Thursday, April 9, 2020

Viral Healing Touch


On Palm Sunday (April 5, 2020) Pastor Rich Vera preached to a crowd gathered at The Center Arena on South Hiawassee Road in Orlando. After weeks of resisting a stay at home order, Governor Ron DeSantis issued a state wide stay at home order but then issued a second order that exempted religious services. His order specifically stated that only 10 people can congregate. DeSantis said in a news conference Thursday, "I don't think government has the authority to close churches, and I'm certainly not going to do that." He added Florida religious leaders he'd spoken with "almost 100% agree" with mandating social distancing policies. Orlando had a stay at home order issued by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings that would not allow a church gathering of more than 10 people. The State governor's second order over rules the county order making religion an essential service. This piece meal approach to public safety will cost lives.

The horrific thing about Vera's service is that he touches the faithful to heal them. This is certainly a breach of any form of social distancing.  Concern over the worship service prompted a call to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. The agency said a deputy responded to the church but did not write a report. Noting the negative comments on social media, Vera responded during his sermon - "mind your own business."

On the Rich Vera web page, one parishioner said, "This is regarding your comment in the most recent news story related to holding services during the corona virus outbreak where you said others should mind their own business. If your service; involves more than 10 people, they are not keeping a distance of 6 feet apart, if they are touching the same surfaces without disinfecting them between touches, then it is everyone's business. You mentioned that you regularly touch your parishioners which means you are violating the 6 ft distance requirement. The reasons it is everyone's business should be obvious. You and your parishioners may already have the virus and not know it. Some may even have had it and recovered without knowing it but still be contagious. You are taking unnecessary chances that you won't pass the virus within your congregation and then to others outside your congregation. You may end up being responsible for propagating the virus to far more people than you can imagine. Do you want to be responsible for others suffering because your actions indicate you either do or simply don't care."  


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

April is the Cruelist Month


CNN News Anchor Chris Cuomo has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and he continues to broadcast from home. He has been very open about his fevers, chills and shortness of breath as well a phantasmagorical visions. In one of his broadcasts he said doctors are referring to the virus as "The Beast" and he said that April will be the Cruelest month. Indeed the hospitals in New York City are being overrun with patients infected with the virus. Refrigeration trucks are being set up outside hospitals to be used as temporary morgues since the morgues are already over run.

Cuomo's reference to the Covid-19 virus at "The Beast" reminded me of a painting I studied as an art student by Rubens called "Daniel in the Lion's Den." I imagined those lions representing the virus as they pace in the cramped hospital room. I have seen so may picture of doctors exhausted emotionally and physically to the point that they just collapse on the floor or under a table. A photo of a nurse whose face was scarred by her surgical mask went viral.

Healthcare workers at Mount Sinai Hospital held photos of sick colleagues at a protest demanding more personal protective equipment (PPE) in New York on April 3, 2020. Hospital staff were not able to get tests even after a nurse contracted the virus and died. The death of Kious Jordan Kelly, 48, was confirmed by Mount Sinai Hospital. It comes amid an escalating crisis in New York in which hospitals are faced with surging numbers of Covid-19 patients and shortages of crucial medical equipment and protective gear for staffers. Senior Vice President Vicki R. LoPachin announced that starting on Tuesday, April 7, Mount Sinai staff who develop symptoms consistent with Covid-19, will be tested for this viral infection within a few days of the onset of symptoms. 

On March 13, 2020 one nurse developed symptoms after treating a patient. Symptoms included shortness of breath, fever, and an unrelenting, dry cough. She was told to manager her symptoms at home because she could not be tested. She instead turned to her primary care physician who told her to call the Covid hotline. She waited two hours online and eventually was sent to another hospital to get tested. She tested positive. After seven days of managing symptoms at home and not improving, a primary care doctor prescribed new treatment medication: hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc.

Doctors and nurses are referring to the hospitals as war zones. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Hospital staff said nurses were told to reuse gowns, ration N-95 masks, and wear surgical masks, which do not offer the same level of protection against the virus. Some nurses in England have had to resort to wearing garbage bags since there is such a shortage of scrubs. Nursing staff are pulling together and doing what they can to rise above this  disaster. One of the horrible aspects of this virus is that it forces patients to suffer alone.

Fourteen white tents have been set up in Central Park to handle the overflow of patients from the hospitals. The 68-bed facility is run by Mt. Sinai Hospital, which is located directly across the street from the tents in Central Park. Other locations hosting medical pop-ups include the Javits Convention Center and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The USNS Comfort Hospital Ship docked at pier 19 to assist in the pandemic. AS of April 4, 2020 the ship accepted “less than five” patients who were infected. Initial screenings prior to patients boarding the ship did not reveal that they had contracted the virus. The CDC screenings consist only of a temperature check and “a series of questions addressing member’s recent health and contact history.” A ship can be a highly deadly breading ground for a deadly virus. The Comfort, which can hold up to 1,000 hospital beds, has treated fewer than 30 patients since arriving in New York on Monday March 30, 2020.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Creative Isolations Rehearsal


I sat in and sketched the first Creative Isolations rehearsal on Zoom. This is a fascinating show put on by a group of graduate students from the University of Central Florida, who partnered with Orlando Story Club and the Downtown Arts District. The show was only staged on the video conferencing platform Zoom and YouTube. All the various slam poetry pieces and monologues are organized around the premise that a Shakespearean  acting troupe is looking for a way to have their voices heard over a digital platform. The performance was on Monday April 6, 2020 at 8pm.

Of course with the tech lags of video streaming and audio the first read through was a bit rough but it was possible to see the diamond in the rough. My series of pandemic illustrations will appear during one of the readings. And of course the illustration I did based o a written monologue about a sand sculptor will appear during that reading.

This is an amazing combination of tech and art and it should be truly unique to watch. Actually by the time this sketch goes live the performance will have already happened. I hope you got the word with my previous posts and had a chance to tune in.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Monday, April 6, 2020

Creative Isolations Team Meeting


I have been contributing to Creative Isolations: The American Artists Project Performance.

On April 1, 2020 there was a zoom meeting for all 20 artists who are contributing to the project. Each artist in turn discussed their contribution to the project. I quickly sketched the Zoom meeting with the added challenge that people kept moving to new positions on the Brady Bunch screen.

I had done an illustration based on a short story about a sand sculptor. Because of the pandemic the sculptor was forced to work in his home sandbox. At first I thought the sandbox would be in the back yard, but then I took inspiration from Close Encounters of the Third Kind and I had the sculptor working in his living room.

