When I’m Sick

when I'm sick

I hate when I’m sick.  I realize not many people like it but some definitely cope better than others, more content (the advantage of being introverted, I guess) to lounge around day after day.  Not me, it’s driving me crazy!

A Cold or RSV but not Covid?

These past two weeks I have been feeling miserable, with a hacking cough and sinus infection.  Hubby caught whatever it is a few days after me.  His coughing is worse (chestier) than mine as his lungs are weakened by allergies. He typically suffers much longer than I do too.

It hit me the day we were scheduled to host Christmas dinner, a mere week after we arrived home from Florida. I woke up with a scratchy throat, assuming it was from a poor sleep. I performed a rapid antigen test, the kind we have available at our local grocers, just to be sure it was not Covid related, so I could warn family members (before they arrived) if it was.

I have repeatedly tested myself for Covid since then with negative results.  Who knows though, if rapid tests are capable of detecting the current variants.

Immune Systems

My immune system used to be much stronger, in fact, at one point in my life its over-reaction was the final verdict (after thousands of tests) in the saga of my stillbirths.  

Within the past (almost) three years that hasn’t been the case.  Instead, I seem to catch everything that goes around. I know I’m (aren’t we all?) getting older but this seems drastic to me, considering otherwise I’m in good shape and health. I guess that’s why they have an over 60 category in vaccination availability, I just keep forgetting that this category refers to me.

My immune system has definitely been significantly weaker since I was sick with a brutal cold in February of 2020, the worse one I’ve ever experienced.   I now believe that the virus that struck me down back then was Covid-19, before Covid was a household name here.  At least here in Canada. Suspicious theories have it lurking long before we reacted to it (shut down) in mid-March, 2020.

Due to our weakened immune systems, and the desire to travel and spend time with our six rapidly-growing, active grandchildren, we obligingly rolled up our sleeves for four rounds of Covid vaccinations over the past two and a half years, and one flu shot most recently. I hate to think how sick we would be without all those shots; it sure does make you wonder about their efficacy. But that’s a whole other story, one I’m quite happy to let the scientists rule on.

Limited Accomplishments When I’m Sick

I’ve been getting lots of rest, in fact wake up in the mornings thinking I’m better, only to be frustrated with a return of coughing fits and green-filled (gross) sinuses around 2 pm. I did the same that other time I was so sick, thought I had recuperated when I had in fact not. Passing out in the shower was the rude awakening then, so this time I am trying to be more patient. Pun intended.

I’ve managed little things around the house, like (lovingly) banishing Christmas decorations to the garage for another year.  And sprouting and potting up new plant babies that were meant to be birthday gifts for my two late-December-celebrating daughters-in-law.  I figured with no human babies due this year (that I know of) some plant babies would be appropriate.  If you two are reading this, your (plant) babies are still here waiting for me to be healthy enough to drop them off.  And, I cannot wait to spend time with your real babies!  And you and your husbands of course. That is the worst part when I’m sick. Hands down, this extrovert misses her family.

Spending time chatting with my youngest son has also been a bonus as he’s been home from Victoria for a month over the holidays.  Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to go out much; lunches at new (to us) spots are our favourite. We did go check out the outdoor Christmas lights in our neighborhood and downtown one evening though. And cheered on the Canadian hockey team as it competed in the World Juniors tournament, emerging as the champions in the final game. Some of the games, including the final, were a little too nail-bitingly exciting, with the winning goal delayed until 3-on-3 overtime. Despite my cold, I was able to hold my breath (both in fear and anticipation) as well as yell and cheer loudly, joining many other hockey fans across this hockey-loving country.

That’s about the extent of my excitement though, so far this year…Cheers to a happy and healthy 2023!

photo credit

Uvlizer Destroys Covid Virus and More

uvlizer

I’m sure you’ve heard that UV light destroys those invisible pathogens that the COVID virus is spreading around. While sunlight is the best source of UVB rays and a great (and free) way to keep your immune system healthy, UVC is the most effective at cleansing. The Uvlizer uses UVC rays to destroy bacteria and viruses, including Covid-19.

What is Ultraviolet (UV) Light?

