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Tips to Get Past Your Fear of Needles, #Hackthevax

This post is made possible with support from the Meg Foundation. All opinions and tips to get past your fear of needles today are my own. 

There’s a lot going on in the world. It’s been a crazy year. None of us ever imagined we’d live through a global pandemic in our lifetime. The biggest concern for most of us before 2020 was a laundry list of first-world problems. Life in 2019 could be hard, but not 2020 pandemic hard. Suddenly, for most of us, nothing made sense, and when that happened, the unknown brought with it new stresses and anxieties. 

Right now, the only answer to stopping the pandemic is herd immunity. That term kind of makes me want to moo, right? All kidding aside, I’m thrilled that science has given us a way to save ourselves and those we love, but getting vaccinated brings with it a new set of anxieties and stresses for some.

The fear of needles is real and nothing to be afraid of.

Tips to Get Past Your Fear of Needles, #Hackthevax

Don’t like shots? The thought of a needle freaks you out? You’re not alone. 25% of adults have a fear of needles. Don’t be embarrassed. I got so many shots as a kid with chronic health issues that I get sweaty palms just thinking about it even now. I worked through my fear of needles by making a plan and moving through my fears. Please don’t let needle anxiety stop you from being safe from Covid-19.

The Meg Foundation has resources to help you get through needle fears. Everyone can benefit from learning these techniques, but for people with needle anxiety, the techniques are life-changing. The first thing is to make a plan because action is the enemy of anxiety; the more concrete the plan the better you will feel.

Tips to Get Past Your Fear of Needles, #Hackthevax

Here are a few simple tips from Hack the Vax to get past your fear and get vaccinated.

Be an advocate for yourself

If you are nervous about getting your vaccine, don’t be afraid to say so. Lots of people have a fear of needles. Those administering the shots are aware of this. Letting people know what you need is the only way they will know (this goes for everything in life, not just vaccinations). You’re not being difficult, you’re advocating for yourself. You are a self-aware bad B. People don’t mind giving you what you need but you’re going to have to tell them.

Block the pain

Getting vaccinated doesn’t have to be painful. Over-the-counter anesthetics like Lidocaine cream are great for a little pre-vaccination numbing at the injection site. To be honest, when I was vaccinated recently ( both times) I didn’t feel a thing. I usually get the flu shot every year and I do feel that but with the Pfizer vaccine, I honestly felt no pain or even the standard pinch when a shot is injected.

Take deep breaths

You probably remember the power of breathing techniques from giving birth. I never put much stock into breathing techniques, until I experienced a unmedicated, Pitocin induced birth. That made me a believer and anyone who has used it, knows it works. Don’t overthink it. Just take a few slow, deep breaths before and during the injection. Using a meditation app for a minute before also helps me in stressful situations to just slow down and get through the moment.

Distract yourself

If you want to rely on something more than just deep breaths to get you through, focus on something that makes you feel happy or relaxed. To clear my head, I always listen to music. However, watching kittens on YouTube or just scroll through your social media feeds is enough to take your mind off the task at hand…or arm, I should say. I’ve done this a lot with my girls throughout their childhood. Distraction is a great way to refocus those overwhelming feeling of stress and anxiety that needles might bring. For me, when I am stressed, I talk, so I chatted with all the other people getting vaccinated.

Bring a support person

Phone a friend or family member and either bring them with you physically ( schedule your vaccinations together) or Facetime them during your vaccination appointment. Maybe it feels a bit awkward as an adult to be virtually hanging out with a friend in a room full of people but if it relaxes you enough to not feel as overwhelmed, it is totally worth a few minutes of talking to your phone in a room full of strangers. A bestie, spouse or sibling is a great support person for getting out of your head and engrossed in conversation. The Big Guy and I got both vaccinations together, sitting side by side.

Tips to Get Past Your Fear of Needles, #Hackthevax

The Big Guy and I got both of our vaccinations, and even though there was trepidation about getting the shot, I’m so glad that I did it. Getting everyone vaccinated is a step towards keeping the whole country safe and being able to hug our loved ones once again. Making a plan and working through your fears of needles to get vaccinated not only keeps you safe, in my eyes, but it also makes you a superhero because not only are you protecting yourself from getting coronavirus, you are protecting everyone you know and love. You are part of the solution to this devastating problem that is ravaging the world with no discrimination, rhyme, or reason. 

Don’t let your fear stand between you and your safety. Think, plan, and go get your shot and pass on these techniques because you never know when someone else is feeling nervous, too.

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easiest way to get protein without eating meat

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I was a vegetarian for 10 years. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of meat even now after going back. It just isn’t my vibe. Sure, I love the occasional steak, burger, fish or chicken but mostly, I prefer anything else. I’ve taken a lot ethics and animals classes, joined PETA when I was 18 and it’s hard for me to enjoy eating pretty much anything with a face but I’m not here to pull anyone over to the vegetarian side. I just know that I’m not alone.

A lot of people are starting to think seriously about how much meat they eat on a daily basis. Some people have ethical concerns about how much animal products they eat, others are aware of the environmental impact of farming for meat, and others realize that a lot of meat in the diet simply isn’t healthy. Yes to all of this for me.

However, most people rely on meat for the vast majority of their protein consumption, which is crucial for healthy muscle growth amongst other things. So, what can we do to get the protein we need without as much meat or none at all?

A teaspoon of powder is all it takes

We all know the nutritional benefits of milk in the diet, with the calcium, iron, and other additions it has for your diet. However, making one replacement can help you not only get the same calcium but also add some protein to your morning glass of milk. Soybeans are a tremendous source of complete protein, meaning they have both protein and the amino acids that typically go with it in animal sources of protein. Of course, milk isn’t the only way to have your soy, but it’s an easy replacement to make and it tastes great.

