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.

WHINING AND RESIGNING – Marilyn Armstrong

I’m not going to do it. I want to. I need a good whine. .

Because we all have days like this. The kind of day when by the end of it, you want to resign. Not from blogging, but from the humanity. I want to just throw it all in and hide. Permanently.

Whatever that means. 

Yet I know I will feel better, if not tomorrow, than very soon. At which point, all the whining will just be embarrassing.

Meanwhile, gotta tell ya — there are days when it totally doesn’t pay to get out of bed. Of course, those are exactly the days when you have no choice because there’s so much you need to do. Today is going to be nasty, too.

Today was the kind of day when it feels as if no matter what you do, someone is fighting you. Everything is a battle. Nothing goes smoothly. You get disconnected a dozen times. You’re on the phone forever and in the end, banging your head into the wall sounds like a healthy alternative to everything else you’ve done that day.

But, I am not resigning from humanity. For one thing, I’m not sure to whom I’d hand the resignation. For another, after resigning, what’s next? Can I become one of my dogs?

I guess I’ll hang around.

I’m not going to give you the details. Even thinking about writing it makes me want to scream.

INCOMPETENCE IS A FORCE MULTIPLIER – BY TOM CURLEY

Has anybody noticed that the words incompetence/incompetent keeps coming up more and more in everything you read these days?

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Lately, it’s been taking on a new definition.  Force Multiplier. 

What is a force multiplier?

In military terms, it’s anything that makes a weapon work better, or gives a soldier an advantage over the enemy. It’s not a new concept.

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The long bow was a force multiplier. It allowed the English to defeat the more heavily-armored French at the battle of Agincourt. When you can shoot the enemy from way far away and they can’t shoot you back, you win.

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Close to  75% of Americans did not vote for the clowns in congress or the Clown in the Oval Office.

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And right now, they are throwing an incredible amount of shit at us. We’ve lost both houses of the legislature, the White House and soon, the Supreme Court. What can we do about it? We don’t have a lot of weapons at our disposal to fight back with.

What weapons do we have?

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Well, we have the media finally doing their job. Reporting about the incredible amount of shit being thrown at us. And how a bunch of screw-ups are running the government.

That is of course, unless our “so-called president” gives a “so-called speech” where he reads “so-called words” off a “so-called teleprompter”. Then he becomes “so-called Presidential”.

The bar has been set so low for “Presidential” that you need ground penetrating radar to find it.

global-gpr.com “The bar’s got to be down there somewhere!”

We also have  grass-roots movements and  large protest demonstrations. Weapons that are more effective than you think

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But, do we have any force multipliers? Actually, we do.

Incompetence. Their incompetence.

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Of course, their incompetence isn’t something that we can control.  But it can still work in our favor. Face it, the best thing we can hope for in the next few years is that the government does nothing (or at least as little as possible). The fewer laws they pass the better off we’ll be. We can’t do much to stop them.

But incompetence can!

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What was the biggest reason the Muslim ban failed? The incredible incompetence with which it was enacted.

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Thousands of government jobs have yet to be filled. Partly because nobody wants the jobs. But mostly due to incompetence. Reports keep coming out about a chaotic White House staff. Is it all because of in-fighting? Maybe.

But don’t forget incompetence.

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The people now running the White House have no experience running the things they are supposed run. And that’s the reason they were hired! Nobody in the White House has any idea how anything works! (including the light switches)

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Did you know that “Nobody knew how complicated health care was?”

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No incompetence to see here folks, move along.

The head of the Energy Department literally didn’t know what the Energy Department did. And four years earlier, he wanted to eliminate it! But then he couldn’t remember what department it was that he wanted to eliminate!

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Incompetence anyone? Step right up.

The head of the Education Department has no knowledge or understanding of the basic principles of education. How do I know this? I watched her confirmation hearing. Text book incompetence!

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Congress, right now, is desperately trying to take away the country’s health insurance before the country notices their health insurance has been taken away.

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Will they? Possibly. SCROTUS is going to push for it. And he’s supposed to be a great salesman and a great businessman.

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Will they succeed? Maybe. Problem is, we don’t have much to fight back with folks. But don’t count out incompetence. So far, it’s been working for us. Like I said. It’s a force multiplier.

Just in reverse.

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