Ultraviolet light is defined as:

denoting electromagnetic radiation of wavelength shorter than that of the violet 

end of the spectrum, having wavelengths of 4–400 nanometers.

ultraviolet A (UVA): ultraviolet radiation with wavelengths between 320 and 400 nm, 

comprising over 99 per cent of such radiation that reaches the surface of the earth. 

Ultraviolet A enhances the harmful effects of ultraviolet B radiation and is also 

responsible for some photosensitivity reactions; it is used therapeutically in the 

treatment of a variety of skin disorders.

ultraviolet B (UVB): ultraviolet radiation with wavelengths between 290 and 320 nm, 

comprising less than 1 per cent of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the earth’s surface.

Ultraviolet B causes sunburn and a number of damaging photochemical changes within 

cells, including damage to DNA, leading to premature aging of the skin, premalignant and

malignant changes, and a variety of photosensitivity reactions; it is also used 

therapeutically for treatment of skin disorders.

ultraviolet C (UVC): ultraviolet radiation with wavelengths between 200 and 290 nm; all 

of this type of radiation is filtered out by the ozone layer so that none reaches the earth’s 

surface. Ultraviolet C is germicidal and is also used in ultraviolet phototherapy.

ultraviolet rays: electromagnetic radiation beyond the violet end of the visible spectrum;

they are not visible to humans. They are produced by the sun but are absorbed to a large 

extent by particles of dust and smoke in the earth’s atmosphere. They are also produced 

by so called sun lamps. They can produce sunburn and affect skin pigmentation, 

causing tanning. When they strike the skin surface they transform provitamin D, secreted by

the glands of the skin, into vitamin D, which is then absorbed into the body. Because 

ultraviolet rays are capable of killing bacteria and other microorganisms, they are 

sometimes used to sterilize objects in specially designed cabinets, or to sterilize the air in 

operating rooms and other areas where destruction of bacteria is necessary.

photo credit

What is Ozone?

Wikipedia offers the following information about ozone:

Ozone or trioxygen, is an inorganic molecule with the chemical formula O3. It is a pale blue gas with a distinctively pungent smell. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic allotrope O2, breaking down in the lower atmosphere to O2 (dioxygen). Ozone is formed from dioxygen by the action of ultraviolet (UV) light and electrical discharges within the earth’s atmosphere. It is present in very low concentrations throughout the latter, with its highest concentration high in the ozone layer of the stratosphere, which absorbs most of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

How does Ozone Kill Germs?

Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation. This same high oxidizing potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in animals, and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 0.1 ppm. While this makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level, a higher concentration in the ozone layer (from two to eight ppm) is beneficial, preventing damaging UV light from reaching the earth’s surface.

wikipedia

What is a Uvlizer?

Healthcare uses the germicidal effects of UVC. Germicidal UVC light produces ozone during the cleansing process which also disinfects the areas where ultraviolet light cannot reach. This contraption was created based on that knowledge. The Uvlizer is natural and safe, leaving no chemical smells or residue on the surfaces in your home when used properly. It does leave a faint chlorine-like smell in the air, but that dissipates quickly, well within the 40 minutes indicated in the instructions.

The Uvlizer is very portable and easy to use; you simply turn it on and leave the room. After the required wait time for the smell to disappear, move it to another room and repeat the process. As indicated, you must leave the room and remove plants from the room while the uvilizer is working as the ozone is toxic to humans and plants. When turned on, a timer counts off 30 seconds to permit you time to leave the room. There is also a remote for this purpose. The unit shuts itself off after the time limit you set based on the size of the room.

Where can I get a Uvlizer?

Currently, you can purchase a Uvlizer online for $80USD or $102CDN with free delivery worldwide! Shipping from Wyoming in the USA, delivery takes 6 to 10 days within the USA or Canada and longer elsewhere.

You can also purchase one from Amazon.

Protect yourself and your family. Sanitize your home by destroying Covid and other bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. Reviews are all very positive for disinfecting homes (including pet odours), offices, businesses, hotel rooms, and even the masks we have been wearing.

Covid Restrictions, are Canadians Over Cautious?

Covid Restrictions, are Canadians Over Cautious?

