SHARING WHAT REMAINS OF MY WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Even though my life is pretty much unchanged, it doesn’t feel the same as it used to. The world feels threatening and hostile. Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, there is very little helpfulness or cooperation around here. No one delivers, prices have gone up on everything except gasoline, and they still don’t have toilet paper or tissues. No one has offered any help at all.

Maybe it’s because we are so rural. We don’t have “neighbors” in the usual sense. They are a considerable distance away. We have no public transportation, so you can’t go anywhere if you don’t drive. Garry isn’t feeling well and I don’t know whether to start panicking now or wait until he feels worse.

The world is going to change. I don’t know exactly how and I don’t know if I will be around long enough to find out, either.

Don’t you love advertisements from Cadillac about “How we’ve been through hard times before”? These are people who don’t know what a hard time is and probably never will. Their idea of a hard time is what most of us call an inconvenience.


Share Your World 03-30-2020

QUESTIONS:


Pancakes, waffles or French Toast as your breakfast favorite? 

Regular toast, preferably cinnamon with cream cheese.

Do you think a person’s name influences the person they become?

Unless you’re a boy named Sue, not really.

Would things get better or worse if humans focused on what was going well rather than what’s going wrong?

That is one of my least favorite cliches. You can do something else rather than focusing on what’s wrong, assuming what’s wrong isn’t you being evicted from your home or fired from your job … or dying of a disease. I can wrap myself in photography or books, but often when things aren’t going well, it is extremely difficult (mostly impossible) to focus on other parts of your life that appear to be going better. This is probably because “things going bad” feels like a piano falling four stories on your head, but things going well feels kind of normal.

Right now, nothing is going particularly well. Whatever was wrong before had stayed wrong while a whole lot more stuff has gotten much wronger.

Is math(s) something that humans created or something we discovered? Is looking at reality mathematically an accurate representation of how things work?

Some people think in numbers. I am not one of them. But people who think in numbers often wonder why we need words. I think they are the descendants of those who came in flying saucers.

As for gratitude?

We have enough toilet paper until hopefully it gets restocked in the grocery.

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOUR NICKEL WAS MINTED? By Marilyn Armstrong

I picked up the only coin I have larger than a penny. I used to have coins in my wallet. These days, I never have anything except a few odd pennies. Why is that? It isn’t even that I pay entirely by plastic. I actually do most of my grocery shopping with cash, so there ought to be coins. Quarters, dimes, nickels.

All I found was one single nickel, dated 1978.

That was the year I got a divorce, grabbed my kid, and moved us both to Israel.

It was a big year. A mighty year. I was giving up a really great job (the best one I ever had), a lot of close friends. I was moving with my 9-year-old son to a country where I knew no one and didn’t speak the language. I would stay there for almost ten years and then, I’d turn my life over (again) and move back to America.

I would come home for the rest of my life. And here I am in the middle of a pandemic. Of all my future predictions, this was NOT on the list.

I see my life in chapters. Childhood years from which I escaped via college and in the middle of that, married a man who was kind to me and was absolutely nothing like my father. It turned out that there’s a reason why early marriages often fail. You are young. He is young. You both change, but not necessarily in the same way. You don’t agree with each other anymore. We always liked each other, but between 18 and 30, I grew up. He was exactly the same as he was when we met and proud of it. When I said I wanted a divorce, he pointed out that he had not changed.

“I know,” I said. “And that is the problem.”

So I went to a place I’d always wanted to go.

My home in Baka, Jerusalem

At the end of January 1978, my son and I arrived at Lod airport. Neither of us had ever been to Israel. Owen knew absolutely nothing of the place. I had read a great deal about it … history, legends, guidebooks, and novels. We had no friends or family in the country, nor were we familiar with the language or customs.

Despite this, we would make it our home and both of us would grow to love it.

And the nickel reminded me of all of it.

ANXIETY AND THE CORONAVIRUS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I’ve had an anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember. As a child, I would worry about everything and was afraid of almost everything. My mother, a trained child psychologist, tried to give me a form of cognitive therapy by pointing out to me every time I was ‘awfullizing’ or ‘what iffing.’ She tried to make me realize that my anxieties were irrational and always told me “Don’t bleed until you’re cut!” It actually helped me and by my teen years, I had managed to control the worst and most paralyzing aspects of my daily anxieties, for the most part.

Prozac was the first commonly used anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication to burst onto the market in 1989. I was 40 and my psyche and my life changed dramatically as my anxiety and depression miraculously receded into the background. I still have flare-ups of anxiety and some ongoing anxiety issues, but they usually don’t keep me from being a basically upbeat, positive and relaxed person.

However, I would have thought that the Coronavirus crisis would have triggered my anxieties and thrown them into overdrive. I should have been in the first wave of panic buyers and I should have a closet full of toilet paper, paper towels and pasta. But I don’t. When the first stories came out early on about possible food shortages, a friend convinced me to order 40 cans of Progresso soup. I felt silly afterward and regretted that I had let my anxieties overtake me, but now I’m glad I have several cartons of canned goods in the basement – just in case.

Toilet paper aisles in most stores in New York and CT

Since then, I’ve been relatively calm in the face of the horrific health crisis that is getting worse day by day – and I am only 50 miles from the epicenter in NYC. At 70, I’m also in the higher risk population but I still go out once a week to shop and once a week to get mail at the post office. But that’s it for my forays into the potential virus-infected world.

