Friday, October 3, 2014


One lousy Liberian liar has delivered the deadly and dreaded Ebola virus to the United States.
That's all it took.

The CDC says it's been preparing for this scenario since March, which is awesome...except they appear to have been caught with their hazmat pants down.

Crews dispatched to decontaminate the least popular apartment complex in America couldn't do their job, as they had no authorization to transport material removed from the scene.

Gee, you'd think someone would've seen that coming, maybe even back in March.

The CDC waited until recently to distribute instructions on handling Ebola victims to U. S. funeral homes. They insist it's simply routine, kinda like instructing funeral homes how to deal with zombies or space aliens.

Anonymous Texas Nurse and hospital staff should be hiding out and hanging their heads in shame about now, after sending a patient from Ebola's West African hotbed home with antibiotics for what was dismissed as a relatively minor viral infection. That's right—antibiotics for a viral infection. Colossal oversight and wrong medication, too. 
Perhaps the CDC should've prepared for gross incompetence in the very healthcare system they keep reassuring us will contain any threat of widespread contagion.

I admit to a fascination with these events as well as a medium-ish level of Ebolaphobia. Richard Preston's The Hot Zone introduced me to hemorrhagic horror back in 1994—something I hoped to keep a vague concept quarantined in a corner of my mind. (It's a great book. I do not recommend reading it right now unless you have industrial-strength anxiety medication.)

I cannot understand why airlines are still traveling to and from Liberia and its neighbors, risking transport of a deadly virus. The CDC has no satisfactory answer. Questioning passengers is ineffective, as Mr. Duncan demonstrated. People lie. Screening for Ebola symptoms is ludicrous, as the disease has an incubation period of up to three weeks. How many more human bio-bombs are planes going to deliver?

The longer the virus spreads through the human population, the better chance it has of mutating into something far more easily contracted.
We have to lock this thing down.
Nigeria did just that, very effectively, and I sure hope the U. S. is capable of following suit. Our leadership is not inspiring much confidence.

Love from Delta.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Goodbye, Robin Williams.

I loved Robin Williams. You did, too. But unless you breathe in more rarefied celebrity air than I, you did not know him. He entertained us, inspired us, influenced us . . . but did not attend our weddings, birthday parties, or stop by at suppertime. I am in no position to comment on his mental health.

You aren't, either.

When a celebrity dies of suicide, particularly after years of publicized drug and/or alcohol addiction, there's a predictable clarion call for better mental health care and substance abuse treatment. It lasts about three or four days. Then we resume our lives and make occasional, wistful mention of the lost soul and his or her immense talent. We muddle through the world with a little less light to guide our paths.

I cannot imagine what better mental health services and addiction treatment could have been available to a person of Robin Williams' means. I don't think "we" could have "saved" him with our love. I'm going to say it out loud: he did a cruel and selfish thing. I pray for his family and close friends. I pray for those struggling as he did on a daily basis, who manage to persevere despite pain and darkness. And I pray his death might inspire someone to seek help before destroying the lives of those around him or her.

Because suicide did not "free" Robin Williams.

He eliminated himself and left his loved ones to struggle with guilt, grief, and anguish. That's the reality.

G. K. Chesterton said, “The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world.”

Our world will never be the same.

Love from Delta.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Loudly Clanging Belles Take a Toll

Just hangin' out by the fence

southern belle noun \ˈsə-thərn bel\ : a woman from the Southern United States who personifies beauty, gracious hospitality and refined manners

I've seen dyed-in-the-cotton Southern belles at the tender age of five and the squishy age of ninety-five. The prissiness swims in our collective gene pool; the dedication to make-up, hair, fingernails, clothes, shoes and monograms is bound in polished strands of DNA.

After biting a Southern belle, a mosquito will immediately check itself in a mirror.

I know some. I'm related to some. Most days, my own Southern belle tendencies lead to excessive primping. It can be tedious, fixing up to walk to the mailbox.

I encountered a different type of belle today: The Walmart Belle. 

The Walmart belle I spotted was slathered in foundation that may or may not have had Alabama red clay in the ingredient list. Her eyeshadow could have inspired Crayola to send a scouting team. The mascara? Black, heavy, and clinging to an impressive pair of false lashes.

Southern belles chime softly and charm well. They are polite to a fault.

Walmart belles clang loudly and run over your foot without a backward glance. 

She is not to be confused with your typical Walmartian. Most of them, I'm convinced, are oblivious to their appearance or in some state of psychosis.They're on innocuous errands, maybe there to communicate with the mother ship.

The Walmart belle knows what she looks likeshe spent three hours getting readyand is apparently there to be seen and appreciated. In the absence of an employee to scream at, she chooses to communicate with her family by bellowing long-distance.

If you spot one, protect your elegant shoe. Those carts are heavy and can leave tread marks.

Love from Delta.