Writing in a Time of Peril: 4.21.2020 Sacrifice The Weak-Re-Open TN

Texas Lt. Governor: Old People Should Volunteer to Die to … 

Anti-lockdown protester wields vile ‘Sacrifice the weak’ poster …

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard* is reporting 672,303 US cases and 33,898 deaths as of 12:45pm on April 17. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard* is reporting 762k US cases and 40.7k deaths as of 11:30am on April 20. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard** is reporting 788,920 US 

cases and 42,458 deaths as of 10:30am on April 21. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

It was on television. A newswoman is in the foreground looking directly into the camera. All around are men and women standing quite close to each other. The sun is bright. Three men and a woman are standing behind the newswoman. A sign is being held by an unseen person. One of the men is holding and American flag. The unseen person is holding up a sign. Three lines.  Sacrifice The Weak   Re-Open   TN.

Writing in a Time of Peril: 4.21.2020

Sacrifice

The

Weak

Re–Open

TN

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard* is reporting 672,303 US cases and 33,898 deaths as of 12:45pm on April 17. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard* is reporting 762k US cases and 40.7k deaths as of 11:30am on April 20. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard** is reporting 788,920 US 

cases and 42,458 deaths as of 10:30am on April 21. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

It was on television. A newswoman is in the foreground looking directly into the camera. All around are men and women standing quite close to each other. The sun is bright. Three men and a woman are standing behind the newswoman. A sign is being held by an unseen person. One of the men is holding and American flag. The unseen person is holding up a sign. Three lines.  Sacrifice The Weak   Re-Open   TN.                  

I Am the One

I am the sick

I am the dead

I and the buried

I am the unburied

I am the cremated

I am the unclaimed

I am invisible

Erasable.

I am the nurse assistant

I am the porter

I am the physician’s assistant

I am the security guard

I am the janitor

I am the cafeteria worker

I am the hospice care worker

I am the coroner assistant.

I am the postal worker

I am cannon fodder

I serve and die on Covid-19 battle fields

Without armor or weapons

I am the mortuary assistant

I place the precious remains of the departed into coffins

I transport the precious remains of the departed to places of burial and 

Crematoriums

I return with ashes. 

I am exploitable

I serve and live and die

Without armor or weapons

On U. S. soil

During the times of

The Covid battlefields 

Where is the 

Marshall Plan the 

A Manhattan Project the 

Total mobilization of 

America’s resources and geniuses.

I am expendable

I am the medical provider

I am the nursing home aid

I am the prison guard

I am the mental hospital attendant

I am the detained

I am the cook

I am the visitor

I am the just released. 

I am invisible

I am the transportation workers

I am the grocery clerk

I am the pharmacist

I am the fast food worker

I am the agriculture worker

I am the produce processor

I am the meat packer.

I am the ones named

Weak

Erasable

Cannon fodder

Exploitable

Expendable

Invisible

Untested

Untreated

I am the ones sacrificed

I am the ones to be sacrificed

I am the one who finds the way

I am the one who makes the way

I am the one who shares the way

We always do.

I turn to Sweet Honey in the Rock, Donny Hathaway, and Roberta Flack.

I Remember, I Believe performed by Sweet Honey … – YouTube

Donny Hathaway – Someday We’ll All Be Free – YouTube

You’ve Got a Friend

I go down my to-do list of self-care: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home–except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with mask and gloves & when there are very few people about. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear and rage into expression, action and art. 

I continue to chronicle these times.

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA

andreacanaan@gmail.com

https://andracanaan.bloghttps://www.facebook.com/Andrea-Canaan-Author-456010704809232/

Writing in a Time of Peril: 4.16.2020

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard* is reporting 610,774 US cases and 26,119 deaths as of 12:00pm on April 15. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard* is reporting 640,291 US cases and 31,015 deaths as of 11:45am on April 16. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

I began this writing listening to Abdulla Ibrahim’s, “Water from an Ancient Well.”

Ibrahim’s music was prayerful and calming. I played it as an attempted antidote for my anger, dismay and memories that are rising above the constant boil of our country’s criminally negligent and homicidal response to Covid–19. 

