What Would the Wise (Wo)Man Do?

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Alt-Headline: Covid-21? 22? 23? 24 etc.?

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In some respects, this liberal man has opted to live his life conservatively; i.e., cautiously. That stems from my determination not to depart the Land of the Living prior to the arrival of the Best By / Expiration Date, which my bygone manufacturer(s) had invisibly, indelibly stamped on my butt. How adamant am I? Glad you asked!

I am fully prepared to adopt an interminable coronavirus common sense stance. The Covid-19 vaccines notwithstanding, I fully intend to continue hunkering down at home as much as possible and keep on publicly social distancing and masking-up; as in long, Long, LONG after the medical experts, eventually, silence the Star Trekian RED ALERT klaxons. Why?

For starters, our donning our masks during late 2020 and early 2021 did dramatically reduce transmission of the regular flu virus (and rhinoviruses, too).

Beyond that? There’s insufficient certainty re the duration of the existing vaccines’ protection and whether or not the virologists will be able to keep up with the arrival of the insanely dangerous, coronavirus variants.

Beyond beyond that? What if, as I type and you read these words, there’s another global pandemic looming; oh, say a Covid-21? And if not a 21, what about a Covid-22? 23? 24 etc.?

Year numbers are no different that regular numbers. Just as you and I can easily pick a number, just as easily, virus hunters can always tack on one integer WHEN they discover a new microbe. And note that word choice BOILS DOWN to WHEN and not IF.

Even the idiomatic phrase BOILS DOWN is likely apt. To e.g. that…

What if climate change, in other words, our far, Far, FAR warmer planet, is already providing a more hospitable environment for microbes? In other words, what if human shortsightedness has resulted in our unwittingly constructing something akin to a global lab; its petri dishes incubating / cooking up / churning out difficult to contain, ferociously communicable, deadly to humankind pestilence?

While, for now, that may all sound like some scary, nightmarish plot to a bizarre Sci-Fi flick, do keep in mind that it’s also insanely easy for you and I to twice press our keyboards’ delete key to eliminate that above “Fi”.

Ergo… I’ll copy and paste this post’s above headline:

What Would the Wise (Wo)Man Do?

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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A Morning / Mourning to Remember

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Eighteen April twenty-seconds ago, I donned my public speaker hat for fifteen minutes; put on my best public face and managed to dry my eyes long enough to eulogize my Mother; mention how two co-conspirators, a.k.a. Age and Infirmity, had ushered in her final day on Earth; sum up nearly ninety year’s worth of her extraordinary, ordinary life and times.

And “extraordinary” is an apt term, considering how this impoverished public school teacher (married to an impoverished public school teacher) had, somehow, managed to survive the 1918 pandemic as well as the socioeconomic blowback precipitated by two World Wars and 1929’s Great Depression.

Factoring in how, decades prior to her demise, two more co-conspirators, a.k.a. Time and Distance, had misled her down the beaten path to loneliness / near reclusiveness, I hadn’t expected much of a turnout at her memorial service.

To my surprise, fourteen attendees signed her guest book; a scant two of those being my co-workers. Yes, indeed, one dozen of Mom’s friends and acquaintances had thought enough of her to find time in their own lives to pay their last respects.

Seventeen April twenty-seconds ago, I opened my microphone to record an audio recreation of Mom’s eulogy; mixing in some suitable musical selections during the post production phase. Yes, a memorial CD had been born; inclusive of jewel box artwork and a twenty page, memorial booklet / insert.

On this April twenty-second (as has always happened in the past), my eyes welled up during my playback of this special CD; this time, my tears transcending the obvious reason.

For starters, I found myself considering how the afterlife, celebrated in story and song, may not actually exist; the possibility that the dearly departed only live on in the realm of our loving, caring hearts; our cherished memories of them.

Beyond that, I could not help but feel intense sorrow FOR the (known) three million souls, worldwide; FOR the well over half million (known) souls, stateside, who’ve passed on; who’ve literally, been denied their breathing rights by the ruthless Corona-V; FOR the untold families and friends who now survive them; the vast majority of these mourners still being denied even the slightest sense of closure by way of the eulogy / memorial service.

BTW, for anyone who may be interested, I’m linking to the second half of my Mom’s Eulogy.

