Pandemic Reflections #6

Masks Are the New Socks

I know I’m not the only person with a sock fetish because even book stores sell socks. They’re everywhere! But they have competition now: masks. Yup. Pretty masks, cute masks, funny masks, distinguished masks, masks to match everything in your wardrobe. But the mask that gets the mosts comments from people I pass on the street is my League of Women Voters Mask that says “Vote” in many sizes and fonts and in red, white, and blue. People notice. People say, “Nice mask!” And I think the people who notice are pretty serious about voting this year. Good.

Seattle is Not Quite Portland

Seattle is not normal, but the good news is that it’s not Portland. The bad news is that the city itself is losing its appeal for me. Seattle’s location is perfect. Salt water, fresh water, hills, neighborhoods, mountains in all directions, access to all the wonders of Washington, walkable, what’s not to like. Well, this summer, what’s not to like is the miles of plywood all over downtown, anarchists who won’t quit trying to burn down the East Precinct. a City Council that’s gone off the rails. Meanwhile, Portland’s anarchists are crazier than ours, so I guess I’ll just stay here.

Books and Podcasts

I have a book recommendation! It’s Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China by Xiaolu Guo. A book club friend who has spent time in China recommended it for our group, and I second that. I’ve had trouble sticking with books this year, but this is one I look forward to.

As for podcasts, I’ve been trying a bunch of new ones this summer, but one old one that I love is a BBC offering: More or Less: Behind the Statistics. I love the fact that it exposes flaws in stories that cite various statistics by explaining things like false positives and false negatives; relative risk vs absolute risk. The hosts track down the sources of numbers in the news and often reveal information unrelated to the stories in which they appear. 

Perfect Weather

What’s your version of perfect weather? Mine is daytime temps in the 60s and 70s, an occasional hot day just to help me appreciate the mild ones, steady sunshine with a day of clouds mixed in now and then, a shower now and then; in other words a Seattle summer. Love it!

Vertigo, Please Go

Many people, especially women my age, have experienced one or more bouts of BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It happens when tiny crystals that inhabit the junction of the three semi-circular canals in your inner ear travel into the canals where they don’t belong. The sensation, for me, is like being caught in a tidal wave and the world is just swirling about. There’s no way to get grounded. Nystagmus, or uncontrolled eye movement, is the way it’s diagnosed. 

Treatment involves moving a person in a way that should prompt the crystals to move back into their proper position. I’ve just experienced my third go-round with BPPV, and I’m frustrated. The first two times, physical therapists got control of the crystals after two treatments. This time, I’ve had three treatments, and this is the first time I’m better on the next day. Yippee! When it’s really bad, I’m not safe to walk about; that’s scary and frustrating. 

Vote Early! (Vote Often?)

After a couple of incidents wherein late-breaking news affected how I voted, I have held my mail ballot until the last day. When possible, I’ve walked to a ballot collection box and deposited my ballot in person. Whether I mail it or take it to a ballot box this year, I will be voting at least a week early. I’m betting a lot of people will be doing so. Some fear that in-person voters will give Trump an election night lead, but I think a lot of people who vote by mail will mail their ballots early this year to minimize election night chaos. Two months until we know. 

Every day is one day closer to a vaccine!

1 thought on “Pandemic Reflections #6

  1. Re “anarchists,” who are they? I wonder if we’ll ever know. How many are from out of town, with no politics, but a hankering for a rumble or demolition derby? Maybe arrests (their addresses) will reveal something. Certainly, it makes no sense to trash mom and pop stores in your own neighborhood. I’m frankly puzzled.
    I wish equal attention were paid to far-right vigilantes and MAGA adherents that coordinate on social media and arrive carrying heat.
    The COVID shutdowns have created a sort of pressure cooker for testosterone-charged guys.:-(

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