Admit it. There’s a bit of Calvin in each of us.
“Image: Bill Watterson/Andrews McMeel Publishing”
by Chuck Wendig
“When I think of Calvin, that glorious little menace, I first remember the depth of his imagination. His was an external life born explicitly of the internal: distant planets, bed monsters, mutant snowscapes, gravity-defying wagon rides, crass Transmogrifications, and of course, one tuna-loving tiger BFF.
“But the second thing I remember was exactly why the kid had such a big imagination to begin with: Calvin was looking for a way out. He was trying to escape.
“He didn’t like school, so he fled it as Spaceman Spiff. Bathtime, a nightmare for small children, saw Calvin turning into a tub shark or being attacked by a bubble-bath elemental. He escaped the corporeal form of a kid’s (arguably limited) body with the Transmogrifier, and most importantly of all, escaped loneliness by befriending a stuffed tiger who Calvin knew was actually real. A tiger who listened to him, who challenged him, and who ultimately loved him.
“Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? Calvin went to school, had a loving family, but even still, he felt alone. And his imagination gave him a way not to feel that anymore.
“In lockdown, we’re all Calvin.”
Seriously, click here to read this article at Polygon in its entirety.
Annelise Capossela for NPR
by April Fulton
“It can be tempting, as the pandemic wears on, to shut down — to escape into TV binging, social media and other inadequate ways of blocking out the stress and fears of illness or economic disaster.
“Dr. Maryland Pao, the clinical director of the National Institutes of Mental Health Intramural Research Program and a psychiatrist who regularly sees children with life-threatening illnesses, says she’s seen striking similarities between the ways her young patients deal with their diagnoses, and how lots of people are responding as we roll past month 5 of the pandemic.
“We all tend to default to two styles of coping, Pao explains: ‘You can be an active coper or you can be a passive coper.’
‘The active copers — the ones who pick up hobbies or take an interest in others and the world around them — generally have better mental health outcomes, Pao notes.”
Click here to read this article at NPR in its entirety.
“In a new study, MU researchers uncovered several themes that expose the challenges that are often not included in conversations about dying at home. – Credit: University of Missouri-Columbia”
by University of Missouri-Columbia
“She died at home, but it wasn’t the romantic scene found in movies, where the family held her hand and she simply closed her eyes. In reality, there was a night when she had diarrhea 12 times. In reality, every time she had to be moved she was in pain. This was how a caregiver described caring for her mother as she died at home to social scientists studying end-of-life decision-making.
“‘The realities of a home death experience present challenges for family members, especially those with limited resources and social support,’ Benson said. ‘It is important that people understand that home death does not automatically equate a good death.’
In recent decades, there has been a groundswell of social movements championing the ideal of dying at home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, home deaths in the U.S. increased nearly 30 percent from 2000 to 2014, while deaths in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care communities dropped.”
The Joy of Animals – in and out of COVID-19. | REMINDER, too, register for the “Joy of Animals” Webinar on Monday, August 31.
“Above right, Lincoln Fuller: My wingman, Bear. Above left, Charlotte Wells of Pendleton, Ore.: Mr. Fish was rescued 8 years ago following the death of our beloved Mr. Felix (our 2nd rescue). Fish had been returned twice to the adoption agency, most likely because he behaves like a toddler, opening doors and drawers, dragging things out of the wastebasket, and biting. We’ve cured him of the biting, but the curiosity remains! If he could talk, his favorite word would be, “why?” (as in, why is the candy paper crunchy? why can’t I have my own bar of string cheese?)
These are some of the pets and pet comments that readers sent to Teresa Hanafin at the Boston Globe. Ms. Hanafin is the editor of The Boston Globe‘s newsletter, Fast Forward.
MEB: My rescue dog, Daniel, is a loving, devoted, funny, caring companion. He is the best thing that happened to me since my kids were born 51 and 48 years ago.
Alison, Eric, and Cole Zetterquist: Our endless devotion to Pikachu, our kitty who still loves us even though we named her after a big yellow mouse.
Emily Harting: Found on the sidewalk in August 2017, on a block of junkyards in Brooklyn; we’re coming up on our 3-year gotcha-versary. Lhasa/Shih-Tzu/Maltese mix (we had his DNA done but this is to point out not a big or strong dog, but a lap dog), so badly matted you could not find his face. So badly matted I didn’t know if it was male or female. I thought it was a cocker spaniel, that’s how large it was.
I wished to name him Fenway. My (sorry to say it) Yankees fan partner said absolutely not. BUT since the dog was small and clearly scrappy, that we could name him after Dustin Pedroia, hence Petey.
Love of my life. Greatest dog ever. He came with impeccable manners and so well-trained which is good b/c he had every right to be an [expletive!] and we probably would have kept him anyway.
