Pandemic 2020-21 ~ February

Have the new jab

The roll out of vaccines continues to improve after a very fitful start! It was just by a fluke that I happened to snag my appointment early on by filling out the survey with the health department. I had no idea that I’d be one of the first 5,000 in our district to be put in the pilot program with the University of Virginia 75 plus Employee Health. As of now, I’m feeling relief that I have both #1 and #2 dose when I see so many getting frustrated with the mechanics of securing their appointments. Pat also had his #1 and #2 dose, and the long-term care facility process went very smoothly. No major side effects for either one of us.

The federal government continues to act in getting information out to all Americans. Vaccination sites now include pharmacies and hospitals, as well as the mass vaccination sites around the district. It was just announced that the federal government is sending 25 million masks to Community Health Centers, Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries across the nation!!
💚😇😷

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I kept thinking about the memoir my Uncle Jack wrote about the period covering (1917-1927). I couldn’t remember if he’d written about the 1918 Flu Epidemic. I’ve been writing in his mother Anna’s, first-person voice with the information he’d provided. It was also during the time the US was at war with Germany and rationing food. (WWI)”

The number of deaths from the 2018 flu epidemic was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. Mortality was high in people younger than 5 years old, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older.

Over the last year I’d stopped writing about his and my paternal grandmother’s experience because of COVID-19 brain fog and writer’s block. When I finally took the memoir out, I came across this section about their own experience with this deadly epidemic.

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“The worldwide flu epidemic killed many people and we had our own scare when Jack got very sick. We put his bed in the front room where we could keep the temperature cold by opening the windows because the doctor believed this killed the germs. We covered him with lots of blankets. The only foods he could eat were soft foods like soft-boiled eggs, ice cream, custard, jello and rice pudding. He really liked this because we rarely had these delicious foods during the rationing. I tried to keep him quiet by propping him up with pillows so he could look out the window and watch the men build the new school across the street. They tore down all the houses that were there, leaving only the foundations, and putting up the school in their place. It was going to be named Roosevelt School.

Jack’s fifth birthday went by without our celebrating it because he was so sick. When he was feeling better, we surprised him with a birthday cake. Ray, Henry and I, along with two of Jack’s aunts, walked into his room carrying the cake with lighted candles. We all sang ‘Happy Birthday to you” and rolled in the brand new red wagon that he’d always wanted.

Finally, the day came that we could close the windows in his room and heat up his room. We got him out of bed and up on his feet. We helped him stand up but he was too weak to walk. Each day I would help him out of bed and walk with him around the room. It wasn’t long before he was running all around the apartment. The day came that we all celebrated when Jack was able to go outside!! What a joy to see him pulling his red wagon up and down the street. The workmen building the school across the street asked him if he’d like to load some of the pieces of wood laying all over the construction site into his wagon, and bring it home for firewood for our stove. Jack was so proud when he wheeled the wagon into our apartment and put all the wood into our coal bin.”

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(c) Donna Ashworth
Worldometer dot com as of February 28th

Pandemic 2020 – September

Well here we are! Nine months since the very first reports of this dangerous virus. For most of us, awareness came in the beginning of March when we were learning how it was spread. And when our president, here in the US, came before the nation on March 11th. And here is some of what he said:

Smart action today will prevent the spread of the virus tomorrow.”

If we are vigilante and we can reduce the chance of infection, which we will, we will significantly impede the transmission of the virus. “

We must put politics aside. Stop the partisanship. And unify together as one nation and one family. “

None of this happened! He didn’t practice what he preached.

One month out from our presidential election we’ve learned the president has tested positive for COVID-19. He’s been admitted to Walter Reed Hospital. Each day more of those in contact with him are turning up with positive results. October promises to be filled with drama and October Surprises. I’ve already mailed in my ballot and confirmed it has been received. That lifts some of the stress surrounding these crazy times.

As for me, I continue to wear my mask when I go out among people. My source of trust is the medical profession, my son who is a cardiologist and, of course, Dr. Anthony Fauci. I’ve tuned out the politicization of this terrible pandemic. I’m doing the best that I can over the long haul.

The assisted living facility where Pat is living has cautiously opened the doors for visitors again. Wearing a mask, having your temperature taken and being asked covid-related questions is all a part of the routine. My first visit with him was on a beautiful fall day. It didn’t seem like six months had passed by as we have been talking on the phone every day since this all began. What a gift it is to have him for support and encouragement. 💚😷

Lets All Drink to Lockdown
By Jan Beaumont ©

I’m normally a social girl
I love to meet my mates
But lately with the virus here
We can’t go out the gates.

You see, we are the ‘oldies’ now
We need to stay inside
If they haven’t seen us for a while
They’ll think we’ve upped and died.

They’ll never know the things we did
Before we got this old
There wasn’t any Facebook
So not everything was told.

We may seem sweet old ladies
Who would never be uncouth
But we grew up in the 60s –
If you only knew the truth!

There was sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll
The pill and miniskirts
We smoked, we drank, we partied
And were quite outrageous flirts.

Then we settled down, got married
And turned into someone’s mum,
Somebody’s wife, then nana,
Who on earth did we become?

We didn’t mind the change of pace
Because our lives were full
But to bury us before we’re dead
Is like red rag to a bull!

