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Saturday, January 20, 2018


First, our Federal Government is again closed for business.  But not really, and every president going back to Ronald Reagan went through this non-crisis.

We tolerate all this because virtually nothing is actually closed.  You can still can get a passport, our military remains at full strength (but will need to wait until this is over to get paid), airports/borders will see no visible change and this time you can still probably visit any national park.

Who do you blame this time?  The Democrats say President Trump.  The Republicans say Chuck Schumer.  Let's face it, the Republicans control the White House, Senate and House.  Five Senatorial Republicans voted against their party, and the 50-49 vote (John McCain is very ill) was short by 10 (needs 60 votes for this type of legislation).  You think the Democrats are totally stupid?  They orchestrated this closure to occur at the one year anniversary of Donald Trump as president.

The U.S. Congress is woeful (Gallup):

They have mostly been under 20% for the past decade.  In comparison, the average for President Donald Trump has been 38%.  Great, right?  Nope.  The lowest first term popularity since Harry Truman was Jimmy Carter at 45%.

About Planet Earth, last year was the second hottest year on record, just behind #1, which was 2016.  Here is a world map showing which part of our globe is heating up:

However, tell that to President Trump and people living where record cold has recently prevailed for a good part of the USA.  Earlier this week Siberia dropped to 88 F below zero, which is colder than the average temperature of Mars (80 F below zero).  Eyebrows freeze at this temperature.

At Lake Seliger in northwestern Russia President Vladimir took a dip at -22 F.  He was celebrating Epiphany, a major Orthodox Christianity holiday marking the baptism of Jesus Christ.

How serious is the flu season?  Well, the entire country is now at peak sick condition, although there have only been a few deaths.  Hawaii is over the hump, although at one point it was reported that 36 were ill with something (from guess what?) in our building of 200 residents.

On average from 5% to 20% of Americans catch the flu each year, and the death totals range from 3,000 to 49,000.  This is important:

     You can be contagious from the day before symptoms begin through 5-10 days after the illness starts.

How bad is the flu this year?  Bad, mostly because more than 80% of cases will involve the H3N2 virus (left), which is considered to be dangerous for the elderly and children.

Doctors advise, get your flu shot.  The flu season extends into May.  Of course, do, but you should also know that it is difficult to actually prevent the H3N2 variety.  But it's better than nothing, for you have 33% protection with a shot.  The vaccine works for 67% of us when the strain is H1N1.


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