As COVID19 spreads across the United States, the government incorporates drastic measures to limit infections.

COVID19 has been in the news every day since the outbreak in Wuhan, China. This article addresses some of the issues presented for the reasons to keep countries ‘closed’ for business.

Note to reader: This author has contracted the term COVID-19 to COVID19 for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) recognition.


One-by-one state governors in the United States have issued requests for restraint in public gatherings. They have also declared that all persons who are not working in essential positions stay home. Many people are working remotely from their abodes so that form of employment is staying viable.

People are allowed to get groceries, fuel, as well as, travel to get other essential items. Gatherings of more than 10 people are discouraged. Also, everyone is requested to maintain a personal distance of at least 6 feet. Social distancing is recommended at all times.

President Donald Trump has been giving open press conferences almost every day. He has with him a number of medical professionals who are experts in their fields. They give COVID19 updates that include case and fatality updates. Notwithstanding, leaders in other countries are doing the same for their citizens.


As mentioned so much in the news, it is always good for repetition. If this helps just one person it is worth it.

  • Wash hands frequently (especially after touching hand rails, door handles and the like), use hand-sanitizer
  • Do not touch face, eyes, or nose with bare hands (especially if not washed after touching rails, etc.)
  • Use the N95 mask when in closer environments or if infected with any illness
  • Maintain self-distancing of at least 6 feet while in public getting groceries, fuel, or prescriptions
  • Unless one is in an essential vocation (i.e. grocery), shelter in-place (stay home)
  • Stay hydrated and take vitamins (especially antioxidants like A, B, C) and those that boost the immune system
  • Get plenty of rest

Even though the fatality rates for the Coronavirus is around 1% or so in the US and it is about the same for standard flu infections; it is important to follow these measures and keep immune systems up.


Here is the ‘sticky wicket’ to consider. As mentioned in the previous articles, from March 17th and March 20th,  something unusual has happened. For the past 3 weeks, this author has researched while placing other projects aside for now. What was stated before still stands. It is not so important how or why it started; the fact is, it is here.

Yes, there are accusations emanating from countries like China, as well as, other nations regarding the advent and outbreak of the COVID19 virus. It ranges from from the virus starting in other countries or even the US. Further, scientists have claimed the bat Coronavirus has been bio-engineered with small parts of the HIV-1 virus. Nothing natural could have spread so fast, so it does seem this is a bio-engineered virus. Or, that many people move that fast, now?

There are even discrepancies in how the virus reacts with climate changes. This writer has global contacts and in some of our mutual communications, we had to chuckle when one hemisphere says the virus will abate in cooler weather, the other states it will abate in warmer weather. So, let us not stir up the mess; let’s band together to get rid of and/or combat the virus and save lives.


One of the individuals who gives daily press briefings in the US provides detailed information. She is Dr. Deborah Birx who is the White House Coronavirus Coordinator. Successful testing is underway. She noted that the testing for antibodies used on AIDS patients has been successful in testing for COVID19. Interesting. Am leaving this up to the reader to assess.

The good news about testing is that the US has ramped up and tested more individuals in 8 days than South Korea has completed in 8 weeks. Depending on location and origination of outbreaks beginning in Washington state, as well as, New York the infection rates vary. The bad news is many of the population of New York (especially NYC) have moved away. There is no way to track individuals traveling to other locations, including Florida.

og: COVID19
Courtesy of Statistica, here are the latest stats of the top 20 countries of confirmed cases, fatalities, and death rate.

The above table of statistics by country are provided via Statistica with thanks.


Pardon the above header with a pun? It was intentional. Here is more a personal note of recent experiences. The bad news is the negative side of life with people taking advantage of our God-given freedoms to buy so much for themselves (sometimes to resell on media) that others have no chance to get the items they need.

og: COVID-19
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, panic buying has occurred in many locations. Efforts to contain hoarding is underway. Stores have created rationing limits so there is more availability.

