NEW NORMAL

By Isis Win

Early this year, shortly after China announcing the multiple mysterious pulmonary deaths in Wuhan, China, I wrote a couple of blogs about the potential changes of a world epidemic spread of a fatal disease. At the time, little was known about this Sars disease named Covid-19. What was known is that it is exceptionally contagious, asymptomatic, and fatal in many cases. Knowing this immediately sent me to recall historical pandemics that killed thousands of people, changing the affected regions’ makeup. Life in those locations never returned to their prior status or what could be considered “normal.” I realized that will be the fortune of any affected nation.

It took weeks for the US to get momentum with the spread of C-19. Other countries set a precedent that all nations should follow. The only potential to stop this spread is by preventing it from going to places.  A forced lockdown was needed, followed by tracing. The US proved incapable of achieving that needed goal, so the next measure became clear: A mandatory proper face mask should be worn outside the home and observe social distance. We know the history and story of all that, so we reckon leadership failed to prevent massive losses of lives and stop the disease’s spread. Normal, which was no longer alive, now received the final shot, so life will change for almost everyone, and we would need to adapt to a “New Normal.” That was my topic a few times in my blogs. It was mostly ignored because by May still was believed, C-19 will no longer be a threat, and life would return as it was before. This is the middle of October, and we still are experiencing a wave of new cases and more deaths. Nevertheless, tracing is not available, and the usual way of attacking this potential threat, testing, actually has not appropriately happened or as needed. The stats of today are sad but much more that we are far, far from reaching a plateau we can call “normal.”

Normal stopped since the late 1980s when scientists discovered the massive hole in the ozone layer. Science stated that the reduction of this layer will create what we know as global warming. Global warming will change everything we know from our past and create a new reality that would be hard to cope with if we do not disappear first. Initial signs showed up but were lightly acknowledge if not altogether ignored. My favorite example of that, but not the only one, was the discovery in a region of Israel. The Jewish government hired a team of scientists to figure out why an area capable of producing large amounts of produce produced nothing.

At last, a scientist discovered that such region was bathed by a higher amount of Ultraviolet light that can be destructive to life forms. The discovery did not go anywhere. However, a coincidence joined that scientist’s work to a Ph. D. graduate’s dissertation claiming the same scenario. More massive amounts of UV light are hitting the US. The two scientists talked about it and figured that UV light is causing severe damage in several world regions. The reaction was not to set panic among the population—the end of the deal. However, “normal” could not be called that way anymore. Then the warning of Global heating came out, and so far, we have done too little to slow it down, much more to stop it.

Covid is suspected to be partly a result of global warming. No details to bore you will be noted here, but you can find plenty of info on the internet.

The vital issue in my blog is that we are not returning anywhere and continually are moving towards unknown lands. This resulted from both scenarios and others that no public talks about—air, water, ground, and food, presenting an apocalyptic scenario.

We are already in the 1st face of the new normal. What is it then? Some noticeable changes, such as the economic order, will be different, and it comes with its own series of new normal. Socially, for as long as C-19 is not entirely vanished, which may take years, social distancing and PPE may become mandatory. As well, the tracing and testing protocols will have to be renewed from time to time. The social distancing item will change almost everything we know. Large congregations of people: houses of worship, schools, factories, entertainment events, mass transportation, and just all gatherings in places not entirely free of C-19 will have to be observant of these precautionary measures. Traveling domestically and internationally will be affected too. Health facilities will suffer from changes, also as the practice of services. Most likely, food production facilities, starting from farms, to factories will have to be heavily regulated to avoid making them super-spreaders. That is just the beginning, and we will learn more as we go.

Perhaps the most essential new normal will be people’s attitudes. Many countries, including the US, had substantial numbers of people who would have to comply with the new protocols that will most likely require legal applications to enforce their compliance regardless of their reason to avoid the needed protocols. That has been the US #1 problem that did not help control the crisis but had increased the spread, numbers of deaths, and lengthening the time to maintain the spread.

These obvious measures will change several other “normals.” The use of powered vehicles most likely will be reduced, not because mass transportation becomes safe, but because of the financial impact on the working class. Employment has already been heavily affected. Although we will likely see increasing numbers of available positions, those will have to be carefully planned to secure their workers’ minimal travel. Clearly, millions of us will have to take the available job we can do, but we likely will not have many choices for that. The critical aspect is to entirely eliminate the disease.

So what about vaccines?  Cures? Both will be available at some point, but there will not be a silver bullet, but a lengthy improvement of both will require lots of time. Although cases are in the millions, asymptomatic people may be spreading the disease, and the numbers can escalate to a billion or more. We just don’t know, and we cannot disqualify anything until we know for sure. However, that is on the disease side. Suppose we do not curve global warming effects. In that case, we will be under a severe threat. not just by what we already know, extremely higher temps – lower temps, rising waters, increased and more massive natural disasters, etc. but other effects such as an increasing number of other infectious diseases. All resulted from our changing environment. More Sars diseases are prone to show up.

Clearly, the most dramatic new normal is that we have to assess our lifestyle, likes, preferences, etc. We have to adapt accordingly. Not doing it will increase the severity and frequency of all threats, and many may sum-up together wiping entire regions and numbers of lives. What is essential now is to abandon the idea of returning to the normal we knew before.

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

A little nostalgia from NY City and the World Trade Center. This shot was created on ektachrome 100 aged 17 years. I used to buy bricks of film and age a few rolls to see how it changes. One I discovered is E100. It change the colors as in this pic. I started to save many on the fridge and use them for specific items that would benefit from this coloration. Here, the blue cast is part of the result, but it does not change the reds. As you see in the sky and the reflection on the WTC.

By Isis Win

Famous words of Jack Nicholson when the homicide trial of gay FTC William Santiago in the movie “A Few Good Men.” You wanna know the truth? You can’t handle the truth!

His is not a movie review, but a recount of what is happening in our world now. Ranging from testimony I hear from people I know to social networks, I see too many people are acting up their anxiety because of the status we see today. In the US, as many countries of the world, people are chronically unhappy, and they are showing it publicly.

