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Record Daily Deaths and Some Good Measures

It was coming for a while, and today it finally happened: The new record number of COVID-19 deaths reported in one day in Romania now stands at 237, smashing that previous value of 213, reported on December 8. Yes, it’s on a Tuesday, when the numbers tend to be higher because they reflect the tests done on Monday, which include postmortem ones or the retesting of hospitalized patients which may die soon after, and Monday is when they catch up on what piles up over the weekend, when there are fewer tests, but December 8 was also a Tuesday and, either way, the fact remains, and it’s somewhat surprising that it took so long.

On the other hand, the number of new cases reported today was low, only 2931, and what’s much more important is that some measures that may actually make more of a difference, albeit probably weeks from now, were announced. The timing is interesting, to not use a stronger term, but I’d say that the bigger reason behind this timing is that the Government is trying to prove what a bad job the previous Minister of Health, who was just sacked after quite a string of blunders, was doing and that things can quickly get back on track now that he’s out of the way, in order to counter the accusations that they got rid of him because he was bothering too much with what he was revealing and, even more so, planned to reveal, since he had announced making all purchases in the field of health public.
Speaking of said former Minister of Health, while I have serious issues with him because of his connections to the private health care sector and his quite clear plans to privatize even more of it, as well as his battle with Nicusor Dan for the position of candidate for the position of Mayor of Bucharest, which threatened to destroy several years of work and led to Nicusor Dan needing to make the deal he made with PNL, significantly weakening his position and also making him drop in the eyes of plenty of his supporters, he did indeed seem to be bothering more and more with what he was making public, and also by saying that the authorities had gotten creative with the numbers reported before the elections and, most recently, that the number of deaths was also being misreported, so it’s clear that all sides united to get rid of him before he hurt their interests even more. However, it’s also clear that he didn’t even make them work for it. When you decide to expose everyone’s dirt in such a manner, take everyone on in such a battle, you need to have everything planned to the letter, with contingency plans for contingency plans, and be extraordinarily careful with your every move, tread on eggshells, so you won’t offer any excuse, and he seemed to be doing anything but that, going from one blunder to another, as I already said, and seeming to have no clear plan or project to follow even for the current crisis. So his removal will most likely mark a return to “business as usual” and perhaps eliminate the chance of getting rid of some of the filth plaguing the field in the longer term, but it may well have quite a positive impact in the short term, and on the current crisis, especially if the others will try to make a point of it, as they already seem to be doing.

To finally get to those measures announced today, they have to do with vaccinations and, with one exception, I’d say they were long overdue. In theory a person could schedule themselves to be vaccinated by phone even now, but it didn’t really work, so one announcement is that they will make it work, but also that people will be able to go to a vaccination center in person and ask to be scheduled that way, so those who can’t, don’t know how or simply don’t want to create an account on the on-line platform, submitting their personal information and scheduling themselves that way, will finally have other methods available to them. And another thing that should have been happening all along but was only announced now is that hospitalized patients will be able to be vaccinated in any hospital, so those who are in non-COVID hospitals won’t need to wait to be released and then go to a vaccination center anymore.
In addition, the mobile vaccination centers, desperately needed in plenty of rural areas, plus of course by those who can’t leave their homes, are to properly start their activity tomorrow, and they’ll be using vaccines from Moderna, so they stopped trying to push the AstraZeneca one or, worse, what was a plan to use the Johnson & Johnson one for those centers. In fact, an additional order of vaccines from Pfizer pretty much ensures that pretty much no viral vector vaccines will be needed for the entire vaccination campaign if people don’t really want them. And family doctors should also finally actually start vaccinating their patients on a larger scale, that program having a rocky start so far, while the drive-through vaccination centers, which had also been announced for quite some time, should also become operational at the end of the week. And the first non-stop vaccination center just became operational, in Timisoara.
The one announced development I’m uncertain about, on the other hand, is that businesses will also be able to organize vaccination centers and vaccinate not only their own employees, but also those of other businesses they have ties to and their family members. This had also been discussed for some time, perhaps a change being that these businesses will be able to choose any of the approved vaccines, reflecting that change of policy I already mentioned above, but handing over such a responsibility to businesses strikes me as particularly unwise… Even more so when I now see that the possibility of those businesses creating the vaccination centers for places that don’t otherwise have any, where all those who live there are to be vaccinated, is also on the table! Talk about another sign of shifting ever more of the state’s duties, responsibilities and even rights onto the private sector! But that’s another discussion, I guess…

