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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Be the Eye of the Hurricane_IWSG POST



The storm of COVID-19 is all around us.  

We must strive to be eye of that hurricane. 

Easier said than done, right?


I don't know where you are in this storm.  I have no crystal ball.  

And the only gypsy I know is a ghost cat ... and you know cats ... ghost cats are even worse in telling you anything.

They just roll their eyes at the dumb things we humans do.


Anna has an interesting title to her IWSG post: Don't Drink the Kool-Aid:

https://emaginette.wordpress.com/2020/04/01/iwsg-71-dont-drink-the-kool-aid/



In Florida, the college students are still packing the sands for spring break ... nary a mask on any of them.

The Mardi Gras parades were a virus bomb which is now making New Orleans the new epicenter for the coronavirus.


As of last week, masks were not worn by the donor techs where ... don't want to frighten the donors. Sigh.

I am looked at strangely because of my mask ... but not at the hospitals I deliver blood to.  They all wear masks.

Besides, I have a co-worker who coughs her congested cough with her mouth open ... every other minute.

I'm in the wrong age bracket to not wear a mask.


We should learn the Lessons of 
the Spanish Flu of 1918


But enough about me.  
What do you think about me?


No. Just joking.
 How are you doing?

Try to boost your immune system by taking:
Getting enough sleep.

Zinc
Vitamin D3
Vitamin K2
Vitamin C
Echinacea & Golden Seal
Elderberry  Syrup
And
A good Probiotic


Every Storm passes.

Panic is your worst enemy.

Use your mind,

Take refuge in the Father.

Know you are not alone.

My heart is with you all. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Where Do YOU Find Yourself?



Me?

Of course I'm going to start with me.  

I'm a male.  

But enough about Me.  
"What do YOU think about me?"
as the starlet said to Harvey Weinstein. 

Ah, but we know how that ended, 
don't we?


 I'm a rare blood courier taking blood to quarantined hospitals, 

entering the back way down long winding halls often filled with coughing patients and hospital staff.

And I'm in one of the more vulnerable age brackets.

But I find myself needed by ill patients
whose numbers grow daily.

What do you then?

You stand your ground.


FEAR

We face an invisible enemy.  

It is growing stronger.  

It floats in the air, 

lies in wait on infected surfaces, 

flies on the waves of germ-infected coughs 

(which travel at 100 feet per second.)


WHAT DO WE DO?

As intelligent adults we access the situation, 
ascertain the most reasonable response,
and we adapt.



SO WHAT ABOUT YOU?

SHELTERED IN PLACE?

No, I am not going to point you to my affordable ebooks and audio books found in my sidebar.

(Ah, I guess I just
sneakily did, didn't I?)


 Mercy Thompson's tales
 are a 15 riveting book series.
Lorelei King mesmerizingly 
narrates the books.


LIKE CHARLAINE HARRIS?


A two book series with rave reviews:

 “Immersive, involving, suspenseful, and intriguing, with a main character you’ll love.” 
—Lee Child, 
#1 internationally bestselling author of the Jack Reacher novels


WRITE A NEW BOOK LIKE MIDNIGHT

 

WATCH AN ABSORBING TV SERIES



No matter what you choose to do ...

BUY MY BOOKS!

Just kidding.

Be Smart. 
Stay Healthy.

All things pass ...
 even kidney stones. 

That last was from Midnight.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

SHELTER IN PLACE with me



This Just In:

Louisiana has the fastest 
rate of growth 
of coronavirus cases 
in the world, 
Gov. John Bel Edwards said.


"The state has the third highest number
 of cases per capita in the country -- 
behind New York and Washington state,"
Edwards said.

Whoa, right?

Feeling cooped up?  
Travel the world with Mark Twain!



I have 29 audio books 
available for download on 
Amazon or Audible ...

all affordably priced.


Some 45 Kindle books.
Many priced at 99 cents.


Want a sampler of my work?
Audio, Kindle, or Print versions are all affordable.