All that power in one little bean

If you’re looking to live a healthy, active lifestyle and you need plenty of protein to make sure that your muscles are regenerating and growing as they should, then powdered protein may be something you’re familiar with. However, this article tells you all you need to know about a potential replacement that doesn’t rely on animal products: rice protein powder. Not only can it help you up your protein throughout the day, but it can also help you replace meals if you’re trying to cut down on your portions.

Get nutty with it

Although not quite the same as soybeans (since they are not complete sources of protein), you should also look at the various ways you can use nuts more in your meals. This can include salads, soups, desserts, and snacks throughout the day. Peanuts have, per gram, the highest amount of protein out of all of the nuts. However, walnuts and hazelnuts also pack plenty of protein in their punch. What’s more, they also have a lot of those heart-healthy unsaturated fats. You shouldn’t eat more than roughly 30g of them a day, however.

Completing your proteins

Soybeans tend to be one of the few most readily available sources of complete proteins, which is why they’re the easiest to recommends. Others, such as rice and nuts, do not contain the amino acids that are also essential and typically come with animal proteins. However, there are other vegan sources of amino acids that you can incorporate in your diet. If you’re ever worried that you’re not getting enough, you might also want to consider using amino acid supplements just to top you up. Getting it through your diet is more widely recommended, but the option is there just to err on the side of caution.

Getting the protein you need is possible without eating as much meat. Hopefully, the tips above help you see the alternatives to getting your protein when milk isn’t the.

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breast cancer awareness, cyberactivism, mobilization

It’s October and Breast Cancer Awareness month. Prepare for pink bows and mammogram reminders everywhere. Having known several women who have battled breast cancer, I strongly believe in advocating for the cause.

Having a blog gives me the unique opportunity of having an established platform for amplification for social causes. I want to help make an actual difference, not just talk about it. I want to be an agent for change and use my voice and my power to make the world a better place for my children. But it’s not always easy. Screaming into a void is not being a catalyst for change. Loud isn’t necessarily effective. My parents taught me that if I was going to say something, I should make sure that I’m saying something.

READ ALSO: How to be Proactive about Your Breast Health

How do you choose what you share on social media? None of us are mindlessly sharing. At the root of it, there is something worth sharing to us about that information. Do you ever really share something if it doesn’t appeal to one of your emotions? Whether its laughter, righteousness, justice, empathy or commiseration, there is a reason.

How many times have you written a social media post and really wanted to call people to action? Motivate or inspire them to take action and be the change they want to see in the world? This is called mobilization in the marketing world. Mobilization is defined as the process by which candidates, parties, activists and groups induce other people to participate. Many of us have used mobilization, maybe without even realizing it, this campaign season.

If you want to incite behavior change using social media, cyberactivism must be a part of your strategy. Cyberactivism is the process of using Internet-based socializing and communication techniques to create, operate and manage activism of any type. I’ve done this myself on many occasions.

READ ALSO: Sometimes the only option isn’t the right one

Things that happen to us in our lives, make us first-person advocates. Authentic calls to action are usually met with empathy, understanding and action from friends. The more scared you are to hit the publish button, the more effective the message. The more people who see the message, the more who can actively do something to to help the cause.

People like to do the right thing. Maybe they don’t have the money to donate but hitting the like button or sharing a status update for a good cause is easy enough for anyone to do but if it’s not clear does it bring the right kind of attention to the cause? How do we take the idea of cyberactivism and meaninglessly hitting a like button and transform that into real activism, in real life mobilization?

Every October, many people celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There was a popular Facebook meme where a private Facebook message request that asked women to put a single color as their status update. The color was to reflect the color of the bra they were wearing. It was simple, share your name and color (of your bra) for example, Debi, Red. The idea was that everyone would see the status and be curious.

READ ALSO: How uterine fibroids almost killed me

Another meme asked women to change their status to where they like to put their purse. Yet, another one asked for ladies to post the number of minutes it takes to do their hair followed by the word inches. These memes were great gimmicks to grab attention and get likes and shares but did they really raising awareness for breast cancer? How are these memes activating mobilization to cure breast cancer?

This kind of cyberactivism is superficial, there needs to be something of more substance; a more effective call to action. Sharing and liking funny or provocative Facebook statuses won’t cure breast cancer and don’t call the right kind of attention to the cause. Is awareness even the issue?

How can cyberactivism be more meaningful and effective this Breast Care Awareness month?

Why is Breast Cancer Awareness month associated with pink when it’s not just a female disease? Men can get breast cancer too. To be launch an effective social media mobilization campaign, we need to know what the actual issue and provide people with real-life actionable items to help the cause;

  • A list of where/ how to volunteer to help people with breast cancer.
  • How/where to donate.
  • Sign petitions.

Make people more aware of how to proactively care for themselves.

Knowledge is power and a lot more effective than sharing the color of a bra or where we like to it our purse. Most importantly, if you want to use your social media platforms to mobilize the masses to action, hit publish on those personal and authentic posts. Be relatable and it will move people to do more.

What will you do for your part to help prevent and cure breast cancer?

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If you Wouldn't Drink Paint Thinner while Pregnant then Pass on Decaf coffee, clean label project

Do you love coffee? Is it something that’s part of your daily routine? I’ve been drinking cafecito bombon since I was a tween and sneaking sips from my dad’s mug since before then. Coffee has always been comforting in my life. Even now, one of my favorite things to do is sit on the back deck with the Big Guy and sip coffee over conversation or make TikToks while dancing around the kitchen with my teens sipping our whipped coffees. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee is comfort and enthusiastic support on all days and in all the ways.  But what if you found out that your coffee had toxic chemicals in it? Worse, what if you were pregnant and found out that your decaf coffee had paint stripper in it?

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored campaign in partnership with the Clean Label Project. All opinions and pregnancy experience is my own.

When I was pregnant, I kicked my coffee addiction. I gave up caffeine completely. A few times, I did treat myself to a decaf Frappuccino. We lived in Tennessee, 600 miles away from our parents. Some days during pregnancy, I really needed to be comforted and I thought it was safe to treat myself to a small decaf coffee. Was I wrong?