I ‘m witnessing the increasing lethality of the toxic abandonment and neglect of the vast majority of Americans in the behind–our–backs, and the in–our–faces actions and inactions of the current republican administration. It is statistically clear that people who are most at risk of having extreme cases of Covid–19 and dying are; people who people who were already poor before Covid–19, people being made poor by Covid-19,  peoples of color, elders, and people housed in congregate living housing and prisons. It is also abundantly clear these are also the same people living with medical conditions that can be directly traced to the historic and current ravages of systemic and institutionalized racism, classism, and misogyny. The co-combinations of the ravages of systemic and institutionalized racism, classism, and misogyny, and the toxic abandonment and neglect of major american populations are being directly connected to comorbidities with Covid-19. 

2.127.2020            President said Covid-19ncould disappear like a miracle.

3.2.2020                President call Covid-19 a hoax.

3.13.2020              President takes no responsibility for his disastrous lack of response to Covid-10. Blames President Obama.  

3.14.2020              President announced total authority over reversing state  governors stay at home orders. 

3.19.2020              Encourages the use of an unstudied or approved drug for Covid-19 with clear indications that the drug has lethal side effects. 

3.26.2020              President praised the blamed China for Covid-19. Pressured WHO to use racial language to name the virus. Was very upset with WHO when it refused to so. Eventually led to breach between president and WHO leaders.

3.27.2020              President suggests that the Covid-19 threat would be over by Easter.                   

4.10.2020              President said he would be looking at Easter services on the television.

4.14.2929              Threatened to shut down both houses of Congress in order to make recess appointments without congressional  oversight.

4.14.2020              Threatened to defund the U. S. portion of WHO funding.

4.17.2020              Released vague plan for reopening the country without coordinated governmental departmental supports or funding, and further, while making states responsible for testing, his administration has intercepted and confiscated vital testing other critical medical supplies. 

Trump can’t decide whether to blame China for the … – Politico

Donald Trump Archives – FactCheck.org

A Trump Pattern—Claiming ‘Total Authority,’ Then Backing …

I took a break. I went for a bike ride in the sunny and windy clear day. 

My neighborhood had little traffic. Everyone is practicing physical distancing. There were more turkeys and rabbits relaxing in the sun. Mating birds made hot pursuit sex noises. The bees were very busy sampling evening primrose and the ornamental strawberry.  When I returned home I put on Wynton Marsalis’ Standard Time Volume 3 The Resolution of Romance. When it came to, “Never Let Me Go,” I hit repeat each time.

The Resolution of Romance – Standard Time, Vol. 3 – Wynton …

Growing up in New Orleans, I often heard a saying, “Lord, please don’t let me make my move too soon.” In a blues song, B.B. King sings about a woman who didn’t appreciate a man who was down on his luck. It is about the loss the woman endured when she left him before his ship came in. I listened to B.B. King’s song to remind me of the meanings of other similar proverbs; “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” 

The current administration delivered two-faced, whiplash inducing, pseudo public health messages. Follow the federal guidelines and resist public health orders, science, common sense, and one’s own self-preservation. 

Is he is making his move too soon?

The current administration is gambling that we will not be able to metabolize the horrific number of the dead. We will become numb and repress our co-responsibility and grief. 

The current government is banking on Americans not remembering how many were delivered up as cannon fodder on Covid-19 battlefields in hospitals, nursing home, congregate living facilities, jails and prisons without the most basic public health interventions with full armor and weapons for all who served infected Covid–19 people.

This president and this republican administration are dead worn. We will not forget. We will take care of ourselves and each other. We will not forget even one preventable death. We will vote him out. 

Put on B.B. King’s “Never Make Your Move Too Soon.”

I go down my to-do list of self-care: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home–except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with mask and gloves & when there are very few people about. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear and rage into expression, action and art. 

I continue to chronicle these times.

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA

andreacanaan@gmail.com

https://andracanaan.blog

https://www.facebook.com/Andrea-Canaan-Author-456010704809232/

Writing in a time of Peril: 4.15.2020

April 14, 2020

The Johns Hopkins US COVID-19 dashboard* is reporting 572,689 US cases and 23,134 deaths as of 11:45am. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

April 15, 2020

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard* is reporting 610,774 US cases and 26,119 deaths as of 12:00pm on April 15. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

Intimate terrorism, domestic violence is a co-morbidity of Covid-19. 

