Let’s Think About This

Hello, and welcome back to another #ThinkingonThursday topic. I have not done one of these in a while, because I have been thinking, lol. So, why do I write about these hot topic issues? There are several reasons.

  1. This is a Health blog and the things I choose to think about are related to Health.
  2. Writing on this blog helps me to clear my mind and get my thoughts out. This brings me stress relief and allows me to fall asleep easier at night.
  3. It is important,

Today, I am going to discuss the issue of whose fault it is that Covid has gotten so out of control. This is meant to make myself, and my readers think about this topic. It is not meant to turn into an argument or hate filled rage. That is part of the problem, actually. We live in such a reactive society that we can’t even have a civil discussion anymore. I can be just as passionate and loud as anyone else, but I also realize that is not always the best way to communicate.

So, who is to blame? China, Trump, Biden, The Media, Influencers, everyday citizens?

  1. China. There are lots of mumblings about China purposely putting Covid out to the world. While it is true most countries dabble in Biological Warfare, as does the USA by the way, there has been no actual proof that China intentionally released Covid onto the world.
  2. President Trump. I think it is quite easy to make the argument that President Trump totally botched the handling of this pandemic. He was more interested in money, and the economy, than actually understanding the concept of a Novel virus and what that means to a society with no immunity to it. Now, he did rush the vaccine, and it was done in breakneck speed. You could argue that is both good and bad. On one hand if enough people took the vaccine the virus would have no other viable host to live in. But, the speed of the vaccine has also left people hesitant to take something that was created that quickly. I don’t think that is President Trump’s fault, though. Experts who actually study human behavior should have seen this coming, in my opinion. I think you can’t overlook the fact that HHS and CDC also played a role here, because from an outsider perspective it appeared that they put their high income positions above the good of the people when they did not stand up to President Trump, at least not effectively. But, again I am only seeing how I perceive this when they could have easily had the thought process that they would be sidelined and have no access to give any information to the public.
  3. President Biden. He had the perfect opportunity to use the Department of Labor, through OSHA, to mandate Health guidelines for businesses to protect the labor force. In May he decided not to do that, and instead only made the requirements mandatory for Health Care businesses. This was a huge mistake. Now employers don’t actually have to protect their employees, or require their employees to protect other employees. This was a big fat blunder, and now he is seeing the consequences. People making minimum wage don’t want to return to work to possibly get sick and hospitalized, or worse dead. With no health insurance for most low wage workers the bills that could pile up from just one illness for one member of their family, never mind several, is staggering. Child care was an issue for many. So of course lets get every child back in school so mothers can return to the work force, but lets not protect those children, which OSHA guidelines would have required of schools which is a business. Now, in some states parents are fighting for the right to have their children not wear masks in schools. Did anyone ask these poor children if they would rather be protected instead of sick? I understand children don’t have the right to necessarily make their own medical decisions, but come on this premise is a bit absurd for this particular virus and topic.
  4. The Media. Just like everything else the media wants you to click on their articles, watch their shows, and read what they write. Why? To make money, or win a Pulitzer or whatever. They are not always interested in facts, and telling honest truths. They play on fear, politics, and again views.
  5. Influencers. Influencers are anyone with a large platform and a way to use it. They tend to care about their image, and money. They are not always dealing in facts, or truths either. They are giving opinions and getting people riled up, because honestly it brings them attention, and more money.
  6. General Citizens. That is most likely you and me. What responsibility do we own in this Pandemic of Covid? That is a loaded question, isn’t it? But, think about it. What role do you play? Do you follow the CDC guidelines that are meant to keep everyone safe, not just you? I am not necessarily just talking about the vaccine. But, let me just say a few things to consider. If you have gotten other flu vaccines, then why not this one? If you have been vaccinated against every childhood disease when you were a child, what is the deal with this vaccine? I am not a vaccine promoter, or vaccine skeptic, but it makes no sense to me why this one is such a big deal when you are probably protected from other diseases via vaccine. If you don’t even know what vaccines you got as a child look up Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Hepatitis B, and Varicella. Let me know if you would like to go back and not get those vaccines. Are you an anti-masker? Why? Think about why, really why? Not because you listened to some TV pundit, or Influencer on Instagram, but a valid actual reason for not wanting to wear a mask. I understand there are some people who really can not tolerate a mask. In that case are you staying out of large groups of people, over 10? Are you staying 6 feet away from people in areas that are not well ventilated? Are you washing your hands all the time? Do you even care if you protect the vulnerable, or even people who just don’t want to get sick and possibly die? If no, then you are part of the problem! Plain and simple. If you are a Christian you know the statement, Am I My Brother’s Keeper? How did God respond to that question? Yes, you are your brother’s keeper. If you want to harm yourself fine, do so, but do not bring harm to others because you are reckless and selfish.

