We have a flakey stock market. We have daily doses of intrigue, skullduggery, corruption, and oligarchs exerting influence on the 2020 presidential election.
As if that wasn’t enough to be anxious about on a daily basis, we now have the coronavirus, a/k/a COVID-19 to deal with and no real leadership from Washington. The CDC’s epidemiology department landed on the chopping block early in this administration. All information released to the public has to be vetted by a science denier who impeded his state’s government’s response to the HIV epidemic. Test kits are few, far between, and cost more than some cars I’ve driven. And if we’re lucky, the vaccine is still a year out from distribution. If the general public can afford it or if insurance will cover it.
Collective deep breath. Collective exhale. Spanish flu. Bird flu. Polio. Black Plague. How do we get through this latest pandemic?
Find trusted local sources for information such as your state or county health departments. They should be able to tell you what’s going on with COVID-19 in your area, what symptoms to watch for, and practical ways to protect yourself, such as washing your hands.
Find an international news source that you like (CBC and BBC are two of mine) or go to WHO’s (World Health Organization) website.
Check Dr. Weil’s website for more practical information, including hand washing and tasty recipes to boost your immunity.
Several medical consultants on news shows this past weekend recommended preparing for possible interruptions in the supply chain due to illness-related worker absences. Stock up on nonperishables or freezer friendly items for a couple of weeks just in case, and maybe grab some extra supplements and over the counter medications to be on the safe side.
Wash your hands, try not to play with your face, especially around the eyes and nose (she writes while scratching her eyelid).
Show your neighbors and vulnerable members of the community some love as this unfolds. SNAP doesn’t cover cleaning and hygiene supplies, so I’ll be making a run to get extra paper towels, spray cleaners, and soap for the local food pantry. I would love it if you would join me.
Consider a fun and practical arts and crafts project: make your own hand sanitizer with vodka or gin combined with essential oils such as oregano or tea tree. There are lots of recipes on line for homemade hand sanitizer, so Google away.
Have leftover gin or vodka? Google “craft cocktails” for suggestions on using it up. The Mystery knows we could all use a drink by now. Make it a good one.
Oh, and one more time for the people in back: WASH. YOUR. HANDS.
I see some blue sky peeking in through the cracks in the grey. Hopefully, they will hold and Oakley can take me for a walk in a few minutes.
Tomorrow includes the last birthday lunch of the year with a dear friend. Her life is so nuts that she has to pencil in bathroom breaks. I am blessed and honored that we’re able to meet over Thai food.
I will be getting some nonperishables for the food pantry. There have been reports that the SNAP EBT cards aren’t working in some areas due to the government shutdown. I know that there have been abuses, but I also have friends on FB who are disabled and can’t get groceries any other way. I’ll be damned if anyone starves on my watch.
Thinking a little about the holidays. Will Hubby be home for them, or does he have to travel for work? Will do a small holiday post in a few weeks.
Dinner tonight….hmm. Filling lunch. How to balance it?
HEY! (jumping up and down while waving arms in the air) Over here! In the soybean field!
Ok, do I have your attention now? Good. Did you know that late last week and this weekend, the House voted to cut SNAP by 40%? The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps? The one that helps keep people who are elderly, disabled, veterans, and members of military families, and small children fed? That one. In an act of pure meanness, it was cut to balance the budget.
The amount saved was like cutting your toenails to lose weight.
I talked to Hubby a little while ago. He had turned on one of the morning “news” shows for a little background noise while he completes this round on his mom’s house. The lead story was about Oprah having nearly had a nervous breakdown. Seriously. Having been there and done that, she has my sympathy. However, Hubby had no idea that the cuts had happened, or that Taiwan and Hong Kong were feeling the aftereffects of a typhoon that looks like Sandy redux, or that Al-Quada operatives from a cell in Somalia had taken hostages at a mall in Nairobi and there had been a lot of explosions and gunfire.
Donations to some international relief organization will help Kong Kong and Taiwan. Beyond prayers and holding the people of Kenya in our thoughts, we can’t do much about that situation.
There are things we can do to help SNAP recipients here at home, though:
Please practice nonjudgement about how they ended up on assistance. The vast majority of recipients are working poor of all colors, military families, seniors on Social Security, or living with disabilities that prevent them from working, and children. I worked in social services, and concede that there are people who abuse the system. However, there are many more who get abused by the system, such as one client who was bounced between her financial aid office, the public assistance office, and her deadbeat ex-husband. Her family had thrown her out when she found out that she was pregnant and would have nothing more to do with her. Every time she had a increase in one form of benefits, another was cut. Eventually, she gave up, dropped out of school, and stopped coming for sessions. Wherever she is, I hope that she’s ok.
Don’t be a single issue voter. Everyone wants the most bang for their tax buck, and no one wants unwarranted increases, but see where candidates stand on other issues, such as promoting the development of green industries or infrastructure to support job creation.
Educate yourself about the issues involved in hunger and its prevention.
Donate to your local food bank, either nonperishables or cash.
Thank you for listening. We now return you to the latest celebrity meltdown.
Karma and I will see you at the voting booth in November.