READ ALSO: Unexpected Pregnancy at 40

My mom has a heart condition. She doesn’t drink caffeine because it’s bad for her. She drinks decaf coffee twice daily. A lot of older people drink decaf coffee because caffeine is bad for them. Pregnant women drink decaf because caffeine is not great for development. There are several different kinds of medical and mental disorders that encourage those diagnosed to switch to decaf because it’s “better for you”. But what happens when the very thing that you are told to be healthier is terrible for you?

READ ALSO: Things no one tells you about pregnancy

Clean Label Project recently released findings on methylene chloride (the active ingredient in paint strippers), which is found in popular decaffeinated coffee. Clean Label Project has filed lawsuits against four national brands for false and misleading advertising and labeling. These brands claim that their decaffeinated coffee products are “pure and natural.” In contrast, Clean Label Project’s study showed that methylene chloride was detected in the decaffeinated coffee products of these brands.

I’m not saying that you can’t drink coffee. I love coffee. Just ask my Nespresso account. Seriously, coffee is still warm and comforting to me but, as I’ve gotten more label savvy in the past year thanks to my recent health scares, I am also more discerning about what I put into my body. There are always healthier options, we just need to be aware of all the facts and ingredients.

 

So what’s going on with decaffeinated coffee? Removing caffeine from coffee generally involves one of two processes: water-based vs. solvent (chemical) based. However, the FDA currently allows methylene chloride to be used in the coffee decaffeination process and brands are not required to disclose which decaffeination process they use on their labels.

 

 

Clean Label Project tested 25 popular brands found in major retailers for the presence of methylene chloride. Ten brands tested positive. The onus is on the consumer to demand chemical-free decaffeinated coffee.

 

The thing is we have enough to worry about when we’re pregnant or elderly or just trying to take care of our health without having to go in search of all the hidden dangers of every single thing we ever want to eat or drink. There shouldn’t be secret chemicals in our food that can poison us or cause harm to our unborn babies. You don’t have to just take it. You can take action and Detox Your Coffee.

If you Wouldn't Drink Paint Thinner while Pregnant then Pass on Decaf coffee, clean label projectIf you Wouldn’t Drink Paint stripper while Pregnant then Pass on Decaf coffee. If you don’t think paint stripper is acceptable in decaf coffee, use your voice to contact your favorite brands and demand that they make it safer.

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Strategies to Help you Manage your Stress Better and Worry Less

Life has been stressful lately. More than stressful, life has been downright trying. The pandemic has us all in a holding pattern. I’m constantly afraid that if I move too fast or int he wrong direction, I’ll tip the balance and everything will come crashing down around me. This can’t be how I live my life now. I won’t do it. I’m trying to let myself learn how to work on the things I can fix, let the things I can’t fix go and turn the rest over to a higher power because holding on is not working.  I’m looking into learning strategies to help you manage your stress better and worry less. Visit cbn isolate freshbros to purchase products that will help you with your anxiety attacks. I started taking CBD products like pure CBD cream that my sister recommended and it has decreased my anxiety attacks very rapidly. Visit Dmagazine to check them out.

If,  like me, you want to help yourself manage stress better then use best cbd oil, you’ll need to start by knowing what the signs of stress are for you, go to a CBD shop and start using them to feel more calm. We all have triggers. Sometimes when you’re in a high-stress situation, maybe your blood pressure rises or your heart starts racing. This can make you feel dizzy and knock you off balance mentally and emotionally. If you want to help yourself get through these incidents, then you need to pay attention to when these feelings get to be too much, because this is your body’s way of sounding the silent alarm. You can see available cannabis products here.

Here are strategies to help you manage your stress better and worry less:

Identify the Stressful Times of Day

The first thing that you need to do is identify the times you are most stressed during the day. What pushes your buttons? If you are most stressed in the morning because you are trying so hard to get your kids off to school, then it may be worth trying to simplify your routine as much as possible by preparing the night before. When you do this, you will soon find that you can easily reduce the pressure you are under.

Take a Break

It’s very important that you take a break from time to time so you can decompress. Sometimes you need to do this, and that’s okay. You should never feel like a guilty mother just because you need to go somewhere or do something for a little while. As long as your kids are safe, you have nothing to worry about.

Workout

Working out is something that you can do as a family. If you want to help yourself then make the effort to try and get the family involved. It may be that your family like getting out of the house, and if you do this, then you will soon find that everyone can have the best time without you having to get stressed out. Swimming, jogging, biking or even walking are all fantastic exercises and they will also help you to keep in shape too.

Find a Good Support Group

You also need to make sure that you have a very good support group around you. This could be other people who are your age, or mothers that are in the same situation as you. Either way, you need to make sure that you have someone who you are able to chat with so you can make sure that you are getting the help you need. If you really need to relax, why not look into an online headshop?

Take Time to Laugh

Take time to laugh. Think about it, when was the last time you had a good laugh with your kids? Use humor if you can, so you can diffuse stressful situations where possible. Studies have shown that people tend to hold tension in their faces, and a good laugh can help you to release this. It can also help you to forget about all of the things that you were stressed about before. Little things like this can make you feel much better about yourself.

What are your best strategies to help you manage your stress better and worry less?

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coronavirus, 6 feet apart

The past 7 weeks have been life-changing for all of us. I can feel it in the very thread of my soul. 50 days is a long time to be apart from the ones you love and society in general. Honestly, 6 feet apart can feel like miles when it’s the people you love who you want to be nearest to. Coronavirus has taken physical contact out of the equation for all of us.

My family is very close emotionally but more than that, we’re a very touchy, feely group. There are a lot of us and we were raised on good morning, and off to work/school, home from work/school, and good night kisses. No matter what kind of day you had or how many times we fought, in the end, there was always love. These hugs and kisses were guaranteed. Maybe we didn’t have money but in love, we were/are rich.

