How are you staying sane(ish) during the current pandemic?

Started by SueC, March 24, 2020, 11:48:24

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SueC

This has got to be the most inspirational and fabulous thing I have read all year.   :heart-eyes  :heart-eyes  :heart-eyes  :cool  :cool  :cool  :beaming-face  :smth023  :)

James Lovelock - the person who invented the Gaia hypothesis - is about to turn 101, is still mentally extraordinary and has done a whole lot more amazing stuff in his life than I was aware of before reading this wonderful interview with him.   :heart-eyes

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/18/james-lovelock-the-biosphere-and-i-are-both-in-the-last-1-per-cent-of-our-lives

...and his comment on establishment science is so spot on:

QuoteLatour believes the establishment struggles to accept your ideas because they are such a conceptual leap. He believes the shift from Galileo to Gaia is as big as that from Aristotle to Galileo. But very different, of course. While Galileo opened exploration into an infinite universe, you revealed we are in a closed, very precarious system that we need to stabilise. Do you think people are willing to acknowledge this?

I would love to be able to speak to Galileo to understand how he felt. We were both loners who met a lot of opposition. I think Galileo's problem was largely with the church rather than people at large. It was so contrary to their dogma that they hated it. I have felt for some time that the universities are getting dangerously like the early church. They have dozens of different sects and they are quite proud if you belong to one of them: if you are a chemist you often don't know anything about biology and so on. This is why ordinary university science is not really helpful because the department looking at seaweed would not be the same as the one looking at methyl iodide. It is a division into bits. It's time universities were revolutionised and had much more common thinking. It's amazing how much objection there is to Gaia. I'm wondering to what extent you can put that down to the coal and oil industries who fought against any kind of message that would be bad for them.
SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

https://www.rrr.org.au/on-demand/segments/the-australian-mood-hugo-race-on-keeping-creative-in-lockdown

QuoteHugo says that being in lockdown has resulted in multiple new ventures that weren't a part of his previous life on the road. Says Hugo, "Part of what I do is internationalism - going to other places, collaborating with other people, doing it in person - and that's what I've been doing for many, many years. So the pandemic is the complete nemesis of everything that I do."

Hugo continues to work with the other members of The True Spirit, who are also locked down in Melbourne, and a new album, Starburst, will be released later this year. But the entire album will also feature a video for each track, edited by Hugo who says that "extending his skills into video editing has been a necessity, but it's also a great extension of what we were already doing".
It's never enough...

word_on_a_wing

Thanks Sue,
Yep Melbourne is back in lockdown, and masks are mandatory now. 
Interesting times, and a bit worrying, though I can't complain compared to other countries.

On a plus side, I dreamt about The Cure last night... only vague snippets of the dream remain but what I recall is they were arriving on a train and myself and many others were standing on the platform ready to board. As the train went past the platform I seemed able to see through it and saw the band plus what seemed like family and friends with them
...so where is this train going? I don't know 🤔
"Where the flesh meets the spirit world,
Where the traffic is thin..."

SueC

Quote from: word_on_a_wing on July 23, 2020, 14:08:04Thanks Sue,
Yep Melbourne is back in lockdown, and masks are mandatory now. 
Interesting times, and a bit worrying, though I can't complain compared to other countries.

The numbers look bad, but of course could be far worse.  I hold my breath each day before the numbers come out at morning briefing.  Wishing you luck in Melbourne.

Have you got a cute mask?  A friend from Taiwan has really cute masks, with teddy bears and everything.  :cool


Quote from: word_on_a_wing on July 23, 2020, 14:08:04On a plus side, I dreamt about The Cure last night... only vague snippets of the dream remain but what I recall is they were arriving on a train and myself and many others were standing on the platform ready to board. As the train went past the platform I seemed able to see through it and saw the band plus what seemed like family and friends with them
...so where is this train going? I don't know 🤔

The journey is more important than the destination, blah blah.  :angel

Half your luck.  :winking_tongue  The only time I ever dreamt about The Cure, I was wearing pyjama bottoms (in the dream) with a fabric failure meaning a hole probably made by a particularly sharp seatbone, seeing that pyjama bottoms are my preferred officewear.  You try answering your front door with a pyjama pants failure, and finding you have to invite people in for a cup of tea.  And then you're reversing all the way down the corridor because you can't turn around.   :-D
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dsanchez

2019.06.08 Dublin
2019.07.04 Novi Sad
2019.07.17 Athens

SueC

A fair bit of good journalism during this pandemic - and two excellent articles in yesterday's Guardian:

QuoteThis is what happens when the war on terror is turned inward, on America
Hamilton Nolan

Trump has realized that our vast post-9/11 security state can be used to police internal bogeymen like antifa


'If there was a tipping point, we're past it. Trying to determine the exact point at which we slip into fascism is like staring at a baby to see when it turns into an adult. By the time you perceive it, it's already happened.'

