Hnefatafl is an ancient Norse board game that is sometimes refered to as the chess of the north. Unlike conventional chess the sides are not equal, with one side on the defensive and the other on the offence. The fewer white pieces are surrounded and menaced by the larger dark army. There has been some back and forth about which side holds the advantage. Much of this is derived from the fact that although examples of the game, like the one pictured have survived, the game’s rules have been less durable. Conventional thought has been that the offence or as in this case the black pieces have held the advantaged, but more recent discovery indicates that it is the white defence that holds the advantage. 

The Coronavirus has arrived. The first diagnosed patient in Missouri turned out to be a young woman, a student studying abroad in Italy. She came home with it and has been quarantined. Unfortunately, she lives in Saint Louis County. She is literally one in a million now, but don’t expect those long odds to avert a panic. Our governor and county executive appeared on TV to calm the masses, but I’m sure that this will be for naught. The hype in the press has been too relentless.

The paper’s by-line was from Clayton. I’m sure that that is because Clayton is the county seat and not that the origin point was there too. Mercy, a hospital that is located further west was mentioned in the report, indicating that the infected person also resides further west. That would put her in West County, the most affluent region around Saint Louis, which dovetails with her studying abroad.

Yesterday, Anne and I walked to Clayton. She to absentee vote in Tuesday’s Presidential primary and me to mail some packages for her. It was a warm day and the weather was perfect for a walk. We kind of hoofed it going there, with twin deadlines of a closing polling place and post office, but we made it fine. Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at Manhattan Café and then home for a nap.

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