Tag Archives: OpEd post

A few thoughts on the current world situation…. #stayhome #flattenthecurve

It’s been at least a week since #stayhome started trending everywhere in the U.S. I was actually a little ahead of the curve because I started self isolating the moment I heard about the nursing home patients in Washington. I knew, instinctively, that was just the beginning.

Am I psychic?

Not even a little. Just infection wise.

I became a registered nurse during the infant age of AIDS. Back when pneumocystis carini pneumonia( PCP)  was rapidly making its way through the gay male population of New York – where I worked and lived – I was a nursing student in Bellevue Hospital in NYC. During my intensive care rotation, I was assigned to, and  took care of, a young, comatose, black man. The nurse in charge told me that the health department was seeing an uptick in this new strange pneumonia infecting and killing young, gay men. The patient wasn’t in isolation at the time because the medical establishment thought the disease wasn’t transmissible. No one knew what AIDS was yet. Conventional wisdom dictated that you couldn’t catch pneumonia from another person. You can catch the bacteria or virus organism that may affect your respiratory system, but just being in contact with someone who has pneumonia doesn’t mean you will get it. Even still, precautions were taken when caring for the young man and we wore gloves while touching him.

Not gowns. Not masks. Not respirators.

Just gloves.

I remember so vividly thinking at the time the we should have–if not for our own safety, but for that young man’s– been better protected. He was already immunocompromised. What if the staff carried something to him? We could have been making his condition even worse. ICU’s are a hotbed of germs and invisible pathogens. When you are caring for someone in a coma you come in very close contact. Even a common cold could have killed him if one of us breathed over him and sneezed, or coughed.

Flash forward 40 years ( and doesn’t that blow my mind!!! 40 years since I was in nursing school) to this moment in time. As with  PCP, Covid 19 came out of no where and is now decimating people all over the world. And this time we know for a fact that if we are carriers of the virus we can infect and potentially kill people.

Read that again. If we have the virus, even if we are not symptomatic, we can potentially kill people we come in contact with.

Why, then, are there still individuals walking around without a care in the world? Why, then, are the Gen X’s still on spring break, crowding into bars? Traveling in packs? Why are people in retirement communities still going to bingo and rumba lessons? And for God’s sake, why aren’t all schools – all levels, including college – still not closed?

Have we truly become a nation of people who don’t care about others? Care about how our actions affect other people, those who are already compromised due to chronic health issues, or homeless, or have no access to adequate health care?

I don’t think we have – at least I hope we haven’t. All indications to the contrary aside, I truly believe we are a nation who cares.

So if you fall in the category of people who I think care about others, first, bless you. Then, if you are not an essential member of the work force – nurse, doctor, EMT, fireman, grocery story worker, pharmacist – then stay the hell home. If you don’t care about infecting others, then care about being infected yourself. This is the one time in your life it will be okay to be a hermit.

This is a practice the medical experts tell us will surely flatten the curve of new cases developing, which will in turn get us out of the situation faster and hopefully with less people afflicted and/or dead.

Listen to the experts. Not your next door neighbor or your son’s girlfriend’s mother who owns a nail salon and says that the virus won’t get to them. Hey, they wash their hands, they tell you. Often. Don’t listen to political pundits who tell you everything is fine and we have nothing to worry about. They just want your vote so they can stay in their cushy jobs.

Ignore these people.

LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS. The Public Health doctors and scientists and researchers who have as their purpose in life the health and well being of the population.

Take this time to take a beat and do what is recommended by the people in the know. This will pass. If we take precautions and listen and do as we are told, it will pass quicker and with less loss of life, erosion of our economy, and destruction of our lifestyle.

Life as we’ve known it will return to normal if we listen to the people who know best. Don’t be a self righteous, ignorant dick and think you are the one person in the world this will not touch. Because it will.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Writing

IN a world where you can be anything, be……

So this post has been a long time coming, so buckle up buttercup ‘cuz I got something to say.

People who know me know I like to quote famous women when the situation calls for it. One of my favorite sayings is attributed to Alice Roosevelt Longworth and was reportedly stitched on a pillow she had in her receiving room. I pull this little ditty out at times when people start to make disparaging comments about other people and I don’t want what they are saying to be overhead. It goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say about anyone, come sit by me!”

Now one variant on this I’ve seen is this one:

Which, truthfully, is what most people think when they hear the first iteration.

But I have a different slant on this because  I have saved people from making fools of themselves on more than one public occasion by interjecting this into a conversation that, if overheard, would cause the person speaking some embarrassment at the very least.

Because I say this – often – it got me thinking about the state of the world we live in these days, where strangers have been given carte blanche for saying anything and everything about you on social media without any real consequences. Social Media and especially in my opinion Twitter, is the new bully. Not the entity itself, but it does give bullies the pulpit ( the very real definition of a BULLY PULPIT!) and a platform in which to advance their hateful ways.

We all know that the saying sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me is a blatant lie. Don’t believe that? Get your head out of the sand and check the high school stats for teen suicides from relentless verbal and social media bullying.

I have a dear and lovely writing friend who never comments on social media about her political views or beliefs. One day, she broke that rule and within seconds began to suffer a backlash from tweeters calling her stupid, an epithet I will not repeat nor spell here, and various other nasty things. She could have done the knee-jerk thing that 99.99% of people do nowadays and responded to the negativity with negativity of her own.

She did not.

Instead, she took the high road and for every nastygramTweet she received, she responded with a meme featuring Mr. Rogers, the king of kindness. Brilliant. Why was it brilliant, you ask? Well, when she responded to the hashtag feed, every negative statement made to her was flooded with a kindness themed one. Pretty soon it was those Mr. Rogers kindness memes that were trending and not the hateful hashtagspeak.

Now, bear with me here for a moment. D0 you remember that 1970’s commercial for Fabergre Organics shampoo? The one that said,” If you tell a friend, and she tells a friend and so one and so on?”

Well, that was a very effective marketing campaign for its time. My idea to combat the negativity spreading like venereal disease along the planet and born of that effective marketing campaign, is this: when you hear something negative be it on twitter, facebook, any where there is a platform for bullying and hatespeak, combat the negativity with something positive and then retweet/share/link it to all your followers. People will respond to that positive message by retweeting/sharing/linking it all their followers, and so on and so on.

Think it won’t work? Let me give you a come to Jesus moment, peeps.

Every day I tweet/fb/ instagram a morning motivation. It is always a positive affirmation. And every single solitary morning and all throughout the day, I see it pass by my twitter and FB feed with retweets and shares. Most of that traffic is from people I don’t know from Adam. SO if you don’t think you have the power in your hands and at your keyboard to combat the negative with a positive, again I will say to you: get your head of out of the sand.

I could have said get it out of a different place – like a body part – but…trying to be good here, peeps.

Does this sound a little Pollyana to anyone?  Too saccharine? Too old school? If it does, okay, ‘cuz sometimes you gotta go old school to combat the present day bulls**t.

So, darling peeps, my rant is over. The lesson learned today: Don’t give into the negative. Shine your light in the direction of positivity any way you can. It does work. Light will ALWAYS drive away the darkness.

Rant over.

Until next time ~Peg

 

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Filed under Pet Peeves