Category Archives: My Life

Directions For Life

‘Apply product all over hands until dry’ and you will be protected from coronavirus. Maybe if you drink it you will be cured according to our President. ***Please don’t drink hand sanitizer or any other chemicals made for disinfecting your hands or surfaces.*** I do not feel like babbling on about how great I am doing during the pandemic and all the great home projects I have going like some people. I hate this pandemic. I hate that careless people allowed it to escape into the world and hurt so many people. Am I supposed to understand that people eat bats or whatever way this has been unleashed on us all. My brother tested positive for coronavirus. F**k coronavirus.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt is  “directions.” Find a household cleaner/bottle of shampoo/something in the freezer/anything you can find with instructions on it, then copy down a single direction (just one) on how to use/cook/etc. your chosen thing, and make it the first line or word of your post. Then keep writing whatever comes out. 

Featured image, ‘Ocean storm near Cape Lookout’ by Dee Brausch. Oregon Dept. of Transportation on Flickr.com

Brother Watch Update

Received a recorded message from my brother’s Nursing Home just now that there are currently 5 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 2 additional staff members. Three patients are in the hospital with the virus and 2 are in isolation. They said we would be notified if our family member tested positive. I have been calling every day to get an update on my brother and ask to talk with him if possible on Skype. Today the Nurse thought he was stable. He was supposed to call me back, with their help, on Skype, but he did not call. In the recorded message today they mentioned that we should not call and expect to talk to the nurse. They provided an email for the administrator and they will answer as best they can. This reminds me of Kirkland Washington. I left a message for my brother’s MD to see if he has more information.


What Day Is It Anyway? #WDIIA, is hosted by Linda G Hill

Featured image of ‘Forget Me Not flowers’ by Gurkan Sengun on Wikimedia.org

 

Brother Watch

I was able to Skype with my brother this afternoon and it was very good to be able to see him. He feels tired, and looked tired, but he says he does not have a sore throat and is coughing less. He is on observation for 14 days. He told me the Nurses are offering him liquids. I spoke with the Charge Nurse and she says he is stable right now. So we are not out of the woods but it helps to see him looking fairly comfortable. His bed is by a window so he can look out.


#What Day Is It Anyway? #WDIIA, is hosted by Linda G Hill.

Featured image ‘Forget Me Not flowers’ by Gurkan Sengun on Wikimedia.org

Waiting For News

I think the Nurses at my brother’s Nursing Home are trying to answer my questions in good faith but I feel I am not getting a full picture of how he is doing. They read off his vital signs that indicate no fever, but they tell me he does not want to Skype because he feels too sick, he has a cough, and a sore throat. I see these as possible symptoms of cornonavirus. A patient was sent to the hospital from this facility a few days ago and was found to test positive for coronavirus. That patient’s room was near my brother’s room. A staff member also tested positive for coronavirus. My brother is in isolation with his roommates. I was told this was a precaution to protect him. I am concerned my brother could get dehydrated because it is hard for him to swallow. He can only get fluids when the staff gives him fluids. He is unable to reach for a glass and drink by himself because of the MS. So I asked that he be offered fluids frequently, every time the staff goes in the room. The Nurse today told me he has instructed the aides to offer my brother fluids. I asked that the staff check on him so he does not feel alone. I emphasized how helpless he is and that he needs them to check in with him. I called his MD today and his doctor thinks he should be tested for coronavirus and is ordering other labs as well. I mentioned the possible need for intravenous fluids. I feel better that I made sure the doctor is evaluating my brother now. I thank the Nurses every time I talk to them and I can’t help crying sometimes.


What Day Is It Anyway? #WDIIA, is hosted by Linda G Hill

Featured image ‘Forget Me Not flowers’ by Gurkan Sengun on Wikimedia.org

Value Each Person

My younger brother has Multiple Sclerosis and has resided in a Nursing Home for many years because he needs care. His is intelligent and his mind is unaffected. I have been worried that he could be vulnerable to infection but so far no one at his facility had signs of COVID-19 until yesterday. One of the residents was transferred to the hospital and tested positive for Coronavirus. Pretty early in the outbreak here in California his Nursing Home closed to any visitors. I understood and accepted this precaution but I was concerned about my brother feeling more isolated and frightened. I was able to set up Skype between our computers with the help of the Social Worker there. I have been able to talk with him over Skype and we can see each other. Of course I am more worried now for him. I thanked the Charge Nurse today for being there. I received a call later in the day that they were moving him closer to the Nursing station so they could keep him under closer observation. I asked that they help him get signed onto the internet so he could watch programs or listen to music.

I wrote a post for Friday about the possible rationing of ventilators and ICU beds if our hospitals have a surge of patients. Remember that all these patients are individuals of value and probably have families who care about them. They are not just a statistic that fits into an age category or medical diagnosis. They might be someone with a pre-existing condition but that does not mean we can easily write them off and not care.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill Prompt for today is a word that starts with or contains ‘val.’