PS: My apologies re that past post’s “dearly departed” YouTube clips.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Sweet Dreams Are (Not) Made Of This

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Upon awakening from a lifetime of recallable dreams, I’ve frequently mulled over the feasibility of online dream journaling. However, I’ve resisted making my slumbering nightlife an open book, mainly, because I’ve deemed my content, by and large, to be akin to a bedtime story; in other words, a real yawner. Uh, that is, up till this early a.m., when my R.E.M. sleep story seemed a bit more worthwhile and interweb interweave-able.

It all boils down to a specific dreams’ recursive, bothersome nature; of late, the bizarre manner in which my unconscious mind has been prioritizing a particular narrative; has become unduly fond of (unproductively?) sorting out my time served within a peculiar, particular gated community, a.k.a. Retail Hell (initially, as a sales rep; later on, as an entry level manager).

The, perhaps, unsolvable mystery, here, is why there’d even need to be a nocturnal rehashing of this epoch of my life; these dreams ARE playing out nearly 13 years following my injury-forced early retirement. Additionally, I’d hardly categorize more than 5 of those 30 work years as worthwhile and satisfying. Hence, my headline’s negation of the 1983 Annie Lennox / David A. Stewart’s song title, “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This”.

Possibly, it’s my having pissed away nearly forty-five percent of my entire life within that milieu, which would account for this phenomenon? Might there simply not be enough of my other life experiences to draw on? My gawd, it’d be bat crap pathetic, indeed, were my so-called career the only aspect that had ever defined me.

Getting down to the actual dream details, they are, at best, phantasmagorical; the slew of farcical / surreal workplace settings, facial flashes of both wretched and wonderful big bosses and fleeting glimpses of the revolving door co-workers who’d been treated just as shoddily as I. Other mystifying dream elements include my neither showing up for work nor completing my assigned tasks on time, utterly failing to carry out the most mundane of work routines and, in the process, completely mucking up everything; all of which, runs totally counter to the actual facts; corroborated by my rock solid, top-notch, annual job performance reviews.

As for “the why” to my experiencing these (worthless?) dreams, the only working theory I can dream up is how that bygone era of my work life had been a walk in the park; when compared to staggering thru today’s zombie apocalypse.

Such an assessment of tough times, doth summon forth the 1967, James Anthony Dean / Paul Riser / William Henry Witherspoon, R&B/Soul musical masterpiece, “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”: these songsmiths’ lead lyric, “As I walk this land with broken dreams” aptly setting the world stage.

Once juxtaposed, such a sentiment is totally relevant to the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated, debilitated and decimated humanity; to a society sickened by the plague of racial inequality, police brutality, gun violence and mass shootings; to the delusional domestic terrorist sleeper cells, who await their collective alarm clock to go off; to trigger the unleashing of their deadly and destructive plots; all of which could, someday, trump Trump’s own, wide awake nightmare; his fortunately failed January 6th attempt to hack America to death.

Indeed, Sweet Dreams Are (Not) Made Of This.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Nearly an Eternity in Lockdown

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Almost sixty years prior to the coronavirus pandemic, my own peers had made it their Job #1 to bully me; demote me to the rank rank of second class citizen; these sickos’ nonsensical and merciless verbal, physical and emotional attacks robbing me of the carefree, fun times, which is (should be) (must be) each and every kid’s birthright.

And, upon factoring in how much school I had skipped to escape their torment, they also committed similar grand larceny by denying me my education; which, btw, is (should be) (must be) each and every human’s birthright, too.

Oh, eventually, after four long years of this harassment, these schoolyard and neighborhood hoodlums / hooligans did grow a tad weary of tormenting me, but their timing could not have been worse. You see, by then, puberty took over; it’s Job #1 being to deface my face.

While my parents (by profession, both high school level educators) did attempt to defend and console me, they could no more effectively open my principals’ eyes than my clogged pores.

My only, bygone coping mechanism, summed up in two words, had become: Social Isolating

Not showing my face in public, eventually, became a way of life; if “life” is even the operative word, here.

Ironically, my leading into 2020, New Year’s resolution had been to get off the bench and back into the game of life; to make the most out of whatever time I have remaining on Earth.

Needless to say, we all know how well that went, don’t we?

So, what has nearly a lifetime in lockdown taught me?

In pre-pandemic times, I could take some solace in my belief that life’s parade was still marching onward; to be joined in progress when the time was ripe.

