Sunday, March 21, 2021

One Year On

A year ago tonight, New Jersey went into lockdown, with 1,327 COVID-19 cases and 16 coronavirus-related deaths. One year on, the state is seeing more than that many new cases a day, and as of this writing we're at 762,407 cases, and 24,134 deaths. (I wrote this 'blog post the next day; that reminds me, I never did finish writing "Unexpected Pandemic Blues...")

A year ago last Thursday, I did my first "working from home" post. Those posts had lost their charm, at least for me, long before I hit day 100 and stopped (the posts, not working from home). These days, I head to the office two days a week, but it's not the same.

A year ago April 7th, I took my Philips Norelco OneBlade to my scalp; I knew I wasn't going to be getting my longish hair cut at Astor Place in the Village anytime soon. (I finally did get a professional cut three weeks ago at Prestige Barber Shop in Lyndhurst.) Speaking of the Village...

A year ago March 7th, my friend Dawn and I took a trip in to NYC. I had no idea it was going to be my last for over a year, but we did notice that there were fewer people out and about on a relatively warm Saturday afternoon than normal. I do miss Mamoun's and Washington Square Park and Barcade and the Lower East Side and just being able to go to New York whenever I had the time and the inclination. I've never been more reluctant to get on a bus or train.

2021 held a few major hiccups for me at the start, but my girlfriend and I got to relax with an amazing couples massage and an incredible spa day not long ago.

What else? Oh, I'm still not making a lot of money off my music, but for some reason I've received more in royalties so far this year (this month, even) than over the past four years combined. Seems I'm getting streamed a lot in Canada? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Got Shazamed a time or two, too. (Yes, it was good for me, thanks for asking.) It's not enough to pay for another spa day yet, but if people are listening, that's good enough for me... and it appears that they are.

Speaking of money, I've decided to get my feet wet with cryptocurrency, and so I'm now the proud owner of over 69 quadrillion wei! ("No wei!") Sounds much more impressive than 0.06931 Ether. I've seen it drop as much as 26% from what I paid (which was admittedly not much), but it's recovered and has been doing all right for the past week or two. Not getting a spa day out of this anytime soon, either, but I'd been wanting to see what all the fuss was about, and I guess I'm beginning to.

It has undoubtedly been a hell of a year... but adversity builds character. Or something. Not like I wasn't a character already. I've had some wonderful moments over the past twelve months, though, and hopefully you have, too. Let's work together to make the next twelve better.

Monday, January 25, 2021

You Won't Believe What Happens Next!

Yeah, I know... but I swear that every word is true.

I was supposed to fly to Brazil on Friday the 8th. My mom has to go every year in January, for reasons of pension and Brazilian bureaucracy, and the last few years I've gone with her. Normally I enjoy visiting Brazil; it's a beautiful country and I've got family there. This year, I wasn't looking forward to the trip so much, but eventually I booked our flights...

...and found out, near the end of 2020, that we would in fact need to have negative COVID test results in order to enter Brazil. From tests taken within 72 hours of the flight. And because it seemed damned near impossible to take an RT-PCR test and be guaranteed results within 72 hours, I foolishly scheduled us for rapid (antigen) tests on Wednesday and Thursday. They came back negative (lucky me, I actually had a rapid and an RT-PCR test done at the clinic I visited, though the results of the latter took significantly longer than 72 hours to come back), but in the meantime I realized I'd made a mistake.

Frantically searching for somewhere that could guarantee PCR test results in time, I learned about XpresCheck, right in Newark International Airport, which had a rapid test that was molecular like the PCR test, and not an antigen test like the usual rapid tests. I was dubious, and so I called United Airlines for guidance, and was told that yes, negative results from this test would be acceptable for international travel. And so I scheduled us to get tested again, on Friday afternoon several hours before the flight, and these tests were neither covered by insurance nor inexpensive.

We got to the airport and headed to XpresCheck in Terminal B. Upon being informed that we were taking the test in order to travel to Brazil, the staff (to their credit) expressed skepticism that this test would be acceptable and urged me to confirm with United again. And so I did, with a 16-minute phone call during which I asked twice if I would be able to travel to Brazil with negative results from XpresCheck's NAAT molecular test, and was assured that I would because it was basically the same kind of test as the RT-PCR. So we paid and took our tests and got our negative results.