That is right. Toilet paper. C’mon man! In so many conversations of late, some seniors recounted that in World War II the only toilet paper many people had was newspapers that had been read! Think about it? How far we have all come in this marvelous, technological age with electronics, transportation, and games to not be able to get toilet paper? Wow. It’s not even a conundrum; it is a sadness.

Some more good news is this: Overall, the humanitarianism and kindness of those recognizing the value of the human condition has waxed eloquently! In trying to obtain needed supplies I saw more people thinking of others instead of just thinking of themselves. I am elated in the most trying of times.


The Coronavirus is a RNA construct. So, whether it is transfer or messenger RNA, it will mutate. Because the virus, as it travels around the globe with human-to-human contact, developing an effective vaccine is problematic. This doesn’t mean it is impossible. As with past pandemics, a solution is in the making.

Unlike other existing viruses, this one is quite predictable. The viral coating, known as the meylin sheath is the housing for RNA, as well as, those with DNA strands. Being able to compromise this shell will destroy the virus.

There are ‘compassion’ drugs available to combat COVID19. But, do not self-medicate. Always contact your primary physician for treatment. A number of experimental drugs are being utilized. Some new ones are being developed and should be made available in the first week of April. Don’t worry, help is on the way.


One of the older and effective giants for fighting viral infections is the anti-biotic, Erythromycin or the Z-pack. It has been helpful in staving off the negative effects of the present coronavirus threatening our health.

There is an older medicine used to fight malaria infections. Two of these have a positive effect in fighting COVID19, as well. They are hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. There have been reports of individuals trying to use drugs themselves with disastrous results. Please, do not self-medicate. Consult your physician.

Thus far, however, the success rate of utilizing ‘compassion’ drugs to fight this coronavirus is only 1 in 5. Remdesivir, a failed antiviral drug to fight Ebola, has been used to combat other corona-viruses. Experimentation is underway to see how it could be made effective in fighting COVID19.


This author has interviewed quite a number of people regarding the Coronavirus situation. In sum, how the leaders of countries affected with the outbreak; they should be applauded. Especially the leadership of the United States and Great Britain. President Donald J. Trump is a businessman turned politician. On purpose. For no money. His heartbeat is on the heartbeat of this nation.

Mr. Trump wants the people to succeed. He also knows for the people to succeed, businesses must be able to conduct a profitable scenario to engender employment for all. No, there are many things that are not right about how the economy works. But, he knows it cannot be done overnight. And, he is open to valid ideas to make all our lives better.

We must get above petty differences. Drop the egos for a minute; stop and think, please. All of the leaders should heed this. This writer has encountered about as many conspiracies that anyone could believe in the last few weeks. Being honest and objective does come at a cost. It is to be responsible and not let small-mindedness take over.


It is not so much that we should hunker down and blame others for what should be one’s reality. Just accept the fact that reality is here and we must learn from history. That is right; there have been atrocities of all kinds occurring in human history. Again, we are not alone and we have not been, ever.

If we don’t start living the part as responsible citizens with love and caring in abundance, we are going to go down the same rabbit hole, over and over again.

So, is that a cool thing to accept? Let’s be the mature, loving kind of people we are supposed to be. We have had some wonderful teachers, as well as, some really bad actors. Where do you want to be in time?

There is a lot of love out there. It is time to recognize it, revel in it, and embrace it. Please?

UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for our contributing authors. We do not claim credit; we simply want to make it more available to the general public. And, the opinions of the authors are not necessarily the opinion or stance of this website.

Pass it On:
Pass it On:


Annie Williams


Annie walked in silence along the street until she was noticed by Officer Ted Darling…

When you are a security guard you see a lot of unusual and interesting people in your duties. A particular person at any particular time may or may not grab your interest, and in as much as guards are trained to watch for special points of interest, one person scuffling along a sidewalk on North Theresa Avenue near Washington Street kept attracting my attention; not so much as that he or she may be involved in some criminal activity, but because of their physical condition. I first noticed this individual bent over and crouched against an alley wall, and my thought at that point was that this person was drunk and intoxicated to the point of incapacity. The person made a weak wave to me with a hand, and I sloughed that movement off as a hobo that probably would be moving on in short order.

