how to protect codgers

A friend calls me yesterday, complaining that the new Covid-19 vaccine doesn’t prevent infection nearly enough for him to want to get it. He is in his 70s and says darn it, he’d still have a 60% chance of getting infected.

I thought about it and wrote back this morning:

Re the new vaccine the POINT is NOT to prevent infection, though it lessens it in codgers like me and you.

The point is that the vaccinated younger people shed a s–tload less virus if they get it, because their immune system kills it fast. This reduces the amount of circulating virus so that the codgers stop dying like flies. Also the codgers get less sick if their immune system recognizes B4 and B5.

Got it? Get the vaccine.

I am waiting for the top ten causes of death for 2021 to come out. Over one million US people have died of Covid-19. In 2020, there were between 300-400,000 deaths from Covid. That means that we lost 600-700,000 in 2021. If we lost close to 700,000 people, then Covid-19 would beat out heart disease as the number one cause of death in the US. When did that last happen? During the 1918-1920 influenza, the “Spanish” flu that has been traced to a chicken farm in the US midwest.

Here is a provisional and not final list: Hmmm. The numbers are not adding up unless a lot of US people died of Covid-19 in early 2022. And cancer is higher than it’s ever been and creeping up on heart disease. But these are not the final numbers, sigh.

Here is a fascinating chart: If you scroll to the end, the top two causes of death in 1900 were pneumonia first and tuberculosis. Heart was fourth. Heart rises to first in 1910 but then pneumonia is back at the top in 1918-1920. I think that the heart has been number one ever since, in the US. World top ten is not the same.

This is not the first pandemic and it won’t be the last. It is horrible. I think that everyone is doing the best they can, though some responses seem saner than others. Remember the old doctor joke about what to do in a code (when someone’s heart has stopped). First: check your own pulse. It’s a corollary that if the patient is dead, you can try to bring them back, but you can’t make them more dead. Also, my latest Advanced Cardiac Life Support class, on line, told me that sometimes I do not have to do cardiac life support. Their example was a decapitated patient. Really? Ouch, doctor humor. But truly, if you are freaking out or want to scream at someone or feel like the world is nuts and you have to do something, first check your own pulse. Slow it down. Breath in four and out four. I can drop my pulse from 101 to 71 in 20 seconds, just by slowing my breathing. You can learn to too.

My recommendation is that if you are due for the booster, get it. And thank you for protecting me and my friend and the other codgers.

No, it is not snowing here yet. But codger seems to be a word for an old GUY. Humph. Would a grumpy hummingbird be a grummer? What is a female codger? I am using codger for any gender, to heck with it.


Cormorant, I think.

About to take flight.

A good take off point.

It takes five years for bald eagles to fully mature. This one is close.

And a great blue heron in flight in the fog.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: flight.

pigeon guillemots

These are called sea pigeons locally.

We were trying to figure out who lives in the sand cliff holes on Marrowstone Island.

We see something fly out but weren’t quite sure who it is.

And then, aha! We see an owner.

They look like ducks except the beak is not duck like. From the Cornell All About Birds Site: “Ornithologists recognize five subspecies that differ mostly in size: eureka in Oregon and California; adianta from Washington to the central Aleutians; kaiurka in the west-central Aleutians and the Commander Islands; columba from the Bering Strait to the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. The subspecies of Pigeon Guillemot that inhabits the Kuril Islands of Japan, snowi, has little to no white in the upperwing, unlike other subspecies.” They are in the family with auks and murres and puffins, rather than ducks. How aukward, heh, heh. I am informed that they “are not good eating”. Too fishy.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: float. They are very good at floating and diving, and make a whirring sound as they fly. They have a high piping song.

The range map is cool:

early wren

I recorded this in Wisconsin, with my phone. You may need to turn it up to hear it.

Recording of me exchanging songs with a wren.

I adore wrens. If I hear one and sing to it, it will sing back. Wrens change their songs all over the place. This one is very very patient with me, even though I am a terrible wren. At least I am trying, and this graceful musician is kind and encouraging, even though she is a professional.

I don’t think I ever saw the wren. I started chirping and trying to imitate the song when I heard it. Then I started recording. I don’t know how long we practiced together.

I am not good at wren songs. I am very good at chickadee, fairly good at eagle, and had a great blue heron back track and land in a tree when I tried that “BRAACCCKKKKK!” noise. Great Blue Herons sound like I imagine a pteradactyl sounded. There is an even more odd sounding bird, though. My daughter and I are walking around a small lake here and hear a monstrous sound. We stop and listen. We can’t identify it. We decide that it is not a cougar or a bear, and quietly walk forward, with caution.

It is a group of cormorants. It is twilight and there is a log sticking up out of the water. They are jockeying for position on the log. We think they are trying to roost for the night. As each one clambers up the water end, someone else is jostled and someone falls in the water. They are arguing in deep hoarse voices.

My daughter and I watch for a while. I don’t try to imitate the cormorants because I am afraid I will spook them. They are getting ready for bed. It is nearly dark so we walk on the the car and home.


For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: noises.