Three days ago, I awoke in a fit of panic to the telephone ringing on the third day of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) declaration of a pandemic. But the panic was not from the WHO’s announcement, but is some PTSD stuff left over from my decade of care giving Mama, where any phone call could change my whole day if I had to rush to Mama at home or a hospital taken there by ambulance. But Mama died almost a year ago and in this—what would be her 101st year on earth—I am still shaken by phone calls that wake me up out of my sleep. I tend to have phobias-fear of shit that won’t really harm me; and anxiety over things that ain’t never gonna happen. But when there’s real potential for harm, I get busy and rise to the occasion.
In the WHO’s declaration of Novel Coronavirus a pandemic, they also stated that it’s a controllable pandemic if the right precautions are taken. Well, that’s reassuring. And we have seen in Wuhan, China (50 days ahead of us), and other countries that that Covid-19, this strain of the Coronavirus, can be suppressed and controlled as demonstrated. Click Here For Article.
I am classified as the elderly group, 65 and older, who are supposed to self-isolate, social distance, or self-quarantine ourselves and take extraordinary precautions to not contract the virus. My kids have mandated me to staying home. But for early morning walks for sanity—I am taking this shit seriously and listening. Doing my part to decrease transmissions and self preservating. As more things become chaotic and Facebook (the AOL for Baby Boomers) devolves into a cesspool of anxiety breeding fake news, half-truths and reports of panic buying of toilet paper and even Dasani water, I’ve done what I do best—I’m writing about this shit—and sometimes in Mama’s voice. (If you’ve read TennyBoots! the Memoir, available at Lulu.com and e-book available on Amazon here and here, then you know how powerful Mama’s voice is.)
I got angry when I heard about ships flooding Ft. Lauderdale with thousands of people who could be virus carrying vacationers. We cannot depend on the Impostor in Chief to lead at this time; this is his finest moment as the Wizard with no clothes. (Relax, I know I’ve mixed metaphors; I did so intentionally. He’s no emperor after all, and there’s no curtain on his ineptitude, it’s displayed openly on each breaking news). But anyway, we are still who we were yesterday and the day before. So it behooves us to put on our big girl drawers and come together with our individual skill sets to get ahead of this thing, or at least catch up to it. Things must get worse before they get better. Worse is better if we are all pitching in and helping ourselves as best we can. My friend and fellow Author, Audrey Peterman has an anecdotal story in her book, “From My Jamaican Gully to the World”, available hereThe gist of which is—you Panic you die! True, some have died, more will. But perspective was brought home to me this weekend, when a 13-year-old boy out joyriding was thrown from the car and crushed by it. He bled out. Said blood is still coagulated on the street beneath my window, a potent reminder that the grim reaper is alive and well. My friend who was exiting his car at the time of the accident just missed being crushed. So, yeah, death be not proud, but it’s consistent and comes even when we least expect it.
I’ve got this blog set up and my dear friend, Jody, has powered it for this mission. I’m writing from Harlem, where I live and where gentrifiers are bailing to summer homes in whiter pastures, faster than Charmin is getting squeezed from the shelves. Sorry, I digress. Hence the name, Harlem Flyer. The great poet Langston Hughes (whose ashes are buried here in Harlem in a crypt in the lobby of the Schomberg, wrote:
Here on the edge of hell stands Harlem,
Remembering the old lies,
The old kicks in the back,
The old “Be patient”
They told us before.
Sure, we remember,,,
So we stand here,
On the edge of hell,
And look out on the world,
What we’re gonna do,
In the face of what
So, I ask you, what are you gonna do, in the face of what you remember? That poem was written after WW1, there was a depression, and things looked dire, especially for Black folks, perpetually impacted by systemic racism. The poem is ripe for this moment of uncertainty. But, we stand on strong shoulders, our Ancestors survived the Middle Passage, surely, with common sense and not panicking we can survive a controllable virus.
This blog is organic. Not sure what it will become or for whom. But I’m a Boomer and will write from a Boomer perspective. So far one good friend has agreed to add content. Anything added here will be vetted for accuracy in this fast moving news cycle. One thing we ain’t gon’ do is panic. This blog is written in the Spirit of Ubuntu—I am therefore, we are.
There’s a plethora of suggestions on the internet for meditation and activities one can do rather than hang on Facebook all day. I for one will start with cleaning and purging. Just may tackle that front closet today.
Pet Peeve for Activism Today:
- Suspend Alternate Side of the Street Parking Already
- Suspend paywalls for any informative reporting related to the pandemic.
- Music: I’m listening to Stevie Wonder’s Love is in Need of Love Today.
Peace and Love , folks. Please share if you want to.
I remember my ancestors were resourceful. In that vein I looked up what makes N95 respirators so much better. I found an article from the Avian Flu infectious disease in 2006, which said this:
(1). N95 respirators have 2 advantages over simple cloth or surgical masks; they are >95% efficient at filtering 0.3-μm particles (smaller than the 5-μm size of large droplets—created during talking, coughing, and sneezing—which usually transmit influenza) and are fit tested to ensure that infectious droplets and particles do not leak around the mask (2–4). Even if N95 filtration is unnecessary for avian influenza, N95 fit offers advantages over a loose-fitting surgical mask by eliminating leakage around the mask.
And then it instructed one how to make makeshift masks out of Haynes T-Shirts. I believe any T-shirt with the holes as close together would be fine. So I found an old T-Shirt, Cut up the seam so that it was wide enough to fit my face, I imagine you can just cut the bottom off, and I measured it to my face to see where to cut the straps. Easy-peasy, in five minutes I had a good fitting alternative, for maybe a run to the store. DISCLAIMER Not my idea, but will use it in place of out of stock respirator masks. I’m not telling you to do likewise, this is only what I did.
See full article here.