Reality

ME: CDC, should I get poke if I already had Covid?

CDC: “Yes, you should be poked regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.”

ME: Oh, okay, we don’t know how long natural immunity lasts. Got it. So, how long does poke-induced immunity last?

CDC: “There is still a lot we are learning about COVID-19 pokes and CDC is constantly reviewing evidence and updating guidance. We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are poked.”

ME: Okay … but wait a second. I thought you said the reason I need the poke was because we don’t know how long my natural immunity lasts, but it seems like you’re saying we ALSO don’t know how long poke immunity lasts either. So, how exactly is the poke immunity better than my natural immunity?

CDC: …

ME: Uh … alright. But, haven’t there been a bunch of studies suggesting that natural immunity could last for years or decades?

CDC: Yes.

NEWYORKTIMES: “Years, maybe even decades, according to a new study.”

ME: Ah. So natural immunity might last longer than poke immunity?

CDC: Possibly. You never know.

ME: Okay. If I get the poke, does that mean I won’t get sick?

BRITAIN: Nope. We are just now entering a seasonal spike and about half of our infections and hospital admissions are poked people.

ME: CDC, is this true? Are there a lot of people in the U.S. catching Covid after getting the poke?

CDC: We stopped tracking breakthrough cases. We accept voluntary reports of breakthroughs but aren’t out there looking for them.

ME: Does that mean that if someone comes in the hospital with Covid, you don’t track them because they’ve been poked? You only track the UN-poked Covid cases?

CDC: That’s right.

ME: Oh, okay. Hmm. Well, if I can still get sick after I get the poke, how is it helping me?

CDC: We never said you wouldn’t get sick. We said it would reduce your chances of serious illness or death.

ME: Oh, sorry. Alright, exactly how much does it reduce my chance of serious illness or death.

CDC: We don’t know “exactly.”

ME: Oh. Then what’s your best estimate for how much risk reduction there is?

CDC: We don’t know, okay? Next question.

ME: Um, if I’m healthy and don’t want the poke, is there any reason I should get it?

CDC: Yes, for the collective.

ME: How does the collective benefit from me getting poked?

CDC: Because you could spread the virus to someone else who might get sick and die.

ME: Can a poked person spread the virus to someone else?

CDC: Yes.

ME: So if I get poked, I could still spread the virus to someone else?

CDC: Yes.

ME: But I thought you just said, the REASON I should get poked was to prevent me spreading the virus? How does that make sense if I can still catch Covid and spread it after getting the poke?

CDC: Never mind that. The other thing is, if you stay unpoked, there’s a chance the virus could possibly mutate into a strain that escapes the pokes protection, putting all poked people at risk.

ME: So the poke stops the virus from mutating?

CDC: No.

ME: So it can still mutate in poked people?

CDC: Yes.

ME: This seems confusing. If the poke doesn’t stop mutations, and it doesn’t stop infections, then how does me getting poked help prevent a more deadly strain from evolving to escape the poke?

CDC: You aren’t listening, okay? The bottom line is: as long as you are unpoked, you pose a threat to poked people.

ME: But what KIND of threat??

CDC: The threat that they could get a serious case of Covid and possibly die.

ME: My brain hurts. Didn’t you JUST say that the poke doesn’t keep people from catching Covid, but prevents a serious case or dying? Now it seems like you’re saying poked people can still easily die from Covid even after they got the poke just by running into an unpoked person! Which is it??

CDC: That’s it, we’re hanging up now.

ME: Wait! I just want to make sure I understand all this. So, even if I ALREADY had Covid, I should STILL get poked, because we don’t know how long natural immunity lasts, and we also don’t know how long poke immunity lasts. And I should get the poke to keep a poked person from catching Covid from me, but even if I get the poke, I can give it to the poked person anyways. And, the other poked person can still easily catch a serious case of Covid from me and die. Do I have all that right?

ME: Um, hello? Is anyone there?

