Mary Beth Writes

There are Lyrid meteor showers this week.

“The Lyrids have been observed and reported since 687 BC; no other modern shower has been recorded as far back in time. (that’s from Wikipedia.

Len went out to look for them one night and didn’t find the fabled shooting stars of yore.

He did find some quiet late-night beauty.

I read this interesting article in the NYT today. Read Here. 

Medical care people are discovering that people can be positive for coronavirus while feeling fine or close to fine. The sense right now is that there are many more carriers for COVID than we know. Some who will soon be deathly ill are feeling fine today and thus are going about their regular routines, able to shed virus willy-nilly if they are not in quarantine.

When a virus attacks a normal lung cell, the cell stops working efficiently fairly quickly. This means the person receives less oxygen that they need so they become weak, confused and generally fall into some deleterious state.

People with Covid-19 go longer with very low amounts of oxygen in their systems than professionals expect to see. When they finally show up at a clinic or ER they may be so low on oxygen they “ought” to be in a coma, but they are still talking, thinking, and acting. They are close to a serious medical episode or to their own death but they don’t quite act like it. Yet. 

The main clue they are presenting with is – fast breathing.  Because their lung cells can’t get in enough oxygen the person compensates by breathing faster.

The physician writing the article talks about the common oximeter which is that blue thing they snap on your finger at the doctor’s office; that gizmo measures the oxygen in your system.  Len looked online; one can BUY this thing for $30. It is not invasive, one doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist or respiratory therapist to utilize it (Hi, Pam and Jennifer who DID do respiratory therapies!).

We ordered an oximeter and now I’m curious. Will my oxygen level change after a long walk?  Does it change when there are scary scenes in movies?  If I go on vacation (will I ever go on a vacation again??) and don’t climb the stairs in my house 17 times a day, will that affect my whatever is my normal oxygen level?

And most relevant. If Len or I become ill, will this little thing give us another way to monitor our own health?  Obviously, we are not medical professionals and if we get sick, we call our medical office.  But can this tool help us sort out what’s going on?

The article has a paywall. If you can’t get past it and are curious, write to me at MB@MaryBethDanielson.com and I will email an abbreviated version to you.

Have you seen the Before and After Quarantine Lil Debbie? You know that cute Lil Debbie girl who is on the box of the Lil Debbie junk food. (I gained 25 pounds in high school in the three years after my dad died. I’m here to witness than NO ONE should eat Lil Debbie cakes every day. Possibly no one should eat them ever, but that’s your call.)

The visual joke is Lil Debbie and then a very chunky Large Deborah post- quarantine.  Cuz she sat home eating those cakes.  It makes me laugh, although it is fat-shaming and I’m better than that. Yeah, I'm not laughing.

It does pose an interesting question. We are weeks into this. We now know we are probably not going to read War and Peace, or re-tile the bathroom, or go through those boxes (and boxes and boxes) of our parent’s vacation slides. There is a certain level of reality now. This quarantine is worse and easier than we would have thought.  We are seeing realities we didn’t understand before, such as: Did you know more than half of the people deemed “essential” are women of color?

How will you be different? How do you think this will affect you?

Will you ever take a hug for granted again? Have you changed some habits and you aren’t going back? Will you eat in more or are you so sick of your own cooking you will eat out more? Will you go outside more because you are getting used to it now? 

How will you be different?

 

Comments

When we lived in Hurricane Alley, my husband’s idea of Hurricane rations was Lil Debbie Snack cakes and tuna fish! If I survive this, I promise to continue to thank every server and cashier and medical person I encounter! I hope everyone realizes what a quandary it is to be a grocery store clerk or fast food worker. They need their “ essential” job to just keep food on the table but would make more on unemployment ( once the bugs are worked out) but cannot quit because that would exclude them from unemployment. Would you potentially risk your life for a bit more than minimum wage? I have never had to make that choice.
Mary Beth's picture

I worked retail a lot in my life. The work was hard and my co-workers were some of the strongest, kindest, most motivated people I have ever known. Or maybe I should say the most wonderful WOMEN I have ever known - because mostly I worked with women. If I got behind or didn't know exactly what to do, there was always someone around aware enough to jump in and show or help me.

When this is over I'm not sure that I can go back to the hugs I so freely gave out I'll try but.( I never shook hands because of the germs involved ) I've always treated cashier's with respect because I've been in their shoes and know the abuse heaped on them... I will eat out again and probably more frequently and as in the past I will over tip but I'll more than likely up the amount that I leave to try and make up for their mounting loss... As for little Debbie's those cream filled oatmeal things were the best... Always kept a secret stash under my bed...

I am a single woman living alone. I will never take hugging for granted! One thing I hope to continue is the use of social applications like Zoom. If I can see people live, I will. But during this quarantine I have spent more time with family than ever before. And I appreciate having a cup of morning coffee with a friend on the East Coast, something we never would have thought of before.

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Happy Birthday to Len

11/30/2022 

Today is Len’s birthday. I told him this morning I might write about him but I would let him read whatever I said first. He said not to run it past him, he’d like the surprise of reading it when you all do. Let’s see what I come up with.

1. This is cute. Len was born in Chicago’s Passavant Memorial Hospital which was the grandparent hospital to Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital - where two of our grandkids were born.

Stories, Q Club, Us

The photo is not by Len or me, its from I Love Canada on FB. I've seen a sky like that just once. 

11/21/2022

Last week I read two books about young people who left their homes. They experienced some good and too many rough experiences and they couldn’t go back until they figured out how to not be who they used to be. Both novels knocked my socks off.

The People You Keep by Allison Larkin

Covid Diary #979 - Still Paying Attention?

11/17/2022

Yes, it’s been 979 days since Friday the 13th, March 2020, when everything changed.

Last Saturday one of our kids visited for several hours with their kids. It was fun though our kid looked tired. They said they’d taken a Covid test that morning and it was negative. They figured it was the wine and rich foods they’d shared the evening before with friends at the end of a very busy week.

Next Day - What Are You Seeing?

11/9/2022

It was a late night last night, wasn’t it? Len worked at a polling place 6:30 AM until 10:30 PM. He said the actual experience is a lot like working retail (which he has not done since he was 22). Stand up most of the time, pleasantly say the same thing over and over. Wonder if lunch is soon.  

Professional reporters and pundits are talking a lot about “what just happened”, but heck, we are noticing interesting things, too.  Let’s talk about what We The People saw and heard and are watching now.

Here are some things catching my attention.

Election Day

11/8/2022 

So many times I’ve thought things were going to be okay, and then they weren’t. My dad had that heart attack and the kid who was MB back then told herself to not overthink the drama because things always turn out more or less okay. Then the next day he died.

We lost a pregnancy far enough along that we had a name picked out and a crib in which to put that child. For a week I had all the misery and cramps that go with miscarrying and I still thought somehow it was going to work out okay.

That Beep-Beep-Beeping Moment.

In spring Len got a $100 traffic ticket when he turned right at a corner we’ve been turning right at for seven years. However, construction had started and there were orange barrels and cones everywhere – plus a small sign NOT facing the street Len was on, telling drivers to not turn there.

Len went back later that day and took photos. Len called the city to mention that if they posted a sign that actually faced the traffic, the city could save the cost of the cop parked there ticketing drivers.

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