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Olympic gymnast , GOAT, Simone Biles chose mental health over Olympic glory, lost in air, Tokyo Olympics, pandemic

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Simone Biles did the unthinkable for an Olympian athlete, she withdrew from the individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health just a day after her dramatic withdrawal from the team competition. While I found it initially shocking, not because of why she withdrew but that she chose to walk away at all, especially in a world that marginalizes mental health. Simone Biles chose mental health over Olympic glory. I find her to be incredibly brave and the kind of role model our daughters need. What I really found shocking is some people’s negative reaction to it.

“I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health, and not jeopardize my health and well-being,” the decorated athlete told reporters.

To be clear, putting your mental health first is hard, especially in a society that values being number 1 over almost everything else. Quitting is seen as a weakness. We are taught from birth to work hard to achieve our dreams with no regard to the sacrifice and cost to ourselves. Everyone else in the world is competition and our goal is to win. But when you fight that hard to win, something will get lost, often ourselves.

I was talking to someone and their reaction to the Simone Biles situation was that, “she choked and she is selfish because she chose to quit rather than to continue on as part of the team. She took a spot that could have been given to someone else. She threw away an opportunity. She let her team and America down.” This person was visibly annoyed. This person who is not an Olympic athlete nor a competitive athlete. This person who very single-mindedly admonished her for “giving up.” I was flabbergasted because where I saw strength and courageousness, this person saw weakness.

As someone who struggles with her own mental health, as many of us do especially after this pandemic, I can assure you that Simone Biles choice to withdraw was probably one of the hardest decisions that she’s ever had to make. Gold medals are cool and every Olympic athlete spends their life training, sweating and sacrificing in hopes of winning one and the glory and recognition that it brings in their sport. So for her to choose her mental health over her pride is telling and one of the most mature and mentally healthy things I’ve ever witnessed.

Simone Biles chose mental health over Olympic glory and it’s the bravest thing ever.

In all actuality, Simone put her team first by knowing her own mental and physical limitations. Biles confirmed she was not injured but felt her poor vault would jeopardize the team’s chances for a medal. “I felt like it would be a little better to take a back seat, and work on my mindfulness,” she said. “I didn’t want the team to risk a medal because of my screw up.”

Biles admitted that the stress of competing at the Tokyo Olympics, the mounting burden of competing at a pandemic Olympics after the past 16 months of lockdowns and restrictions, may have finally taken its toll.

According to Time, days after arriving in Tokyo, an alternate on the team tested positive for COVID-19, and another alternate was placed in isolation because she was a close contact. “Today was really stressful,” she said. “The workout this morning went okay, it was just the 5.5-hour wait—I was shaking, and barely napped. I’ve never felt like this going into a competition before. I tried to go out, have fun and after warming up in the back I felt a little better, but once I came out here, I felt, no, the mental is not there. I need to let the girls do it and focus on myself.”

We talk about privilege and as a Mexican American woman I’ve felt how privilege works against those who don’t have it firsthand. It wasn’t until within the last 5 years that it hit me just how different it is to be a white man and a Latina woman. For example, I will never know what it feels like to walk down the street alone at night and not feel afraid.

I had no idea that privilege extended to mental health and those who don’t struggle so easily look at those who do as weak. We are not weak; we are strong we learn to bend as to not be broken. If you are really strong, you fight to be your own advocate and that is exactly what Simone Biles did. Backing out wasn’t giving up, it was standing up for her own well-being.

I struggle with my own mental health issues and I’ve had to do a lot of work since my diagnosis 20 years ago. It’s taken a lot of time, understanding, patience, therapy, education and learning to love myself enough to do what needs to be done in spite of what others expect. Intuitively it feels selfish to choose me over others but if I don’t choose myself, my own health and mental health, as a priority who will? I am my own responsibility and I am responsible for my actions. More importantly, I am responsible for my family and if I can’t take care of myself, how can I take care of them?

The past year has been trying on everyone’s mental health. There has been a shift in the way we think. Everyone is a potentially deadly threat due to CoVid. Being in public is exhausting and it’s impossible to feel safe during a world health crisis. Anxiety and depression are a symptom of the new normal. It’s no one’s fault, it is what it is. It’s lingering after effect of the pandemic that every single one of us has been touched by because it is impossible to be normal when nothing else is.