Written by Cavalary on April 20, 2021 at 11:39 PM in Society | 0 Comments

Purchases, Money Issues, Healing Ribs and a Worrying Mole

I’ll start this with the first hours of last Monday, so with that Sunday night, when the computer continued the usual pattern of repeating the change of time a week after the proper date and set it forward by another hour a little after 3 AM. And since I got to my room and started eating at 3:30 AM, without even having had lunch that day, that meant I noticed it less than an hour after it happened and that might have had something to do with why it refused to synchronize regardless of what I tried, so I looked for fixes for a while and eventually had to restart the time service, which did the trick. Finished eating at 5:20 AM, got in bed at 5:40 AM, then got up to pee for the second time around 9:35 AM and only got back in bed at 10:25 AM, after some time on the computer, having a really hard time finding a position in which my ribs didn’t hurt too much. And what made it worse was that as of the following night I was noticing that the right side was hurting more as well, after doing all I could to spare the left. And since I mentioned the following night, after taking some time to read a newspaper in the kitchen I started eating right at 3 AM then, and had also had lunch in the evening. Was still only in bed at 5:20 AM, however.

Last Tuesday dad went to work again, so I made mamaliga and ate earlier. Struggling with the mamaliga, and also with the cabbage, made that spot on the right side of my chest hurt even worse, however, though the left side was starting to improve and I could turn myself slightly towards that side when I went to bed. On the other hand, after dad got back in the morning he left the contract offer from our current electricity provider, which he insists on sticking to, on the kitchen table, along with a note asking me to look over it, but after all the effort I made for no reason after he first insisted on me looking into the options, doing my research, comparing, choosing, providing him with information and arguments against his refusal to follow my advice only for him to reject it all “on principle”, because he distrusts all those in the green energy sector and just wants to stick to our current provider anyway, when I got up I wrote a note in reply saying I won’t, reminding him of that mess and telling him to do whatever he wants, which he’ll do anyway, but not expect me to accept it.
Either way, I wanted to get some things that day, so I left a bit before 2:05 PM, first meaning to get something else for Micky from another store from that mall Carrefour’s in, but I only had 50 RON bills and the cashier said she needed change, so I went to Carrefour first and grabbed an expiring “creamy” yogurt and three small lemons, and hid a carton of expiring eggs, and then went back and got that. Then I went to Kaufland, where the day’s 30% discount was for yogurt, so I got the three packs of four of this already cheap kind that I’ve been getting lately that were left and another pack of the same brand that’s just marginally more for myself and everything else I had gone there to get, used the self-checkout without issues, then returned to that mall, first leaving the purchases in a cabinet and going to my bank’s location from there to handle something. That done, I returned to Carrefour, retrieved and bought those eggs I had hidden, arranged the stuff in the bags and backpack and was back at 5:30 PM. The right side of my chest was definitely not happy, and the left got a bit worse after that as well.

After starting to eat dinner at 3:15 AM last Wednesday night, admittedly after having had lunch earlier, and getting in bed at 5:25 AM, last Thursday I first bothered my ribs again soon after getting up, by washing a heavy pot, and then made it worse while cooking a lot of pasta at night, and using that pot to boil it and then washing it again, on top of preparing the usual stuff. Though dad worked again that evening, I ended up only starting to eat at 3:30 AM again, and hadn’t had lunch either. Finished at 5:05 AM, and was only in bed at 5:30 AM.

