WHO will need to clean up its organization, and China will need to find some way to make things right with the world.  How?  That is the question.

Please keep in mind I do not blame the Chinese people.  I know many, and I am very appreciative of their culture.

As of right now, 212 countries and territories have reported a total of 3,402,018 confirmed cases of the virus.  There are over 239,622 deaths because of this. The numbers are the highest in the United States because the US is doing the most testing.  1,131,492 cases with 65,776 deaths and counting.

This event is historical, and many of us writers should be documenting it.  Before history is changed to fit some narrative, I would encourage writers to tell their stories.  Blog about it if nothing else.

Once you put it on the internet, it will be somewhere for all eternity.

Much like these blogs, I could delete them, but trust me.  Somewhere in some vault along with 33K emails, will be these words.

Will yours be among them?

I did spend some time working in the garden today.  It was a sunny day.  You would never guess where the sun kissed me…

Much love, Stay safe.  We will get through this.  -TW

 

Knee Jerk Stupidity

I am waiting for the release of the Body Condom.  I think back to the bubble boy when I read the news of the day.

Let’s talk about masks and why wearing them could make your chances greater of catching something.

First and foremost, most people only have a rudimentary understanding of how to wear one much less have a habit of practicing proper protocol when using one.  Case in point, I was in a store when a woman in front of me sneezed.  Instinctually, she pulled the mask down and sneezed into the open air and then put the mask back over her nose.  Had she thought about it, she would have realized that the purpose of the cover is to contain her water droplets, which may or may not contain an actual virus.

Touching the mask and her face to pull it down, she rubbed her nose, face, and mask, contaminating it with her gloved hands.  Whatever surface she touched, she now put up to her nose, on her mask, and what have you.  That is how and why wearing a mask can increase your odds of catching a virus.

Wearing a mask if you are not used to it, will increase your odds of touching your face.  Why?  You will have something on your skin, stimulating it or causing an unfamiliar sensation that out of habit will cause you to rub, touch, or otherwise adjust the covering.  (the virus does not care if nobody sees you do it…)

Hannity last night is a prime example of roaring stupidity as he went on about opening up sports stadiums, and how he would wear a mask.  Paraphrased, he would drink his beer through a straw and put his hot dog under the mask and bite it and chew it under the mask.

Unwittingly, he spoke to millions who will now think that is proper etiquette for wearing a mask.  No Sean, some people have the IQ of a house plant, and think that is exactly the right way to do it.

Now for you non-medical non-scientific geniuses out there, let’s talk about the virus itself. Yes, I am talking to you elected and non-elected officials trying to make a name for yourselves by having your fifteen minutes in front of a camera.  Know what the hell you are talking about if you get in front of a camera!

When you think of the virus, and any kind of face-covering, other than an N95 respirator; imagine a screen door on a submarine.  Yes, it is precisely that efficient.

The virus is so freaking small it takes an electron microscope to see it.   Most masks or other face coverings you expect the public to use would look like the grand canyon to a virus.  Yes, it would be like they were not wearing anything.

I saw a meme which said this…Thinking a mask will protect you against a virus is like thinking your undies will stop a fart.  It is very accurate.  Both solutions stink!

Stop pushing your stupid rules on the public, unless you can provide them with protection that works…Yes, that would be the N95 mask.  Not only would it be real PPE, but…it would be real education.

Social distancing and coughing or sneezing into your elbow are as best you are going to get until this thing is over, or you can provide the entire country with real PPE.

Even with the best education and equipment, if the reports are correct, this virus escaped from a level 4 laboratory in Wuhan that was staffed by people who know better.  What in the hell do you expect with a public that has no clue how to use any kind of PPE, and elected officials and other public figures spouting absolute nonsense?

Much Love- TW

 

Day 31

I remember the first week, this is the fourth…Ughhh

 

I must confess I did not think I would see day 31, where nothing much has changed.  While the devastation has ravaged the countryside in larger cities and where warnings were not taken seriously, people I have known, are no longer with us.

It is not only difficult to keep a sense of humor during these times, but any sense of normalcy is just not going to happen.

If you are reading this blog from another country, I would be curious how you are faring and what your jobless situation looks like.  We went from the lowest jobless numbers in the history of the country to over 13% in four weeks.

Over 22 million out of work, worried about how they will pay the rent, put food on the table, etc.

I have been in that situation, and it is uncomfortable, to say the least.  In our country, we have predatory lenders who will swoop in with loans that would make Capone blush.

I warned about mental health weeks ago, and now they are taking that seriously.

