Evening and morning critters, and going off the rails a bit

We continue to have frequent visits from deer in our yard. I got this photo out my window yesterday evening.

Of the 5 deer in the photo, 4 of them are a family group. One of them was part of a group of 3, two of which I could see through the trees near the old garden area, but they never came any closer to the house.

I don’t imagine there was much left at the feeding station, this late in the day, but they’re still coming by to snack on what they can find!

They are so pretty.

Speaking of pretty, check out this beautiful Potato.

Potato Beetle has gotten into the habit of dashing in front of our feet as we walk, slowing down, forcing us to step around him, dashing in front again, slowing down… then flinging himself onto the ground and rolling.

In other words, he’s trying to kill us by tripping over him. πŸ˜€

I was very late in doing my rounds this morning, and Potato Beetle was the only one around at first. That meant I got to pick him up and carry him – it was either that or constantly trying not to trip over him! – and he was very content to stay in my arms. Unlike Butterscotch, Beep Beep or Two-Face, who are in constant motion while being carried.

He so wants to come inside!!

There has been zero interest in our attempts to adopt the rest of the babies out, which is really frustrating. Two-Face is booked to be spayed later in April, which means we’re going to have to bring her inside, if only to make sure she doesn’t get pregnant, first.

But we already have 7 cats inside. It’s getting to be a problem. Part of the reason I did my rounds so late this morning is because of being kept up most of the night by cats.

Which reminds me. When topping up the outside cats’ food and water last night, we had an extra visitor in the sun room. Stinky is back! He stayed around, hidden behind the makeshift cat cave, while I was in there. Later, I could see him through the bathroom window, eating the cat kibble. When I looked again at about 2 am, he was still there and eating again! This might explain while, some mornings, all the food bowls have been completely empty, with barely a crumb left behind.

I was talking with one of my daughters this morning about the outside cats, and how we’re slowly getting them fixed as my other daughter has been able to afford it. We were talking about how the outside cats want in, but we just can’t do it.

Unless…

There is a possibility.

If we can clear and clean up the new part basement, then find a way to make a door over the entry to the old part basement, we could do it. We could move the litter boxes downstairs, and they would have a huge amount of extra space if we keep that basement door open. The old part basement has the pumps, including the sump pump reservoir, so we don’t want to let them in there.

I guess that’s incentive to get the basements done faster!

We shall see.

Meanwhile…

Today, being Sunday, is our day of rest. Normally, I’d be in town right now, while my younger daughter is at work for her short shift. The pharmacy she works at is closed on Sunday now, due to the Wuhan Flu, so we are all home today. For a moment I thought that, hey! I could go to church! But the churches are all closed to services right now, too.

Which leads me to another topic entirely. Normally, I try to stay away from stuff like this, but this blog is about our new life here at my old family farm, and this is one of those things that is affecting us. Even as relatively isolated as we are.

I am just so frustrated about all the panic over the Wuhan Flu. People are being so stupid about it. This morning, my husband caught an article about a couple in BC that walked into a grocery store and bought their entire inventory of meat.

I have two immediate thoughts about that. The first is, who has the money to buy that much meat? The second is, why did the store allow it? Retailers have the discretion to limit purchases. Why didn’t they?

Meanwhile, I just read the updated protocols for the hospital my husband has appointments with in the city at the end of the month. His appointments have not been cancelled, but the hospital is now allowing access at only 2 entrances. The main entrance and one to the cardiac clinic, which is also the emergency entrance and the one we will be using. Everyone who comes in will be checked for symptoms and asked about their travel history.

The thing that bothers me so much about all this is the panic – largely induced by the media. I’m certainly not against precautions, but so much bad information is out there right now and, as mentioned earlier, people are being stupid about it, and their behavior is affecting everyone else, in a negative way.

Another part of my frustration is this.

We’re nearing the tail end of the annual flu season right now. While there is non-stop hyperventilating about the Wu Flu around the world, in the US alone, between October 1, 2019 and March 14, 2020, there have been an estimated 38 – 54 MILLION flu illnesses. There have been an estimated 17 – 25 MILLION flu medical visits. There have been an estimated 390,000 – 710,000 flu hospitalizations, and between 23,000 – 59,000 deaths.

(source)

And the annual flu season isn’t over yet.

This is just in the US.

I’ve found the Canadian numbers. The Government of Canada website has weekly reports. The latest report, as of this writing, is March 8 – 14, or Week 11. From that last link:

Severe Outcomes Influenza Surveillance

Provincial/Territorial Influenza Hospitalizations and Deaths

To date this season, 2,232 influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported by participating provinces and territories Footnote 1.

68% of the cases were associated with influenza A.

Of the 978 cases for which subtype was reported, 55% were associated with influenza A(H3N2).