Last Friday dad had to wake up rather early, but I woke up the second time even before he did, without needing to pee again at that point, and then just couldn’t get back to sleep. Don’t even know if I caught a few more minutes before he left, but somehow finally felt sleepy again after he did and just got another brief nap, then took it easy after waking up again, staying in bed a while longer, getting up at 12:50 PM and going out at 3:15 PM.
Went straight to that pharmacy, since my mother had asked for something again, but the line was huge and the new regulations don’t force pharmacies to close early as well, so I just kept going, quickly checked that Supeco and the Mega Image next to the farmers’ market, then went to that Carrefour and got a bit of garlic, cheating the scales by just over 20% to make up for a part of the difference when I saw that those who had their app got a 50% discount on it! Then I went to Kaufland, thinking I was going there for the sugar that was on the weekend sale.
Well, that changed when I saw that, with stores needing to close at 6 PM, they were quite desperate to get rid of fruits and vegetables, having huge discounts, so I ended up getting very cheap lemons, oranges, potatoes and cabbage, sadly passing by the radishes twice and then finding none left by the time I was done with the other things. The price of oranges went down again by the time I weighed them, and that of lemons dropped at that point as well, so I weighed them again in order to see the new total… But the lemons ended up being even less in the end, having gone down in price yet again by the time I got to the checkout. Either way, also obviously got the sugar, plus a roll of garbage bags and a croissant from the bakery area, not much being left there by the time those products were discounted by 50%. The day’s sale was 30% off snacks and I had thought to look, but didn’t, and also didn’t even check the refrigerated expiring products area, just wanting to get in a line, since the lines were long. But at least things moved quite quickly and there were no issues with the self-checkout other than the fact that it gave me my change in three parts, having 74 RON to give me, doing so in tens and ones and seeming to wait for me to retrieve each five or so bills before releasing more.
After some time spent arranging the stuff in my bags and backpack, I was out of there at 5:30 PM and pushed on the way back to the pharmacy despite all the weight and the problems with my ribs… And ended up walking close to a kilometer more, since I somehow didn’t think of the direct route and just went back the same way. Still, I was in line at the pharmacy just before 5:55 PM, which line was more reasonable at that point, maybe because plenty of people were rushing to the other stores just before the closing time, so just under 20 minutes later I was out, and at that point the line was really long again. Was back around 6:40 PM or so, and including clothes, bags and the usual stuff in my pockets, I saw that I had carried just about 23 kg, meaning half my weight. Then I did have something to eat during the evening, but at night, despite doing my best, going to the kitchen a couple of minutes before 1 AM and not wasting a moment, not even getting back to my room to turn off the monitor, I still only managed to start eating dinner at 3:10 AM, and only got in bed at 5:25 AM. And I’ll also mention here that something similar happened last Sunday night as well, starting to eat dinner at 3:15 AM despite not wasting a moment after I went to the kitchen at night, not even going to pee despite starting to feel the need as early as 1:20 AM or so. And that was after eating other stuff just after waking up that day, though I admittedly also had popcorn later, and it was in part caused by having to wash everything dad had left in the kitchen again.