What Day Is It Anyway? #WDIIA, is also hosted by Linda G Hill.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2020

Featured image ‘Sunrise’ by angelac72 on Pixabay.com

Utilitarian Ethics and COVID-19

Utilitarianism: the belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people (Merriam Webster online dictionary)

This post is a heavy one but I want to write about it. Here goes:

I recently read in an LA Times Newsletter the latest guidelines put forth from the State Public Health Department about rationing care and ventilators if we are hit with an overwhelming number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. I found some of it disturbing because they put in an addendum about intensive care and ventilators related to age of the patient. It made me want to research the ethics related to this determination. I did find some discussion of ethical guidelines at The National Catholic Bioethics Center which mentioned certain criteria as “unjust and discriminatory: age (e.g., prioritizing “youth”), disability, race.”

LA Times reporting on California Department of Public Health Guidelines for rationing care during COVID-19. Here are some of the guidelines:

‘The Department of Public Health said the guidelines are meant to serve as a framework for healthcare facilities as they shift from regularly providing optimum care for the individual patient to “doing the greatest good for the greatest number” of patients as staff, beds, medication, equipment and other resources become scarce across the state during a crisis, according to the document….An appendix to the guidelines on “ventilator management” calls for hospitals to give patients a priority score and determine who will receive intensive care with a focus on “saving the most lives and saving the most life-years.”….If there are not enough resources to treat all patients with the same score, the guidelines suggest hospitals group patients by age — 12 to 40, 41 to 60, 61 to 75, and older than 75 — and treat younger people first.’

From ‘Summary of Triage Principles and Applications for Catholic Healthcare Organizations‘ by John A. Di Camillo PHD Staff Ethicist (The National Catholic Bioethics Center)

“There must be no unjust discrimination on the basis of age, disability, cognitive function, quality of life, stage of life, or other value-laden or utilitarian criteria reaching beyond short-term clinical prospects of recovery or mortality and certain limited, unbiased, nonclinical criteria when clinical situations are equivalent.”

He states under his triage criteria:

Triage priority levels should not be affected by considerations of long-term survival, “life-years,” life stage considerations, or similar criteria based on considerations extending beyond the short-term crisis period.

And…When clinical considerations among different patients are equivalent, priority may be given rarely on the basis of certain unbiased considerations.

“…the dignity of the human person must continue to be foundational even as the role of the common good comes into sharper focus. It must be recalled that the common good cannot be achieved by disregarding the dignity of the individual, as utilitarian ethics do. The common good, properly understood, upholds the dignity of each individual.” (Di Camillo)

Additional paper by Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Director of Education National Catholic Bioethics Center on ‘Thinking Through the Rationing of Ventilators’

This (below) is where the ideas about rationing with age criteria being included came from:

A Framework for Rationing Ventilators and Critical Care Beds During the COVID-19 Pandemic  by Douglas B. White MD MAS; Bernard Lo MD. This framework was based on the opinion of these two medical ethicists MDs and now being adopted in some states, including mine, and promoted. 

It would be terrible to have to make these decisions to ration ICU beds and equipment. My feeling is we should be sure that there are not ‘unjust and discriminatory’ practices in use.


Rivers Oceans Mountains Deserts and My Backyard

Below are some videos of California nature hosted by Professor Erika Zavaleta, UC Santa Cruz. In the first one she is discussing the Elkhorn Slough ( pronounced like slew, I used to think it was pronounced ‘sluff’).  I have driven by the slough in the past while on trips and did not realize there are sea otters hanging out there too. They are so great to watch.  In the second video she talks about all the different climates in California from West to East. Some beautiful scenery in these videos. The last one is a relaxing video ‘The gentle sound of a Mountain River and Spring Forest’ by TopRelaxMusic on You Tube.

 

 

 

I was out digging around in the backyard again yesterday and heard a Red-tailed hawk overhead and saw a smaller hawk (Cooper’s hawk?) flying above as well. I have been clearing away leaves and some wood sorrel which is a weed that is trying to take over where my woolly thyme should be growing. The African Fern Pines drop a ton of leaves and little round fruit. Some birds and bats may eat the fruit. The leaves do keep the soil moist but they really pile up pretty thick and block the thyme ground cover. I am getting into yard work more and it is physical exercise too. It gets me outside in nature and fresh air. We are still on ‘stay at home’ orders.

I really do like to stay at home a lot in recent years but this is different because of the threat of infection lurking.  It is terrible to know of all the people who are affected and those who have died. It still seems unreal all that has happened. I hope we can get back to normal soon.


What Day Is It Anyway? #WDIIA, is hosted by Linda G Hill

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2020