COVID Has Become A Permanent Fixture

If you haven’t heard by now, after the government has issued this advice: COVID vaccine booster shots are now going to be in your near future. Let me translate that for you: COVID is now officially become permanent. Now I am not one to be the bearer of bad news but…

This is NOT good news. It’s actually very BAD news.

Whenever I am out in public — where everybody’s still masked up, and social distancing’s in place. How long are these types of protections going to last? The answer that is emerging is this: for the foreseeable future. Life is NOT going to go back to “normal” anytime soon, or gulp maybe ever.

What does this perma-COVID look like? Well, part of the answer’s above. We are going to need to accept certain fairly drastic changes in our lifestyle as we know it. A more sophisticated, better answer goes like this: perma-COVID goes on wreaking social, cultural, and economic havoc.

Many people like myself are happily wearing masks. Maybe you seen how school board meetings are irrupt Ing into violence, because, well, the Trumpists think that their kids wearing masks is like the gas chambers at your terminal Auschwitz. I’ll know that this doesn’t make sense, but what does when it comes to the American Idiot?

COVID going permanent is going to continue accelerating and exacerbating social tensions. Ultra conservatives don’t “believe in” masks and vaccines. I put it in quotes because facts exist whether or not you believe in them. And yes one thing the Americas Red States and the Taliban have in common is that they don’t want people to get vaccines or to wear masks, unless you mean burgers. That’s how regrets of the American conservative mind is: on the issue of COVID, it’s neatly aligned with… The Taliban.

And it’s willing to, thanks to Trump, use violence to make itself felt. Hence school board meetings and town halls and so forth — the small, everyday expressions and institutions which a functioning, modern civil society is made of — are not working. What are you supposed to at a school board meeting when Trumpists mob you and, screaming at the top of their lungs, threaten your life?

Again: shades of the Taliban, for whom, too, local governance is an exercise in brutality and stupidity and violence.

COVID exacerbates the fractures in our societies is not a joke or some kind of minor league issue. Conservatives have seized on the issue of COVID in many, many ways. In Britain, COVID’s been politicised to the point that government data is questionable at best — the Tories are deliberately using it as a bludgeon with which to break the NHS, so that they can then privatize it. But what happens when the Brits get American style “healthcare,” which mostly means bills nobody much can pay? They grow impoverished, that’s what.

So the cultural tensions COVID’s revealing and accelerating — a match dropped on an oil slick — have very real consequences. Do you want your kid to go to a school where masks aren’t required? How about college? Do you want to live in a state where the governor bans masks and mask mandates, like Texas?

This is where cultural tensions become political and social boiling points. Places like Texas and Florida have long been heading toward becoming failed states — and darn proud of it too. COVID has actually made them failed states. Florida was the world’s hottest COVID zone — it’s most virulent incubator — until a few days ago. Texas is a place where the rule of law has broken down completely, school boards and principals defying the governor’s edict against masks.

Those are huge, huge breakdowns. What does it say about a state, county, or city where people are openly defying the governor’s edicts? It says that the rule of law doesn’t work. That matters can’t be settled with formal institutions, because they don’t work anymore. People have taken matters into their own hands. Let me make clear that in this case, that is a good thing. Nobody should obey something as incredibly, painfully foolish as a ban on wearing masks.

But that America’s now the kind of place where civil disobedience is required to fight a deadly pandemic — well, that points to what a failing state it is. And who wants to live in places that are failed states? Florida has sunshine and Texas has… well… I truly don’t know what Texas has. Still, having to put up with such levels of dysfunction is a VERY real price that people must pay. When you have to engage in literal civil disobedience just to keep your kids healthy, to protect them from harm, malice, ignorance, and stupidity means that something is very, very wrong with society.

In that sense, COVID is pouring fuel on America’s burning state of collapse. Yesterday, your average sane Texan or Floridian didn’t have to engage in civil disobedience just to protect their kids from harm. Today, they do. But where does that cycle end? The Trumpists aren’t going to wake up anytime soon. COVID’s gone permanent — and unfortunately, their stupidity is forever, too. Only now it’s lethal.

The Trumpists provide an economic rationale for their willful stupidity. It hurts the economy, they say, to go on taking the basic precautions against COVID. Of course, that’s not true. It doesn’t hurt the economy to wear a mask, or even to social distance, except maybe on a Friday night in a downtown bar.

Yet, perma-COVID is going to harm the economy in a much deeper way. Do you understand how, let’s first into the idea of public health. What is it, really? It’s what economists call a public good. That means we all share it. That’s why you should have your vaccines — you getting vaccinated benefits me, and vice versa. COVID make a mockery of individual list of countries like America, and their approach is to health, reviewing them as shallow and naïve. Private health is no match for public health.

Yet, COVID is a grave and serious threat to public health — the most severe in a half a century or more. It’s probably the first new deadly virus humanity has experienced in the global still in the modern age, period.

Public health requires an investment. Again, think of America — Americans live the shortest, cities lives in the entire rich world, precisely because there is very little investment in public health. There are starting high bills for private healthcare, sure — which is the opposite of public health.

Now put those two concepts together. You have a new pandemic shopping away at public health — one that’s going endemic. That means higher levels of investments are going to be required to sustain the same levels of public health as before, if those can ever really be hit.

What does this mean in the real world? It means more nurses, more ICUs, more ventilators, more oxygen.

It means more trips to the hospital for more people, corridors overflowing with Covid patients, who require intense treatment and care, hundreds or thousands of them a day, and that’s just in one region, state, city. My wife, the doctor, went to her own doctor yesterday — and there, she saw a woman desperately struggling for breath being wheeled out on a stretcher. Multiply that by a thousand, every day, and you begin to have some idea of the stress COVID places on healthcare systems.

But every dollar we need to invest as societies to take care of Covid patients is one that we’re not investing in any of the following: climate change, global warming, ecological collapse, reversing the mass extinction of wildlife, cleaning up the oceans, reforesting the globe, clean energy, green raw materials like steel and concrete.