I’m being careful and ‘sheltering in place’. Surprisingly, I’m not kept up at night by visions of worst-case scenarios swirling around uncontrollably in my head.

I’ve wondered why I’m not more anxiety-riddled than I am and I think the answer is that I’m only consumed with anxiety that reflects my irrational fears. I’m actually pretty good at dealing with real-world crises. I’m better dealing with a scary reality than with my inner demons.

My method of coping is staying up to date with what’s going on and acting accordingly to protect myself and my husband. I’ve read studies that show that people who read and listen to Coronavirus news regularly tend to be more agitated than those who don’t check the news as much. I find that the more I know, the safer I feel. Knowledge is power. So I’m keeping track of cases in my immediate area so when that number goes up dramatically, I can reassess my strategy and maybe place orders for pick up at the supermarket and get my prescriptions delivered by mail.

I believe that I’m doing what’s needed to limit my exposure so I feel relatively safe. I’m healthy and rarely get colds or flu so chances are good if I get it, it will be mild. I’m not consumed with worry that my husband or I will get seriously ill – or that I’ll run out of toilet paper before the stores can restock. Just in case, we also have a bidet!

If one of us gets sick, I’ll deal with it as best I can. I won’t bleed until I’m cut.

So, despite my propensity for anxiety, I seem to be dealing pretty well, psychologically speaking, with this very real, worldwide pandemic.

BESIEGED BY FLYING SQUIRRELS – Marilyn Armstrong

In the midst of the madness, the flying squirrels come every night and eat at least four or five pounds of birdseed. That’s approximately 2 kilos.

You can almost see the whole squirrel!

We’ve stopped filling the feeder every night because there’s food in the forest and they don’t really need to dine at our place every night, but apparently, our food is tastier.

A few nights ago, the overnight camera went wild and took another 1020 pictures, about 800 of which were squirrels you couldn’t see because they were on the back end of the feeder. Or the amount of squirrel you could see was so small, it really wasn’t worth processing.

It has taken me several days to go through all of those pictures and weed out a few more than 800 of them. I should probably dump another hundred and fifty because I doubt I’ll ever process them. These are the best of the bunch.

UPDATED INFORMATION AND PLEASE DON’T GUZZLE THE BLEACH! – Marilyn Armstrong

This is a correction from the previous message. It didn’t occur to me to warn people to not drink Listerine or bleach. Seriously? How stupid have we gotten? I’m assuming anyone who reads this blog is smart enough to recognize the difference between a cleanser, a mouthwash, and a cure.

There are no cures for Covid 19 or stupidity, so you can be sure that none of these items are a cure. These are standard ways to clean your hands and other surfaces. Sunshine can break down the virus, but we haven’t seen sunshine in a while. I’m sure one day the sun will shine again. That would make me feel better, Covid 19 or not.

  1. The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular (eye), nasal or buccal (the area around the lips, tongue, and mouth) mucosa, changes their genetic code and converts them into aggressors and multiplier cells.
  2. Since viruses are not living organisms but protein molecules, it can’t be killed. It does, however, decay. The amount of time disintegration takes depends on a variety of factors.
  3. The only thing that protects this virus is a thin outer layer of fat. That’s why soap or detergent is a good remedy because soap cuts the fat. This is also why you have to scrub for at least 20 seconds or more. Some people sing happy birthday twice. I count just like when I’m rebooting the TV or the computer.
  4. By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses, breaks down, and is no longer dangerous.
  5. Use hot water for washing hands, clothes and everything else.
  6. Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol greater than 65% dissolves fat, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.
  7. Bleach kills it, but it’s overkill. Soap is effective and won’t damage your skin. Bleach is a powerful cleanser and inhaling it is bad for your lungs and throat. Does anyone need to be warned not to drink it?
  8. Peroxide works, but you have to use it in its pure state and it can damage your skin. Don’t use it unless you must and certainly DON’T drink it!
  9. No bactericide will do the job. The virus is not a living organism as bacteria is. Bactericide cannot kill what is not alive.
  10. Wash clothing in warm or hot water. Use soap. Wipe down surfaces with soap and water or something like that. I don’t know how effective it is against the virus, but I’ve had a lot of luck breaking up grease and fat with Windex.
  11. The virus can not get through healthy skin.
  12. Vinegar is not an effective cleanser.
  13. Booze will NOT do the job. This includes vodka. Vodka is usually 40% alcohol. There’s a Polish brand that’s 96% but if you’re buying that Vodka, maybe you should consider drinking it rather than using it as a cleanser. Now this one, you CAN drink.
  14. An effective amount of alcohol needed to destroy the protein is a minimum of 65%. Listerine is NOT 65% alcohol but I can’t imagine rinsing your mouth with it after brushing your teeth could possibly hurt.
  15. Wash your hands often, especially after touching your eyes, nose, mouth, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote controls, cell phones, watches, computers, desks, TV, and so on. And of course when you use the bathroom.
  16. You should moisturize your hands after this much washing. Invest in a high-quality moisturizer. Keep your nails short and clean.

All of this material is available just about everywhere: on hospital websites, state virus websites and more. This is pretty standard stuff and I am still having trouble believing that I have to warn my readers to not drink bleach, soap, Listerine, Windex, peroxide, et al. Maybe a slug or two of vodka could help settle your brain. It won’t cure anything, but that’s not the point.

This article supposedly debunks this article. Except what it debunks is stupidity. See it here: https://www.factrakers.org/post/busted-coronavirus-myths-take-on-new-life

Use commonsense. Don’t do anything really dumb.