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Zaphod's Zeitgeist
Location: Potato


Post by DerGolgo » Sat May 23, 2020 2:40 am

Corocalypse Day 73.

I made this, to illustrate how my day began.

Woke up with another visit from the flu-like fairy. Bit of a temperature, extremities and joints hurt. Headache is a given, of course.

Besides that. The situation here in potato.

Radio reported that this year, most of the asparagus will remain unharvested. Despite special dispensation for harvest workers to come in from Eastern Europe, they ain't coming. Apparently, not just Poland reacted in a timely fashion, and they have had better numbers across the EU's cheap-labor-dispensery. So harvest workers are staying at home, for fear of catching the Covid here.
On the initiative of our minister for agriculture, volunteers for harvest work were signed up among university-students. Reports make it sound like unpaid volunteer work. Romanian harvest workers can, afaik, be paid Romanian minimum wage, while just hiring those students would have entailed the German minimum wage.
However, since the unis are spinning back up, these volunteers are no longer available. Those workers who aren't going back to their studies are needed desperately for the strawberry harvest.

Iirc, there have been notable outbreaks among meat-packing-plant workers, both here in potato, and in the US.
And I just realized a scary possibility there.
We all recall the news of domestic cats, dogs, and at least one bloody tiger at a zoo in NY tested positive for the COVID-19 pathogen. These animals were, apparently, all infected by their owners/handlers. Reverse zoonosis.
Among humans, something like 50% of the infected have no symptoms at all.
So. Even if neither cows nor pigs shed a single virus particle through their airways.
They could still have plenty virus particles in their bloodstream. I'm not sure anyone is taking blood samples from livestock. I am fairly sure that, in the meatpacking industry, workers are exposed to the blood and guts of the animals they butcher. The kind of safety to avoid that would make the PPE used in hospitals look like entry-level. After all, in hospitals, they generally try to keep all the tissues, and the blood in particular, inside the patient. While butchers don't.

UPDATE May 24: one of my Facebook friends actually seems involved in the meat-inspection/animal-health racket. Pigs and chickens have been blood-tested for the COVID-19 virus. All negative.
He couldn't, however, locate any such data for cows.

If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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Zaphod's Zeitgeist
Location: Potato


Post by DerGolgo » Sat May 23, 2020 3:01 pm

Something I had omitted earlier.

When I went to a doctor's appointment yesterday, I came by what is probably the city's biggest bicycle store. Big sidewalk-level showroom, the kind of place where RUBs (fun fact: RUB is also the initials of the university I attended) might lay down 5 grand on a super carbon-fiber and unobtanium bike, which they will never ride to fully exploit the anything. And at the same time, the place were junior gets his first grown-up analog cycle.
When I came by that store yesterday, I was a bit astounded. There were maybe 40 people waiting in line to get in, they had marked safe distances with tape on the ground, they had flipppin' crowd control.

Bicycles are BOOMING.
People are understandably wary of riding public transit. Perhaps they have no car, or they have nowhere to park it where they work. But whichever it is, the pandemic is getting butts on saddles.

Just for perspective. Thursday was a holiday, and yesterday was consequently a "bridge day", so commuter traffic would be a chunk less than normal. While fewer still would commute by public transit simply because their place of work hasn't reopened yet.
But you'd expect some people on a tram on a busy line.
When I was on my way home from a grocery walk (I don't fucking run for fucking anybody) yesterday, I boarded a tram. One of the busiest lines in the city, and I got on at a place where usually many people get on. And these aren't like small trams.
2020-05-23 23_52_40-Datenblatt_Stadler_Variobahn.pdf - Waterfox Classic.png
These trams have a nominal capacity of 184 passengers. 56 seats, including folding seats, and 128 places in standing room, assuming four people per square meter. That's 10.76 square feet, squeezing four people in there would need Japanese platform "assistants", with the gloves and the pushing people onto the train.
Still, I'm sure I've seen and ridden on these trams with at least 130 people aboard.

Yesterday, in rush hour, busiest line, busy stop.
Three people got on, including me.
Of course, the tram didn't just materialize out of thin air. It has been picking up passengers at earlier stops.
Yeah, sure.
Except it hadn't.
Half the street the tram follows was locked up with traffic jams. Not as bad as pre-pendemic bridge day, but bad enough. People where rushing that hour. Just not on public transit.

One measure that everyone in the biz seems excited about is "pop up cycle lanes". Multi-lane streets loos a lane, that becomes a cycle path as part of the COVID-19 measures. Or a street with only one lane per direction might loose the parking spaces between the lane's edge markings and sidewalk.
An older and a middle aged lady, the latter subsequently having a discussion with the driver, via interocm, which isn't supposed to be used while the tram is moving. She had no ticket, see, and she had planned to buy one from the driver, which hadn'r worked out.

People seem to be groking the idea, and the quick, unbureaucratic manner in which those paths are implemented.
Sure, some dildos who are proud of their performance airfilter and only buying 103 octane gas (yes, know, but that's what it says on the pumps.). They are already crying into their brillcreme, complaining about how they are being punished for driving a car. You know the drill. Yes, that drill.
I mean, FFS. If anybody should be all for more bike friendly cities, it should be that lot, shouldn't it.
You can never get rid of streets and roads. Even if you could get a hover conversion on your DeLorean done over the weekend. There must be a place for your flying car to land, you need streets to turn isolated houses into a neighborhood, and roads that connect that neighborhood to the nearest city.
So if, even before the hover technology becomes available. Every fella on a bike is just about one fewer car on the road. Fewer cars on the road, that's what most enthusiastic cagers want. Finally drive like the TV averts had ever promised. Have the open road (almost) all o themselves. There will be delivery trucks, etc. But those should be automatic, and very safe on the roads, avoiding confrontation as well as possible. Anyone who still drives their own cage is likely an enthusiast, someone worthy of sharing the road with.

I'm drifting in and out of consciousness as I type this. My meds have kicked in, a eaääy sküoädte Godfd nigh.
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If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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Zaphod's Zeitgeist
Location: Potato


Post by DerGolgo » Thu May 28, 2020 10:30 am

Turns out my recurring flu-like symptoms may be a side effect of one of the many medications I'm on.
And it took my GP three or four attempts to pronounce the potato for "hypersensitivization".

If it was an infection, it was gone yesterday, when the blood sample was taken.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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