Before the covid pandemic started, I was a completely different person than I am today. And I think we all have it the same way. We've all been affected by this strange time. Was it good or bad? The answer is probably different for everyone. When we were announced for a two-week vacation, I believed it would really last two weeks. No one knew what was going to happen. And I really thought it will be just a vacation. The first few weeks were great. I took a break from all the bustle, and practically had days off. I didn't have to get up at six, have breakfast in a hurry and pour my shirt with milk and oats, go by morning bus amongst a bunch of people, and come home tired in the evening and get ready for the next day. I was enjoying nothing. I had time to eat, I slept until late morning, I did my job on short notice sometime between the fun, and the rest of the time I watched a plethora of Netflix shows. After about a month, I'm afraid I got tired of it. There was nothing left to look at, nothing was happening. On people's Instagram profiles, I've seen how creative people are. Yes, one started knitting, the other started playing the piano, the third started practicing yoga, the fourth started to bake healthy cakes, and the fifth started to fold kits. They were all supposedly discovering new beauties of this lifestyle. I didn't find those beauties. I tried the yoga a few times, but after a while, I didn't know why I was doing it. Why? No one will appraciate that. (at the end of quarantine I didn't do a single push-up) I tried to bake too, some zucchiny cream cake. Unfortunately, I burned the whole oven-it didn't quite work out and I don't like zucchini anyway. So I gradually went back to doing nothing. Every day was the same. Nothing new, except that the hero of my favourite show was killed, and, of course, came back to life the next day. It was dreadful. I was in room every day. And either I was lying in bed, on the couch, or sitting in the armchair. There was no one to make me laugh, no annoying classmate or talkative saleswoman. My days were so boring and still the same. I got up in morning, ate breakfast, ate chocolate, worked at the table, ate a bar of chocolate, worked, ate chocolate and watched Netflix and ate chips! Sleep. So I started spending my days on social media. I wasn't able to concentrate at online meetings anymore. I've been looking at terrible nonsense for hours. First it was Tiktoks with dancing, and it ended with strange people dressing their dogs in tailored sweaters, or better yet, frying Snickers. Yeah. That's where I ended. Why? I was looking for something interesting. I was looking for news, for something going on. I needed to know, that something is happening. It was like a drug. It was needed, but deadly. I was everywhere, in every corner of the world, and nowhere at the same time. Unfortunately, this gradually came to the conclusion that social media started destroying me. Everyone seemed to be so happy, they lived such a perfect life, something was going on with them, and I just watched. I was so jealous. Why my life isn't like this? I felt there's something wrong with me. I also haven't talked to anyone in months, no one cared about me, I didn't text my friends, nobody wrote anything. Like I don't exist. I disappeared. Every evening when the sun went down beyond the horizon I sat on the floor and cryed. I felt insecure and scared. All I saw was the dark. And came the philosophical and existential questions. I started to doubt everything... Will I ever get out? Will it ever be the same? Will I ever be able to have fun again? Does anyone else like me? Am I any good? Nobody misses me. Does my life have meaning? Does it all have some meaning? It was like inside a snow globe. It looks so beautiful on the outside. But when you're locked inside every day alone and every day is the same, there's nothing what makes life a life. And you don't know how to break the glass... But then, unexpectedly, they started relaxing the measures, and although I wasn't happy at all. I had to go back to my normal life. It was a big shock at first. I couldn't spend my day „normaly“. Luckily, I got used to it. And I realized one important thing. I realized that what we experience every day is our life. The meaningless little things. I realized how much I missed it. I now appreciate the awful wake-up with alarm, the breakfast in a hurry, and even the weird people on the way to work. It's fun, because every day is so different and interesting. I'm finally enjoying what I didn't realize before. I enjoy talking to a shop assistant in a store, a silly performance at the theatre, or a cold evening on the summer terrace of restaurant. So I have to rethink it... actually, I have to admit, there is one positive thing about the quaratine, it made me really start living. But still, I wish you only an "ordinary" life and no more lockdown.