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry right now. Christmas morning and hubby and I are sitting here, alone, with our turkey still in the freezer. The presents are all wrapped, placed lovingly under the tree, and stockings are stuffed, but no other family members in sight. Covid restrictions have put a kibosh on our Christmas plans.

Isolating and Covid Restrictions

One son and his family are “isolating” after a positive covid test. Both hubby and I have “symptoms” but we are not convinced they are Covid-related. Testing is not available so we will never know. Isolating is still recommended.

As a family, we decided it prudent (and law-abiding) to cancel our Christmas plans.

Two other sons and their significant others are symptom and positive test-free, so permitted (according to provincial restrictions/rules) to attend (scaled down) Christmas get-togethers with their partners’ families. I don’t begrudge them their holiday plans, but it does feel weird. And quiet.

Covid Restrictions Outside of Canada

The kicker is that I just read a Facebook post of a relative in Texas whose family attended a family reunion. Her husband and daughter tested positive earlier this week and she was feeling ill. I’m not sure which happened first. The difference? They don’t have the same isolation/quarantine rules so positive tests or symptoms don’t appear to slow them down.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t begrudge them their celebrations either, I am just really ticked off that our governments (federal and provincial) are telling us to stay home if positive, feeling symptoms are even been in contact with someone that has tested positive…..

…And jealous, I am realllly jealous, even moping, feeling sorry for myself, getting greener by the minute.

Enough about me though, I really feel bad for business owners forced to turn away patrons to try to control the herd immunity that is not only imminent but a healthy thing in the long haul.

Who is right? I believe Canadians, in general, are more cautious etc etc, but is that a good thing? Are we turning into an over-cautious, judgemental, economy-tanking, Negative-Nancy or Debbie-Downer country?

Merry Christmas wherever and however you are celebrating. Or not.

Covid Restrictions, are Canadians Over Cautious?

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to All

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to All

Merry Christmas or happy holidays to everyone, everywhere. Facebook and other forms of social media have lots of wonderful memes, poems, pictures, and so on this time of year with advice and wishes for a happy holiday season, regardless of what, how and with whom you celebrate.

I thought I would share some that caught my eye.

Christmases Past

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to All

I remember doing just that, was lots of fun. There were a few houses in our neighbourhood that went all out with the decorations.

I am happy to report that several of my grandkids enjoy walking around our current block admiring and inspecting the lights and festive displays. This is the display one of our neighbours spent hours setting up; the kids just adore it:

Christmas Humour

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to All

A(nother) Covid Christmas:

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to All

This would be funnier if it didn’t hit so close to home. With the Omicron variant of Covid-19 marching rampantly through the world, holiday plans everywhere are getting the axe, once again.

Let’s hope 2022 brings the herd immunity that could result from all of us getting exposed this season.

Philosophical Words

Moving Forward

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to All

This one is all about moving forward, letting go of the past, recognizing and embracing the positives in your life. It’s like a free psychology session!

Let’s hope we can leave the Covid virus behind as well.

Merry Christmas!

Omicron Variant: At Home Protocol

At Home Protocol for Omicron Variant

With Omicron numbers rising exponentially, it appears we will all get it sooner or later. Supposedly (so the experts tell us) a less severe, but more contagious variant, Omicron probably won’t send you to the hospital. This might not necessarily be a bad thing as herd immunity was a goal way back when all this Covid talk began.

Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it?

And of course, Omicron or any other Covid variant, does not take a break for the holiday season. Many of us are frustrated as we thought we would finally be able to enjoy an extended family dinner/get-together for Christmas this year.

With testing (seemingly) limited as these numbers increase, what can you do at home if you suspect you have come down with the Omicron variant of Covid? Or if you manage to get tested and your suspicions are confirmed.

Depending on the capabilities of local health systems, public health officials recommend those with minor symptoms to stay home and not seek care in health clinics or hospitals and monitor symptoms.

Medical care is focused on those who are short of breath, have severe symptoms, or require oxygen and supportive care that is only available in a hospital.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

One of the Facebook groups I belong to (created by a very trusted, knowledgeable individual that appears to have the inside track on the various government announcements/rules/protocols etc) said she was told to follow the Johns Hopkins Protocol for at-home treatment.