After a few minutes of patrolling the vehicles lined up and down an adjoining street, my view again came in contact with this person, who now had moved onto the sidewalk near the apartment building, and I could plainly see it was an elderly black person that was having great difficulty walking, had a metal cane for support, huddled beneath a rather large trench coat that hung sloppily over a misshapen frame. The person obviously was injured and possibly in pain.

I continued to watch on each additional trip past that point, and noted that this person was handicapped, made many encumbered steps, was bent almost at a seventy degree angle from the hip and could only move a few inches at a time. The person would stop, rest, and then hobble a little further in a desired direction, and repeat that sequence over and over. I recall the words ‘My God!’ coming to mind. The next trip this person appeared to be heading my way, but changed course and went back towards Washington Avenue. ‘This is not right,’ I said to myself, ‘I better see if help is needed.’

I slowly walked towards the person whose head seemed completely hidden beneath the collar of the coat as I approached from the rear.

‘Hello, do you need some help?’ I asked as politely as I could. In tight little increments of movement a head began to rise and the body turning artificially to allow an African-American lady’s face to arise, reminding me strangely of a turtle’s head coming out of its shell to look around, and two large brown eyes in the middle of a face, I swear, resembled ‘ET,’ the extra-terrestrial, in Steven Spielberg’s movie: all the wisdom, pain, longing of a lifetime written there. She was mustering strength to talk, one foot shuffled ahead of the other finding footing in her worn boots. Then she seemed prepared to speak:

‘Yes, no, ah….’ she appeared at a loss for words, words that sounded weak and unsure. ‘I ….. I’m just walking…. .’ And barely at that, I thought. We stared at each other for a minute or so, her with both hands cradling the top of the cane, looking for the entire world like George Steven’s Yoda movie character, but a Yoda that was seriously injured.

‘Are you in pain?’ I asked. I could see her eyes were matted by the cold weather and the tears that continued to wet her face. Her mind was dulled by age, but she still was active in searching for words, lips nervously moving to form expression.

‘Yes,’ she barely spoke audibly, ‘I…I….walk…walk for exercise.’
‘Does it help, I mean the pain?’ She nodded slowly.

‘How long have you had this condition?’

She gave a weak laugh, ‘Long time, now…. .’ She would glance up briefly as she spoke and then glance down at the sidewalk and remain gazing at the concrete. I thought for a moment.
Her withered and crippled hand slowly crept into her coat pocket and, grasped in a mangled fist, she brought out a wrinkled and dirty page of paper; Annie painfully placed it into my palm and folded my fingers over it as best her aged hand could. She again attempted a weak smile.

‘What’s your name?’ I asked. She again gave a weak laugh.

She lifted her head and this time gave me a strong, soul–searching look from two gorgeously bulbous and pitifully sad eyes: ‘Annie!’ She expressed it almost defiantly as if a different plateau of relationship had been reached. I smiled back at her.

og: Annie
Annie Image

‘My name is Ted, Officer Ted Darling,’ I replied. ‘Ted,’ she repeated in almost a whisper. There was silence for a moment. ‘Will you be out here in the cold long?’ I asked. ‘No, no, I have to take my medicine…. .’ It was obvious that I shouldn’t go much further into her personal business.

‘Well, if you need any help at all, I’ll be walking by here every so often, don’t hesitate to call out for me, okay…….Annie?’ She slowly lowered her head up and down.

‘What….what….arthritis, rickets…..what….?’ I felt I should probe a little further. She insipidly nodded at the paper she gave me.