I sat at a desk in a building on the second floor of the YWCA, overlooking the back-parking lot on Tulane Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana. The six-floor building had once been a residence for young single working and professional women. The Young Women’s Christian Association was founded in England in 1855. The Worldwide YWCA was founded in 1889 with Great Britain, the United States, Norway and Sweden as founding countries. It had been delivering women empowerment services in New Orleans since the turn of the 20th century. 

By the early 1970’s the YWCA was located in the Mid–City neighborhood of New Orleans. The six-floor former residence still housed recreational swims and swimming lessons, child care, sports and summer camp programs. It also served women with various social, educational and empowerment programs, including the New Orleans Rape Crisis Service and the New Orleans Battered Women’s Service.  

In 1977 the YWCA was funded for one paid staff position for a battered women’s counseling and support service, and that person was me. Battered women who called the rape crisis line were counseled that spousal and intimate partner sexual violation was rape, and that physical, emotional and fiscal abuse were forms of violence against women. When women said they wanted to leave but were afraid to leave, they were counseled that they had every reason to be afraid, that they would, in fact, be in increased danger as they planned to leave, when they left, and for an indeterminate time after they left. 

When women left violent domestic situations, whether a planned or unplanned departure, many came to my second-floor office in a separate building in the YWCA property’s parking lot. Shielded from the major intersections of Tulane Avenue and Jefferson Davis Parkway, the location was relatively safe because it was not a governmental office or agency. Facing these women from behind my clunky, military-issue desk, I asked questions and had them fill out paperwork. I filled the paperwork out for them if they could not read or write well or could not stop crying or shaking or constantly looking at the door. When a woman needed medical care, I called an ambulance to take them to an emergency room. I arranged for a volunteer to accompany each woman and continue giving her support. More often, a volunteer escorted her to a woman-friendly medical clinic for confidential services. Remember there was no HIPPA back then, no expectation that seeking these services could be kept from a current or former male partner, father, brother, or son.   

I called a legal advocate when a woman needed to discuss the legal realities of dealing with an abusive male relative or partner.  The advocates explained the possible negative consequences of reporting abuse to the police and the possible legal ramifications and consequences of not reporting abuse to the police. In addition, they informed the woman about the legal ins and outs of child custody for women who were mothers, even in cases in which children were being abused as well. The legal advocate also informed women about the dubious efficacy of restraining orders: often, men didn’t stay away and police didn’t respond when they called. and allowing the abusive person back into the home made the restraining order null and void. When women elected to pursue a restraining order–which was not often on first-time contact–I called for a volunteer to escort and support the woman through the legal process. 

I gave the woman information and  referrals for shelter, housing, education, medical care, child care, transportation, income resources, and food resources. I also directed them to ongoing counseling and a support group. 

When a woman requested shelter, I made an immediate call to the only battered women’s shelter in the Deep South to see if there was an opening. If there was an opening, I made an immediate referral. If there was not an opening, my volunteer team, the woman, and I made an emergency contingency plan to keep her as safe as possible until safe housing was located. This all took four to six hours, depending on the need for medical care or a restraining order and other referrals and supports. I kept drinks and snacks, along with lots of tissues, in my file drawer. We had a limited budget for lunches, bus fare and cab fare. Some days no women came, a rare occurrence.  Some days there were as many five women in my office. 

After more than a of year working with battered women, I started to wonder why more women didn’t kill the men who repeatedly raped and beat them near to death. I began to have an ongoing fantasy that at the end of each counseling session, I would pull out the heavy metal bottom drawer of my desk. I took out a thirty-eight special, a box of bullets, a gun cleaning kit, a snug pouch for the gun and a brown paper bag to carry it all. I took the woman down to the parking lot where a human target was stationed. I taught her basic self-defense, gun safety, gun cleaning, and target practice. I told her that she had the God-given right to protect her children and herself  from rape and assault. 

But that was fantasy.  As my session with each woman ended, I was filled with rational fears about her safety, the strength of the supports we were able to provide, and the faint glimmer of hope that she would become survivor rather than victim. I filed the paperwork, tidied up the office and packed my things to leave for home. 