We are not passing the worst times in history, neither in the US or other countries nor the world. Yes, these are tough times, and at times it seems there is an option to pull out of them. The pandemic is not the trigger for such, but it is definitely the catalyzer. From my corner, I want to check three issues that together make this perception of “The world is ending” real for too many people. Before I enter into those three items, I need to emphasize that although everything may seem the end of something, the current issues are not creating the havoc we see. Mass media, from the press to the digital distribution of thoughts, ideas, and sentiments distort the factual news, creating the needed brain chemistry in a way that it seems we have to armor, get our weapon of choice and join the front.

#1 The status of our country is devastating. I give credit to this destructive element that furthers the distance between the American people. The abuse and dictatorial actions of this regime are a full departure of what more than two hundred years have been instituted in our country, diminishing important values as our constitution. As well, the imposed changes by the administration are a precise exposure of what a radical right-wing is capable of. Nothing to do with the Republican platform, but a recalcitrant move towards full control of our actual status, that feeds frustration of less .50 % of the population. A divide that is comparable to the times that triggered the Social Revolution.

#2 Coronavirus presents a scenario that we do not suppose to see in these advanced modern times. Sadly, the facts show a situation that lacks any potential to forecast the solution, while, millions of people have been locked down for months and are at the brink of losing everything they worked for, for so long. Apparently, the death potential lacks the exponent necessary to protect life, among those carrying themselves as if the disease is not a threat. Facts there are beginning to show and at this point because the novelty of this virus, are beginning to tell us that there is much more than dying from it. Too many survivors, whether light or severe, are showing signs of organs’ damage that may not only threaten their life but as well their quality of life while they are alive.

The third component in this crisis is one of personal value. Still, it can be shown in many other layers of our American reality and life, which shows the consequences of the increasing divide among us: The rampant attacks against transsexuals. In my opinion, this issue was to rise sometime because transsexuality is “considered” something new. It is not, but if we pair it next to homosexuality, gay people started to come out of their closer in massive numbers since the 1960s. Therefore, this issue has been in the minds of public opinion longer than fifty years, and advocacy had achieved many wins because of that. Transsexualism started to appear in the consciousness of people in the past one or two decades, and the number of transsexuals coming out of the closet seems to make this phenomenon like a spreading disease. Not at all, since reliable archeological and written finds present that these cases of transsexualism have existed since our early days of civilization.

My take:

Regarding the first issue, indeed, we have two significant aspects to attack. Number one, we have to change the direction we have taken in almost four years. Meaning, everyone in this administration should go for good. Left and center Americans are concerned that this monarchy could fight the results of the election, avoiding a change of administration, creating a more significant problem for the country. The only possibility to change that would be if the Republican Party steps up and persuades Trump to pass the administration to the newly elected person. Meaning, extreme right-wingers will have to let go of their issues and frustration and come along with the incoming administration. Why is that? We have to narrow our divide. Not that right-wingers should become other than what they are, but their approach, their tactics should change to a point they do not demerit, even destroy those they oppose to. At this juncture, it is evident to return to the status we know of, we must be together. We are facing several antagonistic forces against left or right. Reality is, we are not yet in a wrong, bad place. The US still is the most influential nation, economically and militarily. Nevertheless, we are losing terrain because of the administration and the radical divide. However, we still hold thousands of innovative licenses that grant us that place, and we can develop many more world’s dependent innovations to keep that place. Two items are of utmost importance here. #1 we must stop the theft of copyright ownership (mainly against China), and we must create more innovations before China, India, Russia, and others come up with life-changing innovations. That means higher levels of education should be created in all colleges, and higher education should be available to everyone seeking to achieve it.

Regarding the #2, it is true this is a controversial and seriously threatening virus. Our option right there is what has been suggested over and over, and some countries demonstrated it comes with positive results. It starts by, we open whatever under the strictest available protection. That is more than adequate PPE. Places are sanitized properly, social distance is fully enacted, regular screening exists, tracing becomes infallible, and more importantly, we all follow the required procedures. Meanwhile, the scientific community will continue healing the needed, will prevent secondary effects by proper treatment, and a reliable and trusty vaccine is created. It sounds simple, which is not unless we change the divide, so we all pitch in saving everyone in any regard.

#3 it is ridiculous what opponents to anything regarding transsexualism are doing. Their ignorance does not justify invalidating the perception and experience of TS people. It is absurd from any angle we can see it. For instance: why would a person pursue to change their gender everything? I think of MTF TSs when I think. However, maybe the cases of FTM are similar but different in some scenarios. It is undeniable a man is privileged in most areas of life, social, work, economic, etc. compared to women. Doing so makes it a stupid swap, a consideration we most, TS, take into account before deciding to proceed. The potential losses are more prominent than what anyone could afford. Family, friends, associations, work, achieved gains (schooling, awards), and more. Those are severe threats if pursuing gender congruence. The emotional turmoil we face is comparable to – or worse – than PTSD. It starts from the moment we realize something does not check, and it never stops. Coming out: dealing with what is required to address this nature’s mistake, to face a world that knows little to nothing about it and shuts the door in our face, entering to a corrected path in which either we accept the level of rejection, stigmatizing, ostracizing and violence associated with the reaction of judgmental people make the whole experience as a denial of life, or we quit. What we consider is a normal life may not become such if unlucky. True, there are so many people capable of handling that, but did you read well? Handling something that should not be necessary, and no one else deals with. The list is a long and painful process to the point that if the reason to transition is just desiring, having sex with a man and not feeling homosexual, or enjoying dressing up and looking like an attractive woman, makes the whole absolutely ridiculous and stupid. Denying transsexuality as a natural event result on what we go through, is a denial of the self, and that is something that should never happen because the result does not lead to anything positive and lasting. It is destruction towards TSs <people!>, and that will not change anything but make it worst for both parties. We TSs or judgmental people. Is it that opponents believe transsexuals just take the blue pill, and that is it?

In a country where freedom is one of the cornerstones of our fabric, freedom of expression, speech, etc. is vital. Not to be confused by destroying what is not understood, resulted from ignorance, based on that freedom. In fact, this ignorance deters the value of humanity at all levels. Therefore people expressing those toxic ideas should keep them to themselves. Not to use them publicly to invalidate and destroy people that have the very same rights as them. What we have seen through this administration is a clear example of the results of such an attitude. That has brought down so many of our values that, in its defense, caused the death of millions of Americans defending freedom, our freedom.