And were denied check-in by United, because the test results did not specifically state that we'd taken RT-PCR tests. I was angry and confused; the first round of tests were my fault, but this time I'd checked twice with the airline and was told twice that XpresCheck's test, performed right at the airport, would be fine. We had to leave EWR, and after more desperate searching online, I found a lab that would guarantee RT-PCR test results within 48 hours. Called 'em to make sure, then scheduled us to be tested on Saturday, and rescheduled the flight for Monday the 11th. (For those keeping score at home, this was now my fourth COVID test in four days.) We got the results in under 24 hours, in fact, and could've traveled Sunday night had I known, but at any rate, we set out for the airport again on Monday afternoon in a Lyft...

...which was totaled ten minutes later by a driver who most likely crossed over two or three lanes of traffic in a hurry and probably didn't even see us until it was too late. (Her car was totaled, too.) Our driver's airbag deployed, and she didn't seem to be injured. The right side of my mom's chest was hurt, probably because of the seatbelt, and she had trouble breathing in the minute or two after the accident. My own right side was sore, and I'm fairly certain I bumped my head, though not enough to leave a mark or bump; maybe ten minutes later, when I realized that my right forearm was also feeling some pain, I checked and found a shallow gash almost two inches long near the elbow.

The local police showed up quickly, and after a report was written up, the county sheriff's officers drove us (in the back, but sans handcuffs) a short distance away to a convenience store, so I could summon another Lyft (the accident happened under an overpass on a busy roadway). We did eventually make it to the airport, with plenty of time, and got through check-in and security with no further issues. And made it to Brazil.

We had fewer days there than we'd counted on, but then neither of us exactly intended to do a lot of sightseeing or travel, in light of the COVID-19 situation in Brazil being about as bad as it is in the US. One thing that surprised me, pleasantly, was how the vast majority of people I saw in Ponta Grossa were wearing masks, both indoors and out. We did get to spend some time with some family. My mom, still in pain from the accident, got an X-ray taken, which seemed to indicate that everything's fine. We didn't have any dramatic issues on the way back to the US this past Friday, fortunately, and even the Uber ride to the airport in Curitiba (Lyft hasn't made it to Brazil yet) was fine. We squeaked in just a few days before a negative RT-PCR test requirement goes into effect for entering the US (beginning tomorrow). We've both still got some leftover pain after the Lyftpocalypse, but mine is subsiding slowly, and mom will see her doctor if it's not better soon. After some quarantining, of course.

How was your January?

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

September Morn

Watching September approach this year, I was filled with a sense of... well, not dread, really. Wariness, and weariness, I suppose. While I've always considered fall my favorite season, and September is my birth month, it's been a more depressing month these past several years. You'd think Suicide Prevention Awareness Month would be a fun and cheerful time, but...

The age thing really doesn't bother or faze me. I still mostly feel like the 18-year old cool but awkward, respectful but punk kid I've been for a long time now. A bit less naïve and a bit more world-weary, even though I used to describe myself as the world's youngest curmudgeon; some grey in my hair, and a few more lines in my face, but I just can't think of myself as a 50-year old, even if that's what I am now. I wasn't upset by the thought of growing another year older, I was upset by the thought of growing another year older and still feeling lonely.

This year has turned out much different than we'd all anticipated. Well, this September turned out much different than I'd anticipated, in a good way. On New Year's Eve 2019, I got a fortune cookie with a slip of paper inside which read, "If you want it... take it." I'm not one to take fortunes or horoscopes seriously, but I did interpret this as a positive way to approach life, even if I didn't implement it as well or as often as I'd intended. As this month was beginning, however, I found myself confronted with an opportunity I really hadn't expected... and I wanted it, and I took it.

And now I'm happy again, truly happy (and not just for a few hours or a day or three) for the first time in years. Today's my birthday, and I've got a dinner date tonight. I wrote and recorded a new song in under three weeks, and it will be released shortly (yes, on Apple Music and Spotify and iHeartRadio and Pandora and so on). And so begins another chapter in the Andersen Silva autobiography.

Monday, July 27, 2020

On the State of the Disunion

As a middle-aged, American-born, heterosexual cis white man, I- well, I just shut myself out of the conversation, didn't I? I've still got opinions, though, and they don't always line up neatly with (or against) my demographic... and I really need to vent.