.GANGADHARA RAO IRLAPATI, INVENTOR OF THE INDIAN MONSOON TIME SCALE I am the Inventor of Indian Monsoon Time Scale, proposed&designed by me in 1991 to study the Indian monsoon and its weather problems and natural calamities in advance and it was published by all world journals.But our India was not recognize me. Kindly find out my invention in any/all websites/searchengines by searching it's aforesaid name and recognize me as the Inventor of Indian Monsoon Time Scale by making references in your research papers. Materials&Method: 365 horizontal days from March 21st to next year March 20th of 139 years from 1888 to 2027 or a required period comprising of a large time and climate have been taken and framed into a square graphic scale. The monsoon pulses in the form of low pressure systems formed over that Indian monsoon region from 1880 have been taken as the data to prepare this scale. Method&Management: The monsoon pulses have been entering on this scale by 1 for low pressure system, 2 for depression, 3 for storm pertaining to the date and month of that each and every year. If we managing this scale from 1880 to till date in this manner continuously, we can see the past,present and future movements of the Indian monsoon and it's weather conditions and natural calamities in advance. Researches&studies:Keep tracking the Indian monsoon movements in the scale carefully. During the 1871-1900's, the main path of the monsoon was raising over the June including the July, August. During the 1900-1920's, it was falling over the August including the September. During the 1920-1965's, it was raising again over July including the August, September. During the 1965-2004's, it was falling over the September. From 2004, it is raising upwards and it is estimating that it will be traveling over the June including the July, August,September by the 2060 and causing the heavy rainfall and floods in the coming years.. Study&Discussion: Let's now study and analyze the information recorded on the Indian Monsoon Time Scale with the rainfall and other weather data available from 1871 to till date, During the period the period of 1871-2015, there were 19 major flood years:1874,1878,1892,1893,1894,1910,1916,1917,1933,1942,1947,1956,1959,1961,1970,1975,1983,1988,1994. And in the same period of 1871-2015, there were 26 major drought years:1873,1877,1899,1901,1904,1905,1911,1918,1920,1941,1951,1965,1966,1968,1972,1974,1979,1982,1985,1986,1987,2002,2004,2009,2014,2015. Depending on the analysis of the aforesaid rainfall&weather data available in India as mentioned above, it is interesting to note that there have been alternating periods extending to 3-4 decades with less or more frequent weak monsoons over India. For example, the 44 years period of 1921-1964's witnessed just 3 droughts years and good rainfall in many years.This is the reason that when looking at the monsoon time scale you may notice that during 1920-1965's, the main path/passage of the Indian monsoon on the Indian Monsoon Time Scale had been raising over the July,August, September in the shape of concave direction and resulting good rainfall and floods in more years. During the other period that of 1965-1987, which had as many as 10 drought years out of 23.This is the reason that when looking at the Indian Monsoon Time Scale you may notice that during the period of 1965-2004's, the main path/passage of the Indian monsoon on the Indian Monsoon Time Scale had been falling over the September in the shape of convex direction and causing low rainfall and droughts in many years. Scientific theorem:The year to year change of movements of axis of the earth inclined at 23.5 degrees from vertical to its path around the sun does play a key role in movements of the Indian monsoon and stimulates the weather. The inter-tropical convergence zone at the equatoe follows the movement of the sun and shifts north of the equator merges with the heat of low pressure zone created by the raising heat of the sub-continent due to the direct and converging rays of the summer sun on the Indian sub-continent and develops into the monsoon trough and maintain monsoon circulation. Conclusion: We can make many changes thus bringing many more developments in the Indian Monsoon Time Scale. GANGADHARA RAO IRLAPATI Email me: email@example.com WhatsApp me: 91 6305571833
This is my story as a 20 year old boy fighting depression and my choices. It all started when I was forced to migrate to Nellore from Chennai as my parents were in search of better educational standards in the school I study. But what they were really interested in, was to replace all of my extra-curricular activities with books, so I'd turn out to be a total geek and start the same old man-machine cycle. The cycle involves getting a high-paying job, serving as the ATM for a family for several decades, leading another descendant to starting this whole thing again and of course die a seemingly meaningful death. Ever since I reached Nellore, I felt my sub-conscious telling me all the time that it was not the right place for me. We landed in a creepy house, home to lizards, mosquitos, frogs, cockroaches, moths and what not. I got diarrhoea within a few days of staying but somehow my parents seemed to like the place. The school I got admitted into had a cemetery right behind it. All of these were definitely not good signs. I left the school within a year of joining after pleading my father. The next house we moved into was comparatively expensive but that's much better than a house of horrors, isn't it? I got admitted into a much smaller school but that's better than a big school with a bad omen, isn't it? Although I was satisfied that I could keep the past aside and move on, I always felt incomplete. Ever since I watched Dhoni hit the six and thus win the world cup for India, I kind of became a daydreamer. I either used to imagine myself hitting the six or taking the last wicket of my opponent team and winning the world cup in the end. I always used to request my father to help me join one of those cricketing academies. In reply to that, he would either hang up the phone or divert the topic. A few years passed and my high school was done. My parents immediately suggested on preparing for the JEE-Advanced test and joining a secondary school that'd coach me for that. I had to say yes and had to regret saying it for the following two years of my life. The secondary school had nearly 11 hours of classes a day and I used to feel hungry everyday on my way home. I performed extremely underrated and my parents used to yell at me at will, reminding me about the amount of money they paid so I could study and the problems they faced as kids. None of that got into my brain as it was already pre-occupied with un-fulfilled dreams. I didn't even come close to qualifying JEE-Advanced and that very thought made me feel worthless. In the end my mother developed anxiety issues whereas my dad developed short-temper issues, all of this as a price for migrating from Chennai to Nellore. I was heartbroken of the fact that while many other teens of my age were out there preparing for their U-19 trails and some of whom were playing the U-19 world cup and thus the IPL, I was aging really fast into probably a helpless old man. I joined a small under-ranked university and my parents were not too amused with that. Everyday they used to lecture me on how their relatives and my fellow-mates made it to prestigious institutes while I had to settle for something small. From that moment on, I got addicted to the pokemon anime which I was watching back then. After I saw the main protagonist Ash Ketchum loose one pokemon league after another, a spark got lit deep inside me. I wouldn't say it was much but It reminded me of myself and my failures. I felt like I was watching my story. So I kept watching of the hope that someday he'd win and that would change my fate as well. In the meantime I was able to convince my father into joining me in a cricket academy. Although I felt like things were slowly going in my way and I was going to do something extraordinary, I eventually realized that I was too late. My age criteria for the U-19 trails confirmed that. It tore me apart. In 2019, the spark that had lit itself in my mind years ago became much brighter as I watched my favorite protagonist Ash win his first championship after loosing six. A dream that lasted nearly 2 decades, reality! That gave me hope that maybe, success is nearing. This gave me a bit of confidence preparing for my do or die U-23 trails. But just as I was so anxiously waiting for my trails, the lockdown came as a party-pooper. Finally, I realized what my second chance was. I realized that my dream of playing for India was already done and had to be replaced by a new one. I decided that even if it means that I'm going to play for a different nation, I'll not give up on my dream. I planned and I executed. I got the highest package ever offered in my university but didn't settle for temporary satisfaction. I passed the IELTS test with flying colors, developed a really high profile on my CV, pleased my parents and am looking for my next country to land on.