You begin to see the magnitude of the problem. At a macroeconomic level, the simplest and best way to visualise Covid is as what economists call a “deadweight loss.” That’s a terrible way to put it, and yet it’s all too accurate. Now we have to invest colossal sums at a social level, across the globe, caring for the ill — sums we desperately need to fight the existential threats already beginning to wreck our civilization. You didn’t have to look too hard this summer — California and Canada on fire, Asia and Europe flooded — to see the globe warming with shocking, brutal speed.

It’s not just treating COVID that diverts investment. It’s also developing new vaccines. When I say something that makes me angry — The Pharma industry‘s been betting on COVID going permanent — Americans give me their empty, dumb, blank stare.

It shouldn’t have been this way. The Pharma industry has just won one of history‘s largest jackpots. It wants to charge every one of us — you and I — A few hundred dollars a shot. Let’s call it $250. Now multiply that by 8 billion people. Now multiply that by every year. From an economic perspective, this is what’s called a perpetuity — A dividend without end. Do you know what it adds up to? About $2 trillion a year.

That $2 trillion has to come from somewhere. It’s going to come from our pockets, you and I. Added up, what it amounts to is $2 trillion not being invested in climate change, clean energy, green systems, saving the world’s ecologies, reversing mass extinction. It’s just money that goes straight into the pockets of the Pharma industry. From there, it goes to CEOs and hedge funds.

Do you see the problem here?

Let me make it even clearer. It never should have been this way. We should never have relied on capitalism to solve a problem like COVID, because it was never going to. What would anyone with a basic knowledge of real economics — that’s not you, most Americans, because you’ve been brainwashed by propaganda, ads, infomercials masquerading as news and culture — have predicted capitalism would do if and when it met a pandemic?

Exploit it, mercilessly. If you’re a good capitalist, good at your job, what do you do with a pandemic? You don’t let it stop, you don’t let it end. You make sure it a) goes on forever so b) you can sell your treatment forever at c) increasing prices under conditions of d) artificial scarcity. Marx would have guessed it, Baudrillard would have left and predicted it, Braudel would have called it obvious.

They were right.

Capitalism met its first real global pandemic, the first new virus humanity’s encountered for a millennia at a global scale. And instead of solving the problem, eradicating the virus, exploited it for maximum profit.

Hence, the world has a massive vaccine shortage. Why? Because figures like Bill Gates lobbied for vaccines to be privatized — and bang, they were. But all COVID vaccines were developed with public funds, at public institutions.

Therefore, everyone on earth has a right to a Covid vaccine. Remember, when it comes to public good, I benefit when you have access to them as well. The economics of COVID vaccines — the real ones — Say that we should distribute them as far and wide as possible, because they were made publicly, created with public funds, and public institutions, just sure up a public good, healthcare.

Yet, because COVID vaccines were privatized, they can’t be produced on the scale nearly enough to match or meet the globe’s needs. Instead, Canada and Europe have — shamefully, disgracefully, deceitfully — When did vaccines at the WTO, as if the fact that these vaccines were never made to be exclusively used for profit never existed or happened at all.

So here we are. COVID’s going permanent. Going endemic. It didn’t have to be this. It shouldn’t have been this way.

The head of the WHO recently pointed out: global vaccination is now losing the race against new cases. That is, less people are vaccinated per day the new cases emerge, globally. Obviously you can’t stop a pandemic that way. What happens that way is newer, deadlier variance, like clockwork — seasonally. Right now, it’s Delta. By winter, it’ll be Lambda. And on and on and on into oblivion. That is because capitalism is undersupplying the one thing the world needs most — vaccines. It is deliberately creating conditions of artificial scarcity to jack up profits — calls upon source Covid vaccines have come from around the world, but falling on deaf ears because America, Canada, and Europe want Pharma profits to soar more than they want a Covid free world.

That’s the grim, sinister, ugly truth.

And what that really means is something even darker. Our elites don’t care if we die. In fact, they’re quite happy to kill us off. They seem to revel in misery and suffering they cause. Why? It makes no sense — at least from history‘s eyes.

Elites do this — they kill off their underclasses. It leaves them worse off in the long run, because then there are fewer people to do their dirty work. Hence the great peasant liberation I have always followed die-offs, like the Black Death. But in the short run, killing off underclasses is great for elites. They get to jack up profit by exploiting people to death. They enjoy the sport of pitting person against person, too, emperors watching gladiators fight to the death.

And they seem, as ever, to genuinely delight in the suffering of others, like sociopaths. Causing death and misery on an eminent still seems to produce in elites the feeling of strength, the meaning that’s missing from their lives, the sense of entitled superiority they’ve always had, but fallen short of proving to themselves.

In that regard, our era is no different from other dark ages. But that much should be recognized. Die-offs are a feature of dark ages — die-offs aided and abetted by elites, who exploit them and their desperation, scarcity, and misery for profit. We’re in a dawning dark age, and our elites total indifference to COVID going endemic — when just a few decades, as the world, we conquered smallpox and polio — is visual proof of how rapidly we are going backwards

That leaves me with one last point. It’s no ordinary dark age we are entering. It’s going to be an especially grim and obscene one. Why?

It’s one thing for elites to do what they do — profit from suffering and exploit desperation. It’s another one too, when the future of the planet and life on it literally hangs in the balance, keep on doing it anyway. How bad — malicious, greedy, selfish, stupid, obscene and ugly — are our elites, really? The world is burning. And there they are, so wealthy and powerful they have more money than they to spend in 10 lifetimes, yet they’re exploding a deadly pandemic making it go endemic, to get even richer, even if they don’t have a planet left to live on.

That, my friends, makes a mockery of the word sociopath.

It didn’t have to be this way, and it shouldn’t have been this way. COVID shouldn’t have gone permanent.