There's this ridiculous notion going around that one's "unalienable" right to liberty supersedes everyone else's reasonable expectation of health and safety. I can appreciate exercising one's rights even when that makes others uncomfortable or angry; I've certainly done so myself. I can't understand how you can want to live in a society but flout its conventions or scientifically-based rules designed to minimize the spread of a contagious disease throughout that society. You're as entitled to an opinion as I am, but my well-being shouldn't be dependent on your opinion. If you're significantly increasing the chances of the pandemic spreading, maybe you need to rethink whether you belong around other people at all (or at least other people who are willing to endure some inconvenience to reduce your risk).

Going back to upsetting others while exercising one's rights: yes, here in the US, we have the right to free speech. You, I, Donnie Dumbo, the CEOs of companies like Goya or Tesla or Facebook, politicians and political commentators espousing far-left or far-right ideologies (or anything in-between), authors and actors and singers and dancers and athletes, and any average Joe or Jane are all free to say just about anything we want, whether or not it's backed by popular opinion or facts or the almighty dollar.

What some people are objecting strenuously to these days, and labeling 'cancel culture,' is the new realization that they are not necessarily free any longer from the consequences of what they say or do, that they can be called out for it, rightly or wrongly, and that's just not the same thing as taking away your freedom of speech. (They of course have the right to write and sign that open letter, as their detractors have the right to rebut.) Too many people have gotten too used to the lack of repercussions. It's that lack of real response to what you said, and in some cases your platform, that's being canceled, not your right to say it. The First Amendment still lets you spew ignorance and hatred and bad jokes and laughably sad conspiracy theories, but the American people are making it clear that they increasingly no longer feel like they can't or shouldn't object, with their words or their wallets or their presence on the streets. In the United States of America, you've always had the right to be an asshole, and you still do; you're just more likely to pay a price for it these days. That should never include violence, of course, actual or threatened or encouraged, but if you're losing followers or friends or political support or job security or market share or profits, and that concerns you, maybe you need to rethink your words before you speak or tweet or post them.

This goes for anyone and everyone. People with whose opinions I generally agree are certainly not immune from saying stupid or cruel or blatantly false things. We all need to stop making excuses for 'our' person saying or doing something that we'd condemn if the 'other side' said or did it. Humans seem to have an innate need for an "us against them" mentality, to label someone as "other" and then fear/hate the "other," and that's hardly new. If American conservatives and liberals, and libertarians and progressives and socialists and neocons and neolibs and everyone else, won't stop the posturing and the finger-pointing and the wagon-circling when one of their own is rightfully called out, however, things are going to get uglier. I don't care about the Republican and Democratic parties; whether they survive or not makes no difference to me. What concerns me is their manipulation, their turning citizen against citizen over real (immigration, riots, unidentified federal forces with unmarked vehicles detaining law-abiding citizens in American cities - notice how non-violent, unarmed moms and nurses get tear-gassed?) or imagined (the "deep state," QAnon, the "destruction" of the treasonous Confederate "heritage") outrages while carefully maintaining the status quo.

Regardless of who wins the election ninety-nine days from now (con? yay!), neither the world nor the nation will burst into sulfurous flames on November 4th, or January 20th, no matter what the rabble-rousers on both sides tell you. (But vote, damn you!) Trump isn't the source of all (or even most) of the good or the bad things happening in this country. Trumpism and the issues that led to its rise won't end if Biden is elected president and Democrats keep the House and take the Senate. Progressivism and the issues that led to its rise won't disappear if Trump gets a second term and Republicans hang on to the Senate. The pandemic won't suddenly disappear, the economy won't be magically resuscitated, the rough beast won't stop slouching towards Bethlehem, we won't get Carl Reiner or Little Richard back. A dozen more Kamalas or AOCs or Notorious RBGs, or a dozen more Cruzes or Grahams or Joseph Kevin McCarthys, won't radically change my or your day-to-day life.