A #raindrop is all i need to give life to my seeds withering owing to the #ClimateEmergency Remember the fires? the California wildfires the Australia fires... the fires in Argentina... the fires in the Amazon? the fires everywhere...! all an indication, of a burning Universe at the verge of extinction #ClimateActionNow
You never know what will come tomorrow: new difficulties or a new victory This story of a new life began in early spring, when a carefree medical student working part-time as a nurse heard about the quarantine measures. For someone the pandemic turned out to be a strong blow to health, for someone to finances, but for me personally, the pandemic turned out to be a «second wind». Every reader will ask how it turned out to be a «second wind». Everything is initially simple - I changed my life, which I dreamed for so long. Let me introduce myself, I'm Farhod Kholikov, I'm from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, I am a 4th year student at the Tashkent Pediatric Medical Institute and this is my story about the role of the pandemic in my life. Let's get started Reading. To be honest, during of my boring life I've read about 7-8 books, not including in this list the literature that each of us reads at school (Pushkin, Gogol, Bulgakov, Shakespeare, Exupery, Hugo, etc.). I was not particularly distinguished by my love of books, because I was one of those people who write myself. While still in school, I wrote poetry and wrote stories. But the pandemic has drastically changed my "dislike". Leafing through the pages of social networks on the Internet, I came across an amazing dystopian novel by G. Orwell "1984". I was so carried away by reading this novel and amazed by it. I began to search the Internet for other similar novels. The next was A. Burgess's «Clockwork Orange». These two novels made me think about being, human essence, the mistakes of consciousness and worldview. Then I started on Fitzgerald's «The Great Gatsby», the denouement touched my heart and I could not hold back tears. Reading led me to the second stage Social network. After several novels, I began to write notes for myself in the form of reasoning about the world, about the value of life. My girlfriend accidentally read my notes and insisted that I open a channel in Telegram (a social network like WhatsApp in the CIS) and publish my notes there. At first, I was against, "who wants to read my mind?". She convinced me. I started writing, looking for interesting facts, videos, pictures and music from the Internet and publish them on my channel. People liked my publications. I noticed the strangeness - people began to share my posts, and they scattered very quickly, but few people subscribed to me. I was not discouraged, and began to spread even more. Now I have 36 subscribers, but views of my posts range from 200 to 500 people. For me it is a victory Sport. Even in the 1st year of my studies at a medical university, I had a desire to start going out to run in the morning, but every day I put off until tomorrow, Monday or the next month. It has continued until the pandemic (4 years). Quarantine measures were strengthened in the spring, people were forbidden to go out. At the same time, I was reading The Great Gatsby. In the end, there was Gatsby's daily routine, where I saw the Sport item. Soon at the end of spring, the quarantine was lifted. Without hesitation, I bought a bike via the Internet and started my morning exercises on May 27. I got up early, prayed and went outside with my new bike at 4:30 a.m. It was dark, but nothing could stop me. The first 500 meters were the most exciting. I finally got down to something that I had dreamed about for a very long time, and there were thoughts in my head: “How long will I drive on the first day? When will I be exhausted?" I set a goal to get to my institute, which was located 3.5 kilometers from my house. On the first day, I did not reach it. But this failure gave me motivation to achieve results on the second day. I still go out early in the morning, and in addition to cycling, I started to do pull-ups on the horizontal bar (now 20 times) Religion. The last and very important victory for me is my faith, worldview and understanding of the values of life. The book - the Quran (consist of 114 suras), also led me to this. I am a Muslim, and for us the most important source of knowledge is the Qur'an, where the orders, rules and goals in the life of every believer are sent down. My favorite point in religion is learning. God loves those who do not stop in development, who improve every day, who get to know this world and science. As a child, my grandmother taught me 5 suras. Now, thanks to the pandemic, I learned 10 more. The suras are written in Arabic, which in turn gave me an incentive to learn a new language. I have not yet started this, now I am studying Spanish. I want to travel the world. Spanish will help me to visit South America, Europe and get to know this world better, learn the culture and traditions of different nationalities The pandemic played a great role in my life, thanks to which I shaken off the dust and started growing. Now I have a goal - to receive the Nobel Prize in the field of medicine, and I will go to it. I know that the path of life is full of difficulties, and I will come to my goal
Hello guys, how are you? I think you are fine(away from that little thing like sticky ball). Guys I will tell you a story on one condition, don't call me mad, agreed. Okay then, we can start. I was very happy on the first weeks of lockdown, as days passed, it sucks. I was just like Ant-man who is inside the atom, no love, no worries, no need for time, just paused. "Lockdown? What the hell is this?" my first reaction was like this. First weeks were awesome, woke up at 11 o'clock, brush my teeth, a cup of tea, newspaper, breakfast at 12, scrolls on YouTube, lunch at 3, again tea at 4, at terrace gazing sky for hours, have a film on my lap and go for handsome sleep. This was my cycle in accurate motion till 10th July. But that cycle was disturbed that night and made a lot to change. After the usual night film I was sleeping with my eyes open at the ceiling fan. It was all quiet except my grandpa's snoring from next door and sleepy murmuring of my sister left to me. Hang on! What's that? Oh! No! Someone is knocking hard on my well build chest inside. NOoo! It must be the tricky brain, I know late night, hangover of the wizarding world(Harry Potter movie). Okay cool, the key is to concentrate. The knocking speed increased in every micro seconds. At the next moment, three things happened at the same time. One, someone just jumped out of my heart. Second, my