‘Sacramento’ Category

 

That Virus Thingy

September 1, 2020, Linda Lou Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – Six months have passed since we really started counting “that virus thingy.” I check the US stats on the Centers for Disease Control website every week; so far no US state or territory has had a week go by with NO new cases. Except for American Samoa, bless their peaceful, well-isolated hearts. Today I took a worldwide look – the World Health Organization has an excellent site and really good advice. It’s vitally important to track what is going on in our own neighborhood, but I believe it is equally important to track what is happening beyond our borders. Compare – how are they managing? How are we, in the US?

As of the beginning of September, 2020, the World Health Organization shows 25,541,380 cases of COVID-19 reported worldwide; 852,000 deaths. If we want to compare that death count with the population of cities of equal size – we could say that EVERYBODY in Indianapolis, Indiana is dead now. Or, Seattle, Washington. Dead. No living, breathing persons left in those cities. When you look at it THAT way, it seems like a lot of deaths, doesn’t it? Other cities in the US that have populations in the 800,000 range are Charlotte, North Carolina; San Francisco, California, Columbus, Ohio; Forth Worth, Texas.  Imagine them gone! Imagine a dystopian horror tale, such as Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars (2012); a world where the unexpected happened – a flu pandemic struck – and life on the planet had to adjust to “what is.” While I’m a believer in Positive Thinking, I’m also a believer in being well-informed. And approaching life in ways that are reasonable, and not based on impatience to “get back to normal, now!” Like, opening schools.  Sure, kids are getting a sucky education right now. Sure, parents are sick and tired of having to manage and monitor their children’s schooling from home.  Sure – well the issue is ablaze in arguments and accusations and vastly different proposals. Politics involved. What is the best solution? Start with facts.

Here are the numbers broken down by sections of the world, and then the US.

World Health Organization Statistics – Number of Cases Reported Worldwide as of September 1, 2020

  • Americas – 13,469,747
  • SE Asia – 4,318,281
  • Europe – 4,225,328
  • Eastern Mediterranean – 1,939,204
  • Africa – 1,056,120
  • Western Pacific – 501,959
  • TOTAL WORLDWIDE – 25,541,380

Of the Americas, that’s both North and South, let’s look at what is happening just in the United States. We’ve got the most cases of any American country — 6,004,443 COVID-19 cases reported to date; 183,050 deaths from the virus. That “death” total kills off everybody in Little Rock, just about! The US numbers are big, and continue to get bigger. Over the next month, I’ll be looking at what other countries in the world are doing to combat a pandemic that is “sure ‘nough” real, and how they are keeping their citizens safe.

Meanwhile, wash your hands, keep your chin up (with MASK intact!), and if you happen to live in any of the states below, get in touch with your governor because your state is leading the pack this week, an honor you don’t want.

US States With Highest Percent of Population Diagnosed With COVID-19 as of September 1

  1. Louisiana – 3.2%, Governor John Bel Edwards, Democrat
  2. Florida – 2.87%, Governor Ronald Dion DeSantis, Republican
  3. Mississippi – 2.81%, Governor Jonathon Tate Reeves, Republican
  4. Arizona – 2.77%, Governor Douglas Anthony Ducey, Republican
  5. Alabama – 2.57%, Governor Kay Ellen Ivey, Republican

US States With Greatest  Numbers of COVID-19  Cases Diagnosed as of September 1

  1. California – 704,485, Governor Gavin Christopher Newsom, Democrat
  2. Florida – 616,629, Governor Ronald Dion DeSantis, Republican
  3. Texas – 612,969, Governor Gregory Wayne Abbott, Republican
  4. New York – 435,783, Governor Andrew Mark Cuomo, Democrat
  5. Georgia – 270,471, Governor Brian Porter Kemp, Republican

US States With Most New Cases Diagnosed in One Week as of September 1

  1. California – 40,416, Governor Gavin Christopher Newsom, Democrat
  2. Texas – 35,432, Governor Gregory Wayne Abbott, Republican
  3. Florida – 22,342, Governor Ronald Dion DeSantis, Republican
  4. Georgia – 16,522, Governor Brian Porter Kemp, Republican
  5. Illinois – 15,130, Governor Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker, Democrat

John Bel Edwards, LA

Ron DeSantis, FL

Tate Reeves, MS

Doug Ducey, AZ

Kay Ivey, AL

Andrew Cuomo, NY

Brian Kemp, GA

Gavin Newsom, CA

Greg Abbott, TX

J B Pritzker, IL

 
 
 

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

 

 
 
 

Am I Blue?