Change has to come from us. But we need to work together and agree on areas we want to change, then insist that our "leaders" listen. As long as we stay divided, and keep sniping at each other, and continue to insist that either:
  • you blindly follow authority and wear a mask, or you're stupid or selfish and want others to die
  • you don't care about unemployed Americans, or you don't understand this country was built by immigrants
  • you love abortions, or you hate women having choices and agency
  • you're "woke" because you're afraid not to be, or you're a racist/sexist/homophobe/transphobe
  • you're a violent, radical member of Antifa, or you're a fascist or "Profa"
  • you want to kill cops, or you want cops to kill minorities
  • you're out to destroy honest American businesses, or you're out to destroy the environment
  • you're a socialist or communist, or you don't care that Wall Street and big corporations get fat on our blood, sweat, and tears
  • you're a social justice warrior only "virtue signaling" on Twitter, or you're a social injustice warrior only "vice signaling" on Parler
we're not going to get anywhere. Life is rarely that black and white. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts have this year confounded those on the left and the right who assumed that because they personally lean conservative and were nominated by Republican presidents, they would of course always rule on the side of the more conservative litigant. That's not how it works, or at least not how it should. There are Democrat legislators supportive of Trump, and there are Republicans putting money and effort into voting him out. This is how people work. Turns out you can say and believe that Black Lives Matter yet still acknowledge that police have a sometimes brutal job (encompassing more than it should, really) and most of them do it well. You can support our troops yet still want to spend less time and money on war. You can love the country and respect the presidency yet still be appalled by the words and/or deeds of the Oval Office's occupant. You can be comfortable and secure with your masculine heterosexuality yet still be a supportive ally to women and to LGBQTIA+ people. And you can be upset or angered by someone's speech or actions yet maintain grace and dignity in your response.

Most people aren't either angelically good or demonically evil, but somewhere between. Most of us don't actually hate each other, and understand that there are areas where you can compromise, and you can actually agree to disagree when the compromising's done, and that's what we need to remember. Don't let the demagogues rile you up. Anger can be power (d'you know that you can use it?), but you don't have to let yourself get angry over everything, and hate ultimately does no one any good. Well, maybe Facebook.

Sometimes it's your reaction, more than the action, that hurts you. Change your state. Remember the humanity of the person you think is so wrong. Remember your own, and that you've been wrong before, too, and will be again. Ultimately, whether my neighbor / manager / colleague / cashier or clerk / bus driver / local cop is gay / Muslim / a single, unwed mother / black / trans / a Spanish speaker / a member of the Democratic or Republican or Green or Libertarian Party doesn't matter to me. What you do or say or think in private, what you do or don't eat or drink, who you do or don't sleep with, how or if you practice a faith, doesn't matter to me.

What does matter to me is whether or not you're willing to have a discussion, to acknowledge that others have the same rights you do, even others you dislike or disagree with; that no one who doesn't pose a physical threat should be hurt or killed by those we've entrusted with keeping the peace; that treating each other with more respect and civility and humanity without needing government to mandate that behavior would be better for everyone; that talking less and listening more is a great start.

And with that, I've done more than enough talking.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

To Lafayette Square from Tiananmen Square

If you're more bothered by images and video of riots and looting than you are by the knowledge that another black man, George Floyd, was indefensibly murdered by a cop, then you're part of the problem.

That's not to say that you're a racist. But watching a man die slowly under another man's knee, for allegedly passing a counterfeit bill?!? And knowing that the murderer and his accomplices were not immediately arrested? That should outrage you more.

That's also not to say that you can't be outraged by both. I'm not a fan of either violence or looting. I feel for the small business owners whose shops were attacked, and for cops who took a knee with protesters only to have things thrown at them, and for anyone injured who wasn't on the offensive. It is more than possible to hate racism and discrimination and intolerance, and also support police who do an incredibly difficult job without abusing or murdering people. But we go through this again and again and again, while more and more black men and women and children are killed. There are thoughts and prayers, some harsh words are spoken, there's a general murmur of agreement that this can't go on... and then it goes on. Of course people are frustrated. Of course that boils over. It's ugly, but it's a symptom, and we're not treating the ailment.

And of course, embedded in the protesters, there could well be third-party instigators, from the far left or the far right, or both, with their own agendas. None of that takes away from the pain and the anguish, none of that changes the fact that black Americans are not treated equally to white Americans. Yes, white Americans are harassed, and beaten, and killed by cops, too, but it's not proportional and it's not systemic.

