Just The Flu

<rant (fair warning)>
You logic (or maybe your humanity???) is flawed. It’s not that I have a particularly thin skin. I have been bullied my entire life. I get it. I have a kick me sign. Dynomutt, scag, nerd (okay that one turned out to be true… ), dogface… I get it. But sometimes the stupid just hurts my brain so badly that I can’t help but scream.

This is my scream.

It’s not COVID… it’s ONLY the Seasonal Flu!!! DUH.
Okay, let’s suppose that your premise is true. Let’s just suppose for the sake of argument (and because I’m just too tired to give two shits and a poptart) that that were the case. Let’s just suppose that the reason you don’t wear a mask… that you don’t stay the hell away from me in stores… that you don’t stop the endless bitching is that it is the flu and everyone knows that the flu kills WAY WAY WAY more people than the stupid SHEEPLY Covid crap has.
Two things.

1, if it is flu it isn’t covid. you can’t have it both ways. Pick one and get on with your kvetching.

2. if it is the flu and EVERYONE EVERYWHERE knows that the flu kills bazillions and bazillions of people every year so duh… then that makes the argument even worse.


IF for the sake of argument it is the seasonal flu then um, the season is over and all of those people dying to make your life inconvenient are just stupid and wrong and not dead… so there


If, the the sake of argument it is the seasonal flu and wearing a mask will keep someone’s mother, father, grandmother, great aunt Eloise on their mother’s brother’s cousin side from dying of the Just Plain Flu… then why is it such a bitch fest to wear the mask while you are in the store…


I get that getting drunk and slobbering and coughing all over people at the bar is just freaking awesomely fun. I get that wiping your runny nose and touching the door knob and grabbing those nachos and using your hands in the salad bar is just so much freaking fun. I get it.


And I get it.


I want desperately to get back to ‘running’ in a race that’s a real race.


I want desperately to go back to Disney like we were supposed to be going to do this past March just the two of us that will never happen.


I want to sit in my office and look out the window and watch the freighters wind their way down the Cuyahoga.


I want to not have to know that I’m watching someone I love desperately die.


But you know what? This whole “JUST THE FLU, DUH” adventure has taught me a lot. It has taught me that an awful lot of people just don’t give a tinker’s dam about other people.

They don’t.


Know what else? When all of this is over and all of the bitching and gnashing of teeth stops (well, okay, whatever… people are acting like it is nothing and over now so… whatever)… I’m going to get my flu shot because I’m one of those inconvenient statistics that everyone keeps throwing out there. I’m one of the expendables. But when this is all over… whenever that is… I’m going to keep doing the needful. Flu season, I’m going to carry my handy dandy mask with me and when I’m around anyone I’m going to wear it. If this is JUST THE FLU, then this is just the flu and it’s all good and my trying to keep myself, the people I love, and even your sorry ass safe from JUST THE SEASONAL FLU and being one of the BAZILLIONS who die EVERY YEAR from that, K? For what it’s worth… my wearing my mask isn’t hurting you at all. It is not a political statement. It just says way the hell more about me than it does about you.


Don’t like the government regulating that you pretend for one hour every couple days or so to be a caring human being, fine. Whatever.
I have a limited number of give-a-damns in any given day and… guess what… just used them up. Get too close to me, I’m going to suddenly have a HUGE WET MEATY COUGHING FIT. I am.

Might start carrying a cane and accidentally trip you if you step into my bubble. Consider this fair warning.


I wish with ALL OF MY HEART that I could go back to February and do so many things differently… with all of my heart… because maybe things would be different for this house right now.


This whole JUST THE SEASONAL FLU adventure has taught me how many people just don’t care.


but it has taught me, too, just how many people do. And for that, thank you…

Thank you.


I’m tired. I am deep down bone tired.


</rant>


Time to get on with Tuesday.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
6/30/2020

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It’s not fun but it’s right

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Is this what you see when you see me?

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Divine Providence

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Percolated Coffee

This morning I did a thing…. it was a thing that I probably should have tried to do years ago… but my ah-ha moment happened yesterday morning for some weird reason. I was lead on a project SEVERAL years ago … Continue reading

I’m just so freaking tired…

So, yesterday, I did a thing.

I posted a gif on Facebook of a man who is talking about how 70 – 700 people dying so the US economy can rally is acceptable. The off camera person said… so… 70 is the number that’s okay? Man: yeah… 70. Off camera: Let me show you 70 people.

