Comparing the Covid-19 Response The Right Way

Comparing the Covid-19 Response The Right Way


The right way to compare the Covid-19 response is by Metropolitan Statistical Area in the US, or a roughly equivalent methodology which most other countries use (Example: Germany uses Metropolitan Regions). These metro areas are the best unit of measurement when comparing a country’s response because of several reasons:

  1. A metro area represents a unit of people that lives and works together
  2. The virus spreads through the interaction of people
  3. There is much less travel between metro areas right now
  4. The virus grows exponentially, so it will create hot spots mostly confined to these metro areas
So, as an example, let’s see how well the US is doing compared to Germany on April 10th, 2020 as I write this article. All all numbers are cited with links:


Berlin has a population of 3.7 million and about 165 Covid-19 deaths today, which makes it’s death rate approximately 1 in 22,424. Like Washington DC in the US, Berlin is both a city and one of Germany’s 16 Federal states. This makes it easy to find Covid-19 data, which makes it a good foreign metro area to compare the United States to.

United States


The Detroit Metro area has a population of 4.2 million which covers most of Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland Counties. There have been 2451 (910 Wayne + 698 Macomb + 843 Oakland) deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 1713. The death rate is literally 13X as high in Detroit as it is in Berlin.

New York City Metro

The New York Metro Area has an estimated population of 23.7 million. There have been 19,200 deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 1234. The death rate is 18X as high in New York City as it is in Berlin.


The Boston Metro Area has an estimated population of 8.3 million. There have been 4557 (Norfolk, MA 635, Plymouth. MA 384, Suffolk, MA 703, Essex, MA 625, Middlesex, MA 1169, Worcester, MA 420, Briston, MA 260, Hillsborough, NH 40, Rockingham NH 27, Stratford, NH 9, Providence, RI 285), making the death rate approximately 1 in 1821. The death rate is 12X as high in the Boston Metro Area as it is in Berlin.

New Orleans

The New Orleans area has a population of 1.3 million. There have been 2,213 deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 587. The death rate is 38X as high in New Orleans as it is in Berlin.


I’ll let you do the math for other Metro Areas in the US, but I think it’s pretty hard to say that the United States’ response has been a 10 out of a 10 compared to the rest of the world.
Read More

Celebrating our Survival

Celebrating our Survival
I am not celebrating his death, I am celebrating our survival. I’m celebrating the ones that try. Survival is savagely satisfying. Each day is a blessing. Within each of us burns the desire to survive; given to us by our ancestors spanning 15-20K generations of hard work.
Through cold, rainy, hungry days. Through dry, thirsty, and sun burned days. Some weeks and months, suffering even more, through child birth, sickness, and broken bones.
For 330K years our ancestors slogged. Each and every one of us have this strength within us. Our family, our friends, our neighbors and even our enemies. The next time we have the luxury of being in a public place and glancing at thousands more of our kind, think about this. Celebrate this. We are all awesome. We are the best if the best, forged in suffering and the will to survive.
They fought their asses off to get my daughter and me here. I don’t take the responsibility lightly.
Placing human values on mother nature is peculiarly human. She does not have feelings. He decided that the game didn’t apply to him and he lost. I wish his descendants 20K more generations of success.
In a statement, his wife writes, “Johnny loved life and everyone he knew with his whole heart. We ask you to remember we are a family mourning an unbearable loss. Use this as a reminder to continue practicing social distancing and keep each other safe.”
We can debate about what ought to be, but stupidity *is* a death sentence. It always has been and always will be. It’s the natural order of things. Stay hungry, stay alert, stay safe.
Read More

My Covid-19 Training Routine

Over the past 3-4 years, the core of my training has centered around barbells, typically with some sort of undulating or linear progressions like a 5×5 or Wendler 5/3/1. Given that the gym is out of the question, while we are on quarantine, combined with the fact that we are preparing for a new baby, I just can’t build a home gym with barbells right now. I have fallen back to a training program that focuses on Calisthenics and pulls from the GoRuck training I did in 2019.