It is counterintuitive for us to choose ourselves over society’s expectations. As humans, especially as Americans, our default setting is that we choose glory over our own good. We choose to push through over sitting with. We want to be the best at all costs. To save ourselves, we have to unlearn all of this to be the stronger and better version of ourselves because, to be honest, the default settings suck. They only work if you want to be a basic bitch with no free will of your own; no responsibility for yourself. It’s brave to choose you. It took a lot of courage for Simone Biles to recognize her limits and withdraw from the competition. She didn’t give up. She did the hardest thing possible, she publicly chose her mental health over what other people perceive as her responsibility.

As a society, we need to change the narrative. Choosing your own health, mental or physical, or your own dreams over the limited expectations that the world holds for you is good. It’s the hard decisions that make us who we are. Going along with something that is detrimental to your health and mental well-being is the most insane thing you can do. If you’re doing that, stop it.

If she had continued on in the Olympics and ended up having a full breakdown, the world would have gasped and said, she should have told someone and withdrew, the Olympics are not worth her sanity. She would have been embraced with empathy but since she made the brave decision to know her own limitations and quit before she was broken, she is being criticized for letting her team down.

The world is a duplicitous place and the people who cry when someone commits suicide and asks why they did it are the same people who mock those who set boundaries they don’t understand. Simone Biles didn’t do a selfish thing and choose herself, she chose the right thing for her and her teammates. She made the hard choice for the right reasons. We should all take a lesson from Simone Biles and choose our health over what other people expect of us. I’m glad our sons and daughters get to see her choose her mental health over a gold medal because that’s much more important than winning. You don’t get to be GOAT without being a trailblazer and she is without a doubt GOAT for life.

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Why You Should Care about the Mysterious Death of Marine Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez , Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident, a life stolen, Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

Yesterday, June 24, 2021, our family laid to eternal rest one of our very own, Marine Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez and no one is okay. His death was dubious, untimely, inexplicable and there are no answers being provided by those who were charged with keeping him safe while he kept the nation safe. His life was stolen. There is no accountability. This is why you should care about the sudden, non-combat death of Marine Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez. What’s insures your child’s safety and not his? He was here and now he’s just gone. Broken hearts and empty arms longing for one more hug with no reasonable explanation given. This makes closure impossible for his family and friends. Choking back emotions in order to share his story is all that we can do now. Helpless, distraught, devastated and angry not knowing what really happened to Brandon.

Brandon, like all young men his age, had his entire life ahead of him. He had a beautiful, smart girlfriend who he loved like you do when you’re 22-years-old, big and beautifully. He adored his mother and his siblings were his best friends, confidants and his ride or dies. You see, I know this life because this is how our family is at its root. Family and God are always first, with country close behind in our lives. We are raised that when you have nothing else in this world, you have your family and they have you and together everything is possible. We are strong, resilient, passionate and born of immigrants. We don’t quit, we work hard and we dream BIG. This is how we survive but the world can be cruel. It’s been particularly cruel these past few weeks.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident, a life stolen

Brandon joined the United States Marine Corp as part of his American dream and he was on his way to realizing his dreams of marrying the girl he loved, giving his mother a house of her own and becoming the man he wanted to be; living the life he dreamed of with the people he loved. He knew to do that, he had to do the work and make the sacrifices to get where he wanted to be.

Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

Why you should care about the sudden, non-combat death of Marine Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez

A few weeks ago a happy, healthy young 22-year-old man made the ultimate sacrifice of leaving the family, girlfriend and home he loved to serve the people of the United States of America in Manama Bahrain. No one thought the last time they saw him would be the last time they ever say him.

Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

It was the first time he’d been so far away from home alone but he eagerly accepted the assignment because he knew what came next would mean he could provide the kind of life he wanted to give to his family. His beautiful, big and closely knit family who kept in contact daily even though separated continents apart. Time and space are irrelevant when it comes to family, at least in our family. Our parents instill this into us as tiny children and it sticks because family really is everything. We know that in our bones.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

One night, two weeks after arriving in Bahrain, after a phone call with his brother and before his daily phone call with his beloved girlfriend, his life was stolen. Where a kind, caring, loving son/ brother/ uncle/ boyfriend was just a few minutes previous, he was no longer. That quickly, the world was flipped upside down and inside out.