70 people in that man’s family came around the corner of the street.

When he realized that there were 70 people who were in his family and that 70 suddenly had faces and relevance his numbers changed.

Was it staged? Um… Duh.

Was it to make a point that every single one of the “acceptable losses” is a person? Um… duh.

I’m so tired right now. I’m so incredibly tired.

A friend of mine from elementary school commented on the picture.

But on the other end of this horrible double edged sword, is the awful fact that's thousands have not received a penny of unemployment in 7-8 weeks or more. These folks are losing their businesses and not even being able to afford food.. terrible situation whole way around. 😞

<because… again… duh… it’s not like I don’t know that too… and I KNOW those faces as well> and I answered… I answered because I’m tired. I am so sick and tired of all of the bullshit. ALL of the bullshit.

I know. I really do know. And I’m terrified of the way the economy is and the way it is heading and I hate the way the country is handling this so incredibly horribly compared to EVERYWHERE else. But people are very very cavalier with “eh… 70 to 700 deaths are acceptable as long as it fixes everything ” (which it isn’t going to fix everything like people believe. there is no magic bullet in this case) until they are faced with the acceptable losses being THEIR losses.

Would all 70 acceptable losses be in one family? Not likely. But people don’t put faces to the acceptable losses they keep throwing around. People use a tone of voice when they talk about acceptable losses… like… Yeah… whatever… a few more dead people… so what… pffft

I have family in the same situation… where they don’t have an income and they are waiting and waiting and waiting for stimulus checks and unemployment that feels like it will never come. But I also speak as someone who cavalierly gets lumped into that big giant “Eh, F$%^-em let them die so the economy can be as fabulous as it’s ever been” feeling you get from seeing people talk about acceptable losses. Three people who live in my house would very likely die if any of us got Covid.

I guess that’s three from someone else’s house that wouldn’t have to… but still… I’ve had it right up to the eyeballs with hearing about how it’s “only” the elderly and vulnerable who are likely to die so what’s the problem.

I’m tired of spending 12 – 14 hours a day sitting in my office at my computer busting my butt working only to be made to feel like a drain on society.MY point in this is… every acceptable loss is someones family… someone’s brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father, best friend….

I want desperately for people to be able to go back to work and to be safe. But I want people to be safe. I want people to not have to get shot in the face for telling people to put on a mask. I want people to not get spit on for asking someone to please stand 6 freaking feet away. Hell, I don’t want people close to me than that when it’s not this fugly mess and I will deliberately run into assholes in the store before all of this if they ride my heels with a cart or shove their smelly armpits in my face because they HAVE TO HAVE THAT whatever that happens to be where I’m shopping and they can’t wait the 45 seconds it’s going to take me to get my whatever from where they HAVE TO BE.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of bullshit.

Everyone else gets to go “LOOK LOOK LOOK at what those assholes in the <whatever political party they are “against” and are HATING… and I’m so flipping sick of the hating> are doing to make the whole FU#$%^& world so much FU#$%^& worse than anyone else in the whole FU#$%^& world could make it!!!!!”.

I Just thought maybe people might need to be reminded that every acceptable loss matters to someone somewhere…
or maybe not

I was good. I didn’t reply right away. Probably should have. If I had done anything at the time, I probably would have just taken the post down… because I don’t make waves and I don’t voice my political opinion because I’ve been bullied my whole life and I really don’t need to provide more fodder for people to use to take pot shots at me.

But I am tired.

I’m tired and I’m scared and I want about 2/3 of the time to go sit with my back against my favorite tree at the park and wrap myself in the throw I’ve been working on for years and cry until the tears won’t come any more.

This whole mess has taken its tole on my house.

Squirrel is so on edge most of the time and she is facing the knowledge that her girlfriend can only handle the good times and can’t handle it when Squirrel falls apart. She is facing friends that have already told her that, if she wears a mask to school or around them for any reason they will make fun of her. She just started Humera… added to the other two immunosuppressants… you know what… Covid hunts people like that down. Would she die? Statistically probably not. But that’s a chance.

Monkey Butt has started to shoulder the responsibility for keeping the rest of the house from going completely bat shit crazy. HE (my jaded son who has hated humanity for years) has started to hunt for the bright sides to show that it’s probably really not so bad.

