Decisions on High: Too Little, Too Late

Decisions on High: Too Little, Too Late

Attila will have to return to work on Monday, and as the pandemic intensifies here, I find I don’t want him to go. He has no choice of course, he has to go. But if we could manage to survive financially, we both agree, he would stay home and we would self-isolate. Both of us are in the high risk-for-complications category.

We are both quite willing to self-isolate for the sake of our country, if means of financial survival were provided.

We live in a very small space, and will be unable to implement the recommendations for living with a COVID-19 patient, even though we would be quarantined here together.

I am not happy about this, and I feel the Canadian government, and employers, could do a lot better, on the ground, to set things up to protect seniors and health compromised people. Proactive prevention should be a priority at this stage in the game. Soon this window of opportunity will close also, just as the window of opportunity for containment closed before our governments caught on. Wise up.

I don’t feel confident though, that the government is savvy enough to get moving on things like this, allowing people who live with those over 65, or those with preexisting conditions, to choose to be “laid off work” for self-isolation. A little thing, but it could make a huge difference in spreading the contagion out so that the medical resources will be able to handle everyone, just not all at once. As far as I can determine, almost all serious complications occur in the age groups over 40 years of age, and that risks increase with age.

It just seems obvious to me, common sense. But where was common sense when our leader’s wife, in spite of the blatant warning signs around the world that trudged on till it was a pandemic, traveled to England, intermingled with thousands of people at an event, interacted in other settings, and came back home to test positive for COVID-19.

The next day the government, her husband, took it seriously. Why was she over there when this was going on in the world? In my opinion it was not a responsible choice. She has a mild case, at least there is that. And our Prime Minister is now in self-isolation at home with his family. Many leaders are self-isolating.

I seldom become political here, but this issue could cost me my life, or Attila’s life, or the life of someone else I know and care about, and surely the lives of other Canadians unknown to me, but whose lives are equally important. So it makes me a little angry that so little is being done on the ground to delay the spread and mediate the impact of this pandemic.

Attila wonders if all these delayed responses facilitated the movement of capital to investments with a new world future.

The decisions made by leaders all over the world beggar belief.



Date: 7:00 PM EDT Saturday 14 March 2020
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 4.2°C
Dew point: -3.1°C
Humidity: 59%
Wind: WSW 13 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
Bill Gates

“I got my story, my dream, from America. The hero I had is Forrest Gump… I like that guy. I’ve been watching that movie about 10 times. Every time I get frustrated, I watch the movie. I watched the movie before I came here again to New York. I watched the movie again telling me that no matter whatever changed, you are you.”
Jack Ma


  1. Teri

    I’m sorry Attila can’t stay home. I’d say maybe it would be good if the company took a two week shut down with everyone being paid, but I don’t really know if it would help.

    Around here, many people are self-isolating. What kinds of other actions do you think would be wise?

  2. Paul thought he’d trick the system and go food shopping yesterday very very early… except he was a half hour late… so around 7:30 he got up to Market Basket thinking there would be very few peeps but instead it was more crowded than he’d ever seen it! Wall to wall customers! Not a good experience when you’re trying to keep 3-feet away from every other person! Next week he’ll try another day, maybe a Thursday or Wednesday…

  3. Teri, it is hard to know just what measures are wise. We try to make sure we get enough sleep, eat well, and stay active. I spray everything coming in with aqueous oxygen, as powerful as bleach, and leave it to sit until it dries. We wash our hands over and over again all day long. I’ve observed that not touching ones face ever is a pipe dream, humans do it, without even being aware of it. Living in a small space, if Attila gets it, so will I, it will not be possible to isolate one of us in a room with seperate bathroom. So I am coming to terms with the reality that as long as Attila has to go out there and be exposed day-after-day there is a good chance that virus will eventually find him, and then me. Our chances are decent for survival, considering our age cohorts and health issues, so one remains hopefu.
    Our governments need to keep in mind that keeping people who do non-digital work is essential to life itself, food, health care, heating, water… forgetting about the people who have to go out there to work will be a big mistake.

  4. Bex, Attila had the same thought! Glad you shared Paul’s experience. I think the whole rush will die down eventually, as I think the seriousness of this pandemic has just dawned on a lot of people, and they are obtaining enough supplies to last for two weeks, and then I hope the rush will taper off. I am hoping that some sort of delivery system for older people gets implemented by communities, no contact required for pickup of orders, or delivery. Wouldn’t be that hard, and would keep people safely employed.