Creative Isolations is a group of graduate students from the University of Central Florida, have partnered with Orlando Story Club and the Downtown Arts District for a celebration of artists in America. We have gathered stories about how artists’ lives have been altered by COVID-19 and selected artists to create original works based on those stories. Now, the artists are ready to share their creations with you!

The live, online performance will be on on Monday, April 6 (Tonight!) at 8pm Eastern Time (US and Canada).

Artist contributors include painters, actors, designers, singers, sand sculptors, composers, leather artists, and more.

The performance is free of charge. However, since social distancing has made it difficult for artists to make money, any funds raised will go straight back to the participating artists.

The Downtown Arts District and Orlando Story Club are proud partners of this project (6% of your donation will be used for an administrative fee).

LINK TO YOUTUBE CHANNEL:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1swgTahl0or-KNaCYFCjZg?view_as=subscriber

LINK TO DONATE:
https://downtownartsdistrict.com/product/make-a-donation/


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Creative Isolations: The American Artists Project

I am one of 20 artists who have been selected to participate in Creative Isolations: The American Artist Project as a creator. I joined this journey by creating original work in response to other artist's stories. The results of these collaborations will culminate in a live broadcast online for free on Monday April 6th at 8pm Eastern Time (US and Canada). Any tips or donations will be divided between the creators. The artists include painters, actors, designers, singers, sand sculptors, composers, leather artists, and more.

I was given two stories and asked to illustrate one. I was fascinated with the story of a sand sculptor who was a 2D artist who became obsessed with sculpting with the heavy medium of sand. Clients were lining up and 2020 looked like the first year where he was completely booked to do conventions, festivals, weddings, parties, and resorts, then the Covid-19 virus closed the country. He was suddenly faced with having to work from home in his private sand box. Despite the endless uncertainties, he continued to create art that others might never see. His story very much parallels my own experience. As I am locked down and creating in my own private vacuum while listening to my inner demons. Lock down has become a time of feverish creation.

Artists have been asked to keep their individual contributions to about 5 minutes in duration. Rehearsals start April 3 and I might sketch the Zoom conference meetings that result.

Here is the breakdown of the performers in the Creative Isolations cast: 
          3 male actor/singer
          2 male actors
          1 medieval musician (multiple instruments)
          1 female actor/voice actor
          1 female comedian/actor
          1 male dancer  
Creative Isolation's consists of a group of graduate students from the University of Central Florida, have partnered with Orlando Story Club and the Downtown Arts District for a celebration of artists in America. They have gathered stories about how artists’ lives have been altered by COVID-19 and selected artists to create original works based on those stories. Now, the artists are ready to share their creations with you!

The performance is free of charge. However, since social distancing has made it difficult for artists to make money, so funds will be raised by passing a virtual hat for the participating artists via PayPal during the event. 
The performance is free of charge. However, since social distancing has made it difficult for artists to make money, any funds raised will go straight back to the participating artists.

The Downtown Arts District and Orlando Story Club are proud partners of this project (6% of your donation will be used for an administrative fee).

The Performance is Monday April 6, 2020 starting at 8pm to 9pm.
LINK TO YOUTUBE CHANNEL:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1swgTahl0or-KNaCYFCjZg?view_as=subscriber

LINK TO DONATE:
https://downtownartsdistrict.com/product/make-a-donation/


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Nature Art Show opening in a Pandemic


This sketch may seem innocuous. It is the usual art show opening scene I might depict on any given day. I had two pieces accepted into this art show and the opening was slated for March 14, 2020 which also happened to be Saint Patrick's day. Since my art was in the show there was an expectation that I would show up to the opening. One drink was on the house at the paid bar. The two paintings I submitted were, I thought, Pandemic appropriate. The theme of the show was "Nature". Rather that submit beautiful landscapes I submitted two painting of mean and dying gnarly and decomposing trees.

The day before the opening, the Covid-19 Pandemic was officially announced by the World Health Organization. The situation was fluid with new announcements every few yours. On March 14, 2020, there were 156,000 cases of Covid-19 in America with 5,819 deaths. Despite these facts the art opening was still scheduled to happen. Pam Schwartz joined me and together we quickly looked at the art on the wall and then I settled in to self isolate on a couch and sketch.

People at the opening definitely did not stand six feet apart. People hugged and kissed and sipped drinks while telling stories just inches apart. It was terrifying. I listened for every cough and watched as someone touched their face and then shook hands. The second my sketch was done, Pam and I made a quick exit. On March 21, 2020, The Barefoot Spa closed in the best interest of everyone's health. All the art work is still hanging, but the space is empty so the work will not be seen. Artists were told they might be able to pick up their work at the end of April but that might change depending on the state of the pandemic at that time. This is the last sketch I did at a public event. After this opening, I committed myself to self isolation in the studio. My work has become darker and more focused on the short-sighted politics that allowed the virus to spread so rapidly in America, though it could have been stopped in its tracks.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Friday, April 3, 2020

Choir of Death

In Mount Vernon, Washington a choir decided to go ahead with a rehearsal in early March and now dozens of members have contracted the Covid-19 virus and two have died. With the virus spreading quickly through the state, leaders of the Skagit Valley Chorale debated whether to go ahead with weekly rehearsal. People were already dying in the Seattle area an hour's drive to the south. But in Skagit county it was business as usual with no reported cases and no prohibitions on gatherings yet announced.

On March 6, 2020 Adam Burdick, the choir’s conductor sent out an email to the 121 member chorus saying the rehearsal would proceed as scheduled on March 10, 2020 at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church. 60 singers showed up. Choir members were offered hand sanitizer at the door and everyone refrained from the usual hugs. The 2 1/2 hour rehearsal went smoothly with everyone trying to maintain some level of social distancing. Everyone had their own sheet music and they avoided social contact. On March 10, 2020 I was also going about business as usual here in Orlando. I entered a crowded sold out theater that night to sketch.

Three weeks later 45 of the singers developed symptoms and have been diagnosed with Covid-19. At least three singers have been hospitalized and two are dead. No one at the rehearsal reported seeing anyone coughing or sneezing. Someone must have had the virus and yet not yet exhibited any sign of the illness. Some members did help set up and remove folding chairs and there were some mandarin oranges which people helped themselves to.

On infectious disease expert said that the act of singing might have resulted in fine particles being dispersed as people sang. It is possible the viral particles suspended in the air can be infectious for up to three hours. It apparently could spread without touch and among people who were asymptomatic.