Bear? Hospice. I’m not handling that really well, either. Hospice makes it really really real. Last night we <all four of us> went to Lowes. It was the first time Bear had been inside of a store in over two months. I needed fence to keep my dogs out of my garden and I needed containers to grow some of my plants in… and I needed soil for in those containers… I needed stuff to work on my witchy SHTF prepper stuff outside so I don’t have to worry quite so much about what is coming… and to keep us as healthy as we can be inside our walls. I needed Monkey Butt because bags of garden soil are heavy. Squirrel needed to get out of the house because… she hasn’t been venturing out even when I have made my panic filled ventures out into the craziness. And Bear needed to be out. He needed to be out and where people outside of the four of us (and his hospice nurse Dave) are. The last time we were at a store together, he pushed the cart. Yesterday he drove my truck, but he needed his wheelchair because he knows his legs won’t carry him even with the cart through the store. It’s getting that real. What would Covid do if it came into my house?

And me? I am just tired of the stupid things that people do to each other. I’m tired of people ridiculing the choices we have had to make. I don’t LIKE doing a half marathon virtually with a mask on. I don’t like being terrified every time I walk into a store that is full of people who have apparently decided that the current situation is an excuse for them to let their asshole flag fly high and proud. I have been loudly and publicly ridiculed and laughed at in a Walmart isle because I chose to have a mask and gloves (and because losing 50 pounds has messed with my ability to maintain feeling warm) and a hoody on a 50 degree day. I’m trying to keep up with everything in the house. I’m trying to hold it together because Bear can’t handle it when people lose it in front of him… so I hold onto my control as long as I can until I can’t any more. And I spend hours at my computer working because I do still have a job to “go” to and I need to keep that job. I try so hard to down out the TV when it’s on because everyone talks about acceptable losses and how it is “only” (except when it’s not only) the elderly and vulnerable and fragile who are at risk any way. I’m one of the at risk. I take my own immuno-supressants and I qualify for elderly. Would it kill me? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. I know that I’m feeling very lost and very scared and I struggle a lot of days just to make it through the day without falling completely apart.

But suddenly I don’t understand both sides (either side) because I’m trying to point out that NO ONE anywhere seem to be faking the attitude that would feel better when they talk about acceptable losses. I guess when you talk about it in terms of acceptable losses it depersonalizes it. Like when you talk about the HUGE numbers of people who are struggling to survive the devastating unemployment numbers. Like when you see cars lined up at food distribution centers. We get to see the faces of the nurses and doctors who are saving lives. We get to see the faces of some of the people who have beaten it. And those faces give my hope. They are a very good thing. But there are faces behind every number that gets thrown around. The numbers of people working devastating hours in what currently amounts to nearly a war zone at stores (if three people can shoot a guard for saying you have to wear a mask and you are in the position of working in stores like that IT DOES AMOUNT TO A WAR ZONE). The numbers of families (mothers, fathers, children) who are facing another day without money… without food… without <in a lot of cases> hope. THOSE are faces too. They aren’t numbers. They aren’t statistics. THEY ARE FACES!!!

I guess I will leave my soap box now. Will it do any good? Will it matter? Yeah, probably not. But it did clear my head a little and give me a voice through witch to scream.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
5/11/2020

Feeling Expendable and Vulnerable

So… It’s been quite a week…. Someways are okay… some ways are really good… and some are really really scary.

Bear has been walking about 20 min to 30 min every couple days on the treadmill. He uses his E tanks for that. We had 3 empties and 4 full and it was time to order more. It was even MORE time to order more because we were under a high wind warning. If we lost power we would need to be able to rely on tanks. Lincare isn’t delivering any more (pandemic). If you need O2 supplies, load your tanks into a car and haul your oxygen dependent (wait wait wait… oxygen dependent… doesn’t that imply you are one of the AT RISK people???…. piss off skippy) butt to their office (about a 30 mile round trip) and bring your tanks in to be replaced. They will not leave them on the porch (where they have ALWAYS left them… the only time they have EVER had human contact at our house was when they put in the machines).

So let me get this straight… if I weren’t reasonably fit, or if we didn’t have kids living with us… say I was bed bound or wheelchair bound or didn’t drive or whatever… my oxygen dependent person would have to do this on their own in an UBER or Lyft???? Seriously? I get social distancing (BELIEVE me I get it) and I get being very cautious. But if you are in the business of delivering that which keeps people alive, you are in the business of delivering that which keeps people alive regardless of whatever. There are ways around this situation. Me leaving bottles on the porch and them leaving the new ones next to them and no one having to be anywhere near each other is one freaking way. They keep billing me for the empties though… hell yeah.

