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Name: Peggy
Gender: Female
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, CA
Home country: USA
Current location: Right here!
Member since: Thu Feb 3, 2005, 02:41 PM
Number of posts: 132,676

Journal Archives

From today's LA Times: Dispatches From The Pandemic: When nothing more can be done.

By Fran Chalin

He came into the Orange County hospital because he had trouble breathing.
A week later the sign “caution droplets” hung on his ICU room door.
“Droplets,” code for COVID-19.
He hasn’t been conscious for 36 hours.
Only the ventilator keeps him alive.
Together, the doctor, hospice social worker and I tell the family nothing more can be done.
They nod, they have no fight left.
The doctor hates that he cannot save this man.
But he can allow them to say goodbye.
He tells them they can go in groups of two for 10 minutes.
He leaves us. He has to help someone else.
He cares for two floors of people with COVID-19, 51 people in all.
We tell them this is special, the doctor hasn’t allowed this before.
They mumble thanks. Translation: Isn’t that generous of you.
I stand outside the window into his room. When the 10 minutes are up, I wave.
His family members’ eyes plead, two fingers in the air, two minutes?
They smile and laugh in his room in case he can sense them.
But they sob once they slide shut his door.
The final two are his wife and first-born.
She collapses when she reaches his bed.
Their son barely catches her.
She kisses her husband, whispers in his ear.
I hope he senses her near him.
They don’t look at me when they walk away.
While hospital staffers extract the breathing tube
the social worker and I wait outside his room
because microscopic COVID-19 droplets will release into the air.
Once the tube is removed we prepare to enter his room.
We don’t have to go in, but we do. Mostly for him,
but for the staffers as well. They should have support too.
We sanitize our hands, then don gloves.
Then the N95 mask,
face shield,
then gown.
It’s uncomfortable, but it’s also keeping us alive.
The staffers inspect us.
They are the best of humankind.
I ask if co-workers have had the virus.
Sure, they say. They point to the ones who recovered and are back working.
I don’t ask if any co-workers died. They have to focus on now.
Staffers adjust his medications.
He won’t feel the removal of the tube.
His family had asked if they could FaceTime
after the tube is removed.
The social worker holds up the phone.
I hold the patient’s hand. We hear his family:
“We love you, be at peace, go with God.”
The social worker is used to being around the dying, but this is different.
Ten minutes is not long enough to say goodbye.
She’s young, this is her first pandemic.
She was a child when people with AIDS died every day for years.
I was there, I was 25.
There wasn’t enough time then either.
We all watch the monitor, the lines become flatter.
We hear his last breath. Then nothing.
The nurse nods to us.
The social worker tells the family that he’s gone to be with God.
I don’t have her faith.
I don’t know where he’s going except to the morgue.
His relatives are wailing. We try to say how sorry we are, but they’ve hung up.
Does anyone else feel like they’ve just witnessed an execution?
We slide the door open, just enough to get out.
There is a receptacle for the shield and the hairnet.
I put my N95 into a plastic bag to leave out in the sun at home.
There aren’t enough of these masks to have a new one every time, but the nurse says, “It’s OK.
Just put it in the sun, the virus dies in the sun.”
I hope she’s right.
COVID-19 is disproportionately killing Black and brown people.
I’ve heard people speculate: Didn’t they all have lung issues,
or diabetes, or health problems that
made them more likely to get infected and die?
That sounds a lot like: Didn’t gays and IV drug users bring AIDS on themselves?
Disposable populations.
Outside the hospital there is a billboard.
“HEROES WORK HERE.” I want to scream.
Hero is just another word for better you than me.
The social worker calls me the next morning. She couldn’t sleep.
“This was bad,” she says with a sigh, “I’ll see you at the hospital soon.”
And now the memory comes back full force.
The other pandemic, AIDS.
Caring for the next person, and the next one.
I’m worried about myself and feeling guilty for even thinking about myself.
I’m worried I’ll forget that balance is important.
Forty years later, there is still the next one and the next one.
So tell me: Why aren’t you wearing a mask?

Fran Chalin has been a hospice chaplain for more than 10 years.

(There were no paragraphs, so I copied the entire post.)
Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Sun Jul 12, 2020, 02:49 PM (3 replies)

On Shooting the Moon.

Now, just to be clear, I am not a professional photographer. Not by any stretch!

I do know some things about getting pretty good moon photos, so since there's some interest in that, here are my ideas:

You will need:

1. A real camera, not a phone. (digital single lens reflex type)

2. A big zoom lens. I use a Tamron 18 mm to 400 mm.

3. A tripod. Really helps keep the camera steady so there's no blur in your photo!

4. A cable release cord, also to keep the camera from shaking.

5. Practice, practice, practice!

Here's a couple of my moon photos to hopefully inspire you:

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Fri Jul 10, 2020, 02:23 PM (33 replies)

My new sign:

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Thu Jul 9, 2020, 06:26 PM (69 replies)

Found on Facebook: How to handle "45."

Daughter of MLK & Coretta Scott King posted this last night:

1. Don't use his name; EVER ("45" will do)

2. Remember this is a regime and he's not acting alone;

3. Do not argue with those who support him--it doesn't work;

4. Focus on his policies, not his orange-ness and mental state;

5. Keep your message positive; they want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow;

6. No more helpless/hopeless talk;

7. Support artists and the arts;

8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it;

9. Take care of yourselves; and

10. Resist! Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon, "When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you - pull your beard, flick your face - to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor."
When you post or talk about him, don't assign his actions to him, assign them to "The Republican Administration," or "The Republicans." This will have several effects: the Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don't like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Thu Jul 9, 2020, 03:00 PM (4 replies)

A 3 photo sequence, showing the progression of the penumbral lunar eclipse, July 4, 2020.

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Sun Jul 5, 2020, 01:53 AM (12 replies)

*July 4, 1894...My grandmother's birthday*

Today I honor her memory...

Her parents saw, and lived, the American Dream...

They came from Sweden, met and married here...

She was their oldest child...

She was a bright, hard-working, motivated lady...

She and her husband raised their six children on a farm outside Chicago...

They had a pump in the kitchen...

She would kill and clean chickens for their meals...

She baked bread every week...

And still had time to go into Chicago for concerts...

She lived through the World Wars, and the Depression...

She did not let adversity shrink her soul...

My Grandmother! How much I still miss her, and her example!

I wonder what she would say if she could see what's happened to her beloved country...

Her birthday, today...

I salute her!

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Sat Jul 4, 2020, 03:06 PM (10 replies)

Almost Full...

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Sat Jul 4, 2020, 12:07 AM (14 replies)

Flowers at dusk

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Thu Jul 2, 2020, 11:16 PM (13 replies)

Almost First Quarter...

Much easier tonight! A lower angle and way fewer clouds make for a happy photographer. I used my tripod, cable release and my right angle viewfinder, all to my satisfaction. Hope you all enjoy.

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Sat Jun 27, 2020, 10:36 PM (17 replies)

Waxing Crescent Moon on June 25, 2020.

Without question, one of the most difficult photos I've ever taken. Why? The angle of view was nearly straight overhead. I could not see it through my lens at all. I took this hand-held, no cable release. Our skies have been extremely cloudy in the evenings.

Posted by CaliforniaPeggy | Thu Jun 25, 2020, 08:00 PM (12 replies)
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