Before I end this I am going to just give one more thing to think about. There is a whole bunch of people claiming the vaccinated are the ones spreading this virus. Please do actual research on actual reliable sites like Pubmed, Cochran, Healthline, CDC, and FDA to get your information about how vaccines actually work, what they can and can not do, and how mutations to a virus actually prolong the pandemic. Please, please, please think for yourself. If you don’t understand something ask questions, don’t assume your perception is the same as actual facts.

Viruses happen, there is no blame for that. It is nature. But, a virus can not survive without a viable host, that is fact. You don’t have to be a viable host.

Leave me an actual, intelligent comment if you would like to think too.


i took the plunge!

Hello, and Happy Tuesday to all of my wonderful readers. I took the plunge today. Keep reading to learn more.

You probably are thinking I went sky diving or something, right? Nope. I took the plunge off the deep end of online grocery shopping and pickup plunge.

I have never tried this feature before and I don’t know if I will ever go back to in store grocery shopping. Why?

If you read here often than you know we are trying to follow a strict budget this year, to spend down debt. I was doing good with the budget grocery shopping, but then I got off the rails and have been going over, not by a little, for a while now.

So, reason #1 for doing the online shop and pickup is to stay on budget. I order exactly what I know I will need on the app, hit submit, pick a time to pick it up, show up, park, and they even pack it in the car. It was super easy and super fast. I was not there more than 5 minutes. Grocery shopping, normally, was at least a 2 hour event, from start to finish the old way. It could even be longer with my teen, or hubby with me. I have to say shopping with teens, and our spouses, is definitely not budget friendly. My bill was at least half by doing it on the app, and pickup, then when I shop in the store.

The #2 reason for doing online and pickup shopping is because Covid is running rampant here where I live. 1 in 3 people are likely to have Covid according to the numbers. I am vaccinated, but because I work in health care I am extra careful right now, and with a lot of people choosing not to wear a mask, I have to consider my own safety, and the elderly people I care for. The Delta variant has shown to be able to cause breakthrough infections in vaccinated people, though much less severe than unvaccinated, and it can be spread by the vaccinated at least for Delta.

Some of my favorite stores, like Trader Joe’s does not offer this feature, and that makes me kind of sad. But, I do not get to shop there that often anyways due to distance.

Have you tried online ordering and pickup? Is it something you find useful, or no? Let me know in the comments


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Mask up, again!

Hello, and welcome to another Wellness Wednesday! This is not the topic I was going to discuss today, however in light of all the new information, and the fact that this is a Health blog I decided to talk about it. This is information and my thoughts. I am in no way, telling people to either get the vaccine or not. This post may contain affiliate links.

