Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Blue Skies (Day 6 of A Sheltered Life)

Blue Skies
Day 6: A Sheltered Life

I am not trying to trivialize the serious situation we find ourselves in, at all. I am just trying to provide some straws to grasp at in these dark days. It's been quite awhile since we have faced such dire circumstances, but I have a feeling we will come out the other side of this. It's up to us whether we will come out better, or worse.

Almost a year and a half ago, Pacific Gas and Electric burned down an entire town and our town was covered in a dangerous blanket of toxic smoke for days (that's why I have a good mask to wear). Paradise is slowly coming back, but during our current "stay-at-home" orders, the opposite thing is happening---the skies are bluer than I have seen them in a long time. It's hard to explain, but the air seems more present than ever before. Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960's, it wasn't too unusual to see bubbles floating around in our air and it had a bad flavor. 

Yesterday, I went with my daughter and granddaughters to a local recreation area, Peña Adobe, with hiking trails and a lagoon with ducks and geese. The parking lot was full and there were hundreds of people out with their families enjoying the fresh air, playing Frisbee golf, or bringing their dogs to the dog park. I go to Peña Adobe frequently, but, I have never seen so many people there, especially on a week-day. It was easy to maintain "social distancing" in this situation. 

I know people are losing their businesses, jobs, and security--if they had them in the first place. I feel fortunate that I have a roof over my head and close family that I can rely on, but my mind is always on the most vulnerable, and not just vulnerable to Coronavirus, but to capitalism and its failings.

We have a close family friend who is a nurse at a hospital in the town next to us and she was sent home the other day because there wasn't a lot to do. My sister Dede spent a lot of time there when she was going through cancer treatment, and I never saw it when it wasn't brimming with patients--so, where are the packed hospitals? 

I also see that doctors here in the U.S. are complaining about a shortage of equipment, particularly masks. It reminds me of the wondrous works that the Cuban medical system does with profound shortages due to the vicious U.S. blockade. The last time I was there, we spent a lot of time at a medical clinic in Villa Clara, where the doctors could only operate on the most serious cases because of a lack of surgical gloves. Despite all of the shortages in Cuba, their health, longevity, and infant mortality is improving and outpacing the United States. Cuba is sending dozens of doctors all over the world to help in this crisis. Why is the tiny, poor, island nation of Cuba able to provide health? Because its system is based on a holistic approach where the individual, family, and community, is paramount; not profits. Cuba is a model that we would be doing well to emulate and, I have to say it again: the brutal blockade must be lifted. Cuba could do so much more good around the world to counter-balance the evil the U.S. does.

Cuban Doctors leaving for Italy with a picture of the man who put the well-being of people above corporate profits.

Downtown Vacaville at 7pm March 23. 

I am very interested in the toilet paper phenomenon!
I see the stores have plenty of food and other supplies, but, still no toilet paper?

How are you doing? How is your family?
How are you faring with the stay-at-home stuff?


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