People don’t matter.

Bear and his Dr decided it was time to start hospice. Palliative care might have sufficed but, with the pandemic still rampant (despite the glowing optimism of our… uh… “leadershit”), they aren’t scheduling palliative care people. So you either struggle not to drown or you find alternatives. The alternative was for hospice to start coming. So we are now on hospice and that thought is just scary. But the hospice people treat you with respect and dignity and are helpful. They got us off Lincare and onto their O2 supplier and told us what we need to do in case of power outages and in case of whatever whatever whatever.

I felt like people matter to them at least as much as the money.

Then last night on the news they reported about the Cleveland Ambulance company…

Apparently the rules have changed for them. If you have a heart attack and need to be revived and are either Covid positive or are even suspected of possibly being Covid positive (who makes that judgment call? and… what if it is someone who is in any way prejudiced) they are supposed to try to revive you on the spot but if (after 20 min of effort) they can’t, they are supposed to leave you there. No loading you into the ambulance. No taking you to the hospital. After 20 min leave you there. Just leave you there. If you are SUSPECTED of Covid. Most heart attack victims are the people who are going to be most susceptible to the virus any way.

People don’t matter. Money matters.

And then, last night, something wonderful happened. I was drug aside by Monkey butt to talk about summer. The Young Lad won’t be back north until end of June or early July… but when he gets home, the boys want to do an hand fastening ceremony in the back yard. They would go the whole legal beagle way of wedding if it wouldn’t mean The Young Lad would have to almost triple what he is paying for college and he is so nearly done anyway but they want to do something lasting and binding so Bear can be there to see it. It made me cry. It didn’t make bear cry. It made him smile really big. I’m looking forward to all of this. It is going to mean the world to everyone because bear will get to be there to see the boys married even if it is without a license.

Maybe there are some small shimmering lights left in the world.

I’ve started to feel like there is so little I have any control over at all. Nearly nothing in fact. But then something happens that fills me with hope and I think maybe it will be okay.

I may never be quite the Mary Sunshine I was. I may have become a wee bit harder because I see that there is little redeeming goodness in a lot of people. But there is in some.

I’ve spent a LOT of time neck deep in hot water on the floor of the walk in tub crying this week. I will spend a lot more time there crying going forward. Stress is making my hands hurt an awful lot… It’s going to be an incredibly hard next few months… but… I’m starting to think maybe I can hold it all together.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
4/16/2020

Just Like It Was Before…

People are talking about when life can get back to the way it was before. The way it was before Covid-19. The way it was before everyone became aware of all of the things they touch and all of the ways you can spread diseases… any diseases… not just the pandemic one.

Funny… I thought I was super duper careful about what I touched and how I thought about things before. I mean, I’ve had active RA (been classified moderate to severe for what… 12 years?). I have been washing my hands and singing happy birthday twice. I’ve been washing tables off at restaurants. I’ve been “careful”… but I’ve never really, I guess, been CAREFUL.

People talk about how it’s just like the flu. People talk about how mild their symptoms were, they barely knew they had it.

People talk a good game about social distancing… and meet every evening in the driveway within arms length of each other to discuss the day. No gloves, no masks.

The mail man walks up to you to hand you your delivery box… no gloves… no mask… hands it to you… and you have an internal panic attack because… because you were just walking around the house to go inside and you didn’t have your gloves on and you didn’t have your mask on and he just hands it to you. It was in his truck with lord knows what other stuff. He has touched mailboxes and mail and (apparently) other people… and here you are walking around your own yard and should you wear your mask and gloves not out in public but in the semi-privacy of your yard?

Back to normal?

I don’t know if I will ever get back to “normal” if what before was was normal. Covid can live on surfaces 72ish hours (or 14 days depending on whether you are a cruise ship or not…) but the flu can live on surfaces (yeah yeah… depending on surface, humidity, temperature and the phase of the moon and what color underwear you’re wearing blah blah blah) for 48 hours. Two days. Who touched that door handle two days ago? Who pushed that elevator button in the last 2 hours let alone the last 2 days?

Am I a germaphobe? No. I will eat tomatoes off my vines without washing them. I will snuggle my dogs knowing full well they have been rolling in the mud. I will talk to people (eventually… when all of this is over) without the use of technology between us. My house will never be pristine (I have four dogs… I’ll just be glad if I can keep the dust down to a small “Pigpen” cloud most days).