As I drove to collected my two-year-old daughter from day care, I breathed  in my commitment to anti-violence, the empowerment of women and girls and all of those harmed by intimate terrorism. I breathed out my vivid imagined response to violence. I shook off my invitation to harm another. I looked forward to my daughter’s unconditional love, constant questions, run-on telling about her day, and her zest for life and joy. 

In these times of Covid-19, many children, women and elders find themselves on lockdown with perpetrators of incest, rape, batterment, and emotional and psychic violence with no place to go for respite,  no way to keep the perpetrator at bay and  no one to tell. I recommitted to engage in safe ways to protect, support and preserve the lives of vulnerable children, elders, women and men against domestic violence and terrorism.

It is clear that intimate terrorism, domestic violence and woman slaughter is a co-morbidity of Covid-19. It will become ever clearer during the weeks and months of quarantine to reduce the spread of a deadly virus that another destroyer of minds, bodies and souls flourished in epidemic proportions.          

A New Covid-19 Crisis: Domestic Abuse Rises Worldwide

PROTECTING CHILDEN DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

I go down my to-do list of self-care: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home–except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with mask and gloves & when there are very few people about. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear and rage into expression, action and art. I go to my bookshelf and pull Pat Parker’s book of poetry, Woman Slaughter, from the shelf.  I bring up her reading of the title poem, “Woman Slaughter” on YouTube. I read along with her remembered beloved voice.

Woman Slaughter: Pat Parker: 9780884470168: Amazon.com …

I continue to chronicle these times.

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA

andreacanaan@gmail.com

https://andracanaan.blog

https://www.facebook.com/Andrea-Canaan-Author-456010704809232/

Writing in a Time of Peril: April 14, 2020

 April 10, 2020

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 467,184 US cases and 16,736 deaths as of 10:30am. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

April 12, 2020

Coronavirus: Mass Graves Dug In New York City As Morgues …    From Buzzfeed, April 10, 2020.

President Trump said on Twitter that he would watch the online service of First Baptist Dallas, led by Robert Jeffress, a prominent Trump supporter who has said that non-Christian religions are sending their followers to hell. Vice President Pence said he would also attend church virtually, from his living room.    

–From The New York Times 

April 12, 2020

In Dallas, Mr. Jeffress thanked Mr. Trump from the pulpit of First Baptist for defending religious liberty. In his service on Sunday, Mr. Jeffress portrayed Mr. Trump as a supporter of religion, although the president does not regularly attend church or exhibit deep knowledge about the Bible.        

–From The New York Times

April 12, 2020

Mr. Jeffress has lashed out at other faiths, calling the Catholic Church an instrument of Satan, describing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as “a cult,” claiming that Islam “promotes pedophilia” and saying that Jews, Muslims and others would go “to Hell.” –From The New York Times

April 13, 2020

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 557,590 US cases and 22,109 deaths as of 9:00am (US EDT). – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

April 14, 2020The Johns Hopkins US COVID-19 dashboard* is reporting 572,689 US cases and 23,134 deaths as of 11:45am. – From Johns Hopkins daily update.

pastor who defied social distancing dies after contracting Covid-19 –From New York Times April 14, 2020

April 12, 2020

What there is to see on my bike ride: small, round, green berries hover beneath the domes of white pyracantha blossoms, promising that green will turn to red as spring makes a way for summer’s return.  Birds of paradise bloom in blushing oranges, yellows, and blues. California buckeye and saucer magnolias fluttered their last blossoms. Fat rabbits hide in the tall grasses, only their improbably large sun–illumined ears visible. Falcons, eagles and hawks circled high in the blue sky, searching, searching. 

 I lift my head. 

I pray.

Let us call upon our mothers and grandmothers, our great–great–grandmothers and their mothers’ mothers to sing to us, soothe, comfort, allow our keening to connect us past and present, memory to memory, knowing to knowing, healing to healing. 

Let us take in their scents of pepper mint, bergamot oil and dusting powder after Saturday night baths.

Let us be lifted up by their prayers of strength, determination, insistence on life, love, service and bettering.