So here you find me stuck inside
For 4 weeks, maybe more
I finally found myself again
Then I had to close the door!

It didn’t really bother me
I’d wile away the hour
I’d bake for all the family
But I’ve got no bloody flour!

Now Netflix is just wonderful
I like a gutsy thriller
I’m swooning over Idris
Or some random sexy killer.

At least I’ve got a stash of booze
For when I’m being idle
There’s wine and whiskey, even gin
If I’m feeling suicidal!

So let’s all drink to lockdown
To recovery and health
And hope this bloody virus
Doesn’t decimate our wealth.

We’ll all get through the crisis
And be back to join our mates
Just hoping I’m not far too wide
To fit through the flaming gates!

Pandemic 2020 ~ August

Winter Is Coming

Same old. Same old.

August was a settling into the fact that this virus isn’t going away. We heard conflicting information from all sources. The president, without shame, used the pandemic to stoke more left and right division. It was unreal how half the country reacted to simple guidelines toward preventing the spread of infection. Deaths in the USA reached over 180,000. Total positive cases well over 5,ooo,ooo. The president continued to hold large campaign rallies, along with the Republican National Convention, that flaunted every effort of medical professionals and responsible citizens to prevent more deaths.

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This portrait is made with the pictures of all the doctors and nurses who passed away in this pandemic. Enlarge it and you will see. Pass it on as a tribute 💖

It’s a tribute to healthcare professionals in Mexico.

As of July 2020, no international health body has published a global total for deaths of healthcare workers caused by COVID-19. 

According to this study conducted by the UK newspaper The Guardian and US non-profit organisation Kaiser Health News, at least 768 frontline healthcare workers have died of COVID-19 in the US alone. 

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My life is slow and reflective. I’m centered and peaceful. The outside events that are battering my country break my heart yet I know I can’t fix it. There are so many who have lost jobs, a roof over their heads and no idea what the future holds. So many families that couldn’t be with a family member as they suffered with this virus.

My life is so much more enriched by being connected with beautiful people who show strength and wisdom that helps me carry on.

And meanwhile…….

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Winter is Coming ~ Seth Monk

Most of you know me as a positive person, or at least a realist. I’m not into conspiracy theories, or fear mongering, and I generally find a way to eventually flip any situation into a positive learning experience.There is something that’s been nagging on my mind though, and I feel like it needs to be shared.I need to ring the bell 🔔 And the bell sounds like this:

WINTER IS COMING

In a few months, it is going to become darker and colder. We are going to be forced to spend more time indoors. However with the virus most likely picking up due to people being forced to be in closed spaces and weakened winter immune systems, we’re not going to have many places to go. Stuck at home, stuck IN our homes, we are going to be in dark, cold, forced isolation.We aren’t going to have much contact with nature, with the sun, with each other, or much physical exercise. Spending our time indoors with only artificial lights, iPhones and Netflix is going to seriously hurt our mental health. The economy is going to be hurting. More places will be closing down. More jobs lost. More uncertainty and insecurity. More unsureness and anxiety. We feel this collectively in our nervous systems. In November there is also going to be a presidential election. Not only is there going to be a crazy, loud, aggressive surge of voice and opinions and debates, but there is going to be a winner. Or more importantly, there is going to have to be a loser. No matter which candidate wins, the losing side is going to declare war on the country. Trump supporters will revolt in some way if he loses, The rest of the population will revolt in some way if he wins again. Either way, there is going to be heavy political and communal turmoil that will last for months. This backdrop will already bring the collective tensions to an explosive high, and that is just the default state from which the rest of your personal life, with all of your own problems, difficulties, worries, challenges, and neurosis are going to play out.For many people, This is going to be the hardest winter of their lives.I am ringing this bell to help people have time to prepare. Get outside as much as you can now. Get in the sun, get in some water, and safely strengthen whatever kind of community bonds you have. Start thinking about how to make your home a wellness fortress. Buy things to soothe your nervous systems; candles and incense and oils and teas and plants and uv lights and bath soaps. If you were going to be literally stuck at home for a few months, what do you need to make it bearable? In some cases, consumerism is an answer. Get into a wellness routine now; Meditation, yoga, journaling, anything that you can do regularly that can help carry you through the winter. Buy snow clothes and plan on being outside to get your exercise. Start drawing a line with social media and devices. We need to stay present and informed but our nervous systems can not take that stress and stimulation that is coming. Set healthy boundaries, pick your battles, and detach as much as you’re able to. Be aware of how much you really need to be connected and to make actual change and what is just addiction. Make sure you have social networks of people you can call or go on winter walks with. Start creating, building, strengthening interpersonal connections. They will help save you.Make peace with the unknown, work on trusting the greater process, know you are not alone and that things are working to work themselves out. The sun will shine again, the flowers will bloom, and we will again have the chance to be together. I’m aware that this might seem premature, and that people are sitting at the beach currently so this all seems very far away. But it’s in our best interest to start planning (not worrying, not panicking) to give ourselves the best chance and support of making it to next summer in the best shape we can.I hope this message was received in a good way, feel free to share.

Pandemic 2020 ~ May, June and July

Pandemic 2020 ~ April

<strong>Pandemic 2020 ~ March</strong>

Me in the Middle Holding Space for My Country