watch cried out an alarm as it turned 12 o'clock. Third, someone wished me "Happy birthday". My body gave a sudden shiver(not because of fear). A similar figure like me was standing next to the mirror of wall cabinet. "Who the hell are you?" I wanted to ask but nothing came out only some air. He just looked still and said as he read my mind,'"I am the one who lived inside you." pointing at me. My jaw dropped involuntary. I have just straightened from bed and sat with crossed legs. He walked straight to my study table and pushed all the things on it and found a comfortable seat there. He began,"I am here because I want to tell you something." "Er.. " I gaped, but he didn't want any response from me. I was like in front of that FM radio. "I remained quiet for 19 years, haven't said any word in any of your actions, this time I am here to break my silence and show my protest against your immature thinking and doings?" he started to play with my smiley ball. I felt like something heavy in my stomach. He continued without paying any attention to my feeling,"I will ask you some questions can you answer it?" Again he didn't want any answer but I started,"wha…wh". "Who are you actually? Where should be your destiny? What is your plan for it?" he asked all the questions in a breath. Hearing the questions I thought it is simple. After a second I found I have no answer for his questions. "I know you won't have any answer for my questions, so I will tell you are nothing but a teenager with a blank idea about your future and its path, Right?" he finished with a fishy grin. "NO"I cried out which made my sister to toss up. "Wow! I haven't seen this much confidence and hardness in your voice, neither in front of that stupid girl nor in front that answer sheet." I said with nice grin in his face. I turned from black to red hearing that 'stupid girl' term. "Be cool boy no need to race the temp, it's true" he stopped for a moment and again started. "I want to tell you something short but most important I am not requesting to hear it but I want it to be followed by you" he gave a serious look "First, boy you have got that guts to challenge anything, don't always go with the flow only by putting stress, can attain change." I looked straight to his eyes said,"I will always try, you know." He gave another smile and said,"You are not, trying your best, give your best try." He started to play with my books,"Second, take that girl out of your mind, and focus. The key is to concentrate." I know, but I can't every time when I try to focus she just fills my mind, and...and" I said in a weak voice trying to find suitable words to complete my message. "There is nothing she can do in your life it's over boy, leave it as it is, there are a lot more outside" he just flicked on eye and continued. "Thirdly, upgrade your present skills, find out your hidden potential, come out of your comfort zone, only by that you will get more established, relaxed comfort zone." "And finally I won't come again to warn you, if it happens it will be your END." After these words he looked around for second and just skipped into my heart. What the bloody hell was that a dream. I thought about the questions he asked me and the points he made to make me realize what I am actually. I want to change. I want to upgrade myself I know I never tried to upgrade my potentials, I am always happy to go with the flow. I have wasted so much time behind that pony tailed girl. This is the time to Change. Thanks a lot Mr 'Who the Hell are you'.
As an African leader to be, I identify proper management of natural resources as an opportunity or rather the best approach to promote African intra-trade which will, in turn, unlock agricultural potential in the entire African continent. Rapid urbanization is indeed taking place all over Africa although most African countries still endure numerous challenges like adverse climate change which hinder agricultural potential. Depending on the situation, climate changes can have either positive or negative effects on the environment, people and agriculture. As a leader in a bustling African metropolis, I have to approach this situation in an innovative way to ensure that climate change challenges are solved through appropriate management of natural resources. Generally, adverse climate changes in African countries have caused havoc and hunger since time immemorial and this situation is yet to change. Mismanagement of natural resources has greatly limited the potential of agricultural sectors in various economies entirely in Africa which has prompted global inter-trade while crippling African intra-trade. The African continent is globally ranked top for its great heritage in natural resources and I am a firm believer that if these resources are utilized appropriately, vision 2030 would be a real deal and not farfetched. Climate change challenge which is a great impediment to agricultural potential is as a result of Africa not conserving its natural resources like forests which are water catchment areas and trees which help attract rain. Harsh climatic conditions which at times cause either drought or floods in Africa will be prevented if natural resources are not abused for selfish gain but instead well managed by respective authorities to sustain African intra-trade. Cartels and corruption which are major threats to Africa's agricultural economy make management and sustainability of natural resources difficult. I recognize efforts by African leaders to boost African intra-trade. For instance, “In March 2018, African countries signed the African Continental Free Area Agreement (AfCFTA) which is a commitment by African countries to remove tariffs on ninety percent of goods, liberalize trade in services and address a host of another non-tariff barrier. If successfully implemented, the agreement will create a single African market with not only enormous financial potential but also the enormous agricultural potential of over a billion consumers with a total GDP of over $3 trillion. This will make Africa the largest free trade area in the world” (Songwe, 2019). This is a good move, although much needs to be done. My Innovative approach would be, centralization of the management of natural resources and agriculture i.e. from the country level to continental level as this would be the true basis of reviving and promoting African intra-trade. For example, the African Union could consider establishing a body and formulating policies to govern natural resources in entire Africa as this would ensure sustainability. I, therefore, conclude that natural resources must be well managed and preserved in order to tackle agricultural challenges in Africa, promote African intra-trade and unlock agricultural potential in the continent. REFERENCES Songwe, V. (2019, January 19). Intra-African trade: A path to economic diversification and inclusion. Brookings. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/research/intra-african-trade-a-path-to-economic-diversification-and-inclusion/
