We all know that 2020 was a year to forget. A year like no other most of us have ever lived in our life time. Corona-19 virus with mask wearing, lockdowns, social distancing, Zoom meetings, jobs lost, concerts cancelled, restaurants closed, take-outs, home schooling, travel plans on hold, working from home, line ups for toilet paper, food banks, mom and pop’s going out of business, standing in line for groceries, no hugging, gyms closed, deaths, many deaths – too many, overworked front line workers, hospital beds at capacity and need I go on?
But soon 2020 will be over (good riddance) and we will embrace 2021 with vaccines and a renewed optimism.
So, let’s start off the new year on a positive note by remembering something good that happened to us in 2020.
For me, it was my trip to India which I wrote about on this blog.
I was fortunate enough to return home before the virus hit my country and lockdowns began.
So, what was it for you? What’s one good thing that you remember from 2020?
May your home be always filled with love, kindness, warmth, joy and peace throughout 2021.
Bau and Doris had a special bond. As a patient who suffered from Alzheimer, Doris had lost much of her ability to verbally communicate. However, with Bau she tended to speak more and became joyful. Her sad mood lifted and Bau was always excited to see her. This is what animal therapy can do.
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Millions of people have died from this virus and millions more have had their souls and hearts ripped apart because of loved ones suddenly gone.
When my mother died I wrote Don’t Bring me Flowers, an essay which is in the Mourning Has Broken collection. In the weeks which followed my sister’s death, an urge to write an essay about her also emerged . It was at page eighty that I realized the essay had flown off on its own and that I’d given myself this mission: for one year I would write about mourning as I went about my life collecting memories as myriads of emotions assailed me.
Through it all, I explored the meaning of life and the changes of my own beliefs, taking me through a journey of sorrow, guilt, regret, joy and hope.
In a few weeks I will turn 70, which places me in a vulnerable age group for being infected with the Covid-19 virus. Also, I have a blood disorder.
A recentBloomberg article listed blood clots as a symptom of Covid-19.
Blood — fever and inflammation may disrupt blood vessels, rendering blood cells more prone to clumping while interfering with the body’s ability to dissolve clots. That may trigger a clotting cascade that can lead to blood-vessel blockages in tissues and organs throughout the body. Life-threatening clots in the arteries of the lung, known as pulmonary emboli, may occur even after symptoms of the infection have resolved. Damaged blood vessels may become leaky and prone to bleeding. In children, inflammation of veins and arteries triggered by excessive immune activation may cause an illness similar to Kawasaki disease, an inflammatory disorder.
Masks are not meant to protect you – the person wearing it – but to protect others you may come in contact with. Since this virus can be asymptomatic, I consider wearing a mask a sign of respect and civic duty.
Do masks keep the virus from leaking out of one’s mouth? Not completely. If you are wearing a mask your particles can still reach me but there are less of them. Dr. Yuen Kwok-Yung, a microbiologist doctor at Hong Kong University, conducted an empirical research study which showed that the rate of transmission through respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by 75% by using masks (May, 2020).
What a mask does is that it decreases the momentum of the virus in the air. If I come in contact with someone wearing a mask the virus in the air decreases by 50%. That’s pretty significant. And if everybody wore masks (because we now know that the virus can be asymptomatic) the chances of the virus in the air decreases by 80%.
Check out Dr. Yuen Kwok-Yung’s study on this video.
There are some who advocate not wearing a mask, nor confinement, nor social distancing so that we all can get the disease and therefore, we all can be immune to it. This approach presumes that everyone is healthy and no one has underlying health problems. One of my niece’s grandson has Kawasaki disease and in the past was hospitalized because of it. What would happen to him if he got the Covid-19? What would happen to me? Would I get only a little cold? What would happen to all those with heart conditions?
Another issue with this “lets all get the disease” is the capacity of our hospitals to be able to handle when everybody gets sick at the same time, thus spiking up the curve. Already as of May 22, 2020 , Medscape’s Corona Virus Resource Center lists healthcare workers who have already died from this virus. This list includes more than 1000 names from 64 countries. The youngest is 20, the eldest 99.
Go ahead, have a look at this list. These are real people. Someone’s mother, child, father, husband, wife, best friend.
Do we really need to overburden the health care system by overloading it? Flattening the curve is the main reason for these measures- which wearing a mask is one of them.
Of course, wearing a mask is not a full proof protection. You still have to use other precautions such as good hand hygiene, not touching your face and keeping social distancing.
I live on a beautiful and spacious island by the St Laurence seaway and when I go out to walk my dog, I don’t wear a mask and make sure to get fresh air into my lungs. Nor do I wear a mask when I am alone in my car driving.
But I do wear a mask when I go to the grocery store, the drugstore or even when picking up my coffee at Starbuck’s and any other place where there are people around. The person serving me wears a mask to protect me. It is only common curtesy, I feel, for me to also protect her or him.
I realize that there are those who will disagree with me and think that wearing a mask is a joke. If I got infected with this disease because you did not believe in wearing a mask I would not be laughing.
Finally, some people may find that wearing a mask is unattractive. My friend, Lomer, made me a few, including the one I’m wearing on this post. It has two layers of cotton separated by mesh. I like wearing it because it’s pretty and hides my wrinkles! 😊