  1. Workout A: Focus on upper body. Typically done on Monday. Most of 1-5 can be done outside on warm days.
    1. 24 minute run to warm up
    2. 3×10 push-ups
    3. 3×8 push-ups with 40 lbs backpack
    4. 3×20 flutter kicks holding 40 lbs pack
    5. 3×20 sit-ups
    6. 3×5 Australian pull-ups with Perfect Pull-up bar unlatched
    7. 3×5 regular pull-ups
  2. Workout B: Focus on lower body. Typically done on Wednesday:
    1. .45 miles with 40 lbs pack
    2. .45 miles with 40lbs pack and 10 lbs kettlebell in one hand (alternating)
    3. .45 miles with 40 lbs pack and 50 lbs Jerry Can full of water
    4. .45 miles with 40 lbs pack and 60 lbs sandbag
    5. TBD .45 miles with 40 lbs pack and 120 lbs sandbag
    6. 3×10 kettlebell swings with 25 lbs
    7. 3×10 kettlebell swings with 35 lbs
    8. 3×20 one handed kettlebell swings with 35lbs (10 per arm)
  3. Workout C: Focus on upper body. Typically done on Monday. Most of 1-5 can be done outside on warm days.
    1. 24 minute run
    2. 3×10 push-ups
    3. 3×8 push-ups with 40 lbs backpack on
    4. 3×20 flutter kicks holding 40 lbs pack
    5. 3×20 sit-ups
    6. 3×12 reverse rows with 25 lbs kettlebell
    7. 3×12 reverse rows with 35 lbs kettlebell

Some Shortcomings

  • I’m coming back from being sick for about 3 weeks of March 2020, probably had Covid-19 (will find out when antibody testing becomes available)
    • I want to work up to sets of 5 to increase volume
    • I want to increase weight linearly, will use pack weight
  • I want to add some jump rope back in
  • I am limited to 35 lbs kettlebells because that’s all I have. I really wish I had 45 lbs, 55 lbs, and 65 lbs kettlebells
  • I want to build back up to carrying the 120 lbs sandbag on leg day
Read More

The Ludicrous, Ridiculous, Nonsensical and Derisory Words List

I am a founding member of the secret group known only as Caos. It is known to some, that I am also a Black Belt Master of Mayhem. This invests me with a total of 16 votes, by myself, enough votes to codify this even if one or two of you don’t like it.

That said, this is a good list, a really good list, with a lot of great input from a lot of fantastic people. Tremendous people. People who are leaders in their field. Seriously. At least three people private messaged me today to tell me so. Really accomplished people. Very accomplished.

This list of words is magical. If any three or more of these words are mixed together in a single paragraph, or within two minutes of contiguous vocal communication, you are rejected.

  • United Nations
  • International Monetary Fund or its acronym IMF
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Nazis
  • Deep State
  • New World Order
  • Federal Reserve
  • Lucifer or any other moniker referring to the Devil
  • Spirits
  • Homeopathy
  • Insulin Resistance
  • White Supremacist
  • Capitalist Cis Hetero-Patriarchy
  • Crisis Actor
  • Creationist
  • Wheat Belly
  • False Flag
  • Microaggression
  • Gluten Sensitive
  • 5g
  • Super Natural
  • Super Foods
  • Aliens
  • Military Industrial Complex
  • Microbiome
  • Any diet name (examples include Keto, Carnivore, South Beach, etc)
  • Illuminati
  • Free Mason or Mason
  • Globalist
  • Disarm America
  • Dangerous Vaccines
  • Heavy Metals
  • More to be added as necessary
Read More

Book: Helmet for My Pillow – Veteran’s Day 2019

Hell of book to finish right before Veteran’s Day. So many good quotes:

– Nor was my squad troubled by racial or religious bigotry. We had no “inner conflict,” as the phrase goes. These things happen most often in the imagination of men who never fought. Only rear echelons with plenty of fat on them can afford such rich diseases, like an epicure with his gout.

– The man who has had it roughest is the man to be most admired. Conversely, he who has had it the easiest is the least praiseworthy.

– It is an American weakness. The success becomes the sage. Scientists counsel on civil liberty; comedians and actresses lead political rallies; athletes tell us what brand of cigarette to smoke.

– A soldier’s pack is like a woman’s purse: it is filled with his personality. I have saddened to see the mementos in the packs of dead Japanese. They had strong family ties, these smooth-faced men, and their packs were full of their families.

– Smell, the sense which somehow seems a joke, is the one most susceptible to outrage. It will give you no rest. One can close one’s eyes to ugliness or shield the ears from sound; but from a powerful smell there is no recourse but flight.

– Charlie did not kill many people, but, like Macbeth, he murdered sleep.

– This was no feeling of dedication because it was absolutely involuntary. I do not doubt that if the Marines had asked for volunteers for an impossible campaign such as Guadalcanal, almost everyone now fighting would have stepped forward. But that is sacrifice; that is voluntary. Being expended robs you of the exultation, the self-abnegation, the absolute freedom of self-sacrifice. Being expended puts one in the role of victim rather than sacrificer, and there is always something begrudging in this.

