Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Monday, April 19, 2021
- It hasn't been a good week here. :(
- The weather this weekend was dark, rainy and gloomy, and the furnace kicked back in after taking a vacation for several weeks. (It could be worse: my parents had SNOW where they live -- albeit the farmers in the area are thankful for the moisture.)
- COVID-19 case numbers soared to record highs, almost exactly two weeks after the Easter long weekend (4,800+ new cases in one day in my province -- current 7-day average about 4,400 cases). ICUs are jammed and reaching the point where some pretty awful triage decisions are going to have to be made. We had some truly frightening projections released late last week, predicting anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 (!!) new cases daily, depending on what action is (or is not) taken.
- This was followed by (more) new restrictions from our provincial government -- most of which were clearly (still!) not enough to ward off disaster (e.g., most construction sites and factories remain open, whether truly essential or not, and the government adamantly refuses to implement paid sick days, which healthcare officials have continually requested) and some of which were almost immediately rescinded (playground closures, anyone?!) or tweaked yet again (new police powers to stop and question anyone out after certain hours about where they live and why they're out -- most police forces immediately said they would not be doing this, and the government "clarified" that police must have a valid reason for stopping anyone).
- The Washington Post actually published an op-ed on the weekend (from a Canadian writer) calling for the premier's resignation (!).
- He has been calling the other provincial premiers, asking if they can spare any medical staff and/or vaccine doses. In most cases, they have their own problems and capacity issues to deal with. The cavalry will not be riding in to save us.
- At the same time, we learned that Moderna will only be shipping half the expected doses of vaccine Canada was promised to receive soon -- although, happily, the federal government was almost immediately able to purchase more vaccine from Pfizer to make up for that, and then some. (Meanwhile, appointments for AstraZeneca -- the vaccine dh & I got two weeks ago -- are going unfulfilled.)
- On the bright side, Manitoba lowered the eligible age for vaccines there, and my sister was able to make an appointment. My whole family will have received their first shots by the beginning of May. Progress!! :)
- I set my alarm clock on Saturday morning for 7, so that I'd be showered and had my breakfast before TV coverage of Prince Philip's funeral began at 9. (MUCH more civilized than the 4 a.m. wakeup calls I'm used to for royal weddings! lol).
- I was chatting on Facebook with several friends about the funeral as it was going on, and my New Zealand pen pal of (gulp) 40+ years told me it was 2 a.m. Sunday morning there... so I guess I really shouldn't complain!
- I thought it was a lovely funeral -- the venue and the music were glorious -- and it was actually much more intimate with just the family there (and however many millions of us watching on TV/internet, lol). But I did feel sad seeing the Queen sitting all by herself. :(
- Dh has been working on our taxes these last few days (deadline: April 30th). I'm actually getting a refund this year!
- If you are following this blog by email, please take note: I got a notification from Blogger that my "FollowByEmail" widget (Feedburner) is going away. It will be discontinued in July 2021. "After July 2021, your feed will still continue to work, but the automated emails to your subscribers will no longer be supported. If you’d like to continue sending emails, you can download your subscriber contacts." I checked out the link that supposedly explains how to do this, but I must admit it's all Greek to me... There may be a way to continue to host email subscribers, but I have no idea how to do that... my apologies!
- Personally, I have always followed blogs on a blog/RSS reader. Since Google Reader was discontinued some years ago, I've been using Bloglovin, although I know a few people who use Feedly and like that.
- In 1978, Gloria Steinem wrote a now-classic article titled "If Men Could Menstruate." I recently ran across a piece in Ms Magazine (which, of course, Steinem helped found) speculating "If Men Had Miscarriages." Not quite as satirical/funny as Steinem's original piece, but still worth a read.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Blindingly relying on the comforting notion that every traumatic storm is followed by beautiful, awe-inspiring happiness is common within the pregnancy- and infant-loss community. But we all know this isn't always the case. Some people don't go on to get pregnant again. Some get pregnant and have yet another loss. Some stop trying to conceive altogether. So while this hopeful message is encouraging for some, it might feel alienating to others, and in ways that are not always obvious... Alternative outcomes -- outcomes that do not consist of full-term pregnancies and babies wrapped in rainbow-colored blankets -- deserve to be acknowledged too... Sometimes a rainbow follows, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes a rainbow is a child, and sometimes it's the renewal of vows, a career milestone, a new sense of self, the ability to self-love.
Monday, April 12, 2021
- Strike up the Hallelujah Chorus!!! My parents (aged 80 & almost 82) are finally going to be vaccinated!! Not because they weren't eligible before this, but because they were dragging their feet. (eye roll) My sister finally managed to persuade them to get it done when she was there this weekend (and I think the rising numbers of cases and variants there finally convinced them), and booked their appointments for them. They'll be going in a week & a half, to one of the provincial vaccination centres in another slightly larger town, 20 miles down the road. My sister is prepared to take Friday off work and come out from the city on Thursday night to help out, if they're feeling rough from side effects. I am very relieved!! (as is my sister, who is torn between wanting to come visit and help out, and fearing bringing the virus to them...)
- After I posted my post-vaccination updates (24 and 48 hours out), I noticed a sore, hot, red patch on my upper left arm, below the vaccination site, when I was in the shower on Wednesday morning. The exact same thing has happened to me before, after regular flu shots (and noticeably after the H1N1 flu shot in 2009) , so I've tried not to be (too) worried. (It WAS the AstraZeneca shot, lol..!)