To finally get to this week, Monday I think my internal clock was about an hour off, since when I woke up the second time, not needing to pee badly enough for that to be the reason, it felt like the alarm was going to ring and I waited for a while, but when it didn’t I eventually checked the time and saw 1:13 PM. So I got back in bed, but probably only napped a little more by the time it did actually ring, at 2 PM. At that point, with dad having been up for some hours, the kitchen was of course quite a mess again, with plenty of stuff to wash, and there was no hot water either. But I did the best I could, then had the usual stuff, the yogurt being a “creamy” one with 5% fat, with a slice of cozonac with added honey as the sweet thing. Only drank a little tea though, since it was still too hot, and left at 4:05 PM, wearing the full running gear. The reported temperature was 20-22°C, depending on source, and it was supposed to hold pretty steady during my run.
The time was 49:48.88, with sector times of 4:16.39, 5:11 (5:10.67), 5:56.90, 4:36 (4:35.07), 5:13.43, 6:13 (6:12.79), 4:48.71, 5:25 (5:24.37), 6:19 (6:18.82) and 1:51.73, making for lap times of 15:23.96, 16:02 (16:01.29) and 16:32 (16:31.90). After skipping a week and considering the issue with my ribs, the right side actually seeming to be a bit more of a problem, and the fact that the crash made me err on the side of caution as I was weaving and squeezing my way past others, I just aimed to stay under 50 minutes, though I did push on the first lap, hoping to at least stay under 15:30 on it. The next goals were 16 minutes on lap two and 16:30 on lap three, and I failed both of those, but the final sector was quite good and I gained more on the first lap than I lost on the next two, so I’m content with what I managed that day, under those circumstances. It is somewhat concerning that I hadn’t even finished lap two when I started feeling quite out of it, but with my ribs not quite allowing me to breathe properly, I won’t read too much into it just now.
In terms of issues, besides my ribs, there was also a bit of wind… And plenty of people, being wary meaning that I lost more time because of that than I otherwise would have. On lap one, I slowed to let some cyclists through right on the first sector, then briefly stopped on the next sector, I think right on the long straight, when a little kid started walking across the path and his mother went after him without looking and cut right in front of me. On lap two, I had to squeeze through at the end of sector one, while on sector two I had to briefly step on the grass twice, and then actually briefly stop just before the bridge, when a woman and a kid on scooters were on the cycling lane, other people were walking next to said lane and I was too wary to squeeze through. As for lap three, briefly stopped again to let cyclists through right on the first sector’s straight, and then again towards the end of the sector, when a kid who was also riding something, can’t quite remember what, started moving across right as I reached that spot, the way I had to move to avoid him making the right side of my chest hurt more from then on. There was another brief stop at the end of sector two of lap three, under the bridge, when an old man caused a roadblock by stopping to turn and look at some guys when the other side of the path was fully blocked, and it’s possible that there was another roadblock on sector three of lap three as well, though I’m not sure of that, just remembering that I was particularly careful, and therefore lost even more time, while making my way through on that sector in general. It’s possible that there were other issues caused by people as well, as I know I briefly stopped on most sectors, but those are the specific ones I remember.

After the run, I put my mask back on and jogged to Carrefour, though my nose was irritated and I kept feeling like sneezing. Either way, grabbed an expiring bio (organic) yogurt and a bit more garlic… And that time around it was the scales that tried to cheat me, only noticing after I first weighed it that those scales showed 66 grams without anything on. And then, after getting the correct weight, I saw that the total would have been 1.53 RON and I hadn’t taken any coins with me, so I kept trying, using different scales, placing the garlic differently, and eventually managed to get a label listing 0.02 RON less, and the cashier gave me a 0.50 RON coin as change in that situation. Then I jogged back, holding the yogurt and garlic in my hands, since I hadn’t taken any bags, watched something for a while, then took the paper and those things I drop off at Kaufland and left again at 7:15 PM. Since I went to this other Carrefour first, I dropped off the paper in the bin in front of that mall, then quickly checked Carrefour, not getting anything, before going to Kaufland, dropping those things off, getting what I wanted and being back at 8:55 PM.
As for that night, there was a power failure just after I went to the kitchen, the logs listing 1:09 AM. And it wasn’t just a brief one, lasting until 2:20 AM or so, which made it quite a problem for dad, who was working from home. As for me, since I was initially hoping it won’t last long, I only turned the computer off after some 12 minutes… And then turned it back on some 20 minutes after it recovered… And just a few minutes before it failed again. This second blackout only lasted for 35 seconds, however, so it wasn’t an issue in itself, what worried me being that we had just plugged the fridge and router back in as well. There don’t seem to be any issues, however, and that’s despite the fact that there were two more failures the following night, logs listing 2:41 AM and 2:49 AM, each lasting for a minute and a half. But, to return to Monday night, adding the issues caused by the power failure to something I had forgotten to do earlier and did from 3 AM meant that it was past 3:35 AM when I started eating dinner, admittedly after a very late lunch which I had eaten just after midnight, and was only in bed at 5:45 AM.