This isn’t the first time a sudden, non-combat death with no reasonable explanation to the family has happened and if we don’t get justice for Brandon, it will happen again

Two marines arrived at his mother’s house to inform her that her son was gone. Just that quickly a family was shattered, changed forever, unimaginable pain, sorrow and anger left where all that love once was; all that promise now a life unrealized and there was nothing they could do to undo it.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

The thing is Brandon’s life was precious to so many people. People who are not afraid to be loud and speak out. We’re not the type to just accept that one of our children is dead without explanation and that be the end of it. There has to be an explanation. No human being can just disappear from this earth and those who loved him or her just nod their heads, cry and get over it. There is no “getting over” losing a child, a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, an uncle, an aunt or a husband or partner. Life is precious and we know that to our core. We’ve lost people before and we hold tight to one another.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident, a life stolen, Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

To the military Brandon may have been just another soldier. A young, Mexican-American man willing to give his life to protect this country that our parents came to to give their children a promise of a better future. This country that they are so thankful and grateful to have the opportunity to live in. But to his family and those who knew and loved him, we can’t let it go. We demand and deserve to have the truth.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident, a life stolen

All of my aunt’s tears will never bring him back into her arms. This immeasurable loss can never be recouped. The emptiness that lurks beneath the sadness and anger is just waiting to swallow her whole because in the end, Brandon is gone. No one knows that more astutely than a mother.

He’ll never get to grow up. Never get to marry his beautiful girlfriend and start the family he dreamed of. He’ll never get to dance with his baby sister at her quinceañera. He’ll never get to be the best man at his brothers’ weddings. Brandon won’t be around to give his little sister brotherly advice or joke and laugh with his oldest sister. He’ll never get to see his nephew graduate high school.

Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

He’ll never walk into a room and grab his mother and dance cumbia with her just because and she’ll never get to hear his laugh or see his dimples ever again. When he died, all of those possibilities died with him; a part of everyone who loved him died on June 6th in Bahrain too. I know this because we are from the same people. I too am 1 of 6 children and I know how close that bond is, sometimes it’s hard to tell where you end and your brother/sister begins.

To the marines, he may have been “government property” but to those who knew and loved him, he was a light. He is a hero whose life was stolen. The investigation is ongoing.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

The only information that the Marine Corps is providing is:

Rank: Corporal

Name: Brandon J. Alvarez

Unit: Fleet Anti-Terrorism Support Team Central Command

(FASTCENT), NSA Manama Bahrain, Marine Corps Security

Force Regiment

Dates of Service: November 26, 2018- Service Join Date

May 21, 2021- June 6, 2021- Assigned FASTCENT NSA, Manama Bahrain.

Previous Command: July 18, 2019- May 20, 2021- Marine Corps Air Station Miramar San Diego

But Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez was so much more than that to those who loved him.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident, a life stolen

I watched his funeral live-streamed from 2000 miles away, I watched as my Tia, cousins and all those who loved him were brought to their knees at this loss. It’s devastating to see my family in so much pain and I am angry that they are going through this. I’m angry that they are being given no answers. Mostly, I’m mad that Brandon is no longer here to live the big, full, beautiful life he had planned. None of this makes any sense.

Why Marine Cpl Brandon Javier Alvarez Life and Mysterious Death Matter

Please keep sharing his story and help us get the truth and justice that he deserves. #Justice4CplBrandonJavierAlvarez

Click Here to help the family find justice for CPL Brandon Javier Alvarez and prevent other military families from going through this.

Why You Should Care about the Mysterious Death of Marine Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez

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Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

The blurb read, “A U.S. Marine Corps carry team transfers the remains of Marine Cpl. Brandon Javier Alvarez of Newbury Park, California, June 10, 2021 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Alvarez was assigned to FAST Co., Central Marine Corps Security Force Regiment, Bahrain.” that was all that was written. But he was so much more than just that…just remains. He was everything to the people who knew and loved him.

Who was Brandon Javier Alvarez?