Let us serve sips of broth and water and tea and use every embroidered handkerchief we own when every tissue box is empty.

Let us wipe faces with cool cloths, sponge bodies of waste and sweat and tears. 

Let us touch comfort, soothe, assure and be calmed, as we bend under suffering, anticipate our heartache.

Let us remember how to open so that we may be a companion. 

Let us whisper the love and honor that makes all our lives dear.

Let us weep.  

Let us offer what we can as friend, sister, aunt, neighbor, co-worker, and even as a stranger to those who need us. Let us bring balms to comfort and ease suffering. Let us make a meal for ten and leave it at our neighbor’s door.

Let us call upon our mothers and grandmothers, our great–great–grandmothers and their mothers’– mothers’– mothers to sing to us, soothe, comfort, allow our keening to connect us heart, mind, body and soul, past and present, memory to memory, knowing to knowing, healing to healing.  

The gentle wind cools the tears on my face. I’m almost home.

I go down my to-do list of self-care: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home–except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with mask and gloves & when there are very few people about. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear and rage into expression, action and art. 

Every few hours I play Andrea Bocelli singing acapella at Duomo Cathedral in Milan, Italy again. 

I continue to chronicle these times.

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA

andreacanaan@gmail.com

https://andracanaan.blog

https://www.facebook.com/Andrea-Canaan-Author-456010704809232/

Writing in a Time of Peril: April 10, 2020

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 432,579 US cases and 14,830 deaths as of 10:45 am on April 9. 

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 467,184 US cases and 16,736 deaths as of 10:30 am on April 10. Do the math.

There is more to fear than fear itself

I spent two hours doing what I swore I would never do. I watched Facebook videos of cute babies and children doing breathtaking things, cute animals doing wonderful things, spectacular soloists, duets and choirs singing awe–inspiring songs, and I cried and cried and cried.

And when my national binge watch preoccupation was over, I realized. Orange Julius was not a hellacious dream. I was furious. I was more than furious. I was wildly That forgetfulness and head-in-the-sand and drugs and alcohol, and gambling, and binge-watching-what-ever, and denial, frozen in a deer–in–the–headlights–stance, poor–me–helplessness, and impotent rage will not save me, will not save any of us. 

More than three years of failed presidential leadership, and now Covid-19, reveals we are a fourth world failed state led by an incompetent … you fill in the blanks. 

I am committed to staying informed, praying, meditating, moving, staying connected, loving, and engaging in positive–caring action, remembering, not forgetting. I am also asking the same of you. 

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, love, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget. 

America Is Acting Like a Failed State – The Atlantic

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, love, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget. 

COVID-19 TRANSCRIPT: 4/6/20, The Rachel Maddow Show …

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget. 

Donald Trump stokes fresh coronavirus row as Wuhan reopens

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget.

Trump’s failed presidency – Brookings Institution

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget. 

Jay Inslee sounds an ominous warning as Trump’s failures …

Stay informed & Pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget. 

FY2020 Budget Cuts – Environmental Protection Network

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget.

DOJ asks Congress for broad new powers amid Covid … – Vox

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget.

Trump’s IG Purges Add Fuel to Oversight Controversies …

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, connect, move, connect, connect, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget. 

Trump administration ignored pandemic warning from White …

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, engage in positive–action, remember, don’t forget.

Advocates Say Trump Budget Cuts Will Hurt Country’s Most …

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, connect, connect, connect, engage in positive and productive action, remember, don’t forget.

The Republican Plot Against Voting Turns Deadly | The New …

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget.

Medical personnel being targeted

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/as-coronavirus-fears-grow-doctors-and-nurses-face-abuse-attacks/ar-BB12kjM9?ocid=spartandhp

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, engage in posit action, remember, don’t forget.

Black men kicked out of store for wearing masks – AJC.com

Stay informed, pray, meditate, create, move, connect, connect, connect, engage in positive action, remember, don’t forget.

And yet

On a bike ride today jacaranda, wisteria and azaleas bloomed. Humming birds and butterflies flitted about in the air. Mourning doves sang from porch. Fat wild rabbits rested along the edges of wide spring grasses. Red robin, forsythia and quince greeted me along the path and as I passed my neighbors’ gardens. While peddling, I looked up into a sky filled with shifting–drifting clouds filled with floating dragons and fairies and castles and giant–gray–white bunnies with lizard heads. The air was sparkled clear. The air streamed across my face. The sun warmed my skin. All, despite tens of thousands of our beloved’s souls having left us, are now in flight. 