READ ALSO: What Every Mom Should Know about Coronavirus

This is not just a childhood thing, I’m a grown woman, mother to two and when I’m home or my parents visit, I kiss them good morning, good night and whenever I leave the house. My kids do the same with their grandparents. We all do the same at our house. My brothers and sisters do it at their homes and whenever we visit one another, there is a good 15 minutes of just welcoming hugs and kisses and we love every single moment of it all. It is as natural and necessary as breathing for us so it’s been really hard.

Add to that the fact that my dad had just returned from months in Mexico for Bella’s quince that never happened, the week before the shelter in place order went into effect. I got to see him and my mother the day before it went into place. I haven’t seen them since. My youngest sister just had a baby 3 weeks ago. I haven’t met the baby yet. My middle sister is planning a wedding, I haven’t gotten to help her at all. My 3 brothers live in town but for the better part of this shelter in place, I’ve felt like I was hiding in place. I haven’t been inside anywhere in weeks and the only people I’ve seen have been the random neighbor here and there that I try to avoid on my walks.

READ ALSO: Doctor Gave Up Her Kids for Months to Save Yours

After a while, it starts to feel normal and that might be the worst part of all. 3 out of the 4 people in my house fall into the underlying condition category, so I’m in this for the long haul. I know this. I’m fine being in my house but lately, I’ve been missing my family in ways that I can’t explain.

I’m missing them in the little ways, my little brother’s Charlie Brown dance he does to make us laugh at family gatherings; the look on my little sister’s face when she watches her boys, the serious look of confusion and love that floods my middle sister’s face when we bullshit her about something, or my big little brother’s smirk when he’s bullshitting us or the care and concern in my middle brother’s voice when he asks if you’re alright and is genuinely concerned. I miss that same serious face my mom gives me before she breaks into my big little brother’s smile when she’s pulling my leg. I miss my dad’s laugh and the way he always blesses me before he leaves me or I leave him because we were raised that every time could be the last so always say I love you and that’s never been more true than now.

READ ALSO: Interview with a Coronavirus Doctor on the Frontline

Most days, I push it all down and try not to feel it. But this week, this is my terrible, no good, very bad week of the year. Every year since 2012. Even when I forget the anniversary, my heart remembers and it’s soft and sensitive and exposed and it hurts. It’s the one week of the year when I always need a soft place to land and here I am twisting in the wind. Right now, this 6-feet-apart feels like miles and miles and miles. I feel so alone.

The other day, I needed to see family. I needed to hear their laughter, see their faces and feel their energy; the energy I was born of. The family who knows all of my secrets and shares my history and loves me still; loves me more than I probably deserve and always has me held in their hearts, lifting me up in prayer and covering me in blessings and unconditional love even when I feel unblessable and completely and utterly unlovable. Still, there they are always in all the ways. My family is truly everything to me.

READ ALSO: How Coronavirus is a Blessing in Disguise

The other day, I made an executive decision as I am known to do and I told my brothers,” I’m driving by just to see your faces.” 6-feet-apart, so close but so far apart. And while it was balm to my soul to see their faces and hear their voices I never realized how much it would break my heart to have to walk away, to be in their orbit, and not get to hug them. It was almost unbearable and felt absolutely unnatural. It was the first time since they’ve each been born that I’ve seen them and not hugged and kissed them. I left feeling sad and hollow.

Mentally, I know that I saw them. We spoke and laughed and fed off of one another but the physical connection that transcends time and space that comes with touch was missing and there I sat, looking right at them, missing them and that’s a horrible side effect of the coronavirus. I can give up going to Target and restaurants and movie theaters. I can even give up travel and the freedom to roam the world as I so much like to do but giving up my people, the handful of people who mean everything to me, that’s hard but it’s selfish not to right now. So I take what I can get. Spaced laughter, togetherness apart, 6-feet apart dinners on my deck, movies in my family room with masks on with the same people who I share a mother and father.

READ ALSO: How to Protect Your Mental Health During a Pandemic

I’ll keep dropping snacks off at my friend’s and family’s houses just to get a passing glimpse of their smiles and to feel connected. If that means that I have to drive 3 hours to get a glimpse of my parents from 6-feet-apart for a couple of hours, it’ll be worth it to see my mom’s smiling eyes above her mask and hear my dad bestow upon me a blessing before I get back in my car to drive the 3 hours home. Until then, it’s ok to feel sadness and grief to miss what might have been and what once was. At least, when this is all over and we’re all safe and healthy, we’ll all have each other’s hugs to look forward to. For now, we stay 6-feet-apart so we don’t end up 6-feet-under.

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Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients, stay home, shelter in place, sacrifices of healthcare workers

While we’re all feeling a little stir crazy and a lot caged in our new normal, but there is a lot to be thankful for… it could be a lot worse, even though it feels quite dismal when you’ve been wearing pajamas for almost 3 weeks straight and played 7 million games of UNO and cooked and laundered for infinity. It’s hard right now for all of us but I have a story that I think a lot of us can relate to and all of us should hear.  A Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients.

My best friend is an Emergency Department doctor. Every day she goes into work, knowing that PPEs are limited and running out quickly. With still no quick testing for coronavirus at her facility, it’s a simple conclusion that asymptomatic patients have been sent home with CoVid 19. People are already dying at her hospital. If you think your anxiety is bad, imagine hers.

This week she sacrificed seeing her children for three months to take care of America; you and me, our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and our children. To do this, she had to give up hers.

Three months of no hugs. There will be no kisses. She will get no snuggles. No good mornings or good nights. No seeing the faces who’ve called her mom for the past 16 years; not like before. No, their meetings will be weekly and at a safe distance. She doesn’t want to do this, she has to do this; for their safety. The only way to protect her own children from any virus that she might come in contact with is to stay away from them. This devoted mother who happens to be a Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients.

