‘Trenton’ Category

 

A Talking-To

Linda Lou Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – Summer is nearing an end, and I’m wagging my finger  to get your attention this Saturday evening about COVID19 in the United States and the World. The virus hasn’t disappeared yet, and sadly, the United States continues to be coping poorly. The World Health Organization reports 30,369,778 cases tallied up around the globe as of September 19. The Centers for Disease Control reports 6,706,374 cases in the United States as of September 19. Do the math: 22% of the COVID19 cases in the world are in the United States. And remember, the United States accounts for only 4% of the world’s population.

I REPEAT:

  • WORLD COVID19 cases: 30,369,778
  • UNITED STATES COVID19 cases: 6,706,374

  • UNITED STATES: 22% of World COVID19 cases
  • UNITED STATES: 4% of World population

As to DEATHS from COVID19, the World Health Organization reports 948,795 deaths worldwide due to COVID19 as of September 19. The Centers for Disease Control reports 198,099 deaths in the United States due to COVID19 as of September 19.

My stepmother was one of those statistics. She was buried September 13 in Jasper, Alabama (Alabama now the fifth deadliest state to live in). Her name was Opal Burton and she lived for 97 years, until she contracted the virus while quarantined in a nursing home. Not the way anyone should spend their last days on earth; she was in a place that should have been able to keep her safe. It makes me sad, and it makes me angry that we have let this virus dig into our lives the way it has. God bless you Opal, and forgive the laxity that allowed things to get so far beyond control. Your life was much too valuable to be lost in such a way.

DEATHS:

  • WORLD COVID19 deaths: 948,795
  • UNITED STATES COVID19 deaths: 198,099

  • UNITED STATES: 21% of World COVID19 deaths
  • UNITED STATES: 4% of World Population

Within the United States, which states have the WORST RECORD?

The FIVE STATES with the HIGHEST percentage of their population DIAGNOSED with COVID19:

  • Louisiana: 3.47%. Governor John Bell Edwards, Democrat
  • Mississippi: 3.13%. Governor Tate Reeves, Republican
  • Florida: 3.12%. Governor Ron DeSantis, Republican
  • Arizona: 2.93%. Governor Doug Ducey, Republican
  • Alabama: 2.91%. Governor Kay Ivey, Republican

Of those who contracted COVID19, the FIVE STATES with the HIGHEST percentage of those DYING from the virus:

  • Connecticut: 8.09%. Governor Ned Lamont, Democrat
  • New Jersey: 8.08%. Governor Phil Murphy, Democrat
  • New York: 7.29%. Governor Andrew Cuomo, Democrat
  • Massachusetts: 6.89%. Governor Charles Baker, Republican
  • New Hampshire: 5.57%. Governor Chris Sununu, Republican

We’ve got to do better people. What are YOU doing personally to make sure the virus doesn’t grab onto your beautiful body? And if it unfortunately HAS DONE THAT, and you are feverish and coughing and feel totally pukey BAD, what are you doing to make sure you don’t spread it around? Our powers in office can make good or bad decisions about issuing mandates and opening or closing facilities. But it is up to YOU to practice good common sense. You’ve heard enough details about COVID19 symptoms, and dangers. You know the drill. In all the political froo-froo and blame-game playacting, it’s still WE THE PEOPLE who can slow the virus down by sensible behavior and good judgment. Don’t be a ding-dong!

In 45 days, it’s time to VOTE. Stay tuned for a daily post about each of the 45 presidents who have already served, from GEORGE to DONALD. You DO NOT want to miss that. If you think things are crazy NOW, well, they are, but there has been mucho craziness in the past too.

Don’t despair. You know what to do on November 3.

 
 
 

Readin’ and Writin’ and ‘Rithmatic

Linda Lou Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – Do you know how many students attended public schools in the United States in the 2019-2020 school year? According to the National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/, about  50.8 million – 35.5 million in prekindergarten to grade 8, and 15.3 million in grades 9-12.