First, some background on my experience. I have Kidney Disease. I do not typically get the Flu Vaccine because the couple of times I did get it I got sick anyways. But, Covid was a different story for me. Covid attacks the kidneys and destroys them. I only have one so the risk of not getting the Covid vaccine was too great. I work in Health Care. I have taken care of people with Covid, and I have been exposed by people with Covid. I was fully vaccinated as of March 10 of this year. You can read about my experience with the second Moderna shot. Either my daughter, or myself, have been disinfecting our frequently touched areas every day for over a year, until May that is. We stopped wearing masks in public after the CDC said we could, as all of us are now fully vaccinated, including my teenager. Even though I work in Health Care I have never tested positive and I get tested a lot. Almost exactly 4 weeks ago, a fellow coworker and friend of mine, who is not vaccinated sat in my office doing paperwork with her mask off the whole time. I still wore my mask as I knew she was not vaccinated but required to test weekly. I only removed my mask when drinking from my water bottle. Three days after that I learned that she tested positive for Covid, and then three days after that she was admitted to the ICU with Covid Pneumonia. My job rapid tested me 4 days after I was exposed, and I was negative. One week after my exposure I started experiencing a mild scratchy throat. My job advised me it was ok to come to work and they would rapid test me again. Again, I was negative. Towards the end of my shift I could tell I was coming down with something and left early. My husband and daughter also got sick, though milder than I did. We all got a PCR test on the same day and were all in various stages of something. We all tested negative. Because I work in Health Care I was advised to self quarantine until my PCR test came back negative. There is a point to this keep reading. We went back to wearing masks after this, even before we were advised to do so. I have also gone back to disinfecting daily.

My friend did not have the Delta variant. But, now 3 weeks after her illness we have an outbreak at my work. I do not yet know if it is the Delta variant, but they believe most likely it is. I have heard of other outbreaks in my area where vaccination rates are very low, below 30% in some spots. Today, I had to go get PCR tested, again, due to the outbreak at work. I go to the Health Department, and the line which typically is one or two cars, had about 20 cars in line. Again, I do not know if any of the new cases are the Delta variant, but I can presume because of how fast the cases have exploded in the past few weeks.

If you have been paying attention then you know the CDC just issued new mask rules telling the vaccinated to mask up again indoors in communities with high spread of Covid. Unvaccinated people should have never stopped wearing masks indoors. Indoors does not mean in your own personal home, though if there is an outbreak in your home that may be prudent.

My point to all of this is what the CDC said that the new Delta variant has changed the game for mask wearing.

Some key points I would like to make.

  1. Being vaccinated does not mean you can’t catch Covid. Your chances are much smaller, and you most likely will get a milder illness and not need hospitalization. Nor will you most likely die if you are vaccinated and get Covid.
  2. The vaccine protects you, and those around you because it was thought the vaccinated could not spread it if they did get it. However, the new Delta variant they say has a 1,000 times the viral load of the other variants. It was also stated in tests that a vaccinated person had just as much viral load in their nose as an unvaccinated person with the Delta variant. This also means that vaccinated people, with that higher viral load, can transmit the virus to other people. That is why the new mask guidance came out, because the new variant is stronger and more dangerous.
  3. The longer it takes to reach Herd Immunity the higher chances of the virus infecting people and mutations will continue to occur. A virus needs a host to live. Humans are the host for Covid. If Herd Immunity is reached then the virus can no longer have a host and no longer can mutate. The video below explains virus mutation quite well.
  4. We already know that asymptomatic people can spread Covid.
  5. Children under 12 do not have a vaccine offered to them as yet. This puts them at a huge risk for getting Covid. The original variant did not seem to effect young children much and it was possible they could not spread it. We do not know if the Delta variant will react the same way to children. We have lost over 600,000 people to Covid in the USA alone, whether you agree with how that data was collected, or not, it is the statistic. Are we prepared to start losing large numbers of children to this virus?
  6. If you absolutely do not want to get the vaccine, or can’t for some reason, masks work. They act as a barrier to the virus entering your nose or mouth where the virus can grow and you will become infected. They also act as a barrier to the virus leaving your nose and mouth if you are infected. That protects others. Masks are most important when indoors especially with close proximity to others, if there is not good ventilation, or if proper disinfecting is not taking place. They are not perfect, nor are they 100%, but they are an awesome tool. Even before Covid I would wear a mask during regular Flu Season to avoid getting it. They work for any respiratory illness you may wish to not get. You may wish to wear eye protectors if you are in an area with high community spread and you are indoors.
  7. I had to quarantine and miss 3 days of paid work due to being directly exposed to someone who was positive for Covid they weren’t wearing a mask. I know I personally can not afford to do that every time someone exposes me. Your own place of business may have different rules, but because I work in Health Care and I got symptoms, I had to quarantine until I got a negative PCR test, not a rapid test.

