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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Quarantine Diary #187 "Hope is the thing with wings ... "

Last Sunday our congregation met in real time at an outdoor amphitheater along the Fox River. Everyone brought their own chairs and we social distanced like the thoughtfully PC UU’s we are. It was lovely to be together again.

Quarantine Diary #178 9/10/2020 What retired people do all day …

This has been a nutty day. Not a bad day, just a day one hopes no one asks, “How is Retirement going, Mary Beth?” For those who are not retired and wonder what we do all day, perhaps this will illuminate what we dare not tell the young.

I woke at 6:30. I got right up because I am Purposeful. However, Len was still sleeping soundly (he stays up way later at night than I do) and he was tucked into the quilts like a large butterfly burrito-ed in a Target-brand comforter. I quietly looked at my favorite websites, the Washington Post, and Twitter for … an hour.

Quarantine Diary #174 9/3/2020 Where Are Our Founding Fathers & Moms Now?

The photos are all from Franc Garcia, who took them in Kenosha last week. Thank you, Franc.

Part I.

The American War of Independence was won, or more aptly stated “ended,” at Yorktown, Virginia on October 19, 1781. I’m sure you knew that because a couple months ago I asked Len, “When did the Revolutionary War end?” and he looked at me with astonishment that neither he nor I knew. Not even the year.

We were pretty sure it was over but lately one isn’t completely sure if any of the wars are over yet.

Outpedaling ‘The Big C’: My Healing Cycle Across America by Elizabeth McGowan

“A powerful, rollicking adventure that takes us across America and deep into one person’s life-and-death experience.”

Carl Zimmer, one of America’s foremost science writers

 ...

Outpedaling ‘The Big C’: My Healing Cycle Across America

A Book Review by CAMILLE-YVETTE WELSCH

Outpedaling "The Big C": My Healing Cycle across America Elizabeth McGowan Bancroft Press (Sep 6, 2020) Hardcover $28.95 (268pp) 978-1-61088-514-0

Elizabeth McGowan lost her father to melanoma when he was forty-four and she was fifteen. She rediscovered him during a bike ride across the US, following her battle with the same disease. Joyful, introspective, terrifying, and sobering, her memoir is about reconciling her mortality with her father’s.

Quarantine Diary #150 8/11/2020 Taking a Break

I’m depressed. How about you?  I’m not the kind of depressed where I should call a doctor. I’m more “Michelle Obama depressed.”  Things feel stuck, wrong, and getting worse. There’s the pandemic and the feeble, chaotic response to it. There’s racial strife. When, if ever, will the police police themselves? Teachers and kids are being thrown back into schools like spaghetti thrown against a wall - to see who will stick? There’s the angry self-entitled idiocy of too many people.

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