The highest cumulative hospitalization rates up to week 11 were among adults 65 years of age and older (71/100,000 population) and children under 5 years of age (69/100,000 population).

273 ICU admissions and 97 deaths have been reported.

68% of the ICU admissions and 71% of the deaths were associated with influenza A.

With so many people coming in to be checked for the Wuhan flu, more cases are being diagnosed for the annual flu. Many cases don’t get recorded, because people just don’t go to the doctor or hospital and get diagnosed. (Side note, the annual flu strains are listed as Influenza A and Influenza B, with A having several sub categories.)

Now, please understand that I’m not trying to say that the annual flu is somehow worse than the Wuhan Flu, or anything like that. There are significant differences. The fact that the Wuhan Flu is spreading at the same time as when the annual flu was in full swing is taxing health care systems to the max. Proper care should be taken.

Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.

Stay home if your sick, if you can. My husband used to work in IT, with government contracts, so he spent much of that stage of his career in various provincial government offices. Government employees are paid by salary, not by the hour, and tend to have generous sick leave and insurance policies. Yet so many people would show up at work, sick, hacking and coughing all over the place, acting like they were some sort of hero for being soooo dedicated to their jobs, that they came in even while sick. The next thing you knew, dozens of people are having to call in sick because of that one plague person spreading their colds. If you can stay home, do it! Not just from work, but going out in general.

Also, wash your hands with soap and water, frequently.

If you can’t stay home, take precautions. That’s where those masks come in handy. Masks aren’t there to prevent you from catching a virus. They’re there to keep you from spreading it to others if you’ve got it yourself.

Wash your hands with soap and water. Frequently.

Keep your distance from other people – stay out of each other’s “personal bubble”.

Wash your hands with soap and water. Frequently.

Sneeze into tissues. Cough into a tissue or your elbow.

Wash your hands with soap and water. Frequently.

Don’t lick your fingers before handling money, paper, etc. That is a MAJOR problem in retail. An astonishing number of customers slobber all over their fingers to better grip their cash or cards, then hand their germ riddled item to some poor part time cashier, who doesn’t have sick leave or insurance, and can’t afford to lose any hours due to illness. Keep your spit to yourself.

Oh, and…

Wash your hands with soap and water. Frequently.

Seriously. It doesn’t take much care to reduce the spread of germs. It’s not like they can get around on their own.

(Do visit this post, Why yes, I am an Infectious Disease Specialist, by Insanity Bytes for an excellent read.)

The frustrating thing is not that people are taking the Wuhan Flu seriously (panic behaviour being another issue entirely). It’s that we DON’T take the annual flu just as seriously.

Every year, before flu season, people are given the exact same information for precautions to prevent the spread of the flu.

Every public washroom in places like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and department stores have posts with instruction on hour to wash your hands properly. Seriously. People need to be told how to wash their hands.

And people don’t do it.

So many just use the bathroom and leave, without going near a sink.

It’s disgusting.

It gets people sick.

How many people would be protected, every year, if we kept up these basic hygiene practices, all the time? Especially at risk people, such as those with preexisting health conditions or the elderly.

How many productive hours would not be lost?

How many lives would be saved, every year?

Right now, we’ve got people panicking over the Wuhan Flu, with the media whipping it up to a frenzy. Emergencies are being declared. Economies are being shut down. Yet, we have the equivalent of the Wuhan Flu, if not worse, every year, around the world.

Again, this is not to make light of what’s going on right now. It’s just so frustrating that it took something like this for people do engage in simple behaviors we should be using all the time.

Of course you just know that, once this is over, many of the same people who went into a frenzy of toilet paper and hand sanitizer panic buying (all those survivalist and prepper sites are certainly being vindicated right now!), or doing things like buying up the entire inventory of meat in a grocery store, leaving nothing for those who actually need the food, will probably go back to business as usual; going to work sick, coughing all over their co-workers, and not washing their hands with soap and water throughout the day.

Sometimes, humans really suck.

The Re-Farmer

5 thoughts on “Evening and morning critters, and going off the rails a bit

  1. People really do suck sometimes.

    The grocery store really should have limited that purchase. Blame the media again here however. They thrive on creating panic and outrage. As bad as the media is, they could have even left out the fact that the “entire inventory” consisted of a single package package of ground beef after the last few weeks. The latter is a good human interest story, one former incites drama and ratings. Not saying that’s the case, just that it’s possible. I see the media here play games like that all the time.

    OH and I told yah so on the basement exclusive kitty resort. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • From what my husband told me, they went in shortly after the store opened and the meat section was still full. 😦

      I really don’t want more cats in the house, basement or no! The ones we have now are trouble enough. 😟

      Like

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