Want to brave Mummies, Star Gods,
and petty politics in 1895 Egypt
with Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde?

If not, I understand.

Another idea:

Audible is offering free audio books 
for children.
For as long as schools are closed,
Audible is open.


Stay safe and well 
during this time.


Me?

I will be walking down germ-infested 
hospital halls
past coughing patients.


The odds are not with me
especially at my age bracket,
but ill patients need blood
especially in these times.



In this darkness,
I imagine 
a bit of a star in each 
human soul. 

To help nourish
that light
is an honor.

STAY HEALTHY, MY FRIENDS.

Monday, March 23, 2020

YOU DROWN IN YOUR OWN BLOOD



 The beach crowds at Spring Break (whose partiers brought back Covid - 19 to their colleges)


The crowds on Bourbon Street during the St. Patrick's Day block long alcohol-hazed night.

The oblivious crowds at D.C.'s Cherry Blossom Festival ...


American young people seem blissfully ambling into the arms of our most recent plague.

Last check before my weekend hospital gauntlet,   

Louisiana was reporting 479 confirmed cases of COVID-19, one of the highest numbers in the country. 

Ten people had died. 

The majority of cases are in New Orleans, which now has one confirmed case for every 1,000 residents. 

New Orleans had held Mardi Gras celebrations just two weeks before its first patient, with more than a million revelers on its streets.


A respiratory therapist there told a shuddering story to a reporter.


Many of his patients are relatively young, in their 40s and 50s, 

and have minimal, if any, preexisting conditions in their charts. 

He is overwhelmed, stunned by the manifestation of the infection, both its speed and intensity. 


" This is knocking out what should be perfectly fit, healthy people. 

Patients will be on minimal support, on a little bit of oxygen, and then all of a sudden, 

they go into complete respiratory arrest, shut down and can’t breathe at all.”

  
“It first struck me how different it was when I saw my first coronavirus patient go bad. 

I was like, ‘Holy shit, this is not the flu.’  

Watching this relatively young guy, gasping for air, pink frothy secretions coming out of his tube and out of his mouth. 


"The coronavirus patients have been having a lot of secretions that are actually pink 

because they’re filled with blood cells that are leaking into their airways. 

They are essentially drowning in their own blood and fluids because their lungs are so full. 


 So we’re constantly having to suction out the secretions every time we go into their rooms.”


 “Before this, we were all joking. It was grim hospital humor. 

If you are exposed to the virus and test positive and go on quarantine, you get paid. 

We were all joking: I want to get the coronavirus because then I get a paid vacation from work. 

But once I saw these patients with it, I was like,  

‘Holy shit, I do not want to catch this and I don’t want anyone I know to catch this.’


 New CDC data reveals that 40% of those hospitalized with the coronavirus

were from age 2o to 54.

This is a novel (brand new) virus ...


There is NO TEXTBOOK for it.

 
Researchers and physicians are learning as they go, 

while the virus seems to be changing the rules as it mutates.


Do what you can to stay well.  Be vigilant, be prudent, be safe.

NO ONE IS IMMUNE


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The ZEN of WRITING



A New York Times essay recently stated that modern fiction has lost its faith ...

that Christian belief figures into literary fiction in our place and time as something 

between a dead language and a hangover.

I believe it is worse than that:  

many books seem to have lost touch with the soul, the wonder, and the magic 

without which our prose tales are shallow pursuits of sensory titillation.  


WE HAVE LOST THE MAGIC


There is a land not too far from where you sit right now.

Its velvet grasses miss the press of your feet.

The billowing clouds strain to see your body walk slowly up the rising hill.

The fragrant winds blow through the lonely tree branches, 



whispering your name as they seek some trace of you.

It is where the magic lives.

That realm is lonely, wondering where you have been.

And where have you and I been?

We have been caught up in the drudgery that writing has become. 



Burdened by life's duties and our own doubts,

Battered by the fears of the plague at our doors,

we have lost our way.