Imagine as a mother or father not being able to hold your child for 3 months. We only have 18 years and then they leave on their own for college but right now, she has to give up some of that precious time in the name of the greater good. Right now, in a time of deep confusion and uncertainty when her daughters need their mother, possibly more than ever before, she has to stay away. If they do get sick, she can’t take care of them because she’s exposed every day, repeatedly, with limited PPEs.

READ ALSO: An Interview with a Doctor on the Front Lines of Coronavirus

Her hospital is presently giving providing doctors with one single N95 for the week of shifts; previously, doctors changed N95 masks between each patient.  Nurses are provided no N95 masks. Local members of the community have started to make and distribute fabric masks to the nurses. It is a beautiful and kind gesture but it’s sort of like taking a marshmallow to a gun fight. At the very least, it provides the patients with some reassurance just seeing their nurses mouth and noses covered but it’s mostly a fashion accessory unless it turns out that coronavirus is being spread by just breathing or talking, in which case…cover all the faces. Everything is so unknown , we’re all learning as we go.

Her hospital still doesn’t have Coronavirus tests on hand and readily available, which means that if you do get a test, it takes 10 days to get the results. In 10 days, you could already be dead, if I’m being quite frank. There is also a 1 in 3 chance that you will get a false negative when tested and, as any Emergency room doctor, it shows. She goes in every day and wears her 1 provided N95 mask for the week, from the minute before she walks in the door until she goes home. She doesn’t even eat or drink throughout her entire shift. It’s like sending a soldier in to battle with no protection at all. 

Still, this mother, friend, and doctor gave up her kids to take care of coronavirus patients. It wrecked her to her core and I heard it in her voice but she did it for them and for you. This was selflessness at its purest form. 

My friend does not live in a major city, well, not in comparison. She’s not in New York, L.A. or Chicago. However, she is in a highly populated college town, not far from Chicago. It’s not she’s in a widespread rural community. People who work in Chicago, live in her city. It shouldn’t be the way it is in her hospital or in any of the many others just like hers all over the country.

Doctors just like her, and many others who are coming out of retirement and stepping up to help in makeshift hospitals all over the country to help meet demand of an onslaught of American coronavirus patients, are heroes. They are running in to the virus when the rest of us are supposed to be sheltering in place. We need to listen.  We need to stay home so that they can stay safe, as safe as possible in this situation.

READ ALSO: What Every Parent Needs to Know about Coronavirus

Doctors and nurses ( all healthcare workers) are more than just their jobs. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands and mothers and fathers. They’re someone’s everything. Healthcare workers are also very human and just as susceptible as the rest of the world when it comes to coronavirus. Just because there is an M.D. after their name and they are superheroes, unfortunately, they are not immune to the ravishing affects of this virus and it does not discriminate. It doesn’t give a flying f*ck if you’re a good person or not. It doesn’t even give special privileges to nurses or that a doctor gave up her kids to take care of coronavirus patients.

Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients, stay home, shelter in place, sacrifices of healthcare workers

The bottom line is this is new to existence and none of us have immunity to it. If you come in contact with it, you will catch it, regardless of how good your immune system is or how healthy your are. The only unknown is how hard it will hurt you. Will it hit you like a worst case flu, will you be asymptomatic and a secret carrier to your loved ones or will it invade your body and kill its host. Do you want to take that chance with yourself or anyone you love or know?

My friend is a severe asthmatic. So many doctors have underlying health conditions or live with family who have underlying health conditions, but they don’t have the option of sheltering in place, they are essential. They are vital. We need them more than ever before. They took and oath and they want to take care of you and your loved ones. This is their calling. They are angels. We need to do our part to make that possible.

So I am asking all of you, I am imploring, that you stay home. My friend, a Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients.

I know that you are so bored, exhausted, anxious and scared. I am too. I’m on day 24 of quarantine, I’ve resorted to day and night pajamas and have made a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese for lunch one day ( just the Mac and cheese) nothing else. I’ve been drinking the occasional adult beverage, like every 3 days, I need a drink when previous to this it was about once a year.  The thing is be gentle with yourself, be patient with your family and just do whatever you need to feel normal. We’re all in this together. Sleep all day, eat cereal for dinner or dress up and have a fancy date night at home. Be present with your kids, zoom your friends and call the people you love.

But please, follow the recommendations and shelter in place. I know you think that one person’s actions won’t have that big of an affect but, trust me, they will. We are all potential carriers. We are all potentially armed and dangerous to the people we love the most.

When you think you just really need to get out of the house and take the kids to the park or the beach please remember my friend, she gave up her children to save you. Please return the favor by making our world a little more safe for her and all the healthcare heroes that live in our communities, especially the ones who’ve taken care of us when we’ve needed it most because the alternative is that we do whatever we want and they die, even after their immense sacrifices.

Take care of each other. Be kind and compassionate. Shelter in place but stay connected. Human interaction is so important so install ZOOM, FaceTime, use the phone, write a letter or send an email. Check in on your people. Most importantly, take care of yourself; wake up, eat, move, laugh, love, sleep and repeat. That’s all you need to do.

PLEASE STAY HOME, it will be over eventually and the only way we get through this is taking care of one another from afar.

Thank you for doing your part and to the essential workers, I see you. I see your sacrifices. I’m doing my part. I’m staying in. You’re in my prayers and I’ll never forget the sacrifices you’ve made in this time of coronavirus.

How are you and your family holding up during the coronavirus? I’m here to listen and connect whenever you need me.

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spring break, Coronavirus in the USA, Life in the time of Coronavirus

College Spring breakers in Miami, Florida don’t give a damn about social distancing. The spread of Coronavirus in the USA is not their problem. They want to party and that’s all they care about. College kids and Millennials don’t understand why the beaches and bars are closed, “it’s not that serious”. Drinking until they blackout is their only objective. Screw you and your fear of coronavirus.