She gave another weak laugh: ‘Yes, everything,’ but her words came slow and almost in gasping breaths, ‘arthritis, diabetes, and neuropathy….everything…..’

‘Okay,’ I relinquished. And for a few more passes on my patrol I continued to watch her struggle moving diseased limbs and joints slowly down the sidewalk and slowly back in the other direction, occasionally resting her weight on the apartment wall. Then, sometime after sunset, she was gone and did not return.

The soiled and worn paper she gave me was headed in large bold letter: ‘If Annie Williams should be found ill and needs help, the following is a list of medications and medical conditions you should know about…,’ and what jumped off the page was a conflagration in a menagerie of disease and medicine that even I could not comprehend, and I promised myself I’d research the mysterious text as soon as possible. That mission came that evening before the public library closed. I headed home with a bag of medical books, settled at the kitchen table beneath a laptop computer, my investigatory juices parleyed the Internet into an ink pen dirge of medical facts. Annie’s ailments seemed daunting and unflinching: ‘Friedreich Ataxia, spinocerebellar tract, Hulter monitor, rheumatoid arthritis, crippling skeletal fluorosis, osteosclerosis of pelvis and vertebra, musculoskeletal fibrokeratoma, scoliosis, bursitis, Paget’s disease….’ Photo after photo showed broken, disjointed, twisted and medically diseased bodies, many with strained looks of fought-against pain. The list of medication used in treatment was just as disheartening as it allowed me to create in my mind belched visions of therapeutic mayhem that, I had read, such torture surely existed in the 18th century London Bedlam madhouse: ‘….Paracetamol, Pfizerpen-G, Percocet, Oxycontin, Naproxen Ibepuron, Ibuprofen, Neorontin …..’ About an hour into my indefatigable, cavernous research, a creeping raptorial nausea and sweating enveloped me, causing me to slam shut an opened medical book and slump crumpled into my chair as a dilapidated shack of depressed and weary flesh and bone. It was a sleepless night.

I certainly was on the alert for my new-found friend. The first night of patrol: Nothing. The same disappointment for the second, third, and the fourth nights: Sadness took hold of me, an almost heightened sense of freight that I might not see Annie again. Then, on the fifth day, there she was standing at the alley way, she slowly moved her hand side to side at her typical stomach level, her style of waving beneath her chronic pain.

‘Annie! I’ve been hoping to see you again!’ But, just as I lifted a foot to walk in her direction, a hysterical voice came from behind me: ‘Officer! Officer, can you assist me? I think I locked my keys in my car! Can you help?’ Caught in the dilemma of decision, I shouted to Annie: ‘Stay there, please; I’ll be back in a minute, please wait.’ Annie’s awkward rolling of her head on a nonexistent neck indicated her affirmation to wait for me.

About nine-hundred-feet away, on the next street, time seemed to agonizingly creep as I attended to the lady’s problem. Suddenly, the wail of sirens filled the air. From my vantage point I could barely see where on North Theresa Avenue the panic and canopy of scintillating blue-red, white circus of EMS and police lights were coming from. I knew something serious had happened; but I also knew the police were fully in control.


og: image

It was ‘sometime’ before I was finished with the locked keys incident. The EMS and the police had long gone from North Theresa. The street was empty and dark and forlorn in the cold chill. I could only stare in desperation towards Washington Avenue. And then – ‘He’ came – turning the far corner of the building, quickly, swiftly, courageously, directly towards me as if on a mission, the pillar of his body passing through shadows created by the silver moonlight; tall, almost if on stilts, uniformed in stylish dark tailored linen trousers, his full-length solid black overcoat caressing his stride, synchronically whipping around his legs as he placed one foot strategically in front of the other in some seeming choreographed dance or march. I had no fear of his advance. He suddenly stood before me, a towering black man with sparkling black eyes as if polished coal or those of a gazing deer, his complexion a viscerally hearty ruddy-brown. He had no furrowed brow and appeared to be a caricature of the best of health. The silence seemed to go on forever.

