Courtesy Statista 2021

March 4, 2021, was my day of liberation. I got my second Covid vaccination that day. While it would still be two weeks for the inoculation to reach full effect, I could finally see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. At least for me.

Not for most of us, however. Weekly rates of vaccinations in the US peaked just before April 15 (Statista). They fell off at a faster pace after that week than they had climbed before the peak. What was going on?

At the beginning of April, there were three vaccines that had been released…

Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved

“Defund the police” has become a divisive term hurled from right to left and left to right. As a rallying cry for partisans, it’s having its season. Its meaning, however, is often determined by the hurler, usually as an invective rather than part of a discussion. Perhaps we need to look at its opposite: Invest.

Anyone who is an investor, whether a venture capitalist, 401k holder, or member of municipal government, has the right to put their money where it will help achieve their goals. The first two of these examples are primarily looking for monetary return, while the third…

Chapter 1


Sheila Pennington watched as dawn sunlight struck the far edge of the clearing about 400 feet away. She was drinking the last of her morning coffee as she sat in a wildlife blind on the edge of the Sanctuary’s compound. She often greeted the dawn from the blind, from where she could watch the area and still be apart from it. Her two-seater ultralight aircraft perched in the center of the open field, faintly glowing in the early morning light. From where Sheila sat, she could see across the entire four-acre compound to the chain-link fencing on…

TV Hill in Kabul (The higher the elevation, the poorer the houses)

My best friend asked me about my feelings towards the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. He did so because he knew that I made three trips there for work in 2014 through 2016. I was not part of a military mission but working in global digital health. My efforts were to help the Afghan Ministry of Health develop information systems for tracking public health and delivering health care to its citizens.

My travel there was tightly restricted to Kabul and always under protective security. (It turns out that one never really feels safe when surrounded by bodyguards, especially armed…

Copyright 2021 All rights reserved

We recently took a drive up to the Appalachian Mountains in our EV* — actually on July 4th. We were ten miles from the next fast charging station when we had to stop with only 2 miles of range remaining. I pulled into a small chain store and parked in front of an outside electrical outlet. It looked to power some sort of vending machine that had been removed. I went inside and asked if I could plug my car in. The cashier looked a little puzzled, but said to go ahead. …

Green electric vehicle with a plug
Green electric vehicle with a plug Creative Commons Copyright

With changes afoot in the US government and auto manufacturers beginning to shift over to electric vehicles (EV), more people are wondering what they cost. Stories abound about elites driving hugely expensive roadsters costing more than $100k. Other stories tell of more affordable EVs that run a bit south of $20k — even before any governmental tax credits. EV owners extoll the lower costs of driving and maintaining these cars since electricity (especially at home) is cheaper than gasoline or diesel. Moreover, lacking internal combustion engines, they are simpler machines and cheaper to maintain.

Quite often when searching for a…

Insurrectionists in the Rotunda

Here is the message that I sent to both of my senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, who represent North Carolina:


I write to urge you to vote to convict Donald J. Trump in the impeachment trial.

I recognize that you voted against proceeding because of a motion to declare the process unconstitutional for a former office holder. Yet, both houses of Congress settled the issue of constitutionality by majority vote. Since we cannot pick and choose the laws we obey, you are now legally bound to render an impartial judgment on the charges brought forth.

President Trump spent…

Chapter 3

Previous Chapter


Sheila stared at Evel for a few seconds. Then she laughed. “Okay, you got me for a second,” she said. “I know all about hazing rituals and I’m flattered that you want to bring me into the fold.”

“What do you mean?” Evel said. “I’m not kidding.”

“Okay, I’ll play along,” Sheila said, as she leaned back into her chair. “What’s your evidence? And why tell me?”

“Look, I’m guessing you don’t care about impressing those guys.”

“You’re right there. I gave up trying to impress people during the last millennium. …

Chapter 2

Previous Chapter


“Mommy, look,” she said, pointing to the roadside ahead. “Why are all those people there?”

The mother turned down the car’s radio just as the announcer was saying, “The White House acknowledged for the first time tonight that Dr. Kissinger had secretly met in Paris with North Vietnam’s.. ”

“I’ve never seen so many people at the quarry,” said the mother. “There must be a couple hundred of them.” She glanced at her nine-year- old daughter and said, “Let’s stop and find out.”

They pulled to the side of the two-lane highway and slid out on the…

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Copyright 2020 by Alex & Jackson Buck, All Rights Reserved

Covid Hospitalizations

124,686 — Reported on 12–30–2020
670,000+ — Cumulative

Covid Infections

19,232,843 — Cumulative Total in US

Covid Deaths

334,029— Cumulative Total In US


331,979,663 — Current population of the US
248,984,747 — 75% of current population (to reach herd immunity)
— 2,127,143 — First vaccine doses administered
246,857,604 — People still needing to be immunized

Odds of an Infected Person Dying-by-Covid

1 in 58 — Whites over 60 and not incarcerated or in nursing homes
1 in 19 — Blacks over 60 and not incarcerated or in nursing homes

When you can, get vaccinated. It’s not just for you. It’s for everyone you meet.

Disclaimer — I am not a physician. I make no representation of expertise beyond being an educated American adult.

The figures cited are reported or derived from public sources:

David Potenziani

Historian, informatician, novelist, and grandfather.

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