Those items are just the tip of the iceberg of the status we, the US, and the world, has been facing in recent years. All it takes to verify what I state here is to invest in an honorable and reliable amount of time to query, to find the visually clear facts, and check the results of all that. Well, that unless you are not able to handle the truth.

COVID: I AM IMMUNE, SO?

A telephoto view of two large Mexican mountains next to Mexico City. Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl, the second one is the volcano that became active recently.Kodachrome 25

By Isis Win

A zillion things have been said about Covid 19, most false, exaggerations, and conspiracy theories that sprouted like mushrooms in the rainy season. So far, the only consistent and valid statement about it is that there is little known. Although that brings concerns about the threat, reality points towards while improving that knowledge, and while all this is happening, scientists from all over the world are working 24/7 to find the answers to stop the spread and death rate of the disease. There are gains achieved so far, but the answers still have not developed the means to stop it.

I find it as toxic and detrimental the level of misinformation spreading faster than the disease itself. Those fallacies only increase the level of existing anxiety, and such creates a series of waves that make the situation more dangerous. We know quite well, humanity is not capable of managing the unknown, the new in real-time, much less, considering that the unknown factor is life-threatening. As we know, this threat comes in two flavors: the potential consequences of the disease and halting everything for months. The level of uncertainty resulted from this can be seen as the catalyst of many other crises arise from the virus.  

Among questions and answers, false or reliable, the main question can only be: what is the true potential of acquiring the disease, to avoid it, and how to adapt to this new reality. Although proper answers are available, it is not simple to discern from what one side says and the opposite one. Dr. Fauci now recommends the use of googles, which make sense, since the virus can penetrate via the eyes. Did I get it that way?

When it comes to questions beyond the scope of my knowledge, I only rely on the information provided by the authorities of the case. In this scenario, scientists are the only authority. Whether there are contrary opinions or not, I simply focus on the credited sci groups providing information. Not what everyone else does, because to do so, it requires finding the proper channels, understanding stuff that is as foreign as the entire universe. Still, at some point, it can be understood, somehow manageable.

I pop questions on my own that are not clearly responded by any source. Such as, is PPE a secure way to avoid contamination? I believed so until, regardless of all the protection I used, I was contaminated. Being one of the “lucky” people that suffered “mild” symptoms compared to those relying on the emergency room, I dare to say: I am glad I survived, I am so happy I wore protection, and I am more pleased I was not the conduct to infect others. However, there is a dichotomy between the info I rely on and my personal experience.

I push the idea in my head, “If I am OK, there is not much to be said about it.” Then, my mind immediately responds: You already know Covid is new and unknown, so be it! OK, I can do that, but that will not stop me from questioning and questioning until I arrive at sound answers. Answers that serve no one but my own head. The reason I am writing this – simply is- that we have to be very careful of the disease as the spread of thoughts that come out of the new reality of today, in our head, not from reliable sources.

Post-infection; I consulted with two institutions to provide me answers. First, I went to the hospital to get a check on “Do I have the disease?” and the second, a private clinic where a physician I know from before, would check if it were Covid what I experienced. The hospital test provided two answers: The first one, the attending physician told me in his view, I passed through Covid considering the symptoms I experienced. As well, the lab results claimed I was positive for the antivirus caused by the disease. The second physician as well concur with the assessment. Again, no one was contaminated by myself.

More questions popped out of my head, the 1st one: How many people have experienced the same case like mine? In this scenario, it is impossible (says my head) that such a person did not do what was necessary to avoid spreading the disease. For instance, my symptoms were: tremendous lack of energy, total lack of appetite, massive body aches, an acute level of dehydration I never experienced before, but, more importantly, the most potent headache I have ever experienced. It was so massive and painful that any move made me feel my head was exploiting. The terrible symptoms lasted just a couple of days; the others still linger and linger, but again, since I am alive, all checks OK. I did not have chest pain, and I was vigilant about that because I have asthma, I am a smoker, and I am in that age that is at high risk. However, once I suspected it could be Covid, I used my nebulizer more often than usual to make sure my lungs were as expanded as possible. As well, is started to do breathing exercises to keep under control of my lungs. So, all worked whether because I am O+ blood type, I am under an estrogen regime, some scientists suspect it helps to avoid significant symptoms, whatever the reason is, I am here writing this blog.

I know there are thousands and thousands of people that seem to disregard this threat. Breaking social distance protocols, do not wear any protection, and simply live their life as if Covid is a conspiracy theory. Everyone is entitled to live their life as chosen, but the question in my head always is: what about spreading the disease furthermore? Hundreds of reported cases around the world state that all sorts o these large gatherings resulted in dozens of new instances, always causing fatalities among them.

I get concerned about people exposing themselves to death but looking at the facts of their behavior. I became numb, that is their business, and I hope they are already immune or have mild symptoms like me, and they do not share their bug with others. There is another factor that takes precedent over that: how long will the diseases hang around with such a non-precautionary attitude? But a new question came to surface in the last couple of days, as a result of further scientific released information—the potential secondary effects of the brain swelling that provided me that massive headache. I visited my physician yesterday, and I asked that question. Her response was she is aware of several dozen people that passed through the same symptoms as mine, and they are reporting effects of the secondary symptoms. Such as: suddenly having a short delay in their thinking or speaking and struggling to find a common word of daily use. Signs that show some kind of impairment in brain functions. However, no scientist knows if they are temporary symptoms, everlasting, they increase in intensity? Nothing! Again and again, Covid is new, is unknown, and there is controversial information about everything related to it. Therefore, the fact that I am “immune” to the disease for who knows how long, does not have so much weight compared to the secondary effects and that pops another as an essential question: will a vaccine avoid that swelling of the brain on everyone? Or the risk of that swelling potentially exists with some people. Well, only time will respond to those and many other questions. So meanwhile, we wait while we continue the lockdown and hope and hope.

THE WORLD IS SCREWED UP, WHY?

Valle de Bravo before the lock-down. Gorgeous tress every where!

By Isis Win

Through the frequent chats I have with people, locally and through the internet, I hear people throwing a statement about the world being upside down and then wonder the reason for that. I reckon the world is not as most believe it was, but I differ with this idea.