Hidden Truth

I guess it is time for me to come clean and tell you something that I have been hiding for a while and as my father tells me “good or bad own it, let it be part of who you are and be proud of it and own it.

What I am talking about is a few things.

I am a proud, confident Norse Pagan (Odin, Thor, Freya, Loki not talking about the Marvel characters), I am also a kitchen witch, I am an empathic medium (don’t ask me to try to explain), and most proudly I am a reader… a tarot, oracle and pendulum reader.

I just recently started working full time on my business, Lady Irish Queen Readings https://lady-irish-queen-readings.square.siteshameless plug I had to share my business.

For a while I felt lost and felt like I wasn’t who I was meant to be so I did some soul searching and learned about different religions and I went to a Pagan service in the park and it resonated with and made sense to me. I have never felt this at peace in life.

Since finding my religion of Norse Pagan I have felt more at peace, calm, and focused and I know what I want to do with my life. I find focus in doing this so feel free to share the link with everyone and anyone you would like to. and I am always adding to the site.

I feel more grounded and more myself than ever before.

The Real Meaning Behind — Be Gentle With Yourself

One day in March of 2020 I experienced my first of many panic attacks. I had run out to pick up my meds at the nearby pharmacy. I returned home when I finally lost control and broke down. I couldn’t hide the tears anymore as they stung my eyes and rolled down my face.

I would describe the four months which followed as ‘the crisis stage.’ At that time, I was barely able to do anything for myself and needed the constant help of a network of people around me. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and was prescribed medication to help with this.

That was over 18 months ago and, since then, I’ve managed to like myself enough to reinvent myself. Though I still feel as if I’m only at the start of a long journey, I’ve started to change.


This is the story of the steps I happened upon which helped me along the way.

Live in the Moment

Much of my time has been spent in reflection trying to learn lessons about my past. But all I was doing was reliving so much guilt from the things I did wrong. When I tried to look forward and plan, fear tended to pin me down. My critical self constantly reminded me that I was neither capable nor worthy of anything too successful.

As much the lesser of the evils as anything else, I started to realize that there was not too much to hate about myself if I simply contemplated the person I was in the present. That was the first spark of light in the darkness.

While a lot of people have told me different techniques to use when having a panic attack unfortunately what they don’t understand is what it is like being in one and not being able to have any control.

Although I have found some techniques I have worked on keeping my stress and anxiety to a minimum unfortunately the thing with anxiety or panic attacks are sometimes you don’t know the source that is causing you to be stressed.

I can remember having an argument with my mother. And before I knew it my heart rate was up, my breathing was fast and shallow, it was very difficult for me to focus on anything other than the object in front of me. Then I felt my body go on auto pilot where I was no longer in the driver seat. Oh I felt my body starts to rock back and forth very slowly and subtle at first but gradually and very quickly mind you my momentum and speed of my rocking picked up faster and faster.

Of course I understand it’s never as easy as just deciding you want to live in the present. medical conditions such as addictions or psychological conditions like PTSD can make that simply impossible without some professional help. What I do know, however, is that living in the present between my first step to achieving some self compassion.

You Are Enough

I quickly return to an old familiar friend, reading. I was late returning after a long journey finally returning home to something you know and feel comfortable with it finally gave me up a safe place to go to.

As I started to read I had a heartbreaking moment of self-awareness: I realized how much self-hate I’ve been nurturing myself with over the years. It broke my heart knowing that every time I had it to the opportunity I have slammed the door in my own face, telling myself I did not deserve it.

Realizing this finally helped me Sees something that I’ve been missing. There is no “better” me and equally, there’s no need for one. I don’t need to be richer, lighter, more successful, or better dressed. I need to work with the forgetful disorganized woman reflected in the mirror. That is the same woman with the imagination, the dream, and the thirst to have her own business.

Before I could start to fully except the bad and the good in myself, hi need to learn to forgive myself for mistakes of my past. For example like chameleons changing their color to blend in with their surroundings y’all tend to adapt our behavior to the situation we are in. The person I am around my family is not the same person I am when I’m sitting home by myself.

It was time for me to stop in myself up for the bad habits that never seem to change and except that I would never be perfect. So what if I slept late in the mornings, for example? It wasn’t actually laziness; it was because I also stayed up late at night. As long as I put in the hours it didn’t matter when the work day started and when it ended.

Life became much brighter when I realized I had to work with the bad as well as it did. All of me was all I had and that was more than enough.

Find the Treasure Within

Becoming aware that I needed to forgive myself for my bad traits opened my mind to consider what was that about me. People around me seem to notice that I tend to light up like a Christmas tree when I talk about things I’m passionate about, and when I feel like I feel useful.

I was blessed with a very odd side of skills that I am truly happy that I have. However at the same time it makes trying to find a job difficult because I’m so knowledgeable but I don’t have a degree to deal with it. That is why I have done about starting my own business because it is something I truly enjoy and that I am good at and passionate about.

It brings me tremendous joy when my family calls me for a tech question or asked me for advice on something that I am very good about. As a first step, however, you should definitely open your mind to contemplate your positive side.

Moving On

As I’ve been working through this I have been able to recognize the voice of my critical self and to argue with it. I had to challenge are those limiting beliefs and rationalize what I wanted to do.

There are three big steps that I have taken and continuously have to work to get to a point where I can believe in myself and enjoy the world around me.

  • Live in the moment
  • Realize that you are more than good enough, warts and all.
  • Good to know the treasure that is within you that you can share with the world.

For sure these are big steps, and possibly some of the hardest ones you may ever have to take. They may not be for everyone. There are countless ways to get back up on your feet when you’ve been knocked down. By taking these, however, I tend to know who I am, then to love and finally to be that person.

Thoughts on My Grandfather’s Passing A Year Later

It is hard to believe that today marks one whole year since my grandfather’s passing.