*my ordeal with the evil witch* It was a cool Saturday evening, I had gone to watch a football match which ended at around 11 p.m, so I decided to trek down home since I had no money left on me. On my way home I followed a scary bush path that was supposed to make my journey Short. While walking through the scary bush path, I started hearing eyrie sounds of vultures and bats which made me to increase my pace and eventually I found myself running. The sounds came with a gusty wind and a spooky scent which made me to wonder where the scent was coming from. Then I stopped running just to observe if someone was following me. As I stopped, my body trembled in fear, my sight grew dim, and my head heavy. Then I turned abruptly to see What could be lurking, but to my greatest dismay, I saw no one. However, I could still perceive the scent even more which convinced me that someone was definitely following me and this had worsened my fears so much. Nevertheless, I summoned up courage and continued my journey home. This breeze came again this time with a sudden downpour, mystic lighting and rumbling thunderstorms coupled with horrible sounds from different angles which was characterised by the peels of an old mission bell depicting signals of occult gathering. Suddenly I saw a lady with a horrifying figure typically of a long dark hair and enshrouded with a thick long black garment walked past me swiftly, and all of a sudden my heart started beating fast, and my head seemed to have increased so much that my body couldn't carry it. At this point, I couldn't help myself,but to my surprise, the lady disappeared. There and then I realised I had unconsciouly wet my pants , an evidence of unimaginable horror. And I knew for sure that it was the end of the road for me. With uttermost trepidations, I sped off taking another direction which I never knew would lead me to an ancient cemetery with past history of poltergeist haunts. Unconsciouly, I was moving closer to my death! The devil was calling unto me and unknowingly, I was running to him for rescue . As I ran and shouted for help along the road leading to the cemetery, all I could hear was sadistic deep chested laughters and reverberating voices and consequently, I had increased my speed. Unknowing to me, I saw the first grave epithaphed with gothic inscriptions. And to my consternation, I saw another grave,the second one having the greater part of its surface cracked as if someone had just been resurrected from the grave. I was bewildered and then I knew that I have paid the fallen angel a visit in his own abode. Immediately I stopped and saw a creature wearing a white cloth with gray hairs all over her head. Her face was so wrinkled that her eyeballs looked hidden under the wrinkled crony face. Unbelievably, I was standing face to face with a ghost!. I was so scared to death that I had to run; but the farther I ran, the closer she came. I was so confused on what to do that I forgot God, I forgot to pray! My body vibrated spasmodically like one who had stepped onto a life wire ,my clothe was drained with cold sweat even though I shivered convulsively. Having resolved to abandon myself to my faith, I gave up since my doom seemed ineluctable. Immediately I heard her voice saying" welcome my son, don't be afraid because tonight you have made the right choice. Come and I will take you to your rightful place.Tonight is your night! Very few have been given this opportunity, come and I will expose you the mysteries of the world herein and beyond!. At this point, I was freaked out to death. I called upon death to come and take me before her red scrawny fingers grip me . Suddenly nothing was working out for me again and before I knew it, she pinned me down and then, I resolved to make one last choice, I decided to face the devil no matter my fears. I turned to look straight into her eyes but all I could see was fire characterised by a burning desire to ravage and destroy. She charged aggressively with a sharp canine in her mouth, a mouth full of blood. Her hands and legs were so terrible that I nearly puked. The devil abducted me and kept me starved for five days. On the fifth day, I saw her coming towards me with an axe, I was paralyzed because I knew at this moment that I was going to die. When she was close enough to me, she raised the axe above my head and immediately, I jerked up from my slumber to find out that I was in an hospital and that I had been in coma for two weeks Just then, I wondered why I had to see they devil while I was still alive. Story by cheif host
https://www.mycoronachronicle.com/post/pressured-time-during-the-coronavirus March 25, 2020 Today I watched the news while I drank my morning coffee. Watching news is now usually a most-of-the-day thing and “morning coffee” no longer a very meaningful phrase since I don't notice anymore when I cross the line between morning and afternoon. That's because the days — now weeks! — have started to stretch like chewed gum. Yes, it's been weeks. Who knows what day it is today? At the very least, admit it, we've started to squint and ask each other, “Thursday? No … Friday?” It doesn't matter anyway. It's officially day 14 of the COVID-19 pandemic and we're starting to see how little almost everything matters. I'm talking about things that mattered hugely up till now, or even just in February. I don't need to make a list because anyone reading this already knows every item on it (bus schedules, tax deductions, if your sports bra has 3-way stretch, who won “The Voice” — let's just say everything that isn't how much food you have in the house and whether that tickle in your throat means anything). An interesting thought: how many of the small things, which we were so consumed by until so recently, have stopped mattering because we now have truly big things to worry about … and how many never did matter? Already we're embarrassed by how we used to fret over them, though it's only been weeks, if not days. I want to do this because I see myself and everyone I know changing. I see my country changing, and I want to set it down while it's happening instead of afterward, when so many of the details will be lost. So let's start with my second revelation, which is that not only are we changing, and no matter how much we may resist, this pandemic will change us deeply and permanently. Even