Since the inception of the industrial revolution, the world changed, not gradually, but fast and massive changes took place. Considering what it was before and it turned into, in less than a century, it is expected that the world could go in the wrong direction, and the time available to fix it was too short and shallow. Just the advent of the car and electricity changed everything the world was. Millions and millions of people of the world accepted and digested the comfort provided by the advance of technology. For instance, people in the US through generations did not travel more than twenty miles away from their homes, then they started to explore their neighbor states, and the next one, and their life became a different life. Electricity had a similar effect. Before it existed, it was “normal” to end daily activities after sundown and start after the sunrise. Not that people were not busy laboring or entertaining before and after those hours, but electricity extended to 24 hours the activity time and whatever can happen. The list grows as those two inceptions integrated newer technology.

As technology improved, just about everything in our personal and general world changed, and we went along with it. Population spread like rabbits; we accepted the enlargement of living areas, a buildup of larger homes spread, etc. (now shrinking). We consumed more of all types of resources. How much of that expansion was prepared for the negative impact? Just electricity shows a perfect example.

Electricity consumed vast amounts of coal. Coal created a considerable amount of contamination, then power plants came, and a war between suppliers of energy sources started. Solutions were designed and placed, but problems continue growing and growing. We people reacted in the very same way technology changed and changed us. Issues were “fixed,” but the number of problems increased as well the population and spread of people, the more problems appeared. The result, we have enough to worry about the consequences of that and that. A few things were addressed, but most were not and all based on the cost and revenue of whatever was in sight.

Everything started to fragment here in the US. Divisions multiplied among all sorts of differences among us, but we manage to keep our act together. Then, we have to count government actions. Among the different administrations, there were good and bad ones. Every admiration focused on one, two, or more issues, but many were untouched. Politics aimed (a promise!) to fix them, but every person representing a location wanted to be favored. With so many states wanting a piece of the cake, the cake is to be divided. Their representatives are getting a piece as well. However, some satisfaction was achieved, by any means- all problematic issues were not addressed—that increased level of the crisis, which sooner or later affected everyone.

Among the many not dealt issues of the past is racial discrimination. Slaves, blacks were liberated and theoretically were able to seek a better life on their own – whatever opportunity they could find and meld with the rest of the population. Meld with the original people that once slaved them. Injustice against blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc. continued happening. Apparently, not much focus was placed on those issues because they were considered political, and the supporters of the politicians and politics were not in agreement on how to fix that. The problem was not fixed, and it created the Civil Rights movement that as well, was fought to death, killing the leaders of that movement. Although there is a gain through the desegregation process, ethnic groups still have been victimized by those not willing or able to support the civil rights act.

That is one problem, a large one, but as I mentioned above, the spread of everything came with additional issues that needed to be addressed in a timely fashion. We were on the right track until recently, but this administration conceived an idea that many of those improvements were not at all such. Such as our intent to move towards fixing or aiding the world’s environment- that has been causing massive deaths and material losses. Expect to face more and worse natural disasters because we are behind the needed action, to at least reduce its impact.

We are, where we are because of the simple fact of cause and effect. Nothing critical we have faced since the last century is an accident. We are looking at the impact, but it seems that we are going to leave any possible action to the next administration. We were already late, we have lost four years, and it will take more time to undo, the wrong by this administration. Include into that package, the racism problem that is causing more effects to be paid in the future.

Racism, right now and ever, is wrong. However, ignoring the roots of that problem will not serve a real purpose to what is needed. Although it is undeniable that different ethnic groups are not treated as our constitution mandates, we cannot turn a blind eye to see why so many people feel antagonistic against a minority group. Not many people are willing or able to voice many of the elements that are part of this issue. Because said statements, against any of these minorities, will be seen as another form of racism. There is so much to be said about this growing problem! Although I do not support the way racism has been dealt with in the last four years, I dare to say; there is some valid basis to feel wrong about some of the people in those minority groups. Whatever can be said, requires an in-depth examination based on real, reliable facts that the other end would oppose to it. Such as members in those minorities do not behave like the rest of the population does, which is part of our protocols, and they believe their anger entitles them to act wrong – to act violently. I see this prevailing situation among Latinos, blacks, Asians, recently Arabs, etc. If you are invited to my house, you have to behave accordingly; otherwise, you are not invited. People filled with anger because injustice exists have nothing to win by acting up their sentiment. The same way our government needs to look into the parts that increase this situation, not to find an ending all solution. Those minorities must examine how they can stop what a few of their members do: pour barrels of gas to an already ignited fire – for far too long.

This is one of the too many reasons it seems the world is upside down. We are facing a lesson that we cannot ignore, and if we do, as we have done in the past, the crisis will increase, creating more damage and cynicism around all of us and the world.

The real important issue now is we must start addressing what we can – in the proper order – because the view about a screwed up world – may become a full reality – when we reach the point of no return. We have loads of issues that require immediate action, so we can have a certain future, not like the future we have now.

HANDS TIED IN THE BACK?

One of the waterfalls that feed the lake. The boulder at the center is the size of a car. At the top of the water, you’ll see a red dot, that is a person looking down.

Whether we like it or not, Trump is the US president, and we have a few more months to go for a change if it happens. The White House seats the most powerful political figure on earth, and this administration has shown it. We have many other problems that detract the attention of Trump in the upcoming election. Will he be elected again? Although the signs are clear, they were the same four years ago, and look where we are today.

What the US is facing (grand part of the world too) is the virus killing thousands of people, spreading like thin air, the financial syndrome caused by the lockdown, a decaying environment, natural disasters called the 1000 year disaster, policies established by the previous administration removed or stalled, a divided population by several factors, an impoverishing nation, an erosion of the legal order and constitution, the most massive deficit in history, two political parties unable to manage to avoid the collision between the people and the parties,  the loudest reaction of the black community against abuse towards them, and more, much more.

Each of those problems requires a fix before the damage becomes larger. However, the potential of finding proper and fast solutions seem too far to reach this point. Another but crucial aspect of this situation is, we, the people, are reacting as we have our hands tied, and we just let them happen. We probably would not know much about our status if the press does not report it, but they as well, are not acting as the 4th power to realign how our country is shaping itself.