00.0.Box.cLinda Burton posting from Arkadelphia, Arkansas – When is the best time to put a jigsaw puzzle together? A rainy day seemed right, when Brother was visiting during Thanksgiving week. I pulled out the State Flags and Capitols box I’d been saving for just such a day and dumped all one thousand pieces onto the card table. Brother raised an eyebrow and shook his head. I let tiny puzzle pieces filter through my fingers, trying to think of a working plan. 00.27.Puzzle Pieces“What strategy should I use?” I asked. “Colors,” was his reply. Now, generally speaking, that is good jigsaw strategy. But when the picture is 50 state flags, well that’s when you discover that most state flags are blue. In fact, only four state flags don’t have at least a touch of blue in them – Alabama, California, Maryland, and New Mexico.

The puzzle pieces sat in a pile for several days, as I half-heartedly tried to sort blue from blue from blue. After brother left, I raked everything back into the box and headed for my sewing basket. Being heavily dependent on Excel spreadsheets to help me organize almost everything in life, I grabbed a spool of thread and the scissors and with a little Scotch tape turned the 02.Puzzle. Stringscard table into Columns and Rows. Then I put Post-Its into each section marking which state fit where. Aha! I dug into those thousand pieces again looking for words. “Mon” went into the Montana section, “sas” into the Arkansas slot; I was on a roll! How many flags have outspread eagle wings? Just two – Iowa and North Dakota. Plop plop. The palm tree went to Hawaii; the horses to Pennsylvania, the bison belonged to Wyoming. The challenge began to be fun, and (with magnifying glass in hand) I began to notice the details within the flags. I didn’t expect to have a learning experience, but that is exactly what happened. In my two-year Journey to 50 states, I didn’t pay much attention to the state flags. But suddenly I realized that flags are the story-telling devices of the state. And I love a good story! » read more

 
 
 

The Sierra

Linda Burton traveling from Sacramento, California to Carson City, Nevada – Today was the day to tackle “The Sierra.” I’ve been hearing about it for two weeks; it’s all the Sacramento news – the weather of it, the condition of the road to Tahoe, events to entertain. I couldn’t see it, and didn’t really understand (why isn’t it Sierras, plural?).  I’d delayed a day to let the snow clouds dissipate; no chains in my repertoire. Now I had a sunny day and loaded up with ease, one thing at a time from room to car.

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Life, Taxes, and Toyota

Linda Burton posting from Sacramento, California – No matter how adventurous you are, some things have to happen when they have to happen. Like filing your tax return by the time IRS tells you to, and getting prescriptions refilled when they run out, and taking the cats to the vet for their regular check-up time. Like getting the windshield ding repaired before it cracked (from that April 1st California dust storm).

H&R Block took care of the taxes for me, wonderful service, wonderful folks, nice office there on Watt Avenue; Rite-Aid close by for the prescriptions; Banfield for the cats. SafeLite came out and repaired the ding – it’s guaranteed no matter where I go from here. In this day and age, we’re “portable”; our records follow us around. That’s nice, I think, now everything is taken care of; I’m up to date.

But then I heard a noise, a scraping sound from underneath the car. A limb, perhaps? The temp light came on next. Time for Scion experts now; I dare not drive the Sierra with unknowns. I headed for Maita Toyota, near by.  » read more

 
 
 

Facts and Fictions

Linda Burton posting from Sacramento, California – Tucked away in a corner of the California State Railroad Museum in a temperature-controlled case is the golden “Lost Spike.” Hanging on the wall near the spike are a portrait and a photograph – two depictions of the famous “moment in time” when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads met in Promontory, Utah, thus connecting by rail the eastern and western states. The date was May 10, 1869. Why was the golden spike lost? And why do the portrait and the photograph present such a different atmosphere of the occasion? The visitor is invited to study, and ponder.