The following night I could get to the kitchen earlier and started eating dinner at 2:30 AM, so I was back at the computer at the time of those power failures. That’s because I meant to go out without sleeping in the morning, and I did so, leaving at 6:20 AM, even though it was still a bit before sunrise and lightly raining as well. The reason was that Kaufland’s catalog listed the 13 kg bag of the detergent we use as available as of that day, which was unusual in itself, since I never recall seeing the 13 kg bags there, it was at a price that was already low, and the day’s discount was 30% off for that category. So I expected them to run out of those bags very early, especially since they now open at 6 AM, and was ready for quite a long walk, checking at least three locations, though of course the chances of finding any would have dropped with every passing minute.
Fortunately, there was no need to go anywhere else, as I got to this location at 6:50 AM, saw a couple leaving with two of those bags in their cart as I was walking in, spent a little time searching, since those 13 kg bags weren’t in the same area as the others, and then found them. At that point, what had probably initially been the bottom half of the pile was still wrapped in plastic and there were six or seven bags left above those, so I first just grabbed one and simply carried it straight to the self-checkout, to quickly make sure that the 30% discount actually applied to those bags as well. Since it did, I put it in a cabinet, went back down to get a cart, then returned, first getting the cat litter and then the second bag of detergent, since I was also buying for my mother. By then, only two more were left on top of the wrapped ones, so I unwrapped a corner and got one from the bottom part, which caused an employee to ask why was I struggling like that and whether I thought those were fresher. But I sort of just brushed her off, calculated that the whole pile was likely to be gone around 8 AM or so, also grabbed the cornmeal I wanted to get and went back to the self-checkout… Where I needed to split the purchases, since they were too heavy to place on those scales at once. But I expected it, so when I placed the second bag of cat litter on the scales and saw the error, I knew just what happened and what to tell the employee who came to help, so she took that second bag off, I paid for the detergent and the first bag, put them back in the cart, then scanned the other things, added everything in that cabinet, also took a picture of it and was leaving Kaufland at 7:45 AM.
After that, I went to that Carrefour as well, to also get what I meant to get from there. Oddly, I again noticed that one of the scales was displaying a few grams with nothing on it, but when something was placed on it, the listed weight was a bit lower than on the others, so I used that one for what I had to weigh. And then I also decided to ask for a piece of their carrot cake, having a look at what was available and pointing to one that seemed to look somewhat better, but the employee touched a few and said she couldn’t give me any of those, taking them away and bringing me another piece from the back, which was really nice of her, those on display having probably been made the day before.
Left that mall just after 8:40 AM and was back here 20 minutes later, telling dad which cabinet to grab the purchases from Kaufland from when he’ll get back from where he had to go that morning, since the car was clearly needed for all that weight. Then I washed what he had left in the kitchen, thinking that the temperature of the water wasn’t exactly comfortable but I would be able to use it to take a shower after he’ll leave… Only for that to not be the case when I actually got to the bathroom. Admittedly, he left around 10 AM, then I ate that cake and only went to the bathroom after doing so, but when I did I first washed something else and the water felt quite cold, so I left it running while I was on the toilet… And found it completely cold by the time I was done, making it a good thing that I didn’t just hop in! The problem was that I had already thrown everything in the laundry basket, so I grabbed the one old pair of briefs, an old t-shirt I’d hardly otherwise wear even inside and, after a second thought, one of those old pairs of socks as well, and got in bed, napping until dad got back, bringing the purchases, and then left again around 1:30 PM. Went to pee at that point, but the water was still cold, so I napped a little more, woke up again at 2:50 PM, checked again, found that the water was really hot and finally took that shower. And that night, though dad worked from home again, I made mamaliga again and ate earlier, and my ribs also felt a fair bit better.