- A week after I first received the shot, and several days after I first noticed the red patch, it's still there, and my arm is still a bit sore -- although the redness has faded considerably and is almost gone now. I've also been a little more tired than usual all this week.
- Apparently SIL also experienced some side effects after her shot.
- (BIL goes back & forth between thinking he's now invincible after just one shot, and that he must have received a placebo, since he didn't feel anything at all...!)
- Everywhere in my social media feeds I (still... STILL!!) see groups of people getting together... in Canada, in the U.S. Not six feet apart, not wearing masks. Yes, some of them may have been fully vaccinated -- but I suspect (I know) most of them have not. (And unless you're getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, one shot does NOT mean you are immune!)
- Meanwhile the variants are running rampant, case numbers are skyrocketing and ICUs are nearing capacity. My province hit a record number of daily new cases on Sunday: 4,456. And we won't see the numbers from people infected at family get-togethers, etc., over the Easter weekend -- even thought both politicians and medical staff alike begged people to stay at home -- for another week yet...
- IT'S NOT OVER YET, PEOPLE. PLEASE... JUST STAY THE F*** AT HOME.
- (Thank you for coming to my TEDTalk...)
- Dh woke up before me on Friday morning, and came back into the bedroom after turning on the TV to tell me that Prince Philip had died. I guess it was not unexpected -- he was almost 100 years old (!) and his health has not been good lately. But it's still very sad... as someone said on TV, perhaps not the end of an era, but the beginning of the end of one.
- I've written several times previously (including here) about the one time I got to see Prince Philip -- and the Queen, Prince Charles and Princess Anne -- in July 1970 (when I was 9 years old), but Mel's post about Philip's death reminded me of a time several years later (late 70s/early 80s), when Philip was coming to Winnipeg to speak at a fundraiser for a local hospital. The morning DJ on the radio station I listened to decided he was going to call Buckingham Palace and ask Prince Philip to bring along one of those tall fur hats the guards wear. It was kind of a joke/prank call, but believe it or not, he actually got put through and talked to Philip, and Philip said he would see what he could do. The hat was sent in advance of Philip's visit, and they auctioned it off with proceeds going to the hospital. The DJ was absolutely stunned when he actually got through -- but he was very polite and he did remember to address the Prince as “Your Royal Highness,” lol.
- In Philip's honour (lol), I've done a search of my old posts and added a new "Royals" label to ones mentioning the Royal Family.
- Sunday/yesterday was dh's (64th) birthday, his second of the pandemic. Last year, we were under lockdown and I had to scrounge up a card for him from my stash. This year, we're under lockdown/stay-at-home order (AGAIN), but I managed to pick up a proper birthday card for him before it kicked in. And he had a birthday cake: at his request, we baked one on Saturday -- chocolate from a cake mix with canned frosting, but that's what he wanted!
- (He even let me take and post a photo on social media -- although he refused to let me put a candle on the cake or sing him "Happy Birthday," lol -- although an online friend/fellow Beatles fan suggested "When I'm 64" might be more appropriate...!)
- Hopefully next year, he can have a proper party for his 65th (if he wants one -- which he probably won't, but at least a family gathering with his brother & SIL, the nephews and Little Great-Nephew).
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Saturday, April 10, 2021
I don't read a lot of poetry, but I'm not unfamiliar with it either. I grew up at a time when we were regularly required to memorize and recite poetry in school ("In Flanders Fields" is the only one I can still recite in full) and I did study a fair bit of poetry at university too -- Shakespeare, the Romantics, the Victorians. And I read lots of Rod McKuen as a young teenager in the 1970s, lol.
This was a slim little volume -- or at least I'm assuming it's slim, since I read it on my Kobo e-reader. It took me less than an hour total to finish, and I almost feel guilty counting it as a complete book. (Almost! lol) Drawing on her own life experiences (or so I assume), Lovelace explores themes of love, loss, grief and empowerment. I enjoyed the messaging/imagery and could very much relate to a lot of it -- although I will admit to agreeing a little with a one-star reviewer on Goodreads who snarked:
3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 on Goodreads.
This was Book #19 read to date in 2021 (and Book #3 finished in April), bringing me to 53% of my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 36 books. I am (for the moment, anyway...!) 10 books ahead of schedule. :) You can find reviews of all my books read to date in 2021 tagged as "2021 books."
Thursday, April 8, 2021
- "Whenever I look at a CV with gaps, I remind myself that sometimes real life calls, and that that's okay."
- "...this really resonated with me - so many years of attempts, losses.. it’s hard to even quantify the physical and emotional toll it takes - and nearly impossible to account for the impact it has had on my career."
- "Yes please. That was 2 years of my life with invisible reduced opportunity. So much morning sickness, no baby."
- "Think of it like this: the institutions and managers that judge you negatively for including this wouldn’t treat you well as a working parent. It’s like a built in bullshit filter."
- "Maybe employers shouldn't draw any inferences from career gaps, rather than pressure people into disclosing details of their health? Committees judging whether gaps are adequately explained by physical or mental health disclosures is cringe. Normalize having gaps as being OK."
- "My first instinct is ‘why should we have to explain ourselves’. But second thoughts are it shows the qualities we possess & experience gained that we bring forward in all aspects of our lives including work. I think I will use this going forward too."