Stay Home if Your Symptoms are Mild

The first thing to do is to isolate yourself from others, including those living in your household. Although you might already all be in the same boat so you may isolate together.

At Home Protocol for Omicron Variant

The recommended treatments are as follows:

  • Treat fever with Advil or Tylenol, as directed on package.
  • Stay hydrated; drink LOTS of water and avoid dehydrators like coffee and alcohol.
  • Get lots of rest, don’t fight the fatigue.
  • Take recommended doses of vitamins and minerals; Vitamin C, D3, K and zinc are reportedly the best to battle the symptoms and boost your immune system.
  • boost your ventilation with a filter, or open windows (last week we could have done that here too, this week not so much) When the pandemic began I purchased a UV filter, it has been out of storage quite a bit lately.
  • avoid sugary foods and other simple carbohydrates as they are known to fuel inflammation.
  • get some fresh air. This is my own addition, but it always works for me.
  • keep your sense of humour, laughter is the best medicine of all!

The Common Cold Virus vs Omicron Variant

Unfortunately, the common cold virus creates similar symptoms to this Omicron variant of Covid. The good news is you can treat the mild symptoms of both the same way.

  • cough
  • runny nose
  • congestion
  • scratchy throat
  • fatigue
  • sneezing
  • headache

Every cold I have ever suffered through started with a scratchy throat, followed by sinus congestion, and ended with a nagging cough. My husband has a similar process except for the fact that a cold always settles in his lungs causing prolonged and chestier coughing.

Homemade Remedy for the Common Cold

Last week when I felt sinus congestion signaling the beginning of a cold, I boiled a cup of water, sprinkled in a few drops of tea tree oil, and inhaled the steam. It worked like a charm; the congestion disappeared and my symptoms never progressed to a cough. My husband was not so lucky, he now has a full-on chest cold. But then again, he would not try my homemade remedy.

Colds never slow me down much. That’s the difference, hopefully something we all have learned from this pandemic. With cold symptoms so similar to Covid, we have to make ourselves slow down, stay home, get more rest etc., to attempt to control the spread of any virus we contract.

The similarity in symptoms does make you question though whether or not they warrant testing for Covid. This may be a good thing though, as testing (at least in my area) opportunities are slim pickings with the focus now changed to vaccine and booster distribution.

Of course, the downside to not getting tested for Covid means (potentially) fewer statistics generated for research and falsely low case counts.

Super Immunity From Breakthrough Cases?

Very promising recent research is predicting super immunity thanks to the increased covid cases:

You’ve got to have a foundation of protection….I think this speaks to an eventual end game,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we’re at the end of the pandemic, but it points to where we’re likely to land: Once you’re vaccinated and then exposed to the virus, you’re probably going to be reasonably well-protected from future variants.

Dr. Marcel Curlin, associate professor of medicine (infectious diseases) in the OHSU School of Medicine and a co-author of the research, 

Finally, some good news! At least for those of us that dutifully received our two Covid vaccines and a booster.

Charcuterie Board and Coincidences

Thanks to Covid restrictions I had not seen my brother in over a year even though he only lives an hour or so from me. Recently he dropped by with a (belated) 60th birthday present for me that he crafted with his own hands. And tools of course. This beautiful charcuterie board is made from a slab of mesquite he picked up on a (pre-Covid) annual trek to Texas.

Charcuterie Board
Mesquite Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie bosrd

The charcutetie board has a lazy susan feature attached to the back so the board can be spun around to access assorted nibbles.

Charcuterie board
Lazy susan

He also filled in crevices with sparkly, metallic paint…very artistic and creative.

Coincidences

Apparently, a bee landed on the charcuterie board while the shellac was drying. My soon-to-be sister-in-law convinced him to leave the bee imprint there in honour of my blog and Facebook names…Loreeebee and Loree Bee…

Charcuterie board
Loree Bee & Loreeebee

A larger coincidence is the fact that my brother showed up with this belated gift the same day my sons had planned a surprise belated Birthday celebration catered dinner for me.

