“Close Friend Day”
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi
Experts on the Coronavirus have warned that we need to remain six feet apart when we interact to prevent viral spread. This has been dubbed “Social Distancing” but I believe a better term would be “physical distancing.” We need to be socially close perhaps more than ever before.
Our social contacts may be by phone, texting or email. Maintaining the six feet of separation we can even be present together if neither has symptoms. I am so grateful to those who have reached out to me. Some just ask how I’m doing. Others are able to offer specific help like grocery shopping. Besides my immediate family, these are friends, neighbors, and relatives. One friend provides food, another dropped off pink azaleas! While I am in one of those high-risk groups health-wise I am also over the age of sixty (>70), but so are some of those checking in with me. It is not that I am in need or dependent. It is that people care.
Let’s all try to do better in remaining socially close during these unprecedented times.
Let’s assume medication and personal items like one’s toothbrush are included in the “clothes” category above. The three items I would take are: iPhone, pen or pencil, paper.
I would expect to spend my time observing my surroundings, hopefully lots of nature, and recording my thoughts and reflections. At other times I would use the iPhone for news and music.
“Good writing is like a windowpane.” George Orwell
One of my readers made an important point in a personal discussion we were having today and I feel it is worth mentioning here.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic many more patients are being put on respirators (ventilators) to assist in breathing. Many, if not most, will recover and are again able to breathe on their own. They are discharged to fully recover.
For some, this may be a reason to re-think one’s Living Will or written instructions for a health care surrogate. If your legal document(s) currently says, “no ventilator,” is this still your desire?
This is a valid point and I present it for your consideration.
All the world is experiencing unprecedented challenges. We are in a state of shock at what is happening and we have no idea what is next. Global pandemics like the one we are dealing with today are once in a lifetime phenomenon.
Even though people are losing their jobs and lifetime savings; Even though people are dying is it okay to still laugh? I say we must. Laughter is good medicine and right now we need some good medicine. As we are restricted in our movements and activities we need to see humor wherever it exists and I believe it is good to manufacture it, too.
We are a family of huggers. We give big hearty hugs when getting together and when saying goodbye. A week ago before things were quite as strict, we got together to celebrate my daughters’ birthdays. Via text Dianne, the oldest reminded us that we needed to keep more distance and not hug. I thought no more about it until Allison, the younger, arrived. She got out of their car and walked to the front door like this:
Silly? Yes, but her isolation get-up produced howls of laughter that partially took the place of our usual hugs.
Maintaining our ability to laugh at life and at ourselves in no way minimizes the seriousness of our time. COVID-19 is not funny, but life still is. Let’s smile each day and laugh when given the opportunity.
“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” Mark Twain
I really wish I could eat shrimp. Unfortunately I am allergic to crustaceans (shrimp, lobster and crab) as I learned in the 1980s while in Charleston, South Carolina. After eating shrimp all week I went into anaphylactic shock. It was a frightening experience!
If I was sentenced to die and offered a last meal before the lethal injection, I would request shrimp, fried and lots of it!
“Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.” W.C. Fields
As we age most of us expect our vision to worsen. We expect to wear glasses and to eventually have cataracts that require surgical removal. Some unfortunate individuals have eye diseases that greatly impair vision, such as macular degeneration. One thing that might blindside (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun) seniors is color-blindness more accurately called color vision deficiency.
Researchers from The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute administered color vision tests to several hundred adults ages 58 to 102 and found that 40 percent had abnormal results. The rate was significantly higher in those over 70 and rises with age after seventy. The type of color vision abnormality is different from inherited color-blindness which usually involves red and green.
I first realized I had this problem a couple of years ago. In my experience purple almost always looks brown. Often pink looks yellow. The amount and type of light greatly affect how I perceive these and other colors. Purple inside looks brown, but moving it into the sunlight sometimes reveals the true color.
If you have this problem you probably are already aware, but there are simple tests available Online. A word of caution, some sites charge a fee and others may result in unwanted email followup.
“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.” Stevie Wonder
Some officials and other “experts” who hold press conferences about COVID-19! While they announce emergencies and give out advice regarding social distancing and other precautions they stand shoulder to shoulder and shake hands like they are at a political gathering. This is a pandemic and it should not be too much to expect those providing vital information to model safe behaviors.
According to Webster a bucket list is “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.” That’s a more positive way of saying things I want to do before I kick the bucket.