However, with the pandemic still marching and rampaging onward AND the revelation of the ever-evolving, far more contagious and deadlier, coronavirus variants (of late, discovered, right here, in my home state of Michigan) AND the slow down of the vaccines’ distribution (due to both logistical and pharmacological problems) it’d appear that life’s parade has been canceled indefinitely.

My greatest concerns:

  • By the time this running amok, global scourge is finally in our rear view mirrors, so too, will be my above mentioned, days of yore, ill-timed, ill-fated New Year’s resolution.
  • Considering how a huge chunk of my Earthly existence can already be seen within my own, personal, rear view mirror, my road ahead, indeed, doth appear short.

My best coping mechanism (hopefully yours too), summed up in ten words, continues to be:

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Vaccine Hesitancy? NOT!

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To cut to the chase, the Corona-V hesitancy, which I’ve been experiencing, has little to do with the vaccines, themselves. My reluctance involves actually getting out there to get my jab(s).

I mean, Trump, having willfully aided and abetted the avoidable, yearlong, nationwide rampage of Corona-V (and now it’s nasty varmint variants), I simply do not want to set even one toe into what I refer to as Donny’s Diseased Dystopia.

I doubt even donning a Hazmat Suit could adequately ease my apprehension about breaking quarantine. Additionally, how, pray tell, (ha ha?) would I ever manage to roll up that “suit of armor’s” sleeve?

So, what would ease my angst?

Well, that boils down to my ideal inoculation scenario. I’d much rather venture forth during a virus suppressing, summery heatwave; wind up in some open air parking lot; preferably adjacent to a hospital ER; the syringe wielder being a methodical, non-stressed out MD or RN.

Such terms also stem from my deep consumerism roots; my looking out for my own well-being predating the pandemic by multiple decades. After all, any medical potion or procedure has potential side effects; hence, being a gurney (not an ambulance) ride away from help doth seem prudent.

Ergo, until my ideal Covid-19 vaccination scenario (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) materializes; until the human race achieves herd immunity; the following pandemic protocols will remain my / our next best, stay alive modus operandi.

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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How Spring 2020 Could’ve Played Out

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I still cannot wrap my mind around whiny, crybaby Donald J. Trump’s shameful, nuh-uh-I-didn’t-do-it finger-pointing re the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

I mean, does he not brand himself a Republican? Do not Republicans brand themselves as the political party of personal responsibility?

Damn it, it really MATTERS NOT where Corona-V came from. Once it began its worldwide rampage, no ifs, ands and buts, this became Donny’s responsibility. Hell that became the responsibility of every leader who could still muster two brain cells to rub together.

Trump should’ve parked his golf cart, switched off his wide screen boob tube, pried his fat Fascist fanny off the couch, opted to take his junk food intravenously and, last but not least, made Pandemic Management his Job #1.

Oh, on second thought, factoring in how he was (still is) chronically thoughtless, he didn’t even need to make those above-mentioned “personal sacrifices”. Nope, not at all! Hell, all he had to do was prove his boastful claim that he’s a savvy businessman who knows how to find the perfect talent to get ‘er done.

Indeed, he could’ve delegated the entire Corona-V containment project to a real man such as Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Just imagine. Had the good doctor shut down America entirely, oh, say, eliminate everyone’s need to go shopping by having National Guard service (wo)men home delivering groceries, supplies and prescription meds; had Trump asked Congress to fund everyone’s rent / mortgage payments, well…

I honestly, earnestly believe that, within a couple of months, tops, even sans any Covid-19 vaccines, at all, Corona-V could’ve been stopped dead in its tracks.

At that juncture, just to be on the safe side, Fauci could’ve “sold” mask wearing to the emerging out of quarantine citizenry; deemed donning this essential medical equipment to be everyone’s moral and civic duty.

Even better, once the other world leaders deemed Fauci their roll model, they, too, could’ve put an early end to their own homelands’ human suffering and death.

Imagine how humanity, united, could’ve saved, perhaps, up to 98 percent of the nearly three million known souls lost, globally; how we could’ve reclaimed our world by early spring 2020.

Epilogue: While I still would’ve voted for Joe Biden, last November, had Trump gone strutting up and down the campaign trail crowing about being the Corona-V conquering hero, he’d have likely wound up conquering his political rival, too.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Whispers into the Raging Winds

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I’ve been having a tough time finding sufficient motivation to continue posting. However…

Going on the premise that an adequate, cursory blog is better than no blog at all, what follows are my first waking, thoughts… exasperated long sighhhhhh… on this new, old pandemic day.