– upon that change he passes over to the ranks of the Old Salts and ceases to be a Boot forever. Youth rebels and age conserves; between them, they advance. The Marines will cease to win battles the moment either camp achieves clear-cut ascendancy.

– when a map and a compass come into contact with a second lieutenant, prepare yourself for confusion.

– My eyes having adjusted to the gloom, I found myself in a room about twenty feet by fifteen, into which a murky light sneaked through a rectangle of thick glass high in one wall.

– We devoured the food. What a banquet! Here was the lowly hot dog, but it was spiced with risk, flavored with prohibition and washed down with the nectar of a watering mouth.

– Keep it up, America, keep telling your youth that mud and danger are fit only for intellectual pigs.

– Naval shells hissed shoreward in the air above us. Those of us who had been on Guadalcanal, remembering our own ordeal with naval bombardment, could spare a pang of pity for the foe—

– I turned to go, and as I did, nearly stepped on someone’s hand. “Excuse me,” I began to say, but then I saw that it was an unattached hand, or rather a detached one. It lay there alone— open, palm upwards, clean, capable, solitary. I could not tear my eyes from it. The hand is the artisan of the soul. It is the second member of the human trinity of head and hand and heart. A man has no faculty more human than his hand, none more beautiful nor expressive nor productive. To see this hand lying alone, as though contemptuously cast aside, no longer a part of a man, no longer his help, was to see war in all its wantonness; it was to see the especially brutal savagery of our own technique of rending, and it was to see men at their eternal worst, turning upon one another, tearing one another, clawing at their own innards with the maniacal fury of the pride- possessed. The hand saddened me and I offered it a respectful inclination of the head while recovering my balance and making a careful circle around it.

– Racehorse drew his pistol and laid it against the driver’s head and said, “Get youah ass moving,” and the driver quickly shifted gears and drove frontward with a roar. Racehorse had won a Navy Cross for his bravery on Guadalcanal. He won another on Peleliu, but it was awarded posthumously. He perished attacking a pillbox, may he rest in peace.

– Rutherford had said, “See you in the old home town.” But now I would go home alone. May he rest in peace.

– Heroes turn traitor, warriors age and grow soft— but a victim is changeless, sacrifice is eternal.

– now pray in the name of Chuckler and Hoosier and Runner, in the name of Smoothface, Gentleman, Amish and Oakstump, Ivy- League and Big- Picture, in the name of all those who suffered in the jungles and on the beaches, from Anzio to Normandy— and in the name of the immolated: of Texan, Rutherford, Chicken, Loudmouth, of the Artist and White- Man, Souvenirs and Racehorse, Dreadnought and Commando— of all these and the others, dear Father, forgive us for that awful cloud.

Read More

Cookie: Sammy Had a Plan

The year was 1984, and I went to 4th grade at McEbright Elementary School in Akron Ohio, the failed Rubber Capital of the world. It was a lovely old, inner city school around the corner from the Summit county jail. This was the third inner city grade school I had attended, so I felt fine there. I had a lot of good friends. We used to hang out in the front yard doing ninja flips, wrestling around, and playing with Transformers. We loved playing with Transformers, we would even trade them. My best friend was this stocky little black kid named Sammy, and we also had this other skinny black kid in our group that hung out all the time (sadly, I can’t remember his name anymore). It was us two skinny dudes, and Sammy hanging out all the time. Sammy was kind of the leader of our little crew. We were lal kind of weirdos and used love to sprint as fast as we could, I mean full out sprints. It was a blast when you’re a kid. I used to love hanging out with them and things were going pretty good. That is, until I had a run in with Chris Calise.

Chris Calise was kinda like the bully from the movie Christmas Story. He was brown haired white kid d always had his idea kick Marc with him. And, needless to say Chris and his side kick didn’t like me. In inner city schools like this, often it’s just a social hierarchy game. Everyone is looking to climb the social ladder with the only capital they have access to, social status. You might call it Lord of the Flies in an inner city school. Apparently, he thought I should show deference to him as king of the white kids. Well, I wasn’t really into deferring to people or submitting to them, so Chris didn’t like me.

