5.25.2020

"You've got to be kidding me ... How could the CDC make that mistake? This is a mess."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and several state health departments have been reporting COVID-19 diagnostic tests and antibody tests as one grand tally, rather than keeping their results separate, The Atlantic reported.

Reporting these numbers as a lump sum, rather than two distinct data points, presents several major issues.

Namely, combining the numbers could make America's diagnostic testing capabilities and testing rates appear higher than they actually are, according to The Atlantic. And as the tests serve profoundly different purposes, "positive" results from either test cannot be interpreted in the same way. Reporting all the positive results together, as one number, could skew our understanding of how many new COVID-19 cases emerge over time — a crucial metric to help control outbreaks as states begin reopening.

When told how the CDC chose to lump the results of both tests together, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute Ashish Jha told The Atlantic,

"You've got to be kidding me ... How could the CDC make that mistake? This is a mess."



So, I've regularly watched this video for almost 15 years and I still cry... every single time.

About 15 years ago I recall hearing about the father/son team that was running marathons and taking part in triathlons that called themselves;  Team Hoyt.  It's a father (Dick) and his wheelchair bound son, Rick.

As a child Rick had the umbilical cord around his neck during birth and it cut off his oxygen, giving him brain damage.  Doctors and specialists at the time told the family to put him in an institution and go on with their lives.  But they couldn't imagine doing so and raised Rick along with their other two boys as just another part of the family.  They realized he was smart, he could hear, and with help from his brothers, worked out a system to talk.

There is a much longer story but most of my readers already know the story because these guys have been making news since their first run in... 1984 I think(?).

15 years ago I had watched their story and I think it was 2007 or so that I saw a video of their story put to music.  It was Mercy Me - I Can Only Imagine.  This video was hugely powerful for me and I recalled sitting in our family room, on the computer, with tears rolling down my face as I watched and listened.

Since then I've watched this video at least once a year, and do you know, I still cry every single time.

To understand a little bit of the power behind the song and why it brings me to tears is when I see the video of Rick as a child and in a wheelchair, it hits home to me as I have family members who have lived their lives in wheelchairs due to Muscular Dystrophy.  In him, I see them.

As a kid, I assumed everyone had handicapped members in their extended families.  Everyone had wheelchairs and walkers in their households.  Everyone had relatives with skinny legs, that couldn't walk, or couldn't stand, and needed  to be carried to the bathroom, put into bed or placed into cars.

I thought everyone knew how to listen and understand the words and butchered sentences of people trying to talk with poor muscle strength, choking on their own spit and trying to form sounds and letters from weak vocal muscles.  I found it strange to watch 'new' adults and people struggle to understand what my relatives were saying when I could understand them just fine.

In other words, growing up with people with various degrees of a handicap was completely normal to me.

Rick to me is my uncle, my Aunt and my other Aunt.  Who all lived with us for stretches of time growing up as if they were an older sister or brother.

As their diseases progressed and their bodies turned in on themselves, their muscles atrophying, I look at Rick's hands and fingers, his smile, his face, his legs... and it looks 'normal' to me as I see my family members in him.

And then the music. The lyrics.

"I Can Only Imagine"

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk by Your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When Your face is before me
I can only imagine, yeah

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for You, Jesus
Or in awe of You be still?

Will I stand in Your presence
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine
I can only imagine

I can only imagine when that day comes
And I find myself standing in the sun/son
I can only imagine when all I will do
Is forever—forever worship You

I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for You, Jesus
Or in awe of You be still?

Will I stand in Your presence
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine, yeah
I can only imagine

To add yet another level of emotion to this song and video...  I posted about how one of my Aunts recently passed away. Her physical body and her soul separated and although death came to her here on earth, her spirit soars.

It's the first time in 30 years she won't be in a wheelchair.

And I have to think of the words to the song....

"I can only imagine....."    when she is before the Lord, will she stand?  Will she dance?  Will she speak?

With my Aunt's recent passing on my mind, my Uncle struggling to stay positive during the COVID-19 quarantines and being utterly alone in his apartment, trapped in his wheelchair with only caregivers coming twice a day to change him and care for his feeding tube;  these images of them in my mind mixing with the images of Rick in the video;  and one of my all time favorite songs...