Another thing I’ll mention here is that Tuesday night I saw discounts for the “Remastered” version of my mouse, and this store that also allows purchasing extended warranty for it had a “resealed” one as well, the resulting total price, including the extended warranty, being quite nice. So I considered getting it, but also saw a new one for even less at this other store that I tend to check, which made me even more uncertain, since it meant I could hope for better prices elsewhere as well… If it wasn’t an error, at least, since by Wednesday night that price had increased significantly. Either way, I did ask dad about it before he left Wednesday morning, asking what he thought I should do, but he left the decision to me and I ended up deciding to keep struggling with this one and wait for a better opportunity… Which hours later proved to be the right choice for other reasons as well, since my mother called dad to tell him that she did something really stupid and needed 5000 RON right away, when they apparently had other expenses lined up this month as well. So he rushed over there and it seems that they sorted it out somehow for the moment, but it obviously means that I don’t just have to put off any such purchases for a while longer, but haven’t and most likely won’t receive anything for myself, nor get back what I had already given him or spent on things that weren’t for myself out of what I had set aside, until the middle of May… Which also makes it a very good thing that the half marathon was postponed again, because I’d have been in an even worse shape than I already am in if I wouldn’t have even been able to get the few little things I tend to get before such a race.

Moving on, Thursday night I saw that making the salad won’t take that long, so I took some time to read a newspaper in the kitchen… And ended up starting to eat dinner at 3:10 AM again, after having had something else only just after waking up. Then, to add the rest of these things in one place, I’ll also mention here that Friday night I only started eating dinner at 3:30 AM, admittedly after having lunch in the evening, while last night I started at 3:05 AM, again after taking some time to read a newspaper in the kitchen, and also to retrieve some of the bits of paper dad had thrown in the trash, remove the staples from them and place them in the paper bin. The problem last night, however, was that I found myself whimpering when I should have gone to the kitchen, the way I need to go about it now, still being particularly careful, just being too much and going on for too long, and this being added on top of the toll the mess I always find there takes on me. But at least I can finally sleep normally again. It was 5:20 AM by the time I got in bed this morning, but while there is still a bit of pain and I still need to be somewhat careful, both this morning and last morning I could finally sleep in my usual position and move in the usual ways again.
On the other hand, a serious reason for concern is that mole on the back of my right thigh, since I noticed Friday that the whole area is irritated and there are some streaks right on it too, what looks like a layer of dead skin covering it splitting. It’s been itching badly since 2007 or so, and while the doctor who had a look at it then said there was nothing to be concerned about and that the cause may also actually be my dermatitis, it tended to have periods when it was driving me crazy and periods when it stopped itching for a while, while now I can’t remember the last time when it didn’t itch and, while I normally really try to avoid scratching, lately I couldn’t quite manage it anymore and I’m aware that I scratched it rather roughly a few times. The surrounding area does look just like it’s visibly affected by that atopic dermatitis I have, and it did seem that a spot just above it was more noticeably affected in such a manner lately, but seeing the skin look like that all around it and that layer and those streaks right on it is definitely scary, and I also ended up telling dad about it Friday night, though he of course pretty much just brushed it off. I have kept thinking of having it removed, even if simply for my peace of mind, but when I tentatively mentioned it to my mother some years ago she did her best to scare me away from the idea, and unless it develops into something obviously serious any such procedures may not even be performed at all until the current situation gets resolved, so I guess all I can do at the moment is really try to not scratch, so I won’t make it even worse, and see what happens.

The last thing I’ll mention here is that Friday morning I was woken up just before 10 AM, the delivery guy calling then even though I had mentioned in the comments that I preferred the delivery to be made after 3 PM. That was for the cat food I had ordered, which seemed like a good idea at the time, though I just saw this afternoon that next Friday’s discount at Kaufland will be for cat food and what I ordered will therefore be cheaper there then, so I could have just bought what we were going to need until then, admittedly at a higher price, and then save more by getting the rest then… But there was no way to know that, so it’s at least a good thing that I still had enough set aside to pay for that order, and now we’ll see what we’ll do on Friday.
Back to this past Friday, it was annoying to see some two square meters of paper stuffed in the box, on top of the cat food, but otherwise everything was fine, and since I was awake so early I could also take it easy, do some other things as well, and still go out at 2:45 PM. I meant to go to Auchan for just one bottle of liquid soap, dad going through it very quickly, and while when I left I was wondering which route to use on my way back from the one from Vitan, I found myself in the park without realizing it and therefore kept going that way, to the one from Titan, also checking a Mega Image on the way for expiring things but getting nothing. And I don’t know whether that’d have also been the case at that other location, but at the one I did go to I also found cheap eggs. The label stated that they were from Greece, and that was indeed true for many, while plenty of others were from here but with code three, so if that’d have been it I wouldn’t have gotten any, but in one of the cartons I also found some with code one, from here and fresh. Plenty of them were cracked, but I could find ten good ones and bought those as well. Then, outside, I saw a cart with a coin in it close to others, so I pushed it there… Only to notice that it was incompatible, couldn’t connect it to them, so I couldn’t get the coin. And then I just wasted a bit more time checking out that Penny as well, not getting anything, and was back just before 5:15 PM.

