Ending the COVID epidemic is everyone’s responsibility

Showing good example

Last week, I needed to see the doctor and because I had a cough. He asked me to have a COVID test, which I did. (It was negative) While I waited for my turn to have those extra-long cotton swaps pushed up my nose, a young man was admitted immediately – no waiting for him. I couldn’t believe how sick he looked – so weak that his wife had to hold his body upright in the wheelchair. When the admission staff saw his condition, they rushed him to intensive care.

The week before, I visited Valladolid. What an amazing place. There are new restaurants, attractions and more. My daughter and I had a wonderful visit. But it was very hot. We kept our masks on though, because that is what we need to do. Not all tourists were doing likewise, and I could see they made the townspeople extremely nervous.

Under normal circumstances, I subscribe to a “live and let live” policy. Neither do I willy-nilly put my opinion out in public because I don’t like to invite arguments. But with the antivaxers and those who do not follow the sanitary protocols, I have lost all patience.

Antivaxers claim their rights are at stake. They say they are at peril by accepting vaccines – AKA foreign substances – into their bodies. Those who refuse to mask and keep a safe distance have lots of excuses. They are tired of the restrictions. They want their life back.  

Well boys and girls, we all want our lives to be healthy and enjoyable, but it isn’t possible right now.

To be fair, I have duly noted my information sources about the major arguments cited for not vaccinating (for COVID or any other perilous disease) as a postscript after this post.

I actually feel the antivaxer propaganda and rumor-mongering is holding the rest of us hostage. Getting infected with COVID is not the only consequence. Because of the pandemic, our lives are on hold. And until more people are vaccinated, we won’t reach herd immunity and the virus will keep on multiplying. Unless everyone pulls together, this situation will drag on and on for years.

Many people are in emotional crisis. The rumors and dire statistics have caused them to be fearful. They are even scared to go outside. The lack of social contact is causing terrible stress.

Economically, almost everyone has been devastated. So many businesses have closed or are barely making ends meet. I know one restaurant owner who had to sell their home to keep paying rent and staff.

Restricted travel is not just about going or not going on holiday… there are many people who have not been ableto see their families for almost two years because COVID numbers cause some nations to enforce travel bans on citizens traveling from high-risk countries.  

This has affected me on a personal level. I have been unable to see our only granddaughter since Christmas 2019. She lives in a European country that will not allow those living in Mexico (vaccinated or not) into the country. This is because our new infection rates are so high. Even with proof of vaccination they cannot enter, unless a person agrees to a 2 week quarantine. Two weeks is all the time most people can realistically be away. And so we’d spend thousands of dollars to fly over there, only to stay in an outrageously expensive quarantine facility, and not even be able to see the child.

Education is in shambles. So many kids have fallen behind and will never recuperate the skills they were acquiring. Can you imagine having young children cooped up at home all day, every day, for the past year and a half?

University students also are severely impacted. Their whole future is in peril because, let’s face it, the online instruction cannot take the place of face-to-face interaction and socialization.

Has the world’s population lost all compassion? We who elect to believe scientists, instead of random posting on the internet, are the ones whose “rights” are being violated.

The worst of all is that refusing a vaccine is not about standing up for a principal that is vital. This is not like the right to assemble. This is not like legitimate protesting over illegal traffic of weapons, drugs or people. This isn’t about condemning global warming. This is not about protesting for women’s rights or sexual exploitation of children.

As of today, there have been 198,924,606 recorded infections by COVID 19. Many have recovered, thanks to medical help, but nearly 5,000,000 of them have died.

To me, refusing to get vaccinated or non-conformance to sanitary protocols is just plain selfish. It is ridiculous posturing. Come on – wake up people!

***

The opinions stated in this post are my own. My health-related  information comes from:

the Public Heath website:

https://www.publichealth.org/public-awareness/understanding-vaccines/vaccine-myths-debunked/

the Forbes website:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2021/06/03/microchips-and-shedding-here-are-5-debunked-covid-vaccine-conspiracy-theories-spreading-online/?sh=160fd46b26af

And the Healthline website

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/doctors-debunk-9-popular-covid-19-vaccine-myths-and-conspiracy-theories#Myth:-The-COVID-19-vaccine-makes-you-magnetic

Image from Insider

Light my fire?

The face that launched umpteen billion fantasies



We’ve hit another watershed moment in 2021 – the 50th anniversary of the physical death of Jim Morrison. Mind you, he is very much alive in our memories. There, he forever will strut his stuff, pout his pout, slam back the booze, sing his songs and do God knows what else.

