A Few Things

[ UPDATE: Good news! After 5 very sick days in bed, my mom seems to be getting her energy back. I know Covid can be tricky, so I know she’s not totally out of the woods, but I feel very optimistic. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and notes. I sincerely appreciate it. ]

Hello, Friends. How are you? How was your week? I’m feeling worried right now. My Mom, who lives in a very small town in Utah, tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week and has been sick in bed. Will she pull through quickly? Will things go south? Like everyone else who has gone through this, all we can do is wait and see how her body reacts.

I’m seeing tweets from friends in Utah about their over-70 parents receiving the vaccine, and it feels like she was so close to staying safe, you know? How are you doing? What has the vaccine rollout been like so far where you live?

If you’re in the mood for a link list, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

-Hoo boy. So many conflicting feelings after reading this article about “Instagram Face“. I may need to do a whole separate post on this topic.

-Ivanka and Jared wouldn’t let their Secret Service detail use any of their SIX bathrooms, so they had to go to neighbors (including the Obamas!) to find a toilet. Finally they had to rent a $3000/month studio, at taxpayer expense.

-If you have trouble imagining a world without police, start by imagining a world where police are not in charge of traffic violations — which would eliminate 24 MILLION police interactions each year.

-According to NASA, 2020 was the hottest year ever recorded.

-I’m reading The Deficit Myth by Stephanie Kelton. Have you heard of it? It teaches a different way to think about the economy and the national debt.

This pig painting is at least 45,500 years old. (Gosh I love stuff like this.)

The Capitol Rioters Weren’t ‘Low Class‘. “The business owners, real-estate brokers, and service members who rioted acted not out of economic desperation, but out of their belief in their inviolable right to rule.”

-Oh my word how is Thomas still on the Supreme Court?

Male Pleasure & Female Pain.

Here are some tweets I saved for you:

-Downplaying it is the more dangerous risk.

-A recent, very clear example, of white privilege in action.

-They are never not projecting.

-People use the phrase “cancel culture” but what they really mean is “consequences”.

It’s a short thread (6 tweets), but worth reading.

So strange, right?

I agree with this.

-A powerful 5-tweet thread on Grace.

These kinds of stories are my favorite. Worth clicking through to read.

Using politeness to stop confronting hard things.

-Does this feel true for you?

Something charming to end our list.

I hope you have a happy and healthy weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


34 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. I’m so sorry that your mom has covid. That must be so hard! I will keep her in my prayers.
    Great link list, as always. I think the link for instagram face is not correct though (I found the article separately and it really is terrifying).
    Keep us posted. Much love to you and your family.

  2. My mother and her partner both contracted COVID in December. Those were terrifying weeks. I’m sure your family is all over this, but a (relatively cheap) oximeter at home helped us have some peace of mind regarding her breathing – and also helped us know when it was time to take my mothers partner to the hospital. Love and hope.

  3. Pamela Balabuszko-Reay

    Gabrielle-I’m so sorry to hear your mom is sick. I’m sure it’s hard to be so far away. Thinking of her and sending healing thoughts. Sending you comfort.

  4. I’m really sorry to hear about your mom- wishing her a speedy recovery. The vaccine rollout in SW Michigan feels a bit like the Wild West. My 80 yr old Dad was able to get vaccinated through the VA. My 73 yr old mom has an appt through the local hospital to get it. But it’s just if you happen to get the information, get online, and sign up fast enough. An older neighbor of mine who just finished chemo and will be starting radiation was a little too late getting on to sign up for the vaccine and is still waiting now and I feel bad about that.

  5. Gabby, I am sorry to hear about your Mom, and cannot imagine the feeling of being so far removed from her during this time. Sending prayers for your family.

    Regarding your links above, specifically accountability and grace, NYT podcast The Daily had an interesting interview today with GOP Congressman Peter Meijer about the events in the Capitol and subsequent impeachment vote. I thought about you while I was listening, and would be curious to hear your thoughts on his comments. Dare I say I felt encouraged to hear a member of the Republican party express the sentiment that we cannot just “move on” and accountability is an important part of recovery. Worth a listen.

  6. I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s diagnosis, and I hope she has a quick and full recovery. Sending good thoughts to you, too–I know it’s hard to be far away at times like this. The roll-out here in Washington State is slower than any of us would like, but every post or message from a friend saying they’ve been vaccinated (at this point, mostly friends in the medical field) gives me hope.