I am not even close to a figure that can present solutions to our problems, but I have a take. Regarding Corona, the answer to stopping the spread is known but is not federally enacted. People going outdoors wearing the proper PPE and conserving social distance, testing, and tracking may reduce the impact and longevity of the virus. It will come with a price, but the expense pays off compared to what is going on now. In the political arena, the media and social justice machines could stop the broad distribution of false news, produce checks and balances that are not colored, therefore dividing information is shut down and the media balances their act by allowing and enticing the voters to develop an educated guess about the direction we are taking, and the course we want to take.

Regarding the BLM, it is true having monuments to honor the confederates is a no-no. Still, they should be moved to particular areas where people can access them, far from prominent sites that created more division. Regarding the past policies presented by previous administrations – the option – is to demand a full stop of their implementation and wait for the next administration to revise them. As well, something should be done about political Pacs and contributions to political runners.

We cannot change what Trump does and says, except that we can decide that fate in November. However, final strokes through the campaign will be dirtier and smellier than anything the country has seen before. Trump will aim to destroy, not to win Biden, based on a socialist agenda, faulty brain power, and by enhancing the divide he created. Although the frustration of white America has been imploded, creating more support and numbers of supremacists, the numbers in most of the country are favorable for the democratic candidate. However, having another opponent to the left can provide the missing votes to favor Trump, by eliminating votes in favor of Biden. That is a severe threat to the future electoral process. About the environment situation, all we can do is wait for the next administration to act. The next four years require a massive investment and labor to reduce the level of poverty and lack of essential services for the suffering sector of Americans. Internationally we will face a gross challenge not just because of the resulted status cause by this administration, which is grim. Still, there is a battle for supremacy in the world between China and Russia. Hopefully, the incoming administration has the strength to pull all allies to join an effort to balance, and we lead the world’s ticket. As you see, there are many other issues unfulfilled, but our economy in the next twenty or so years will have to recover from the money issues we already face.

Thinking positive means in the next several years, the American population will have to make several sacrifices from top to bottom. The 1% will not be able to continue the rate of revenue they had during the last forty or so years. The middle class will have lesser opportunities to go upwards, the lower class will have to become very creative to meet ends, and the government will have to pitch in.

Yes, our world, our reality changed, and we are in need to adjust accordingly. Otherwise, what we will face will be a disaster in many folds and areas. The truth of today is whether we like or not Trump, he still is our president and the damage already incurred into, will proliferate in the next months and leave an inheritance which we all are going to be the recipients. There is nothing good in it, but a need to deliver our contribution, but not just in the form we are used to, but directly have an involvement in our next, and next administration. We choose a leader, but choosing a leader does not mean we do nothing, just watch and kick them when we are not satisfied. We only have the option of showing up in any fashion we can to check and demand our government to follow the right path. The right path is clear, transparency, to have the tools to make top figures accountable for their acts. To streamline any expenditure, our government support, to stop deceive and manipulation among our legislators, to stop the divide that only benefits the crop of our entrepreneurs, and to support our press – only when their role is informative – not formative.

We own, we are the USA. Seating, whining, and ranting about the wrong status or character only serves the crooked and greedy. It is enough of being the slugs of the country because a man, or two or three, decides based on our short memory, and level of alienation we just sight and wait for a miracle. Left or right, our country must take the leadership about justice, fairness, and proper policies that do not only benefit a few, and the rest are awed by our lack of capacity to change it. After all, figure the value of a democratic process, and who knows, you may find that we are the two wolves, and the greedy is a big, fat sheep. Its dinner time!

NEED AN AI BRAIN REPLACEMENT

Bird’s eye view of Chapultepec trees, MX. ISO 100, Canon 5D 1/100s, F3.5, 80mm

The situation in the US points: there is a sector of the population unable to do simple math. 2+2=4, 2-2=0. But that sector seems to miss that calculation. Example: President Trump declared Covid is not a threat to the US; all was under control =2. In the following weeks and months, the situation crept to the point that more than 100K lives perished, and the number of confirmed infections exceed more than .5M. That equals another 2. Both numbers either result on zero if subtracting – or 4 if adding. That = the assessment shared by Trump is not reliable. Therefore, trust is put under a cloud of doubt. Either we accept that fact, or we analyze our brain’s results.

It is annoying to repeat and repeat the facts that tell us something is creating a stalemate in moments that the country requires to be progressive. Progressive not towards the right or the left, that results irrelevant considering what is a stake. Therefore, thinking linearly does not serve any purpose. The necessary element right there is consciousness. The ability to clearly see the connected components, do the math, and proceed accordingly. Well, in a divided environment, possibly while one considers the situation one way, the other one sees it the opposite. Again, consciousness may resolve this issue.

What we are facing is much more than what an alive person can recall. Corona, for instance. For the benefit of the doubt, I am throwing some nonrealistic elements, the same that could be the consideration of some people in that group. E.g., Covid is an attack from Chinese or China. The conscious thinking process can go in that direction and stay focused on that and miss the results of that attack, which is the critical matter in this case. Another one, Covid, is not as dangerous or life-threatening as said by scientists. Numbers around the world state thousands and thousands of deaths and forecast a multiplication of those numbers. Following a + train of thought and common sense: whatever it is, the spread keeps moving forwards, more people are infected = more deaths. If you do not want to die from it, then your options are: not going out at all or, if so, wear full PPE and keep proper social distance and the rest of the protocols. Doing so may save your life, a bad experience of getting very ill and suffer the results, or not getting ill = the spread have one less chance to contaminate others. That as well = the economy or my return to “normal” life will happen sooner than later—simple math and thinking, not just linearly thinking, presents the right answers.

Racism: the information that triggered this massive campaign to protest police abuse against blacks has been, for a long time, evident. Whether it is justified or not, demonstrating against the police abuse requires doing in a civilized and conscientious matter, or it is throwing gas to the fire. Dr. Luther King or Gandhi showed to the world that avoiding a spread of the fire pacific demonstrating works. However, among the demonstrators, many blacks were allowed to break that pattern. Looting, screaming foul language, braking things is not reasonable. Even supporters of the cause get very annoyed by knowing those facts. Stupid things such as painting a street with a consistent message that triggers the anger from people who disagree with reckoning racism prevail in the country or those who believe it, maybe perceived as gas, have been thrown to the fire. What gain could be there? A white person clearly annoyed, paints black that sign—a no good nor resolved anything. The fire is growing out of proportion.