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40 Acres and the Trees

Linda Burton posting from Sacramento, California — More trees per capita than any city in the world? Even Paris? This is a comparison frequently made in Sacramento, in justifying its name as The City of Trees. I’ve never been to Paris but I can vouch for the fact that Sacramento really has a lot of trees.

The first thing that caught my eye as I drove into the city was the trees. Gorgeous trees. Majestic trees. Tall trees, short trees, fruit trees, fir trees, palm trees, pine trees, cedar trees, oak trees; well, you get the idea. All these trees make up what is called an “urban forest,” and technologically that’s a good thing because it makes the air better. Emotionally, trees just make us happier. Who can resist them?

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The Serendipity of Rice

Linda Burton posting from Sacramento, California — “You can tell by the scars on my knuckles that I grew up on a rice farm,” said Bill. “My father started farming rice in the 50’s and continued more than forty years. I know rice.” Indeed he does, and he likes to talk about rice, too. William Huffman is now Vice-president of Communications for the Farmer’s Rice Cooperative in Sacramento, and can tell you what you want to know. “Arkansas plants more acres that California does,” he continued, “but we have a higher yield, because we have the perfect Mediterranean climate here.”

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All That Glitters

Linda Burton posting from Sacramento, California – Sutter’s Fort is a white-walled adobe compound that sits midtown, surrounded by lovely homes and sidewalked streets, looking rather unassuming now. How is it connected to the story of the Gold Rush Days? I see a little girl go running past, a long gray dress, a ruffled cap. “It’s field trip day,” the guide explained. “in fact, the children are staying overnight. They’re even cooking their own meals. See, they’re dressed like children back in 1845.” Sutter’s Fort is part of the California State Parks system now, offering educational programs for school children, and other daytime and evening events. I began to look around.

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Cartoons and Cholera

Linda Burton posting from Sacramento, California — How many stories in a cemetery? How many tears, how many broken dreams, how many celebrations of life? Novels rowed in stone, in fragrant flowers, in epitaphs carved into marble slabs. Walk the paths of Old City Cemetery, you’ll find the Sacramento story there; laid out Victorian style, in tales that everybody knows; and new discoveries that send us to the research books. We know about the cholera. That time in 1850 when almost a thousand died, killed by something no one understood. It took its toll by cramping up the gut; the watery diarrhea could kill in hours, leaving those who lived to live in fear, for who’d be stricken next?

The story. October 8, 1850, the New World docked in Sacramento; a passenger collapsed on the wharf, began an epidemic that killed over 800 people in less than three weeks. Thousands fled in panic, leaving the stricken behind; 17 of the 40 treating physicians died. Victims were buried in mass graves; a monument erected in 1852. The monument does not mark the actual locations of the victim’s graves, however, but reminds the viewer of their fate.

We didn’t know the process for making concrete markers in the 1940’s though; research was needed to explain a strange finding recently.

The story. November 8, 1933, Caroline Wemmer died of hypertension; was buried in Old City Cemetery. Last fall, a crew worker discovered a newspaper cartoon in pristine condition adhered to the back of her concrete marker, which had become loose. The cartoon was Mickey Finn by Lank Leonard. Another loose stone – that of an infant who only lived two days in 1940 – also had newsprint on the back; thereby pinpointing a time. Research showed that during that period wet newsprint was placed on the bottom when concrete was poured into a form – it helped with curing. Mystery resolved.

Some stories changed the course of history, others just intrigue the mind; you’ll find more than 25,000 of them in Old City Cemetery, the final resting place of the famous and the infamous; pioneers and immigrants; their families and descendants; the plain and the plain extraordinary. This outdoor museum shows California culture from gold rush days until the present time.

Wander through numerous group plots honoring members of the Pioneer Association, Masons, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Volunteer Firemen, Improved Order of Red Men, state government, Donner Party survivors, veterans of the Civil War and other wars. See one of the most beautiful records of history in the Historic Rose Garden. Composed of old or antique roses collected from cemeteries, old homesites, and roadsides in California, many of these roses came to California in the holds of ships or tucked in wagon trains; brought by pioneers to beautify new homes; eventually a slip was planted on their grave.

Tour are self or docent-guided. http://www.oldcitycemetery.com/