Idyllic Beach and the Toxic Vine

social distancing, flatten the curve - welcome to 3/22/2020

Playa Norte June 2003

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, June 2003

Well, the idyllic beach is a very pleasant memory, and when invoked in meditation, it is a soothing image that helps to relax. However, with the world around us going crazy, on each of the past few days it has become incrementally more difficult to temporarily ignore reality and relax. To accomplish social distancing, one has to be vigilant (I think ... this concept and practice is new to me). The thing is, though, I don't want to get too relaxed, but I also don't want to confuse vigilance and preparedness with batshit crazy paranoia.

Although I have pretty much become a hermit since retiring at the end of 2015, I still have some daily contact with the world outside of our home. Every weekday morning, I go to the gym and run a few errands. I make frequent visits to the library, and at least a couple of times per week, I take a long walk in one of the local parks or along the river. Last week, the governor of Iowa ordered restaurants, bars, and gyms closed. Fortunately, the gym where we go also has a location across the river in Rock Island Illinois, so I was able to go there a couple of days last week. Now, however, Illinois is pretty much on lock-down, so that is no longer an option.

Actually, I was going to stop going for a while anyway. There are other ways to get the physical exercise that I need to de-stress and stay healthy. It is just a matter of changing our daily routines.

Since I retired Ritsuko has still been practicing part time, but she decided this weekend to suspend her practice for a couple of weeks. She just wants to take some time to better evaluate the ever evolving situation, including the changing CDC and Department of Health directives, and insure that she has the proper procedures and PPE in place to insure a safe environment for her patients and for herself. We are both now doing what we can to help flatten the curve.

"Flatten the curve" and "social distancing" -- along with words like corona virus and COVID-19 have unfortunately become common terms in our vocabulary. Those terms and a couple of other pertinent terms are discussed in the most excellent video from the "Honest Government Ad" series of The Juice Media that is embedded herein.

I think that many people share my sense of dismay/disgust/horror over the roving cluster fuck of information that is coming at us from a myriad of sources. We are all having to make important decisions based on the information that we have. One of the ongoing discussions among many is "how bad is the virus, really". Opinions vary on a scale ranging from one of "it is no worse than the flu" to one of "this is the apocalypse". Compounding the confusion is the fact that information that the administration of our federal government allows to be officially presented to us seems to have a quality of transparency and clarity that is at best nebulous and at worst egregiously self serving. At least, that is my perception, and therefore a cause of the anxiety that I am constantly attempting to mitigate. I view non-political government officials, aka the professional bureaucrats and scientists who haven't been purged by three years of the administration, as well as state and local government officials, especially those in areas where the development of COVID-19 is most advanced, as being the best sources of official information.

Unofficial information is also being presented by some media sources like the one presenting the video mentioned above. Though humorous and entertaining, it does a good job of enforcing the need to exercise some restraint in our daily activities in order to flatten the curve in a effort to help prevent our health care facilities from being overwhelmed by the initial wave of infection.

Anyone who is skeptical about the seriousness of the infection itself should read this article recently published in Mother Jones, A Report From the Coronavirus Frontline: "They Are Essentially Drowning in Their Own Blood.". The article is based on an interview with a respiratory therapist at a hospital in New Orleans, who is speaking out anonymously out of fear of official backlash. I warn you that the article is horrifying in its graphic detail, but please read it, especially if you are presently under the opinion that COVID-19 is no worse that a cold or seasonal flu ... it will scare the shit out of any rational person.

Wow! this is some really toxic stuff. Speaking of toxic, I wanted to talk about The Toxic Vine, but will update later on my current thoughts about the vine.

--Bob { Next >>> }

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