The next choir performance was going to be in late April for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival which attracts more than a million people. As of March 31, 2020, Tulip Festival organizers implored all tulip fans to follow the directives of the governor and the president. Stay home, stay healthy, stay alive. There are no services in Skagit Valley. Not even portable toilets! No open restaurants. Many public buildings are closed. All festival events were canceled. Organizers are asking people to enjoy the tulips virtually. #togetherwetulip
__________________________________________________________________________________

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a "Safer at Home" order which went into effect Thursday night, April 2, at midnight. The order instructs people to stay home except for those working at essential business. The order was meant to follow the CDC guidelines to "Slow the Spread" which recommended restrictions to certain establishments conducive to mass gatherings and congregations. The order will last for 30 days.

On Monday March 30, 2020, a Tampa Florida mega church pastor was arrested after leading packed services despite the "safer at home" order issued in Hillsborough County. Sheriff Chad Chronister said up to 500 people were in attendance at Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne's Sunday services. The pastor was charged with unlawful assembly and violating public health emergency rules of isolation and quarantine. He paid the $500 bond and was released 40 minutes later.

At a press conference Monday afternoon the sheriff said, "Pastor Rodney Howard-Brown's reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people in his congregation at risk and thousands of residents who may interact with them this week in danger.” The goal is not to stop anyone from worshiping but to have them worship safely. The Church has a steaming service that can allows parishioners to see the service from home. At a church service on March 15, Howard-Browne said he would not close his church's doors until the Rapture, when believers will be lifted up to heaven, according to evangelical theology. Brown claimed his church was an essential business, like Walmart.

State Attorney Andrew Warren referred to Mark 12:13 "There is no more important commandment than to love your neighbor as yourself. And loving your neighbors is protecting them and not jeopardizing their health by exposing them to this deadly virus." As of this writing there are over 1,000,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US resulting in over 51,000 deaths. In Florida there are 7717 confirmed cases with 128 deaths. Stay home, stay safe.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis added a loop hole in his "Safe at Home" order allowing church services. This is insane! DeSantis puts the DUH in Floriduh.

In the Florida order "Essential Activities" means and encompasses the following:
1. Attending religious services conducted in churches, synagogues and houses of worship; (Is this limited by the more sane CDC mandate that only 10 people can congregate?) and
2. Participating in recreational activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming; and
3. Taking care of pets; and
4. Caring for or otherwise assisting a loved one or friend.

DeSantis issued a second executive order that says statewide rules will “supersede any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response to COVID-19.” Meaning cities that are suffering from higher rates of infection can not issue stricter guidelines to save lives.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem 

Lyrics translated from Latin:
When the accursed have been condemned
And doomed to the searing flames,
Summon me with the saved.

Suppliant and prostrate, I entreat you,
My heart as spent as ashes,
Have care for my fate.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pre-Pandemic: Four First Names Comedy

Pam Schwartz and I went to Dragonfly Studio and Productions, 129 West McKey Street Ocoee FL to see Four First names Comedy. The acclaimed improve team featured Richard Regan Paul and Chris Barry, for a monthly residency of improvised music, scenes, and conversations. The evening featured as well,  some of Orlando's best and most active independent improv teams; The Runaways (Carolyn Fin and Rebecca Walters Penguin), Knife Fight (Crystal Gray and Danny Loeken Marvy), Lemons (Laura Davis and Jillian McNamara) and The Business Women (Rachel Dabney and Ray Cartegena). Dragonfly Studio and Production's owner and executive producer Elaine Pechacek joined in the festivities at the piano.

Since the Covid-19 Pandemic had made live theater impossible for now, Elaine Pechacek has set the stage for virtual comedy and is asking for performers to submit video auditions. This theater is looking ahead to a bright future.

CALLING ALL ARTISTS!

MUSICAL THEATRE SINGERS / IMPROV PERFORMERS / MUSICIANS / AND THOSE POSSESSING any MUSICAL ABILITIES!

AUDITIONS are now open via video submission from now thru April 10, 2020 for 3 new musical improv teams! Submission packages MUST include all 3 of the following segments including the application form via the link at the bottom of page.

Call-backs will take place in person mid-May, COVID-19 permitting. Please note, once all teams are cast, they will be training for 3-4 months prior to any performances. Performances are slated to begin in September 2020.

VIDEO SUBMISSIONS MUST INCLUDE:

1. One minute or less of you singing a song from any genre you choose with track or live accompaniment. A cappella will not be accepted but self accompaniment via guitar, piano, uke, etc is acceptable.

2. Two minute video of any form of storytelling (for example: poem, self-written work, conversation with your mother, answer a phone call, talk to your cat, solve world peace, anything goes!)

3. Thirty second video of quick facts about yourself.

EXTRA CREDIT (NOT MANDATORY):

One to Two Minutes of any additional musical skills!

(For example: guitar, piano, tuba, dancing, rapping, beatbox, interpretive dance)

CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION and MORE INFO about teams:
https://dragonflystudioandproductions.com/improv-auditions

You can submit videos either as Youtube link(s) or as direct video files in the following formats: .mp4 / .mov / .avi

You can print and fill out the application and take a pic and send it back as a .pdf or .jpg if the download doesn't allow you to fill it out online. We will also accept read aloud versions of the application since I know some may not have access to their normal office equipment in which case just include that video with the rest of your submission.

LEADERSHIP TEAM:
Executive Producer: Elaine Pechacek
Associate Producer and Host: Mallory Robson
Creative Consultant and Host: Francisco J. Laboy

Please email all videos to Dragonflystudiosimprov@gmail.com. All materials, including application, are due: APRIL 10, 2020.

Must be 21 or older to submit.

*Separate files and links are acceptable as long as they are all within the same email

*Please include your name in the subject line of email along with team preference. (We will consider people being cast in multiple teams)

__________________________________________________________________________________

On March 25, 2020 Phoenix Tears Productions is presenting Ophelia Staged Reading Livestream.
Due to the current state of the world and public health, the staged reading of new musical Ophelia is moved to being a live-streamed reading. 

Tickets can be purchased via the ticket link below. Anyone who purchases a ticket will be sent a link to watch the LIVE STREAM on Wednesday, March 25th at 8pm. The following morning you will be emailed a link to the recorded show which will be viewable for ONE WEEK. We thank you for your patience and flexibility at this time.