Written by Cavalary on April 18, 2021 at 10:37 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

New Finds – XXXIII

Don’t need another non-personal post just now anymore, but do need a first post of the week, to give myself some more time to write the personal one, and another addition to this series is still the easiest solution I can come up with, especially when I do have an actual new find to start with. That’s Dim Crimson, who released their first EP at the end of 2020. I’ll just pick one song from it, however, that being Dissolution, which strikes me as much better than the others. That may well be a matter of personal preference, having to do with the somewhat different overall sound, the somewhat different genre it can fall under, but at least for me it was the clear choice and what made me pay attention to them. The second pick, on the other hand, is Lost, which is their first original release and not included on this EP, so it may be somewhat rough, but it shows where they were at the time and allows me to avoid picking two songs from the same album.

Moving on, it seems that I put off including one of the bands I had marked as having a recent release for too long and said release is now more than a year old, so if I’m to skip it and also the remaining Italian bands I had marked, I’m down to just two more marked bands. The first, Worlds Beyond, definitely deserves a place in such a post, however, the way what is now their most recent video looks being what kept making me skip over them so far. So, since they officially uploaded three songs, I’ll make it easy for myself again and just skip that one and pick the other two, Moonlight and Winterstorm. The vocals are nice, there are parts that catch my attention for other reasons as well, and overall I find myself interested in listening to the whole album at some point, at least to see whether the other songs are at the same level.

As for the last remaining band I had marked, that’s ETWAS, and things are quite different when it comes to them. Since they just have one song uploaded separately, Semblant of Mercy, I’ll let their choice be my first pick, but for the second I’ll go with On the Edge of a Reawakening, and the reason for picking it is that the structure and sound reduce the impact of the poor vocals to some extent. The vocals are definitely their weak point, however, and that’s the very good reason why I’ve been skipping over them. To be fair, at this point, unless they’ll improve this aspect significantly, they shouldn’t be in such a post, but now that I’m at the end of the list I had prepared for such quick posts, I’ll throw them here as well, as the third band, and get it over with.