I tend to ramble, but I hope you see my points. The videos below are short and explain it even better. I urge you to watch them and keep an open mind no matter your decision. Please talk to your health care provider also, to learn more and what is best for you.

Stay safe and healthy!


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Goodbye 2020!

It’s almost over! The year of the face mask will be in the history books. This whole week, right up until New Years I will be posting based on review and reflection. Some personal, and some related to this blog. 2020 was not the year I expected, but I assume everyone can say that. So much pain and stress, and time for a fresh start.

Most people will probably choose to be safe and not have New Year’s Eve party. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t decorate and celebrate in your own home with those who live with you. Below you will find some awesome, easy crafts to decorate your home and celebrate the new year. There are some fun games, too. My family loves games, but I don’t think we are getting together, other than those that live here. My husband my let off the rest of the fireworks from the 4th of July, which will be nice for the community to watch right from their yard, and not risk being in large gatherings. Watch for some food and drink options in the next few days.

In the coming weeks I am rolling out some new subscription options for readers that are interested. This will be special content that only subscribers have access to. It is not content shared on the blog. Readers will be able to sign up right from this blog, pay with Paypal and then receive content via email. Watch for details. I recently added paid ads to this blog, not a lot because it annoys me when I visit websites and there are popups everywhere.

Check out these awesome New Years crafts, decorations and games:

This first one is right from the Dollar Tree website, https://www.dollartree.com/new-years-wreath/idea-201512-34 It is a beautiful wreath.

This next set is geared towards toddlers, but I think any age would enjoy them, and you could always modify them, https://toddlerapproved.com/2017/12/easy-new-years-eve-party-ideas-for-kids-html.html

Does your family love Minute to Win It? I do, I think it is a great way to spend with family, or friends, https://www.u-createcrafts.com/new-years-eve-minute-to-win-it/

These wishing wands are adorable. If you are a homeschooler these would make great essay or story topics, https://lifeovercs.com/new-years-craft-for-kids-wishing-wand/

This one has 50 clever Dollar Tree New Year’s crafting and decor ideas. Check it out, https://www.prudentpennypincher.com/dollar-store-new-years-eve-party-ideas/

Finally you can watch the video below for even more easy craft ideas for New Year’s.

You can contact me by leaving a comment, emailing me at melissa@healthybuddymelissa.coach, or you can use the contact form at the end of the post.


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Wellness wednesday: the christmas blues

Happy Day before Christmas Eve! This time of year is not always festive, bright, and cheery for some people. Not everyone gets all warm and fuzzy. There are a lot of reasons why people get the Christmas and Post-Christmas Blues.

1- Too high of expectations. When you want everything to be perfect, or expect a pre-conditioned result of what Christmas should and will look like, it is very easy to be let down or be disappointed. So, how to avoid that? Just let the day be what it will. Enjoy it, savor it, don’t try to control it. You don’t have to have the perfect tree, dinner, decorations, gifts, etc to have a beautiful Christmas Day. So many people get tied up in worrying about what others will think mode. This will only wear you down. If people are only coming to see you on Christmas because they care about all of the nonsense stuff then they are most likely not worth your time. Also, try not to make in-stone traditions. When they don’t happen you will be sad and disappointed. Rather make a compromise. For example, I hate traditions, but my husband appreciates them. So, he gets to have the tradition of the same meal each year, give or take, and the rest of us try to do something different each year. Change is hard and most people don’t like it, but it is necessary for a healthy life.

2- Knowing your limits. Some people are very social and need to be with lots of people. Others are not and feel pressured and stressed to lots of things at the holidays, such as parties, and get-togethers. Know when to say yes and when to say no. Will it enhance your life, or drain you? Don’t overbook yourself for all the holiday stuff. This year this may not be an issue due to Covid, however, be sure to not be bullied into going into large gatherings if you are not comfortable and sure you will be safe. People are selfish and don’t necessarily consider others which is sad.