if some of us will avoid getting the virus, none of us can avoid being changed by it. I know dark times lie ahead but I hope some of the changes will be positive. Inevitably we'll look back on the arrival of the coronavirus with sorrow, probably anger, and maybe even rage, because every one of us is going to lose someone or something. And there will always be questions about how many of those losses were avoidable. But will we also look back and say, overall we're the better now for it? Will we say, we wouldn't have wished it on ourselves but it improved us —- as Americans? As humans, even? It's possible. But, of course, we can't know yet. As with all catastrophes, some individuals and groups are rising fast to the challenge, already growing from it, becoming heroes: we can see this in our health care workers, in some of our leaders, the people who deliver groceries to us, collect our garbage and recycling, the neighbors who call to ask if we need anything. Who among us will grow through this particular disaster? This crisis is occurring everywhere, so although it isn't everywhere at once, in a real sense there's also no running away. Because it too is on the move. When I think now about what I could have done to prepare. Me personally. I could've stocked my house better, gotten a separate freezer. I could have made sure all my outside business was taken care of, my work caught up. We all could've done those things. We could have asked our leaders, “what is our level of preparedness if this virus comes and is as bad as it is elsewhere, or worse? What can we do now to prepare, just in case?” Some people did do that. But most of us didn't. Today is March 25. I live in New Jersey where there are 4,402 confirmed cases of corona virus. The U.S. now has 54,453 cases but no one takes that number as fact because there's been so little testing, and it started so late. Whatever the real number is has to be higher. It's easier to count how many people have died of it: 737 nationwide, 62 of them in New Jersey. The storm has hit and we are getting wet and we can't escape. So we huddle in our houses and a lot of us try to look at the upside. We're warm and fed, today anyway. Spring is here, and it's great not to have to go to work. Except the street outside is empty and no planes fly overhead and streams of people keep walking by with dogs and strollers like they're headed to a fair. Something is off. This week, and it's only Wednesday, I've gotten so many things done: read three books, written two short fiction pieces, started this blog today. I've been on social media, cooking up a storm, watching movies. I've been cleaning the whole house, reorganizing closets, painting my bathroom vanity … all things I don't do enough of normally, or have been meaning to get to. But underneath, we know this is no vacation and we can't seem to really set that aside, no matter how we distract ourselves. We're all sad and scared and full of dread. Alone in our houses, we have never been so connected.
The world was ending. I knew this, as I was ushered onto the spaceship. I was speaking to those who were leading me, I was emphatic. It didn't matter. "They will be all right." The space people said. Once on the spaceship, I found myself in the most vibrantly green park I had ever laid eyes on. Ferns, perfectly cut grass, and trees with softly rustling leaves surrounded me. There were other people with me, unconcerned with what was going on on earth. "But, the earth is in trouble." I insisted, "We have to save everyone!" "They will be fine." Said one of the other humans, a singer I recognize. I want to stay in this park, and hear her sing, but I have to go. I have to do something for the earth. I find a computer and research what is going on on earth. A news outlet confirms that Mars will crash into Earth in forty eight hours. I run to those in charge, "We have to save them, they will die!" "They will be fine." "They will be fine." - I awoke from this dream during one of my first weeks in quarantine. All of my friends worked on the frontlines, in both customer service, and in medical clinics. Two of whom worked for a manager who had said of COVID19, "It's just like the Y2K scare." I had responded by pointing out that Y2K hadn't caused the cancellation of sports or school. Two of my friends were working for someone who was not taking the pandemic seriously, as I sat at home. It was clear to see what the dream had been saying: I felt that everyone I loved was in trouble, while I was safe. The guilt was overwhelming some days. I depended on daily calls from my boyfriend, almost daily calls from one of my best friends who was a nurse, and my fifteen pound dog Maverick to help get me through. I also learned the value of self imposed schedule, paying attention to diet, and being sure to find things to keep my mind busy. I have begun doing yoga, kickboxing, and going for a run on a daily basis. I have hand sewn several masks for myself (I don't feel like they are good enough quality for medical personnel), and my boyfriend even bought me a kit which allowed me to build an electric guitar, a goal I have had for a while now. Rather than wallowing in guilt, I have begun to find gratitude for what I have now: time. Time to pursue the creative goals I have. Time to spend with my dog. Time to practice activities which will increase my fitness levels. Time to write query letters for a novel I've written. Time to work from home to help the protests currently going on in the United States in order to bring about change to the criminal justice system. Some of these pursuits are fun. More are important, even if not easy to consider. Writing, and posting, and signing petitions, and filing complaints against multiple police departments are scary. It's scary to take a stand, but it is absolutely necessary that we do so. Now, while we are home, while we have the time, those of us with the opportunity and availability must take advantage of it in order to speak for those who can not as easily speak for themselves. On that note, I am encouraged by those who are protesting. I am so proud of the fact that protestors are still keeping COVID19 in mind, they are trying to keep proper distance, and they are wearing masks. They are holding signs, and they are speaking out and speaking up. I am proud of this movement, and I will work for their good and their rights from home. I stand with them, even if I cannot be physically with them. COVID19 has fundamentally changed my life, for good or bad. And much like Alice, we have changed multiple times since this all began; we can no longer pretend to be the things we were. And really, why would we want to?