I go down my to-do list of self-care: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home, except for the pharmacy & the grocery (and emergency treks to rescue errant packages) & then only with mask and gloves & when there are very few people about. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear and rage into expression, action and art. 

I put on Aretha Franklin, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You. I repeat, “Save Me.” 

I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You | Discogs

Aretha Franklin – Save me – YouTube

Later I put on. Aretha Now. I repeat, “Save Me.” 

Aretha Franklin – Aretha Now | Releases | Discogs

Aretha Franklin – Think [1968] (Original Version) – YouTube

I continue to chronicle these times.

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA

andreacanaan@gmail.com

Get Caught Up: https://andreacanaan.blog

Writing in a Time of Peril: April 9, 2020


Writing in a Time of Peril: April 9, 2020

Writing in a Time of Peril: April 9, 2020

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 401,166 US cases and 12,936 

deaths as of 10:30am on April 8.

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 432,579 US cases and 14,830 deaths as of 10:45am on April 9. 

Do the math.

On Friday, March 3, 2020, I drove to Oakland and Alameda for fresh and dried herbs from Amanda’s garden, for a bio-break in Alameda at Natalie’s, and then to pick up pizza from Star on the Park. That was to be my last outing. Lockdown at home for two solid weeks for older people with underlying health conditions. 

Well, you see, what happened was, I ran out of red beans. Not any kind of red beans, Camelia red beans. OK, some background. I’m from New Orleans. Red beans and rice is not only a staple, it is a complete protein when there is no meat in hard times or when all of your friends are vegetarian. It is a city and regional dish, along with, gumbo, okra and shrimp, stuffed mirliton, and grillades and grits, to name a few. You would not want to be without certain staple ingredients in times like these. In hurricanes, floods, even pandemics, New Orleanians stocked up particular staples and prepared to feed their families and their neighborhoods if that became necessary.  But red beans are the staple of staples and I only had a half pound left.  Stopping for a bathroom break at Natalie’s.

There were no Camelia red beans in local grocery stores. Walmart had red beans; however, you had to go to a store location to get them, and they were rationed two per customer. The lines were wrapped around the block, and nobody was wearing masks and gloves except for my partner and me. We passed Walmart by. Next, I looked online at the Cajun Grocer, where I had purchased my last batch of Camelia red beans. There were no red beans available. I looked on Amazon. They were out as well. Incredulous, I went back to the Cajun Grocer. How could they be without Camelia red beans? I scrolled through the entire site. The only Camelia red beans in stock were in twenty-five sacks. That was not an issue for me. I ordered them right away and added four pounds of black eyed–peas. 

Now, what is it with these particular red beans? Well, let me tell you. When you cook a pot of red beans, you know they are ready and delicious when they are creamy. If they are not creamy, they do not look right. If they are not creamy, they do not taste right. If they are not creamy, they don’t cover the rice right. I have tried every kind of red bean, the organic type, the local type, and the ones in the ethnic food aisle. None of them cream as they should. 

Only Camelia red beans cream right. Only Camelia red beans taste right. 

When Joann and I decided to sell the condo in S.F. and look for a new place to live, we moved temporarily to Modesto, CA. on Dale Road. We found our place here in Rio Vista and moved from Dale Road in September 2019. Well, I received an email from FedEx with a package tracking link indicating red beans were being sent to Dale Road. 

I got right on the computer, there was no one answering phones, so I chat-typed the error. I registered with FedEx, made a password, answered secret questions, made a change to the delivery location, and received a message that all of my considerable attention and very basic skills had managed to divert my red beans from Dale Road to Rio Vista. Last Friday I received an email saying my package had been delivered to Dale Road at 12:11 pm. It was then 1:30 pm. They were outside on the porch, in a rainstorm.