Beyond the debilitation and death, the microbial villain, Corona-V, has exposed humankind’s other weaknesses.

What we’ve been witnessing has been an ever increasing percentage of society, mind you, the very people who claim to be reputable, who have, instead, demonstrated a magnitude of ignorance, impatience, selfishness, rapacity, recalcitrance, hatred and hostility, that, to say the least, makes one wonder if they’re beyond redemption.

To briefly flesh out my above words, we find the Trumpian type of leader, who is more concerned about saving his own political bacon than saving humankind; who prioritizes his homelands’ fiscal issues over physical well-being.

And then we witness the misled masses, who flat-out refuse to do the bare minimum; namely social distance / mask up to slow the spread of this ferociously communicable, fatal virus and its even more contagious, deadlier variants. Nope, not even when to do so would allow society to fast-track it back to the ignorant, impatient, selfish, rapacious, recalcitrant, hateful and hostile status quo.

As if all of this human suffering and death has not been bad enough, already, within my homeland (a.k.a. gun sick America), armed to the teeth, mass murderer sociopaths have been prematurely coming out of pandemic quarantine; committing hate crimes and unleashing pandemonium; training their weapons’ cross-hairs on anyone who crosses their paths.

Alas, this post’s word count does not count for much; not when it’s little more than whispers into the raging winds of change; for the worse.

Parting words for anyone who may still be reachable…

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Nightmares and Dreams Come True

It’s only natural for us to react with anxiety and skepticism when a dream come true solution finally arrives to scare off our wide awake, round-the-clock, nightmare problems.

More to the point, when life securing vaccines suddenly roll into our hometowns to combat pandemic magnitude, debilitating and deadly disease.

To varying degrees, most of us have not been immune to experiencing the side effect of reluctance; i.e., when the moment to roll up our sleeves presents itself in the here and now. Well, if this will make any of you feel any better, consider the following pep talk that (full disclosure) I’ve also been giving to myself:

When we witness society’s privileged class pushing and shoving us, the commoners, aside, in their feverish attempts to cut to the head of the vaccination line, that means the vaccines have gotta be safe.

More to the point, that’s what upper crusters do best; i.e., deem us lab rats at their disposal; (you know) just to see if we experience any detrimental side effects.

I hope such rationale proves useful to you.

Additionally, until the vaccinations help humanity achieve herd immunity:

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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Ghost Town Stats R Us / U.S.

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365 days per year X 24 hours per day X 60 minutes per hour = 525,600 minutes per year

The (known) U.S. Ccvid-19 deaths during the past 12 months = 545,662 > 1 death per minute

That’s as if any one of the half million population U.S. municipalities, such as Albuquerque NM, Tuscon and Mesa AZ, Fresno and Sacramento CA, Atlanta GA and Kansas City MO had suddenly become a ghost town.

Wherever you reside in our world, make damned sure you don’t give up the ghost to Corona-V. Until the wise medical professionals tell us otherwise:

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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My Undying Thanks to Gov. Whitmer!

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On 03/10/2020, one year ago, I walked the short walk to the polls to cast my vote in the Michigan Presidential Primary. Lurking in the back of my mind were the first two reports of Covid-19; mere counties away from my humble homestead. I even asked the poll workers if they were already planning, ahead, for the possibility that the pandemic would not allow us to vote in person. Short answer: They were!

On this same day, our Democratic Party Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, declared a State of Emergency. Within mere days she shrewdly shuttered all K-12 schools, banned all gatherings of 250 or more, and restricted visitations to residential, health care and juvenile centers; and, the rest, as “they say”, is history.

I have always taken Whitmer’s counsel seriously and it would not be hyperbole for anyone to state that had she been President of the United States of America, or, at the very least, had Donald J. Trump’s ear (and, of course, had that ear been connected to a fully functioning brain), our homeland would’ve never become the paradigm for:

WHAT TO NEVER TO DO DURING A PANDEMIC!

Conversely, Whitmer’s cogent strategy centered on:

EVERYTHING WE MUST DO DURING A PANDEMIC!

Granted, Whitmer does not know me from Adam; has never spent even a nanosecond reading my posts. Nonetheless, I would like to publicly offer up my undying thanks to this great Governor for mitigating the human suffering and death; for saving the life of every Michigander who took to heart her calmly presented, timely, science-centric medical advice.

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

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