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your mother.

    Imagine if the US parents responded to politicians at the capital the same way they responded about school shootings.

    “Thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers”

  8. So, so sorry to hear about your mom. I am so terrified of my parents getting it too – I’ll be hoping she gets through it with no lasting issues. Sending lots of love to you and your family!

  9. Hoping for a quick recovery for your mom! It must be so hard to be so far away. I know that even if you were in the same town, you’d likely feel just as helpless, but imagining it adds to the strain.

  10. I’m sorry you’re so far away from your mom while she’s sick. I hope she makes a speedy recovery. Sending healthy thoughts!

  11. Thinking of your mom (and you) and sending all good vibes. I feel you – my mother has a cold (maybe), and will not get her first covid shot on Monday, as she planned to with her lovely old lady friends. She’s signed up for a first shot on the following Monday, and I am praying hard that she will feel well and be able to go. Infuriating that it has played out like this. Peaceful thoughts to you all – make sure your mom is taking vitamin D as well as resting, hydrating, etc.

  12. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. Please keep us updated on her health, if you feel up to it. Wishing you all good health.

  13. Sending prayers of positive healing energy to your Mom that she will make a swift recovery. Also wishing your family peace, it must be very hard to be far away in times of anxiety.

  14. So very sorry about your mom. My prayers are with her and your family.
    I live in Washington State and was able to get my first dose of the vaccine through my tribal health clinic. I feel vey fortunate. Two of my children are health care workers and they have received both doses.
    Rollout of the vaccine has been slow but steady.

  15. Dear Gabrielle
    What a worry about your Mom. I am sending healing light & prayers to her & you. Please make time for some self care for YOU!
    On another note–the house updates are so wonderful–the thought, the patience, the ideas, the ability to change plans, the actual (very challenging) work are so inspiring.
    On the political issues I am so overwhelmed, sad, horrified, upset–I read your posts & the twitter thoughts to keep going! THANK YOU

  16. Sorry to hear about your mother and hoping she has a speedy, uncomplicated recovery.

    on a separate note, I thought the following might resonate with you:

    These are not my words so I can’t take credit but I think it’s spot on:

    “Huge numbers of our population, good people on both sides, believe in a completely alternate reality. Alternate facts as it were. But just as intensely as I believe they are deluded, they think I am the one who is deluded. Maybe I am. So how can I be confident in my perception? It can be quite difficult. But I have found that in times of confusion, particularly when emotions are running high and creating tunnel vision, THE PRESENCE OF NAZIS can be an extremely helpful indicator. If I am attending a local demonstration or event and I see Nazis…neo-Nazis, miscellaneous-Nazis or the latest-whatever-uber-mythology-Nazis, I figure out which side they are on. And IF THEY ARE ON MY SIDE OF THE DEMONSTRATION, I AM ON THE WRONG SIDE. It is tough to argue moral equivalence when standing next to a Nazi. Look to my right. Is there a guy wearing a 6MWE (6 million wasn’t enough) t-shirt? I am on the wrong side. Look to my left. If that guy is wearing a Camp Auschwitz t-shirt? Wrong side. Speakers referring to things Hitler got right? Wrong side. Team-spirit face paint and hat with horns? This is an unclear indicator that could mean anything but safest to keep my distance from that guy even at a football game. But I can always, always, always, rely on the presence of Nazis as a guiding light through a fog of disinformation. Some things are relative, but evil and good are absolute.” Mort Crim (Feel free to copy.)

  17. Thank you as always for the links. I am so sorry about your mom, and I hope she recovers quickly and without complication. It must be hard to be so far away, though I guess that is the experience many people are having with Covid.

  18. I am so so sorry to hear about your mom. My dad also just missed getting the vaccine before he got COVID. My prayers are with you and your family. The hardest part for me was not being able to be with him. It’s so difficult. Sending you love.

    As far as actually GETTING the vaccine….my husband is eligible here in NYC, but has spent every day since he became eligible looking for an appointment to get the first dose. Finally this morning he got one….on March 17th, an hour away by car. Hopefully things will open up before then. Because, seriously, that is absurd.

  19. Gabby, I’m sorry about your mom. Both of my parents tested positive last week. My mom recovered very quickly but my dad has had a tougher go of it and is currently in the hospital getting treatment. I hope your mom recovers quickly. I will be thinking of you.