Betsy G: Tarra (rhymes with CAR) or like the black stuff on the road! English black Lab – 12 years old. My empty nest child that still wants to come home!
Steffen W. Schmidt of Iowa: My pet dog Mad Donna got bitten by some bees, was crying and in pain. It made me nervous and freaked out. The Vet prescribed some medication. I take 4 a day and feel better.
Right now Mad Donna is chasing some chip monks by the composter. They are running away from her laughing but tripping over their Rosaries. They work for the California Highway Patrol (CHIP) as grief counselors.
Alice McCarthy: Stella, ❤️my bull terrier,❤️ makes me laugh out loud EVERY DAY! ‘Nuff said.
Karen Tarr: Our beloved cat, Hobo, passed away last summer at the age of 16. A life well-lived, but we were devastated. In June, my sister-in-law told me she knew someone who had taken a tiny, four-week-old kitten from its feral mom in an effort to control a feral colony of cats, and the kitten was in need of a home.
Little Rusty needed a lot of care in the beginning, but is now 13 weeks old and bouncing around our house like he owns the place. I’ve been working from home during COVID, but today I am back in the office for the first time since March and I am worrying about my kitten. I will still be a stay-at-home-kitten-mom most of the time! My vet said I got a “Corona Pet!”
Colleen Evans: I have 3 small dogs; 2 are rescues from Louisiana. Until last Friday, I also had 2 cats. I had to put my beautiful Coon cat Rosie to sleep. She was 18 and very frail. I also have a black former feral cat. Love all my fur babies. They keep us anchored and give unconditional love. 🐶🐯
Animals can be wonderful companions and take our minds off the stress, anxiety, trauma and uncertainty that abounds during this pandemic period of our lives. If you love animals and want to see how animals can provide soothing, calming and relaxing vibes for you — whether or not you are a pet owner, you’ll want to register for an hour and a half break pandemic to meet several Link partners as they introduce you to their special friends: animals who are making differences in the lives of so many.
When: Aug 31, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: The Joy of Animals – Return engagement
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
This is time sensitive!
Pennsylvania United Ways seek to better understand the impacts of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic on people living in our communities. United Way of Pennsylvania is conducting a survey that will be used to inform how to best support Pennsylvania families throughout long-term recovery and beyond.
Completing this survey should take less than 10 minutes. Responses are confidential. The individual results of this survey and any other identifying information will not be shared.
Click here to participate in the survey:
English | https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FLY9TVG
Spanish | https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3YY3KXN
Here’s a fascinating look at social isolation from two perspectives. What makes it possible for one man to live in a cave all alone and another to crave being around others?
“A tale of two isolations
“More than 1,000 km apart, a filmmaker and the subject of his film contend with the methods and meanings of solitude.”
“We miss too much when we treat all seniors as helpless.” (Unsplash/@unitednations/Lélie Lesage)”
by Sally Chivers
“‘Unprecedented’ might be the word of the COVID-19 pandemic. But for many, especially older adults, life has taken many abrupt turns. Maybe it’s their first pandemic, but it’s not the first time they’ve pivoted without calling it that and created a new normal.
“Yet, we persist in treating people over 70 as an undifferentiated blob of neediness and vulnerability. When we do, we once again miss what older adults contribute.
“As an aging studies scholar, my focus is on the portrayal and treatment of older adults in literature, film and popular culture. During COVID-19, dire fictional portraits of nursing homes as places to avoid and escape appear to be coming alive. We hear a lot about them, but less attention lands on older adults living and making do at home. Public health issues reminders to check on what they call “elderly neighbours.” Those reminders ignore what older people in and out of nursing homes offer to the rest of us.”
by Bruce Horowitz
“Imagine this scenario, perhaps a year or two in the future: An effective COVID-19 vaccine is routinely available and the world is moving forward. Life, however, will likely never be the same — particularly for people over 60.
That is the conclusion of geriatric medical doctors, aging experts, futurists and industry specialists. Experts say that in the aftermath of the pandemic, everything will change, from the way older folks receive health care to how they travel and shop. Also overturned: their work life and relationships with one another.
“’In the past few months, the entire world has had a near-death experience,’ said Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, a think tank on aging around the world. ‘We’ve been forced to stop and think: I could die or someone I love could die. When those events happen, people think about what matters and what they will do differently.’
“Older adults are uniquely vulnerable because their immune systems tend to deteriorate with age, making it so much harder for them to battle not just COVID-19 but all infectious diseases. They are also more likely to suffer other health conditions, like heart and respiratory diseases, that make it tougher to fight or recover from illness. So it’s no surprise that even in the future, when a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available — and widely used — most seniors will be taking additional precautions.”