A strange and necessary ingredient of America's descent towards fascism is that it will have little impact on the majority of people. As militarized federal agents are deployed into major cities to snatch protesters and charge them with harsh federal crimes for daring to deface the ruling party's monuments, most Americans will continue living their normal lives with no discernible changes, at least for the time being. People wake up and eat breakfast and spend their days doing mundane tasks in fascist countries, too.

If there was ever a tipping point, we are past it. Trying to stare hard at the daily news to determine the exact point at which we slip into fascism is like staring at a baby to see when it turns into an adult. By the time you perceive it, it's already happened. It is important to understand that the crackdown phase that we are now in - the unaccountable government forces, the riot police, the teargas, the targeted political prosecutions that will come next - are not something new, but something old. This isn't about Donald Trump. This is about America, baby. This is what we do.

Trump, a fool ruled by impulse rather than strategy, did not build the fearsome machine of government oppression that is now being aimed at his political opponents. This machine was systematically assembled and lovingly tended to by generations of presidents before him - Democratic, Republican, Whig. Trump is only broadening its aperture. All of these tools have been sharpened on the bones of Native Americans and Black people and immigrants and Muslims overseas. America has always needed someone to oppress. Mostly so that we could steal their stuff, but also so that the rest of us didn't turn against one another. This country has managed to avoid a class war by giving poor white people an array of minorities to abuse, a trick that has benefited rich white people for centuries. We have used injustice not just as a way to get ahead, but as a release valve. Our leaders have long calculated that it is safer to subjugate and mistreat a minority of the population than to risk dissatisfaction in the majority. In doing so, the government has become very adept at creating enemies and wielding power against them in flagrant shows of force.

Worth reading in its entirety here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/24/trump-security-state-war-on-terror-america



Also a nice one on the precariat and COVID-19:

QuoteWorkplace insecurity pervades the whole economy, just when every job is under threat
Jeff Sparrow

We were urged to welcome precarity as a liberation from the old industrial order. Now the chickens are coming home to roost

'Let's start the discussion by recognising jobs didn't become insecure by accident.'

Article here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/25/workplace-insecurity-pervades-the-whole-economy-just-when-every-job-is-under-threat
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SueC

SueC is time travelling

Ulrich

I'm not certain whether that's still sane, but when I'm dreaming about meeting people I make sure not to shake hands with them in my dreams because of keeping distance and all that...  :1f62e:
 :-D
It's never enough...

SueC

Since laughter keeps us sane, I just have to mention this thing I just read in the news:

QuoteLego piece falls out of New Zealand boy's nose after being stuck for two years

Sameer Anwar's parents thought the lost piece of Lego was long gone - until their son took a great big sniff of a plate of cupcakes

A missing piece of Lego has dropped out of a child's nose two years after he pushed it up.

Seven-year-old Sameer Anwar of Dunedin, in the south of New Zealand, inserted a tiny piece of Lego up his nose in 2018. Sameer's father, Mudassir, and his wife became alarmed when their son told them he had lost a piece of Lego up his nose, and couldn't find it.

The concerned parents took their son to the GP, who was also unable to find, or remove it.

More here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/aug/17/lego-piece-falls-out-of-boys-nose-after-2-years
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SueC

Quote from: Ulrich on July 29, 2020, 09:35:03I'm not certain whether that's still sane, but when I'm dreaming about meeting people I make sure not to shake hands with them in my dreams because of keeping distance and all that...  :1f62e:
 :-D

Sounds eminently sane to me.  Shows that the pandemic education is trickling down even into your subconscious, where it needs to be to make it autopilot.  A+  :)



Here's some essential reading from this morning's Guardian - but make sure you're not drinking coffee or you'll snort it all over the keyboard.  :angel

QuoteChristianity has been predicting an imminent apocalypse since its earliest days but the world only burns if we let it

As death was raging across 14th-century Europe, the church gathered the people together. God is mad, they told the people. We must ask for forgiveness so he will stop trying to kill us. The flagellants went on the march, dressed in linen hoods, slapping themselves for God and begging for the absolution of people's many sins. And, yes, further spreading the plague wherever they went.

The professors at the University of Paris's school of medicine decreed the plague had been caused by "a disturbance in the skies [that] had caused the sun to overheat the oceans near India, and the waters had begun to give off noxious vapors", in the words of Otto Friedrich in The End of the World. (As to what would cure it: broth and enemas.) So it's not like the people at the time had a sophisticated scientific knowledge about disease and contagion. Which makes one wonder, watching all of the US Christians crowd together in their churches both mega and modest as the coronavirus spreads, what's their excuse?