Someone recommended that those that tested positive for the virus should be put on house arrest, complete with ankle monitors.  That my friends is fascism.

Those ANTIFA people should be freaking the hell out!

Since writing artistically is not happening, I am using this time to research, market, and yes…read.  Don’t let this time go to waste.  What we sell to companies is our time.  That is genuinely our stock in trade.  Yes, our talents make that time more valuable. Those heartbeats, and what you do with them is your unique “good” that you have to swap, sell, or donate.

If you follow me here, you know that I freely donate much as my way of saying thanks for following me.

Much Love, Stay Safe…-TW

 

 

Hello World, How are you?

Things to think about as we sit staring at the same four walls for weeks on end.

Yes, it is another day here in Texas. I am taking a break from my day job to tell you all hello.

The stories I hear are heartbreaking.  So many good people are succumbing to this plague that was unleashed upon humanity.

I am not going to preach about God or Christianity here.  I respect you all way too much to do that.  I will tell you that there is lots of useful information contained in the Bible.  A book that I find the most issues with is Leviticus.  Still not preaching, I was thinking about the advice of what not to eat.

Some of our friends around the globe eat things that ought not to be eaten.  I am speaking about the wet markets not only in China, but many countries have them.  Whether the market was an accelerant for the virus, created in some lab or it jumped from creature to human there, had they not had this living petri dish of dead and dying animals for sale, we would not be in this fix.

If you think Levitical law was God’s actual words, beautiful.  If you, like I, believe that man had a hand in writing this, fine.  Some of the things in there just make sense.  Take a look for yourself.

Many of you are probably way too young to know who Red Skelton was.  He was a comedian in a time that you could be funny without using four-letter words.  One of his signature lines was..(Pretending he was a child)  “If I do it, I get a whipping…..I do it.”

I am confident that in writing, it loses some of its zing but, he was brilliant, and…there is a lesson there.

Unlike many of my Christian friends, I also believe Darwin knew a thing or two.  If we did not have air travel, those that practice unsafe and unwise habits would just go away.  They die off, leaving the strongest, fittest, and yes, the smartest, left to live another day.

The virus would not have left Wuhan or the Chinese mainland for sure.

Since we have air travel, just possibly, this is an argument for a governing body that supersedes other governments, much like we have in the states.  The governor of the state is elected and can be overruled by the federal government if they act ‘stupidly.’  We have a few right now that need to be overridden and voted out when the next election rolls around.

The wet markets are a scourge and stupid.  Just possibly, we need some international norms to follow if you want to leave your country.

Harsh, I don’t think so.  When this plague is over, ask those who lost loved ones what they think.  Ask the millions of people who are staring at four walls how they feel.  Ask the milllions who are now out of work if they think that things need to change.  How about the small business or large business people who will never recover.  This virus has had an effect on 7.4 billion people!  Ask them how they feel about wet markets.

With international air travel happening all day and night, seven days a week, practices like wet markets and biological manipulations of viruses must be stopped.

You who live in those countries are not who I am addressing.  The leaders of all of the nations are who I am speaking to.

Plagues like this one were avoidable, and if some common sense laws were followed, we would not be where we are today.

Having said that, I am working on a new series of, how to self-publish, that I will be releasing in the weeks ahead.

Many of you would like to give it a whirl, and don’t know where to start.  I have run the gauntlet and have it mastered, kind of.

With over 32 novels in markets around the globe, I must be doing something right.

Hang in there, I am thinking about you and wish you health and happiness.

Much Love -TW

 

 

The Vitriol Must Stop!

We will get through this, take a mental time out from CNN and MSNBC

 

Hate is a poison that you take in hopes it will affect someone else.

We have enough to worry about without the memes blaming the current administration for the crises.

It matters not what your personal opinion is, half the country disagrees with you.   That is by design and all parts of political science.   Yes…politics.

Now is the time to let it go, and come together as a people.  There are ne’er do wells out there creating memes, spreading lies, trying to make things worse than they already are.

No, Trump does not have controlling interests in a company that makes a drug that has been around for over 50 years. When he talks about this drug in a positive light, it is to calm the masses.  We don’t need panic in the streets.   We need people to listen, stay home, wash their hands, and practice social distancing.

When you re-post their propaganda, you are assisting them in their desire to sew the seeds of hate and discontent.  The Media is already doing an excellent job of spreading this hate, let’s not assist them.

Domestic violence is already at levels not seen in some time.  Do you want to add fuel to the fire?

If your emotions are triggered, just know that you are being manipulated.  I would say it was the devil at work, but man does not need his help to be jerks.