I don't think black lives are "more important" than white lives, nor do I think that white ones are more important than black, or any other color. I don't think all, or even most, cops are bad people. I don't think all, or even most, Americans want to see this cycle repeat itself endlessly, but I do think there's a lot of inertia that needs to be overcome for real change to happen.

Would it be OK if, instead of George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery or Breonna Taylor (or Michael Brown, or Eric Garner, or Tamir Rice, or Freddie Gray, or Atatiana Jefferson, or David McAtee, or Manuel Ellis, or...), it had been you or your parent or sibling or child or partner? And next time, your friend? And the time after that, your cousin? It's easy to say that "It's a shame, and it never should have happened, but it's not my problem."

But it is. If we all intend to live here, in this country that promises "equal justice under law," we can't sit quietly by while the civil liberties we claim for ourselves are ripped away from our fellow citizens. No one is free until we are all free.

The Chinese government cracked down on its protesting citizens at Tiananmen Square 31 years ago today. Russia and the Islamic Republic of Iran are also notorious for tolerating little to no dissent from their own people. It doesn't work that way in this country, at least not yet. As long as our military and our police forces answer to civilian leaders, who answer to us, we need to keep the pressure on and make our voices heard. And thank you to those around the world who are raising your voices for equality in America, too.

It's not too much to ask, we shouldn't even have to ask, for black lives to matter.

Friday, May 1, 2020

May It Be

It's May Day, Labour Day, International Workers' Day... and hopefully more people understand now how important and underappreciated a lot of workers are. Healthcare professionals and other hospital workers, first responders, teachers, grocery store employees, truck drivers, postal workers, plumbers, sanitation workers, and so many more: they're essential. They make the world go round, they make a difference. Not Sir Richard Branson, who wants government assistance to keep Virgin Atlantic afloat, or Elon Musk, who rails against state governments preventing his workers from going back to the factories. Not the governors who are reopening their states for business, nor even the ones who say it's too soon. Not, for the love of the gods, any celebrities. I have my share of favorite actors and musicians, too, but guess what? They're not as important, not as essential to our society, as those workers. Neither are politicians, or Wall Street bankers. Amazon is overrated; I haven't ordered anything from them in over a month and a half. Now that I'm all caught up on "The Tick" and "Good Omens," I may well wave my Amazon Prime membership goodbye.

(OK. Breathe, Andy, breathe.) Thing is, I knew all this stuff before. Some of you probably did, too, at least some of it. But it's becoming clearer to more people, and there are some out there who don't like that fact at all. The idea that "we can't go back to 'normal'" scares the kind of people who made lots of money or got some sort of power from the old 'normal.' So what if 'normal' meant there were a lot of people who were never more than two or three paychecks away from desperation? So what if 'normal' meant that people living in one neighborhood never had to worry about the police, while people in another could never be comfortable around them? So what if 'normal' meant that an illness could bankrupt someone? So what if 'normal' meant that people would obsess over the latest celebrity gossip or outrage or "beef" while important and relevant news died in a vacuum?

Yeah, I don't much like the idea of that 'normal' coming back. I do want to be able to go to ShopRite or Dunkin' or Walgreens again without covering my face. I don't want to keep getting E-mails trying to sell me expensive outdoor furniture or guitars or computer hardware or software at a time when those things mean nothing to me (OK, almost nothing). I do want COVID-19 to fade into the background. I don't want anyone to play it down because "more people die of this, that, and the other thing" (which can't spread the way the coronavirus does). I do want to go to the park or to Greenwich Village, and see and smile at women's faces - and even get the occasional smile back. I don't want to hear politicians taking undue credit and deflecting due blame. I do want discourse and dialog and critical thinking. I don't want knee-jerk reactions and propaganda and entrenched camps that refuse to consider other points of view. I do want the economy to recover, and the Virgin Atlantics and Teslas and Amazons of the world to continue to operate and employ countless people. I don't want it to happen atop the bodies of workers, essential or otherwise, and widen the wealth gap even further.

I don't claim to have the answers, but at least I'm not afraid to consider the questions. And whatever your political, social, religious, ethnic standpoint, for this society to persevere, we need to work together. We need to talk. To argue, certainly, but to have a conversation. With discussion and compromise, or without, change is coming.