Another coincidence? The date of the party and my brother’s visit were on the 27th anniversary of my mom’s passing.

The sudden loss of my mom just after her 65th birthday was a huge shock for me and I’ve often said I felt like an Orphan after my father passed away not much later.

I always reminisce (more than usual) on the day she died; I know she was smiling down on me that day!

Patience is a Virtue

patience is a virtue

Patience is a virtue they say, unfortunately one that I (sometimes) have a limited and selective supply of.

Thankfully with my grandchildren I seem to have an unlimited abundance of patience, perhaps because I now realize, thanks to the wisdom acquired over my years, that it’s the little things that matter in life.

And time, I have much more time to spend on the small things, including the special small people in my life.

Patience is a virtue
frog hunting takes lots of patience!

I also lead a much less stressful life than I did when my three sons were young. Back then I had two full time jobs, one outside the home and one within. It has been proven that patience is inversely related to stress. Who hasn’t noticed that when they are stressed, the smallest of annoyances makes them impatient and when you become impatient, you feel agitated and stressed?

Of course there are still many things that test the level of my patience. Things like:

  • long lineups, anywhere
  • bad drivers
  • unnecessary traffic lights
  • commercials/advertisements when watching or reading shows/stories etc
  • people that consider themselves “experts” on social media that offer bad advice and inaccurate/wrong information

Thankfully, the things that make me impatient are not encountered as frequent these days.

What level is your patience at? Do/did you find it better or worse during Covid restrictions? What do you do to relieve the stress that impatience brings on or the impatience that stress brings on?

Rex Murphy: Worst Canadian Government

This is the Worst Canadian Government Ever: is a scathing (but accurate) article from Rex Murphy in the National Post. Not my words, but many of my thoughts and opinions!

Economics

The country is in an economic coma. The House of Commons is a movie set. We are shamed in the international community. And the list goes on.

It’s a mess. It’s a shambles. It’s an embarrassment. It is the worst ever by any reasonable measurement.

Judging by their performance on the most important files, the current bunch in Ottawa would need to hire a consultant to figure out how to get wet in a thunderstorm and set up a task force to study how to tie their own shoes.

Look around you. Canada is in the biggest, most persistent, and threatening crisis since — well since ever. The long-term care homes are under a blizzard of mortality. There is heartbreak in every small business in the country. The worry and anxiety level of most everyday citizens — especially those not shielded by uninterrupted cheques from provincial and federal governments, and those not serving as a member of a legislature — is at an all-time high.

On the Covid Nightmare

This government hoards any real details about what vaccines are here, how many are “secured” on paper only, and what they have promised to pay for them, as a miser hoards gold. Every press briefing on this most important of concerns is a dance of evasion, platitude, confused projection, and sometimes just pure ignorance of what is actually the case.

They are the most deliberately obfuscatory, opaque, access-of-information-allergic administration under the democratic sun.

One year into COVID our venerated House of Commons is a disemboweled, non-functioning, neglected wreck. The targeted disrespect of the absolute and central symbol and instrument of our democracy has no parallel. No “minority” government has ever operated with the smug insouciance and patented, virtue-perfumed arrogance towards the Commons as the Trudeau government. This is, when we step back, their biggest sin.

Shutdowns and Cabinet Shuffles

Since 1867 no prime minister has abandoned the House of Commons and downgraded its significance for so long a period and for such obviously self-centered and political opportunistic reasons. It is so much easier, so much safer, so much more convenient — to walk from the bedroom to the one-printer office and mail in platitudes and arias of evasion via Zoom

What other government has parted ways with a governor-general, and to top it off, a governor-general brought in by the world’s No. 1 “male feminist” as a role model for young women and girls? The same male-feminist who conveniently loses all his top-performing female ministers. Someone should do a “gender analytics” study on Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.

Not to worry. It has lost a finance minister over ethics charges during the mightiest spending binge since the Big Bang. An attorney general, the prime guardian of our rule of law, was hounded out because she would not bend the rule of law. The most qualified and respected woman, a doctor of medicine no less (in other words a real doctor) could not abide staying in so carelessly unethical a cabinet. Thus, at the very time Canada would have wished the most competent person to deal with a once-in-a-hundred years medical emergency, Dr. Jane Philpott is not even in the government.

