Tag Archives: Life

COVID the Career Buster – Thoughts?

So, I’ve kept my articles that might be classified as political to a minimum, because, let’s face it, people are pretty wound up now days about politics and not speaking very objectively. COVID, however should have never become politicized as it is a public health issue. Nevertheless, people have become polarized over this disease, while many many, many, many bodies pile up.

I was on LinkedIn the other day and a fellow RN had posted that she was seriously considering changing her career because of the stress of yet another wave of full ICUs, all COVID patients, and most beds filled with the unvaccinated. Beside patient census and acuity, she’s dealing with short staffing, and with just plain witnessing too much death.

Most of the replies were very supportive, but a few went off the rails in my view and actually started attacking her. The attacks accused her of abandoning her chosen profession and with providing inferior care to patients that were unvaccinated. Now nowhere in her post did she say she was delivering different or an inferior quality of care to any class of patients so those comments came from nowhere other than bizarrioland.

As for abandoning her career, I mean anyone can change a career or job at any point in time. Who’s business is that? Only the person who is changing their source of livelihood.

One gentleman tried to make a comparison to his military career, saying he fought for his country and would never abandon his fellow soldiers. Ok, so? That’s not apples to apples at all. That’s strawberries to hand-grenades.

So what do you think? Should we be trying to dictate people’s career choices? Should we deny there is such a thing as burn out and force people who have RN degrees back into service? I hope not because I’m an RN and I’m happily retired. I’m also an attorney so don’t start talking about rights unless you’ve consulted one or actually know something about Constitutional Law 🙂

Thoughts? Perspectives? Fire away. I can dodge bullets pretty well.

In Metta

Feature Photo: I chose one of my wildflower pics for this post. A field of Red Poppies lines this road in Washington State. I enameled them to make them look more like an oil painting.

Flowers are always soothing and the poppy has been symbolically associated with military veterans – specifically the sacrifice made by those who served and died in all of our wars. It does seem like we’re at war right now. With a disease and with each other.

I wish everyone peace.

And here are a few articles for fun:

Where are Hospitals Overwhelmed by COVID-19 Patients? Look Up Your State

Nurse Workforce Decline During COVID ‘Unprecedented’: Study

Almost All U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Now in the Unvaccinated

Covid-19: US surpasses 800,000 pandemic deaths

Published15 December 2021 BBC News

A man in a mask walks among flags representing those that died from Covid
Image caption, White flags represent each life lost in the US to Covid

More than 800,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus, the highest recorded national death toll from the global pandemic.

It comes as the US reached 50 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Monday.

Most deaths have been recorded among the unvaccinated and the elderly, and more Americans died in 2021 than in 2020.

The US is again seeing deaths rising at an alarming rate.

The last 100,000 deaths came in just the past 11 weeks, a quicker pace than any at other point aside from last winter’s surge.

“The waves of illness that we’re seeing will continue until the population-level immunity is high enough to prevent them. Quite simply, we’re not there yet,” said Dr Keri Althoff, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

It has been more than 650 days since the first American patient dying from Covid-19 was reported in Seattle, Washington (public health officials have since attributed earlier deaths to the virus).

Since the Pfizer vaccine – the first jab to be approved in the US – was rolled out last winter, nearly 300,000 more fatalities have been recorded.

Graphic

In April 2021, two more vaccines – Moderna and single-dose Johnson & Johnson – were approved, and all three vaccines were made available to adults of all ages.

The 800,000 total exceeds the populations of cities such as Boston or Washington DC. The milestone means nearly twice as many Americans have died during the pandemic as in World War 2.

The US death toll far exceeds the official tally of any other country, but experts believe many recorded death counts are under-reporting the true scale of the tragedy.

The next highest are Brazil, with more than 616,000 deaths, and India, which has had over 475,000 deaths.

In terms of deaths per capita, the US currently ranks 20th in the world, trailing several South American and European countries, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Each country in the chart below – except the UK – was initially slower to roll out vaccines than the US. Vaccinations levels in all have since surpassed the US where 61.6% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Reported deaths in selected countries

Deaths from Covid-19 have come in three main waves.

The first – which hit New York City especially hard – peaked in April 2020, before lower rates of infection in the summer and autumn.

A massive spike then occurred last winter after people had travelled and gathered during the holiday season. At its peak in January 2021, more than 3,000 deaths were confirmed a day.

