6 Aug 2020 – From ‘English Jack’ [Keating]

I have just watched and read the two interviews the American Commander in Chief, President Trump, gave to reporters Chris Wallace and Jonathan Swan. I found it a little embarrassing watching him fumble and fart around. Talking about the pandemic, saying that the United States is lowest in numerous categories. “We’re lower than the world. Lower than Europe.” Has he not seen the statistics? The United States has more confirmed deaths and more confirmed cases than any other country in the world! America has 5,000,000 confirmed cases. This is more than the next two worst countries combined; Brazil and India. Plus America has 1,262 million less population than the total of these two countries! The total number of deaths in the USA is 162,000. Again this is nearly more than the combined total of the next three countries; Brazil, Mexico and the UK. Then his comment about the nearly 1,000 Americans who are dying every single day, “It is what it is.” I think at times he lives on a different planet!

Last Sunday we were supposed to have gone out to meet friends but we cancelled because of reports that Hurricane Isaias was forecast to come up the east coast of Florida. As it turned out we were lucky because we saw very little rain or wind. At the time I thought it was a bit of an anti-climax. They were not so lucky in North Carolina and all the way up the coast to Canada. Lots of places were flooded and five people were killed. More than three million people lost power and mobile home parks were flattened. Let’s hope we stay lucky until the end of the so-called hurricane season.

A few days ago I had a minor scare. I had an appointment with my GP so when I got there I sat in the car and put on my mask. The outside temperature was 93 degrees and I don’t usually put my air conditioner on, I just open the windows. I signed in and a nurse took my temperature and stood back and shouted, “You have a fever!” I told her I had been driving in my car for about a quarter of an hour. She told me to go and sit in a corner. Fifteen minutes later I was called up and she again took my temperature. This time it had gone down to normal. She thought I was crazy to sit in a hot car with no air conditioner on; so does my wife!

About two weeks back I went for a checkup on pancreatic cyst. They put you out, then shove an ultrasound device down into your stomach, check the cyst, have a look around and take some coloured pictures. When it was all over I was given a complete written report along with the pictures. The surgeon said that everything looked fine and would not want to see me for two years. Although I will be sent for scans every six months just to keep an eye on it. When reading the report at home I saw that he had also found a small cyst on my left kidney. At my elevated age and also having a morbid fear of the Grim Reaper, I was not happy about this so went back to see him. As he is a gastroenterology doctor he did not do anything about it but said that kidney cysts are almost always benign (not cancerous). Needless to say I feel a lot happier.

Just going back to the Covid-19 pandemic for a minute. I was looking at the statistics for my own state, Florida. If Florida was a country it would rank number six in the world for the total number of confirmed cases, just behind South Africa. It terms of the number of deaths it ranks number 18, right behind Canada. To put this into context, there are about 200 countries in the world! These are terrible statistics when you think that just two days ago the President said, “It is under control.”

I trust that this finds you all staying safe and healthy and avoiding this terrible pandemic.

Best wishes, Jack

Hello Jack, Good to hear from you, albeit with the current situation taking prime spot. I had been wondering, but you seem to be taking it all – and your personal concerns – with your usual resilience.

There is nothing I can usefully add: you may have felt the breeze of my vigorous nodding all the way from Norwich – which, today, is very hot already, so we have an inkling of how you usually feel weather-wise.

Nothing of earth-shattering interest to add HMSOldies-wise. We will alert you to the next sporadic update. Not sure if you see the HMSOldies Facebook page. Anyway, thanks again, and keep healthy!

Best wishes, Reg