Season ticket holders will be contacted about being in a small in-person audience. If you have purchased a ticket prior to this change and would like more information feel free to email mallory@phoenixtearsproductions.com

More about the Show:
Follow the story of Shakespeare's Ophelia as she falls for Hamlet, fails to connect with her family, and tries to figure out who she is and what she wants to be.
A new musical by Jeremiah Gibbons.
This is a staged reading that will include a talkback where we ask for audience feedback.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Nathan Orozco

This post discusses the shooting that took place at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. It contains difficult content, so please do not read on if you feel you may be effected. 

This article and sketch have been posted with the express written permission of the interviewee and is summarized from their own interview. Analog Artist Digital World takes the privacy and wishes of individuals very seriously.  

At the time of the Pulse shooting Nathan Orozco was 18 years old. To celebrate his birthday he and friends were doing a club a night.  He had been waiting years for the chance to step into a club. It was his first night going Pulse.

He was not familiar with the club. He got there about 11:30pm. The exits he saw were blocked off. There was the hip hop room, the main stage, and outside, and he spent most of his time outside.

Nathan isn't exactly sure when the shooting started, but about 1am there was one last call for alcohol. When two friends went in to the hip hop room for their last drinks, he heard the first gun shots from outside. Everybody dropped to the floor.

When the shooting started he found his way to the employee hallway. There were so many people crushed into that one hallway. That is when he heard the AR-15. Had the shooter turned to shoot down that hallway he would have shot at least 150 people.

Once outside, Nathan had to break the fence and jump over to the mechanic shop next door. There was another guy who managed to punch through the white fence as well. Many people made it out though there. The shots got so close. From outside it was possible to tell where the shots were coming from, but in the club it was a lot harder to tell because of the echo. Nathan also had to jump over the mechanic shop fence to get across the street and get out. People were trampling each other. He did all this while carrying Ross, who was one of the dancers that night. Ross who is tiny, was wearing nothing but a jock strap. People were jumping over him. So Nathan carried him across the street. When Ross was safe, Nathan went back to find his friends who both survived.

Once outside, the police were already flooding the streets. Across the street was the 7-11 and a Einstein Beagles. Everyone was moved to the back of Einsteins Bagels. At that time an explosion went off in order to break through the wall of the club. After that, bullets were flying towards the survivors so they had to move them to the back of the neighborhood that was behind the 7-11. From there he waited it out. A bus came to pick everyone up and bring them to the police department where they gave their statements. It was a surreal experience.

He didn't get to the police station until 8 am. That means that for about 7 hours he stood outside the club witnessing everything.  The cops were doing all that they could, but they should have moved survivors further back because bullets were still flying.

The next day at 2 am a friend texted and told him which friends had died. Nathan has a tattoo which depicts three birds to represent his friends, a skull in a tree, and the Pulse symbol. The tattoo continues to evolve. He watched one friend, who had been shot like 6 times, die right in front of him that night. His friend lay there for about 10 to 15 minutes and it seemed like an eternity before his body was loaded into an ambulance.

Nathan was grazed by one bullet which cracked two of his ribs.  The doctor decided to let the ribs heal on their own. Nathan didn't notice the wound until a year after Pulse, when the rib pains started. He would touch them and found the ribs to be soft like mashed potatoes. The doctor felt they would harden in time. One friend he was standing right next to that night passed away. They had been dancing together. As soon as everybody dropped to the floor, he never saw that friend again. 

The Pulse survivors and their stories helped Nathan get through it all. No one knows what you are going through but the people who went through it with you. It is not hard to find yourself again when you are around the right people. He tries to avoid survivors who used the shooting to make a name for themselves. He only went to one Pride event in Boston where 23 survivors spoke about the need to curb gun violence. It is never easy. He still has flashbacks. Loud bangs can cause it all to flood back.

Watching all the police and military going in suited up to save peoples lives was inspiring. He decided to take a pre-Asvab test for the navy and he passed with an 86. Now he just needs to get his diploma so he can be in the navy. 


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Ventilators in Short Supply


In severe cases of people infected by the Covid-19 virus the lungs fill with fluid and it becomes difficult to impossible to breath. Ventilators help patients breath by pumping oxygen directly into the lungs, while removing CO2. This machine makes the difference between life and death. In Italy, doctors had to make the gut wrenching decisions every day about who could go on a ventilator and live and who would die. The ventilator can keep someone alive long enough to fight off the virus.

In 2018 it was estimated that there were about 160,000 ventilators in the United States. Up until now that has been enough machines to serve anyone who needed one. The American Hospital Association estimated that up to 1 million Americans will need a ventilator due to Covid-19. Patients might need a ventilator for a matter of weeks before they recover.

So were will all the much needed ventilators come from? The machine can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Now with this virus affecting every nation, everyone it trying to buy ventilators all at once. They can not be found. The companies who make the ventilators are ramping up production.

Auto makers, Ford, General Motors and Tesla in the United States are offering to help with mass production. The problem is that it might take months for these companies to start producing ventilators. Chinese companies are also producing ventilators, but considering the trade war with the United States it is hard too imagine Trump bowing to get help form the East. He continues to go out of his way to blame the virus on China.

Dyson, a vacuum machine manufacturer in Britain signed a formal contract last week, when it announced an order for 10,000 of its CoVent prototype, which was designed in about a fortnight. CoVent is yet to secure final regulatory approval, and may not reach production for weeks.

Ventilator Challenge UK, a consortium of 14 firms including Airbus and Rolls-Royce, is expected to say that it has secured a formal order for two types of machines with twin code names of Project Oyster and Project Penguin. The goal is to produce 10,000 machines for England to help battle the virus. These design are more likely to get quickly approved because they incorporate two existing designs.

3D printers are being used to create ventilator parts, and engineers are designing open sourced DIY machines with 3D printed and of the shelf parts. They are envisioned to be used in a worst case scenario.  It is possible to intimate a patient and then manually pump air into their lings with a small hand held pump. This could be dangerous if done wrong. To much air can damage the lungs.

Public health expert have estimated that there are 12,000 ventilators in the national stockpile, which is far to few to the coming demand in about 14 days. New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo explained that in New York, they are trying to use one ventilator to treat two patients at once by splitting the tubes.