22, August 2021

Today was amazing. I awoke in a delighful mood  and with the sun. It helps that the sun doesn’ t come over the range until 08:00. I didn’t have to be  at work until 11:30. Can’t say I enjoy  starting that late, but it is what it is. Toay would seem mundane to most. Nothing exciting happened. I ddin’t go anywhere except work and home. I made a nice breakfast of french toast and a breakfast scramble. I had the extra time. I then went to work, but not before stopping to grab a dirty chai. The barista is starting to consider me a regular. When I pulled up she asked, “are you having a zen chai?” I smiled under my N95 and said, “indeed”. I’ve been to every coffee shop or stand in Homer and the surrounding area and have arrived at this conclusion: It matters not where you get your beverage, but it does matter who makes your beverage. This is why I’ve gone to this particular shop repeatedly. The calm, relaxing energy helps too. Anyway, the barista was also talking to me about the weather. Some people call this small talk, but I tend to think of it as progress. We quickly talked about frost flowers and the early arrival of fall. Turns out the season is showing up a month in advance. The barista also inquired if I had my punch card. I informed her I left it at home and she offered to provide a new one, but I declined.  This is a local  shop owned by the Barista. I truly want to support it so I think I’ll just always pay for my chai. If she decideds to offer one up “on the house” then I’ll accept, but I won’t use the buy (X) get (1) free card. With smiling eyes of almonds she bids me farewell and I head to work. I arrived 3 minutes late. I was behind a cement truck and a line of cars going uphill on a curvy, two lane uphill road. Those trucks dont make the best time going up. No worries though.  When I arrived at work I was greeted by name and with smiles. Then I was asked if I wanted to play horseshoes. You know I said yes. In fact, I ended up playing two games. It was a fun game and one that wasn’t too difficult to pick up. Have I mentioned that I adore my job? If not, well let me tell you. I love my job. It’s beyond fantastic and nestled next to blessed. Work, again, went by in the blink of an eye. And like that I was heading home. Spent the rest of the night video chatting with a friend from Colorado, eating dinner, doing dishes, and finally writing this blog. Now my eyes feel droopy and the yawns are catching up with me. It’s been a fun and joyous day, but sleep calls to me like the moon tugs at the ocean. 

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but  because of the people who don’t do anything about it” Albert Einstein

21, August 2021

I slept in today, it’s 08:00. Woo hoo. I nailed a hefty ten hours for the night. This rare treat was a welcome too. Over the course of the previous two weeks my work load and todo list have been rather large. That’s going to change though. I have no more friends coming up, nor does my brother, I will have all my training for work in, and I’ll soon have everything I need completed for the onboarding. I still need to switch my drivers liscense and insurance to Alaska. For some reason this is a mandatory requirement of employment. I’ll need to drive the company vehichle at times and I guess my Ohio liscence and insurance card are inadequate. Should be scheduling all this tomorrow.  If I’m lucky, insurance will be cheaper here in Alaska. I’m not holding my breath though. I’ve seen the price of food, gas, and household items. 

I got to work today at 10:00 and was there until 19:00, allowing me to find an introduction with the evening staff. These are the coworkers I will mainly work with. My scheduled position is slated for the evenings. I chose this shift particularrly so I could stil accomplish tasks on the preserve while hopefully being able to get daylight hours outside of work. Snow has already fallen farther north in Anchorage and the frost is nipping on the green every morning. Soon it will be white, but for now fall color change is peak. As I look out a large window a cliend sits next to me. Beautiful golden waves spread across evergreen slopes while the white begins to spread from the uppermost peaks, invading burgundy gass as it makes its way toward the tree line. It really is a grand sight. I get to enjoy all this. It’s rewarding to talk with someone who has an appreciation of natural change and can just enjoy the sight. Our talk isn’t heavy and most of the time ws spent just stareing out the window. It was a highlight. We also had a team meeting at work. I work with beautiful people and a beautiful company. I’ve never been a part of something so progressivef and uplifting. The transparency definitely helps facilitate behaviours of trust and friendship. At the end of my shift I left smiling and laughing. Is there a better reward for work?

Returning home I made a quick dinner and called it a night. I give a lot of myself at work and it does take it out of me. Sometimes the drain is physical and sometimes it is mental. Today the drain was mental, but not in a difficult or negative way. It can be handled with a decent night’s rest. Not a bad trade off in my opinion. I didn’t get any work in at the preserve today and it looks like Friday will be the next available opportunity for that. I miss walking the trails everyday. Soon it will all return when my schedule is fixed and all work training has been accomplished. Until then I’ll smile with the thought of such an upcoming reward.

Be who you love and love who you are 😀

Reunited Hearts 

Teresa gave me a surprise while we were grabbing some smoothies in Anchorage. I hear her behind me saying I have someone who would like to say “hi” to you. Instinctually I know she’s talking about me and as my mind processes what’s happening she’s already pulled me in close enough to fit on her phone screen. On the other end is Leandro. The emotions that immediately took hold were overpowering, filling me with love and warmth. The three of us previously lived the magic of life together and built something I have yet to rediscover. It’s genuine sincerity still reflecting in all of our eyes. I want nothing more than to have him with us. My insides feel warm and my eyes threaten to leak. I’ve known from the first time I saw both of them that they’ve been in my life before. Not this lifetime, but previous ones. Hopefully future ones as well 😀 The knowing connection instant. I don’t think this happens often, but it is what I’ve always looked for. It transcends time. I see leandros eyes and can feel his energy. I can feel the excitement and disbelief that dances on his earth tome almond eyes. Gifts like this are beyond measure and fail to be transcribed. Our conversation was short; nonetheless, it was a beautiful moment. Tears aren’t always a bad thing. 