Facing the Covid threat, the China threat, the Russian threat, the Iran threat, the N. Korea threat, the Jihadist threat, and the list goes on and on = we Americans should stay together and demand from our government to procure all safety actions. Hence, we remain robust and resilient or… Adding a divisive element created by politicians or pseudo politicians, all it does is to break any possible pattern that could ensure safety for all Americans. Simple math is applied.

Anyone with a decent knowledge of history, such as the Briton history, will find that the rulers manipulated the masses to gain the best control of them, therefore exploit whatever is necessary to achieve their goals. In all historical chapters, to provide what is just – to the people they rule – was not true. That example should suffice to understand that if we think linearly and based on the rhetoric of our rulers, the promised gain is never gained. The ruler must be honest, and we must keep the checks and balances rolling, so there is a gain.

There are three parts to the division of what could affect in both directions our future. #1 our analytical process lacks or has the needed investment to do the right math. # 2 what triggers our analytical process lacks or has a proper foundation to arrive at an educated guess. #3 we are or not genuinely invested in fixing numbers one and two, so we arrive at a place in which questions are answered, and the results are visible and reliable or the exact opposite end.

On that note, nationalists wish America would only be whites that pass their approval. That isn’t going to work! Hitler and his people tried to exclusively preserve what they considered the pure human quality human race with their Aryan approach. Did they succeed? What were the results?

Blacks, Latinos, Jews, LGBT, etc. on the opposite side want to exercise their freedom as the USA conceived it. Will that arrive at a solution?

We are facing massive damage, not just to our country and people. Our standing before the world is sinking and sinking, and while some throw temper tantrums, ambitious nations, and people take the place, we temporarily abandoned. Once we want it back, we will find that as history points, a decaying empire decays, and there is no return. An addition of poor leadership and poor followers = 2-2= 0, and we are moving in that direction.

Continuing this pattern financially, we are in doom land if Covid is not over right away. Socially we are in the worse dystopian status a leading nation could be. Therefore, our leadership role stops being such so others can take over that role. Who do we choose to take our role? Historically in the past, not just one nation destroys the leading role of another country. First, the people of that moving upward nation gets involved, then other nations and their people push them all upwards, following suit.

Meanwhile, our leadership and us – are pushing downward. That equals = we lack the right IQ power to protect and defend our nation simply because someone is telling us, we are alright, better than ever, and we have everything under control. Is that so? If you disagree, check with Watson because its response is precisely the opposite.

CAN THE COUNTRY BE CHANGED FOR GOOD?

Photo created with a moto e5.

By Isis Win

While Trump keeps accusing Americans attempting to change the country into a socialist, fascist nation, he has been triggering a reaction from the sector of the population that is considered a supremacist America. A political maneuver to manipulate that sector of America to win the White house. He accuses the left and does exactly that but in reverse. Trump changed the country for worse.

America in the majority, including so many republicans, conservatives, independents, and most on the left side, concur with the latest assessment by scholars, historians, and independent political analysts; America is going in the wrong direction. There is not a single item that is the antithesis of what America has been, from the moment he sat at the White House.

From the beginning, Trump faced an antagonism to collect the initial cost of the southern border wall. Nearly four billion dollars that were estimated to escalate to thirty billion cost to reach the end of the wall. The opposition was strong and stern, and he was able to fetch some of that money removed from the Defense Department. A move that was considered illegal and unethical. Democrats decided not to challenge that appropriation.

In the following months and years, Trump’s position to control illegal immigration as well was considered inhuman and anti-civil rights. Both ends of the spectrum join this criticism. However, as time went by, republicans realized that fighting Trump was a threat, potentially ending their political career. They stopped presenting their Checks and Balances obligation.

International trade became a challenge for both parties. To this point, there is no indication that the approach can possibly find a solution to a problem; no previous administration could fix it. As a result, we have a cold war with China, and we do not really know the complications of such.

Trump adverted all possible and committed funding to several programs such as the US contributions to the UN, NATO, WHO, EPA, even ended the White House infectious disease program, which was necessary to enact programs since he announcement of a pandemic threat. There had been many other challenges Trump faced, including decisions taken by SCOTUS that supposed to be conservative. As result, Trump continues firing any member of our government, including his cabinet, that questions his decision making of national and international policy.

Trump’s daily part of his presidential routine to attack, criticized anyone, including the press, for anything that he is in disagreement with. Social networks, such as Tweeter and Facebook, started to monitor his messages, removing several considered offensive, dividing, and enticing to create a crisis among the American people. As well, he has taken credit even of policies designed during the Obama administration and exaggerates the results of his actions.

In a few words, egocentric Trump has no visioned of his actions, and he has appeared to the US and the world as an unfit, perhaps derailed president. Result? Other countries either had expressed no interest in dealing with Trump or simply walk away when they foresee that possibility.

The upcoming months are a critical time for Trump. Approaching presidential elections, the polls have shown he has been losing two-digit points against the presumed candidate for the Democratic Party, Joe Biden. Anticipating a possibility of losing the election, Trump has stated in many of his rallies that the upcoming election must likely be fraudulent. As well, his belittling of Biden, any potential runner in his ticket, has increased. The growing crisis of the spread of Covid 19 and the death toll are other issues that are removing him from the possibility of a second term. According to several people, it seems that Trump is doing everything at his reach to lose the election. Most likely, he is having second thoughts of his actions because now he is accusing the democrats of changing the country if they win and turn it into a communist nation with a fascist regime. So far, there is no basis to claim such a drastic political change, so the opinion of more than 60% of the Americans is that the country already changed for worse.

My take in this drama is that it is true. The days of Reaganism are overshaded by the image resulted from a republican president that lack of all republican view and platform. So far, Trump has shown the world that he lacks all basic education to assess any problem and policies, but he is not aware of such. Contrary to that, he claims to be a sound genius, and his policies benefit the country. However, he fails to show reliable signs of such belief. On another side, the only winners of his presidency are the 1%, his family members, and pose. Clearly, at the end of his administration, he will be a multi-billionaire resulted in the businesses that have been ONLY possible to his position as the president of the wealthiest nation of the world.