When I told Leslie about purchasing twenty-five pounds of red beans, she laughed until she cried. But you know, you can’t laugh at your mama without consequences. The next day, she told me she could not find red beans anywhere in Atlanta. While we continued talking, she searched the Cajun Grocer website and was shocked at how much the red beans cost: sixty-five dollars. I told her I didn’t pay that price, I paid forty-five dollars. Leslie checked the website further, and she laughed and laughed as she told me through gasps for air that it was the navy beans that cost forty-five dollars not the red beans! She laughed and teased and asked me for possibly having ordering the wrong navy beans instead of red beans.

 ‘Baked beans, bean pie, bean burgers, Mother?’

 Her laughter was infectious. I laughed along with her, although I was uncertain and afraid at the same time. What would I do with twenty-five pounds of white beans that were not in my cooking repertoire?  

Now, please understand, my partner, Joann, and my daughter, Leslie, were not pleased with my     Covid-19 lockdown breakout to Oakland a five days earlier. As I rushed to put on clothes to go rescue my red beans from Dale Road, I explained to Joann why I was driving to Modesto. I don’t know exactly what Joann said, but it was something like, ‘We’re on lock down because of Covid-19.’ The look on her face communicated clearly that she was very not pleased. 

I drove to Modesto. I picked up keys from my former landlord’s friend before I drove to Dale Road. When I arrived, I thanked the Lord that a package was on the porch. I struggled to put the very heavy box in the trunk. By then, I needed a bathroom break. Folks were on lockdown, so I couldn’t go into any of my former neighbor’s houses. How rude would that be? What would I say? ‘I know there’s a world–wide pandemic and I could infect you, but can I use your bathroom? I know you are in a vulnerable group, but can I come in and possibly contaminate you and your house anyway?’ 

On the drive from Rio Vista to Modesto I passed  Costco. Most fast food restaurants and coffee shops with reliably clean bathroom were only open for drive-thru and pick-up.  I drove to the  and I was thankful their bathrooms were available. 

While I was there, I shopped for a few things and drove the sixty-two miles home.

When I arrived home, Joann had that same look on her face. No words. Just the look.

I took off all of my clothes, including my navy blue Keds, and placed them in the washer on hot. I took a shower and washed my hair. I put on clean clothes and gloved up again. I brought the groceries into the kitchen and started washing the food and the food containers they had come in. I left the box of maybe–red beans in the trunk. As per CDC guidelines for quarantining cardboard, I wouldn’t open the box of maybe-red beans until Friday.

Later in the day, Leslie and I checked in. She said she had been struggling with not having as productive a day working from home as she had expected of herself. She was feeling guilty and down a bit. Then she said she had read an article about ‘motivational pressure during quarantine.’ She said the article made her feel better immediately. The article she sent to me is below:

A trauma psychologist weighs in on the risks of ‘motivational …

www.upworthy.com › coronavirus-productivity-motivation-myths-da…

I go down my to-do list of self-care: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home, except for the pharmacy & the grocery (and emergency treks to rescue errant packages) & then only with mask and gloves & when there are only very few people about. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear and rage into expression, action and art. 

Since my trip to Modesto, I have been sleeping in our study and having minimal contact with Joann in the house. You have no idea what one look from Joann can do to a person. This morning, Joann brought coffee to me in our study, a morning luxury that I love I cook daily with every precaution, but we haven’t been eating at the same time. When she placed the coffee on a small table near me, I asked to lay my head on her chest. 

‘Please,’ I said.

‘You still have another week on quarantine,’ she said.

I said in a hainkty inside my head, ‘Modified quarantine.’ 

Hainky is New Orleans–Magnolia Project for uppity

I put on Aaron Neville’s “Warm Your Heart” and listened all day. 

Aaron Neville – Warm Your Heart (1991, CD) | Discogs

 Warm Your Heart – Aaron Neville YouTube  

I continue to chronicle these times.

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA

andreacanaan@gmail.com

Get Caught Up: https://andreacanaan.blog

Writing in a Time of Peril: April 7, 2020

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 338,995 US cases, an increase of 93,337 since Friday, April 3, 2020, and 9,683 deaths, an increase of 3,625 as of 11:45am on April 6, 2020.

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 378,289 US cases, an increase of 30,294 and from the day before and 11,830 deaths, 2,147 more deaths than the day before as of 12:00pm on April 7, 2020.