We will get through this.

Pray, or send good thoughts, or whatever it is that you do when you are thankful to those on the front lines.  When this is done, it will affect most of the population of the world.  We don’t need partisan bullshit right now.

Think of that last statement…everyone on the planet…. #stopthehate

That means that 7.64 billion people will have been affected by the time this is over.  Does playing the blame game assist this in any way?

There will be time enough to blame someone when this is over.

Stay safe and stay home.

Much Love -TW

 

 

Airborne?  Cats with COVID?

We really need to know if this thing is airborne.

 

Why do I get a feeling there is so much that they are not telling us?

Several Tigers at the Bronx zoo are infected with this virus, got that?

They say that an asymptomatic worker was infected and gave it to one of the tigers.  That would mean that this person was closer than 6 feet from the animal.  Ummm, was he or she petting it?

We learned that your housecat can get it, but cannot give it to a human.  How do they know that?  The virus, however, can land on the fur, then you pet the cat, and touch yourself and viola you are infected.

What other animals, insects, etc. can get and transmit this virus?  Some versions of the coronavirus have been around for a long time, so we should have some idea how this works.  What is different about this strain or version?

Wild conspiracy theories are floating around.  I am not a tin foil hat person.  I love them as they are fodder for novels, but as for the real deal, I don’t buy into that stuff.  If you read my novel Presidential Assassins, you will get an idea of some of the wild theories I came up with, but what I heard today takes the cake.

Are you ready for this one?

According to the tinfoil hat brigade, the Chinese paid someone in our country to invent or bioengineer this virus to sterilize men.  Let me say that again.  Due to the overpopulation in China, they hired someone here to create a virus or modify one that would render men sterile.

In my book Under Roswell, I came up with that scenario on an alien world which backfired and rendered the entire population of men sterile.

In Saga of the Starduster, one of my aliens modify a virus to attack the cancer cells of our protagonist.  The problem with single-stranded viruses is, they are unstable.  They can and generally do mutate.  While they are great fodder for novels, nobody in their right mind would mess with them, unless they were trying to create a doomsday scenario.  Viruses are not picky about who they attack.

Even if you were stupid enough to create the virus, create the vaccine and then infect the enemy or ‘other guys’ the thing would mutate taking out the entire population. No, this is truly a doomsday scenario.

Some are arguing that it was here much earlier, and that is why many were sick in November.  Ummm, I got sick after taking the flu shot.  Two weeks to the day, I came down with the flu.

Firstly I waited way too late in the year to get it and, I learned a thing or two about the human immune system.

When your body is creating antibodies for whatever strain of flu they think might be prevalent that year, your immune system, much like the shields on the Enterprise or the health bar on your avatar goes down.  The same is true when you donate blood FYI.

When your defenses are low, you cannot fight off the bugs that are in the air or on surfaces.

You might have noticed that one thing all the doctors do say is to take vitamins, eat right, and take care of your immune system—good advice to follow.

Other than social distancing and washing your hands, I don’t see much else that we can do.

I do want them to run some air samples in and around hot zones to see if the damned thing is airborne.

Tweet that yourself with the #askbirx.  I genuinely don’t have any idea how a layperson gets the attention of the task force.  Make this trend.

Stay safe and stay home.

Much love -TW

 

Is this virus airborne?

A mask or other face covering, Why?

 

I am not trying to panic anyone, so don’t think that I am.  We are too much like a herd of animals and spook with the best of them.  I point to the empty shelves in most stores as a prime example of this behavior.

Some things don’t add up.  I want this to get to the task force at the white house.  Retweeting and sharing this with the hashtag #askbirx might do it.

Like all things unknown, the question about mask plagued me (pun intended).   The reasons it bothered me were the ambiguities put forth by the ‘Presidents’ task force.  Should the public be wearing a mask or other face-covering?

Tucker Carlson on Fox News was animate about the question as in his mind; it just made sense.  Yes and no.  They were not forthcoming with their reasoning.

Guess what, unless you can find the surgical kinds of masks the professionals use, you are wasting your time and money.  They don’t want you to ‘find them’ as the healthcare workers need them more than you.  That is part of the reason for the ambiguities, Tucker, here is the ‘rest of the story.’

The virus is too small to be seen with an ordinary microscope.  Bacteria are visible with a compound microscope (barely), but a virus is not.  A virus is about 100 to 120 nanometers or about a thousand times more massive than an atom.  To keep that in perspective, they are much smaller than bacteria (which is a cell.)  Bacteria are ten times smaller than a normal human cell.

