By Mike Austreng, Editor
It’s no surprise that we don’t enjoy winters as much as we once did. We’ve complained about our winters in this column a few times over the past 30+ years. It would surprise us if we were alone with the desire to see winters as short as possible – the cold just feels colder as the number of our birthdays increase.
We have to admit this winter has been one of the most mild ones we recall (so far) and it feels so good when you can walk outside and feel the strength (warmth) of the sun. This time of year the power of the sun melts snow even when the thermometer tells us it’s below freezing.
It is not lost from our memory how much snow we got here one year ago in February – the snowiest February on record – if we recall correctly. We also recall that we were pretty sick and tired of moving snow by the end of that month. It might sound odd, but we actually enjoy clearing our driveway, and the neighbors, and at the office, and at the office’s neighbors, and our brother’s house (until it sells), but by the end of February last year we were so happy to know there wouldn’t be much more snow and cold weather to put up with.
We hope, for once, that the nice winter isn’t going to spoil our spring and summer – normally, it seems, if we have decent winter weather we don’t have good spring weather. Nothing we can do but wait and see.
As expected, President Trump has been acquitted during his impeachment trial. Expected, because the Senate is controlled by Republicans – just like it was controlled by Democrats when President Clinton was being impeached and the Senate acquitted him. The House has impeached three presidents now. The first being President Andrew Johnson in 1868. In Johnson’s impeachment the story was similar in that the House passed to the Senate articles of impeachment, but the Senate failed to get the 2/3 majority vote to impeach.
You can find a lot of reading material about these impeachments – most of what we read was on Wikipedia.
We’ve heard a lot of discussion from people who were fed up with the entire process and how much time it consumed. Now that it’s over maybe our lawmakers can get back to doing the work needed to run this country and find ways to fix the many things that need fixing.
You almost have to not watch any television to avoid hearing news about the coronavirus outbreak in China. For some time now we’ve been seeing news footage of people in China wearing masks, workers spraying (who knows what chemical) the streets in China to fight the virus, hospitals, with rooms that look more like jail cells, being built in a matter of a couple weeks (again, in China), and even footage of empty streets that are normally packed with people.
Just last week there were news reports of a couple cruise ships near China that were quarantined for 14 days because there were a number of people on those ships with confirmed cases of coronavirus.
We can’t imagine being on a cruise to learn we wouldn’t be allowed to leave the ship for two weeks.
From information we’ve read about coronavirus it’s been around a long time, but this strain was discovered in December of 2019 in China.
From what we understand the symptoms are much like any common cold and we’re not sure why this strain is getting so much attention.
China is practically shut down with much of the work force being told to stay home from work.
There are a few cases in the United States and we can all hope the spread of this virus doesn’t reach the proportions it has in China. Here’s what webmd.com has to say about avoiding and treating the virus:
What to Do About Coronavirus
There is no vaccine for coronavirus. To help prevent a coronavirus infection, do the same things you do to avoid the common cold:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or with an alcoholbased hand sanitizer.
- Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are infected. You treat a coronavirus infection the same way you treat a cold:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink fluids.
- Take over-the-counter medicine for a sore throat and fever. But don’t give aspirin to children or teens younger than 19; use ibuprofen or acetaminophen instead.
Let’s hope the coming of spring drives the virus away.