The iconic photograph reproduced under the header endures as the face that has launched umpteen billion fantasies. So many have tried to describe his allure. One columnist said Morrison was the “first major male sex symbol since James Dean died and Marlon Brando got a paunch”. Others called him a “leather tiger,” a “shaman-serpent king, the “Acid-Evangelist of Rock”, a sort of “Hell’s Angel of the groin.” and even, “The King of Orgasmic Rock.”

I like what prose-poet Liza Williams said, “He was a “baby bullfighter / ultimate boy Barbie doll.”

To avoid all the notoriety and the circus-like atmosphere that surrounded the deaths of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix,  the Paris police reported, “Morrison’s death was caused by a heart attack while taking a bath. Just that. Natural causes. Nothing more.”

My gift of the Mexican flag is clearly visible… the guitar fell down… or was it grabbed?

In 2007, Jorge and I visited Jim Morrison’s tomb at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. So many statesmen, artists, humanitarians – saints of every hue are buried there – yet the Morrison grave is the only one that must have a guard 24-7. Many of his fans still want to cart off a piece of him. The photograph shows  the gravesite. I like to think the miniature guitar I left might be one of his favorites fan girl gifts.

When I mourn Jimmy’s death, I am comforted that we still have Mick. I often wonder if Morrison’s death at 27 spurred Jagger to give up his own dangerous habits so he could keep on rockin’. He also grew into the ultra-disciplined manager of the Stones – albeit always with an edge – He has kept his gig going almost twice as long as Morrison lived.

What is it about these bad boys? Why, even when they’re dead and gone, do they still hold us captive? I think maybe this is because they allow us a vicarious walk on wild side.

Hello, I love you
Won’t you tell me your name?
Hello, I love you
Let me jump in your game

Light my fire? Hm-m-m-m-m?

Did you ever meet this woman?

Yaya

The Centro merchants, restaurant workers, bus drivers and just about everyone else, called her, “Yaya”. I started noticing her in the streets of Merida in the 1990s. Actually, the radius of her world was made up of one square block – between Calles 57 & 59 and 58 & 60.

She was about 4 foot 6, bowlegged, snag-toothed and scruffy. She lived in a psychotic world that allowed no access. I would guess that she was schizophrenic.

Diminutive as she was, her strength was surprising. Her bowed legs never rested. At any given time, she owned up to six boxes. And no one could get near them. Inside I glimpsed Coca Cola bottles filled with water, tattered blankets, and not much else. She’d push them back and forth from one end of the Callejón del Congreso, to the other. And then she’d do it all over again. All day, every day.

I could not ask her name, nor learn her story because she was profoundly deaf and did not speak.

But she sometimes got a-hold of a whistle or a drum. Where from, who knows? But she loved to play them loudly – very loudly. I guess she could feel and enjoy the vibration.

In typical Merida fashion, the people who lived and worked near her home-plate provided Yaya with the basics. A shopkeeper gave her  “employment.”  Daily she handed out his flyers along her four streets. If anyone walked past without accepting one, she would sneak up behind and bop them on the head. I saw more than one person whip around and stare incredulously at Yaya. But she did not back down. She would not be intimidated – not on her own turf.

No one knew where she came from. No one ever claimed her as their own. Over the years, a few well-meaning souls tried to move her and her belongings to a safer spot, but she responded with shrill shrieks and flying fists. The government wanted to assist Yaya, as did a group of well-intentioned ladies who captured her whenever they could. They’d bathe her, brush her few teeth, wash and comb her hair and dress her in clean clothing.

Yaya somehow ended up as she did, and it didn’t look like she wanted any other life. A shop keeper in the pedestrian mall saw that she ate every day, and when she got ill, he bought her medicine. From time to time, other neighbors gave her clothes and blankets. She bathed and performed her bodily functions in secret spots. There must have been someone who laid out some soap & a towel, and left a water hose available to her.

I always felt sympathetic to Yaya’s wishes to be left alone. I imagine she was always deaf-mute. Where was her family and the medical community when she was a child? Where were they when she turned her back on a “normal”life – whatever that is? Living a solitary existence amid the crowds, Yaya knew where she wanted to be, and that is where she wanted to stay.

But she got older, and the years of hand-to-mouth living took their toll. It was hard to see Yaya as a contributing member of society – in the conventional sense. But I think she had something important to teach us. I can’t precisely say what, but I know that every time I’d spot her on the street, I would feel reminded to do the best I can with what I have.

About the time that the Palacio de Musica was built, someone moved Yaya along. To where, no one seems to know. But she’s gone. If she is still alive, I hope she’s found another place where she wants to be. If she has passed away, I hope her end was peaceful.

Yaya made me think about gratitude and about tolerance. She made me pause and consider, that if not for the grace of the Universe – there go I.

Photo credit: Yaya   http://www.municipiosyucatan.com/wp/