June 16, 2020 – What if This is the New Normal?

Today is Tuesay, June 16, 2020 a day to celebrate veggies! Fresh Veggies Day, observed every June 16, is a call to everyone to eat healthy today. You won’t believe what is observed on June 17th. Check back and find out.

Today is also the birthday of Goyahkla (“one who yawns”) in 1829. He is better known as Geronimo, an Apache chief and medicine man. He is known for his resistance against the encroachment of Mexicans, the U.S. Government, and even other tribes, such as the Navajo and Comanche. The crucible in Geronimo’s life was when his wife, three children, and mother were all murdered when Mexican soldiers attacked his camp. From that day forward he vowed vengeance against those who had committed the crimes.

Following Apache tradition, he burned the belongings of the deceased family members. Geronimo says that after he left that site and moved into the forest, he heard a voice which told him: “No gun will ever kill you. I will take the bullets from the guns … and I will guide your arrows.”

In 1886 Geronimo was the last Native American leader to formally surrender to the U.S. Military. He spent the last 20 years of his life as a prisoner of war. He died in Oklahoma and is buried there.

stories of covid-19: today’s headlines

No Vaca in Miami Please: Miami-Dade County has seen a spike in the COVID-19 infections. The number of cases has exceeded 2,000 per day for two days in a row and it is prompting some businesses to close up again on their own. While officially local government is not rolling things back to greater restrictions (they are currently in Phase 2 re-opening), it is not moving the county into Phase 3 yet.

We’d have fewer cases if we just didn’t test. Wait, who said that? That’s right! Ding! Ding! Ding! Donald J. Trump! Really, no, that’s not possible! Really! Read for yourself here or there:

So, there is not really good news though I think we are supposed to believe there is good news?!?!

We may have one treatment that actually does work. Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that a low cost steroid, Dexamethasone, appears to be effective in treating people who are sick with COVID-19. They believe the drug is responsible for cutting the risk of death for people who are on a ventilator by a third and cutting that risk by a fifth for people who are on oxygen. And what of hydroxychloroquine? Still not working, still dangerous, and now the FDA has withdrawn its emergency approval for use of the drug in treating COVID-19. This was a favorite of Mr. Trump whose own “scientific” study on an elderly population (N=1) led him to conclude it was just fine to use.

You’ll want to see this! A regular reader in Hawai`i sent me a link to Flourish which does these really interesting graphic representations of what is happening with COVID-19. This link shows the growth in deaths since the 10th death that was recorded. Notice who is leading the way. Thanks Judy for putting me on to Flourish!

what if this is the new normal?

We all seem to be waiting for the new normal to arrive, right? Implicit in the idea of waiting for the new normal (which sure sounds a lot like Waiting for Godot) is a belief that everything will magically return to the way it was before we ever heard of COVID-19.

But what if this is the new normal? That’s a question a colleague and I bounced around this afternoon. We were reflecting on a group meeting we had both been in (via Zoom) in which nearly every person expressed their weariness with Zoom. They are just so over Zoom and want to be done with Zoom meetings.

But again I ask, what if this is the new normal? Actually, I suspect it is. Businesses of all kinds – nonprofit, public agencies, and corporations – are finding that work is still getting done by teams in diverse remote locations, people can be productive working at home even if they are occasionally distracted by children and family pets, and it is even possible to develop close, strong relationships with people via Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc.

The uptake of comfort with video technology has been very, very swift. In barely three months it has become a competency acquired by people of all ages. It is being used to an extent none of us ever thought possible only a few months ago.

One of the worst things about Zooming or using other video platforms are the disparities in connectivity. Some people have really great connections so the video and sound is great. Others have so-so connections which can be annoying but you can still get a lot of work done. Some, though, have lousy connections making it difficult to see them or even hear them. However, even that is changing.

People are upgrading their equipment and internet service at home to support their video conferencing. Plus, the U.S. is moving – slowly but surely – to 5G technology which should really make videoconferencing on tablets and phone work so much better.

I don’t think we’ll ever return to the “old normal,” you know, the way it all was before COVID-19. That’s not to say we won’t be able to, I just think we are going to find we can be more productive, less stressed, and at reduced risk of everything (colds, flu, irritating co-workers, etc.) when we really embrace working remotely and allow ourselves to become expert at it.

Right now I think the hope for a return to the old normal is still too strong. We are reluctant to let go of it and embrace what is today and the possibility we are already in the new normal. Like Godot, the old normal is not coming back.

However, before we have to play catch up, we can lean into the new normal even now. We can learn how to work more effectively with the video conferencing platform of our choice. Here’s one, focusing on Zoom, to get you started.

chickenman – episode 60

Chickenman begins his race with the Bear Lady. When he arrives at his grandmother’s house, though, he gets a big surprise.

Author: The Driveler

Tom Klaus is the Driveler. On March 16, 2020, the first day of the Novel Coronavirus shelter-in-place order for his state, he started writing a daily blog to keep himself from stressing too much about the pandemic situation. He thought the daily blogging would last for only a couple of week but it stretched on to 77 consecutive days. Then he continued writing daily for a while after that as well. At some point the blog became The Daily Drivel...mostly because he was mostly writing the stream of consciousness drivel that was pouring out of his head, running down his face, and, sometimes, out of his mouth. In November 2020 he launched The Daily Drivel as a free-standing website/blog.

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