“It’s not the good-bye that causes my tears. It’s the flashbacks and the memories”

19/20, August 2021

19th. My alarm is going off and I can feel Jack’s breath punching through  the living room glass. There’s a slight chill in the cabin reminding me it’s time to start turning on the heat, but for now I leave the thermostat alone. My clothes are beside me for easy access and everything I need is laid out or packed in the car already. Within five minutes I’m dressed and have the car warming up. This should knock down the frosty glaze. I return inside and wake my brother. The clock reads 04:30 yet I feel like I’ve been awake for hours. The eager excitement is bubbling up and it’s terribly difficult not to rush my brother. He’s already moving exceptionally fast for someone woken so early and with little sleep. It seems like a lifetime, but we are in the car and down the road by 04:45. I spend the next 5 hours speeding, speeding some more, and driving faster than I should. Is that incriminating? I’m excited to see my cosmic sister. 

At around nine thirty I arrive to pick up T. I step out of the car and see her through the glass window. She’s waving with a smile that lights the darkest night. Within a heartbeat we’re embracing each other. Her energy is as warm and as large as the sun. It helps me to understand why flowers are always in bloom around her. The rest of the day will be spent in a smile. I introduce her to my brother and we go to grab some coffee. We catch up for a minute, check out a book store, then decide we’re all hungry. I’m left with the choice of where to eat lunch so I pick an authentic Thai restaurant. T is a foodie down to her core and loves thai. It was a no-brainer to go. After lunch, which we ate with a partial view of the  bay, we walked through a wooded park throwing disc golf and enjoying the sparkling conversation. It was really nice to have someone with me who walks and moves at my life pace. T, never one to miss an opportunity, snaps a picture of the three of us. This is a rarity and I know of only one other who has a picture of my brother and I together since 2013. Good job T!!!! (Jordan from the PCT is the other)

The rest of the day is spent without regret. I dropped T off at the airport at around 19:30 with one last smile and headed back to Homer. I made it about a block before I started crying. My brother offered to drive, but I assured him I was fine as I cried for the next few miles. I finally settled down by the time we reached hwy 1. My brother and I spend the rest of the night talking about the day and thankful for how we’ve grown, how we are reconnecting, and how awesomely fun and amazing T is. I pulled into our driveway at 00:30 Monday Morning. 

20th. My alarm is going off and I want nothing to do with it. Unfortunately I can’t ignore it as I have responsibilities, i.e., work. It’s 05:30 and feels like I only went to bed a moment ago. Reluctantly I get up and head to work grabbing a dirty chai with a double shot on my way. Thank you Jess T for introducing me to the single hardest addiction I’ve ever come to know. You’re a beautiful human with a heart of gold, truly a gift. I get to work and am suddenly awake. I’m also excited. My job is rewarding, entertaining, and a blessing. I’m really a fortunate human being. It took only a moment and my work day was over. I left the building with a smile of authentic joy co-created  by everyone occupying the interior. Nothing can break this smile. Not even the check engine light that just lit up the dash 100 feet from my driveway. I’ll find out tomorrow if it’s going to be expensive or not. The car is running fine so I’m hopeful it’ll be minor, e.g., telling me its oil change time or perhaps an O2 sensor. Either way, I’m going to cook a quick dinner, write a blog post, and call it a night. 

So, here we are. It’s 19:00 and I’m ready for bed. I’ve got my headphones for affirmations at the ready and my eyes are heavy with fatigue. Tomorrow is going to be another beautiful day. I already know. Salome, friends. 

A garden of love grows within us all

18, August 2021

Hello, friends 🙂

Today has been extremely exhausting. With an early rise I dragged my lethargic body out of bed at five thirty in the morning. I eagerly, but with as much grace as an alligator trying to catch its prey out of water, get dressed, eat breakfast, and start my day. All day… That’s how long I worked. It wasn’t supposed to be like that. I had hoped to be done at eleven in the morning. Instead I finished at seven in the evening. Yup, totally didn’t see it working out like this. Such is life though and all I can do is learn and move on. Nonetheless, I’m still going to see a friend tomorrow. 