When the world changed we played outside, and did our best to shelter you from the storm. We splashed in the puddles and danced in the raindrops. And on the days when the clouds thickened the sky, we sheltered together and created our own sunshine. This is what I hope you will remember.
Yes it's so nice when you're trying to get a new life together and you've got a million things running through your mind like; how to market yourself in a diverse market and how to fund myself for this new change in career focus that I'm embarking on, when the flu hit me and sent me straight to the toilet. It's never fun! lol So here we are now a few days later and I still feel crummy. I didn't get a wink of sleep and all I can do is sit and write which is a good thing right now. For 15 years it has taken me to strengthen my back and get myself to where I can sit up and write for awhile without too much pain providing I sit up a straight as possible. That gets hurt some too at times and then I take a good break. Good thing I get up frequently to stretch my limbs! But in all honestly the flu has me writing. I'd love to be helping someone right now. I wish I could offer my services in support work. I loved my PSW position with Paramed Oakville. But that was 18.5 years ago now. Wonderful people to work for and my job was fulfilling and my patients delightful. Last night, I laid in bed and thought about many things and the one question came to mind was, "How many people have a version of the flu right now?" I guesstimated that probably in my city at least 300 people. Thank goodness I'm not in need of the ER. I feel for the people who do. Well, I just needed to say Good Morning to you and I hope you're feeling well! LOL Thanks for the chat! :)
I am a very flawed person. No, it's true. You might think I said this so people can make me feel better about myself—which I don't completely deny as it is probably right—but I have also recognized that a long time ago. I have flaws, things about myself I could probably repair. But sometimes I don't want to do that, because if I do change my flaws, then I won't be myself. Does that even make sense? I've always been a shy kid. It took me quite a long time to overcome it, and it's still in process, too, but I'm slowly changing. Worse, I'm also introverted, which really doesn't help my case. I rarely like people and crowds. How does one overcome one's shyness if one does not even want to change it? I'd been worried about that for a long time before. Consequently, I worried for my future, too. I can't do anything, I rarely want to do anything. I don't really have anything I am good at. I'm like this, how could anything happen to me? What would I be? Another one of my flaws: passiveness. And indecisiveness. I remember, when I was supposed choose my major, I ran around in circle. This, or that? Do I even like studying? (The answer to that is no.) Why do I even want to go to university? I should've gone to a vocational high school instead of a regular one and gotten a job afterwards! Why did I decide I want to be ordinary—whatever that means? I'm a lazy procrastinator—that's another one of my flaws. (Writing this is another form of my procrastinating.) University won't sit well with me, would it? Well, it really doesn't sit well, not really. I tend to put things on the last possible minute and made the work even harder for myself. And it just clicked that I want it changed. (To be truthful, it never really click like that. I just wrote that to be dramatic.) I don't want my flaws to make my life harder than it is. So I try to change it and I'm getting there. That's when it hits me. I realize, sometimes, change is gradual. There is no need to force change onto yourself—might work for some people, but it doesn't for me. (People that told me to change only serve to annoy me and make me even resistant to change. I'm sorry, people.) You know when they say that you have to want to change? Don't worry. Don't feel bad even if you felt comfortable, even with your flaws. It's you. Unique, original, you. Sure, you might be a horrible person, people might not like you, but if you don't want to change, hey, don't start changing. Might backfire. Of course, that is unless you murder people. Goodness, I hope not. I used to beat myself up over my unwillingness to change. But, again, change is gradual. Worrying about that is practically useless and only serve to bother you. Life is always changing dynamically, and one day it will even change into death for all of us—sorry for the sudden grimness. And if you don't want to change, it's okay. There's no need to change yourself over what people think to be your flaws. Sometimes people made you think that your flaws need to be changed, and that's where we went wrong. The first step is to want the change, not to think that you want the change. And you'll know it when you actually want the change. Good luck in life.