Coronavirus in the USA has me quarantined and looking for outside conversation via the Internet. However, that leaves me inundated with all the information. I’m sticking to the CDC for reliable information. This social-distancing, self-quarantine state of being has me alone with my thought a lot lately. I forgot how much I like my own company. Unfortunately, I’ve had to bring back Throat Punch Thursday because apparently, people are so f*cking stupid that even when their lives are at stake they think that the rules don’t apply to them.

“If I get Corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.” ~Spring Break Coronavirus in the USA denier.

I’ve been trying to do my part to flatten the curve regarding Coronavirus in the USA; social distancing, caution, preparation and move along. I prepped for quarantine. We’re in the house and self-quarantining to be safe for everyone. We’re on day 7. We don’t love it but it’s what needs to be done  for the safety of our elderly, my parents and your parents, for the immunocompromised ( our children & ourselves) and those with asthma ( like my best friend an ER doctor), diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and a host of other immunosuppressed conditions.

READ ALSO: What is Coronavirus and what every Mom Needs to Know

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that coronavirus in the USA can be nothing or it can be devastating, the problem is we just don’t know how COVid19 is going to effect us. It changes from person to person depending on a host of mitigating factors. What I do know is that it’s not a chance that I am willing to take with my loved ones or yours. A 34-year-old man just died after contracting coronavirus. He had just returned from a trip to Walt Disney World and Universal in Orlando. He was young and healthy but had a childhood history of asthma. No one is safe.

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What I do know is that we are in the middle of a national emergency and what we do now will have ripples felt for years to come. I also know that a knee-jerk reaction and a bad case of verbal diarrhea on the part of some of our administration and a plethora of misinformation being spread has put even more Americans in danger.

READ ALSO: How to Educate during Coronavirus in the USA

My own mother sat in my living room and told me, “He said it’ll pass quickly.” She’s not worried at all. Did I mention that she is over 70 and has a heart condition? She believes ( as many people her age do) everything Trump says and she thinks he knows best. “He wouldn’t lie. He’s the president.”

That coupled with the fact that early reports that the 20-40 year-old age group are all but exempt from the devastating effects of coronavirus. These people have been given false hope that they are safe. There is no safe. We are dealing with an unknown, brand new virus that is potentially fatal under the right conditions. Thanks to over confident reporting that everything will be fine, it’ll past fast and it’s just like the flu, have people bucking up to take their chances.

“It’s really messing up with my spring break. What is there to do here other than go to the bars or the beach? And they’re closing all of it. I think they’re blowing it (coronavirus) way out of proportion.” ~idiot on Spring break during a pandemic

Ignorance might be bliss but it won’t protect you from the coronavirus. It’s not subjective. Coronavirus does not discriminate. It will infect you even if you choose to not believe it exists. Ignoring the warning only makes you more susceptible because you are not exercising caution. Worse, it makes you more likely to carry to someone else who it might kill.

READ ALSO: Sending Kids to School Sick is the Worst

The thing is I get that you need a vacation, probably now more than ever. You’ve been cooped up in the house with your kids all week and the weather is terrible. You’ve been holding out for this vacation. You saved and paid for that AirBnB in Siesta Key or Fort Lauderdale. You just need some sunshine and the beach. I get it. Me too. Fuck, we just cancelled a quinceanera for our daughter, our annual Boston trip, a trip to Nashville, Los Angeles and depending on what happens over the next few weeks, even more travel will be cancelled.

If you know my family, you know, travel is our love language. We’re explorers, free-spirited, open-minded adventurers but before everything else, I’m a mom, daughter, wife, sister and friend. My main objective is to keep everyone healthy and survive this coronavirus pandemic because the alternative is unthinkable.

“We having day parties all day. It’s my birthday. ” ~Birthday Celebrating Spring Breaker who Doesn’t Give a Shit about Coronavirus in the USA

Everyone is being pretty understanding considering. Flights, hotels and reservations can be rescheduled. Hell, I cancelled and rescheduled an entire quinceanera mass and reception. I broke a heart doing it but the option was putting people I love in danger. I’m not willing to do that. They’ll recover from disappointment. They might not recover from the coronavirus.

“This virus ain’t that serious. There’s more serious things out there like hunger and poverty. We need to address that.” ~Philanthropic Spring Breaker who side hustles as head of the CDC (NOT)

My point is this, DON’T GO ON SPRING BREAK while there’s Coronavirus in the USA.

  • Stop traveling abroad or nationally.
  • Keep yourself home with your immediate family.
  • Stay in groups less than 10 people.
  • WASH YOUR HANDS.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough into your elbow.
  • Dispose of tissues in garbage and immediately sanitize your hands.
  • Stay out of other people’s space.
  • If you’re having symptoms, stay home from work.
  • Cancel all non-emergent appointments. Call your doctors they will help you with prescriptions.
  • Work from home when possible.
  • Do not buy masks. The hospitals need those.
  • Go outside and get some fresh air.
  • Unplug to avoid anxiety.
  • Buy groceries for up to 2 weeks to limit your exposure at frequent store trips. Do not buy all the groceries and TP.
  • Use delivery and drive up options for your groceries, medications and whatever else you need.
  • Order online.
  • Be kind to others. We’re all in this together.
  • But MOST IMPORTANTLY, DO NOT GO ON SPRING BREAK!!!!!! If you do, you are an asshole.  Just because you are young and healthy doesn’t mean you are safe from coronavirus.

I get it. You need the break and the governor of Florida hasn’t shut down the beaches. That doesn’t mean it’s safe. I go back to my JAWS analogy ( Coronavirus in the USA is JAWS in this scenario), everyone’s on the beach. JAWS is in the water ( Coronavirus is out there, everywhere, lurking just waiting to make contact) but everyone wants their sunny beach vacation. Some of us are coming off like crazies warning you ( begging you) to cancel your trips but all you can see is the water, the sun and that fruity cocktail that you’ve been dreaming of since Christmas.  I GET IT! But please, make the fruity drink at home and get a light therapy lamp. It’s not worth it. The beach will be there next spring but will you be?