Using this analogy might make more sense to you.  If the virus were a coin, it might be the size of a dime and the bacteria the size of a platter.  The holes in your scarf, or weave of the fabric, would look like a football field to the virus.  Got it?

Now, if you understand that, you can take a magnifying glass and see the holes in the weave of your scarf or bandana. A mask used for woodworking and other hobby related activities is still much too porous to protect you against a virus, or bacteria for that matter.

The bottom line is this, a mask or other face-covering might…’ might’ blunt the amount, or distance, of a virus that you shed.   That is the only reason to wear anything.  Any face covering will not replace social distancing, and until we have the facts about the virus’s ability to be airborne, even that is genuinely suspect.

This is why the White House has been putting out such mixed messages regarding the wearing of a mask.  The health care workers need the infamous N95 mask as they are in close proximity to infected individuals.  I have no idea if that mask is effective against the coronavirus.  I do know that it is much better than those masks you find at the hardware store and certainly better than a scarf.

What I am challenging the CDC to do is, put some high-quality mask material on a dustbuster (or several) and capture particulate matter in and around hot zones.  Is the damned thing airborne, and if so, how far away from a hot zone is it in the air? What is the PPM or parts per million of the virus at different distances from hospitals and other areas of patients?

If my suspicions are correct, those folks on their balconies singing to each other in a ‘hot zone’ took risks that might have been fatal.

We need to understand the efficacy of and the ease of transmission of this ‘invisible enemy.’

#askbirx

No kidding; we need this to go ‘viral’ to get it to someone who cares.

If you have a HEPA air filter in your home, I would run it 24X7 especially, if you live in an area with infected people.  It cannot hurt in this allergy season so, why not?

Use common sense precautions, and yes, please wash your hands.

Hang in there, people.  We need answers.

Much Love -TW

 

My COVID Questions

Could this thing be airborne? If so how far can it travel and still be viable?

 

If you have landed here from Twitter, you have no doubt read some of my questions to the administration.

What we don’t know, can kill us.

As a writer of science fiction and yes, some racy novels, don’t let that dissuade you from examining what I put forth.  In some of my tweets, I ask the obvious question.

Can the virus be airborne?

If we were to go to New York or Manhattan where the infection rate is high and set up detectors, what would we find?  My gut feeling is that people shed these viruses at an alarming level.  I would like to understand how long it takes the virus to replicate, and if it replicates logarithmically.  Again my gut tells me that it does.

I am basing that on how long it takes to become ill.

It is possible that even as the virus is compromising its host, the host is shedding it while infecting others.  Why is it more lethal in people with a high BMI or diabetic?  Does it have something to do with sugar or some other nutrient that is higher in fat people or people who are diabetic?

Now, let’s push that theory forward just a little.  This thing is damned tiny, and because of that, much like dust particles can float around for a long time.  If they are not already doing so, they need to have monitoring devices all over the city from the street level to the tops of buildings, counting the numbers of this virus found in a specific period.

Since the prevailing winds would take it offshore in New York, let’s go to New Orleans, where the prevailing winds carry the airborne particulates into the state.  How far?  How far inland do they find it and what is its efficacy?

Houston: same thing.  The prevailing winds carry stench from Pasadena well inland, what about the virus?

We know that damned thing has a ‘shelf life’ much longer than we would like.  I suspect that UV from the hot Texas sun will kill it once it is airborne but, how long does it take to do that? Is that why the flu and other virus-related diseases are seasonal?  Exposure to UV kills them and stops them from spreading?

Speaking of UV light, I happen to know that tanning beds put out copious amounts of UV light.  Why not put PPE stuff into tanning beds to sterilize them?  Not a doctor, but I did work around some of the giants in the industry, not too many years ago.

Summary:

Airborne particulate detectors, to learn if the virus is airborne and how far it travels from a hot zone.

If I am right, we need to figure out a new strategy to keep civilians safe.  That might be going inside and staying there.  Hepa air filters might also be a good idea inside your home.

The hell of it is, we don’t know what we don’t know.  We need to assign someone the task of learning the efficacy of the virus once airborne, and how far it can go and …how long it can ‘live’ just waiting for a host.

While I am trying to write, the thoughts of what so many of you are dealing with, wreak havoc on my creativity.  From the loss of a job, to a loved one just breaks my heart.  Stay safe and stay inside.  We need to encourage our governments to think outside the box and not leave any stone unturned. If this thing is airborne as I suspect it can be, that adds a whole new dimension to the problem.  We need to know, yes or no.  I pray, I am wrong.

Much Love -TW