    Vaccinations in Texas have been confusing, just like everywhere I would imagine. There are reports of doses going unused but it seems that nobody can get appointments to get them either. I work in healthcare and was able to get my first dose last week, which I am so grateful for. I am worried about being able to get my second dose, though, as nobody has been able to guarantee them. I will continue to stay extra safe and hope I’ll be able to get another one in early Feb.

  20. My heart goes out to you and your family. We had a COVID scare with my dad over the holidays who sounded so awful but refused to go to the hospital. It’s wasn’t until he could no longer walk 10 steps without collapsing that he acquiesced. I was constantly thinking “Is this last time I’m going to talk to my dad?” It turned out to be bacterial pneumonia, which was sort of a relief but extremely scary for an 80-yr. old. He is home and improving daily, but that mixture of fear, dread, and anxiety for a loved one is still very fresh in my mind. I would never wish that for anyone. Love and prayers from Oakland.

  21. I hope your mother gets well very, very soon. I’m so sorry that she got ill. Keeping her in my thoughts.

    I was so glad when my state (Washington) announced vaccines for people over 70. Our kids haven’t seen their grandparents since March. FIL has an immune disorder and underwent chemo – we are trying to keep him safe. So, I about screamed when my husband told me his mom, my sweet 75-year-old MIL, refuses to get the vaccine. She’s read Catholic Facebook posts that the vaccine might change her DNA, so she won’t get into Heaven…… she’s ok with FIL getting the vaccine but she won’t.

    WHAT???!!! I am beyond angry. Not so much at my MIL, but at her church and friends who would support this brainwashed and delusional viewpoint. I think she might have early dementia. And, she’s gone down this twisted sick rabbit hole of vaccine conspiracy theories…

    MIL is a retired pediatric nurse. She used to give immunizations to her patients and checked up on the vaccines of all her grandkids. It makes no sense, but nothing seems to right now.

    I hoped 2021 would be better…but I’ve come to realize that evil is alive and well in the world.

  22. I feel your pain. My grandmother was 89 and my mom had to put her in a nursing home because her alzheimer’s was just so bad. It was unfortunate that it had to be during a pandemic. Then there was an outbreak in her nursing home about a month before they were to give vaccinations to patients. Even though she made it through covid, it exacerbated her alzheimers and she passed away on January 1st. Now, it is tragic, but it is also completely the right time too. She would not want to have lived without my grandfather and he passed away this passed summer from cancer. So I do not feel sadness for this loss, only relief that she was not suffering more years of alzheimers. However, I understand how close she has come to getting that vaccine and it is so frustrating. I keep seeing teachers in the states getting their first shot…I am so jealous because being overseas we are not seeing any traction or movement of vaccinations and it just kind of sucks. I hope your mom can rest up and recover. Sending positive thougths and energy her way.

  23. I just looked through the links and thought about the link for the police and traffice offenses….living in Armenia we have had to get used to speed cameras. My husband had already racked up 15 tickets! Thankfully they are not nearly as pricey as the states, but it has honestly forced him to slow down and drive like a grandpa! I was just telling him though that we could easily use that in the states and would free up half the work that the police do! It seems I am not the only one that thinks about these things!

  24. I’ll be thinking of your mom, Gabrielle. In NYC the vaccination process ramped up slowly and they expanded the eligible categories so quickly that many, many eligible people won’t be able to get shots for weeks to months. On the one hand, my parents are now eligible, and it’s possible we will be able to figure out a place for them to get vaccinated in the next couple of weeks. On the other hand, they didn’t really need to be prioritized (they work exclusively from home, and we are pretty isolated and live in the same neighborhood so are still able to see them outdoor regularly), and I feel like we should really be providing access to all the people in the earlier category first (people 75+ and essential workers who have contact with the public).

    As for the traffic stops, my husband was just telling me a story about dealing with a terrible, dangerous driver in Brooklyn, and we wound up talking about how we need to have police stop being responsible for the roads, because 1) traffic stops are one of the main ways they harass, intimidate, and assault vulnerable people, and 2) they absolutely suck at getting dangerous drivers off the road! It absolutely amazes me how you can do a job so badly and it just leads to some people saying, “well imagine how bad it would be without them.”

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