This a sad, pathetic reality that the country will face for who knows how long. The US has been embarrassed through the entire world, and we had lost several positions before the world that allowed us to lead regarding economies, trade, manufacturing, innovations, discoveries, intellectual power, international policy and ethics, science and technology, and more. The US was until recently the leader and example of human and civil rights before the world, but today our position is so dim that even challenging China’s abuse of Muslims and Bangkok will be seen as hypocrisy that is supported by the 30 million Americans.

Now, we have a clear picture, much clearer after his speech at Rushmore that we are a changed country. What we most Americans want is to return to what America was before Trump. Result? Four wasted years and trillions of dollars to pay off.

YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO READ COVID STATS, DO YOU?

My mother’s orchids

People talk, people say, and although many, if not most read reliable places to get the right information, so many variations of “reliable” info go around, discredit the truth, people act suspicious and perhaps believe some theories and on the long run, they fail to take care of themselves properly.

Reading reliable data from places such as CDC can be tricky. To fully grab the info, one must observe all the little intricacies of the site, so you have an educated guess. Following is one example of that info from the CDC.

CASES AROUND     THE WORLD  

Confirmed         Recovered         Deaths

   9.63M     <?>     4.86M               490K

     +167K                                        +5,336

This is the stats for today 6/26/20

What does the number under the total amount is? Today’s added numbers. The interesting part is the difference between confirmed cases and recovered. 9.63 million Confirmed against 4.86 recovered. The question is, where are the missing numbers between one C or the other one R? What does that mean? Got it? Those numbers belong to the hospitalized people plus the people that either had mild symptoms or are asymptomatic but were tested. That means that there is a potential of five million people around the planet that can contaminate others. OK, let’s subtract almost half a million dead people. That number still is very high to take this threat so lightly.  

Infectious disease specialists are begging the world to stop going out. OK, either you put food on the table, or you help to reduce the spread. We find a conundrum here, and who wants to attempt to respond?

Scientists have suggested that perhaps the best possible way to go out to wherever, is proper wear of PPE. Proper social distance, not touching the face, and washing the hands thoroughly. I see and hear just a few people around the world are doing precisely the proper part of the safety measure. So, against my inclination, I will be redundant.

Proper wear means, using a clean nose and mouth guard every day. Wearing an acetate face cover may protect the eyes from getting infected; otherwise, goggles are recommended. Proper social distance means no closer than six feet, where people are breathing normally. At the gym, running path, bicycle path, etc. where people breathe more intensely, the distance should be longer. Much longer. No touching the face means your hand will not reach the face area. And washing the hands means with an excellent disinfecting soap, no less than 20 seconds and covering every bit of the hand.

Places that have open some businesses are alarmed because the numbers of infected, hospitalized, and deaths are growing as bad as the initial wave of the spread. That means people, even if only a few, are not following these measures, we are doomed for a long time to come.

Face covers protect the person from getting a little bit of those fluids the body expels while breathing, talking, etc. but as well, protect others from being infected if you are an asymptomatic carrier. Social distance is a second barrier to avoid both cases. Washing the hands is as well another layer of protection. It is not precisely known how long the virus may survive on many types of surfaces. However, it is believed that most at least 3 hours. If you remember crazy people spitting on food shelves, produce, even to people’s faces, it is not a stupid guess that someone probably spits on the handle to open your car’s door. Or the handrail at the escalator, you name it.

The significant risk of this pandemic threat actually is not the virus itself, the painful death, or the suffered survival because it leaves organs damaged, not even the economic fallout that threatens everything else. The real threat is, how long is this going to last? One year? A year and a half? Whether a vaccine is developed or not, the risk of a vaccine as history shows is: vaccines may work on some people, but not everyone. In fact, to perfect a vaccine requires loads of research, and meanwhile, some people may die from the vaccine too.

On the other hand, pulmonary diseases leave a severe scar on the sufferer. Their life will not be as it used to be. Today, researchers still are investigating if survivors and asymptomatic people may suffer the effects of the virus later in life. The fact is we do not know enough, although we may adventure to use unrelated stats from other similar diseases. Covid 19 is a new virus, and we are not catching up with it fast enough to avoid several more millions of deaths. Therefore the least we can do is to cooperate – to make sure the virus does not have any place to go ever!

CREATIVITY COPING WITH COVID

Being lockdown for three months is not an easy task. Millions of people have graciously become quite creative to break the monotony of taking such a smart measure. Three months seem to be extremely challenging for many. Unless you spend your entire day streaming content from the internet or have enough books to read. The truth is: there are so many things to do, other than what’s needed to be done but again, three months? That seems to be an eternity. That might be the reason so many people are adventuring to the external world, where the risk still is pretty high. Not a smart move, but what can you do?

Countries around the world, including those that managed to contain the spread and maintained their numbers really low, are showing a concerning increase of the spread once opening got started. Now, after opening, some establishments are considering to enact another lockdown. Yes, a prudent measure, but the truth actually is that people adventuring outside should be appropriately be dressed on PPE, maintain the suggested social distance, wash their hands, not touching their faces. A common-sense practice is not to be near (6/12 feet is recommendable) to people without PPE in case someone sneeze or cough. I have seen those cases too many times, which announces, “it’s time to run!”

But that is not my topic now. I am focusing on me, the bored chick that is finding more time in her hands than the available things to do. If you have grass in your place, you are blessed. But how many times can you mow the land in a week? I feel so sorry for the people that are enclosed in a small space, like a studio or small apartment. That requires more creativity. Cleaning the closet, the pantry, the garage, the car, the drawers, and everything that we did not have time for it before is a short run for so many weeks. In fact, everything, where I am, now is perfectly cleaned, organized, and ready to start life as known. So, part of my focus, aside from the 100 other things I daily endeavor, is to take pictures.

Whether I use my phone or my big camera, I always try to make images that go beyond the ordinary. I try to bring my personal label, so my picture speaks for me. Many years ago, master photographer Ansel Adams told me that what he shoots, is his imagination. Not exactly what is in front of his eyes. Excellent point, so whether it is the light, composition, or non-ordinary elements that can make an image that is what I look for in my image-making. I have the great privilege of having enough space to move around and on top, with amazing views. So far, I have produced more than 50 images that I consider decent considering the circumstances—the fantastic views of being several feet above the surroundings. I have a perfect view of the sunrise or the sunset. So that makes an excellent opportunity to create a fantastic shot. Rather, fantastic shots, plural. I have been there, have done it. After checking what images I like best, I realized there are just about a dozen of the too many because they all are so alike. I wish I could go out to the street and have many different scenarios to enact my creativity. But I can’t, so what is next?

