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  1. Okay, so approximately two and half months ago my part of the world shut down. Public transport became empty, restaurants shut down, doctor offices closed, and life as we knew it came to a standstill. My job also closed but I was lucky, the pay kept rolling in. Then a month and a half in the company furloughed all part-timers and 20% of the full timers. However, once again I was lucky and the pay keeps coming in. They decided last week to reopen. We are paid for 36 hours and any hours we actually work we get an addition $2 an hour for. I am not complaining. After three years of health issues, I have been blessed not to catch this. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean everything has been great. Back in November my dad began to complain about his sense of smell. He was going to see his doctor and a lung specialist. He had been put on a nebulizer and figure that might be the issue. February rolls around and he heads to see the vein doctor and again is having issues and mentions it. The vein doctor suggests dad go see a nose, throat, and ear specialist. Enter Covid 19 and the close down. The second to last week of May, dad wakes me at one am. He is in deep pain, in his eyes. I call his eye doctor, who calls back before two am and has us meet her at her office. She states dad has an infection in his eyes, prescribes meds, is grateful that we listened and didn't take a chance to expose dad to covid by going to the hospital. Woman is a saint of a doctor. We feel things are looking up. The last week of May he finally gets to see the doctor for the nose. He finds my dad's nose has a lot of growths and has basically sealed the left nostril and part of the right. He doesn't do that surgery any more. He sends Dad for tests and an associate who works 30 minutes away, towards the city. The second Doctor sees the growths but also believes he spots a tumor and wants us to see a brain surgeon and go for better testing. The test was last Wednesday. There is a tumor growing behind the nasal passage, warping the bone between the nasal passage and the eye socket. However the brain surgeon is in Great Neck, minutes from NYC and has my dad panicked. He wrote the first doctor back begging him to do the surgery. He stated he doesn't handle that. He agreed to find him another doctor to handle the growths, not the tumor, and he is going to have them removed this Thursday. He wants to cancel the consultation with the brain surgeon on Friday. Meanwhile I am now stressed out, eating things I should not, and trying hard to just keep myself going. I was lucky to have two beautiful people help with a story I'd written for the Anthology but never managed to get fixed in time. I'll get it up when I can. Just didn't want things to crash and burn but they did. Wish me luck. At 81 my Dad is stubborn and a trip into NYC probably isn't going to happen.
  2. Many of us observe the world through a window Nature entertains us with wind, rain and snow Crows dive and swoop over tree tops While squirrels run and gambol with no fear, — wondering where the nuts are. My poetry has been limited lately .. but i haven't lost my sense of humour completely yet. Prose too, is suffering, though in the last few days I've been able to write a bit more on the new story @Wayne Gray and i are writing. Not a lot though, maybe 1,600 words over the past three days. It is hard to concentrate for long periods, at least for me. I read an article by Erica Wensley a writer for the Chronicle Herald. She lives in Halifax and like residents there is coping with COVID-19 and the worst mass shooting in Canadian history. There is a link to the article here. As she says, this is not the time to push ourselves. This is not the time to force creativity or productivity. Do not feel guilty if you order in tonight, or if you just want to watch silly sitcoms or netflix or whatever it is you like to watch. This was an ahha moment for me when i read this: Those who still have jobs are not simply working from home, but, as a viral tweet aptly states, “are at your home during a crisis, trying to work.” This hit me hard ... the truth of it. I don't know how long I'll be home doing my job. Some days it isn't easy at all. Some days it's just fine. There is too much unknown for me and i feel like i'm slowly cracking around the edges. Some days i can cope, others less so. I am overly emotional, often sad, without an obvious reason. Watching six cellists from the TSO (Toronto Symphony Orchestra) play Over the Rainbow together, remotely just made me cry this morning. Watching After Life on Netflix makes me cry but there's reasons for that. I think i need some comedy. If you can write or draw or read ... do it. If you do needlework or other crafts and feel like it ... do it. But do not feel bad on the days you can't or just don't want to. Doing some breathing exercises, like they teach in yoga can help, so can walking and other exercise. Something i've done in the past, with audio aids - hypnosis - can also reduce anxiety. It's a really cool thing actually. We need to practice self-compassion now. I know because i am very hard on myself usually. We need to say to ourselves, it's okay, you're not lazy, you're not pretending. We need to be as kind to ourselves as we are to our friends and loved ones who turn to us for support. You can read more about self-compassion here. When i started to read this ... i wanted to push it away, but allow yourself to read with an open mind. Hopefully, you'll find one or two things which may help during these trying times. Hang in there and be kind to yourself.
  3. Remember when we used to joke about the Corona virus? It's not like we haven't seen new viruses get hyped like SARS and MERS. Someone would leap on a podium, bang a shoe and claim it is the end of the world and, it would fade away. Remember how the politicians didn't even take a break from their regularly scheduled circle jerks? Yeah. That was really stupid. Remember how we made fun of the conspiracy theorists on the internet that said Wuhan was the home of the Peoples Republic Biowarefare Research Establishment. If you looked it up, holy shit, they were right. Remember how some usually stolid and unimpressed epidemiologists practically crapped their pants and had security remove journalists who attempted interviews outside officially sanctioned channels? Yeah, that was a little creepy. Remember how they kept revising the NCov19 R0 (R-nought) number upward? That's kind of important as that's an indicator of how easily this bug gets around. Remember when a paper was published that claimed unnatural patented gene sequences appeared in the RNA of the virus. Then the paper disappeared from the internet and even archive sites? Remember when some scientists were talking about it causing a cytokine storm in some patients- just like the Spanish Influenza of 1919? Coronavirus Cytokine Storm Remember when we found out people who had NCov19 could be infectious and asymptomatic for up to twenty-four days? Yeah, that's when another holy shit went out because anything epidemiologists might do in the way of contact tracing is almost a month behind. Remember when the scientist who discovered the virus died of the virus? The scientist who discovered SARS said: The US military is prepping for the pandemic. US Military Prepping for Coronavirus Pandemic Some sources say FEMA has proposed martial law. Strap it on tight boys and girls. This might turn very, very ugly. Nobody at all should be laughing anymore.
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