On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump announced he was invoking the Defense Production Act to require GM to "accept, perform, and prioritize" federal contracts for ventilators.Switching from making cars to making ventilators however takes time. The machines sophisticated software and specialized parts, and companies that seek to manufacture them face several hurdles, including intellectual property rights, the need for specially trained workers, regulatory approvals and safety considerations.For now the auto makers are teaming up with existing ventilator makers to help them ramp up production. New York Mayor Cuomo however said that getting ventilators in a month or two months will not help save lives since the virus apex is in just 14 days. The city hospitals are full and overflowing with patients.

There is no solver lining to this pandemic. America is unprepared and having leaders ignore the science has not helped. Calling the pandemic a hoax cost many their lives. Ignoring science is not the way to keep Americans safe. Things are getting very real in America's hospitals right now.

As of this writing, there are 777,286 cases of Covid-19 in America with 37,140 deaths. The US has surpasses Spain and Italy for the most confirmed cases of the virus. I have been watching what has been happening in those countries hospitals closely online. Things are about to get very real and ugly here in America. There is no miracle cure and there is no wishing it away. Now Trump is spinning the ultimate Covid-19 death toll saying, "if the death toll stays at or below 100,000, "we all together have done a very good job."

Stay home. Stay safe. Self isolate.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Monday, March 30, 2020

Cherry Blossoms


The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., is one of the world’s great celebrations of spring. The 2020 Festival, March 20, 2020 – April 12, 2020 was to include four weeks of events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, festival organizers announced that based on an abundance of caution they will cancel the 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. In addition the following events were postponed: The Japan America Society’s Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival, and the Anacostia River Festival, produced by the 11th Street Bridge Park and National Park Service. In the past, the event drew more than 1.5 million visitors to D.C. each year.

To help maintain social distancing the organizers encouraged people not to go in public to walk under the gorgeous blooms. Authorities strongly discouraged people from visiting the Tidal Basin. Instead they set up rooftop bloom web cams so that people could see the blooms from home. 

Despite this virtual solution people showed up in large crowds to see the blooms and many were not in any way practicing social distancing. The weather was unseasonably warm, with temperatures reaching into the 80s, which could've been a factor in drawing people outdoors.

The iconic cherry blossoms reached peak bloom on Friday, March 20, 2020, and should stay that way for about 10 days. Saturday, March 22, 2020, brought a surge in visitors that convinced authorities to take extraordinary steps. Washington’s Metro system closed down a pair of stations nearest to the Tidal Basin in the hopes of lessening crowds. D.C.-based celebrity chef and philanthropist Jose Andres took to Twitter Sunday morning to plead for community compliance in avoiding the Tidal Basin. Under the hashtag #StayHomeCherryBlossomsChallenge, Andres pledged to “cook a huge Paella for thousands of Washingtonians” next year if they kept the number down. 

Ultimately, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, called in the National Guard to help restrict access to DC cherry blossoms. One of her team members who worked in the office of legal counsel, has died from the virus. She set up new restrictions included prohibiting pedestrian and bicycle traffic around the National Mall. Additionally, road traffic remains closed around the Tidal Basin which includes the Jefferson Memorial until further notice after the local government requested the National Park Service to close the area. The very idea that the National Guard is needed to curb peoples callous indifference and stupidity is evidence that there are rough times ahead.

This points out the difficulty of enforcing social distancing in this public health emergency. People are going stir crazy and don't see the threat of the virus to themselves or their friends and relatives until it is too late. People are quick to carve out exceptions for their own behavior. Some, encouraged by the lies of the POTUS still think the whole pandemic is a hoax.  

Stay home, stay safe. Consider your own health and the health of those you love through these crazy times.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Sunday, March 29, 2020

History Happy Hour


Staff from the Orange County Regional History Center have been working from home in order to self isolate and flatten the curve of the Covid-19 virus.  They meet each morning to plan the day's work and to check up on each other. Work continues on an Ocoee exhibit that might, virus allowing, open August 29, 2020. The exhibit called, Yesterday, This Was Home: The Ocoee Massacre of 1920, is about the election day race riot that remains the largest incident of voting-day violence in United States history.

Events unfolded on Election Day 1920, when Mose Norman, a black U.S. citizen, attempted to exercise his legal right to vote in Ocoee and was turned away from the polls. That evening, a mob of armed white men came to the home of his friend, July Perry, in an effort to locate Norman. Shooting ensued. Perry was captured and eventually lynched. An unknown number of African American citizens were murdered, and their homes and community were burned to the ground. Most of the black population of Ocoee fled, never to return.

Suddenly having the staff working from home created challenges. Everyone had to adjust to video conference calls on Zoom. Some staff love the one on one interactions that can be found in the workplace. To help staff adjust to this digital divide, Lesleyanne Drake, the curator of collections initiated a once a week Happy Hour. Staff get to meet on Zoom and share a drink and stories. It is not about work but instead a chance to socialize. Pam Schwartz, the Chief Curator, suggested that each week someone might come up with a short presentation and she volunteered to give the first such presentation. I sketched while she told her story to her staff while sipping a prosecco. 

___________________________________________________________________________________

Her mildly nearly drinking history was about Queen Boudica (Boo-di-cah) of the British Celtic Tribe the Iceni. She was a badass. She was described as having tawny hair down below her waist, a harsh voice and a piercing glare. She habitually wore a large golden necklace, a colorful tunic, and a thick cloak fastened by a brooch.

She married Prasutagus, the king of the Iceni people (now the Norfolk area of England) and they had two daughters. They ruled as an independent ally of Rome and when the King died, he left his kingdom to their children. However, his will was ignored by Rome who went ahead and took all his stuff. The Romans and their slaves
flogged Boudica and raped she and her daughters.


In 60 or 61 AD when the Roman Governor
Paulinus was campaigning on the island of Mona off of Wales (a refuge for British rebels and a Druid stronghold), there was ongoing mistreatment of Britons by the Romans, even those that were allied to them. Boudicca, led a revolt of the Iceni, Trinovantes, and other tribes. They destroyed Camulodunum (Colchester), a settlement of discharged Roman soldiers.


The Roman Governor hurried on down to Londinium (London) and realized he was up the creek without a paddle without enough men to fight this lady who was headed that way. Tacitus, a scholar of the subject, wrote, “Those who were chained to the spot by the weakness of their sex, or the infirmity of age, or the attractions of the place, were cut off by the enemy.”  He took whoever would join him and fled.


Boudica led her now large army, including random farmers who joined along the way, and burned Londinium to the ground. It is estimated that some 80,000 Romans and Brits were killed in the 3 cities conquered by Boudica, many were tortured. Cassius Dio, another scholar, said the most noble of women were impaled on spikes and had their breasts cut off and sewn to their mouths.


