COVID Cranky!

Doubling Down on Lockdown!

Okay, I’ve had enough of this nonsense. No, not the social isolation thing, I understand how necessary that is just now. I’m talking about politicians. I’m sick of some of these “representatives of the people” parodies. I wonder if some of them, spouting their anti-the-other-party rhetoric, even believe it themselves. Or is it just a show for their followers? Does everything have to be thought of as an opportunity to snipe at the other guys? How did it come about that we think this is the best way to run a country?

Sure, I understand that we need checks & balances. I get that we need someone reining in the power of those currently in charge. Yes, of course we need contrary perspectives. But this negative, agressive, bitchy, bickering style of party politics is dead to me. I don’t always agree with everything on any one platform anyway. I’d rather cherry-pick my positions on those issues that are of import to me. There ought to be a national voting app for that.

Even on this weekend, a holy time of the year for many, I’m hearing some religious stuff coming out of the mouths of some people that I wouldn’t even buy a used car from. Nor do I believe all the empathic stuff we hear from some of them either. It sounds like preaching from a moral high ground, but sanctimony always has a bit of a smell about it.

That said ….

At the moment, is there just a little less of this BS going on in our political circuses? During this COVID-19 outbreak, does it appear that there’s a touch more sanity? Is there a slight reduction in the level of sniping between sides? Are we more focused in the face of the real problems we have to deal with at the moment? I think some of our politicians, from all the different political parties, are actually working together. I might even be … just a little bit … impressed! Please, please keep it up, this is what I voted for. With a bit of luck, some of this will carry over to whatever normal might be in the post-COVID-19 era.

We’re all going to pay a big price for this war on the corona bug. But if our leaders figure out how to lead, if they remember that they are all, individually & collectively, in the service of the people of our country, there might be something of value to be salvaged from this mess afterwards. If nothing else we might all have a better appreciation for a good healthcare system. And maybe we’ll whine a little less when it comes to paying for it.

Okay, enough of my whining, there are still a lot of things I am grateful for. Though losing weight this month isn’t one of those things. This month, that project is going backwards! Come on now, cut me some slack. I bet I’m not alone in gaining an ounce or two during lockdown?

However …

I have done one other thing this month. Or rather, I’ve not done one other thing this month … I haven’t had a cigarette in the month of April. Not a single one. Not even a puff. No idea if it’ll stick but I’m giving it a try.

Amazing that I’m doing all that & not getting cranky, eh! 😜😁

Now while you can be grateful that you’re not sharing your lockdown space with me, I’m grateful to those who have the dubious honour of having to endure my detox! πŸ€ͺπŸ˜‚

Whatever you celebrate … Easter, Passover or Ramadan to come … I wish you all the best. Here’s another big digital, socially-isolated, group hug for us. Stay safe & spread the love around. Send some my way too, please, & maybe I’ll be a little less cranky next time!

Meantime, I’m off to see if anyone hid any Easter eggs round here!!! πŸ˜œπŸ‡πŸ£πŸ₯š

The Yin & Yang of COVID-19

We’re an interesting species, are we not? It took a little while for us all to get on the same page with respect to this whole social isolation thing. Thankfully, I think, regard for human life overcame the desire to protect the economy. Most people made it to this perspective, for the most part. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how it unwinds.

If we come up with a vaccine or a cure, better still if we had both, it would be an easier transition back to something resembling normalcy. Perhaps we might even achieve a new, hopefully better, version of normal. It would be nice if we learned from the experience & were better prepared for some future outbreak. Anyone up for improvements & support for our healthcare people & systems at the moment? Might we be a nicer & kinder society afterwards?

