VI George Floyd


Since the killing of George Floyd on May 25, the world witnessed what I hope will be an historical watershed.  The days from Floyd’s death though his burial on June 9 in Houston beside the mother to whom he called out as he took his last breath, appear in this post.

While I haven’t said much here, I’m taking stock, listening, talking to neighbors, reflecting.

May 25 – Memorial Day Rain

Annotating the literature on restroom risks, disinfection and reopening get to me by 10 am so I stopped to read an article by David Bollier  Dave Seabrook recommend and it take me to one by George Monbiot in the Guardian that’s dense with links to real and practical responses to COVID-10 community building all over the world.  Things are better elsewhere; we need to look local and to other locals.

The country is split and it makes quite a bit of sense.  Democrats are far more likely to live in counties where the virus has ravaged the community, while Republicans are more likely to live in counties that have been relatively unscathed by the illness, though they are paying an economic price. Counties won by President Trump in 2016 have reported just 27 percent of the virus infections and 21 percent of the deaths — even though 45 percent of Americans live in these communities, a New York Times analysis has found.

Population density is largely the culprit.  The nation’s 100 most populous counties are home to one-third of Americans. In these counties the infection rate is three times greater than the nation as a whole and the death rate is four times greater.

May 26 – Mid-week holiday on Morning Light

Short call with a bright UC Santa Cruz student who’d submitted an essay for the PHLUSH blog.An opportunity Abby saw to focus her brIghtest and most motivated students. Aliea is  a good writer that it required only brief phone call to  decide on minor changes and add headings to help only had a brief call.

We move onto Morning Light for a little holiday. Jack brings fish and chips from Sea J’s and we celebrate. There’s excitement in the air around D Dock and feels like Alaska. Through the night a large barge unloads provisions onto a big tender named Sea Warrior, probably bound for Bristol Bay. Lots of others: trollers, gill netters, trawlers, smaller tenders all headed north to Alaska. Nonstop. On arrival they’ll have to spend 14 days in quarantine.  Lots of worry among the Native Corporations whose memories of pandemics dating back from the Spanish Flu to small pox are a vivid part of oral traditions.

May 27 – 100,000 Americans dead.

This landmark was reached today, just as the live streamed death of George Forbes hit the airwaves and turbo charged demand for justice.

Many threads. Now Tangled   Unravel Democracy. The Commons. How to live.

Larry Buchanan of the New York Times has summarized where we are in a visual poem  backed up with data – 54 Ways Coronavirus Has Changed Our World.

Email from Kinza . Re a project to bring joy to an old friend –  Mohamed Najmi. .To curate his writings and poetry plus remembrances and photos from friends.  Those who knew him well are putting together a physical book for his 82nd birthday.

Email from Stewart who wants travel out to these parts in the summer.

May 29 – Crowdsourcing my nature education

Donno. Today was complex. Need to prioritize happenings. Some of the best from my little walk.  iNautralist lets me crowd source identifications of the flowers and critters I see.

New York Times reports that Japan…”the grayest country in the world and a popular tourist destination with large, crowded cities — has one of the lowest mortality rates from Covid-19.”    No requirement for businesses to close, although many did.

C-19 has brought everything together.  In good and evil ways.

May 30 –  Blacks still being lynched 

A man name George Floyd is suffocated by a cop in Minneapolis while three others look on. The whole thing is captured on video and the video goes viral.

Did Derek Chauvin invent his name? Or grow into it?

Bear with me. Need time.

May 31 – Evidence-based rage

Cities burning again.  New reality show reality.  Threads of messages are strangling themselves.

Curfew in Seattle is 5pm to 5am. Sun doesn’t set until way after 8!  Portland’s starts at 8pm.  Sun sets earlier there. (8 pm is great a slow cyclist like me. Dark is not cool in this town in August.)

Meanwhile, the rest of life goes on. I answer a survey sent by the American Restroom Association:   Given the incompetence of the federal government, the mixed messages, the incomplete and evolving evidence from science, and the sheer ugliness of dying from COVID-19, I understand that it’s up to me to protect myself from infection. My means allow me to stay at home and my age argues for it. As I see it, shared restrooms are both potentially deadly and essential to life. That’s the first message I’d like to see ARA share with local, state and federal officials officials , with business leaders, and with other opinion leaders. The second would be to show who is impacted by restroom closures and how this worsens overall health, steepens the curve, and the economy, particularly economic inequality.

Very fun afternoon with Wish4WASH in a three-hour workshop.  It had to be good to be good online. Reminded me of Portland weekend hack-a-thons.  I think I might endure something longer with these people.