Brandon Javier Alvarez was born on January 31, 1999, in Thousand Oaks, California. He is the beloved son of my Tia Suzy. He is one of three sons in a family of six children, a devoted boyfriend and a doting uncle. He loved and in return was loved by so many.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

Nobody deserves to die far away from home, alone under dubious circumstances. My cousin, Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, was a good man. He was a bright young man, who loved his country, loved his family and friends and was excited about the future that he was building for himself and his loved ones. Brandon’s sudden and unexplained death has implications that go way beyond just how it affects our family, this could happen to any son or daughter serving in the military.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

Brandon was only 22-years-old on June 6, 2021 when he was found dead in a non-combat-related incident (his nose appeared broken and there were marks on his neck) while serving in the U.S. marines in Manama Bahrain. He was a brother, a son, a boyfriend, a friend, a nephew, a cousin, an uncle and a proud United States Marine. He was not disposable. He was loved. He is missed. The hole left behind in the heart of those who knew and loved him can never be filled. The loss of a child is insurmountable and unfathomable and his life deserves better than to just be discarded.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

His family deserves to know what really happened. They don’t deserve to be ignored and pushed aside when they want to know what happened. At the very least, they deserve the truth. Instead, they are be parceled out very little information. But how can they grieve and mourn their loss when it is so abrupt and unexplained?

What happened to Brandon?

My cousin, Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, was a 22-year-old, healthy and happy United States Marine serving in Manama Bahrain. He was found dead in his room on June 6, 2021. It is being referred to as a “non-combat incident”. His family is devastated. They sent him to Bahrain 2 weeks previous, with his entire future ahead of him. Only to have him returned to them in a casket draped with the American flag, no explanation and no answers.

His body was returned to American soil on June 10, 2021. Family members flew across the country from California to Delaware just to meet the body with plans to identify him. They were refused and restricted to stay 40 yards away from the casket. They were refused the right to identify his body.

This video is Brandon returning home to California on June 17, 2021. This is the first time his family is allowed to receive him, 11 days after two Marines came to my aunt’s house in the early morning hours to inform her that her son had been found dead during the night, while she slept. At minute 9:51 you can see the reality of a mother’s pain.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

No family should have to go through this. No mother should ever have to bury her son and endure this kind of pain and loss. As parents and family members of men and women in the military, we understand that when our sons, daughters and beloved family members volunteer to join the military and dedicate their lives to serving and protecting the lives and freedoms of the American People, there are implied risks. But no family, expects their child to return in a casket from a non-combat incident. No family expects to be kept in the dark.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

Everybody who knew Brandon loved him. He was kind, warm, funny with a verve for life. His joy was infectious. He loved to to laugh and brighten the atmosphere. He was a loyal son, a loving boyfriend and a beloved brother and friend. Brandon was the kind of man who inspired others to be and do better. He loved his country and had big dreams and aspirations. He just wanted to do better and give a better life to the people he loved. That was his American dream.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

He’s gone and the family left behind to mourn him is being kept in the dark as to the circumstances of what actually happened. This is not okay, not in any way. We need answers. Nothing will bring Brandon back but at the very least, we need the truth. His mother needs justice for her son. We cannot forget.

Say his name… Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

The military can’t just make this go away. We need explanations and proof. It took almost 2 weeks for Brandon’s family to be allowed access to his body. Maybe this would pacify some families. Maybe blind faith in the system would be enough for some but not this family. But Brandon was in constant contact with is family. People checked in on him daily, even in Bahrain. Our family will not quit. Brandon deserves more. Those who loved him are now tasked with being the protectors of his legacy and the seekers of justice in his name.

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

The bottom line is that my cousin is dead. Something uncertain happened the night of June 6th, 2021 in his room and someone has answers. We need those answers. A healthy, happy 22-year-old marine went overseas to protect the people of this country and in return he was found dead in his room. Don’t let his death get swept under the rug. Help us find #justice4cplBrandonJavierAlvarez and for the next son or daughter serving who could be in danger of never coming home to their mothers and fathers. Share his story and use the hashtag.

#Justice4CPLBrandonJavierAlvarez

Corporal Brandon Javier Alvarez, #Justice4cplbrandonjavieralvarez, Thousands Oak marine found dead in Manama Bahrain, non-combat incident

Rest easy, primo and know that everyone who knew and loved you won’t stop until we know what really happened to you and get the justice you deserve. You mattered Brandon Javier Alvarez and your life was not disposable. We will find the answers, someone will be held accountable and you will get justice.

If you would like to help the family get to the bottom of this and help get justice for Brandon Javier Alvarez there is a Go Fund Me page set up in his memory.