Preachers have been dying, outbreaks are traced back to church services, and still people gather for worship. There are secret churches with secret entrances, churches that are cramming thousands of unmasked people indoors in defiance of orders. When the state of Kansas issued a ban on any gathering with more than 10 people, it was two churches that filed suit to challenge the law on the grounds that it interfered with their right to assembly. From the outside, it looks like a suicide pact, as ministers downplay the seriousness of the disease just before dropping dead of the virus while taking a couple congregants with them.

More here:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/18/the-end-of-the-world-is-nigh-all-the-more-reason-to-help-each-other-here-and-now
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Ulrich

Quote from: SueC on August 19, 2020, 00:38:43Shows that the pandemic education is trickling down even into your subconscious, where it needs to be to make it autopilot.

Sadly not in real life. A few weeks ago I went into a café to get me an ice-cream cone (takeaway) and outside all of the guests were sitting without masks (of course, how do you eat & drink with mask...), thus I went in and ordered my thing and when I went out I realised "forgot to put on mask", but no-one had said anything (in theory I should've worn it when going into a shop/café).  :'(


Quote from: undefinedChristianity has been predicting an imminent apocalypse since its earliest days ...

That much is true. I once watched an interesting documentary about the book of Revelations and the (possible) events John (not the evangelist, btw) referred to in his writings (e.g. Pompeii)! Not much to do with any upcoming events, especially not in our time...

Quote from: undefinedWhich makes one wonder, watching all of the US Christians crowd together in their churches

Seems a very one-sided view (sorry Guardian, you know you can do better!), because I know for a fact that German & other European Christian churches stopped doing public Sunday service soon enough (my sister is active in a small community and they were told to stop any gatherings at all in mid March - I was there when she received the message on her phone!)...

Thus, to throw all "Christians" together in one drawer is not good journalism.  :1f62b:
(But I guess that happens if you only look at U.S. evangelical movements...)

My grandfather was a devout Christian, however I was told he did not like the "Book of Revelations", I used to wonder why... later I think I understood: all that "apocalyptic thinking" has done the faith no good.
(On a sidenote: when he was at my age, my grandfather had already survived 2 World Wars!!)

Quote from: undefinedJesus was talking less about how to live in the world than how to prepare for the next, because, he kept insisting, the end was near.

I'm not the biggest Bible connaisseur, but that allegation is at least debatable! :persevere:
It's never enough...

SueC

Yeah, I see your points, @Ulrich:)

However, the reason I laughed so much is because this was written by an American correspondent and I was imagining what it must be like to live with the idiocies that are going on in the US at the moment and how excruciating that must be to the minority of sane, rational, non-science-bashing, non-entitled "I have my freedom and nobody can tell me what to do and I can cough on you if I like," non-flag-waving, nice, caring people who live there...  :1f635:

When I put myself in that position, I thought a good rant would be therapeutic, like we do on The Ranting Thread here.  And I thought the article made a wonderful therapeutic rant!   :beaming-face  :1f637:  :lol:

However, these two articles may fare better with you.  One about a new law in Germany - this may not be news to you, of course, but it was to me!

QuoteGermans must walk their dogs twice a day, new law will say

Minister to introduce law next year to ensure nation's 9.4 million dogs get enough exercise

Germany's dog owners will soon to be ordered by law to walk their pets twice a day.

The country's agriculture minister, Julia Klöckner, has said she is introducing the new law based on evidence that many of the nation's 9.4 million dogs are not getting the exercise or stimuli they need.

More here:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/19/germans-must-walk-their-dogs-twice-a-day-new-law-will-say


And another about how counter-terrorism skills help parents to relate to teenagers.   :lol:

QuoteImprove your relationships - with advice from counter-terrorism experts

"The more you push someone, the more they close up," say Emily and Laurence Alison, a husband-and-wife psychology team. "The hungrier you are for information, the harder it will be to get that out of someone. But give the person a choice about what they say; give them some autonomy and you begin to build the rapport that may lead to a better conversation," says Laurence.

This sounds like parenting advice and yet the Alisons' specialism is helping counter-terrorism officers and the police to improve communication and co-operation with criminal suspects. When the atmosphere turns adversarial and competitive, as it so often does, they turn to the Alisons to help them navigate and negotiate.

For the couple - who've been married for 21 years and have a 16-year-old son - the parallels with parenting have long been obvious and were underlined by the response of officers they've encountered on the intensive courses they run on how to interrogate terrorists.

