Masks Away!

The other day while walking into Fred Meyer, I noticed a blue facemask blown all up into the grocery store’s landscaping.  Perhaps it fell out of someone’s pocket I thought.

A few days later I saw a cotton child-sized facemask directly outside the Haggens Grocery entrance. About nine months ago this was a hot commodity!  Now it has been walked over, carts rolled over it, and well there it is.  Yes, there it is and here we are—THE END OF THE PANDEMIC.

Beginning July 1st in Washington State masks are optional. It appears many have already thrown them to the wind, literally.  Once again, as with every stage of the pandemic, I hear a variety of opinions.  A few friends have said they will wear a mask in the winter to protect against the flu, others have said they will begin to wear one to work if they feel a cold coming on.  When I walk around the neighborhood trails the maskless masses wave at each other passing by, friendly-like, smiling. No more dramatic 6-foot radius walk-arounds with the “stay the ‘eff away from me you diseased carrying mo-fo” side glance.  The defensive posturing is a thing of the past; I’m placing that back in my toolbox for when I need to walk to my car after 10 pm on Railroad Ave.  Another acquaintance of mine shared a foreboding prediction–the 2020-2021 pandemic was just a warm-up for what is coming next! I mean, in my social circles, people are all over the place!  How is it in your world?  Hope things are calming down a bit.  

RECONSTRUCTION

This is a graph I stumbled upon way back in our pandemic-innocence of June 2020. I shared it a few times on my platforms.

It illustrates the mental health of an emergency worker responding to a disaster over the course of a year and a half.  This is the “normal” curve of the ups and downs MENTALLY.  Although I am not a nurse on the front lines, I do have an essential job.  I work as a Family Housing Coordinator for shelter and transitional housing.  I worked every day from 2019 until about April of 2021.  Now I get Fridays off which I am very thankful for. 

I’m not embarrassed to say my pandemic journey followed this graph right to the letter.  The lowest point “Disillusionment” hit me about August 2020. My general communication weaknesses, spelling and pronunciation, were magnified.  It was hard to explain to people why I couldn’t type or speak a complete sentence or how I didn’t catch it before I sent the text/email.  I became lethargic at home, watching many movies, and lost myself in the joys of building in creative mode on Minecraft.  (I still like Minecraft) …It was foggy & frustrating.

Reconstruction is next.  Yep.  Right around the corner.  President Biden must have read my blogs because he was like, “What a great idea!  I like the sound of that Reconstruction…the strengthening of infrastructure across the NATION, for the nation…? hmmmm. …Someone get me a pen–”

What will the personal reconstruction and strengthening of YOUR infrastructure look like? I’m working on exercise and budgeting my money. Also, I met with the poetry discussion group IN PERSON last weekend and noticed I was talking like an email or as if I was giving a presentation on zoom. Something got lost over the last 15 months of social distancing. I think we’ll all find those skills again.

Sending you good thoughts today. You’re doing the best you can with what ya got. You got this!
Here is my current mood expressed in a meme. -Shannon

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/24/politics/infrastructure-plan-explained/index.html

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/06/24/fact-sheet-president-biden-announces-support-for-the-bipartisan-infrastructure-framework/

Custom Fit

They took your data. Then they took control. The Great Hack uncovers the dark world of data exploitation through the compelling personal journeys of players on different sides of the explosive Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data scandal. In select theaters and on Netflix July 24.

I use to watch a show called “The Lottery Changed My Life”.  As you may know, some people are naturally better at handling change than others.  Most lottery winners, one out of three, go broke, waisting the miraculous opportunity.  Another attribute of a sudden gain in money is the amplification of whatever characteristic you possess, vices, and blessings.  Money doesn’t change people, it amplifies what was already there.  Regardless of how good you may be at adapting, all major change comes with stress (see chart below).

A pandemic, a lasting event that is both unexpected and stressful much like winning the lottery, could be described as a one-size-fits-all global catastrophe. Although it has a blanket effect on people, it is also extremely customized per person based on what our situation was before it hit.  Each of us has unique circumstances that have created a specific pandemic experience.  It is as unique as our address if we are fortunate to have one.  As I walk about my day these past three months I hear different experiences from each acquaintance, co-worker, relative, or strangers that I chat up.  Here are the basic types in no particular order:

-My job is essential, working more hours, I’m exhausted, resources are difficult to come by, communication is slowed

-I was laid off from work, my unemployment was messed up, took 6 weeks to get it, I had to visit the food bank and paid no bills while waiting for unemployment to arrive

-I haven’t paid my rent since April 1st and I’m afraid I’ll be evicted on August 1st.  I cannot afford to move so I will end up in my car

-We sold the home we lived in for 20 years, we are downsizing in preparation for retirement, I’m going on a vacation will be back in two weeks

-My wife got COVID-19, she’s high risk, was in the hospital for almost three weeks.  The bill came and it’s close to $50k dollars! We will be paying this for the rest of our lives

-I hang out with friends, I’m young, I found a cool mask online.  Glad school is over

-One day in March all of my clients called me, all 23 of them in one day, to cancel service.  My husband came home early the same day—laid off from his job!  I’ve been crying all week! We don’t have savings and I’m scared

-My husband and I are fighting more now. How can I leave him during a pandemic? I’m sheltered in place with someone I hate

-I work from home since the shelter-in-place mandates.  I attend six zoom meetings a week with different departments. Almost 90% of my socializing is done electronically.  It is somehow exhausting

-I’m doing OK. Left social media and got rid of my smartphone years ago to free up my time working on my art.  I howl at the moon every night at 7:00.  I’m worried for my neighbors

-I leave the house once a month for groceries.  I work on my yard, sit on the porch, read, and talk to my neighbors as they pass by. I’m bored, but I want to be safe.  I’m in a high-risk category. I am in no hurry to get back out there

-Laid off from the refinery and on unemployment since May.  It’s like an extended vacation! I’m almost finished with my backyard projects, I’ve gone fishing, camping visited my Uncle over on the lake in Eastern Washington.  All of this pandemic stuff and mask requirements are stupid.  Once it’s over I’ll get my job back

-Two of our adult children needed to shelter in place at our home.  So all six of us are under one roof again.  I am very busy right now.  When I come home sometimes very late I step over the sleeping bodies of two of my kids in the living room.

