Tag: isolation

Mitchell Jackson stops by and talks about his beloved friend and surrogate mother, Sandie Crisp, aka The Goddess Bunny, a disabled trans icon. She died in January of Covid, after surviving polio and HIV.  Mitchell discusses the ups and downs of her life, stints of homelessness, having her picture hanging in the Louvre, why she’s huge in South America, her hatred of identity politics, the surrogate family she built for herself, and the tragedy of her passing in isolation (due to Covid restrictions) in an assisted living facility. He and Bridget discuss the massive flaws in our system regarding the health and care of the homeless, disabled, mentally ill, and people struggling with addiction. They cover the battle to hold a funeral that did Sandie proud, how she raged against the idea that anyone would ever perceive her as a victim, and why Mitchell is optimistic about the future.

We Can Do This

 

When I woke up on Shabbat, I was hesitant to open my eyes fully, dreading the malaise that had been dogging me for days. But I’d already slept in longer than I wanted, and so I pulled myself out of bed and stood up. And I felt, well—almost normal.

After two interminable weeks of feeling so poorly (yes, malaise is the right word but yucky describes it more fully for me), I was so relieved to feel a sense of my former self. It didn’t last long, and throughout the rest of the day, fatigue showed up now and then. Yet I could have breakfast, even a small cup of coffee (!), do my Torah study and reading, have a decent lunch—well it was a very special Sabbath, to say the least.

As I did my meditation that morning, the thought came to me: I can do this. I couldn’t imagine enduring the whole chemotherapy regimen. But I realized that I had probably survived the worst, and there was more “worse” to come. Yet among those days would be good days: days where some of my energy returned, some days when I laughed and cracked jokes, days where I took a walk and breathed in the sunshine, other days when I could truly appreciate G-d’s presence. My friends had tried to reassure me, but I had to know for myself.

Member Post

 

We hear daily reports of the number of people who have died with Covid-19. We have imposed enormous damage on people and on society in the name of preventing deaths due to Covid-19. Is there any actual evidence that deaths have truly been prevented? How would we know if our program of closing businesses, closing social […]

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DC Politicians, Big Tech Companies Making Violence More Likely, Not Less

 

By using current events as pretexts for further restricting the ability of people to speak and to communicate, national government politicians and “big tech” companies are increasing the likelihood that people will resort to violence to get their point across.

Politicians and “big tech” claim restricting speech and communication will reduce “conspiracy theories” and the planning of violent actions. But, driving such topics into hidden corners tends to reinforce them and to encourage the people involved to become more extreme and potentially violent.

Member Post

 

As we hear of Covid-19 “cases” “exploding” at “alarming rates” and prompting new demands that we physically isolate ourselves, shouldn’t we at least consider when setting isolation policy that the human wreckage of isolating ourselves that may “explode” at “alarming rates”? “Cases” is different from severe medical consequences or death, but that’s not a subject […]

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Life in a Zoo

 

It was an eerie and uneasy time for us. My husband and I decided to get away and we went to St. Petersburg to stay for a couple of days. The first day was bathed in the warm sunlight of fall, and was perfect weather for touring Zoo Tampa, where we had never been. We had watched the care of the animals on TV and thought it would be fun to become acquainted in person.

Aside from the sunny day, however, much of our visit seemed somehow off. We were hungry when we got there, so we went into the cavernous café near the zoo entrance near noontime. Hardly anyone else was there. Everyone was masked up when they weren’t eating.

When we started touring the zoo, one of the first enclosures had a single tiger in it. We watched as he paced from side to side in one portion where there were rocks for him to walk on. I wondered if his behavior would be considered normal. Later I asked a staff person about it, and she said he was probably waiting for his meal. Maybe so.

We Have Each Other!

 

Extended isolation is killing us, physically and emotionally. Suicides, drug overdoses, and untended health problems are deadly outcomes during this virus pandemic. But I’m here with positive news and a way for us to remind each other that we are in this together. Rather than dwell on what we can’t do, I’m choosing to focus on what we can do.

I’ve finally realized that the most important thing for me to do is to reduce my isolation! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Here are some of the steps I’m going to take:

  1. Connect with one friend per day. That means I will make a phone call or send a personal note. Now I dislike talking on the phone, but if I keep it to a few minutes, it will be worth it. Hearing the other person’s voice, finding something to laugh at (I usually make an easy victim), or telling a story will lighten my load. Since I know others are busy, I will first ask if they have a couple of minutes, and then say I won’t be long. I could call people all over the country that I haven’t talked to in ages. It would be fun to catch up, and share our lives. I’m feeling better just talking about it!
  2. I will send an email just to say I’m thinking of that person. Remind him or her of a memory we shared or a joke I’ve heard. (Well, maybe not a joke because I’m terrible at punch lines.) I would make a point to only include funny, light, or heartfelt comments. It shouldn’t be a long email, but just a way to make a sweet connection.
  3. Before the virus, I was in the process of organizing a Jewish group. It was called Teshuvah, and after our first meeting, the virus hit. I’ve only rarely been in touch since we can’t get together. We were going to meet with an agenda to become better acquainted with the Jewish holidays. Instead, for each holiday I will send out a blurb, maybe call it, “Did You Know,” with something unlikely to be known about the holiday, maybe include a quote from a well-known Jewish teacher. It will keep the connections going and maybe add a few new people. I could do this every couple of weeks.

But I realize that I also have relationships with like-minded Conservative people all over the country! I have all of you, my Ricochet friends! I would like to think of these relationships as a Web of Friendship, may be present in every state of the Union. I will want to know that I have engaged, sustained, and continually supported all of you, even after the election, no matter what happens. So here’s my proposal:

If I Were a Hermit, I’d Live in a Cabin in the Woods

 

Since @cliffordbrown has given us the freedom to be anything or anyone we want to be for Group Writing this month, I have decided I would like to become a hermit. I would find a two-room cabin that is surrounded by trees but receives enough sunshine to light the small main room, bright rays splashing across the wooden floor. It would have to have electricity and indoor plumbing.

I would take special care decorating the cabin: hooked rugs, wooden shelves, two comfortable chairs, and a small sofa. The colors would be a tribute to fall—oranges, light browns, and deep reds. There would be small toss pillows to create the feeling of softness and healing. And a small wooden table with one wooden chair, with a pillow on the seat, in front of a window that looks out on the breathtaking scenery.

‘Elder Scrolls’ a Virtual World of Possibilities

 
A scene from Elder Scrolls

A scene from Elder Scrolls

My husband and daughter have been playing the video game “Elder Scrolls” for a few years now (yes, they take breaks to eat, go to school, go to work, etc.). This virtual world is stunning in its detail and sprawl. When the weather is bleak outdoors, the digital forests with sun filtering through trees, birds singing, and wildflowers blooming give me a lift. Sometimes–although I would never publicize this on an online forum–when weather doesn’t permit walking, I jog in place in front of the screen, pretending to “run with” my daughter’s screen character. It is cheering, if there are no nightmarish beings attacking, to imagine I’m taking some air on cobbled paths winding through woods, or on a beach, or over a boardwalk. As my daughter works her way through the game, with its stiff storylines and stilted dialogue, we are building our own family lore around it, which to me is more amusing than what the Tolkien-wannabe scriptwriters offer. Here are some absurdities you can only get from the blending of real and programmed worlds: