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Specialist

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Specialist last won the day on April 18

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About Specialist

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    Crazy Farang - Ask anybody!
  • Birthday 08/27/1955

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  1. The problem will solve itself the moment Thailand reopens the border to Chinese tourists. The solution likely won't be pretty. I'm sitting on paid airline and hotel reservation for my 65th birthday party trip in late August. At this point, I strongly doubt that the trip will happen. The hotel has already agreed to treat the nonrefundable unchangeable reservation money as a deposit against my next trip, if I can't come in August. (They've been watching the coronavirus situation, and I am a LONG-term repeat customer, apparently well-liked by all of their people.) The airline tickets are "flexible" and covered by trip insurance. (My life would have been simpler if I'd thought to put the hotel reservations on the insurance as well. Oh well...)
  2. If he is currently working in Khlong Toei, he will probably learn firsthand where the problems come from, if he ever wanders north on Suk Soi 5 in the evening.
  3. Specialist

    The Covid-19 thread

    No, it doesn't. Full Disclosure: I've been on a ventilator twice. Once, I was conscious for a good part of the period I was on the machine. The second time, they kept me out the whole time. A ventilator assists the patient in moving air, by sucking and blowing. It has no direct effect whatsoever on oxygen absorption. Oxygen absorption is a function of oxygen content in the blood and unimpaired gas diffusion across the capillary (very fine blood vessels: they connect arteries to veins) walls in the pulmonary capillary beds (LARGE networks of LOTS of capillary beds in the lungs). Carbon dioxide buildup triggers the short-of-breath feeling and urge to breathe. The CO2 can only exit the body by gas diffusion across the capillary walls. Gases diffuse from higher concentration to lower concentration. The main muscle for breathing is the diaphragm. You pull the diaphragm down, it pulls a low-grade vacuum on the pleural chamber, that contains the lungs. The lungs try to expand, which requires air to flow in. You push the diaphragm up, it increases the pressure in the cavity, which forces the lungs to blow gas out to the outside world. If you are in trouble, for any of a number of reasons, you get tired doing this. Get tired enough, you pass out and stop breathing from the exhaustion. THIS IS BAD. It is, obviously, an immediately life-threatening emergency. Both times, it was because of bronchitis just getting going on pneumonia, that was also exacerbating asthma. If gas won't diffuse properly, the vent doesn't do any good, and the pressure cycles can damage the lung tissue. This is bad. I remember seeing somewhere that someone was working on some sort of lung bypass technology: they plumb something in, that oxygenates the blood externally to the lungs. Much more invasive than a ventilator, but it gives the healing processes a chance to repair whatever is wrong IN the lungs. The first time, the critical care doc saw that I was in trouble, headed downhill, and he made the decision to vent me before it became an emergency. I have a vague memory from Thursday night of red night light, having a REALLY hard time breathing, and about three or four people working VERY HARD AND FAST on me. (Some time later, my mother told me she woke up from a nightmare, at right about that time, in which she couldn't breathe, and just as she woke up, she heard the sound of a ventilator. She was a Registered Nurse back in the day, and she knew what a vent sounded like.) I woke up Friday morning and realized I was on a vent, because of the way it breathed. I'd once had a SCUBA regulator with a positive pressure inhale characteristic, and the feeling absolutely unique, unmistakeable, and unforgettable. The second time, it was already an emergency. They'd just unloaded me from the meat wagon, they were rolling me down the hall to an exam room. It was Sunday morning, about 1 AM. I closed my eyes for a moment. Next thing I knew, no dreams, no subjective time passed, I was on a different surface, and it was Friday morning. I found out later I'd passed out and stopped breathing there in the hallway.
  4. I'm waiting to see what happens. If the quarantine requirement is still in place as of a few days before I'm scheduled to travel, I'm going to have to call the airline and reschedule, and then call the hotel and see if I can work a deal with them, based on being a very good customer for many years. (It can't hurt to try. Worst that can happen is they say "No", and I suspect that may depend on who I talk to.) On the other hand, if the government figures out just how much tourism revenue they are losing because of the quarantine requirement, they may come to their senses, remove that requirement, and things will go back to normal. My crystal ball is out of order these days.
  5. I'm scheduled to touch down at Swampypoom on 23 August or so. I screwed up and did nonrefundable unchangeable hotel reservations, and forgot to put trip insurance on them. Probably wouldn't have done any good; the indications are that everyone in the industry is trying to call COVID-19 a "force majeur" (sp?) event, and duck out on paying claims. I'm hoping that the world comes to its senses before I'm supposed to go wheels-up on the first leg.
  6. Actually, the quote is "You get the government you deserve, and you generally get it good and hard." New York City and New York State appear to be the current poster children, with New Jersey in 3rd place.
  7. Specialist