Written by Cavalary on April 16, 2021 at 9:32 PM in Music | 0 Comments

A Million Confirmed Cases, 25000 Deaths, Hospitals Overwhelmed…

This afternoon’s report marked two milestones for Romania, the totals reaching over one million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 25000 deaths, the exact numbers provided being 1002865 and, respectively, 25006. The number of confirmed daily cases has been dropping lately, however, even though the number of tests remains pretty much the same, and Bucharest seems to be moving safely away from that value of 7.5 cases per 1000 citizens within the past 14 days that would cause the 8 PM curfew and 6 PM closing time of all stores bar pharmacies and gas stations to apply every day instead of only Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the latest reported value being 6.39, steadily dropping from the peak of 7.08 reported on March 31… Though I’m still thinking that some, shall we say, creativity was employed in order to keep that value safely below the threshold at least last week, and it’s clear that the authorities specifically don’t want to know the real number of cases, even the reporter presenting the numbers on national television wanting to stress that what she was reading were the numbers of cases confirmed according to the existing procedures and the real number of infections was certainly much higher.
However, while even before this recent drop the number of reported cases remained well below the values from the peak of the second wave, the number of patients in intensive care reaches new highs, as does the total of those who are hospitalized because of this. The latest report lists 13337 hospitalized, 1492 of them in intensive care, the previous day’s report marking the record for COVID-19 patients in intensive care, 1496, news reports stating then that only 96 more intensive care beds were available for COVID-19 patients in the entire country, and none of them in Bucharest or the surrounding counties. The highest reported number of COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized was 14165, on April 5, but it was this situation reported on April 9 that prompted a decision to immediately turn another hospital from Bucharest into one dedicated to COVID-19, which resulted in protesters gathering at the gates and gendarmes needing to clear a path for ambulances to transfer patients in serious condition to other hospitals late last night. The record number of deaths reported in one day remains the 213 seen on December 8, this year’s record being the 196 reported on April 6, but the December 8 report listed 12571 hospitalized and 1276 in intensive care, and with hospitals reporting needing to resort to increasingly desperate solutions to offer some care to those who need it, things don’t look good for the near future.
And yes, there are still protests against the measures, the restrictions, the decisions, people who still won’t even believe that the virus exists, or at least that it’s dangerous, and apparently increasing numbers of others who won’t believe the facts, the data, the statements of the doctors or officials and will distrust and even completely reject the vaccines or any treatments known to have some efficiency but will believe in other supposed solutions promoted by various individuals, obtain and use them on their own if they are or think they may be infected and, if their condition worsens and they do end up in hospital, not dying first, they’ll vehemently refuse even oxygen. And there are also plenty of cases where the relatives of those who die of COVID-19 refuse to accept that they had it even then, a notable recent case being that of a singer… Who was, interestingly, one of a few folkloric or “party” singers who died of this within days of each other. But, of course, whether those in charge, who seem to go from one blunder to another and, for example, seem to remain incapable of putting to use equipment and field hospitals costing tens of millions and presented with much fanfare some time ago, or the masses, who keep reacting in such a mindlessly dangerous, if not downright criminal, manner, people will be people. To return to that Babylon 5 quote: “That does seem to be the rule, doesn’t it? Analyze the problem, choose whichever strategy makes least sense and then do it.

Written by Cavalary on April 11, 2021 at 2:55 AM in Health | 0 Comments

New Finds – XXXII

This will be another quick post in this series, and it’ll start with a band I never thought I was going to include in one: Evanescence. They’re obviously not a new find, as I must have heard of them around the same time I first heard of Nightwish, and they’re better known than them as well, overall, so I doubt I need to add anything about the band here. However, on the one hand the current Evanescence isn’t exactly the one from back then, and on the other, they just released a new album. As such, the first pick, Part of Me, is from it, but then I just have to go back to the old Evanescence and the original version of My Immortal as the second.

The second band, Vrylnia, is an actual new find, and their more recent release is just a single, Absolution, which will therefore be the first pick. They do, however, have an EP as well, and from it I’ll go with Silent Memories. Their other songs can be, if I may use the term, messy, sounding much worse than I see they’re capable of sounding because of poor songwriting and even what appears to be a lack of understanding of their strong points, but they kept it simpler for this one and that allowed them to show more of what they can actually do and what caught my interest, while the new single shows that they’re starting to learn to keep it together when they aim for some more variety and complexity as well.

As for the third band, Volturian, it’s one of the Italian ones with recent releases that I was saving for another post dedicated to them, but even though I’ve been adding quite a few posts in this series again, mainly as a somewhat easy way to create slots for more personal posts, there keep being other bands that I’d rather include, that post keeps getting delayed as a result and their album was released just under a year ago, so two weeks from now they won’t qualify for it anymore. Initially meant to have one of the two songs that were released earlier, as singles, as one of the picks, but both of those have growls, so I’ll just pick two out of the other three that are officially posted, going with Haunting Symphony and In a Heartbeat. What’s odd about the latter is that it features the vocalist of Frozen Crown and she sounds a fair bit better than she usually does in her own band, so her husband, who’s behind both bands, might want to figure out how that happened and use the same method there. But, to return to Volturian, they have a pretty commercial sound and are nothing to write home about in general, and I warned you about those growls on some songs, but they also have their moments, a better vocalist making it easier for that to happen than in Frozen Crown’s case, to also return to the comparison…

Written by Cavalary on April 10, 2021 at 4:27 AM in Music | 0 Comments