Tag: health

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The Strong Arms of Defiance

Around the corner from where was the Urban Pumpkin is the local gym, which closed during California Governor Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom’s first state-shuttering order in mid-March 2020 but has since defied the second shutdown, started July 13, that restricts indoor activities at many commercial businesses and institutions (like churches). Four days ago, San Diego County issued an order for the “immediate closure of Boulevard Fitness”; compliance “may be enforced by the San Diego Police Department”.

In meaningless sense of solidarity—the way flabby, beer-gut spectators feel good when watching their favorite sports team compete and win—I have checked daily for more than a month to see if the gym is open, silently cheering that it was. But on a Monday morning, following the “cease and desist” order, would Boulevard Fitness welcome patrons of exercise and good health?

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When Pandemic Closes the Gym, Try This

The weather is unseasonably warm this week, here in San Diego. Temperature reached 26 degrees Celsius (about 80 F) this afternoon. I set out for a morning walk, when cooler, and surprisingly found what is the Featured Image. We all may be ordered to “shelter-in-place” and to “social distance“, but people still go outdoors—and exercise is all the more important to folks whose gym routines are upended by closure of most businesses.

The make-shift “fitness circuit” is wonderful remedy for anyone looking to maintain a physical exertion routine or to use the lockdown as opportunity to improve health through increased activity. Sunlight is an excellent source of Vitamin D, which offers several health benefits—improved immunity is one of them. That could assist the body’s fight against the ravages of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—aka COVID-19.

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Complacency Can Kill You

For the second consecutive day, I broke quarantine. Yesterday, my wife and I took a chance drive to Costco Business Center, hoping to grab a few extra bulk items. Each grocery trip risks exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2), also known as COVID-19. Luckily, the warehouse was fairly calm, and we were able to purchase most of what we wanted—and items that could be precious should there be prolonged lockdown, or worse, panic in the streets. That was supposed to be the last supply run. Except…

Last night, a discovery: The pet grass that I planted for the cats had developed mold, and growing a new batch would take days. So, this morning, I walked 2.3 km (1.4 miles) to Ralph’s supermarket, which sells the same brand: Priscilla’s. Along the way, I counted the number of people passed to see which ones wore a face covering. The results stunned. Fifteen percent, which is a dramatic decrease from a few days ago. What changed?

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Don’t They Know It’s a Pandemic?

I will be pissed if any of these people, who irresponsibly risk exposure to Novel Coronavirus, take a hospital bed before someone trying to more safely #StayTheFuckHome. We are in the midst of a fraking global pandemic and the banning of social gatherings everywhere. My two living sisters were supposed to vacation 10-days hence in Florida, with Disney World being the main activity. The theme park, like many, many others, is closed. That plan changed.

But a few blocks from my apartment, Pop Pie Co. and sister shop Stella Jean’s Ice Cream kept their Pi Day celebration going, gathering a crowd of would-be spreaders of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19. Today, France and Spain imposed restrictions that, like Italy, essentially lock down (e.g., quarantine) the entire countries. Hours earlier, Apple Stores closed globally outside of China until March 27. Yesterday, President Trump declared a national emergency in response to the contagion’s rapid spread. Everyone is advised to stay home and avoid crowds. Not create them!

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Pandemic!

A new era of uncertainty makes this an historic Wednesday, as the most transformative event in generations advances with rapacity. This morning (Pacific Daylight Time), and taking too long doing so, the World Health Organization officially classified SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—as a pandemic. This evening, President Trump announced an unprecedented 30-day European travel ban—excluding United Kingdom—starting at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday the 13th. How appropriately unlucky is that?

The goal: To limit the contagion’s spread from the Continent, where Italy is besieged and has essentially quarantined (e.g. locked down)  the entire country. Earlier today, the government there ordered the closure of all stores, other than banks, pharmacies, and supermarkets. Yikes!

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Flickr a Week 9b: ‘Willing Prisoner’

Strange how foreshadowing metaphor can be a single street shot and its accompanying caption. Quinn Dombrowski captured self-titled “Willing Prisoner” on Sept. 23, 2012, using Canon EOS Rebel T2i and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens. Vitals: f/7.1, ISO 400, 1/400 sec, 240mm. The gas mask and woman bound are eerily appropriate illustrations for the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—pandemic spreading across the Continents from China.

As I write, more than 3,000 people have died globally from the virus, which has infected around 90,000 in at least 60 countries. But those numbers are likely low, because of unreported cases—for numerous reasons: Inadequate testing; influenza confusion; political  coverups; and the extremely long, asymptomatic period when the infected are contagious. In the United States, six people have died from the disease in about 72 hours (four announced today)—mostly in a cluster within Washington State, where experts estimate unobserved transmission occurred for about six weeks. As such, the infection is likely widespread.

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Why Cats?

Anyone looking at this website’s recent posts, and seeing how many are devoted to the beasties, might presume that I am a feline fanatic. Nah. The “Cats of University Heights” series is about something else, and the reasons for it wouldn’t be obvious.

The story starts during late Spring 2016, when rapid onset cataracts in both eyes greatly diminished vision—just recovering, following a series of treatments for macular edema. After consulting an ophthalmologic specialist, I scheduled surgery for the first day of Comic-Con 2016. Attending Preview Night, and being unable to read any of the signs in the venue, I surrendered any regret for missing the event (turns out, I would be there Saturday and Sunday, with one good eye and my daughter as assistant).

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My Life is a Blur

For anyone wondering why my online writing volume is way done, I can explain. My vision is in a state of crisis. The decline occurred slowly until I could no longer ignore it. With different health insurance situation, I would have acted sooner to fix the problem. But when finances are tight and health-care expenses high, you make sacrifices—even where you don’t want to.

I have macular edema in both eyes, which is swelling of the retina, or fluid leaking into it. The ailment affects the central vision area, causing visual distortion. The first signs manifested in my right eye in 2011. A retina specialist recommended laser surgery to repair scarring left by capillaries that had leaked and healed. But we were uninsured then, as now, and the cost was prohibitive for the family budget. I could see well enough, and cancelled treatment.

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Man on the Train

Wednesday afternoon, while on the D.C. metro, I saw a homeless man working the train for change. Lots of loafers beg for money around Washington; they’re professional beggars whose job is collecting handouts, sometimes pretty aggressively.

But this guy looked truly down on his luck. I’m not tall, about 1.6 meters, and this guy, sporting a well-weathered sleeping bag, was shorter than me. He shuffled politely through the subway car, asking people for money. What surprised me was just how many folks gave him money. Unlike the professional beggars, which more typically use disposal cups, this guy took cash by hand. Like the others, I gave him some change; I wanted to give more but hadn’t hit the bank machine before going on a trip to New York. He literally got all that I had to give.