How Life Has Changed

There was an interesting graphic in my local newspaper this morning. I hope you can read it.6A75F809-4B0B-4CDF-8D56-33E53184CA76I thought I’d highlight what I considered to be some of the more interesting statistics.

22 million unemployment claims filed in the U.S. since March 13, which is almost as many as the 22.8 million jobs that had been gained in the U.S. since 2010.

15.4% of Americans are predicted to be living in poverty by year’s end.

76.8% of Americans polled say that their sleep has been affected.

55% increase in alcohol sales year over year in the third week of March.

17.2 million downloads of the Zoom videoconferencing app from Feb. 22 to March 22, up 1,270%. (See my Who Won the Week post from earlier today.)

$426.75, the record-high per share price of Netflix stock Wednesday (4/15), up 33% in 2020.

35% year-over-year percent increase in spending on in last half of March and $1.1 trillion, the market capitalization of, with record per share price of $2,283.32.

$1.4 billion in spending in the U.S. on toilet paper for the month ending April 7, a 102% increase from the same period in 2019, along with a 40% increase in daily average home use of toilet paper due to shelter-in-place.

1,000 bidets sold on per day in mid-March by maker Brondell, about one every two minutes.

1.9 million in U.S. firearm sales in March, second-highest month on record.

And while this wasn’t on the graphic above, according to Donald Trump, his “decisive measures” with respect to the coronavirus have saved billions of American lives, despite the fact that the entire population of the U.S. is just 330 million.

Trump made his outlandish billions claim at his press briefing yesterday. Based on some worst-case models, the Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. was predicted to reach 100,000 to 220,000. “I really believe it could have been billions of people [who died] had we not done what we did,” Trump said, adding, “We made a lot of good decisions.”

We have a total asshole leading out country.

Who Won The Week? 04/19/2020

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

This week I’m going to designate Zoom as The Who Won the Week recipient.7687F419-52D6-4106-A80C-ACA22B249582Zoom is a videoconferencing service that was originally created for corporate webinars and meetings. But since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, it has grown into something more. It has become a must-have for nearly every kind of social function, including happy hours, yoga sessions, school classes, funeral services, as well as Easter and Passover rituals.

I first learned of Zoom last month when our son invited my wife and me to a virtual baby shower for his very pregnant wife. I got an email invitation that had a Zoom link embedded in it. I immediately texted him.

Me: What is Zoom?

My son: It’s a video conferencing utility that allows multiple people to get on a video chat call.

Me: Oh, like Webex?

My son: OK Boomer.

I put my son’s ageist insult aside and downloaded Zoom to my laptop and iPhone, and have since participated in at least a dozen Zoom meetings: the aforementioned baby shower, two birthday celebrations, and weekly Zoom video calls with our kids. We’ve even figured out a way to use Zoom coupled with some multiplayer games we’ve all downloaded to our smartphones to have some friendly and competitive six-player online game playing.

So hats off to the internet, web technologies, and Zoom for making our stay-at-home lockdowns a bit more tolerable by bringing us together, at least virtually.

And now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Song Lyric Sunday — San Francisco

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us “hometown” or “city.” As some of you know, I recently moved from San Francisco to a suburb in the East Bay, and I often feel that I left my heart in San Francisco, so it’s only logical that my song choice this week would be the Tony Bennett classic, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” right?

Wrong! I’m going to defy logic and select Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco.”

“San Francisco” is a pop song that was written by John Phillips (of The Mamas And The Papas), and was sung by Scott McKenzie, who Phillips knew from when they both played in a group called The Journeymen. The song was released in May 1967 and became one of the best-selling singles around the world in the 1960s, reaching number four on the U.S. charts and the number one on the U.K. charts.

Phillips wrote the song as the unofficial anthem for the Monterey Pop Festival, which was held near San Francisco. Phillips helped organize the festival, but when local authorities in Monterey started to get concerned over the prospect of their town being overrun by hippies, Phillips wrote the song in about 20 minutes to smooth things over with the Monterey authorities.

The song, which turned out to be one of the big hippie hits during San Francisco’s Summer of Love in 1967, tells people, “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair,” and that “summertime will be a love-in there.” The song is credited with bringing thousands of young people to San Francisco, California, during the late 1960s.

Many peace activists and hippies at the time wore flowers in their hair, including McKenzie, who wore flowers in his hair when he recorded this song.

Here are the lyrics to “San Francisco.”

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation
Such a strange vibration
People in motion
There’s a whole generation
With a new explanation
People in motion
People in motion

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there

FOWC with Fandango — Hectic

FOWCWelcome to April 19, 2020 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “hectic.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

  1. And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.