One day, Sammy and I were running around the playground at school during lunch, playing our usual game of sprinting and running. Kids were everywhere, and we used to love running in between them, jumping up on the railroad ties, and jumping off. We were basically doing little kid missions. While running around with Sammy, I noticed Chris Calise glaring at us, especially me. Whenever I was with Sammy, I was never too worried about Chris starting a fight with me, because I knew Sammy would back me up. But, I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. We were sprinting in between a bunch of kids, and lo and behold, I felt someone trip me. I mean, we were sprinting full speed, and they tripped me good. I was airboard, face first, flying through the air like Superman. I put my arms out, but still landed on my nose, at a 45 degree angle with my legs above my head. It felt like I slid a couple of feet. There was blood everywhere, and all in my eyes. I could barely see. I had never felt a pain that bad in my life. I didn’t see it coming at all, and I had no idea who did it.

They rushed me to the school nurse, and tried to put bandages on it to stop the bleeding. It stung bad, I mean really bad. There were ven It’s of asphalt in the wound. They didn’t take me to the hospital, but by the time it stopped bleeding, I had this giant, black scab on my nose that looked like one of those Roman helmets with the piece of metal that comes down over your nose. I had that scab on my nose for a weeks. Parts would come off, and then it would bleed again, and the scab would form again. It was bad and I had scars for years. While I healed, I tried to figure out if it was Chris Calise or one of his buddies. I was pretty sure it was, but nobody admitted to doing it. They obviously would have gotten in trouble. Every single kid in the school knew who I was after that incident. Chris Calise and his friends would laugh and point at the crazy scab on my nose.

Well a few months later, I was healed up and pretty much back to normal. I was back to playing with Transformers, doing flips in the front yard, running and sprinting with Sammy and the gang. It wasn’t long until things flared up with Chris and Marc again. This time, they wanted to fight me and they had a group of three or four kids. Everyday at school it escalated, but weren’t brave enough to do it at school. They threatened to get me after school. Since they had three or four kids even Sammy was a bit worried.

Sammy offered to have me walk part of the way home with him and his brother. His brother and his brother’s friends offered impenetrable protection because they were in 6th grade and way bigger than us. Sammy and his brother’s house wasn’t exactly by me so they would only be able get me about half way home. His brother and friends didn’t feel like walking out of their way and all the way back to save a little brother’s friend’s hide.

It was better than nothing because it got us away from the school a good bit, but I still had to part with Sammy’s crew and walk down this one street alone. Sammy and I brain stormed this logistics problem up and down. Sammy thought about escorting me solo, but then they would have ganged up on Sammy on his way back. So, Sammy came up with another plan.

The next day, he shows up at school with this round metal pipe plug. He hands it to me and says “put this in your backpack, and if they corner you, just swing your bag and hit one of them in the head.” This piece of metal must have weighed 5lbs, and the idea was that it would split one of their heads open and end the fight by scaring the other three kids. Of course, I don’t want to look weak, so I took it, said “OK” and put it in my bag.

The whole day, I had that metal thing in my backpack. It was old, and looked like it had been painted red and buried at some point. I visualized hitting Chris in the head with it and realized that if I actually succeed, he might die. I hated him, but I didn’t want to murder him. But, it was the best plan that two 9 year olds in the ghetto could come up with, so we executed. After school that day, I walked about half way home with Sammy, his brother and friends. When it was time for me to leave them, Sammy and I solemnly said goodbye. I headed off by myself. I was scared as hell. I was worried I might kill the kid, I was worried they might take it away from me and kill me with it. I started my journey like a deer in the wild, knowing I could be under observation by a pack of predators. I looked around like crazy, and ran most of the way home. Luckily, Chris and his crew are nowhere to be found. Day one was a success.

Days and weeks passed. I carried that piece of metal in my backpack and I never told my mom, any teachers or anyone else really. It was Sammy and my secret weapon. I visualized hitting Chris in the head with that piece of metal hundreds of times. A few times after school and on weekends, Chris and his crew got close to catching me on the way home, but I always outsmarted them, or out ran them. During those weeks Sammy and I didn’t really ride around the neighborhood or play in my front yard. It sucked living in fear like that.

Finally, the heat died down and it returned to Chris and Marc just talking trash. We never ended up hitting anybody with that piece of metal but I was ready to. I kept it for years and years. Every time we would move, I would find it tucked away in some drawer, or some box.

I miss Sammy. He was a good dude. I think back and who the hell knows what happened to him. Could be in jail, or he could be a doctor, I have no idea. I have another great story with Sammy which I’ll share in a future cookie.

That crazy scab, and our preparedness with that piece of metal are another cookie in my cookie jar.

Read More