I’ll be driving to Anchorage to visit my cosmic sister. Her flight leaves at eight in the evening so we should have all day together. I had hoped to make it up today, but that didn’t happen. The last time I saw  her was April 2020. Far too long for my liking, but accomplished with the help of the pandemic. I’m super cautious and haven’t really seen any of my friends since thise whole thing started. However, with appropriate precautions I feel I can be safe. It’s a beautiful thing when just the thought of meeting someone can leave you choking back tears. Oh, I’m also going to introduce her to my brother. ← This is huge for me. Unfortunately, I’m not ready to share the reasoning with the world. Perhaps one day this will change. But for now, I’m going to bed. 

Sanguine eyes give exceptional warmth.

17, August 2021

Hello, friends?

I started my new employment today. What a rewarding gift it is. I enjoyed it very much. I dind’t exactly get a lunch break where I could eat, but I did get snack breaks and breaks from work. This is not the fault of my employer either. It was a personal choice and one I would make time and time again. There are times when the moment is the place you are to be. Today was one of those days. There was a good amount of learning and observational absorption as well as social interaction.The commradory was contagious. I will also say my work is in a field that has many confidentiality laws; therefore, I’m going to be vague about many details. Don’t let that take away though. 

 After work, which was super fun, I ran some errands, e..g, went to the post office, went to the bank, filled up the gas tank in the Saturn, etc. etc.. I didn’t talk to anyone except the teller whose conversational skills failed to go anywhere except business. Oh I talked to a poodle before I went into the post office. No one was in the car so I never caught the name og the dog, but I like to think it’s a her and her name is Dorthy. At least that is what I chose to refer to it as. What can I say, sometimes my mind baffles me as well. I also got to talk to a couple friends. 

I called T after work, but ran into a dead zone and wasn’t able to talk long, but vowed to call back. Figured I would do it when I was done with my errands, but I got a phone call from a friend I hadn’t talked to for two years. I’m glad they called because it was nice to converse with them. Directly following that was my conversation with T. Again, such a reward. Both friends have such beautiful advice and insight. I’m fortunate to have them in my life. 

With my conversations done I changed clothes, grabbed my trail maintenance gear, and got to work. I had intended to make dinner, but really wanted to do some trail maintenance. As I hit the first trail a moose ran away from me, think teenager, my right leg sank calf high in the mud filling my boot with water, I ate a rotten crow berry, and got whacked in the head with a spruce bough. It could have started worse. I did see a moose. 🙂 I got a couple hours in and headed back to the cabin, but not befor snapping a picture or two. 

What is it that creates the bubbling warmth which originates from the essence of my being and fills my body, mind, and soul?

16, August 2021

Guten Tag, freund. 

The white season is almost upon us, I coud feel it as I stepped outside this morning. It was predawn and the chill held my breath with every exhale as the damp color palette produced an aroma that whispered good-bye. I gave a quick glance to my southeast. Between the forty foot gap in spruce I could just make out the dark outline of the steep mountains. A slight glow illuminating from each of the glaciers. The stars glimmered on half a moonbeam, dancing a ballet of symphonic adventure before I turned away with a smile. Opening the car door I mutter thank you, not to myself. 

I’ve been up for almost an hour. Breakfast is finished, the dishes are done, and my hygiene is on point. I’m heading up to Kenia to give away my fingerprints. The job I accepted requires it for a preemployment background check. It’s almost two hours from where I live, but I don’t mind. I’m actually looking forward to it. The fall color should be beond nice. It was too. The entire drive was worth it. It seemed like no time at all, but I I was back in homer at the hospital for my tinkle test, i.e., urinalysis.Hope this Sticky Gelato doesn’t thwart my hire. After being at the hospital for much longer than it should take I was finally allowed to provide my specime. And just like that I was out the door and on my way to fill out paperwork for my new employer. I spent the next three hours getting all the onboarding accomplished. The atmosphere is Authentic. It’s one of the reasons I accepted the position. The deep connection I felt was also influential. Shortly after four in the afternoon I left.

I attempted to play some pool as it was free night at the local Best Western, but was turned off by the crowd. So I ended up at Save you more having sticker shock again, but not before grabbing sesame rice crackers and beets for tonight’s snack. I have an equitable relationship with root vegetables. They don’t hurt my tummy and I appreciate them. Works out delightfully well. With my pre bed snack now in hand I headed back to the preserve. I’ve got a video scheduled with a friend. I don’t want to miss it, be late, or feel like I lost any time at all. This particular Human BEING has a value that transcends measurement. Truly a remarkable inspiration, excellent Coach, and authentic leader. I also wanted to hopefully get some work in at the preserve. 