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Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building, Trump supporters stand on the U.S. Capitol Police armored vehicle as others take over the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday,

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

This is breaking news*** President Trump encourages armed Insurrection in Washington DC. A woman is in critical condition after being shot in the chest on capital grounds. Once again President Trump has poured gasoline on America and threw the match to set our country on fire. Pro-Trump mob storms the capitol building.  Anarchy in the USA, an American coup as anarchists storm Capitol building. Make no mistake, our democracy is under assault.

 

This is treason.

He has incited a coup. This is an insurrection and rebellion. This could be the beginning of a civil war. This is not okay. Make no mistake, this pro-Trump mob of rioters are anarchists and this is the death of democracy. I’m not shocked because I’ve expected this since he was elected in 2016. He’s been calling on his supporters to do this. He’s been inciting violence by calling them to action. Today, Trump supporters stormed the capital building and stopped capital action as the Vice President presided over the presidential ratification process today. Our capital building is on lockdown due to threats from Trump-supporting Americans. I am embarrassed and disgusted to be an American today. This is the fall of America. President Trump needs to call off his dogs. What the fuck is wrong with America?

This is absolutely anarchy in the USA. This is an American coup.

Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building

Bonfire of the Insanities

Earlier today, Vice President Mike Pence said he could not and would not overturn the election which enraged Trump supporters and brought Trump’s wrath down upon him. The vice president had to be evacuated for safety. There is an armed standoff at the house front door. There was an armed standoff at the door of the house floor. Protestors breached the senate floor. Tear gas was used in the rotunda and house members were given gas masks and sheltering in place. What the fuck is going on? The insanity and inflammatory conspiracy theories that Donald Trump has been spouting for the past years and months has finally broken the United States of America.

READ ALSO: Donald Trump will destroy America

This disgusting display of treason is undermining our democracy. This deplorable behavior is on display for all the world to see, all those law-abiding citizens of us can do is sit at home knowing we are being seen and judged by other countries. These people storming the capital building are making us vulnerable. Trump’s lies and the false hope he gave his supporters that the election could be overturned has incited a coup. This is something we would see in worn-torn countries, not the United States.

Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building

Insurrection in America

There was a Saturday, way back in November, where a lot of us exhaled a collective sigh of relief. Not going to lie, I wanted Kamala Harris and Joe Biden to win the election for so many reasons but I don’t think the least of all reasons was the return to decency, I never realized how scared and sad I’ve been living the past 4 years, not until I found myself sobbing at the election results. It was happiness, elation, relief and a sense of security. I had hope. Then, the other 4 times, Biden was declared the winner of the election, my hope began to slip away.

READ ALSO: United We Resist

I don’t think I’ve had real hope since the 2016 election. I’ve been existing on some plane, surviving through to 2020. But somewhere between the great disappointment of 2016 and November 6th, 2020, I sank into such a long and arduous depression that it became my constant state of being. I began to distrust people, fear Trump supporters and stopped feeling safe to live my truth. It’s hard to feel safe when your world is governed by a maniac who doesn’t follow any of the rules of politics or basic human decency. On top of all of that, not only does he not understand how politics works (nor does he care) he is a sore loser. The leader of the free world, who the entire rest of the world is watching, is behaving worse than a threenager.

Breaking: Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building

This is not even a dig at the man. He started out with no knowledge or experience doing a job that he wasn’t equipped to handle and that quickly catapulted to gross mishandling of America progressing to full-on encouraging insurrection and inciting violence. Nothing felt absolute anymore except for the fact that the country would be divided, he wouldn’t tell us the truth and he’d be sure to take every one of us down with the ship. He’s trying to make good on his promise. He’s our captain and we are the U.S.S. Titantic. This is anarchy in the USA and it is a revolting display of unAmericanism.

READ ALSO: White Privilege Protects Criminals while Being Black gets your murdered

I’ve been waiting for today to arrive and the results of the Georgia runoff election to come in. Just this past weekend, while the rest of the country was on holiday, Mr. Trump was in secret instructing Georgia to “find the votes”. Recently, he strong-armed the vice president to, like a common thug, to “make the right decision”. Mr. President, I get that you don’t understand math or how elections work but Mr. Pence does, though not my candidate choice, he is in fact an educated and experienced politician and I think he’s ready for this job to be over. He has spent the better part of the past year placating a 300 pound tantruming, epitome of little dick energy man child. What’s happening today is Anarchy in the USA; an American Coup. When Anarchists storm Capitol building that is treason.