‘You are wondering about Annie?’ He spoke very authoritatively.

‘Yes. Yes, I am’, I felt entranced, gripped by almost feelings of euphoria, ‘who are you?’

‘My name is Olorun Smith. I’ve known Annie Williams for a long time, a very long time. She is all right now. Oh, so many prayers have passed her lips. She is the happiest she has been in a long time.’ His tone was not typically Afro-American, but had the brogue of direct African descendants. ‘There was a lot you did not know about Annie. Did you know that Annie was an artist when she was young? Indeed, the best of the best. In 1911 she was a world-class act at the Dark Town Follies at the Lafayette Club, was one of the originators of the Cakewalk, ‘Ballin’ the Jack, and knew J. Leurie Hill, yes, yes, indeed. She danced nightly at the Savoy Ball Room for many years, and, and, in 1923 she was part of the Ziegfield Follies, the all black cast of the ‘Running Wild’ troupe. Annie was part of the 1936 Brown Sugar Revue at the world-renown Cotton Club; she sang with Lena Horne and performed regularly. But there is more: in 1925, Annie starred alongside Josephine Baker at the La Revue Ne’gre in Paris.’ In a perspicacious flood of words in rapid fashion, for a good ten minutes, Mister Smith spoke in a symphonic deluge of panoramic life events and historic narration, reciting about a life that only could have been a fantasy-world panoply for many a young lady; a wishful dream to most young girls.

‘Where did you get all ‘that’ information?’ I blurted out in total astonishment.

‘I’ve held black teenage Civil War soldiers in my arms as their blood oozed the life out of their wounds; that life-giving serum flowing through my fingers. I stood by Sam Clemons as Cub Pilot aboard the riverboat Paul Jones as we fought Mississippi River sandbars. I have watched with Captain Kermit Beahan, as we dropped the Little Boy atomic bomb upon Nagasaki – we looked into the Eye of Beelzebub and saw the face of Hell. I whispered words of comfort and salvation as living bodies fell from flaming ledges of the Twin Towers on 9/11…..’ Olorun’s eyes darkened even further in majestic intensity, a growing wisp of romantic fragrances emerging in the air….

Olorun paused, then grinned in a beaming smile that demonstrated a mouth of uniform and brilliantly white teeth, ‘I have seen things that you could not begin to accept; events that stretch far beyond the capabilities of your mind. I have been to places that exceedingly surpass the meager events of this tiny planet. I have walked on beaches trillions of miles from here with water so pure and so clear that as you walk in it, it washes your soul. I have known a succulent tropic plant on a very distant world whose juices would cure all known diseases. I have been to the center of your sun, indeed, I have been to the center of a million suns. I have sat abroad comets and raced through the solar system. I rode the comet that rained its watery tail down on Noah. I have come face to face with Evil itself, and I have ‘won’.’

Olorun suddenly looked ahead, over my shoulder, abruptly realizing that something new, something prorogating and urgent beckoned him, and he quickly rushed past me, whipping his overcoat against my side, dispersing mystical, aromatic, tropical scents of a combined unknown perfume reminiscent of Ralph Lauren, Michael Jordan Regal, and Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentrate. Stunned, I thought to myself only for a split-second, and then swirled around to confront him once again, ‘Mr. Smith!’

He was gone! Gone!

And I was left standing there with my heart pounding, immersed and lost in a violent mental flood as a rain drop fallen into an emotional sea, left with solemn and fantastic memories of Annie and the realization that this world was not nearly as real, or far more real, than it was before I met her.

Written By: Stephen Erdmann

UNIVERSAL DIGEST is pleased to be a conduit for our contributing authors. Some editing was provided. We do not claim credit; we simply want to make it more available to the general public. The opinions of the authors are not necessarily the opinion or stance of this website.

Pass it On:
Pass it On: