20 Year Reflections: Viruses & Miracles

Man playing guitar alone at home

A fun POEM — I am NOT the author — from 20 years ago about another worldwide virus that all of us survived!
I just found it typed up in a box of papers I had saved and thought it a great time to share. Obviously, I thought it clever and I thought the event was worth memorializing (as did, obviously, someone else). We need to take moments of levity during tragic times.  It is a survival mechanism that’s been around for as long as we’ve been self-aware.  EVERYONE survived this virus, the one referenced in the poem, but the fears were very real. Do you remember?  Can you name it?
I will tell you a little secret, I DID buy heavy-duty plastic and duct-taped my windows and sliding glass door, as so many others did. We survived that one, and most of us will survive this one, bettering our chances if we use Wise Mind, listen to the scientists, and patiently follow the guidelines given to us.
You’ve never heard any fireman say, “Everyone, run as quickly as you can into the flames!”  No, they tell you to “walk calmly, single fire towards the exits.” This is a great example of listening to the professionals, following directions, and patiently using Wise Mind to get through those panicked times and into a safe location.
Right now your safe location is your home. Your masks are vital, but they are not a replacement for staying home. Your gloves may make you weak and vulnerable by giving you a false sense of protection. Be aware, think it through, weigh your feelings and your thoughts before making decisions… this is Wise Mind it should be part of your survival plan.

POEM TIME!!!

THE NIGHT BEFORE Y2K

‘Twas the night before Y2K, and all through the nation,
We awaited the bug, the millennium sensation.
The chips were replaced in computers with care,
In hopes that old “Bugsy” wouldn’t stop there.

While some folks would think they were snug in their beds,
Others had visions of dread in their heads.
And Ma with her PC and I with my Mac,
Had just logged on the net, and kicked back with a snack.

His image downloaded in no time at all.
He whistled and shouted, “Let all systems fall!
Go Intel, go Gateway, now HP, Big Blue,
Everything Compaq and Pentium too.
All processors big, all processors small,
Crash away, crash away, crash away all.”

All the controls the planes need for their flights,
All microwaves, trains, and all traffic lights.
As I drew in my breath and was turning around,
Out from the modem he came with a bound.

He was covered in fur, and slung on his back
Was a sack full of viruses, set for attack.
His eyes – how they twinkled, his dimples – how merry,
His midnight approach though soon became scary.

He had a broad little face and a round little belly,
And a sack full of viruses that quivered like jelly.
He was chubby and plump, perpetually grinnin’
I laughed when I saw him, though my hard-drive stopped spinnin’.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know, a new feeling of dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work.
He changed all the clocks then turned with a jerk.

With a twitch of his nose, and a quick little wink
All things electronic soon went on the blink.
He zoomed from my system to the next folks online.
He caused such a disruption – could this be a sign?

Then I heard him exclaim with a loud hearty cry,
“Happy Y2K to all, and kiss your PC good-bye!”

                                                                                                                           — Poet Unknown

I hope you had a little fun with that and that somehow, this little poem written 20 years ago for a virus the world was convinced would end life as we knew it — because all computers’ inner clocks were never programmed for dates beyond the 1900s —  helps you to remember the world is not ending.

And, in fact, the world is more alive than ever! Our atmosphere, the waters, it is all healing. Wild animals are making their presence known to us, reminding us that this is their world too. Some are even making a comeback from the brink of extinction. And we, you and I and all of those we have ever known, have woken up from a deep sleep of the mundane, our apathy, our arrogance, and our misdirected energy and now that we are awake we are now re-examining ourselves, revaluing the importance of everything, and reconnecting with our families, our communities, and our gods*.

Do you see them? Do you see the miracles happening all around us? Do you see people connecting with song whether from their windows on the streets of Italy or on the World Wide Web (we haven’t called it that for a very long time, but now it feels that way) singers and musicians from different countries to perform songs of faith together from their own shuttered up living quarters?  Do you see neighbors meeting neighbors they’ve never spoken to before? I do.  I see all of them and it is wonderful!
God turns everything for good. You’ve just got to be willing to be quiet, open your ears and listen for him, you’ve got to open your eyes and be willing to see them. And then, when you do, open your heart and 2seek Him. You won’t regret it.

(*Trying to be inclusive there.)
2And here is a poem by yours truly entitled, “God’s Child.”

The wonderful photograph was taken by Brantley Neal and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!

© MemeesMusings/B.L. Memee, 2020. All rights reserved.

Isolation Pt. 1 #lockdowneffect

aaron-burden-cEukkv42O40-unsplash

According to Business Insider, 4 days ago, on April 3, 2020, via statistical analysis of governmental measures to survive COVID-19*, one-third of the World Population is on Lockdown due to the devastating effects of this novel coronavirus.

It is a strange and scary time.

People are suffering for many reasons that are the same and many reasons that are different.  We are suffering from the illness, yes.  Our friends, neighbors, and acquaintances are dying, yes.  We are frightened and anxious.  We are feeling stir crazy and bored.  We are not experiencing as much of the life-giving air and sunshine that we need to thrive but, more than anything, we are isolated, kept apart from one another.

Our habits are changing.  Our thoughts about our actions and those of others are changing.  The world will not be the same once a vaccination is found and we feel free to leave the safety of our lodgings, coming and going as we did just a few months ago and for thousands of years before to the beginning on man living in dwellings.

I believe we will see very obvious changes to the functioning of our societies; there will be social changes that we will long for which may never return, longings that our unborn children, our grandchildren, would be shocked or repulsed by or even just curious about while simultaneously being so surprised to learn just how different our childhoods and life experiences were from what theirs is.

Will the future be filled with a world of germaphobes? Will we be wary of people standing too close? Will our children and grandchildren not yet born also be wary or will they be immune to these fears?  Will we use Mork’s or Spock’s hand gesture of greeting, or will we organically create our own (and if so will it be a worldwide greeting or different greetings around the world) or, as I hope, will we be stuck with the elbow bump?  Will little girls play Patty Cake and Miss Mary Mack?  How about Say Say Oh Playmate, Down Down Baby or Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky?  Will adolescent boys give high fives for making baskets?  Will first loves, young marrieds, or seniors stroll through parks hand in hand? And how will sporting teams greet one another?  By standing in a very large circle and bowing in unison?

Time will tell and I think that some of these changes will be fascinating to see.  I expect there are enormous changes coming, changes at all levels of our existence.  I cannot tell you why I think this.  I can only tell you that I feel this.

I suggest that in addition to outward changes in social behavior and thinking, there may well also be hidden changes deep within our subliminal selves, the not-yet understood definitions that make up each one of us, creating infinitely unique individuals from every spermatozoa and egg that unite, even those eggs that later split creating not one but two tiny babies that will grow into integral members of future humanity.  There are changes taking place right now, today, in the mechanisms that guide us toward our behavioral choices, actions, beliefs, and feelings… our souls.

And could there even be something within us, as a species, that is changed forever?  Will the impact of this cause a chemical change in our DNA that will be visible to science proving that we, as a species, made a sudden adaptational leap in the DNA of today to the DNA of the generation that follows?  And, if so, what will that adaptation mean for all of us, the people who are walking our earth now and all of the generations that may come after?

I have written quite a bit about isolation over the years.  And I believe firmly that isolation kills.  But now, for our mortal survival, individually and perhaps as a species, we must isolate away from one another.  And that is an enormous shift in humankind and it is why I suggest that this may, in fact, be the kind of event that changes who and how people are, how they interact with one another, how they think, as well as changes to their physical and sub-physical natures.

Of course, I could be wrong.

 

 

The wonderful photograph was taken by Aaron Burden and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!

☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀

*“…statistical analysis of governmental measures to survive COVID-19,” is my laymen’s terminology of what was created and presented.

© MemeesMusings/B.L. Memee, 2020. All rights reserved.

My March Coronavirus

Quarantine

On Sunday, March 1st, I woke up with a bad headache and a strong, dry cough. I did not go to church. I called my work and told them I was sick and would not be in until better.

On Thursday, March 5th, I still had that bad headache, the strong, dry cough was now accompanied with a sore throat, muscle aches and pains, and by afternoon I was shivering and shaking, teeth chattering, it was so bad I called my county health department asking what I should do. As terrible as I felt, in terms of do you need to go to the hospital my problems were minor. After our discussion, I called a nearby walk-in clinic (my doc is an hour away) I sometimes go to. They wanted me to go to my doctor. Thanks for that.

March 5th was the first day that they announced testing would be available for people. There were locations that were determined to be the providers for those drive-by tests. My private practice doctor was not going to be one of them, and regardless of that, I was not capable of driving anywhere. I did learn where to go and what to expect.

I was so damn cold and exhausted from the struggle to find direction from someone “in the know” I crawled into bed and slept for another 4 hours. My temperature was 101.3.

When I woke up I was no longer “freezing.” It was 5:30 PM and I knew I had to get going. I got dressed, got in the car, and drove to the town 30 minutes north of me where the tents and drive-thru testing was to be.

Nothing. There was nothing there. Well, that’s not quite true, there were tents, abandoned blue tents and no cars lined up or people wandering around looking lost.

There were a few parking spots with cones at the front, I parked in the coned spot closest to the tent hoping they were watching from windows because it was very stormy, heavy, heavy rain and strong winds. My temperature was 103.3, I was sick, and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.

And nobody really had any answers.

Long story short, I did end up inside after being told I was to wait in my car until they had a room ready for me (I had all the symptoms of Coronavirus and had spent 3 hours with an individual who was in China when the illness broke out, returned home, quarantined in home 14 days w/o symptoms and returned to work; where I met with her.)

An hour and a half later, a nurse in full protective gear came to my car and took me through a side door to my room.

I was tested for strep, tested for flu. I waited. Strep. Yeah, that’s probably it. Both tests were negative. I was taken for x-rays of my lungs. Good news, my lungs were “clear.”

And, the reason the tents were empty, the status change for testing had not been made official. The doctor called the health department and pushed for me to get tested. It was late now, after 8 PM. The individual said I likely would not pass criteria to have the tests read but to go ahead and do it and the next day a decision would be made about whether she could submit them for processing.

So they scraped my throat again and then pierced my brain with their 12″ nasal probes, one per nostril which, once finding its destination was twirled around to get a good sample.

I was told 3 days. I would know in 3 days.

I cannot share with you about the next 3 days as I was flush with fever, delirious at times, sleeping pretty much around the clock. I can tell you I’ve never been as sick in my life as I was on those days. I was in deep pain, had difficulty breathing (thankfully I have a CPAP machine, which helped), and in those moments of lucidity, I was SCARED.

Three days came, three days went.

On March 9th, I called. I knew my test was being processed as I had called and gotten the confirmation that an exception had been made in my case (they had already used the test after all, and we had pushed the fact that I work with seniors).

The wait was now 7 days.

On March 11th, my fever broke. On March 12th I learned the results of my coronavirus test. Negative.

However, I am to remain in quarantine until all of my symptoms have resolved.

Today is March 17th, I am still coughing up my lungs, although now I occasionally get something coming up out of the lungs. Because I was sick so early, I was unable to prepare for this by shopping for food, toiletries, etc.

And yet, I am calm. I feel at peace. The earth is cleansing herself. Isn’t it interesting that the world’s children are not hard hit? I find it fascinating, it feels like a plan. And ultimately, I know that God turns all things for good.

#coronavirus #Seattle #underquarantine #shelterinplace #day17

Photo by CDC on Unsplash
© MemeesMusings/B.L. Memee, 2020. All rights reserved.