Well, yes, tears rolled again this morning.  Happy, emotional, moving tears.


Here is a copy of the video I first watched about 15 years ago or so....




And if you are interested in more of their story, here is a pretty good condensed version from "It's a Miracle"



























5.24.2020

Walking down memory road: Old sitcom themesongs from my childhood - some well known, others barely aired


I was sipping coffee and thinking about getting started on the day when an old (old!) themesong popped into my head.  It was the opening credit song to a sitcom I barely remember, but the theme song sure did.  It was "Makin' It".

Of course I had to look it up online.

Funny, I don't remember the episodes of the show at all... I was probably only about 8 or 9 when this was on tv (briefly) but the song... I still remember in 2020.

I have to admit, I watched it this morning and CRINGED.  Oh my goodness.  Ha ha.  It's bad.  Heck, that whole disco era is bad.  Luckily I missed out on it since I was so little at the time.  I'm more of an 80's kid but I still remember this one being on tv because I liked the theme song.


Makin' It





When I was just a little older, oh how I LOVED this theme song!!!
I obviously thought Chachi was cute (didn't almost every young girl back then) but this theme song was one I loved so much that I swore some day I'd have it played at my wedding.

Ha ha.  No, I did not have it at my wedding.


 Joanie Loves Chachi





Too Close for Comfort was loved for two reasons.  One:  I wanted to be Sara.  Later, when Monroe was added to the cast of characters, I loved him.  Couldn't stand the two parents but watched it for Sara and Monroe.  Also - I SO WANTED to paint stripes on the wall of my bedroom like they had on their wall!  Watch the opening credits and you'll see it.

I remember 'designing' the colored stripes similar to the show and wanting to paint my room like that so badly but no.  My parents did not let me.


Too Close for Comfort





This is a show I barely remember, and glancing over some of the episodes, they don't really stand out in my mind but (again) the theme song does.  I recall the theme song and I loved it!  But the show, I don't really have any memories of except a couple fleeting "oh yeah that looks familiar" moments with Helen Hunt's character (since she was the kid).


It Takes Two





Ok so this one probably shouldn't even be listed because EVERYONE knows this one.  It was so popular and not a bit obscure like some of my other favorites were but hello...  how can you hear this and not automatically sing along with it?  So catchy.  So hugely popular at the time.


WKRP in Cincinnati






By the time Charles in Charge hit the airwaves I was a bit older (a young teen).  Hated the first family they had in the first season, but apparently everyone did, as that family was soon switched out and the more popular version with Josie Davis and Nicole Eggert aired.    Originally I recall wanting to be like Jennifer Runyon (Gwendolyn) "when I got older" - I thought she was pretty and sweet and so nice.  Later of course, I geared my "I wish I could look like that..." to Nicole Eggert.  Not her character or personality (I liked Josie's character better) but her long blonde hair and cool clothes sure made me jealous.


Charles in Charge






There are many very popular sitcoms and theme songs from that era I'm NOT including in this post because they are just... oh so obvious.  This one hinges on being too obvious as it was so popular and awesome of a show (How can you not love Balki!!!????)  but I'm including it anyway because I loved this show!!!!!!


Perfect Strangers





This one.  LOVED Evie's character (again - I probably always identified with the kid) but I really hated the actress that played her Mom (Donna Pesco?) and she was on SO MANY sitcoms back then.  She was the main character in one called "ANGIE" too (I think - I'm not going to stop and look it up though).  Really didn't care for her.  But again the theme song...  


Out of this World





This is another one I maybe should not add to this post because it's one of the "OBVIOUS" sitcoms since it was pretty popular, but more importantly, the theme song was SO GOOD it was regularly played on the radio.  To this day I still love this song.  I still sing it.  One of my favorites!!!  (Along with Facts of Life, Cheers, Family Ties.......)

Greatest American Hero






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You might be interested in some random items related to this post, available through Amazon;

Makin' It (Re-Recorded)



The Greatest American Hero: Season 1


Too Close for Comfort - The Complete First Season