But I will be way more aware of things.

I will probably bag my groceries less by just tossing anything in the bags… I will bag cardboard together, cans together, perishables together. I will leave the cans in my trunk (unless I NEED them sooner) for a few days.

But more…

Normal looked very different in more ways than just that. Normal was running and going and doing and not time for this and no time for that. I love having time. I love being able to do things as a family that we just didn’t find possible before.

Movie night. Game night. Putting jigsaw puzzles together, together. Sitting on foldy chairs in the front yard and talking.

It will be nice to be able to get in the car and drive to the lake. It will be amazing to get in the car and drive to mom’s for a few hours. It will be a hugely special treat to go to the store and walk around and browse rather than just get in and get out (or more… order everything delivered).

Will I ever go to Disney again? My plans are still to run the Goofy in honor of my Goofy. Looking at it now, that may not be before there is a Covid shot I can get about the same time I get my flu shot. Will I look at running in races differently (10000 of your closest friends herded into corrals)… oh yeah. Will I do it? Hell yeah.

I will continue making my own hand sanitizer because I just like mine better than the commercial gel kind. Will I carry some in my car, my purse, my pocket, my backpack, my desk… yeah. And I will use it way more religiously than I ever have before. And I will carry gloves and a mask and my buffs (which I do anyway because well… buff)… yeah, and I will use them.

Life has changed here. Covid-19 situation in the world has changed me in a lot of ways. Some good… some not so much. Monkey butt said, last night, that he thinks some of what I’m doing right now will stick forever… making four thieves vinegar… making citrus cleaner… making citrus enzyme cleaner… coming closer to zero waste. He’s probably right. And I’m enjoying getting back to growing my own herbs and starting my own plants.

Life has changed.

It will be good to get back to not being terrified of the outside world. It will be good to not think judgemental thoughts over what other people do in any situation.

I will take way less for granted.

And I really really hope that life doesn’t actually get back to what normal used to be.

Will it ever get back to “normal” if normal was what it was before? Probably not. At least not for me. There will be a whole new normal. I’m not sure when that normal will be… but there will be a whole new one. And it’s okay.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
4/9/2020

Gallery

Sunday Morning Contemplation

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Sitting at my kitchen table, coffee in hand, spending some time spending time. Dog Channel is playing… the ocean through the sea grass… sunrise… the dogs could honestly care less about Dog TV, I keep it for me. And it … Continue reading

Finding Your Hope

Okay… life had changed. Life has WAY changed for pretty much everyone.

This morning I found how I need to cope

It’s Thursday. That means I needed to take out the garbage. Put on my jacket, picked up all the garbage bags and drug them to the bottom of the driveway. Dropped them where they go and decided that… hey… I have a jacket on and no dogs to “help”… I need to take a walk. So I did.

And this morning it made all the difference.

I video taped parts of my walk. I sent them to my cousin so she could show them to my momma (she’s one of the caretakers who have access to elderly people). I sent them to my mom to help her with her morning. Taking my walk at a pretty good clip helped too. I was going to take the whole “dog walk” we used to do when Peanut was here… but when I got to one corner short of where I was going to turn something told me I needed to turn early.

It was a goodwink moment.

I found something when I got nearly to where I turn to go home.

Someone put chalk art on the sidewalk. Heart (yin and yang?), someone playing in the sunshine, and… Have a nice day…

Now… when I decided to make my wall into a chalkboard, I went and bought a crap ton of chalk. Unfortunately sidewalk chalk is too hard and scrapes through the pain on the wall. White chalkboard chalk is great. I have a metric crap ton of sidewalk chalk.

And now, I have found what is my way of coping and my way of finding my Mary Sunshine. AND I have successfully infected my kids with my new obsession.

If I can help even one person… just one… in this amazingly hard time we are going through… to find a little ray of sunshine… then I have found my voice.

Irony has to be in the fact that Monkey Butt, this morning, also showed me this news story:

https://www.cleveland.com/news/2020/03/strongsville-mother-creates-literature-chalk-walk-to-get-children-to-read-draw-stay-occupied-during-coronavirus-stay-at-home-order.html

With spring actually starting to look a little like spring, and with the local schools not going back any time soon… maybe I can infect a few of the neighborhood kids with decorating the sidewalks. Maybe, as a small community, we can bring a little sunshine to people who are trying to fight their way out of darkness that is the current feeling.

Love and Light
AprilJoy
4/2/2020