Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist
** before we proceed with the first March issue ever published, featuring Baked News and Amy’s Guide to Staying In, here is a Covid update … November, 2021 **
Now that we have the first twenty-one months of Covid under our belts, it’s very possible that normal has not only left the dock, but most likely, normal will never return. There will be some kind of new normal perhaps, there always is, because we’re told without a normal there’s only chaos, which apparently is not a whole lot of fun.
As Warren Buffet once said, “Low tide reveals who’s not swimming with a bathing suit.” In a similar way, Covid has brought with it a low tide of reality. And so it becomes that in this ocean of chance in which we co-exist, Covid and its army of variants have, my friends, changed everything.
The Covid upheaval has revealed ourselves both to one another and to ourselves … let’s start over with the leaders we choose – these are words from the president of the United States in 2020 …
Jan … “It’s one person coming in from China and we have it under control”
Feb … “Counts are going down, not up … fake news.”
Mar … “It’s going to disappear soon it’s like a miracle, it’s going to disappear.”
May … “This is going to go away without a vaccine.”
Sept … “Masks have their problems too.”
Here is a basic report card as of NOV 1, 2021
- 772,332 deceased in America
- 5,049,593 deceased worldwide
- 249,666,088 reported infections worldwide
- 99.2% of all recent American deaths unvaccinated
How has American life changed this far into a new age of pandemic? In the cities, subway usage is down 58% and used car sales up 30%. In the rural areas, the home values in Boise have gone up 31%, in Provo 21%.
- 42% of Americans gained weight.
- 66% slept less.
- 25% drank more.
- Actually, maybe that would’ve happened anyway.
Of course, in this entire mess of statistics, there is one primary statistic that stands above all others … the first Covid vaccine appeared (327) days after identification of the virus. Amen. Before this truly miraculous effort to identify a vaccine, which begs us to believe in science, the previous record to develop a vaccine for an epidemic disease was four years. And so many viruses continue to have no vaccine at all.
The Covid vaccine was no ordinary effort. And now that it’s here, it takes everyone to make it a success. Worldwide, can we be united to face this task? Domestically, is it possible that America isn’t really all racism and guns?
Maybe I have this wrong. Maybe America still aspires to be something more than its contradictions. Maybe America has the courage to be the science and vision of the future, to be proud to present to the world its self-styled elusive ladder of success and idealism. Yes, come to America if you must, but buyer beware.
No matter which culture we call our own, we are only safe on this transitory planet if everyone is safe … much like none of us make it to Heaven unless all of us make it to Heaven.
I know that’s hard for the 144,000 who believe they are chosen, but salvation begins with the acceptance that no one sits in the front row.
March 27, 2020
Is it safe to get takeout from restaurants?
Yes, but just in case, you may want to wipe down the packaging and containers. The CDC says there’s no evidence to suggest coronavirus is transmitted through food. It’s generally spread through respiratory droplets.
But according to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, it’s a good idea to disinfect the takeout containers and wash your hands afterward. He stressed that coronavirus is a respiratory virus, and it’s easy to touch your face without realizing it.
The Trump Response
There is no life without takeout, you know this and so do I. Why tip 5% sitting down to a meal when you don’t have to tip anything at all? That’s why as your soon-to-be re-elected wartime leader, I’ve taken very smart steps, steps that only a very smart person would consider, to remedy the situation.
First of all, rather than increasing unemployment benefits, I and I alone, the buck starts here, have ordered FEMA to make available half a billion Big Macs and two billion KFC extra crispy chicken wings to be distributed throughout the country. Every administration should have a vision and here’s mine – ‘Let them eat wings.’ That should silence the critics who say I’m racist.
And none of this food needs to be sanitized because I am told by experts, top notch people, people with brains, I exclusively hire people with brains – I’m told that these foods already contain chemicals that can kill most anything.
Secondly, I never really liked Chinese food. And I needn’t tell you where this virus came from. So stay away from soy sauce, Moo Shu Pork, Orange Duck, and whatever looks like Chop Suey, and just like me, you’ll be totally safe. You can’t lose with the basics – Burger King, Micky D’s, Wendy’s, White Castle … White Castle, love the name.
How long will we have to keep social distancing?
Probably for several months. But you might have to do it “over and over again,” since the outbreak could come in waves.
Research by the Imperial College in Great Britain “would suggest you have to institute these kinds of measures for five months, very vigorously,” said Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center. “And then you may be able to relax for a period. Most likely, or at least if necessary, you would re-institute distancing as the cases go up again.”
“But we’re basically looking at doing this over and over and over again, even after a five-month period of strict social distancing, in order to curb cases until we have a vaccine.”
“Health officials say we’re at least a year away from the first publicly available coronavirus vaccine. In the meantime, they say everyone should avoid large crowds and stay at least six feet away from others.”
The Trump Response
C’mon, who thought up this crap? I can tell you honestly, I’ve been a victim of social distancing for most of my life and first of all, it’s not contagious like these quacks maintain.
… believe me, when it comes to social distancing, nobody knows the trouble I seen. And in spite of what the Democrats might tell you, I was the first person to ever speak that phrase. There are so many things I say first to myself.
And by the way, it’s totally fake news that I don’t listen, that I just shake my head at my cabinet members – who work for me in case anyone has forgotten – and then supposedly I do what I want.
So social distance if you want. This politically-driven Covid conspiracy features only one redeemable element – you don’t have to listen to anyone because you’re too far away. But for my money, and I have far more money than you can imagine, it’s beautiful actually, how much money I have
… for my money, social distancing is a crock. And you can take that to the bank.
Amy’s Guide to Staying In
|Movies 🎥||TV Shows 📺||Books 📚|
|Little Women (Amazon)||Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)||Defending Jacob|
|Bombshell (Amazon)||Portlandia (Netflix)||Silent Patient|
|American Factory (Netflix)||Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)||Truth Be Told|
|Knives Out (Amazon)||Little Fires Everywhere (Netflix)||Bad Blood (Non-Fiction)|
|Peanut Butter Falcon (Amazon)||The Morning Show (Apple TV+)||Educated (Non-Fiction)|
Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
Prep Time: 15 MINUTES. Cook Time: 55 MINUTES Total Time: 1 HOUR 10 MINUTES Servings: 6 Calories Per Serving: 307
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 head garlic
- 3/4 pound ground spicy Italian chicken sausage or ground chicken
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 can (28 ounce) crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese or mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
- kosher salt and black pepper
- fresh thyme and or fried sage leaves, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice off the top portion of the garlic head to expose some of the cloves. Place the garlic on a piece of foil. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and wrap in foil.
Transfer to the oven and roast until cloves are lightly browned and tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze the garlic out into a bowl. Mash the cloves with a fork.
2. To make the meat sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken sausage and brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add onion and cook another 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, add the tomatoes, 1 cup water, the bay leaf, oregano, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the roasted garlic. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
3. Meanwhile, poke a few holes into the squash with a fork and place on a plate. Microwave 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, ricotta cheese, nutmeg, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup fontina cheese and 1/2 cup provolone cheese.
5. Place the squash in a baking dish and season the cut sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining fontina cheese into the bottom of each squash, then evenly divide meat sauce among the squash cavities.
Now spoon the milk/cheese mix over the meat sauce. Top with the remaining provolone cheese. Cover the squash loosely with foil.
6. Transfer to the oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking another 15-20 minutes or until the squash is tender and the cheese is golden brown on top. The squash will seem a little soupy, this is OK.
7. Let the squash sit 5 minutes, then use a fork to scrape the squash into strands, mixing the meat and cheese with the squash. Serve topped with thyme and sage