Daily reported Covid-19 deaths in the US

The number of deaths fell significantly last spring as vaccines became widely available, but it soared again by July and through the summer as the highly contagious Delta variant spread.

The elderly have always been the most vulnerable, and despite being the most vaccinated group one in 100 Americans over the age of 65 has died during the pandemic.

Breakthrough cases aside, unvaccinated Americans have made up the vast majority of deaths over the past few months (trends identified in the chart below come from health departments in 24 of 50 US states).

President Joe Biden began calling Covid-19 in the US “a pandemic of the unvaccinated”.

Weekly Covid-19 death rates per capita, vaccinated vs unvaccinated

Dr Althoff contends that the US had “a lot of barriers” to overcome.

“Trust in science has waned, trust in government has waned, vaccine hesitancy is a powerful force, misinformation is rampant,” she told the BBC.

“We have to do more than just trying to educate; we have to try and understand. That takes conversation and trust-building.

With death rates rising once again in much of the country, she said Delta remained a serious problem,

Public health experts are still figuring out what impact the new Omicron variant may have this winter, but officials are urging Americans to get booster shots to combat waning protection.

Milestones . . .

While I’m not addicted to the stats on our blogs, I do find them interesting at times.  I recently passed my 4-year mark of being on WordPress and I was notified that the blog had received over 50,000 all-times views.  While I’m sure that those who blog more regularly than me have far exceed that number, it does have a nice ring to it.  And viewers came from 135 different countries.

I currently have 306 “published” posts, and I’ve taken down some 200 or so.  All-in-all, not bad for four years, but not particularly excellent in terms of numbers comparing that total to those who blog more consistently. 

I’ve generally written about the things that inspire me, where the writing feels more like channeling, and there are definite periods where the well has run dry.  Particularly in 2021, when I got a bit ticked off at social media plundering, and I found myself residing more in my COVID cave rather than being out in my usual mode of exploration.  

Like I say, I’m sure many of you have long passed these milestones but for me, it’s new.  And I plan on kicking off this new year with something I don’t usually do at all – a book review.  I’m not quite finished reading it so I can’t give you an exact date when I will post, but it will be coming soon. 

I feel compelled to write about this book, not because of its wonderful quality, but because of its profound racism and the author’s apparent inability to see it as such.  A story of epic proportions for sure, but I don’t believe I’ve seen an author so oblivious to this undercurrent.  In fact, at one point he tries to explain it away in a manner that can only be described as face-palm worthy. 

So onward into the new year . . .

In Metta

Feature Photo: This is a pic of a Marina I came upon in Blaine, Washington, right on the border with Canada.  The year I arrived, I had intended to cross the border to visit Vancouver Island, but alas, the border was closed, COVID and all.  I ran the photo through the editor and enameled it to make it appear more as an oil painting.  And I guess I chose this one for this post because, well, I liked it, but also because it can represent that nebulous line between true art, say a painting by a renowned artist, and myself playing about on a computer.  It is pleasing to the eye no doubt, but it does lack the painstaking work that a painter must engage in to produce a masterpiece.  It serves as the contrast I’ll be exploring in the upcoming book review.

I had to cut the pic way down to get it to fit somewhat with WordPress’s formatting, so here is the full image.

Rabbit-hole: You may have noticed that I put the term “published” in quotes, like I just did now.  That is because I find this term very loosely used throughout social media.  When I think of being published, I think of a publishing entity, not of our own design and ownership, finding something we have written worthy of being included in said entity’s publication.  I don’t think of self-publishing as being the same as being “published.”  I see many folks out here identifying with the term “author” and they use this term in conjunction with that word “published,” whereas I would choose the word “writer.”  Although I do recognize that the definition of “author” is loose enough to cover virtually anything we pen, thus: “a person who writes a novel, poem, essay, etc.; the composer of a literary work, as distinguished from a compiler, translator, editor, or copyist.”  Using these terms loosely means we are all distinguished “published authors,” even if our work is but one line scribbled on a piece of toilet paper.  😊 I guess I’m in my critical judge mode today so I will have a nice belly laugh at myself, pet-peeves and all, while it’s time to hit the “publish” button😊

The Wrong Lens

Radiance Sutras

There is a Place in the Heart where Everything meets.
Go there if you want to find me.
Mind, Senses, Soul, Eternity – All are there.