About 3.7 million students graduated from high school this spring, in the strangest ending to a school year anyone can recall. I’ve heard stories from my parents of “depression years” and school schedules revolving around “cotton-picking time.” My Dad was double-promoted in high school during hard times and wound up graduating at age 16. “Daddy had been a school teacher, and he made sure I got my studies done first. So I’d go to classes in the morning and then put in a crop in the afternoon,” he told. My Mom was dealt a reverse blow – her father held her back for two of her school years; once due to a lengthy illness and once when she simply needed to help support the family. My grandfather was a carpenter, and she dug clay from the riverbank to make bricks. But both parents persevered. They made it, despite the odds.

This year’s high schoolers were hit with an unexpected, unpredictable crisis along about March. In a flurry of fears and fumbles, as the COVID-19 virus began to creep across the country, schools shifted to stay-at-home, online classes. The methods varied from state to state, even within school districts. “Let’s stay home till this passes,” was Plan 1.

It didn’t pass. Virus cases continued to go up and state governors were tasked with issuing mandates to protect their citizens. What a thoroughly depressing “rock and a hard place” to be between. We can’t let 3.5 million kids miss a senior year! But also, we can’t let 50.8 million kids sit side by side in a classroom when the danger of illness, or death, is entirely possible.

So what to do?

You know what happened, it’s past now. My two high-school-senior-grandchildren toughed it out, sitting at home with their laptops; certain hours for online classtime and individual study. Yes, you can STUDY at home (that’s normally called “homework”) but how the heck do you complete a welding class online? They missed the senior prom, the cross-country meets, the camaraderie with school chums. It all went flat.

I applaud the effort their school officials made to create “virtual graduation ceremonies” so they did get to WEAR those caps and gowns; they did get photographed with smiling faces and feted with “immediate-family-at-home parties.” And cake, of course, cake. I’ve heard stories from friends in different parts of the country that told of similar, and some very unusual, solutions for “how to make it SPECIAL for the Class of 2020.”

Life goes on, and the virus isn’t letting up as the fall “school year” fast approaches. The daily news is mostly daily arguments and accusations; we MUST do this; we CANNOT do that. The impact of school closures extends far beyond “educational concerns” or “health concerns.” Financial, emotional, practical, common-sense issues are topsy-turvy; our structured way of life is no longer certain of its footings.

I analyze COVID-19 cases every day on the CDC site; today’s totals are 2,982,900 with 145,663 deaths so far in our 50 states, the District of Columbia, and our US territories.

Top Ten List

Sometimes, I noted, it isn’t good to make the TOP TEN LIST. Today, the ten US states dealing with the highest sheer numbers of COVID-19 cases are:

  1. 399,925: New York. Capital City Albany, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Democrat
  2. 277,724: California. Capital City Sacramento, Governor Gavin Newsom, Democrat
  3. 210,594: Florida. Capital City Tallahassee, Governor Ron DeSantis, Republican
  4. 210,585: Texas. Capital City Austin, Governor Greg Abbott, Republican
  5. 173,878: New Jersey. Capital City Trenton, Governor Phil Murphy, Democrat
  6. 149,574: Illinois. Capital City Springfield, Governor J B Pritzker, Democrat
  7. 110,338: Massachusetts. Capital City Boston, Governor Charlie Baker, Republican
  8. 105,094: Arizona. Capital City Phoenix, Governor Doug Ducey, Republican
  9. 100,470: Georgia. Capital City Atlanta, Governor Brian Kemp, Republican
  10. 92,148: Pennsylvania. Capital City Harrisburg, Governor Tom Wolf, Democrat

Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott, Phil Murphy, J B Pritzker, Charlie Baker, Doug Ducey, Brian Kemp, and Tom Wolf, governors of these hardest-hit states, have some tough decisions ahead. So do the governors, and health departments, and school boards, of ALL our states and territories.

There are more than 50 million children out there whose future rocks, and rolls, on the decisions you make.