We have lost the magic.

Did we lose it straining for that first perfect sentence in our new novel?

Looking at the blank, impatient computer monitor 


did we forget the simple wonder of just writing the first simple sentence that occurred to us?

That creative power which bubbles so tingly at the beginning of our book quiets down after a time. 



The journey becomes slower and slower, the inertia of doubt steadily dragging our steps.

Do we continue doggedly on or do we stop to refresh ourselves?

The answer to that question determines whether we find our way back to the magic or not.

How do we refresh ourselves?

How do we refresh ourselves on a long wilderness walk? We stop by a stream and drink.

Drink of those poets and writers who sparked that love of the written word spoken in the lonely heart of the reader.

As a hiker takes shade under the canopy of a huge oak, 



listen to the music of those artists who stirred you to imagine images that you just had to write and make live in your own way.

Then, you shall write as a child writes ... 


not thinking of a result but thinking in terms of discovery as if you were hiking once again where the magic lives.

It is the Zen of writing


the creation takes place between your fingers and the keyboard, 

not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting.

The magic is there waiting for you. It will come if you but get out of its way and let it in.




Monday, March 16, 2020

A TIME FOR STRAIGHT TALK



 The odds are not with me.  


As a rare blood courier, like with E.M.T.'s 
Policemen, & Firemen --

I walk through emergency rooms where
the ill are hacking and sneezing trillions
of germ into the air.

Besides, I am not in a good age bracket.


Government spokesmen have their own agendas and many are ill-informed or out of the loop of current data.



Take the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar,who told host George Stephanopoulos 

that asymptomatic spread is "not the major driver" of the spread of the new coronavirus. 


 But it appears that a Massachusetts coronavirus cluster with at least 82 cases was started by people who were not yet showing symptoms, 

and more than half a dozen studies have shown that people without symptoms are causing substantial amounts of infection. 



 Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. 

said, 

"It's "absolutely clear" that asymptomatic infection surely can fuel a pandemic like this in a way that's going to make it very difficult to control." 

Check this out from this Saturday's New Orleans celebration for St. Patrick's Day

 Bourbon Street crowded amid coronavirus order on big crowds


How many of these partiers were infected and came 
back to Lake Charles or other Louisiana home towns?

Then, there were crowds at airports yesterday


Bill Gates, yes, that Bill Gates who said despite scoffers that people would one day buy water in plastic bottles, said

"There is also strong evidence that this can be transmitted by people who are just mildly ill or even presymptomatic. 

That means COVID-19 will be much harder to contain than the Middle East respiratory syndrome or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), 

which were spread much less efficiently and only by symptomatic people."


 "Asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic transmission are a major factor in transmission for Covid-19," said Dr. William Schaffner,

 a professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and longtime adviser to the CDC. 

"They're going to be the drivers of spread in the community." 


Wear a mask, people.  I know. I know.  

But do you really believe 
Hospitals and Health Departments
go to Home Depot for masks?

They have Direct Access to distributors for that.


Wearing a face mask is certainly not an iron-clad guarantee that you won’t get sick:

Viruses can also transmit through the eyes and tiny viral particles, known as aerosols, can penetrate masks. 

Wear glasses and wash your face along with your hands.

However, masks are effective at capturing droplets, which is a main transmission route of coronavirus, 

and some studies have estimated a roughly five-fold protection versus no barrier alone. 

For a former Outbreak Investigator for the CDC on this facet, 

go to 14:30 and then for further data from a toxicologist on this &

why he wears a mask in public settings, go to 16:19

 
 
Think of it as wearing a seat belt:

You don't expect to get into an accident.
You simply are preparing for the 
consequences in case you get into one.


"You do you" as they say.


When I received my two minors in Microbiology
and Infectious Diseases --

I studied hard to get A's.

Now, I am again studying hard --
but this time

to put the odds as much in my favor as I can. 


Do what you think best.

Stay Well, my friends.