3- Follow your diet. OK, so I said before I hate the term diet. It is a lifestyle choice, but some people actually have prescribed diets and the holidays can be hard. Do your best to stay on your diet so you don’t get sick. Holidays should not mean overeating things that will make you feel horrible. It really isn’t worth it. When I worked in the hospital so many patients after Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas would have to be admitted to the hospital due to not staying on their diets. You can still enjoy the treats and delicious food, just in small moderate amounts. Take some home with you to enjoy on other days. To the hosts of these meals please consider being considerate to family members on special diets and try to make meal items that are appropriate for them. What a sign of love and respect.

4- Be active! I know everyone gets tired of hearing this, move more, exercise more, blah, blah, blah. But, it really is so important for reducing stress, burning off those calories you ate. Do it as a family activity. Instead of lying around watching football, go play some tag football, go for a walk or go sleigh riding if that pertains to where you live. There are so many fun things that can be done to get everyone moving. If you don’t have anyone to walk with, check out my Walking Buddy Plan. Check out my walking stats from yesterday. It is possible, even with CKD, to be active!

5- Be social. I know this one is hard this time of year, but you could use Zoom, Skype, Facebook Messenger, or other apps to connect with loved ones or friends. You just have to be a little creative. Get out and volunteer if you can and it is safe. We volunteer at a local dog rescue. There are a million ways to volunteer though. Think of a cause you would like to support, it could be anything you care about, and then research ways to volunteer. If you are just lonely and need someone to talk to, check out my Just Text or Call Health Plan. It is #5 on the list of available plans. You could also consider adopting a shelter animal or fostering. Pets are wonderful companions. If you are older be sure and try to adopt a pet that fits your needs. You may not want a puppy who needs a lot of care and attention. Cats are great pets. If you lost someone special during the holidays it makes it even harder. Making new social contacts can help.

6- Reduce stress. I offer a number of ways to help reduce stress. Distance Reiki, Guided Imagery, Aromatherapy, and Mindfulness. There are others too like Massage, Meditation, Yoga, etc. My Etsy shop is currently closed so my Guided Imagery and Reiki plans are no longer available to purchase there. If you are interested in any of these stress-reducing topics, you can use the contact form at the end of this post to message me to learn more.

7- Get enough sleep. I think this is a given. I know if I don’t sleep enough I am ornery. If you would like to learn to sleep better use the contact form at the end of the post for a free health assessment with a follow-up meet and greet.

8- Be kind. Random acts of kindness, giving back, donating gifts or money are all great ways to lift your spirits. It doesn’t have to be expensive either.

9- Set a goal. Make a goal to keep your mind off of clutter during holiday times, especially if you know it is a hard time for you. Take a class to learn something new, start a new hobby that maybe will earn you some extra money, start meal planning to help save money, start a budget. There are so many health and wellness goals to be made and met.

If you are interested in working with a Health Coach to avoid the Christmas Blues, use the contact form at the end of this post to message me for a free health assessment and a follow-up meet and greet. All new clients get one month of coaching for only 25 dollars.


Wellness wednesday: cdc and thanksgiving

I read an article the other day that polled Americans and at least 50-60% still plan to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Now, I am not judging, nor am I saying don’t do it. But, with USA Covid cases now over 120,000 new cases a day, this may not be a great idea. We are having struggles in our own families as to what to do this holiday season. Because I have CKD and I work in Health Care I am at a very high risk of getting sick. Not only do I not want it, I don’t want to spread it either, or the regular Flu for that matter. I don’t even know yet if I have to work the holiday. However, I have had to have serious conversations with my own family on how to keep everyone safe should we decide to have a gathering. We will still have a meal, for the 3 of us in our home. Hopefully my son and his wife will be able to attend as well, with precautions. The very short video below explains in simple terms the guidance, however, there is much more to it than the video states.