I won’t lie it has been a very hard year for me with the pandemic, the onset of my panic attacks, the passing of my grandfather really hit me hard, and unable to say farewell, with a wake and funeral didn’t help matters.

Over the past year I’ve really had some time to think about my grandfather who he was as a man and this one makes me laugh the most. Whenever he would watch a New York Yankees game he would start yelling at the TV like the players could hear him like he was the manager.

To help me cope with his loss I’ve started watching the New York Yankees more than I ever have this season and I laugh every time I do because I find myself yelling at the TV just like he would. I find that it has helped me with missing him because when I do that I feel as though he is sitting there on the couch with me watching the game yelling at it with me.

My grandfather and I as a baby.

What is the most difficult for me in this past year is I still miss him very dearly and I would give anything to have one more hug from him (his hugs were the BEST, and to hear him call me squirt one more time.

I still have so many questions for him that will never be answered, I miss hearing stories about the old Troy days, even if he changed the names.

I will forever miss him but I do know that he’s no longer suffering as hard as it is I know that he is in a better place and he will always be with me.

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since he passed I still remember that day like it was yesterday and I always will because my bond with my grandfather is hard to explain but we were very close.

Shortly after his passing about a week later a cardinal showed up in my Rhododendron bush In my backyard and I see him there every single day staring directly at my house. They say that cardinals are representative of a spirit that has passed on and I do believe that.

I believe that he is still with me and always will be. I will always be his squirt, always and forever. Happy Anniversary on getting your wings Poppa, if anyone deserved their wings it would be him.

What Happens When Americans Can Finally Exhale

About this time a year ago, the United States Seemed stuck on a COVID-19 plateau. Although 1,300 Americans were dying from the disease every single day, the states began to reopen in a patchwork fashion, and an anxious nation was looking ahead to an uncertain summer. Twelve months later, the situation is very different. Cases are falling quickly. About half as many people are dying every day. Several vaccines were developed faster than experts had dared to predict, and proved to be more effective than they are dared to hope. Despite a shaky start, the vaccination campaign has been successful, and almost half of the country has received at least one shot, including 85% of people older than 65. As the pandemic rages on elsewhere in the world, the US Is eyeing a summer of reconnection and rejuvenation.

But there is another crucial difference between May 2020 and May 2021: people have now lived through 14 months of pandemic life. Millions have endured a year of grief, anxiety, isolation, and rolling trauma. Some will recover uneventfully, but for others the quiet moments after adrenaline fades and normalcy returns may be unexpectedly punishing. When they finally get a chance to exhale, the breath may emerge as sighs. “People put their heads down and do what they have to do, but suddenly, when there’s an opening, all these feelings come up,” says Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, the founder and director of the Trauma Stewardship Institute. Lipsky has spent decades helping people navigate the consequences of natural disasters, mass shootings, and other crises. “As hard as the initial trauma is,” she said, “it’s the aftermath that destroys people.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a singular disaster — Every turn series of traumatic events that have eroded the very social trust and connections that allow communication to recover from catastrophes. Even now, with COVID-19 cases in the US falling and vaccinations rising, many people whom Lipsky works with are struggling. Things are getting better, so why don’t they feel better? “A lot of them are really confused by it, because they feel like they made it through and 10 see a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

If you’ve been swimming furiously for a year, you don’t expect to finally reach dry land and feel like you’re drowning.

A brief note on the word trauma: psychologists and psychiatrists still debate its definition. Some feel the word is used to loosely. Others argue that the official definition — Which requires actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence — Inappropriately it excludes serious life events such as divorce, unemployment, or some chronic illnesses. Some argue that you cannot be traumatized by watching news coverage of disasters, and others say you can. Jessi Gold, a psychiatrist at the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, thinks in terms of “big-7 trauma” (the officially defined term) and “little -t trauma” (its colloquial cousin). Both meaningfully affect one’s mental health. “We can be too nitpicky about where something ends and something else begins,” she said. “If someone feels bad and it affects their day-to-day life, it’s a mental health problem, and I don’t really care what you call it.”

Even in the more restrictive big-T sense, The pandemic has produced trauma at an enormous scale. Millions of COVID-19 long haulers spent months with debilitating symptoms, and many are still sick. And one study, 30% of people with lab confirmed COVID-19, most of whom have not been hospitalized, We’re still experiencing symptoms after an average of six months. Many are struggling with the boys in town world of disability benefits and long-term diagnoses such as myalgic encephalomyelitis. Many Americans who were hospitalized with COVID-19 will still be affected too. At the height of the winter surge, 132,000 people filled US emergency rooms. Based on evidence from Italy and from the past coronavirus epidemic’s about a third of those people — And the hundreds of thousands more who are hospitalized before and after that moment — will develop PTSD.

At least 580,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, and this official tally probably omits hundreds of thousands of Unaccounted deaths. Because each the leaves in average of nine close relatives bereaved, roughly 5,000,000 Americans have been grieving parents, children, siblings, spouses, or grandparents at a time when funerals, bedside goodbyes, and other rituals of mourning and loss have been disrupted. Some may feel guilty about surviving, as the New Yorkers who narrowly missed the 9/11 attacks, Or gay men who were “spared at random” by HIV during the 1980s. Some grievers may not heal for a long time. In normal circumstances about 10% of bereaved people develop prolonged grief, but coming in capacitated by interns all consuming grief that persists for more than a year and flattens their life. About half 1 million Americans will likely feel this way — Which is roughly the population of Atlanta. Grief will germinate across the Sims for sale cracks that the pandemic exploded and widened: indigenous, pacific islanders, Latino and black Americans were men were more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than white Americans, And are therefore more likely to have lost loved ones to the disease.

