Spring Coming, Temps Rising… But Coronavirus is Out There

Upper Great Plains: Time to recommit to social distancing.

Dont Do It!

Social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 has been relatively easy so far in North Dakota and Minnesota. March has been the tease it usually is, with above-freezing temps but windchills still down in the single digits or teens.

But now the temps are rising – 40s and 50s in Fargo (N.D.)-Moorhead (Minn.) for the next 10 days or so, warmer the farther south you go.

We’re all looking out the window, thinking about how luxurious the spring sunshine would feel on our backs and how great it would be to share a cold one on the neighbors’ patio, even if we still have to wear a light jacket.

The pull is especially strong after a couple of weeks mostly in isolation. People… we need to be around people!

Resist the urge.

Getting together, standing in lines, stopping for chats…. You’ll not only be putting yourself in danger of contracting coronavirus and developing COVID-19, you’ll be putting others in danger. One person with coronavirus infects two, two become four, four become 16, 16 become….

To give you a little more context for my point of view – my wife is a registered nurse at Sanford Health caring for patients with coronavirus and COVID-19 patients directly. People who go out and interact with other people literally put her life at greater risk.

Just don’t do it. Please.

Go walk your dogs, keep six feet between you and anyone on the same side of the street, hang out with the kids in the backyard, sure. Take care of your family’s mental health. Absolutely. But keep using technology like FaceTime if you have it to “hang” with anyone who doesn’t live in your household.

COVID-19 is out there, like a wolf waiting to make a break for anyone who stumbles from a herd.

Just… #StayTheFuckHome

 

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Featured graphic by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay.

Mental Health Guidance for Kids, Teens and Guardians

Coronavirus is kicking everyone in the ass, but it’s especially tough for kids and teens. Here’s some guidance and a few resources to help us all through.

Talk. Listen. Validate.
While You’re At It, Blast a Little Metal.

Last week I wrote a post about what a drag this coronavirus crap is for my oldest daughter, a representative of classes of 2020 all over the country. For this year’s seniors, fun is not being had, friendships are not being deepened and memories are not being made.

Like all of us, they’re captives of circumstances that are beyond their control.

That sucks.

Everyone is sharply focused on physical health, for good reason, but we can’t forget about mental health.

The stress of self- or parent/guardian-imposed stay-at-home social distancing is a challenge for everyone, but I believe it has to be tougher on kids, especially teens.

Think back for a minute. Remember how important your friends were when you were 12-18 years old? Your crew – or whatever you called it – wasn’t just important, it was necessary. You felt things so much more deeply then. Everything took on such huge significance that you needed your friends to get through it all.

Nothing’s changed. These kids need their friends, and not just over FaceTime or some similar technology. They need to be with each other, face to face. They need to hug and bump fists. But they can’t. And that can be tough on their mental health.

Search “mental health kids teens coronavirus” and dozens of articles and posts will come up from reputable groups, such as:

Many offer similar advice, like:

  • Talk to your kids about coronavirus and COVID-19.
  • Ask them about the specific worries they have. Really listen.
  • Validate their concerns, but also reassure them.
  • Be a good role model. Get enough sleep, exercise and eat well.
  • Be realistic and honest, but try not to express rising levels of anxiety.

As for my favorite advice, it comes from a non-mental health professional, metal rocker Lzzy Hale. It’s good for people of all ages –

Now is the time we truly get to see the healing powers of music. Listen to it, play it, share your playlists with friends. Listen to music together online, etc.”

Whatever you do, remember that our kids need us during these strange and unpredictable days.

Coronavirus and COVID-19 be damned! But for now, we just gotta deal.

As my 16-year old son would say, #Facts.”

 

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Dress Never Worn

Some Things You’ll Just Never Get Back

Our 18-year-old daughter opened our bedroom door late. We’d been sleeping for nearly an hour already. I sat up quickly, saw her silhouette in the light spilling in from the hallway. My wife, an RN at one of the local hospitals, had a 5 a.m. shift the next day; she slept on. My daughter motioned for me to come.

She was crying.

We went down the hall to her room, sat on the edge of the bed and I put my arm around her. She let me, which is unusual; my daughter has never been physically demonstrative, even when she was a baby. It’s just part of who she is.

“What’s wrong, Honey?” I asked, one word echoing through my mind before she spoke:

“Everything.”

*

2020.

It was supposed to be the perfect year.

Continue reading “Dress Never Worn”

Trading on Insider Information is Illegal, Sen. Hoeven

The Securities and Exchange Commission needs to investigate and call bullshit on the load of crap North Dakota’s senior senator is trying to sling.

You’re Busted, Senator!

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and he’s trying to tell us that since his digits haven’t quite curled around a treat yet, he’s done nothing wrong.

We call B.S.

According to a story first reported on CNBC, Hoeven purchased stock in the BlackRock Health Sciences Trust II fund five days after receiving a briefing on the coronavirus. After that same briefing, several of his colleagues sold off shares of stock, presumably in anticipation of the market taking a nosedive due to the crisis that was coming. As they’d just been told by “health and State Department officials.”

As The Hill reported, “According to financial disclosure forms, Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) each sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocks within days of the Senate holding a classified briefing on Jan. 24 with Trump administration officials on the threat of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Since he hasn’t avoided the loss of millions, like his colleagues, Hoeven’s still flying a bit under the radar. But that certainly doesn’t me he’s done nothing wrong.

On the contrary….

Continue reading “Trading on Insider Information is Illegal, Sen. Hoeven”

Coronavirus Pandemic – What Are Our Leaders Waiting For?

Will and Ben knew what they were talking about. Too bad they aren’t talking to government leaders about the coronavirus pandemic.

Government Responses to COVID-19 Spread Defy Logic

* Editors Note, March 16, 2020 – Hours after IV Words published this post on March 15, N.D. Gov. Doug Burgum announced statewide school closures due to coronavirus. By that time, every state around us – Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota – had already announced closings. Fargo Public Schools sent announcements to students and parents shortly thereafter. As of today, about 30 states have shuttered schools for the purposes of social distancing in the hope of at least slowing the spread of the virus.

“Discretion is the better part of valor” is a bit of wisdom based on a line from Shakespeare’s “King Henry the Fourth, Part One.”

“Caution is preferable to rash bravery,” Falstaff said in the play.

Another way of saying it these days is “Prudence is the better part of valor.” Either way, the old saying means it’s “wise to be careful and avoid unnecessary risks.”

Seems to me too many people are OK with taking unnecessary risks with the coronavirus pandemic right now.

Continue reading “Coronavirus Pandemic – What Are Our Leaders Waiting For?”

Trump Blows Off Coronavirus… Until It Threatens Wall Street.

It took a threat to something President Donald J. Trump actually values to elicit a response to the novel coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Hint: it wasn’t the wellbeing of the citizenry.

The Donald’s True Colors

Could this be the week supporters of President Donald J. Trump finally wake up and see his true colors?

As late as Monday, March 9, Trump was trying to push off the threat of coronavirus, suggesting, for the millionth time, that it’s a “hoax.”

“President Trump in an early morning tweet on Monday accused the ‘Fake News Media’ and Democrats of trying ‘to inflame’ the coronavirus outbreak as the virus spreads globally and across the U.S.,” The Hill reported Monday morning.

Yet, by the end of that day, Trump was behind the podium, announcing his administration’s “response” to the worldwide outbreak of novel coronavirus. It came at the end of the worst day Wall Street has seen in more than a decade.

Continue reading “Trump Blows Off Coronavirus… Until It Threatens Wall Street.”