Are you there?

Enter the Bowl of Vastness that is the Heart.
Give yourself to it with Total Abandon
Quiet Ecstasy is there,
And a steady, regal Sense
Of Resting in a Perfect Spot.

Once you know the Way,
The Nature of Attention will call you to Return.
Again and Again,
And be saturated with Knowing,

I belong here, I am at Home here. 

***

As I attempt to understand the Nature of our Existence, Our Essence, I naturally try to define it with terminology.  And I then end up chasing other terminology to define that terminology.  This process repeats and stretches on into infinity . . .

At least it does for me. 

So, do we really get an answer to those time-worn phrases?  Terminology dissects and divides, which is one of the basic problems with understanding just who and what we are. 

Continue reading The Wrong Lens

Gray Days – Again and Again

I began a tradition a couple of years back. A tradition of repeating words. Words that I had written to describe the day and the season we were entering into. I’m a bit late this year as November slipped by, and that’s when I usually re-post this. This November wasn’t as Gray as last, but December is pulling that cloak over this Northern Hemisphere.

While Winter is not officially upon us yet, the days of Autumn have definitely past. Grandfather Sun is still moving South. And the atmosphere is shifting into Gray.

I wrote about this “Gray.” It’s “color.” It’s feel. It’s taste. It’s sounds. It’s moods. And eventually, it’s brightness and it’s “Inner Fire.”

So as we enter this season of hibernation, before the awakening and emerging from the Dream Lodge into the new life of Spring, I share these words again.

I hope you will enjoy them.

Continue reading Gray Days – Again and Again

Rainer, The Elk – Stamina and Community

Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery,

Teach me how to trust My Heart, My Mind, My Intuition, My Inner Knowing, The Senses of my Body, The Blessings of my Spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my Sacred Space And Love Beyond my Fear, And thus, Walk in Balance With the passing of each glorious Sun.

– Lakota Prayer

***

Rainer, The Elk – Stamina and Community by Harold Stearley

Long before Sunrise.  Route 431.  Leaving Tahoe.  Headed North.  Some say it’s the direction of Manifestation, others the Coldness and Darkness of Winter. 

It was indeed pitch black at 2 am.

Continue reading Rainer, The Elk – Stamina and Community

Wisdom, Love and Life

“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,

Love is knowing I am everything,

and between the two my Life moves.”

– Wayne W. Dyer

As per usual, I stumbled upon this fine quote today while I was working on another post. Lovely words, and the picture I chose was from Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.

As you ascend the Ridge, you must pass through these clouds. It is actually raining in there. And when you emerge, you find yourself above the clouds feeling Grandfather Sun’s rays warming you as you peer back through the valleys. It appears that you could simply walk across these clouds, as is the nature of Love . . .

A Walk About In My Mind

A Walk About In My Mind by Harold Stearley

Who, then, is “animate” and who “inanimate”? Within the assembly of the Lotus, all are present without division. In the case of grass, trees and the soil . . . whether they merely lift their feet or energetically traverse the long path, they will all reach Nirvana.

— Zhanran the Sixth Patriarch of Tendai Buddhism (1711-82)

*****

As I was walking along the creek’s bank, my head was in a swirl.  So much internal noise, while the outside world remained placid.  Utterly calm and quiet.  The only noises came from the trickling, crystal-clear, emerald water.  The hum of seventeen-year cicadas.  The occasional bee, wearing a cloak of pollen and having a belly full of sweet nectar, barely able to carry its own weight on its flight path back to the hive.  And from the trees swaying, or rather dancing, in time with the Chief Western Wind. 

A Black Swallowtail fritters past, in complete silence.  Not a care in the world.

But, oh so much internal clatter.  An orchestra of out-of-tune instruments each playing a different symphony.  Does this tumult of turbulence comprise what we’ve come to call our Consciousness?  Does all of this internal noise make us “Aware?”  And “Aware” of what exactly?

>>>>><<<<< 

Continue reading A Walk About In My Mind

Moving On – The Medicine of the Deer

Moving On – The Medicine of the Deer by Harold Stearley

I was unlacing my boots at the end of a long day.  As I zig-zagged the laces in reverse to free them from their hooks down towards my ankles, I could feel the heat escaping, the pressure lifting. 

Loosening the remaining half of the laces that extended through the half dozen grommets to the boot’s toe, I then lifted them, one at a time, off my feet and let them drop to the floor with an oh-so familiar thud. 

My right ankle throbbed. 

Ten hours on the road wasn’t that bad because I love being in motion, but I was in Bear country now.  Absolutely everything had to be emptied out of my car and carried to my room.  And I had packed for four months.  More than I needed on a daily basis, but I was prepared.  As were the Bears.

Bears are smart. 

They’ll tear up a car trying to get to a cooler, even if it’s empty.  Nothing that emits an odor can be left behind.  Leave a tube of sunscreen in the glove compartment and you’ll awaken to one ugly mess of an automobile.

Continue reading Moving On – The Medicine of the Deer

Shuffling the Deck

By Harold Stearley at https://earthwalkingworld.wordpress.com

It is time to change the layout a bit. 

I can rotate the stories I “post” to the top of my page with “post-it notes.”  And from time to time, I feel like it is time to change it up a bit.  Give the cover a different look so to speak.

This time around, I picked stories or poetry of mine that had the highest number of likes.  This is biased because some of my oldest stories really weren’t given much exposure because I didn’t have as many followers at the time they were posted.  Also, giving certain posts more exposure now at the top of the page necessarily fuels the bias.

Nevertheless, this is always fun.  I’ve noticed that readers seem to enjoy the posts that are really expressive, raw, full of emotion, personal, maybe even heart-wrenching, or conversely inspiring.  That makes sense because people have the desire to feel. 

They want to be touched.

I’ll be back with some new posts here pretty soon, but in the meantime, if you haven’t seen these six before, have a look. 😊

In Metta

Photos: These pics are from a dome-roofed structure on the grounds of the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas. I was not staying there as a guest. I was merely touring the place. They have no relation to this post at all, except maybe in the context of seeing new things, and being fun 🙂

Besieged

By Harold Stearley at https://earthwalkingworld.wordpress.com

To begin with, I’m not going to be talking about the recent, failed, siege of the US Capitol.  The title of my post was chosen long before the attempted coup, so it’s sort of coincidental in terms of what unfolded in Washington, DC before I got around to finishing this post.  No, Trump, and his crew of delusional confederates is a subject for another day, or perhaps even another year, once the historians and psychiatrists get a chance to break it all down.

Humm, I wonder just what in the hell schools are teaching nowadays in terms of history?  I sure know that they no longer teach civics because it’s pretty clear that a lot of folks in this country have absolutely no clue how their government is supposed to work, nor do they have an even basic understanding of the Constitution.  Oh well.

So back-tracking to my original draft:

Continue reading Besieged

“My Destination . . .”

Photo: The Merced River in Yosemite Valley. It is insanely beautiful here. You can marvel at pictures, but they don’t capture the essence. There is great magic here.

And peace.

You have to be here to truly experience its wonder.

I traveled through Yosemite during the time of COVID restrictions, and the Silver Lining was the number of people inside the park was restricted. The experience was so much more enriched without the pollution of so many humans. 🙂

As the quote would indicate, there is an Art to “Seeing.” To shine a light on differing perspectives. To consider the Nature of a place with more than just “Sight.” To “Feel” it. To soak it all in. And to travel inward for clarity. A view from our Internal Light. Our Heart.

May we all be so bold.

***

BTW: I stole this quote from my blogging friend, Victoria Ray. You should really check out her blog. I love her writing.

Addendum – “Are You Worthy?”

Not too long ago I posted a piece called, “Are You . . . ?” where I discussed a question we often ask ourselves about our own self-worth. 

It still amazes me how we are programed to dislike, discredit, and disparage ourselves.

Continue reading Addendum – “Are You Worthy?”

Are You . . . ?

There’s a lot to be said for living on the road.

In motion.

Breaking free from all of those forces we allow to hold us down.  Those voices that tell us that we can’t fly.

To live in the moment.  See, hear, feel, smell, and even taste those expansive vistas that take us to other worlds.  That show us there is so much more to life than just a material existence.

And while we are breathing in such vastness in the physical and metaphysical worlds, there is also a lot of time for introspection.  Visiting that inner, mental world.   Of equal breadth.  Time for looking deep within, into our brilliance and our shadows and . . . judging.

Continue reading Are You . . . ?