Medical traumas were compounded by social stressors including unemployment, isolation, the rigors of full-time parenting Without childcare, and a year of lost opportunities. Against the trauma backdrop, other tragedies unfolded: the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many other Black people by police officers; a record wildfire season; the insurrection at the US Capitol; The Texas power of crisis; and machines in Atlanta and elsewhere. “There’s has been in the ongoing set of test stating collective traumas that Have really not abated,” says UC Irvine’s Roxane Cohen Silver, A psychologist who has studied trauma for decades.

The pandemic itself has not fully abated, either. Even as Americans ponder “post pandemic” life, 600 people are still dying from COVID-19 every day. Do you spite the historic success of the vaccination campaign, the rate of vaccinations is slowing, and is the lowest among the most socially vulnerable communities. COVID-19 is burning with renewed ferocity through India, much of South America, and other countries. Globally the pandemic is set to kill more people in 2021 than in 2020.

A sweeping and continuous process produces to almost paradoxical phenomena. First, people become inured and apathetic from suffering at a mass scale, experience with psychologist Paul Slovic, of the University of Oregon has called psychic numbing. But people are also becoming sensitized to further traumas in their own life. Silver has repeatedly found this pattern among people who experience successive disasters, such as 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and the Boston Marathon bombings. Many didn’t habituate: each new blow brought more stress, not less. “Around the one-year anniversary of COVID, a number of journalist asked me, ‘It’s been a year; why are we adjusted to this?'” Silver said. “I found that question very unusual.”

The pandemic hasn’t been a one off disaster but “a slow, recurrent onslaught of worsening things,” adds Tamar Rodney, From the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, who studies trauma. “We can’t expect people to go through that and for everyone to come out the other side being fine. People have suffered in between, and those affects must be addressed, even if we’re walking around maskless.”


In 1969, the psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler Ross wrote that people with terminal illnesses go through five emotional stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. This influential model H did self into the public consciousness and has been applied to every flavor of grief and loss, including that of COVID-19. But it is deeply misleading, and always has been. Grief is unpredictable. It doesn’t involve clearly defined stages. It doesn’t unfold linearly. It doesn’t necessarily and an acceptance. And grief takes long meandering and varied paths that popular myths do little to prepare us for.

People who endure long bouts of stress often collapse when they get a chance to be calm. Soldiers who returned to the every day world “describe it as boring, which gives him more time to think about what happened in the theater of war,” Steven Taylor, a psychiatrist at the University of British Columbia said. Similarly he predicts that in the quiet moments after COVID-19 infections Wayne, healthcare workers may remember the patients they lost, or the Morley challenging decisions I had to made about appropriating care. That if they did quiet moments between dealing with surgeries that were rescheduled during surges and patients who are coming in sick or than usual because they deferred care. “You’re just frayed but you have to do everything that didn’t get done,” Saskia Popescu, an infection preventionist at George Mason University, said last summer. “You don’t get a mental break.”

Even Americans who were spared the big-T traumas of the emergency room still experienced a year of fear, uncertainty, and disruption. They too might experience during moments of unexpected reflection, even as the national outlook begins to brighten. “When you get a chance to realize that your safety or your family safety is no longer at rest, you think, What was that experience like for me?” Said gold, the Washington University psychiatrist. “Your answer could be I haven’t slept in months, or I feel miserable, or My kid is really angry and upset all the time. I think the curve [of mental health problems] is likely to go up exponentially once people have time to even realize that mental health is part of the equation.”

Such problems can be especially disquieting at times when people are expecting to feel renewed. Lipsky, the trauma specialist, said she has worked with many people who are “struggling with the struggle.” They might be nurses, doctors, judges, activists, or parents — hypercompetent individuals who are used to handling a constant baseline of stress, and you act as bad rocks and caregivers for their teams, communities, and families. The added burdens of the pandemic to overwhelmed them, and rocked their identities. “People don’t recognize themselves,” Lipsky said. “They say, ‘Are used to be the person who dealt with really hard things.’ I had parents questioning whether they were even meant to be a parent.”

Not everyone will feel this way perhaps most Americans won’t. In past work, Silver, the UC Irvine psychologist found that even communities that go through extreme traumas, such as Years of daily rotted fire, can show low levels of PTSD. Three factors seem to protect them: confidence in authorities, isn’t a belonging, and community solidarity. In the US, the pandemic wrote it all three. It reduce trust in institutions, separated people from their loved ones, And why didn’t political divisions. It was something of a self reinforcing disaster, exacerbated by the conditions that make recovery harder.

“I don’t feel that we’re doomed,” Silver said. “I do still believe that we will get through this.” She and other experts I’ve heard speak noted that people are resilient, and often more so than they realize. But they also agree that the rhetoric of individual resilience can often do you use to plaster over institutional failures: the shortage of mental health care providers, the labyrinth of insurance system, The lack of support from employers, the stigma around seeking care at all, and the societal tendency to bottle up grief. “I don’t know anyone who looks to the US as a model for grieving and mourning,” Lipsky said. “We don’t talk about loss. By and large, it’s all about consumption to help numb you out.”


Lori Peek, a sociologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said that recovery from disasters is usually gaged in terms of dollars regained, jobs restored, and infrastructure rebuilt. Mental health is harder to measure, and so easier to ignore. She is worried that the understandable societal desire to move past the pandemic will further alienate people who are still dealing with grief or symptoms. “What if someone is truly suffering and reaches out for help six months from now, and is told, ‘What are you talking about? The pandemic was ages ago?'” Peek said.

Loss can linger longer than expected. The time frame for recovering from disasters “is measured not in months, but in years or decades,” Peek said. In many cases last been on the lifespan of human compassion. In late 2005, the people who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina initially found an outpouring of support, including meals, clothes, furniture, money, and music. But by early 2006, goodwill Dave way to watch disaster relief workers called Katrina fatigue and what the evacuees just called discrimination. “People were like, ‘Aren’t these people going home?'” Peek said. “And they had no homes.”