When I think of this I see an actual written list to be achieved. The experience may be to own a particular item like a diamond or a special home. Achievements might be to complete a certain educational degree or to open a non-profit organization to help others. Regardless, I see a bucket list as being a tangible record of things to be marked off when attained rather than just ideas that come and go in one’s mind.
The truth is that I resist writing such a list for fear of not accomplishing it and feeling like a failure. Also, I can think of nothing worth striving toward more important that what I already have in terms of family and friends and the joy they bring to me.
I admit that I may be all wrong when it comes to bucket lists, so please tell me what you think and share your own bucket list if you have one.
“I don’t keep a Bucket List. I’m open to anything.” John Scalzi
This is the day set aside to catch up on the one hour lost when we sprang forward yesterday morning. National Napping Day began in the year 2000. I’ve celebrated today, have you?
For me, it’s hard to get excited about International Women’s Day. In the United States, women have barely advanced in the past few years, if at all. While other countries have had women as leaders for years, the U.S. seems unable to accomplish this. How many more years will little girls here have to grow up to vote for old white men as President regardless of party affiliation?
This is how I feel today. If you live in a different environment I am happy for your country’s enlightenment. Maybe one day here . . .
A novel form of coronavirus originating in China late last year has spread globally. There is no vaccine for this particular type of corona, named COVID-19. I won’t list the morbidity and mortality statistics here because they are changing by the hour and news coverage is widespread and nearly constant. It is important that we listen to and read reputable news sources. Social media and even some government representatives can be misleading. We need scientific statistics, not hunches.
I have known for some time that there are a few things that should be on hand at home if we are to be prepared, but I have not followed through. Today I plan to at least be sure I have some extra food and over-the-counter remedies available in addition to the gloves, masks, and disinfectants that I already have in stock.
There is no dearth of good information available regarding what to do to protect ourselves from this virus. It includes masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and new greetings to take the place of handshakes. I’m not going to outline them here.
We know that should we become ill with flu-like symptoms we should isolate ourselves from others and treat the symptoms. If developing a fever or in the case of more serious symptoms we should go to a healthcare facility where they may or may not have test kits for COVID-19. Regardless, the more serious symptoms and complications can be treated by health care professionals when the virus is too serious for self-treatment.
Older individuals and those weakened by other diseases are most susceptible to more serious complications. Some thought should be given to who would care for such individuals in your family should they contract COVID-19.
At this point, we do not know how much worse this situation will become, but we have all the information necessary to plan and make the most of what could be a horrific pandemic. Test kits are lacking, there will not be a vaccine for 12-18 months, but we have information that is crucial even if it sounds too simple, like “do not touch your face.”
“Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Do you speak using cliches? You might think the answer is “no” but what if I told you there are as many as 681? These are things we say often without really recognizing that we are using cliches. Because we have heard them our whole lives they come so naturally in our speech that we hardly give them a thought.
A fellow blogger, Christine Goodnough, gave me a link to the article “Be a Better Blogger” that contains the long list of 681 cliches. You can check it out for yourself at https://www.be-a-better-writer.com/cliches.html According to the list maker, Pearl Luke, we should never use these cliches unless it is intentional to be funny.
I am always interested in becoming a better writer, but I’m not sure that I agree with Luke. While cliches can be lazy and boring it seems to me that we are throwing the baby out with the bathwater if we eschew them all forever. I’m not yanking your chain, in this day and age of information overload it pays to be on your toes, but you can’t believe everything you read.
The same goes for this blog. 🙂
“If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal.” John Lennon
This is a milestone of which I am very proud. There are blogs with thousands, but Crooked Creek is a more intimate blog and I appreciate each follower. I also appreciate all the comments and participation of readers. THANK YOU!
When I was growing up we called daffodils “March Flowers.” I don’t know it that was peculiar to the country or the era. Now I know they are daffodils and I look for them as soon as March appears on the calendar. I love this month when three of my four beautiful girls were born.
If the old saying about lambs and lions is true this month will go out like a lion because today has been warm (70*F) and sunny. There is something else to look forward to this month.
That’s right, Girl Scout Cookies! Mine were delivered today, my favorites which are Thin Mints and the new Lemon-Ups. Yum! I hope all of you here in the U.S. remember to support the Girl Scouts and get your delicious cookies.
‘One Yellow Daffodil’ is both a look to the past and to the future and expresses my belief in the great spirit and strength of our children. David Adler