Thursday, June 25, 2020

Book Review: How Lulu Lost Her Mind

About the Book:

Lou Ann Hunter’s mother, Patricia, has always had a passionate nature, which explains why she’s been married and divorced five times and spooned enough male patients to be ousted from three elderly care facilities. She also has Alzheimer’s, which is why she wants to spend the rest of her life surrounded by childhood memories at Sutton Hall, her family’s decrepit plantation home in Louisiana.

Lou Ann, a.k.a. Lulu the Love Guru, has built an empire preaching sex, love, and relationship advice to the women of America—mostly by defying the example her mother has set for her. But with Patricia suddenly in need of a fulltime caretaker, Lou Ann reluctantly agrees to step out of the spotlight and indulge her mother’s wishes, even if it means trading in her Louboutins and Chanel N°5 for boots and mosquito repellent.

Upon her arrival at Sutton Hall, Lou Ann discovers that very little functions at it should—least of all Patricia’s mind. And as she adjusts to this new and inevitably temporary dynamic with the help of a local handyman and a live-in nurse, she is forced to confront the reality that neither her nor her mother’s future is going according to plan.

Heartrending at times and laugh-out-loud funny at others, How Lulu Lost Her Mind is the book for everyone and their mother. Fans of Emily Giffin, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis won’t be able to forget it.

My Comments:

I'm writing this review on April 15, which just happens to be the six-year anniversary of my Dad's death.  During his last eighteen months I visited almost weekly, taking him to Mass on Saturday night and then fixing supper for him.  I started that routine when we realized it was no longer safe to leave him alone for long stretches of time.  We had hired help during the week, one brother lived next door, and another took the Sunday shift.  I live an hour and a half away so those few hours a week cost me most of my Saturday afternoon and evening, and during those eighteen months I only missed a few weeks.  Looking back on it, I can say those months were hard, but worth it.  I had to adjust my life, but I didn't have to make wholesale changes to it.  

Lou Ann is a writer, blogger, speaker--an expert on relationships, or at least she plays one on-line.  For all her expertise she has never found Mr. Right.  Her mother, on the other hand, has always found Mr. Right for now and is still looking, despite her Alzheimer's, which, as noted above, gets her kicked out of her nursing home.  Her mother wants to go home to Louisiana, and Lou Ann has enough money to make that dream come true, so they pack up their stuff and move to the old home place. 

My Dad never became hard to deal with, and kept his mental faculties until the end.  Patricia, Lou Ann's mother, wasn't so lucky.  She could be mean and, of course, she had dementia.  As they went through family treasures Lou Ann learns about relatives she never met. She meets neighborhood people who are unlike those she chose to be with in her "real" life.  Yes, one is a man. 

The book is set in southeast Louisiana, which is where I live.  While there were things that sounded familiar like Lakeside Mall and chicory coffee, the plantation is outside a small town where people speak with a Cajun accent, and honestly there aren't many (any) of those with easy access to Lakeside Mall.  

I enjoyed the book and there was one serious plot thread--Patricia wanted Lou Ann to promise to put her out of her misery when things got too far along.  Lou Ann didn't fee right about doing that, but toward the end of the book, Lou Ann made a decision about a similar issue which turned out not to be important, but which could have been.  

Actually the ending was pretty much the only part of the book that I didn't like.  For some reason it just seemed sudden, almost like the allotted number of pages had been filled and it was time to wrap things up.  But, maybe that's the way life is--we don't usually get to go out at what we consider to be the perfect time on the plot arc.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy via NetGalley.  Grade:  B. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Covid Stats Updated Again

I've been updating these stats weekly, thought I'd share again.

Age 0-19:

Children make up 25% of the population but only 1.3% of those who have tested positive. They make up less than 1% of the dead.  Of those 18 and under who tested positive, 0.2% died.

5/25 Update:  Another child died, which increased kids' % of total cases to 2%. Kids make up 0.07% of the dead and of the diagnosed kids 0.24% died.

6/7 Update:  Kids now make up 3% of the diagnosed cases and 0.07% of the deaths.  Of the diagnosed kids, 0.15% have died.  Now that summer day camps have started it will be interesting to see if kids' share of the cases increases.  Schools closed the middle of March.

6/15 Update:  Kids are now 3.59% of the diagnosed and 0.06% of the dead. Of the diagnosed kids, 0.11% have died.

6/22:  Kids are now 4.3% of the diagnosed and 0.09% of the dead.  Of the diagnosed kids, 0.13% have died.  Kids are out and about, some are in camp and families aren't social distancing as much, at least that's my guess about these numbers.

6/28:  Kids are now 5.1% of diagnosed cases and 0.09% of the dead.  Of the diagnosed kids, 0.1% have died. 

Age 20-29:

People age  20-29 make up 14% of the population but only 11.6% of those who have tested positive.  Only 0.3% of the dead were in their 20's.  Of those who tested positive, 0.2% died.

5/25 Update:  Now those in their 20's make up 14% of positive test and 0.34% of the dead. 0.17% of the diagnosed died.

6/7 Update:  14.5% of diagnosed cases are in 20-somethings, but only 0.35%  of the deaths.  Of those diagnosed, 0.16% have died. This is another age group that I wonder if will gain more cases, as they appear to the the main ones at the demonstrations this week.