Similar tendencies are a parent now, as commentators wonder why many Americans are still anxious and risk averse, even as the US begins to wake from its pandemic nightmare. “I think some people believe we pressed ‘pause,’ and we’ll go back to the way things were before, as if we didn’t have all the intervening experiences, as if 2020 didn’t happen, as if getting a vaccine erases your memory,” Gold said.

Consider the latest phase of the ceaseless discourse around masks. The SARS-CoV-2 Virus spreads primarily through shared indoor air, the vaccines are extremely effective, and breakthrough infections among vaccinated people are rare. It’s reasonable, then, for the CDC to advise fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks outdoors. (The agency’s surprising move to extend those guidelines indoors is more debatable.)

But it is also reasonable for people to want to continue wearing masks, to feel anxious that others might now decide not to, or be dubious that strangers will be honest about their vaccination status. People don’t make decisions about the present in a temporal vacuum. They integrate across their past experiences. They learn. Some have learned that the CDC can be slow in its assessment of evidence, or confusing and it’s proclamations. They watch their fellow citizens rail against steps that would protect one another from infection study time in the US had already weather deadlines of a road in social trust. They internalize the lessons of a year in which they had to fend for them selves, absent support from a government that repeatedly downplayed a crisis that was evidently unfolding. “We had no other protections all year,” gold said. “We had masks. No one else protected us. It’s understandable that the people would be hesitant about taking them off.”

For some people, taking of a masterful mean just exposing the bottom half of their face. But for others, it signifies that they must reevaluate their understanding of versed in danger yet again, with fewer emotional reserves at hand. “I feel more cleaning towards the routines I’ve established,” Whitney Robinson, a social epidemiologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said. “Summer feels like an unknown, and kind of exhausting. [It means]’s navigating new situations, reestablishing relationships, and deciding on COVID norms. It feels tiring.”


Nicolette Louissaint, Is the executive director of Healthcare Ready, and non-for profit that works to prepare for disasters by strengthening medical supply chains. She and her team started working full tilt in January 2020, well before most of the US to COVID-19 seriously. The world has taken a toll, and isn’t over. “Our personal lives are stabilizing, but there is still this fatigue from our professional lives,” she said. “And we are less than a month from hurricane and wildfire season.”

Those who work in emergency preparedness talk about panic neglect cycles, where people and politicians lose interest in a crisis once it abates, With drawing attention and resources that are needed to prevent the next one. Louissaint Where is that the US is set to go through that cycle again. “There is a sense the political world and energy is now there, and might not be in a year,” she said. “At some point, no one’s going to want to hear about this anymore, so will be fighting for infrastructure and investment, and we’ll be right back here to where we are. Even now, when we do our normal trainings to get communities prepared for natural disasters, the feed that we often get is ‘Oh my God, I can’t even think about that right now,'” Louissaint said. “So what happens when we have to face it?”

Louissaint was asked what she says to people who have just had enough, who feel they’ve maxed out on their quota of catastrophe, who just want to move on from the pandemic, or who equate tired of preparedness with fearmongering. “I think there’s a difference between sitting around fearing that the worst will come and actually understanding the things we must be prepared for,” she said. “If we are more prepared, we wouldn’t have to worry as much.”

“If you don’t want to have this conversation anymore, I understand. I don’t either,” she added. “My challenge is: how do we get to a position where we can afford not to?”

Regardless Of Chauvin’s Guilty Verdict We Need More Dramatic Changes

As I am writing this, Derek Chauvin, an ex- cop was found guilty on all three charges against him for murdering George Floyd, in May of 2020. Had he not been found guilty on any of the three charges against him there would have been some serious riots happening across the United States. But he has been found guilty.

But let’s hypothetically say he was found not guilty or received a mistrial, the outrage would be A TIDAL WAVE. Our justice system would have demonstrated YET again that a cop can kill a black man with impunity, even if there were witnesses on the scene and conclusive video evidence seen by lens of millions.

I felt in my gut that Chauvin would be convicted. Chauvin is to simply put it a sacrificial lamb, the cost of doing business. Chauvin will be regarded as someone who dug his own grave, unnecessarily kneeling on the neck of George Floyd in front of witnesses he could see were recording his vicious act of murder.

In the eyes of too many police and political leaders, Chauvin’s actions were NOT a moral failure, but a failure of optics. Even in 2020, when we had seen numerous police shootings captured on cell phone video and posted to YouTube or Facebook where they went viral, this was extreme. It went on for a long, long time; eight minutes and forty-six seconds to be exact. It sparked protests and uprisings not only across the country but across the world.

So Derek Chauvin may be sacrificed for the benefit of a white surpremacist policing system not because he abused his authority but becausee he displayed utter contempt for Black life too brazenly, in front of too many eyes.

What does his conviction change?

In the three months after George Floyd’s murder, cops killed about 288 people in the US, and there was a slight uptick in the already disproportionate number of those killed who were Black and/or Latino. As of April 18, cops had killed 319 people in 2021.

George Floyd’s murder changed nothing.

There has been a lot of work done by Black and Brown people, Black and Brown-led coalitions, and anti-racist allies to finally change our barbaric system of policing and imprisonment.

But in the end, we have seen a hashtag, a whole slew of platitudes, and some words. But change has been meager at best.

Maryland recently passed what many termed “sweeping police reform.” But despite the kicking and screaming of police associations and Maryland’s own backward governor, Larry Hogan, the changes did very little. Penalties were increased and civilian review strengthened, but fundamentally, nothing has changed.

Yet, Maryland is FAR ahead of the rest of the country. Some police departments have seen small reductions of budgets. In Congress, bills meant to stop the sale or transfer of military-grade equipment to civilian police forces have been facing tough challenges. In some cases, there have been responses that diverted some resources from police to social services, along with some of the responsibilities that police should have had in the first place. But these have been isolated instances, and the pushback has been strong.