Wear a mask, and possibly two, that cover the nose and mouth. Open windows, or have the meal outdoors. Limit the number of people that attend to keep social distancing intact. Disinfect frequently throughout the day, especially frequently touched items like faucets, counter tops, remotes, door handles, toilet seats and flusher, etc. Have hand sanitizer out and encourage people to use it, or frequent hand washing. Don’t touch your face or hair. Have only one to two people cook and serve. Use disposable serving utensils, and single serve condiments. Don’t allow people to come in and out of the kitchen during food prep, and avoid snack trays where multiple hands will be touching the food items or serving utensils. If you are going to travel they suggest getting tested before you go, and get the results back before you go. I would also recommend getting tested 5 days after you return. Wearing safety goggles or a face shield adds extra protections. A face shield for the person preparing and serving the foods adds extra protection. I also would recommend checking temps before people enter your home, and excluding anyone with cold or allergy symptoms. That seems harsh, but if you are at high risk of getting Covid you have to protect yourself. People with any symptoms should have enough respect to stay away from people even if it means missing a gathering. You can read the full CDC guidelines here, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html

Now, just to make everything better, we have a hurricane heading for us. I may lose power for a bit, but I doubt we will have to evacuate with this one. It is right now a cat 1 and moving pretty quickly. Hopefully, it will be here and gone by tomorrow.

Tomorrow, if I have power, I will be doing a post on health care and the food industry.

What are your plans for Covid and Thanksgiving? Leave me a comment.


Halloween and Kidney Disease!

First let me state, for new readers, I have CKD stage 3. I do not have Diabetes or HTN. I have dedicated my Health Coaching to bringing awareness to Kidney Disease and the complications that come with it. If you would like to learn more about my Health Coaching service, use the contact form at the end of the post to message me. Holidays are especially hard for people with CKD, due to limitations in foods they can eat.

I have been a nurse for 33 years. Over those years I have had friends and patients with chronic diseases that they just never seem to manage very well. I always wondered why? Then, I was diagnosed with CKD in 2017. It is hard, very hard, that’s why. But, with determination, communication with your doctor, support services, family and friends it can be done. You can still live a full and happy life.

I follow a lot of social media groups, organizations with recipes tips, etc, I have purchased kidney cook books, and yet one thing I am always disappointed with is that they often are very high in Phosphorus. Phosphorus is not on food labels so tracking it can be very difficult. I have mentioned before that I use Eat This Much and My Healthy Kidney to help me judge the amount of phosphorus in foods.

Halloween candy can be very high in Phosphorus. The peanut butter cups I mentioned yesterday, have 78 mg of Phosphorus per serving. While that is considered low, a serving was two little pieces.. So, you can see how quickly that could add up. With the high limit of 900 mg per day of Phosphorus, or less, for most kidney patients, candy can be dangerous.

Below, I have put together some of my previous posts that cover Halloween, candy, or holiday foods. Maybe you are taking your kids trick or treating, or want to have a Halloween party. Covid can be very dangerous to those of us who have CKD. But, it doesn’t mean we should have to hide away and have no life as politicians have suggested. I am not advocating anyone to be dangerous, risky, or spread the virus. If you are sick you should stay away from people, even for the regular flu virus. I am just saying we deserve a life as much as anyone else, and safety is of utmost importance. I do not put recipe amount facts because I don’t know them for sure. If you want to use any of them for the upcoming holidays, do a little research on the ingredients to be sure they fit your diet needs. I find a lot of kidney patients complain that families don’t even attempt to honor their diet needs at holidays. Now, that is their perspective and may or may not be the whole story, however from personal experience I can say it is accurate. People are so caught up in their own wants and needs that they exclude anyone who may be different than theirs. Some other things I have noticed. People who are recovering alcoholics and people drink in front of them. People who have quit smoking and they have to sit in a room full of smokers at family events. People who have sensitivities or allergies to foods and not one meal item has been created with them in mind. These are things that alienate people and add to their loneliness or isolation. Most people will not ask what will be served or how it will be adapted to meet their needs as not to feel like a burden. These are all things that make me very sad.