    The Covid-19 thread

    You might find this page interesting.http://www.whiov.cas.cn/105341/It is a series of job postings for the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Among other things, it strongly suggests that the Institute has been working with bat coronaviruses for quite some time.
  8. Specialist

    The Covid-19 thread

    Trump is crazy like a fox. You may have missed it, but he just played the Democrats like a Stradivarius. By saying that he, the President, had the authority to tell them when they would release their lockdowns, he caused every Democrat state governor, not to mention the DNC and the Speaker of the House and the Senate Minority Leader, and their various henchmen and yes-men and sycophants, to scream "NO YOU DON'T! YOU AREN'T A KING! *WE*, THE GOVERNORS OF THE STATES, ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT GET TO SAY THAT!" And Trump immediately backed down and let them celebrate their "victory". What the Democrats completely failed to see coming is that they have now signed up for total and complete responsibility for all the damages done by the lockdowns, and by releasing them early or late. And the best laugh of all? All 50 states are now aiming to start reopening on May 1, the exact date Trump named. Some will get their sooner: Florida is scheduled to start reopening their beaches in the next day or three. Texas is about to start reopening on a similar timeframe. Even New York is now talking about reopening at the end of this month. You may love Trump or you may hate him, but the one thing you don't dare do is underestimate him.
  9. Specialist

    The Covid-19 thread

    Factually untrue, according to a primary source. Jerry Pournelle was a professor of political science at Pepperdine University back when Reagan was Governor of California. Reagan and his people came through on a "get acquainted" visit, and various professors presented talks on their work, Jerry among them. When Jerry got to the traditional "Are there any questions?" point, Reagan said "Yes, professor, I have two questions." Reagan asked the questions, and Jerry was shocked. Reagan's questions demonstrated two things. First, he completely understood everything Jerry had discussed, in detail, and second, Reagan's knowledge of that field was not far behind Jerry's. Jerry asked, unable to control himself, how Reagan had learned that much, and Reagan replied "There is a lot of downtime on a TV or movie set, and I'm a quick study, so I don't have to spend much time learning lines. So I read books, to pass the time. I daresay, Professor, I've probably read almost as many books as you have." Jerry wrote the story up, for his online column, years later, when Reagan became President.
  10. Specialist

    Drink !

    Glenfiddich is good. One of these days, I am going to break down and buy another bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label, the nectar of the gods.
  11. I don't know quite how to break this to you, Stevie. There is a whole lot of anecdotal evidence coming in from the front lines, i.e., the hospitals and ERs where they are treating some very, very ill patients. They are giving patients the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin cocktail, because there isn't much else they can do beyond basic support and ventilator treatment, and they are seeing dramatic positive results from it. I realize you don't want to hear that, but the truth is the truth.
  12. Specialist

    The Covid-19 thread

    There are at least two antiviral drugs showing a lot of promise right now, one in Japan and one in the US. The US drug is clinical trials for something else. It is not approved for investigation for COVID-19, but a hospital in Seattle is trying it anyway, and reporting very, very good results.
  13. I had to run an errand from my hotel on Suk Soi 15 down to the Food Land on Soi 5. Being 64, and not having the easy walking range I had ten years ago, I hailed a cab. The driver was an older guy, and there was none of the usual "100 baht" nonsense. I got in. And I notice he had CLASSICAL music playing. I said "Good taste in music, thank you." He promptly identified it as Mozart. And I believe it was. It made the usual traffic jams a lot more bearable. TIT...
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