There have certainly been discussions about the deep, inextricable relationship between racism and policing. This focus has been built on a deep and rich body of work that has demonstrated the roots of policing as a means of maintaining the power of the ruling classes, using both police violence and racism as tools.

Yet now, after we watched the police murder one person after another, and then witnessed the overwhelming violence cops have employed against protesters, often unprovoked, we cannot help but conclude that nothing has changed.

Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo made headlines in just the past few days. But since the testimony in the trial for George Floyd’s murder began, police have killed an average of three people a day.

And with Derek Chauvin convicted, and sentenced to life in prison, what will change?

Cops will continue to kill people. Those people will come from all races, but they will be disproportionately Black and Brown. They will be overwhelmingly poor and worki-class people.

Still, it is important — especially so for me as a white woman — to understand that many people, particularly people of color, need to see Derek Chauvin thrown in jail. It matters to many that Chauvin be convicted, that retribution meted out.

People feel that way not only because of George Floyd but because of the constant, interminable pressure of being Black or Brown in America. Living with police harassment, or the fear of it, feeling a shivers of fear when you drive past a cop car, the feeling of danger if you see it behind you and the terror of actually being pulled over is a terrible thing to live with. Walking down the street is NO different. Breonna Taylor and Botham Jean, among too many others, show that you can’t even leave that fear outside your own home.

So, yes, the burning desire to see George Floyd’s murderer go to jail is perfectly justified and understandable. And, given the system we live in, it’s also the only kind of Justice that can be offered — the retributive kind.

But in the end, it will change nothing, and it can even make things worse. Politicians and pundits will use Chauvin’s conviction as proof that the “system works.It will be a tool used to shut down calls to Defund the Police and to end political pressure for all but mildest police reform.

And George Floyd will still be dead. As will Duante Wright, Adam Toledo, Laquan McDonald, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and so, so many more.

The justice their memories need is the justice we all need: a society that respects all life, that recognizes that violence does NOT solve our problems, but treating all of our communities and every individual within those communities, with respect could.

Police, it should be obvious by now, do not prevent crime. Incarceration is expensive, it is inhumane, and worst of all it is NOT only ineffective, it actually reinforces people’s disenfranchisement and lack of connection to each other, thereby bolstering, or in many cases, creating, the very conditions that lead to violence.

We can honor the murderered many, we can honor their memory and, yes, we can bring at least some justice to this country. We do that NOT by taking vengeance, although accountability and a reckoning are going to be necessary to heal wounds. But we bring that justice by building a better world.

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and all the othersdeserve better than vengeance. They deserve to be the symbols of a country, of a world, reborn. One where we live up to our promises of dignity, decency, and respect for all.

We can do that. But it will NOT come out of the trial of Chauvin, no matter how the trial ends.

7 Months Later

It’s been seven very long months without you here. It still doesn’t seem real to me that you are gone. I keep picking up the phone wanting to dial your number just to hear you on the other end say “Hey squirt, how are you?” The past few times I have gone to see Nana I am always looking forward to one of your hugs.

They say it gets easier… but when does it?

It hurts so much not to have you here. There have been too many nights where I cannot sleep, and I lay in bed thinking about you and how I miss you at family gatherings, especially the family camping trip every summer. Or when I lay there and wind up crying because it still really hurts ALOT

With the holidays behind us I wish I could say that it’s gotten easier but that would be a lie. I missed you stopping by around midday on Thanksgiving Day. I miss your smile and most of all I miss your hugs.

If anything I wish I could give you one more hug, tell you how much I love you, hear one more story about you growing up, and your south Troy days. Missing you has been the hardest thing I have ever done. When you left this world behind you took a big piece of my heart with you.

You may be gone, but I will make sure the memory of the amazing man you have and always will be will never die.

It hurts knowing there will be no more hugs from you, there be no more watching you make your pizzas claiming to be the original Poppa John, or watching you prepare your oatmeal with the strawberries, blueberries, and bananas all in a perfect circle, no more being mesmerized by you spreading cream cheese so perfectly on your bagel, and the hardest one is no more seeing your beautiful smile.

You will always be in my heart forever, whenever the day comes that we shall meet again just know that I love and I can’t wait for one of your hugs.

I love you now, I love you forever, I love you always you will forever be in my heart.

Irish Queen

20/20/20 Rule of Productive Mornings

How to not waste the first hour of the day

You lose when you snooze because sleep fragmentation hurts your body’s ability to recuperate.

Every time you fall asleep, your body starts going through a 5-stage sleep cycle. The later the stage, the deeper the sleep — and the more restorative it becomes.

When you wake up at 7 AM after 7 hours of sleep, you’ll be closer to the end of the cycle and in a state where your body is already preparing to wake up.

If you hit the snooze button, however, your body starts going back in the opposite direction. It’ll gear up to sleep more — and it really won’t like being rattled 9 minutes later. As a result, you’ll feel more tired than before, even though, technically, you slept longer.

When it comes to good sleep, getting up after one consistent stretch is more important than how long that stretch was. This is counterintuitive, but it’s true.

Similarly, if you “take excellent care of the front end of your day, the rest of your day will take care of itself.” That’s Robin Sharma’s thesis in The 5 AM Club, a book he wrote to share his morning routine of 20 years.

The idea is that if you invest the first hour of the day in yourself, that hour will pay returns for the remaining 23. “Own your morning, elevate your life,” Sharma says.

The book teaches via metaphor — a fictitious billionaire helps a struggling artist and a young entrepreneur. Here are 3 lessons from the story that’ll help you wake up earlier, start most mornings productively, and get as much as you can out of every single day.

1. Your brain has a creative edge early in the day.

In a classic student-teacher move, the billionaire tells his two disciples that he holds the key to their success — and in order to receive it, they must meet him very early the following morning.

When his students arrive, the master explains: “You have already received the key by waking up at 5 AM, because in doing so, you’ve given your brain an advantage in succeeding throughout the day.”