Unfortunately the work at the preserve didn’t happen. The days are just becoming too short to do much after six in the afternoon. I enjoy the work at the preserve and actually look forward to it. I feel the compensation is fair, the requirements are honest, and the direction is solid. Never thought I would start to miss any type of work after not doing it for a few days. It’s nice to see that’s changed. Informs me my compass is pointing in the appropriate direction and my ranger beads are working. It’s a crazy, chaotic world and can sometimes be difficult to orientate. Orientation is important. 

Show love, live love, and accept love from yourself, you’re deserving of it.

15, August 2021

Guten Tag, freund. 

Today was my interview day. I think it went well. I had a chat with the on-site manager, met some of the employees, took a tour, and met some of the clients. The atmosphere was inviting, the smiles authentic, and the banter soft. I enjoyed my time there. The whole process took two hours, give or take. Afterwhich I ran some errands and then worked in the greenhouse. 

As I was harvesting I realized I only had a small berry basket with me. So, I did what any sensible human would do. I made a vegetable gift basket for my neighbor. I found it super cute, tantalizingly fun, and photogenic.

What didn’t end up in the gift basket ended up on the dinner plate. I made a vegetable pasta sauce, forgetting to add the kale, and backed a spaghetti squash. The vegetarian meal was ample food and tasted fresh. I’m grateful the greenhouse is still producing as I’m sure is my neighbor.  Oh, I also had some face time with friends. Well, a family.

 

The Hearts are from ohio. The father has been in my life since twenty zero seven and his wife shortly after. They’ve seen me at the most difficult time in my life and always offered a hand up. I can’t say enough about the strenght, resilience, and love that is this family. They have taught me through actions the true sense of what it means to be a Human BEING. They also have ttwo children. One has a youtube channel. You can find it here 😀 I love this little guy. I’m pretty sure I spent more time talking with him than I did his parents. Go ahead and five him a like. He definitely deserves it. The second is a high school senior. I think that pretty much sums it up. 😀 

I called my mother today as well. Had about a thirty minute session before the internet said, “no, that’s enough”.  Rewarding to hear she is well. She recently broke her femur, but seems to be recovering quickly. Hopefully everything will heal correctly and be back to normal, or as normal as it can be, soon. I think I’ll call her again this weekend. I still had some questions and wanted to get some advice. Definately going to make that happen. 

There are moments in your life when you know everything is right. You’re where you are supposed to be, you’re doing what you know you’re supposed to do, and you’re living with a joy that finds contagious as its companion.There is no second guessing, just a calm knowing. These are the moments that take my breath away. 

14, August 2021

Guten Tag, freund. 

Today was a very busy day. I got my phone activated, said farewell to Jeff, and learned my brother was a serious fisherman. The day started off with me deciding to drive the two hours north to see Jeff off. I had originally said farewell the previous night, but thought better of it when I awoke. My reason for saying an early farewell was because I wanted to work so I could backpack on Thursday. After sleeping on it I realized that was silly. The backpacking trail isnt going anywhere, but Jeff is migrating south. I don’t want another crane situation. So I drove up to the Kenia Mountains to spend the remainder of the time I could with him. He’s such a remarkable guy. Heart of gold that man. 

We were at a lake super close to the alpine, fishing and sharing the last few hours in a marvelous setting. The mountains were frosted on top with a layer of white, below that lay a canvas of burgundy, yellow, oranges, and greens. It was truly a beautiful scene. Fall is here in full force. So was my brother with his fishing abilities. He snatched a trout using a method I found barbarically prehistoric, yet awe inspiring. Truly a memory for the ages. Most of the day was spent talking and eating. Jeff and I did less fishing than my brother and he did less than I’ve ever witnessed him do. Sometimes conversation and presence is just the best activity. It was a bittersweet goodbye filled with love and gratitude. 

On the way back I stopped at the phoen store in Soldotna and had it activated. I had tried the night before, but failed at my attempt to be more Millennial savvy, i.e., good with electronics. It all starts with effort though. I also learned some things from the customer service gentleman about the phone, was offered a job, politely declined as it was over two hours from where I live, and got some advice/preperation for the upcoming white season. Mainly the topic was the lack of sunlight and how it represented itself in the public. Righteous information for someone who has never had a winter where the sun may only rise for two hours if at all. Totally rad day altogether. 

I ended the day by sending messages to all my contacts informing them of my new number. A friend I missed dearly liked it, so I called him. He is one of the greatest life rewards I have ever been blessed with. Righteous man who gets it is he. That sums him up well. I hope he patted himself on the back tonight and acknowledged some of his accomplishments and tallents. Truly a rarity. With the end of the phone call came the end of my night. It’s late, so this is actually going up at a little after twelve thirty a.m. Alaska time. 

Love and forgiveness are keys to every door.