We even got to prototyping.   The focus was facilitating access to WASH by unhoused residents of Atlanta. Someone suggested a baby changing surface that could double as a toilet seat for a toddler.

June 1 – Peaceful Gatherings and Contagion

150 cities across the US have demonstrations to protest the police murder of George Floyd.  Same for major cities of the world.  Hugh march in Auckland NZ.

Crowds also increase the risk of transmission. Police tactics such as spraying tear gas — which causes people to cough — herding protesters into smaller areas for crowd control and placing arrested individuals in buses, vans and holding cells also increase the risk of infection.

And this:

June 2 – No one has the right to infect others

The only right invoked by not wearing a mask is the right to infect others.  Paraphrase of observation by Dr. Thomas Locke.

Heard that on Charlie Bermant’s noon broadcast. Too perfect.  Googled to check if he’d lifted it from somewhere. Unlikely.

I make the case for advocacy before participatory design in a survey: WASH for houseless urban Americans is tricky. We need to create champions among opinion leaders – elected officials, academics, and media professionals, and unhoused individuals. Alternate WASH technologies have become the province of those working globally. US public health officials are loathe to deviate from flush-and-forget. Our only toe hold here in the Pacific Northwest has been the documented risk of a pipe-destroying 9.0M CSZ seismic event. Even so, we had a COVID-19 DIY handwash station building proposal flatly rejected by retired public health folks on the grants committee owing to fears on managing 4 contained gallons of used washing water! So I think strong advocacy may need to precede user involvement.

June 3 – Reopening the Economy, Reopening Restrooms

Research on reopening restrooms continues, with annotated bibliography going on 10 pages.  Draft guidelines just went from 6 to 8.

Had a chat with the President and Executive Director of the American Restroom Association. Steve still wonders if I’m on the Board (no) or if I was at one time (never).  Just can’t be part of something still so loosey-goosey.  But Tim is precise and I look forward to working with him.  I told them I was leaving PHLUSH at the end of the year.  “Why?” they asked.  I explained that our Board members were all in their 20s, 30s and 40s and it was time for me to get out of the way.  The co-founder thing.  Of course, S is their co-founder. His IPA venture is so successful plus he’s got a university teaching position.  Others seem ready to step up.

June 4 – Type A vulnerability

Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study, says the New York Times.

I note it because it’s news crowded out. .Today the only news is about the demonstrations all over the the US and world.  And Trump’s little walk across Pennsylvania Avenue to pose in front of St. John’s church with a Bible that Ivanka pulls from her $1500 purse.  This followed a week of berating governors, telling them they’s be consider “jerks” if they didn’t “dominate” the chaos in their streets.

Thank God for toils in the garden with my books. The Bird Way is being rationed and still going strong.

June 5 –  Reptiles and Amphibians

Jefferson Land Trust has done some of the coolest programs. I’d though they were for young people but today it was 70 heads, mostly with grey hair. For Reptiles and Amphibians.  From the speaker I learn that salamanders outnumber all vertebrates in a forest. They survive by stealth, camouflage, and toxicity and are restricted only by their  need to maintain temperature and moisture control.

June 6 – Mark Lloyd

Kicking around on a leftover .txt document is this quote from Mark Lloyd, the guy that manages private individual toilets for a number of Seattlites living on a piece of land surrounded by freeways just south of downtown.  It may have come from Sound Effect’s second program on toilets. This sounds like something Mark would say.  He’s so respected that he can get away with it.

If you have moral clarity, you’re not in deep enough.

June 7 – S/V Aurora has new owners!

I hear Jack yelp.  It’s an email from Rob Sanderson saying that thedeal has gone through.  Rob worked with Portland broker who needed a Valiant for clients. We had nothing to do with the transaction and were at first a bit disappointed at the price.  But the thought of our lovely boat being stranded on the hard was hard to take.  Now we have something to celebrate. Aurora is not going to the Columbia River but will stay in these parts. Look forward to meeting the new owners.

June 8 – Gardening break

Get up and out to the Garden Center as soon as it opens.  Two 20 gallon plastic pots, 3 bags of potting soil and a few more plants

New Zealand has no active cases of coronavirus.  Back to normal.  But with borders closed.

June 9 – George Floyd is laid to rest

Today closes the parentheses containing George Floyd’s death and the establishment of his legacy.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser turns Pennsylvania Avenue into Black Lives Matter plaza.

I’m unproductive in my writing and thinking. I punish myself with a couple of hours on Google  Support trying to figure out how Shared Drives work.

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