Leap Day All Year

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Leap Day is one of those exiting days on the calendar. It’s extra. It’s special. What are we going to do with our extra twenty-four hours?

I had thoughts.

I had plans.

In the end, I had nothing.

And Leap Day is nearly about to fade into the not-so-distant past until the next one arrives in 2024.

But then I had a thought – 

What if we had an extra day every month for the rest of the year?

I saw this idea in a book a couple of years ago; it’s like having a mental health day, something I firmly believe in.

Open up your calendar. Start with March. Close your eyes and randomly pick a date. Is anything already scheduled? No? Good. Put a little star or asterisk or sticker in the box. That’s your Leap Day for March.

Now, turn the calendar to April, and do it again. And again in May. Go through all the rest of the year. If you do it now and mark the days, each month’s special day will come as a surprise for you when you turn to the new month.
What will you do on these Leap Days? Whatever you like!

Take yourself out for lunch.

Go to the movies.

Read a book.

Take a bubble bath.

Have a glass of wine (or mug of tea; whatever you fancy.)

Journal.

Go for a walk.

Call a friend.

As I enjoy my Leap Days, I’ll add more suggestions over time. Offer yours in comments below.

COVID-19 INFORMATION HUB (UPDATED: 3/20/20)

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Here’s the first update for the new Coronavirus Information Hub. The whole post will change over the next week. Judging by today’s publishing fun, it will take at least two hours to get these posts set up by categories. As they are published, they will be easily found through the COVID-19 category tag.

What to Do in Isolation/Quarantine (UPDATED 3/21/20)(NOW WITH EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES)
Where Can I Help? (UPDATED 3/21/20)

THIS POST WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE UPDATES AS INFORMATION CHANGES.

SARS-CoV-2 is the official name of this strain of the coronavirus. The respiratory disease the virus causes is abbreviated COVID-19. My intention in this post is to be apolitical, but after watching the press conference naming Vice President Pence as the coronavirus response coordinator and then their blocking the doctor (Dr. Anthony Fauci) from appearing on news programs this weekend, I’m not sure that this Administration is taking this epidemic seriously.

For one thing, according to a HHS whistleblower and reports in The New York Times and elsewhere, DHS employees were instructed to interact with repatriated quarantined Americans without protocols or protective gear. In one case, a DHS employee was forced to return to work before their 14-day quarantine was over, which they did. Another employee stayed at a hotel, and then took a commercial flight home with no precautions. There are currently three community based coronavirus transmissions in California and Oregon. There are reported positive tests also in Utah and Texas.

For those of us who are legitimately worried about contracting the coronavirus, we need to dispel the misinformation and out and out lies coming from this Administration, and get actual facts from experts and medical professionals.

It is important to note that I am NOT a doctor. I do NOT work in the health care field. I have carefully researched and vetted the links that follow, and in the case of podcasts have personally listened to them in order to be able to recommend them to you. Any advice I give further down the post is “mom-advice” that I am giving my own family, and following myself. It is not medical advice. IF you are an immuno-compromised individual, contact your doctor for the steps to keep yourself healthy and safe from this outbreak. Obviously, washing your hands, etc. is something you can do, but it’s best if you check on your individual situations with a medical professional who knows your specific circumstances.

I can’t believe that I have to debunk this, but you will not get COVID-19 from drinking Corona beer or eating Chinese food. In fact, we’re eating Chinese take-out tonight for dinner. Another point of necessary debunking is that coronavirus “is just like the flu”. It is not. At the lowest level of the range, deaths from the regular flu (influenza) is .02%. Deaths from Coronavirus is 2%. That makes the coronavirus 100 times more deadly than seasonal flu.

While there are fifteen confirmed cases in the US (origin to the US), there are over fifty including those repatriated from Japan and the cruise ship as well as the new unknown origin transmissions that I mentioned above. Despite assertions to the contrary, this virus will spread. It is already spreading.

In 2014, President Obama appointed Ronald Klain as the coordinator for the Ebola response. One thing I will say is that under Obama and Klain, I did not miss one night’s sleep. I did not give Ebola a second thought; I knew it was being handled. Mr. Klain was and is not a medical professional, but he was able to hear from all the various departments and disseminate the appropriate information to the appropriate agencies. He never restricted what the CDC and the NIH told the public. He also had briefings twice a day from the CIA and national intelligence agencies. As with ebola, coronavirus is a global problem. I mention all of this because this does not appear to be the procedure the Trump Administration is following. In fact, in 2018, President Trump eliminated the pandemic team which leaves us starting practically from scratch today.

Mom-Advice:

If you are able, get a flu shot. This will keep you from getting the flu and lowering your immune system. It will NOT prevent the coronavirus.

Wash your hands with soap and warm water several times throughout the day. After using the bathroom, before and after eating, arriving at work and returning home.

Equally important is to dry your hands thoroughly. This is something I learned as an Early Childhood Teacher/Specialist. (added 3/9/20)

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. I know, I know, you’re doing it now. I understand.

When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose AND mouth. Even if covering with a tissue or fabric, wash your hands after with soap and warm water.