What are you doing while we work to flatten the curve? I’m gathering free sources and putting them on my The TRUTH about Motherhood FB page if you need ideas and if you have any, please share here and I’d love to share with my audience.

Stay safe and be cautious. #LifeInTheTimeOfCorona

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How To Continue Education During The Coronavirus Pandemic

By now, we are all painfully aware that Coronavirus is serious. President Trump has stopped visitors from the EU, and other countries around the world, from entering the US. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re officially amid a Coronavirus pandemic. The WHO classes a pandemic as “the occurrence in a community or region of cases of an illness… clearly in excess of normal expectancy.” Life is definitely not normal at the moment, it feels like we’re living in a sci-fi horror film, so the World Health Organization must be right. Aside from every other fear on our minds, the nagging thing we have to consider is how To Continue Education During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

READ ALSO: Parents who Send Sick Kids to School are the Worst

But, most families’ routine isn’t going to stop in its tracks because you can’t afford it to. Education is a prime example as many Americans will still need to go to work and some kids still need to get to school or a daycare center, though many of our children’s schools have been suspended indefinitely. These are uncertain and unpredictable times. How can you still get your kid an education during an outbreak of one of the worst health crises in the past decade?

Homeschool

As a mom, you always have the right to homeschool your kids. It’s not as simple as pulling them out and starting the curriculum halfway through as you have a life, too. However, if you’re worried about the state of the education system right now, it’s not unfeasible. Of course, you don’t have to be the one doing the teaching if you think it’s out of your remit. Other parents will pull together as well, so you might need to take it in turns to be the teacher until the crisis is over.

Speak to The School

Parents have the final say; however, your children’s school isn’t off the hook. If the virus starts to get in the way of education, the teachers and principal should craft a plan to limit the damage. For example, they might upload the classes onto an online program that allows the students to complete the work at home. Alternatively, they could set it as homework. Staying in contact with the school is vital in this regard because you need to understand what’s expected of the kids. There will be a lot of confusion, which is why you must simplify things where possible.

Study Via E-Learning Technology

Let’s not forget that the children aren’t the only ones studying in the US. Whether it’s a healthcare management MBA online or a standard MBA, plenty of adults are trying to better themselves also. As a grown-up, you have the flexibility to decide against attending class, where kids don’t. I’m actually going back to school myself in April and it will be online. As far as the kids go, I was keeping them home Monday no matter what (I’m the parent and their health and safety is my top priority).

READ ALSO: Working with Preschoolers

Luckily, the girls have the luxury of using E-learning at their schools, not every child does. Even so, it’s essential to study hard to stay on track for good grades and to ensure their hard work doesn’t go to waste. Thankfully, currently, the world is more technologically savvy regarding e-learning, so it should be as easy as logging-on and completing studies from home.

Practice Good Hygiene

In a health scare such as this one, it’s vital that everybody practices quality hygiene. It’s up to the parents to help their kids maintain a high standard as they’ll happily drop the ball. Believe me, if working with preschoolers has taught me anything this year, it’s been the power of germs and the lack of childhood hygiene. As adults, it’s our responsibility to help them. That means packing extra tissues for coughs and sneezes and leaning on hand gel and antibacterial gel. Try not to touch your face, either, and get the kids to follow your lead. Hopefully, these tips will keep the whole country safe.

How is your family life-changing during the Coronavirus pandemic?

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What is the coronavirus? , What every mom should know about the coronavirus?

Wondering if you should be taking more precautions to protect your family from Coronavirus? Don’t want to be an alarmist? But want to take care of your children? Maybe you’re wondering why they named a really shitty virus after a vacation cocktail. Yes, I’d like an ice-cold coronavirus, add lime. Not funny, right? Let’s just talk plainly, what the hell is coronavirus and what should every mom know about it.

Now, while I’m not raiding my local stores of all the cleaning supplies, I am keeping my pantry stocked with Lysol, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet paper but I do that all the time anyway. I’m not buying a year’s worth but with 4 people who seem to catch everything that goes around living in the house, we’re always stocked just in case. While I’m not one for screaming the proverbial fire in a crowded theater, I’m also a realist and the fact is that Coronavirus exists and it does not discriminate.

READ ALSO: Parents who send their kids to school sick are the worst

However, being immunosuppressed with an immunosuppressed child, I’m also not taking any unnecessary risks. We won’t be using public transportation; planes, trains, and buses are not on our to-do list. We’re also not going to be going to any large crowded venues if we can avoid it. I’m also considering taking advantage of pick-up for groceries and necessities rather than being in the stores until some of the flu strains and viruses going around are not going around as much.

Here is what I’ve found out and what every mom should know about the coronavirus!

What is the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) is not new. They’re a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The issue with the current novel coronavirus is that it’s a new strain and is zoonotic, meaning it can be transmitted between animals and people. The strains that typically infect humans generally cause symptoms that are no more severe than the common cold. However, sometimes a rogue coronavirus jumps from animals to humans and is more severe than typical.

This new coronavirus is spreading quickly throughout the world and we’re all on edge, especially parents because we’re worried about our children. At last count, more than 92,000 known people have contracted Coronavirus and at least 3,000 people have died since an outbreak began in December in Wuhan, China. While most confirmed cases are still in China, the coronavirus has since spread to at least 71 countries, with at least 100 recorded cases and at least six deaths in the United States.

Previously, the bulk of the cases in the United States were connected to the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Japan after it was revealed that some guests onboard tested positive for coronavirus. But a growing number of those diagnosed have happened after contact with an infected person or after no known connection to previous cases, suggesting that the virus is spreading among communities. The outbreak is on the verge of being a pandemic if it can’t be contained.