President Trump directly urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in an unprecedented one-hour phone call Saturday that legal scholars described as a flagrant abuse of power and a potentially criminal act.

READ ALSO: We Need Change in the USA

I’m truly disgusted at the shit show this election has turned out to be. We can’t even celebrate our victory because the president is such an unqualified sore loser that he won’t concede like an adult. In every competition in life, including elections, there is a winner and a loser. The grown-up accepts that to win you risk losing. There is no shame is losing a fight well fought but being a sore loser is the worst and most embarrassing thing you can do.

Anarchy in the USA Not my America.

This is not 1812 and we need to restore order to the people’s house. Donald Trump needs to concede and tell his supporters to stand down and go home. This is a coup attempt and they, along with Donald Trump, are committing treason against the United States and all the American people. This is Trump’s legacy, an America divided.  Shame on Donald Trump. Silently watching, Donald Trump is actively destroying American democracy as the mob he enacted tears down our capitol.  This Trump mob is American terrorists and this is an attack on our democracy. He could have inspired a nation, instead, he incited a siege. We the people, do not accept this. I am heartbroken.

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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.

Speak to The School

Parents have the final say; however, your children’s daycare or 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. 

Study Via E-Learning Technology

Let’s not forget that the children aren’t the only ones studying in the US. 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. If you are having a hard time explaining this to them, you may want to grab a Kids Hygiene Book so that you can show and educate them easily the importance of practicing good hygiene. 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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The Inconvenient Truth about Patrick Crusius, Guns and Racism in America, el Paso, Texas, gun control, mass shootings

I went to church this morning and I prayed for all of us. After the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas by Patrick Crusius that left 20 murdered in cold blood and dozens injured, I was feeling hopeless and then intense anger. A wave of anger that I haven’t felt since Sandyhook. It’s rage. If you’re indifferent to this violence or you’re not enraged enough to be motivated to act, why? Help me to understand your silence. Why are guns and racism still plaguing our nation? This is the inconvenient truth about Patrick Crusius, guns and racism in America.

At mass, I prayed for the families of all the people murdered this week by mass shooters. Yes, there was one every single day this week. Day after day, I got an alert on my phone and every day, I prayed. I prayed for all of you, to keep you safe. But the time for just praying has passed. We need action to protect our children.

READ ALSO: The Children of Sandyhook

As much as I love my country and my God, he can’t do everything. We’ve got to do our part. This keeps happening because we let it. We value our guns over other people’s lives. We have a million excuses why we should keep our guns, rather than change our behavior and save the lives of innocent people. Change is uncomfortable but isn’t the sacrifice worth it? People are hanging on to their guns like they’re their security blankets. They’re not.

For years, I’ve been clear on my stance on guns. I don’t like them. I hate them. They are dangerous because people are dangerous. People cannot be trusted to behave like responsible adults. They can’t be trusted to respect their fellow humans. People may pull the trigger but bullets from guns are what kill people. Those who allow this to keep happening are culpable. End of story.

READ ALSO: The Collateral Damage of Hate

I grew up with guns. Guns are for hunting and protecting, not killing and maiming the people you don’t like. You’re not allowed to grab your gun, take your sick mind full of hatred and anger and shoot at will. That’s not how this is supposed to work.

The right to bear arms was established at a time when we needed people to take up arms to defend our country against the enemy when we had no regulated or established military. The right to bear arms was not put into law to be used as a scapegoat for every low life lacking self-esteem and hating the world. Every prejudiced person with no friends should not be allowed to amass large quantities of ammunition and guns to shoot innocent people. Yes, innocent people.

READ ALSO: Zero Tolerance for Immigrants is Zero Tolerance for Humanity

Because a person is not like you, does not make them a criminal. Shopping at Walmart is not a criminal act. Attending a music festival should not mean gambling with your life. Going to church should not make you a sitting target and dancing and celebrating at a bar, should not mean that you are relinquishing your right to life. Our military fights abroad to keep us safe and free at home, not so crazed gunman can viciously murder us from within.