Meantime Seamus O’Regan, the Trudeau cabinet’s favourite nomad — he takes up and puts down portfolios with the “greatest of ease,” leaving no impression behind as he goes — burbles on, during a pandemic, about planting two billion trees. Imagine, two billion. We only have about 300 billion already! Priorities I guess. Repeat after me the holy incantation: climate change, climate change, climate change. It’s better than a vaccine.

Hostages in Chinese Prisons

We have two hostages in the tyrannical torture houses of Chinese prisons. Those poor, suffering and tormented men must truly have been uplifted — if any news ever reaches them — to learn that their government, during a world pandemic, was collaborating with the Chinese government to “jointly develop a COVID-19 vaccine.” Remember the line from Casablanca — “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world …” — and Insert “countries” for gin joints. Of all the countries in all the world, why did the Trudeau government pick …. China? Incompetence can’t cover it. We need some term that speaks of dedicated and determined, merciless and staggering wrong-headedness: the purblind leading the purblind.

Budget

We have had no budget in two years. (Actually, we have one now, this article was penned pre-budget release, but unbelievably irresponsible) We have spent more than any other government, by far, in our history. We have no idea where all the money has gone. The auditor general has been denied the resources to even keep track of a portion of it. There is no coherence, or trust, between the majority of the premiers and the prime minister. We have been offered occasional delights, like the celebrated comic opera of the WE brothers and the (temporary) $43-million gift to them to administer half a billion dollars of your money.

Distractions

The Liberals have given far more time and dedicated energy to the Derek Sloan affair (whatever that was) than the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, and the emergent threat of Alberta leaving the Confederation. (Query for a serious panel discussion: Is Canada safe from Bidenism?) Alberta groans while the Trudeau government spends over $36 million for “stay-at-home chairs” for its civil service.

Conclusions

Is our present government the worst Canadian government ever. Can there be any question?

The country is in an economic coma. The House of Commons is a movie set. We are shamed in the international community. Contracts on COVID are all Top Secret. There is zero reliability on any projection made by a minister or the prime minister on where we are on vaccines and distribution. Rideau Hall is shortly to be listed on Airbnb. Farmers have been hit by fuel and carbon taxes. Newfoundland teeters on bankruptcy. The West has never felt so far out of things. I could go on.

Is this what was meant when the rosy words were first pronounced: Canada’s back?

To calm yourself, however, there is always this: Climate change.

Climate change. Climate change. Two billion trees. Two billion trees. Home chairs. Home chairs. Derek Sloan.

worst Canadian government ever
Justin Trudeau

Photo credit: SEAN KILPATRICK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Is Rex Murphy correct? Do we currently have the worst Canadian government ever? What do you think?

Covid and Kids, What are the Long-Term Effects?

I worry about the short and long term effects of this covid pandemic on our children. Social distancing does not come naturally to them. It is difficult enough for us adults, but we (most of us) can see and understand the reason behind the rules. We also do our best to explain these rules to our kids and grandkids.

When we were not allowed to hug or touch each other I would tell my grandkids that “grandma is sick and doesn’t want to make you sick.” This little white lie worked, but I could see the confusion on their sweet little faces.

The primary (pun intended) lesson learned in sending our kids to school at four years old is supposed to be the development and practice of social skills. You know, stuff like sharing, trading, empathy, taking turns and more. How can they do this if social distancing is their new norm?

What lessons are they going to learn instead? Don’t touch, don’t get too close, don’t care, and god forbid, don’t share. Will they learn anything beneficial? At what point are we doing them more harm than good?

Parents are facing a dilemma. Most families need two incomes to stay afloat financially, and cannot afford to have one parent stay home to look after young children. Single parents have even less choice. Daycares offer the same risk and discourage social skills as schools are doing.

So, what is the answer? Perhaps a Covid related, government issued benefit for a parent to stay home to care for, nurture and educate their young children. If we can pay any previously employed adults to stay home even though they could/should have returned to work, why can’t we pay parents to stay home? Of course, like a maternity/paternity leave, it would have to guarantee a job upon their return to work.