The alternative paths are fraught with trepidation. It will be interesting to see what the tipping points might be. And to see who might be trying to put a thumb on the scale along the way. As the virus makes its way through the population, there will be a point where a significant percentage of people will have contracted COVID-19. And recovered. Will this growing group want to remain socially isolated, in order to protect those who have yet to be exposed? At some point, there will be enough of us thinking in a way that might be contrary to our personal feelings on doing what we previously though of as the right thing. The larger the numbers holding such a perspective, the more readily we can join the crowd. While we generally like to see ourselves as loving & kind, sometimes, it is fear that encourages us to be so. Remove the fear for self & our concern for others can diminish too. Replaced by our concerns for our financial health & other matters. Valid concerns, these too.

These days, we are influenced by social influencers on social media. Politicians, musicians, & tacticians from a wide variety places & spaces can get inside our heads. There are so many mounds that can be found to preach a moral story from. Yes, staying home to protect Grandma is valid. So too is getting Jack back to work, so he can feed his family. But what if Jane wants to return to work too, but fears for her life because of an underlying condition? What about making that mortgage payment? Paying the rent? Companies, small & large laying off their people. All devastating worries & legitimate, perspective-altering situations. We can all think for ourselves, of course, but it can’t hurt if we hold on to the better part of our nature, as we make these decisions together.

Individually & collectively, we have some yin & yang going on. In the same way that I can never quite figure out which is the good one, I struggle with trying to figure out if I’m inherently nice, or just being so because it’s serves me better. I have to acknowledge that I would be greatly relieved to find that I’d already had the damn thing & was now immune. But I would, at the very least, wish the same for everyone else. It’s not going to be easy but here’s hoping we can stick with the will of a kind majority, & the rule of law, ’til we get to the other side.

For as long as I’ve been socially isolated though, I’ve had a cough, cold or flu bug. I am doing the social distancing thing by the book. How on earth am I catching these things!?!

One thing I’m not doing well with at the moment is dieting. Tomorrow is the first of a new month & I’m dreading stepping on the scale!

I’m almost questioning my own sincerity now, but I think I hope that you’re all doing okay out there!!! πŸ€ͺπŸ˜‰πŸ˜

Instead of Lunch … Do What!?!

I’m in the middle of a fast. Instead of spending lunchtime wondering what I wouldn’t have for lunch, I thought I’d write this. I guess I’m hoping the fast will compensate for the overeating I did last week. Worrying about this whole COVID-19 outbreak didn’t encourage healthy eating! πŸ€ͺ

I’ll start with the disclaimer that I’m not qualified to promote fasting to anyone & you shouldn’t do it without learning more about it. If you’re sick, skinny, pregnant, nursing, or in any one of a host of other circumstances do not do it. And always, always, only do it in consultation with your doctor. I spoke to my doctor about it before I gave it a try. Besides, I’m not very good at it. I usually give up way too soon. The great thing about fasting is that you can re-frame the failure. When you give up early & eat, you can still say you managed to successfully completed a fast. Albeit one that was shorter than originally intended!

This one, however, has already passed the 40 hour mark. So I though I’d brag about it!

No, that’s not true. But I did think you might be interested to hear that I’ve had two of the best nights’ sleep that I’ve enjoyed in a long time since I started it. My stomach feels pretty good too. Though it’s occasionally behaving as if I was on one of those high-fiber cleanses! I started this fast while suffering from some kind of cold or flu bug (I hope!) & that doesn’t appear to be bothering me as much today as it did yesterday. I’m not quite fasting perfectly either. It was supposed to be just water, with occasional pinches of Himalayan pink salt for the electrolytes. For better or worse, I’m still having my coffee, with cream. I am trying to limit that to 2 or 3 cups in the morning. Okay, it’s 4 & they are mugs, not cups! I’m trying out tea too. To see if I can get away from the cream.

The Himalayan salt has some trace potassium & other stuff that’s good for us but maybe not enough of an electrolyte load for fasting. I should probably be taking a potassium supplement too. But this really wasn’t planned, I was just overcome with the desire to fast on Sunday & I went with it. Could that be because I’d been eating garbage all day!?! 😁

So long as I continue to feel well, I’ve got another 32 hours to go. And just in case my resolve weakens, I’m hoping that putting this out there will help keep me on track. If I screw it up, I’ll share.

The pic at the top is a screen capture of my Life fasting app. Along with the live fasting cycle above, you get other neat stuff & some useful information. You can engage with other fasters (is that even a word?) & you can sign up for one on one coaching with them. This isn’t the only app for fasting but I like this one because it has those little badges. It’s like how the kids get stars & stickers at preschool. Okay, I’m still a kid, so what, you’re not the boss of me! The cool thing about the icons is that they tell you what your body is doing when you reach that point. You get some idea of when you are in ketosis & burning fat. You know when autophagy cuts in. This makes fasting just a little more meaningful. And that helps with hanging in there.

Actually, I think there’s another icon that appears when I pass the muscle flexing arm, for the 54 hour point. And another one at the 72 hour mark. I wonder if I can last long enough to have them all show up? 😁

I’m almost enjoying this fast. But I’m looking forward to getting back to eating too.

Just not yet!

Hope everyone is doing okay with all the challenges these days. Stay safe out there.

Breakfast with Bento – Coronavirus

Emergency food supply?

I have breakfast with Bento on occasion. He’s a font of dry wit & home-spun philosophy. Seasoned with an occasional outburst of passion on topics he feels strongly about. In moments of what might be fake humility, he claims to know nothing about anything. But I enjoy listening to his take on whatever the current news headline might be. His sometimes scathing assessments on political situations, gender wars & generational differences can bring me to tears. Usually of mirth!

This morning, the news was on in the diner. Bento had decided he wanted to eat out for breakfast before any lockdown might be implemented. On TV, a doctor was uncertain about, but continued to speak of, the hope for warmer weather tempering the coronavirus outbreak. Bento wondered why they ever let the bleeping bleeper escape with a medical degree! “Bleep, couldn’t the bleeper just look up the temperatures in Australia, Singapore & the Philippines?” I nearly choked on my toast at his summary. And while I grabbed my phone to check the temperatures & to see what the case counts were in those countries, Bento muttered that they were running around “that fella’s” golf resort with the virus too. “And what’s the temperature down that way? Isn’t that where all the snowbirds go for winter?” True enough that!

Bento was all on for a lockdown. Though we’re in an area that has yet to officially record a single case of the coronavirus, Bento is convinced we have them. And that we should be locking things down ahead of getting into a situation like Italy. “The horses have bolted over there,” he says, “and I hope they can round them up.” So what are you doing coming out for breakfast, Bento? “There you go!”, he waves his arms in the air. “Even sensible people do stupid things.”

“Some of us are just too stupid to be allowed to make our own decisions sometimes. Look what happens when we vote.” Bento wouldn’t be considered politically correct sometimes. “The Asians have a better handle on things. They do what they’re told. But not us. Oh, no! We like to be free to do what we like. Even if it’s stupid!” He went on a little rant about our healthcare system being overloaded already & that we had no chance if this thing was allowed to run rampant. He was loud now, & further encouraged by the grunts & nods of agreement from other customers within earshot. And that pretty much included everyone there. “We’ll be bleeped if they start rolling into emergency by the boatload!”

After he paused for a bit, I shared my thoughts on a lockdown. Maybe we should keep things open. To protect the economy perhaps. People need their jobs after all. And what about my retirement investments? “Ah for bleep’s sake, Paul, wouldn’t you be better off losing a few dollars & just surviving ’til retirement age.” I burst out laughing & nearly choked inhaling a piece of egg. Hard to argue that one!

As I picked up my cheque to leave, Bento shouts out that he expects that I’ll be wearing a hockey helmet & gloves next time he sees me. Now there’s a Canadian solution to remind us not to shake hands that just might work round here!

“No panic, Paul, but a little suffering can be good for the soul!”, was wrapped into his farewell comments.

“And quit smoking!”

I think I’ll go out & buy some toilet paper now! πŸ€ͺ😁