The real Inconvenient Truth about Patrick Crusius, Guns and Racism in America

I’ve been clear on my stance for years and I’ve prolifically called for us all to stand up for gun control for our children. I know that guns will never be banned but we need stricter control over who can get those guns, how many they can have at a time, how much ammunition they can buy, how those guns can be modified and where, when and why they can be used. There need to be consequences for breaking those mandates and a psychological evaluation made mandatory for every single person who wants to purchase a gun, of any kind, even a hunting rifle.

I’ve never minced my words but today, I am speechless. I am angry. I am disgusted and prayers are simply not enough. Yes, I too believe that through God all things are possible. I believe in the power of prayer but I also, firmly and absolutely, believe that God helps those who help themselves. We need to help ourselves. We need to take responsibility for our children’s safety by standing up for the right things. I don’t think any parent ever, under any circumstances, would choose a gun over their own child’s life under any conditions.

READ ALSO: Dear America

I am disgusted by all of these acts of domestic terrorism. But last night, when I read Patrick Crusius alleged hate-filled, anti-immigration manifesto, my anger hit a new level. It turned to rage. It spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” It detailed a plan to separate America into territories by race. It warned that white people were being replaced by foreigners. Again, maybe this ignorant piece of racist garbage doesn’t know his history but Texas used to belong to Mexico. We were there first.

READ ALSO: What to do when Racism happens to your child

20 people were murdered on a Saturday morning and dozens injured for no other reason than Patrick Crusius was a small-minded, ignorant man, with a hate-filled heart who drove 10 hours to murder Mexicans. And he was able to do it because it’s so easy to get access to guns in the United States. A mother protecting her 2-month old son. Dead. An infant whose parents are left behind to live with the pain of the loss of a child. Dead. 18 more innocent people dead because this monster lives during a time where racism, bigotry and misogyny are not frowned upon but encouraged by our current state of affairs.

Patrick Crusius is only part of the problem. Guns and Racism in America are the disease.

How are we, any of us, but especially people of color supposed to feel safe when the color of our skin, our last names, the religion we follow is enough to make small men not only want to murder us but able to get a gun and do so?

We need good people, those who value all human life, who believe in freedom and equality in our country to stand up against the terrorists within our nation’s borders. Everyone is so focused on keeping the brown people out that you are locking us in with hate-fueled, narrow-minded, homegrown terrorists and giving them guns at will. How are any of us supposed to survive this?

 

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tweens, teens, Teen Girls Rebel when Teen Boys Rated Female Classmates on Looks, Teen Boys Rated Female Classmates on Looks, teen girls rebel, girls fight rape culture, #MeToo, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School

You’ve heard of burn books? We all have. I remember in high school they were called slam books; same difference. Same jerky idea, different decade. Well, a group of high school boys at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Maryland are bringing it back. But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the girls are refusing to stand for it. Teen boys rated female classmates on looks and the teen girls rebel. They will no longer stay quiet. Like teenage superheroes, these girls fight rape culture.

Teen boys rating girls on their looks is a practice as old as time. For as long as men have been objectifying women, girls have been getting rated by their looks in burn books, slam books, bathroom walls and in guy group texts. It’s a national pastime for men and boys. The undiscriminating discriminatory act of objectifying the part of the population born with girl parts. It’s sickening.

This time the list is in an iPhone Notes app. It included the names of 18 girls in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, ranked and rated on the basis of their looks, from 5.5 to 9.4, with decimal points to the hundredth place. There, with a number beside it.

A number rating system for girls like they’re cattle being rated for purchase. A group of male students created the list over a year ago and it’s been recirculated. Spreading like a plague through text messages and whispers during class. One male student saw the name of his friend, Nicky Schmidt, on the list and told her about it. Within 24 hours, most of the senior girls knew about the list. Teen boys rated female classmates on looks and the girls are not having it.

READ ALSO: The Problem with Little Boys

In the past, tween and teen girls would see the list, hang their head in shame and pray no one brought it up again. It’s shameful. It’s one thing to feel ugly ( as we all do in those awkward years) but it’s quite another to have everyone at school to see your national ugly average rating in notes, much less hear it whispered as you walk through the halls. The thing about these sorts of lists is that it shakes even the most confident young women to their core. Even if you’ve always thought you were pretty, these books have a way of crawling into your psyche and taking root; growing, twisting and digging in.