  5. Sandy

    In the US many governors are providing better leadership than the president. Our governor (Pritzger) shut down schools, theaters, and all large gatherings. He said young people are still going to bars & restaurants because they don’t know or care they can be carriers. So at some point he may close or limit access to restaurants. Possibly a curfew
    Can Attila take a hand sanitizer to work? I think it’s impossible to not touch your face. The sanitizer might help there.
    I heard one doctor suggest it would be smart to have outside clothes and “at home” clothes. In case you were out and picked up the virus on your clothes, you would change out of those clothes and toss them in the washer. Then you would have “at home” clothes that you never wear outside.
    I hope you and Attila remain healthy (and all of us). I do wish the government in both our countries would allow older employees to stay home and pay them enough to live during this crisis.

  6. Sandy, It is a relief to think that some leaders take their roles as something other than a public relations, or line-my-pockets-and-those-of-my-associates/stakeholders approach.

    Young people will find that this will impact them big time… no bed for them if they OD, are in a car accident, any serious health issue that comes up is risky because there won’t be any beds or equipment or expertise available. The young have been led to believe they are better educated than older people, due to their dependence and addictions to technology, but in reality they extremely myopic because of these things. Then add the run-of-the-mill arrogance and lack of experience that we all went through, well I think their generation is in for a shock, to say the least.

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful strategies!!! Sharing these things is so important I think. Attila is ultra cautious at work, washing his hands dozens of times, as they get dirty on the job, so it works right into his schedule. He keeps sanitizer in the car, and uses it when he gets back to the vehicle. He has work clothes that he now sheds at the door, into the wash, and then into home clothes. This was kinda necessary to a certain extent before this pandemic, because he gets so very dirty on the job.

    I’ve written to the Prime Minister about letting older people stay home out of harm’s way. I expect my reaching out to be digitally placed in a pile, and then, if I am on the pile of could-be-an-important-contact, I’ll get a form letter in response. I will post here if I get any response from on high, but I am not the sort of person who catches their attention. My ideas aren’t geared to profit and stakeholders, just a better world for our species. Not really the focus of some politicians, one actually did tell me, “I am not interested in creating a better world.” Go figure, a bit shocking, and he edited it soon afterward on Facebook, but there you are, the truth comes out in an unguarded moment, talking down to someone you think is your inferior.

  7. Another strategy we are using is having a “quarantine” corner in the basement, so that items coming from the world, that are not for immediate use, say a jar of peanut butter we won’t need to open for a few weeks, can sit undisturbed and untouched until they have been in quarantine for 28 days. Our garden seeds, for instance, arrived last week, and they are in quarantine in that area until spring. I mist items to be handles for immediate use with aqueous oxygen, and let them dry before putting them away.

  8. Teri, thanks for the link. We are erring on the side of caution and going with the information in this article from Medical News Today:

    “How long do coronaviruses persist?
    The first section of the new paper focuses on how long coronaviruses can survive on inanimate surfaces, such as tables and door handles. The authors show that, depending on the material and the conditions, human coronaviruses can remain infectious from 2 hours to 9 days.

    At temperatures of around 4°C or 39.2oF, certain versions of the coronavirus could remain viable for up to 28 days. At temperatures of 30–40°C (86–104°F), coronaviruses tended to persist for a shorter time.

    At room temperature, a coronavirus responsible for the common cold (HCoV-229E) persisted significantly longer in 50% humidity than 30% humidity. Overall, the authors conclude:

    “Human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces at room temperature for up to 9 days. At a temperature of 30°C [86°F] or more, the duration of persistence is shorter. Veterinary coronaviruses have been shown to persist even longer for 28 d[ays].”

    When the scientists delved into the literature on the persistence of coronaviruses on different surfaces, the results were variable. For instance, the MERS virus persisted for 48 hours on a steel surface at 20°C (68°F). However, on a similar surface and at the same temperature, TGEV survived for up to 28 days.

    Similarly, two studies investigated the survival of two strains of SARS coronavirus on a paper surface. One survived 4–5 days, the other for just 3 hours.”

  9. Teri

    The choice is yours, of course. But what I sent you was testing specific to COVID-19 with testing done by Stanford University. That’s essentially equal to Mayo Clinic level testing.

  10. Teri, the author of the article you linked to is an M.A. from Tehran blog entry, there are no references in his blog entry for the information he posts. Have you seen the references he uses, can you share those links? I like his information a lot better than the information I have followed, but will continue on with the article information that I linked to. Overkill perhaps, but vulnerable people can’t afford to make mistakes.

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