Roman Emperor Nero basically panicked over all of this and almost pulled all of his Roman troops out of England. Boudica led her growing troops from her chariot. The Roman Governor regrouped, put together a whole new legion, and posted up, waiting along a Roman Road now known as Watling Street. Though greatly outnumbered, they moved into a wedge formation with auxiliaries on their flanks atop a defile. They charged in, lances set, many of Boudica’s common folk, unskilled in battle, went to flee, but their women and children who had come to watch what they assumed would be a sweeping win, lined the rear of their battleground with wagons, making it impossible for anybody to escape and her troops were slaughtered.

It’s not 100% certain how Boudica died, but, after the battle she may have taken poison, as well as given it to her daughters, to kill them all rather than go through being beaten, raped, and tortured again. She died c. 60 or 61 AD.


After this brutal tale the staff continued to socialize. Welcome to the new age of digital storytelling as we sacrifice through social distancing to try and stop the spread of Covid-19.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Easter Sunday


The United States has now become the country with the most cases reported of Covid-19 in the World. At a rally Trump said that "You are going to get sick and tired of winning." With over 100,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in America, we are indeed winning.

Now Donald Trump had decided that he would love to have the country back up and running by Easter,which is 16 days from now, as of this writing. He thinks "It would be a beautiful time." Of course this defies all logic and science. If people crowd together in churches across the country 16 days from now, the virus will spread like wild fire. The danger is that Trump's fervent supporters may buy into his insanity and indeed try and gather on the day Christ was known to have risen from the dead, risking their own and other's lives. Is saving the stock market more important than people's lives?

Rather than help his former home state of New York get ventilators, he instead picked a fight with Governor Andrew Cuomo, blaming him for the plight because the governor had ventilators stock piled. Of course the ventilators are stockpiled as they are collected, they will be distributed where needed as the hospitals reach a critical mass. The Governor is anticipating a peak in demand in two weeks for patients needing help to breathe. The state will need at least 30,000 ventilators, he said, and it so far had obtained 7,000. Cuomo told a reporter, that "The president was ignorant and grossly uninformed." The governor said that the spread of the virus was like a freight train coming across the country, but now, we are looking at a bullet train because the numbers are going up that quickly.

The president's only concern seems to be the economy rather than the health and well being of the American people. He continues to compare Covid-19 to the common flu. He doesn't seem to have any grasp of the huge tsunami that is facing the nation. He waved his hands saying the numbers would go down, not up, and tried to convince Americans that the virus would miraculously disappear when it got warmer. The danger is that some listen to his statements and believe them. There is a level of faith in believing his statements that defies any reason.

The surgeon general, Dr. Gerome Adams warned Americans, "This week it is going to get bad, we really need to come together as a nation" The director of the World Health Organization said that the US could become the next epicenter for the spread of the virus.

Dr. Emily Landon ,a Chicago Doctor warned, That doctors are facing a brand new virus with not enough personal protection and constantly changing protocols. There are barely enough masks for the nurses that they have, This virus is unforgiving. The beginning of the 1918 pandemic was the last time America faced such a challenge. Two cities in America made different choices as to how to proceed while only a few patients were affected. St. Louis shut itself down, and sheltered in place, but Philadelphia went ahead with a huge parade celebrating those going off to war. A week later Philadelphia hospitals were over run, and thousands were dead. Many more than in St. Louis. This is a cautionary tale for our time. Stay home. Stay safe. Don't go to church Easter Sunday.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Friday, March 27, 2020

Beached: NO Weekend Top 6 Picks



 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Tuesday 3/17/2020 that he will NOT be ordering the beaches in his state to close, despite growing concerns over the international COVID-19 outbreak, NBC News reported.

DeSantis said that beaches in the state must adhere to guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has advised the public to practice social distancing and avoid gatherings with more than 10 people. "What we're going to be doing for the statewide floor for beaches, we're going to be applying the CDC guidance of no group on a beach more than 10 and you have to have distance apart if you're going to be out there. So that applies statewide,” DeSantis reportedly said at a press conference.

The result during the height of spring break was that the beaches became insanely crowded, making them the perfect breeding ground for the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Local officials took it upon themselves to shut down their own beaches.

Beaches Closed:

Tampa and Naples, Brevard, Walton, Collier counties, Fort Meyers, Port Charlotte, Englewood and all Sarasota beaches.

Thursday 3/19/2020, all public beaches in Miami-Dade County, and Lee County closed.

Friday 3/20/2020, Santa Rosa County closed Navarre Beach and the pier. Pinellas County and Duval County closed their beaches as did Florida State Park beaches due to overcrowding.

Saturday 3/21/2020, Fernandina Beach closed.

Sunday 3/22/2020, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, and Nassau County closed their beaches.

Monday 3/23/2020, Clearwater closed its beach. Flagler County closed its beaches, parks, community centers, pavilions, camping areas, and associated facilities, like parking lots and restrooms.

Beaches that ignored the pandemic:

Monday 3/16/2020 Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham said he does not expect the city to close beaches to the public, and the situation is under control.

On Tuesday 3/17/2020 Pompano Beach was packed with Spring Break revelers. The cases of Covid-19 in Florida had surpasses 800 with 13 dead as of this writing. Collier County beaches also remained open.

Saturday 3/21/2020, although vehicles were not currently permitted on St. Johns County beaches, all 42 miles of its beaches were open to pedestrians . Flagler County beaches also remained open.

College students and younger people in general have been criticized for not taking the virus seriously and for seeming to disregard that they could carry it to higher-risk people, like the elderly. "If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I'm not going to let it stop me from partying," spring break goer Brady Sluder told Reuters in Miami. Younger people can still face serious complications. People ages 20 to 44 accounted for about 20% of U.S. cases that resulted in known hospitalizations, according to the CDC's preliminary data on the health outcomes of patients with COVID-19. The CDC said the data were limited and did not account for underlying medical conditions.

In Germany young adults hold “corona parties" and cough toward older people. “Some consider they're little heroes when they break the rules," said French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner. "Well, no. You're an imbecile, and especially a threat to yourself.”

After images of rowdy spring break college crowds appeared on TV for days, Florida's governor Ron DeSantis told Fox and Friends Thursday 3/19/2020 that the state's beaches have either closed or if open, must abide by the CDC guidelines on crowds and distancing for the Covid-19 pandemic. So, he did not close the beaches himself, he passed the buck, expecting each beach township to decide for itself. He said, “The message I think for spring breakers is that the party is over in Florida. You’re not going to be able to congregate on any beach in the state. Many of the hot spots that people like to go to, whether it’s Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, or Clearwater Beach, are closed entirely for the time being."
  