-I discovered that my regular life is similar to shelter-in-place.  For about 10 years my work has been online, in a virtual office, I’m a gamer, and my whole social network is virtual.

 

So if you’re like me today and feeling a little pouty, consider this new mask that includes a window into your soul!  Let the world see your pouty luscious lips. Don’t let an all-cotton mask keep your gloss light hidden.  Shine on, baby, shine on! Only $7.99–

 

 

 


https://www.playusalotteries.com/en/lottery-news/article/10723/10-facts-about-lottery-winners.html

Click to access lifechangestresstest.pdf

Day 32: TGIF I think…it’s Friday right?

Shower Thoughts: Last night my friend asked to use a USB port to charge his cigarette, but I was using it to charge my book. The future is stupid.

Happy Friday everyone!  Oh wait, IS IT Friday?  I’m not sure.  Let’s see- Traffic looks like a Sunday afternoon, every day feels like a Saturday, kinda, but sometimes the grocery stores are busy like it is Thanksgiving.  Hmmmm… I’m not sure.  What does it feel like for you?  At times, especially last week, it felt like floating in jello, honestly.  Existence is vague and with little reference of location and time.  My clock and calendars are handrails along a dark trail.

This is me in my car last week, getting ready to deliver some supplies to a high-risk tenant.  I’m still working *knock on wood* and happy to help folks.  I haven’t had more than a sore throat since last December, and I chalked that up to the pollen count.  However, on Monday I have a video appointment with my personal doctor and hopefully, it will result in testing.

Whatcom County in Washington State is offering very little testing opportunities.  An acquaintance of mine was tested about 8 days ago and laughed telling me about it.  He said it felt like a drug deal.  His doctor gave him directions and an address where he met two ladies, dressed head to toe in PPE, working out of an unmarked van in an alley downtown.  He was their ONLY customer.  I’m not aware of any mass testing operation happening in Washington like I see in California, where folks are qued up in mile-long lines perhaps at a stadium parking lot.  Of course, testing and re-testing will help our nation determine if the lockdown is working.  HAHAHAAAAA! …but it is not happening.

The Federal Government, State, and Local appear to be completely discombobulated.   Our ‘effin president basically confessed to offering more Federal aid and services to the Republican States AND (sweet Lord) wants scientists to look into UV and disinfectant injections to kill the virus INSIDE US!—???  Another WTF moment.  EVERY DAY is a WTF moment with this administration.  Unbelievable.

My current mood in meme form.  Take care of yourself and your loved ones.  Hit “like” to let me know you were here.  Wishing you good health. -Shannon

Day 18: Little Cuties

Yesterday my daughter’s gift arrived!  It is a beautiful hand-sewn mask by a fabric artist who lives near my daughter on San Juan Island, Washington.  Here is the photo I took to share with you.  Placed my breakfast inside to simulate a nose.  I love the little cutie tangerines that come in mesh bags this time of year at my grocery store.

I heard on the radio this morning that the spring/summer harvest of many crops in America are left to rot in the fields.  They are essential of course, but there are two issues, the farmers have no money to pay the workers, and the mass majority of Americans can not afford the food, which dominoed into fewer buyers purchasing the bulk produce.
NPR Morning Edition reported:

“…In fact, the pandemic has caused entirely different problems: a spike in the number of people who can’t afford groceries and a glut of food where it’s not needed.
Dairy farmers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Georgia have been forced to dump thousands of gallons of milk that no one will buy. In Florida, vegetable growers are abandoning harvest-ready fields of tomatoes, yellow squash, and cucumbers for the same reason.”

Is there a food shortage coming? Once again I will attempt to quiet my panic. Calm it with prayer/meditation, give it to the trails I walk, allow it to transform into motivation and energize me while I work.  We have to trust that the people with direct influence over these decisions have the wisdom and courage to make the right choice for all of America.  It is difficult to trust our leaders.  Consistent empathy towards citizens is non-existent.  Personal gain is KING.

1) an observed joy- the Good Friday live stream service today

2) a real concern- No personal concerns at this time, but some things I am wondering about, for instance, when Washington re-opens, will they need to control our State’s borders?  Will the price of gas go up soon?

3) a personal challenge- My next shopping day is April 15th.  I want to have a new, leaner strategy, anticipating that Washington State will extend the mandate to the end of May.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- I am stretching in the mornings with a 30-minute video I found on YouTube.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- Can I come out of the pandemic healthier than when I went in?

Here is a photo to illustrate my mood today.  Thank you for visiting my blog.  Please click “LIKE” and let me know you came by.  Peace & health be with you, Shannon


https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2020/04/03/826006362/food-shortages-nope-too-much-food-in-the-wrong-places