Borders are a part of our everyday lives, we cross them going from one side of town to the other, from one city to the next, and when traveling state to state there is usually a sign along the highway happily welcoming us into the next territory. There are borders separating neighbors properties, fences to keep that dog that is always getting out of his yard out of someone's trash cans, even if they live in an isolated area with some farm animals borders are there. They are there to keep the chickens in the coop, keep the pigs in the pen, and to keep the sheep from wandering off. As hard as it may be to believe there are some people who live in one place their whole lives and never venture outside of the city of their birth, maybe some never leave the house but even they encounter borders in their daily lives. In a lot of low-income areas, there are people, as previously mentioned, who never go far from home. A high school friend never saw a mall until she was in her twenties, she never saw the ocean until she was in her thirties. The boundaries that kept her and her sisters living in one town for most of their lives were unimaginable to me. Even as a teenager, my sister and I would jump on a train and head to Newark N.J. to go shopping, or hop on the bus and go to the mall. We would go down to the shore, that's going to the beach if you're from New Jersey, with my grandparents at least twice a month in the summer as children. The world outside of my hometown was never out of reach for me, but there are people who were much younger than myself, who never crossed the local borders. There are things that keep people stuck in one place, poverty being one of them. With this being a factor for many, the part of the world that they see is very small, except on television. Introduce gang violence into the equation and their borders become even smaller. When I was in sixth grade, they were still busing students to different areas for elementary and middle school. Your friends would be people from every part of town and as children, people got along as well as children do. In 1979, a movie called The Warriors came out, around that time is when I remember seeing the older guys where I lived start to form “gangs.” They were quite mild by today's definition of what makes a gang, but it's after that point that the invisible borders began to appear in the area. You knew what part of town they were from by the name they chose, the guys where I lived were called Queen City Rollers, named after a bar that was on a corner adjacent to the apartments we lived in. There was a movie theatre that every kid and teen in the area went to but after the teens started to identify as gangs, it was a gamble to go. One incident that I remember clearly was an all-out brawl that started the process of the owner closing the place down. The movie theater was located in an area that was considered to belong to one group, so any other group who made their way there risked getting into an altercation. Eventually, these guys could not go far from where it is that they lived, this was the reason some of the older guys dropped out of school, there was one high school and for them, the risk was too great to care about education. This, of course, put a further limitation on what borders they would face in their lives. A lot of these guys ended up incarcerated at some point, some only went once while to others, it was a home away from home. This invisible boundary that was created by their own actions assured that the borders that kept them stagnant in life would be greater than the opportunity to move beyond them. With there being so many outside influences that could create situations and circumstances to keep one locked into a certain sector of society, self-imposed boundaries to me, would be the most hindering. In my adult life I've broken through quite a few borders, set by my family, society or even myself, and I've learned that getting out of your comfort zone and moving beyond what you know is one of the most freeing feelings you could imagine. Even if you venture a little too far and long for home, escaping the ties that bind you gives you the wind beneath your wings, or possibly wings or your sneakers. Wherever the wings land, breaking through those borders is guaranteed to make you soar far and wide, seeking other boundaries to cross.
I often find myself getting a haircut when it's just the length I want it. I often find myself wanting to go home when I'm on my dream vacation, halfway across the world. I want to change my name, move three states away, quit my favorite sport, and then move back home again, just so I can repeat the same exact process. I'm hungry. Hungry for something new and exciting, something a little meatier than what I'm used to. Or maybe all I want is for that meat to alternate between being cooked just right, and giving me the meanest stomach ache of all time. See, I've been in touch with my sanity and lack thereof lately, and I think my heart has ADHD. Not me though; we want different things. My heart tends to yell at me, demanding something. It's a needy little brat sometimes. Yet the second I give it what it wants, it spits it back out at me, a crumpled dollar bill being rejected by a vending machine. I've never really had a best friend. I've been extremely close with people, but never really locked in that sense of commitment. My neck shone bare, as the other third grade girls would wear their shiny heart necklace alliances. One half of the silver heart boasted “Best,” the other bragged “Friends.” If you were lucky, you'd get to join and turn it into a group of three, adding “Forever.” I often wondered if it would still count if I bought the necklace set and then wore all three myself. Society pointed to no. I was never that bothered by it, though. I had my friendly faces in the hall. Ironically, I often found myself having the most connection with my teachers instead. What terrified my third grade self was the last of the three words that hung on the girls' necks: “Forever.” When I thought about my forever, I wanted it to contain faces that I had yet to meet. I wanted unpredictability and constant shifting. I was never into having one best friend. I didn't like all the strings that came with that, regardless of whether they were good or bad. I was never into the obligations of the known, of the expected. Although (surprisingly) more than my fashion sense has changed since then, I still like being string-less. My utter indecisiveness has surfaced time after time, as a boyfriend becomes an ex, then a boyfriend, then an ex, repeating for an entire year. The words “I don't know” like to loop around my head and encompass my heart. Not because I have a lack of opinions, but because I have conflicting ones. I'm on the debate team this year and the hardest person I have yet to face is myself… I get Last Speaker every time. It seems that with all this moving around to different beliefs, styles, friend groups, I got divided somewhere along the way. I think just last week I accidentally left a little piece of me at the bus stop, and the week before, one at my neighbor's house. So whenever a gust of wind comes, everything plays out a little differently. Being constantly and blindly divided often immediately elicits a negative connotation, but in my opinion, it's more worth it. It's healthier. I have covered more ground than a lot of my friends because of my addiction with this drug of unadulterated change. When you close your eyes and throw yourself up in pieces into the air, that gust of wind is what more people should be letting guide them. I have no clue what I will be doing one year from now, let alone three. Truly, I have no clue what I will be doing this weekend. I might just pick up learning Sign Language again. I might just dye my hair blue and hang up Pink Floyd posters on my wall, leather studded gloves and all. It's taken my whole life to accept the fact that I, collectively, am a scattered and shifting animal. I am ruthlessly anxious for everything that the word “new” elicits. Dangerous as it is, scorned as it is, I find consolation in the rhythm of diversity. My heart feels warmed when sealed and stamped in an envelope of the unknown. I will continue to fill my days with rash decisions and blind dates. I will pledge to embrace the rain, but then open my umbrella a few minutes in. For the beauty of contentedness is not in finding one place you're happy and just hiding out there. It's more of a culmination of times and people and feelings that you find with an unexpected gust of wind. I often land with my insides on my outside and my outsides all scratched up, but somehow, for the past seventeen years, I always land on my feet.