As of 3/22/2020, Florida had 830 cases of Covid-19 with 13 dead. In the US there were over 27,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Stay home, stay safe, self isolate. 


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Thursday, March 26, 2020

"Not Practical to Lock Down State"


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference from his office in Tallahassee, Florida. New York State issued a shelter in place order, but he feels that a Shelter in Place order for Florida would not be advisable or practical. He claims it would be a very blunt instrument. He is afraid of hundreds of thousands of Floridians loosing their jobs. My feeling is that everyone should be more concerned about loosing their lives.

DeSantis seems to feel that this virus is not something that is affecting every part of the state. He outlined some counties that have low cases of Covid-19 but the fact is, that without testing, no one knows how many cases are out there. He feels that a massive shutdown of the entire state would not work. The issue of non-compliance is a concern. He sees instances of people in NYC and California being non-complaint and thus he seems to think Floridians are incapable of practicing self isolation. He sees it as impractical for a State Governor to enforce a shelter in place order.

Like President Trump, he seemed concerned more about people's mental health and suicide rates if they have to isolate to stay safe and alive. As Donald Trump said on Twitter, "We can not make the cure worse than the problem". Or restated, "The benefit of keeping people alive is not worth the cost to the economy." The problem however is a viral death rate with unimaginable numbers if the problem is ignored. This can not be overlooked. The skewed thinking on this issue amazes me. There is no option to go back to life as normal after 14 days. The United Kingdom ordered a country wide lock down for 3 weeks, which seems like a more sane approach to try and stop the spread of the virus. However, here in America, the President seems intent on ignoring science and getting the economy back up at any cost. His medical advisor, Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was absent at a White House press briefing today. He has been the one voice of reason on how to stop the spread of the virus but his blunt comments are rumored to have rubbed the president the wrong way since science doesn't line up with the president's lies.

DeSantis seems to follow the president's mantra.  DeSantis said he will work with all the metro areas, but decisions about public health have to come from Municipal and County Governance. So the president passed the buck to state governors, and this state governor passed the buck to city mayors. Any benefit of a lock down might be overwhelmed by people coming to Florida. On the day of his address there were 190 direct flights from the New York area to Florida. Those people may be fleeing a shelter in place order issued in that state. Given the situation in New York, it is very possible that there is someone on every flight who has the Covid-19 virus. The Federal Government is doing nothing to restrict domestic flights. DeSantis insisted that anyone coming from New York or a similar hot spot must do a mandatory self isolation.

The bottom line is that Ron DeSantis feels it is impractical to lock down a state with no end in sight.
___________________________________________________________________________________

Local county and city officials in Central Florida were waiting for Governor DeSantis to issue some kind of shelter in place order, and when they realized it was not coming, they decided to protect their citizens with their own orders and proclamations. Orlando City Mayor Buddy Dyer along with County Mayor Jerry Demings and the leaders from the municipalities in Orange County have instated a “Stay at Home” order for all residents, and all non-essential businesses will be closed, which includes most retail, recreation, and entertainment businesses, starting this Thursday March 26, 2020, at 11 p.m., and continuing for two weeks through April 9, 2020.

"This means you should stay at home, unless it is absolutely needed – like shopping at the grocery store, going to a doctor’s appointment, providing necessary care for a family member, visiting a restaurant for a takeout order or going outside to exercise, all while keeping six feet between you and others.
You should not go to work unless you are providing essential services that are defined in this order. Visits to family members or friends should be limited to those who need medical or other essential assistance, such as ensuring an adequate supply of food or medicine.
We know that this order will impact the livelihood of residents, our local businesses and our region’s economy. But the health of our community is our top priority and we must do everything that we can to protect the lives of our family members, friends and neighbors.
It is our goal that through aggressive action we will help minimize how many people in our community are impacted by this virus, and then how quickly residents and businesses can recover emotionally and financially."
This is a challenge unlike any we’ve seen before, but I know that Orlando is up to it.

Stay home, stay safe.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Make Amends with Your Friends

This post discusses the shooting that took place at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. It contains difficult content, so please do not read on if you feel you may be effected. 

This article and sketch have been posted with the express written permission of the interviewee and is summarized from their own interview. Analog Artist Digital World takes the privacy and wishes of individuals very seriously.  

Norman Casiano has always had the support and love of his parents. While he was still in the hospital he heard that some parents didn't want to claim their children after the PULSE shooting. This is something he could not comprehend, his parents helped so much after everything happened.

His world changed completely on June 12, 2016. That evening was his send off, because he was about to start school as a make up artist. His parents dropped him off at the club, he got there early, about 11pm. No one was there, and he was going to leave, but then his friends started showing up. He had a falling out with Stanley Almodovar, but that night they made amends. Stanley said, "I'm glad we fixed things because you never know when your last day might be on earth." Stanley was one of the 49 to die that night.

About 1:30 am Stanley gave Norman his credit card and said he was going to get his car and pull it up in front of the club. They were going to leave along with Marie, Stanley's friend. Norman entered the middle room with all the mirrors and dancers. As he handed the card off to one of the bartenders, he and Marie heard the first two gun shots. He wasn't immediately scared, it might be a fight between two people. He ducked under the bar and told Marie to stay. Then he heard the automatic assault weapon. Marie asked, "What is going on?" He did not know. This was not normal. The room they were in had two doors. As they tried to get up from under the bar there was a tsunami of people. He was trampled and stepped on. He fought his way to his feet, the adrenaline drove him forward. The whole time he heard people screaming and glass breaking. Chunks of cement flew through the air.

He needed to hide. The closest refuge was the bathrooms. He tried to make sense of the situation. He didn't think the shooter would systematically try to kill everyone. Once in the bathroom stalls, it was packed. He was in the boy's bathroom on the left hand side. There were only urinals and a private handicap stall. Maria ran into the stall and struggled to hide in the crowd. Norman froze, he didn't want to hide under people. He didn't want to survive thinking he had used someone else as a shield. He closed the stall door from inside. Everyone was trying to shush each other so as not to draw the shooters attention. A boy ran in and fell against the stall door blocking it closed from the outside. The boy had been shot in the middle of his back. He was screaming and trying to crawl under the stall door. "Please I don't want to die!" he shouted. Norman reassured him as he tried to pull him inside.