6/15 Update:  15.1% of diagnosed cases, 0.37% of deaths.  Of the diagnosed, 0.15% have died.

6/22: 16.82% of the diagnosed cases, 0.33% of the deaths.  Of the diagnosed, 0.11% have died.

This is the first week that the group with the overall largest number of cases hasn't been the 50's.  I'm guessing there are three main reasons: 1) This is the age group mostly likely to be unemployed. During the lockdown, they stayed home, but now that things are opening up again, they want to go out--and this has been the main group at demonstrations. 2) This is the age group most likely to have customer service jobs, so more apt to be exposed and 3) This is the group least likely to get seriously ill, so back when tests were hard to get, they didn't test.  Now that everyone is encouraged to test if there is the slightest possibility it is positive, more of them are testing.

6/28:  18.6% of diagnosed cases, 0.35% of the dead.  Of the diagnosed, 0.1% have died.  


Age 30-39:

13.3% of the population is in their 30's, but they comprise 15.8% of those who have tested positive.  Only 1.8% of the dead were in their 30's.  Of those who tested positive,  0.7% died.

5/25 Update:  17.2% of positive tests were to people in their 30's. 1.75% of the dead were in their 30's and of those who tested positive, 0.76% died.

6/7/20 Update:  16.07% of diagnosed cases have been to those in their 30's.  1.73% of the dead were in their 30's and of those who tested positive, 0.71% have died.

6/15:  16.1% of diagnosed cases; 1.68% of dead.  Of those who were positive, 0.65% have died.

6/22:  16.26% of diagnosed cases; 2.64% of the dead.  Of those who were positive, 0.64% died.

6/28:  16.19% of cases; 1.78% of the dead.  Of those who were positive, 0.60% died. 

Age 40-49: 

Though people in their 40's make up  12.38% of the population, they comprise 17% of those who tested positive and 3.8 % of the dead. Of 40-somethings who tested positive, 1.5% died.

5/25 Update: 18.13% of positives were to 40-somethings. 3.7% of the dead were in their forties and of those who tested positive, 1.54% died.

6/7  Update: 16.48% of people testing positive were in their 40's, but only 3.68% of the dead. Of those who tested positive, 1.47%  have died.

6/15: 16.4% of positives; 3.64% of deaths.  Of those diagnosed, 1.38% have died. 

6/22:  16.03% of positives. 3.62% of deaths.  Of the diagnosed, 1.35% have died.

6/28:  15.71% of positives; 3.59% of the deaths.  Of the diagnosed, 1.25% have died.

Age 50-59:

Those in their 50's are 13.1% of population but 19% of those who tested positive.  They make  up 8.6% of the dead and of those who tested positive, 3% died.

5/25 Update: 20.1% of positive tests were to folks in their 50's. 8.95%of the dead were that age. 3.3% of the people who tested positive died.

6/7 Update:  17.98 percent of positive tests were to people in their 50's, as were  8.67% of the deaths. Of the people who tested positive in this age group, 3.18% have died.

6/15: 17.6% of positive tests; 8.74% of deaths. 3.08% of diagnosed have died.

6/22:  16.54% of positive tests; 8.7% of the deaths.  3.17% of the diagnosed have died.

6/28:  15.94% of positive tests; 8.71% of deaths.  2.99% of the diagnosed have died.  


Age 60-69:

While those age 60-69 make up  11.3% of population they make up 16.6 % of those who tested positive and  18.2% of the dead.  Of those who tested positive, 7.4% died.

5/25 Update:  16.8% of those who tested positive were in their 60's, and 18.35% of the dead.  8.16% of those who tested positive died.

6/7 Update:  14.85% of cases were people in their 60's, and 18.08% of the dead.  8.03% of those who tested positive died.

6/15: 14.43% of positive tests; 17.96% of dead. Of those who were positive, 7.75% died. 

6/22:  13.75% of positive tests.  17.7% of the dead.  Of those who were positive, 7.72% have died.

6/28:  13.11% of positive tests. 17.66% of the dead.  Of those who were positive, 7.39% have died.


Age 70+

Those aged 70+  are 11% of the population but  25% of those who tested positive. and 68 % of the dead have been elderly and of those in this age group who tested positive, 25% died. 

5/25 Update:  19.1% of those who have tested positive are older than 70. 66.77 of the dead are. 26.2% of those diagnosed died.   

6/7 update:  17.08 % of positive tests were to the elderly, and they comprise 67.39% of the dead. 26.03% of those who tested positive have died.

6/15  16.58% of positive tests; 67.34% of deaths. 25.31% of infected died. 

6/22  15.75% of positive tests; 67.60% of the deaths.  25.66% of the infected died.

6/28  14.88% of positive tests.  67.79% of the deaths.  24.99% of the infected died.

What really surprises me is how that last number on each row--the percent of infected people who die really hasn't moved.  I would think that with more easily available testing and more negative tests, that people who were less ill would be diagnosed and the number of deaths per diagnosis would go down.  I would also hope they are getting better at treating it.  Remdesivir has been approved since May 1, almost two months and while I know it was shown to reduce hospitalization time, not death, I hoped that with wider use, they'd find it reduced deaths too.  The news about dexamethasone is about a week old now.  Maybe that number will start to move.  

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