Time after time, participants fed back that as well as learning invaluable skills for their professional lives, their approach was helping them deal with family and work relationships. "We were fascinated," says Laurence, director of the Centre for Critical and Major Incident Psychology at Liverpool University. "We'd do a day on the best way to extract information from a dangerous prisoner and at the end of it participants would say, 'This is such useful advice for me as a parent of teenagers.'"

More here:  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/aug/01/improve-your-relationships-with-advice-from-counter-terrorism-experts
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Ulrich

Quote from: undefinedGermany's dog owners will soon to be ordered by law to walk their pets twice a day.

Uh-erm; not another law no-one will be able to control! Who will go and look if dog-owners do that? (I mean they don't even manage e.g. to control if people wear masks in public transport... not to mention the distancing and all...) Or will we turn into a police state, where everyone is watching everyone else?  :1f633:

As is mentioned in the article indeed:
Quote from: undefined"...who is going to check up on me? Will the neighbour call the police if they suspect me of not taking Sam for long enough walks? He wouldn't manage two hours a day anway."

Seeing there is a general election coming up next year, I'm pretty certain dog owners will protest. There is a good chance this won't come through...
(And yes, we have some other problems politicians should look after, from corruption to fake news and so on.)

Sorry, maybe I'm over-critical today, but I don't see a need for more laws. (And as mentioned in the article: what about cats, what if they don't get enough exercise??)
It's never enough...

SueC

Or children, actually?  :angel  Not sure what that's like in Germany, but Australia overtook the US for the dubious honour of having the most obese population in the world, a while back.  For the first time, the life expectancies of the young generations are now expected to be shorter than the previous average.  Diabetes and heart disease are skyrocketing.  Poor nutrition and lack of exercise are key factors.  My childhood was largely outdoors and creative, modern childhoods are mostly indoors and screen-oriented.  Any of you see the article, The smartphone is our era's cigarette - and just as hard to quit?

Re the dog laws - well, @Ulrich, this is yet another reason you really need to buy a goat.  :angel

By the way, if they do end up enforcing them, then the dog laws are going to result in some very fit dog owners!  :lol:
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SueC

Really excellent Australian essay here: :cool

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/04/burning-bush-melting-arctic-a-deadly-virus-nobody-said-the-end-times-would-be-boring

QuoteBurning bush, melting Arctic, a deadly virus: nobody said the end times would be boring

by John Birmingham

Excerpt:

I remember feeling very strongly as I watched Australia burn from Seoul and Hong Kong and, months later, from Rome and Milan and Paris that we were the Other now. Our turn had come. And while the world might gin up some long-range empathy for the plight of a dying koala or baby kangaroo, we the peeps were probably shit out of luck. Just like those poor bastards we exiled to our Pacific gulags, who drew the shortest straw when their fates became dependent on our generosity of spirit. Or the Eora people, whose long watch over the southern shores of Botany Bay was closed out by Arthur Phillip's order to a young Watkin Tench to lead a punitive raid against the tribe to spread "an exemplary terror among the natives".

Sometimes your luck just runs out, and a hard truth of human nature is that we really only care about what's close. White Australia was a lucky country for so long, because the gift of distance was history's lack of interest in our affairs. But that absence of concern for a tiny outpost, removed from the centre of things, can just as easily turn to indifference and genuine disdain when fate turn against us. From afar it was possible to see with the cold objectivity of foreigners just how unflattering a picture we made for any who cared to look. An immensely privileged dominion occupied by a small number of deeply selfish people, suddenly confronted with the consequences of inaction.

For a few months there you could finally see the world accelerating towards the existential discontinuity of irreversible, devastating climate change. No more projections. No theories. No modelling or arcane math. The future had arrived. It was not evenly distributed. It had exploded into the real on the eastern edge of the Australian continent.

Meanwhile, sitting on a beach in Hawaii was our doughy, aggressively know-nothing prime minister, infamous for carrying a big lump of coal on to the floor of parliament and fondling the same with the puckish joy of a man-sized Billy Bunter in possession of a large, unexpected jam donut. To the beach he went, while his land and his people hurtled towards the burning pit.

Perhaps, sipping umbrellas drinks and mugging for happy snaps with similarly footloose bogans, Scott Morrison was himself subject to the distancing effect I felt all around me in South Korea and Hong Kong, that deeply human flaw that the gaming journalist and Twitter savant David Milner describes as the inability to conceive as real any reality different to our own lived experience. Hong Kong in particular afforded a novel perspective on the subject-object divide, as smoke from nearby pro-democracy riots drifted into the bar where we sat watching smoke from a series of megafires blanket the streets of Sydney.
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