The gun shots kept getting closer and closer. They stopped when the gunman entered their bathroom. It suddenly became clear that he was coldly and deliberately thinking about what he was doing. Norman went into a primal state of fear, he was just shaking but then went still. Even people who were hysterical grew still. The assault rifle jammed. People yelled, "Please don't do this!" He tried to see the shooter but never got a view. The shooter wasn't listening, instead he put more bullets in the weapon. Then the shooter laughed. He shot the boy on the floor. The ground shattered. Shrapnel punctured Normans shoe. He was wearing white from the waste down. His shoe turned red. He scooted back, less than an inch from the stall door. He knew what was coming. In a way he was ready. He thought of his mom, dad, and little brother.

As the gunman was getting ready to shoot, Norman called his parents. His mom shouted, "What is going on!" Norman was scared because the shooter was right there. He hung up once he heard the gun being cocked. Bullets punctured the stall door non stop. Norman was shot on his lower left hand side, near his hip. It felt like being branded. It felt hot. He called his parents again. He told his dad, "He shot me!" The phone died. The gunman was still in the bathroom getting ready to shoot again. He could not open the stall door, bodies blocked the door. He seemed to be frustrated. So he climbed up and shot down into the stall from above.  Norman looked up and saw the gun pointed directly at him. The first shot hit him on his lower back on his right side. Everything went black. When he woke, the shooter was no longer in the bathroom, having crossed to the bathroom across the hall. Norman stood straight up amazed that he was alive.

He started convincing others in the stall that they needed to get out. They yelled back, "If you want to die by yourself, you can die, we aren't going out there!" He said, "If we don't leave here, we are all going to die in here." The gun kept firing. No one budged. Marie got shot 12 times. She could not get up. She said, "You have to go." the stall door would not open. He climbed on the sink and pulled himself over the stall wall and dropped to the floor. Shots were fired into the bathroom again with cement hitting him. He realized he was shot from the waste down so his legs were not working. He tried to pull himself up. Even doctors now are not sure how he got himself out. In the corner of the bathroom was a plastic trash can which he hid behind, knowing it would not stop any bullets. He poked his head out and saw a first responder. That convinced him it was safe to come out. They shouted, "Victim or assailant?" He shouted back "Don't shoot, I'm a victim." "If you are a victim come out with your hands in the air." He dropped to the floor and he crawled towards the emergency doors to the right. The door opened and he was dragged out.

He found himself behind a truck sweating, but that sweat was actually his blood and others blood. A woman survivor was with him, She asked him if he was hurt. Something didn't feel right, his leg hurt. She lifted his shirt and gasped. She shouted out for an officer, "He 's hurt!" He suddenly felt an elephants worth of pain weigh on him. The woman and the officer lifted him up. He was one of the first shown on TV as he was carried towards Wendy's. It felt like a war zone. Behind Wendy's he sat with the woman. He noticed her phone. He asked her to call his mom. He apologized to his mom, thinking he was dying. She shouted back, "You are not saying good bye to me! Are you OK?" He didn't want to tell her the truth. He lied, saying he was fine. The gunshots continued across the street. He said, "I love you." and he passed the phone over to his guardian angel Rebekah. Rebekah was on vacation from Michigan and walked into this hell storm. His mom questioned Rebekah who started crying and she explained everything that was happening. She said simply that he was not OK. He could hear his mom yelling, "What is not OK? Tell me! Is he going to make it, where did he get hurt?" She told his mom about the lower back wound his mom lost it. A policeman came and told her to get off the phone.

Police put tags on those that were shot to see who needed to get put on an ambulance. Tag colors went from green to black. Green meant you were OK, while black meant you were dead. His color was red, which wasn't good. He made peace with what was happening. He drifted off. Rebekah was looking down at him and saying, "Don't go to sleep." But it felt good to drift off. The ambulance arrived just in time. The bullet went straight through and now he was bleeding out. He flat lined. It was a soft feeling. He heard welcoming voices. He felt connected. Then he heard thunder and a loud NO! He gasped for air. The doctor was holding a defibrillator.

In the hospital, they cut off his brand new pants and started inspecting his wound. He was one of the first to arrive and they did not know if he was a victim or the assailant. A call came in that there was another shooter and that he made his way to the hospital. They were herded into a room and the doctors surrounded the patients and waited to find out if there was indeed another shooter in the hospital. An alarm went off. It felt like the end of the world. Victims were separated into different areas by curtains. As he waited they gave him morphine. He could hear the suffering of others. It didn't seem real.

His parents had rushed to Pulse but they didn't know he was alive. Police told them to go to the hospital. A chaplain was offering prayers and Norman begged him to let him call his parents. He pulled out a flip phone and called Norman's mom. He looked guilty as he made the call. The chaplain introduced himself to her and she lost it, thinking it was THE call. Finally Norman got on and shouted to calm her down. He was sure he would die. With that much pain you turn into a 5 year old. A doctor gave him more medication and he drifted off.

At 11 am the next day he was reunited with his parents. They let him cope with his pain before they let him know about the bigger picture. At 3 am his parents were asleep and he turned on the TV to see the news for the first time. He wished he hadn't. They were reading the list. Stanley's name was on the list. He screamed, waking his parents. He did not understand. The numbers kept growing. Nothing made sense. FBI entered the room and separated him from his parents causing a fight. He was interviewed. He was in the hospital three nights and two days. FBI advised him not to talk to the media. At the door of ORMC there was a storm of cameras, media, and interviewers. Cameras followed their every move as they rushed out, he felt dizzy and tears welled up in his eyes. He was in a wheelchair, he could not get up and run. A reporter from Miami opened the door to his parents car and the first interview he did was from the back seat of the car.

In the months that followed, he got to meet president Barack Obama. He just remembered that the president was left handed and he cried on his shoulder. The interviews became unbearable. What he most remembers was the pain. Life would never be the same. Being thrown into the aftermath of Pulse he got to meet people who are caring. People donated clothes, food, and money. His positional hospital bed was donated to him because he could not sleep in a regular bed. His heart swelled and he wanted to become a voice of the survivors. The shooter did not win. Lives were lost and he lost friends but the silver lining is that the shooter did not do what he had planned, which was to instill hatred and fear. What happened was the complete opposite, there was compassion, love, and togetherness. The shooter's hatred never left the club. What came out of it was that we stand stronger together. Make amends with your friends. You never know.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com