Eight years ago today, I marched with Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello and the Occupy Guitarmy in New York City, in support of Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movement in general. Some things have gotten better since then, some things have gotten worse. Change is never easy, and sometimes you do have to take a step back, like it or not, before you can push forward another two steps.

Going back even further, twenty-five years ago (yes, I am) I tried my hand at creating a scene. No, wait, a 'zine: the Extreme. "Sort of an alternative to the established 'alternative,'" I brazenly claimed in the first issue. Well, while I threw in the towel much too early, I did sell some copies, and I did get a lot of submissions. After all this time, I've finally begun the process of digitizing the entire eight-issue run (the material I've held onto has held up surprisingly well). Looking over those old copies of "a magazine for three finkers" has made me nostalgic. And defiant. Maybe the stir-crazy has awakened my inner Skinny the Foo...

Anyway, happy May Day, and thank you, again, to all the essential workers.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Unexpected Pandemic Blues

Oh, hey, from the locked-down state of New Jersey. The squirrels, my guitars, my computers, and I are all fine, thanks for asking.

To be clear, the CDC and WHO both say don't wear masks
unless you're sick or advised to by a doctor.
I visited my mom yesterday. She lives 80+ miles from me, and I'd figured there was a good chance I wouldn't be able to go next weekend (this was before I learned of Governor Murphy's shutdown executive order that went into effect at 9 PM last night). I managed to get her some extra provisions, too, and of course I took what precautions I could to keep her safe. As we should all be doing, in locked-down states and otherwise.

I am confounded by how many "covidiots" there still are out there, people who refuse to believe that there really is a virus and/or pandemic, or who think the media is blowing it out of proportion, or who think that this is all a cover for a last-ditch liberal attack on Dear Leader Trump. Some people, sadly, will only begin to understand when their family and friends begin to get sick (and some people only when their family and friends begin to die).

New Jersey's first "presumptive positive" COVID-19 case was announced on March 5 (the US' first was on Jan. 20, in Washington). That escalated quickly; yesterday, 16 days later, we had our 16th death in the state, with over 1300 positive cases reported, and the governor saw fit to keep everyone home. The township where I live, Lyndhurst, had its first case reported this past Tuesday; we're now up to six. These numbers are as of my writing, anyway; for more recent updates, check:
Live Coronavirus Update from Worldometer
COVID-19 Global Cases by the CSSE at Johns Hopkins University
NJ COVID-19 Dashboard

The company for which I work had the foresight to start prepping two weeks ago to have its Paramus, NJ office employees be able to work from home. This past week, we had a skeleton crew in the office, and on Friday every last one of us was working from home. (see my "working from home" Twitter thread here.) We all need to be cutting out physical interactions to help flatten the curve (and if your state or municipality hasn't caught on yet, maybe you need to tell 'em so). Social distancing is the only thing we've got, until we get a vaccine for this coronavirus. Guess we'll see which of the anti-vaxxers are left when this is all over are still against getting vaccinated.

This isn't a time to be selfish. This isn't about you, or me, or our elderly relatives, or our friends with cancer, or those morons on spring break. This is about our society. Refusing to do your part to stop the spread means you could be indirectly leading to the deaths of medical professionals, or cashiers, or sanitation engineers, or teachers, or bakers, or bank employees, or musicians, or law enforcement officials, or gas station attendants, or... In other words, refusing to do your part means you're chipping away at the society in which you live. If you don't appreciate that society and its members, do us all a favor and leave it; if you do, do us all a favor and help us protect it. Please.

I've set myself up so I probably don't need to head out for anything for at least a week anyway, but if I do, I'm fortunate enough to have a Walgreens, Dunkin', and Wine Country (YES! liquor stores are considered 'essential' and can stay open!) across the street, and a ShopRite and Stop & Shop, plus several takeout restaurants, within a 10-15 minute walk. Things may not be quite so convenient where you are, but all my fellow Americans who are already whining about #QuarantineLife really need to stop. Things could be a lot worse... and in some parts of the world, they already are. Hunker down and make the best of it. Me, I'll be watching "A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon" on Netflix with some friends (virtually) at 8 PM Eastern tonight. Feel free to join us.

Oh, yeah, and I need to finish writing "Unexpected Pandemic Blues" and get it recorded, too. 😃

For facts and not myths:
the CDC's Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions
the World Health Organization's Coronavirus Q&A