Symptoms of the Coronavirus that Moms should be aware of

  • Common signs of infection include
  • Respiratory symptoms
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
  • In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

How to stop the spread of Coronavirus

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

READ ALSO: Working with Preschoolers and Jumping in the Cootie Pond

To reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses in the general public do as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

  • Wear a cloth face mask that covers your mouth and nose at all times when in public.
  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissues away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

Why are experts so concerned about this new coronavirus?

  1. This is a new illness that doctors have never seen before so there’s still a lot to learn about how it’s transmitted and how it will affect everyone.

  2. The virus is contagious, even before symptoms appear.

The CDC believes the new virus is contagious during the incubation period, which is believed to be 14 days, and symptoms can appear anytime between two and 14 days after exposure. Chinese officials reported person-to-person transmission as the virus spreads. The CDC also has confirmed person-to-person transmission in the U.S.

  1. The 2019 novel coronavirus may be mild but, in some cases, can be very serious

“As with a cold, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus and a flu vaccine won’t protect people from developing it. Washing hands especially after eating, going to the bathroom, and touching your face and avoiding other people who have flu-like symptoms are the best strategies at this point.”

  1. There’s a lot that we don’t know, so precautions are extremely important

Given that the symptoms tend to be mild and the number of people infected worldwide remains small, you may wonder why so much attention is being paid to this particular illness. Extreme caution is warranted because of how little is known about this new virus. For now, spreading awareness, keeping people updated as scientists learn more, and screening people who might be at risk are the best tools available. If you travel or if you visit a health care provider or facility, it may be helpful to know that the coronavirus-related signs you see and questions you may be asked are important.

  1. Guidelines will evolve as doctors learn more

The CDC advises people who travel anywhere, locally or internationally, to:

  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Avoid animals, whether they are dead or alive, as well as animal markets, and animal products
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

What to do if you think you may have been exposed

Anyone who has traveled to Wuhan and is experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms should:

  • Seek medical care immediately. Call ahead to their doctor or emergency room to let them know about recent travel and symptoms.

  • Avoid contact with others

  • Avoid travel if they are sick

  • Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve (not hands) if they must cough or sneeze

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The virus can be spread from animals to people. But it also can be spread by coughing, sneezing and through close contact with an infected person or an object carrying the virus. Experts are still figuring out how long an infected person is contagious as they try to determine a point of transmission.

How different is it from the common cold or flu?

Coronavirus infections, in general, are indistinguishable from other respiratory infections. In most cases, they cause a runny nose, cough, sore throat, fatigue and fever. But with the new coronavirus, patients tend to have a fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Do I need to stockpile N95 face masks?

No.

The C.D.C. recommends that only infected patients and their health care providers wear N95 respirator masks, which are a special type of mask intended to filter out 95 percent of airborne particles. When physicians treat a person infected with the disease caused by the virus, they wear a face shield, gown and gloves.

Standard surgical masks also can’t fully protect you from contracting the virus. However, if, when in public, everyone wears a cloth face mask properly, covering the mouth and nose, it can drastically reduce the amount of spread of the virus.

Should parents be worried?

Right now, no. Be cautious but not crazy. Cases in children have been very rare. Most people infected with coronavirus are between 49 and 56 years old. It appears that when kids do get it, they have milder symptoms. Flu is killing a lot more Americans, including children, but flu is the monster we know.

Update (11/7…129000 new cases today) coronavirus can be contracted by anyone and it affects everyone differently. There are also long term health effects. The 49-56 age group being the highest affected is no longer the case.

What steps should parents take to protect their child from Coronavirus?

You should take the same precautions you would take to protect your child from the common cold or flu.

  • Encourage children to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can work if that’s all you got, but they’re generally not as effective as soap and hot water.
  • Hands should be washed before children eat, after they use the bathroom, come inside from outdoors or touch something dirty like garbage.
  • If you see someone coughing or sneezing, try to keep your kids as far away from them as possible. It’s believed that respiratory secretions don’t travel more than six feet.
  • Travel is also fine but use common sense and caution. For the most part, domestic trips and even most international ones are still OK. Check the CDC guidelines before you plan a trip. If you’re planning a cruise for spring break, the C.D.C. urges you to avoid ones that travel to or from Asia. Personally, as much as I love cruising, it’s a stew of germs in the best conditions.

If there is an outbreak in your town, you should practice what’s known as social distancing. That means staying at home, rather than going out and about to movies, sports events and other activities. Schools could close, at least temporarily, and people who can work from home will be encouraged to do so.

For now, if you and your kids still haven’t gotten a flu shot, get one.

I’m pregnant. Should I be concerned about Coronavirus?

Yes, but no more than you would be about coming down with the flu. During pregnancy, your immune system can be depressed, which makes you more susceptible to complications from viruses like the flu and chickenpox.

There isn’t much information on how the new coronavirus affects pregnancies, though preliminary research suggests it isn’t likely to be transmitted from a mother to her baby through the womb. A study that followed nine pregnant women who were infected in Wuhan found that all of the newborns, who were delivered via cesarean section, tested negative for the coronavirus, and there were no traces of the virus in the mother’s amniotic fluid, cord blood or breast milk.

The C.D.C. does caution that it has observed miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women infected with other related coronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV). A high fever during the first trimester of pregnancy which can happen after infection with the new coronavirus and with illnesses such as a cold or flu can also increase the risk of certain birth defects.

Let me be honest with you, mom to mom, I’m not a doctor. This is just a lot of research that I found by scouring the internet. The truth is none of us want our children to catch something that we know so little about but panic is not the way to protect ourselves. In reality, I think there are probably a lot more cases we don’t know about because symptoms are mild and comparable to the viruses that we’re used to. Most cases will probably go undiagnosed. My advice is to be cautious. Practice good hygiene. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Take care of your health and maybe spend more time at home with your family during the cold and flu season. Use your common sense and mama intuition. Don’t ransack the stores and buy out all the TP, Clorox wipes and face masks because then people that need them won’t have them. It’s not the apocalypse people. It’s scary because it’s new. Be careful and be safe.

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