HealthDay News | May 1, 2020 — The most common comorbidities among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the New York City area are hypertension, obesity, and diabetes, according to a study published online April 22 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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…wherever I am, let me never forget to distinguish want from need.Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson
The last 6 weeks (or so) have reminded me of the Barbara Kingsolver quote. As I look in my closet, I see a lot of things that I thought were needs but were really only wants.
I spend almost all of my time at home following shelter in place and social distancing rules. When I go out, the trips a quick and I wear old clothes that go into the washer when I get home.
I spend a lot of time in Zoom meetings, but I only have to look good from the waist up. Shoes and jewelry are superfluous. (I’m starting to teach tai chi and yoga again online, but those don’t require an extensive wardrobe.)
My current credit card bills show me how much — or how little — I really need.
But those things that I thought I needed have needs of their own — to be managed, and cleaned, and cared for. They require resources, space, and energy.
…increase of worldly things make men poor not rich, because every worldly thing hath a need annexed to it.Bishop Stephen Gardiner (1483–1555)
When the current restrictions end — and we find our new normal (the old normal is gone) — I hope I remember to distinguish between the two.
And I’ll end with another quote from Barbara Kingsolver…
…Want is a thing that unfurls unbidden like fungus, opening large upon itself, stopless, filling the sky. But needs, from one day to the next, are few enough to fit in a bucket, with room enough left to rattle like brittle brush in a dry wind.Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson
Published: May, 2020
There are no complicated rules to follow. Just be mindful of general dos and don’ts.
Chronic inflammation — a state of persistent activation of the immune system — is an important part of many diseases, and diet is a big contributor to inflammation. It would make sense, then, to follow what’s becoming known as the “anti-inflammation diet.” Just one problem: “There isn’t ‘one’ diet, although many people love to throw that term around. The diet in general is almost as much about what you don’t eat as what you do eat,” says Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Recite the Metta Meditation as You Wash Your Hands
If you are tired of singing the Happy Birthday song as you practice good handwashing technique, use that time for a short meditation break.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be healthy.
May all beings be free from suffering.
May all beings be at peace.
Repeat the meditation twice slowly and mindfully. (If you are inclined to rush, repeat it three times.)
In addition to the benefits of good handwashing, using the Metta Meditation calms and refocuses mind and body. It sends positive energy into a world that desperately needs it.
- Loving-Kindness Meditation increases positive emotions and decreases negative emotions.
- Loving-Kindness Meditation increases social connectedness.
- Loving-Kindness Meditation practice associated with slowing the biological aging process.
- Loving-Kindness Meditation reduces depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Many years ago, when I was an undergraduate I saw an environmental film called Suzanne’s Lament. The images stuck with me.
I was reminded of it again as we approach the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day.
I went on a quest to track it down. (It’s something librarians do…)
I did some digging and found that the film is still available.
This program is based on detailed field work carried out in 1969 and 1970 along the south-central coast of Alaska by a team of coastal geologists associated with the Geology Department of the University of Massachusetts. Miles O. Hayes, the originator of the concept, took some outstanding photographs of the Alaska coast in February 1970. By then, Hayes and his team, who up to that time had worked on developed coasts in Texas, New Jersey, and New England, after seeing the pristine conditions along the Alaska coast, began to compare it to the previously studied developed coasts. Then, they started thinking about how to preserve the Alaska coast in its natural state as much as possible. Accordingly, Hayes used the slides taken during the February 1970 field trip and compared select ones of them with photos of developed coasts.
Earth Day 50 years later
One of the songs in a story on NPR on Sunday morning about the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, was Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi.
Big Yellow Taxi — Joni Mitchell
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
That got me thinking about other environmental protest songs. And that brought to mind an environmental film from the 70s called Suzanne’s Lament, which used the Leonard Cohen song as part of the soundtrack.
I couldn’t find the film itself initially—more about that in another post—only a reference in WorldCat.
“…this film shows the wild, unbelievable beauty of Alaska contrasted with the inhabited areas where man has despoiled land and water.”
So I’m creating my own environmental playlist.
Suzanne — Leonard Cohen
Now, Suzanne takes your hand and she leads you to the river
She’s wearing rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey on our lady of the harbor
And she shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed, there are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds her mirror
And you want to travel with her, and you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind
Paradise — John Prine
And daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking,
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away
Pollution — Tom Lehrer
..if you visit American city you will find it very pretty
just two things of which you must beware
don’t drink the water and don’t breathe the air
we got smog and sewage and mud
turn on your tap and get hot and cold running crud
Burn On — Randy Newman
There’s an oil barge winding
Down the Cuyahoga River
Rolling into Cleveland to the lake…
Burn On Big River, Burn On
Mercy Mercy Me (the Ecology) — Marvin Gaye
Oh mercy, mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land
How much more abuse from man can she stand?
And a bit of hope…
Of Time And Rivers Flowing — Pete Seeger
Of time and rivers flowing
The seasons make a song
And we who live beside her
Still try to sing along
Of rivers, fish, and men
And the season still a-coming
When she’ll run clear again.
The circles of the planets
The circles of the moon
The circles of the atoms
All play a marching tune
And we who would join in
Can stand aside no longer
Now let us all begin.
Sailin’ Up, Sailin’ Down — Pete Seeger
Garbage here (garbage here), garbage there (garbage there)
Here (there), there (here) – up and down the river
Sailing on—stopping all along the way
The river may be dirty now but it’s getting cleaner every day
Happy Earth Day!