Tomorrow: Colleges

 

 
 
 

Birds And Bees

16 NJ visit 001Linda Burton posting from Trenton, New Jersey – The New Jersey state bird is the Eastern Goldfinch, and the New Jersey state bug is the Honeybee. I was standing one-legged in a center hall of the New Jersey State House when I learned this; the tour guide had stopped the crowd by a glass-encased Boehm ceramic artwork to explain. Inside, perched on the New Jersey state tree – the red oak – were a number of bright yellow birds; striped honeybees hovered over sweet-purple violets, the state flower. I didn’t get a photo of the display because there was a glare on the glass, so I can’t show you 16 carpethow pretty it was. I might have tried harder for a better angle except, as I said, I was standing one-legged, holding onto the wall. My knee had suddenly decided not to work; it does that sometimes, especially, it seems, if I’m in a crowd; that makes for a higher embarrassment factor. Nobody seemed to notice, however; and soon we were in the Assembly Chamber, just down the hallway, where I could sit. Ah, look at the floor! The Birds and Bees and Trees and Flowers were part of the carpet design, a charming swirl against a background of blue. I got a picture of that, and 16 seal highlooked around the room, squinting as the sun beamed through the high windows on either side of the State Seal; our guide was focused on the legislative process. In my hand I held a roster of the 215th New Jersey Legislature – 80 in the Assembly; 40 in the Senate; party and district were identified, phone number listed. Two seats are vacant, it said; I counted 70 Democrats and 48 Republicans serving a state where the Republican governor makes the daily news; Chris Christie, resoundingly re-elected November 5. » read more

 
 
 

Bird In A Cage

13 t turnpikeLinda Burton posting from Trenton, New Jersey – Oh the horror! From the wide-open farmlands of the Pennsylvania Dutch to the narrow confines of the Pennsylvania Turnpike; cornfields to concrete; shock. I was willing to pay for good road to move me swiftly across the state to New Jersey. But I told the toll-taker on my exit near Morrisville, “You really should pay me to ride on this horrid road.” He took my $5.75 without comment. I’d felt confined the whole way, barriered in from any scenery; tunnelized; I longed for anything else. Route 1 turned out to be even worse; no sign welcomed me to New Jersey as I whizzed over the 13 t gpsDelaware River; my only clues were the dotted lines on the GPS, and a blur to my left that said Trenton Makes. Makes what? Eight miles beyond the river, the GPS advised me to take Mall Access Road; I followed that advice. No hotel, just Macy’s, and Sears; it took a while to realize that my hotel was on the other side of Route 1. There are no left turns off said highway, only concrete barriers. You must pass your intended destination, take a right at the next overpass, cross over Route 13 t trenton enter1, and head back the other way. Three lanes of traffic going both ways; no dedicated lanes to feed into; non-stop New Jersey drivers, all as frustrated as me. Or maybe more. By the time I reached my hotel, the morning pleasantness I’d felt at Bird-In-Hand had turned to the dismay of a bird in a cage. “You’d better get used to me,” I said to the cats after I unloaded the car. “I won’t be going out much.” I opened the laptop, and plugged in a search for “Trenton,” the Journey’s Capital City #48. » read more

 
 
 

Bird-In-Hand Is Better

13 food plateLinda Burton posting from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania traveling from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Trenton, New Jersey – Buttery new potatoes with skins. Sweet-corn casserole. Bright-green peas. Kraut and sausage. Chicken pie. Shepherd’s pie. Ham and scalloped potatoes. I was walking the center aisle of a Pennsylvania Dutch smorgasbord, dipping a smidge of everything onto my plate. Ham balls? There was no more room, well, maybe one. The salad bar was to my left, the dessert bar to my right; I bypassed both, stopping at the bread bar for fresh-baked rolls. Then to my booth by the window, through a silver-haired crowd in a room filled 13 horse purplewith happy talk. Tour buses waited in the parking lot; seniors were traveling today. The weather is still tolerably good; family traffic has slowed with kids in school; now’s the time to wander the hills and open farm lands that make up the happiest place I’ve ever seen. I was happy, that’s for sure; fresh vegetables on my plate, locally grown and simply cooked. Across the road, two horses grazed behind a white fence; one wore a purple blanket, I wondered why. An Amish buggy, horse-pulled at a rapid clip, went by on the highway, ah, that’s it. The purple-blanket horse just finished a buggy trip and was in cool-down mode. Should I go back 13 buggythrough the smorgasbord for a second round? Some shoo-fly pie? It was tempting, but no; the drive ahead to Trenton would be intense; dessert would make me sleepy, and soft. I flipped through my Lancaster County guidebook, and sighed. Too many potatoes? No, too many things I’d miss today. Is this a come-back place? Is this a place I’d recommend for the senior crowd, and for every family with kids? I give it an “A,” for absolutely. » read more