As someone who suffered from eating disorders and was never sure of herself, at least in the looks department, finding myself in a burn book would have made me feel so isolated, unsure and depressed. As a grown woman, it would make me rage because of two things, 1) I know I’m attractive enough 2) I don’t care what anyone else thinks about how I look or think or exist. But this is as a grown woman, it took years to have this confidence.

Yasmin Behbehani, a student at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, found herself ranked on this list after her friend, Nicky Schmidt, let her know about the list, as a heads up. But Behbehani didn’t want to know about this list. She was trying to stay in her lane; just trying to survive high school is hard enough without extracurricular  humiliation. She’d spent her entire high school tenure recovering from eating disorders and trying to avoid this kind of triggering comparison to her classmates but there is was in a text message with a screenshot of the list, typed out in the damn notes app.

These kinds of lists are not new. And they will never not exist. As long as boys are raised to objectify women with no real consequences they will continue to do so. But today is not yesterday, or last year, or the last decade. Today, we live in the world of #MeToo.

We are raising ours girls to not take this kind of treatment. Raising our girls to know there are more important things to be than beautiful and to speak up, no to scream, when we need to be heard. We’re empowering our little girls. We are not afraid of you any longer. You can’t demean us with your stupidity and objectification because we know we are more than our parts.

READ ALSO: Raising Girls to Survive Misogyny, Sexting and Slut Shaming

The girls of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School felt violated, objectified by classmates they thought were their friends. They felt uncomfortable getting up to go to the bathroom, worried that the boys were taking notes and editing their scores.Objectification feels horrible; judged at your very existence.

The things that no one counted on in this “boys will be boys” rape culture that we live in is that  there is power in numbers. Dozens of senior girls spoke to the school administration and to the boys, demanding not only disciplinary action in response to the list but a school-wide discussion about the toxic culture that allowed the list to happen in the first place. This resulted in one male student being given an in-school detention for one day. It wouldn’t even be on his record.

Not happy with the disciplinary action, Schmidt texted 15 friends and told them to tell all of their friends to show up at the school’s office the next day during lunch, “to tell them we feel unsafe in this environment and we are tired of this toxicity,” Schmidt wrote in her text. 40 senior girls showed up, packing into the assistant principal’s office where Schmidt read a statement she had written.

We want to know what the school is doing to ensure our safety and security,” Schmidt said. “We should be able to learn in an environment without the constant presence of objectification and misogyny.”

READ ALSO: The Reality of Being Born a Woman

The girls and administration agreed that to have a meeting with the male students in the program, including the assholes who created and circulated the list. On International Women’s Day, almost all of the students in the IB program — about 80 students — met in a large conference room for what was supposed to be a 45-minute meeting during fifth period. It lasted over 2.5 hours.

The girls shared personal stories and impassioned speeches about how the list made them feel. They shared their stories of sexual abuse, harassment and the lasting effects objectification has had on them. And something miraculous happened, the boys heard them. In fact, the boy who created the list stood up, took responsibility for the list and apologized for the hurt the list caused. I am so proud of the girls for uniting and standing up and demanding that their voices be heard. Silence is the enemy of equality.

The thing this isn’t new and the kid who made the list and the ones who passed it around are not the minority. The girls who spoke up and refused to be treated like this, they are the minority in our culture. We need to make doing the right thing easier and more common. It shouldn’t be this hard for women to be treated like humans. We shouldn’t have to fight for a basic human right like being treated like people and not objects.

What will we do next time we find out teen boys rated female classmates on looks? Where will we be when our teen girls rebel?

To be honest, since the #MeToo movement began, I have shared my own stories. I shared them before but I never realized that men don’t actually understand what it feels like to be a woman and be objectified. They have always been bigger, stronger and more privileged than women. They’ve always lived in a boys will be boys culture and they’ve watched, from the time they were little boys, the world apply different rules for women and girls. Boys assault women in so many ways and all they get is a slap on the wrist, even from women. But no more.

Since the day they were born, we’ve been raising our girls to respect themselves and to value no one’s opinion over their own. I’ve taught them that no means no and if they have to scream that, then do so. We’re raising our girls to be brave and determined. They know that they are as good as any man and in some instances, even better.

This generation of moms is raising an army of feminists ready to do battle for their human respect, equality and dignity. If you can’t get on board with that, that’s your problem. It’s happening. Be ready for it. Don’t stand in their way. This is their future and their worth is more than any ranking a man could ever give them.

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