The scientific concept behind this edge is called transient hypo-frontality. When in this state, your brain is more likely to go into “flow.” You’ll be less prone to worry and over-analysis, more daring in your choices and ideas, and better able to focus.

You can trigger transient hypo-frontality in different ways, for example by taking a walk or exercising, but the early morning environment is also conducive to it. You brain is just “booting up,” and the extra dopamine and serotonin from daybreak tranquility will make you feel energized and peaceful at the same time.

2. Balance your mind, health, heart, and soul.

After explaining the mindset advantage of waking up early, the billionaire explains there are three other “interior empires” the students need to master.

Your “health-set” is your physical health. Use the emptiness of early mornings to get in a little exercise to reduce stress, gain energy, and be happier, all of which will, in turn, help you live longer.

Your “heartset” is your emotional wellbeing. Journaling in the morning can be a space to express feelings you can’t share elsewhere — the insights of which you can later use to communicate better with others.

Finally, your “soulset” is your spiritual balance. We all believe different things, but whatever we do have faith in allows us to connect with ourselves and the world at large. Writing down your values and briefly looking at them each morning will help you remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.

For a balanced, successful life, ground yourself in mindset, healthset, heartset, and soulset every day.

3. Productive days begin with the 20/20/20 formula.

When the students ask him what exactly to do at 5 AM, the billionaire shares his formula: The 20/20/20 rule divides your first hour of the day into three equal blocks of exercise, reflection, and learning.

Exercising for 20 minutes will not just get your blood flowing, it’ll also make you sweat. Sweating decreases cortisol, a hormone related to stress and fear. It also releases BDNF, which helps create new neural pathways faster and repairs brain cells.

20 minutes of reflection will plant your feet firmly on the ground, no matter what the day ahead brings. You can use them to meditate, visualize your big goals and to-dos for the day, or journal and write down any ideas or inspiring thoughts. Quiet in the morning makes for patience later in the day.

Lastly, 20 minutes of real, interested learning go further than hours of social media, news, and mindless entertainment. Read a book, study someone you admire, or take a free online course. Whatever you learn, make sure it’s something you’re really interested in, something that’ll make your brain shoot sparks rather than go numb.

20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of reflection, and 20 minutes of learning. The 20/20/20 rule will maximize your chances of having a productive day, every day.

Summary

The 5 AM Club will motivate you to get up earlier, build a morning routine, and prioritize the internal work that’ll lead to external success.

Here are 3 lessons worth remembering:

  1. Waking up early gives your brain a competitive edge because it makes it easier for you to get into a flow state.
  1. Balance your mind, health, heart, and soul for true self-mastery.
  1. To not waste the first hour of the day, use the 20/20/20 rule; dedicate 20 minutes to exercise, reflection, and learning each for productive days.

Recommended Reads

TitleAuthor
The 5 AM ClubRobin Sharma

Sources & Links For This Post

TitleLink
Does sleep fragmentation impact recuperation? A review and re-analysishttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1046/j.1365-2869.1999.00161.x
The Transient Hypofrontality Edgehttps://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/the-edge-peak-performance-psychology/201703/the-transient-hypofrontality-edge
Flow Summaryhttps://fourminutebooks.com/flow-summary/
The Way You’re Communicating Might Be Messing Up Your Relationshipshttps://forge.medium.com/the-4-ears-model-of-good-communication-bf46c39cdf50
How My Values Give Me Direction in Lifehttps://medium.com/mind-cafe/the-12-values-i-live-by-aba9e7d5cb73
Brain-derived neurotrophic factorhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain-derived_neurotrophic_factor
Learn Proper Meditation in 2 Minuteshttps://medium.com/@ngoeke/learn-proper-meditation-in-2-minutes-e7d1b63bfb14

My Grandpa, John “Poppa” Tracey

Grandpa & Me

Yesterday, was a very difficult day for me as I said goodbye to my grandfather, my Poppa, John Tracey. He lived 84 beautiful years and raised 6 incredible children, including my own father. His nicknames for me were Carrot Top- I was his first redheaded grandchild, or Squirt- because I was short as child.

We developed a bond that is really hard to explain, as a child when I would sit on his lap I would just trace his panther/jaguar tattoo – and I did the same as I said I love you to him for the last time I saw him I chose not to say goodbye to him because it was too hard for me. He has always called me Squirt– all the way to the end I will always be his Squirt.

I remember him telling me stories of his days growing up, we shared a love of westerns– African Queen, we loved doing the crossword puzzle together, and when attending family parties- inside or in the backyard I always kept my eyes out for Poppa because I loved his hugs they were always warm, tight (not too tight), and full of love; he always gave the perfect hug. I could go for one of those right now.

He loved family, fishing, golfing, New York Yankees, and talking about his Troy days. I loved watching him tinker, every summer he and Nana would come visit us during the Tracey Family Camporee, our annual 3 day camping trip on Saturday they would bring fresh bread and the clams for our big cookout that evening, and when I moved into the place I live now he brought over some stuff to seal up my driveway its still sitting in my basement. Poppa always loved to help out.

Seeing him at my college graduation in 2013 with a smile on his face I could tell that he was proud that through my disability I succeeded – he always had a smile on his face, that is what I loved about him is even when he was hurting or not feeling well – he was smiling.

He was a soldier for the US Army, in the Korean War came home and married my beautiful grandma, and raised 6 incredible children and 13 grandchildren.

It is the hardest to lose those who loved and nurtured us, and who we loved and cared for most. I have a treasure trove of memories that I will hold on to forever, that will make me laugh and smile. I will miss him so much but I will never forget his beautiful smile. I keep hearing his voice. I miss him terribly, I miss his hugs and will love him and miss him for a long time.

RIP Poppa 1936–2020

From left to right: Uncle Matt, Uncle Jay, Aunt Jude, John (Poppa), JoAnn (Nana), my father, Aunt Kris, Uncle Mark