Do the math!

Take a Moment 

Celebrate every day. Be in joy for every moment. Rejoice every hospital discharge and return. 

Take a moment to be in joy.

Acknowledge and hold the horrific loss and grief of those known and unknown to us.

Take a moment to mourn the departed.

Hold in your hearts those who have lost beloved ones in these times.

Take a moment to embrace the mourners.

Lift up and hold hospital orderlies, nurse assistants, nurses, doctors and all hospital staff, including first responders. Know that they are taking traumatic blows of this pandemic. Do not forget the care and support they need now and in the future to preserve their lives, to cope, to heal, to recover. 

Notice other’s sacrifices and do not forget. 

Take a moment.

COVID-19 COMMON SENSE

Do not relax your efforts to stay safe, to reduce every chance that you will contract Covid-19 or transmit itRemember the eye of a hurricane. It may look clear, someone may even sound the all clear, someone who has not survived a hurricane that is, but there is no all clear until the entire storm has passed over all of us.

The time to contain Covid-19 in the US has passed, i.e., implement public health procedures to test, quarantine people who are positive or ill, trace and contact people who have come in contact with the positive or ill person, quarantine them if needed, repeat this process and repeat it again to contain or stop the spread to avoid total lock downs, and social and economic disruptions. 

Covid-19 is spreading. Death rates will increase exponentially until the recommended universal practices above, testing-testing-testing, quarantining, contact tracing, and repeating these processes until we stop dying.

Treasure your life and the lives of others. 

Save your life and the lives of others.

Live your life every day as if you and everyone you know had been exposed to 

Covid-19, and you could make everyone you came in contact with ill, even sick to death, even if you and others around you show no symptoms of Covid-19. 

Stay home.

Covid-19 is spread by people with symptoms and those who do not have symptoms

Covis-19 is spread by sneezing, coughing, even breathing on or near another 

Keep your home and yourself extra clean. 

Engage in Physical Distance

Engage in Social, Emotional, and Spiritual Connection.

Upon leaving home or whenever in contact with other people and surfaces, wear gloves and a mask. 

Upon returning home remove clothing, disinfect shoes, place clothing in washing machine and launder immediately or place in hamper. Use gloves and mask when eventually laundering your outside clothing.

Shower immediately, including washing your hair.

Throw away packaging anyone else has touched or wash with soapy water or wipe down with disinfectant. Rewash hands.

Microwave or reheat any take-out foods before eating.

Stay informed by trusted media, sparingly, and by CDC, WHO, and other reliable scientists and medical professionals.

Yes, take a walk, a bike ride, a run, while keeping physical distance.

Use social media to have dinner or a movie or a cocktail hour with your family and friends.

There are limited ways to celebrate our lives together or hold wakes or funerals or repasts. Let us use our limitless imaginations and creativity to create and hold our families, our community, our country, our world.

Use our same limitless imaginations, creativity, tenacity, courage and belief to remain conscious, feeling, laughing, crying, playing, remembering and doing our parts, not matter that we are apart. 

Remember every elected and judicial officials, religious leaders, and business leader who delayed, dithered, and refused life-saving resources, blamed others. Engaged in shameless partisanship and took no responsibility for their behaviors. All have blood on their hands. OJ is awash in blood. 

Accept that we cannot reliably depend on any consistent or science based or public health based federal response and, should there be one, it will be way too late.

Support everyone to use our human and national ingenuity, courage, tenacity, and determination to survive and thrive. 

Value and appreciate everyone who saves and serves lives; medical professionals, scientists, first responders, all workers who support them, grocery clerks, delivery people, municipal workers, all of the people who are required and needed to stay on their jobs while we stay home.

Treasure your life and the lives of others.

Make a total commitment to save your life and the lives of others.

I go down my to-do list of self-care: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home, except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with mask and gloves & when there are very few people about. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear and rage into expression, action and art. 

I put on Lizz Wright’s, Fellowship album. I listen to the whole album, but I repeat, “Presence of the Lord,” whenever it comes on. 

I continue to chronicle these times.

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA

andreacanaan@gmail.com

Get Caught Up at: https://andracanaan.blog