Although the selected images do no precisely speak about me, the creator, they are good images. So I decided to start posting some of those which I call Covid shots. After a long inspection of some of them, I realized that there was something in them that can be quite easily overlooked. For instance, the cloud formations I see here, almost 360⁰, are breathtaking. Who cares about interesting looking clouds? Moi, I love the movement of the clouds created hundred miles away that change all the time and sometimes seem that they are a battle with other formations. The town where I am, in Mexico, is entirely surrounded by mountains. The winds come from many directions, and it is almost utterly predictable the kind of weather for that day. Not all clouds are photogenic, so waiting for the proper formation seems a good idea. I started to do that recently, and I think I’ll stick to it since it is clear, responsibility, consideration, common sense, and being pragmatic calls for a few more months of lockdown. That, regardless of the other impacts of the threat. Such as money going out and not coming in.

I hope picture viewers and people, in general, enjoy what I post here for who knows how long. Although my main thing here is to keep me creative and occupied, as an artist, I wish and hope that others enjoy them as I have. So here I go, a few images created during this period and a few others I made in the past. Enjoy!

EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE AFFECTING THE USA

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has trained its razor-sharp eye on one of the universe’s most stately and photogenic galaxies, the Sombrero galaxy, Messier 104 (M104). The galaxy’s hallmark is a brilliant white, bulbous core encircled by the thick dust lanes comprising the spiral structure of the galaxy. As seen from Earth, the galaxy is tilted nearly edge-on. We view it from just six degrees north of its equatorial plane. This brilliant galaxy was named the Sombrero because of its resemblance to the broad rim and high-topped Mexican hat. At a relatively bright magnitude of +8, M104 is just beyond the limit of naked-eye visibility and is easily seen through small telescopes. The Sombrero lies at the southern edge of the rich Virgo cluster of galaxies and is one of the most massive objects in that group, equivalent to 800 billion suns. The galaxy is 50,000 light-years across and is located 30 million light-years from Earth.

By Isis Win

History books, from the legislative annals to the academic recordings, explain how the USA has moved forward by creating and enforcing laws that comply with our constitution, international laws, and civic and humans rights. The USA has created a model that many countries want to follow. Such as the creation of a democratic system that seeks for everyone in that nation. We have that system, we exercise it, and through time it has improved. The USA has gradually bettering many of the aspects that enhance the quality of life, defends the rights of everyone, and develops the mechanisms to have a level of equality that makes the country more productive and harmonious. We still are behind reaching a better state that transparently shows we are the example that others wish to conquer.

We have moved back and forth in the direction that our framers envisioned. However, this is the first time in US history that a regime blatantly erodes many of those gains achieved or in progress. The “justification’ to that is simple and clear. This president is aware of the discontent of a large number of Americans that want to reverse many issues in that direction. Perhaps the #1 is in a relation of the migratory situation of ours that has not been resolved through many decades. Probably the chunkiest “fix” before was when Republican Donald Reagan passed an amnesty gift towards illegal foreigners living for long in the US and abide by our laws.

Today we have a contrary scenario. Although there is reason to feel angst because of the millions of illegal immigrants in the US (not just Latinos), the US, the only option is to sit at the table of negotiations, to arrive at a compromise in both ends, and pass the needed legislation. Politics have not allowed that, and mostly because on one side, observing our constitution should be the denominator. At the same time, on the other hand, to hell with it and simply get rid of non-Anglo Saxon descendants. Such will never work and attempts by Trump showcasing his abuse of power, the Supreme Court invalidated no one, not two but a few unconstitutional mandates of his. This is just a speck of the many issues that detriment our constitution and create a bizarre view, A wish of some Americans, A small number of ultra-conservative Americans.

Trump has been banking on creating a momentum that secures him a second term. All built on that premise of challenging immigration, China, North Korea, Afghanistan, and any country that is bargaining millions of dollars from us, so they comply with our demands, but they not. The effect has been such a clear and strong divide that the US is looking like a Neo-Nazi nation, ready to enact that sentiment I mentioned. However, the constitution weights much more than Trump’s mandates, even if such decision comes from a nominated judge by him. There is no way around, but if an SC judge support and passes any of Trump’s acts, a new order will be kicked in, and such would be much more toxic than Trump’s actions.

As is, the way all is looking from the WH and some cabinets seem that we are under attack, but such an attack cannot come from one of us. It will have to be from an extraterrestrial being that destroys us first and takes over later.

Coronavirus has shown us how fragmented we are as a nation and as people. All looks and sounds like anarchy that theoretically may favor Trump. However, as I said before, the group of people that follows Trump is rather small, but other people are acting on their own regarding Corona. It seems to add more significant numbers to Trump’s following.

The country in the last four years is turned inside – out. The sad there is that such should exteriorize a sense of patriotic attitude in which we either join our administration or oppose it. Not just by thought, but following with actions to let our government know what we do not support or approve. If we do not arrive at common sense, or consensus, democracy is defeated, and we lose sight of what direction we are taking, therefore where we may land in the wrong place.

These past years have been as if a foreign alien is running our country, and we remain silent about it, and only exercise our right to choose who is going to be in office. Once the person is elected, we do not care anymore about what he delivers or not. Something other nations such as China exploit to their benefit, increasing the potential of engaging in dramatic episodes that disrupt the order and the desired goal.

The appalling element for me is to witness that regardless of the constant lies and manipulations from Trump, he still counts on supporters, making him assume he got a chance to a second term. This turns my suspicion on, and I fear that he got a hidden card on his sleeve and that one is that he will jinx the election. I discard that he is so ignorant, dumb, and out of touch that his mega ego makes him believe he got everything under control. Big money America may fail for the first time in so long, and hopefully, they lose the strings that allow them to keep us in the cage, so we have no chance to react and take care of the needed changes. Changes that address our constitution, civil and human rights that will better our country exponentially, at the cost of the big money-losing the grip in our present and future. They, very well, maybe the extraterrestrial beings that are exploiting our planet, and all human beings, not just greedy Americans.