Do not share food or drinks with anyone. ANYONE. Do not share straws also.

Resources for you:

First and foremost is the new podcast, Epidemic. It is hosted by Dr. Celine Gounder and former Ebola response Coordinator, Ronald Klain. The first episode is out now, and is incredibly informative. They will be releasing new episodes every Friday.

NEW PODCAST: America Dissected: Coronavirus with Dr. Abdul el-Sayed. New pods will be broadcast on Tuesdays and Fridays. (added 3/13/20)

The Rachel Maddow Show from February 27, 2020. The first 45 minutes focuses exclusively on the coronavirus.

Rachel Maddow’s show transcript from March 11, 2020 or listen to the same on her podcast (added 3/13/20)

Rachel Maddow’s show from March 12, 2020 (added 3/13/20)

Transcript of Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s interview on CBS’ Face the Nation (added 3/9/20)

CDC (Center for Disease Control)

CDC-Coronavirus 2019
NIH (National Institute of Health)

Scientific American: Preparing for the Coronavirus to Strike the US
Coronavirus Symptoms

Wash Your Damn Hands (from Vox)

Take Smart Steps to Slow the Spread of the coronavirus (added 3/9/20)

Preparing for an Outbreak (Coronavirus) (from Vox)

Explainer: Coronavirus reappears in discharged patients, raising questions in containment fight

Cancel Everything (Social Distancing) from The Atlantic (added 3/13/20)

Flattening the Curve, Isolation, Quarantine (from Vox) (added 3/13/20)

How Fox News Misled Viewers about Coronavirus – important to keep up with and recognize the misinformation (CNN Business) (added 3/13/20)

How Trump Set Up his White House to Fail (relates to information access) (The Atlantic) (added 3/13/20)

9 Charts that Explain the Coronavirus Pandemic (from Vox) (added 3/13/20)

Coronavirus Live Update Website (added 3/5/20)

Follow on Twitter:

Dr. Celine Gounder

Ronald Klain
Dr. Scott Gottlieb (added 3/9/20)

Dr. Abdul el-Sayed (added 3/13/20)

CDC

CDC-Emergency
NIH
WHO (World Health Organization)

Richard Engel

Epidemic Science & Health list on Twitter compiled by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo (added 3/5/20)

As more information comes to light, I expect to either add to this post or create new ones. I will put a link on my home page so the information can be easily found.
[Originally titled: Coronavirus – SARS-CoV2-COVID-19 with latest update 3/13/20]

Supernatural Lists: The Monsters (*) of Supernatural

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Over the years, the Winchesters (and their family and friends) have encountered a plethora of monsters. Some monsters come back several times over time, and we can recognize them enough to try and figure out the clues before Sam and Dean do. By the same token, some of our friends have become “monsters(*)and have either needed to be ganked or go on to live very productive lives with spouses and children. You never know what you’ll find in a Supernatural episode. Also, my use of the term monster (*) includes entities like Angels or other neutral/good or not-necessarily-bad characters.

Here are a few of their favorite monsters:

Amazons. (Amazonian?)

Angel. See also Archangel.

Banshee

Bisaan (episode: The Chitters)

Bloody Mary

The Darkness

Death

Demon. See also the Yellow Eyed Demon, Crossroads Demon, Knight of Hell, Meg, Ruby, Lilith

Djinn

Dragons

Dreamwalker

Eve. See also Mother of All.

Fairies

Ghosts. See also Vengeful Spirit, Poltergeist

Ghoul

Harpy

Hellhounds

Imaginary Friends

Kitsune

Leprechauns

Leviathan

Nephilim

Okami

Pishtaco

Prophets

Psychic

Reaper

Rugaroo

Shapeshifter

Siren

Skinwalkers

Stryga

Trickster. See also Loki.

Unicorn

Vampire. See also Alpha Vampire.

Vetala

Wendigo

Werewolf

Witch. See also Rowena.

Wraith

Zombies

Monsters they’ve named: Jefferson Starships, Khan worms

Black History and Heritage: Journalist Gwen Ifill

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Gwen Ifill was an extraordinary journalist, and someone who I followed for as long as I followed politics. She died too young in 2016 of breast and endometrial cancer. This year she has been honored with a United States Postal Service Forever stamp. You read her author’s page at The PBS Newshour and read some touching memories at Remembering Gwen Ifill. She will always be an inspiration to me.

USPS Forever Stamp, 43rd in a series for Black History, Gwen Ifill. (c)2020

Election Connection: 36 Weeks: Leave it All on the Field

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Crooked Media is promoting and supporting the 2020 Election. One way they are doing that, in addition to Fair Fight 2020 and Vote Save America is Leave it All on the Field. We know that to win in 2020, we need to be in the field, on the ground, organizing, informing, talking to voters about the future they want to see, and doing everything we can for the Democratic nominee in order to get Trump out of the White House, his cronies out of the Senate and further down ballot, and begin to repair what’s been done to our country.

Leave it All on the Field is starting with Organizing Corps 2020 from the DNC. Their goal is $500,000 and they’re more than halfway there. Let’s get them there!