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Self Care Saturday: Halloween and Covid

I can not believe I still am talking about the importance of social distancing and wearing a face mask in public, even when outdoors. The President of the US, now 3 Republican Senators, his wife and many others have now all tested positive for Covid 19. This puts a major strain on the US government for many reasons, and one can only assume there will be more. I won’t go into how all of this makes me so angry, but I will say it appears to have been an outside event that started it all. Now, that has not been proven, but you can surmise from the timeline when it is most likely. So, what is the point I am making? Even if you are outside, if you are not wearing a mask and social distancing you may very likely catch Covid if someone present has it. I understand people want to go back to normal life, and the holidays are coming. But, while you do have the right to make yourself get sick, you don’t have the right to make others sick. Plus, many Americans do not have good insurance, or any insurance, nor can they afford to be out of work for 2 weeks or more, like these wealthy politicians. Of course I will pray that they all recover without complications, but I sure hope it opens their eyes to their own ignorant ways.

Halloween, my daughter wants to participate, and I would love for her to do so. I have Kidney Disease, and I have an elderly mother that I really have to be able to monitor as of late. This puts a lot of risk into this Halloween equation. The other day I finally took her to get her hair cut. She only likes this one hairdresser at this one salon. Needless to say I was very disturbed that there was no mask wearing, except for us, no disinfecting in between the customer before us and ourselves. She did put on hand sanitizer, and I had to sit through a conversation about how it is real but if it is your time its your time. Needless to say she lost my patronage that day. Now, my daughter wants to go to the Corn Maze. This particular Corn Maze is small and gets large numbers of participants each year. I told her I do not have an answer yet, but I need to find out if they are social distancing and requiring masks. My daughter will wear a mask regardless, and I may have to pick and choose friends she can go with, if I decide at all she can go. Then there is Trick or Treating. While she is a teenager and I really could care less about trick or treating, she enjoys it. I may be willing to take her to the county that is actually requiring face masks, but even their cases are on the rise. This applies to Fall Festivals and any other large gatherings.

Plus Governor Desantis has decided to move to phase 3 and not allow penalties for not wearing masks. There have already been images of crowded restaurants and bars with no social distancing or mask wearing. I understand he is in a tough spot due to the loss of income to the state, but think of the possibility of all the loss of life and people who will suffer with no health care and the financial burden to them. This is not an easy situation for anyone, but with over 14,000 people already dead in Florida, I think it is going to be a hot mess of a winter. I do not care to be one of the dead.

So, that brings me to self care. If you have a family then you know they may get mad at you for taking care of yourself. This can include refusing large family invites, making you feel guilty for refusing family invites, wearing a mask inside their home should you go to invite, requesting they respect your diet and food needs, no hugging, and other social distancing requests. All of these things are things we should be doing with Halloween fast approaching.

1- Wear a face mask everywhere, period.

2- Wash hands before eating, after eating, before and after smoking, each bathroom use, and if anyone does shake your hand. Carry hand sanitizer and use often.

3- If you are having company disinfect your house before they arrive and after they arrive, especially highly touched surfaces/

4- If you decide to host a gathering indoors, open the windows. If it is cold outside and windows can not be opened, then reconsider large indoor gathering.

5- Try to encourage no hugging, no handshaking, social distance as much as possible, even if doing outdoor trick or treating. Don’t be right on top of each other.

6- Walk from home to home, don’t ride in a car, or on a hayride. If in the car keep windows open.

7- Candy will have been touched by people handing it out. If you are handing it out consider wearing gloves. If you are the receiver do not pick through the candy until you have washed your hands, before touching and after touching. See #2

8- If there is a long line at a house, stand a part from others, be patient, and wait your turn. Don’t all crowd into a line just to get a piece of candy.

9- Experts are saying Halloween masks as part of a costume are not effective, so consider putting a facemask under the Halloween mask.

While I still have not made up my mind on any of these Halloween/Fall events, if it can be done safely I will certainly consider it. She may not like me for it, but it is for the safety of everyone, not just her pleasure. I must add here that it is unfair for people to not follow precautions so that others who have reasons to not want to get sick to not be able to participate. If everyone followed proper precautions then more could participate. It is discrimination to tell the elderly and those with pre existing conditions to just stay home forever while everyone else gets to enjoy activities.


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