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MINDFULNESS in the time of COVID-19     23 March 2020

MINDFULNESS in the time of COVID-19 23 March 2020

| March 24, 2020

Pictured above: The Almost Lockdown


ABQ Weather or Not

This Week's Soundtrack:  What the World Needs Now 

Crank up the volume and sing along!

British Boys playing Hide and Seek (Nerja, Spain 1971)


Notes from Sheltering in Place:


I wonder if this sense of "we're all in this together" means some of you have the same questions I do and vacillate about how you view the novel coronavirus.

Saturday I lapsed back into "Is this much ado about nothing? When you compare it to the flu..?." and when testing became more available and we began seeing both cases and deaths ratchet up, I was back to thinking the Wold Health Organization (WHO) might be right - that we could be the virus' new epicenter. So, on one hand I can understand differing opinions, but when push comes to shove, I'm going with the scientists and doctors on this one - not the President. I just think we need to rely on people who are qualified to evaluate the gravity of our situation rather than lapse into wishful thinking. 

I'm worried about our at risk population - even though I qualify, I feel safe because I've been in "extreme social distancing" mode since March 8th. Yep...I'm getting a little stir crazy but I don't like the alternatives. It took awhile, but now most of the people I know, regardless of their age, are taking this seriously and doing the same. They're working from home, aspiring to a weekly trip out for groceries and other essentials, and they aren't hoarding.

By not hoarding, at least in my case, 1)I am not a hoarder by nature - I have moved into the Less is More chapter of my life.  2) I am betting on our resilience and adaptability - and perhaps our belief in one another. What we need will be there when we need it -and if not, we'll adapt.

I'm also betting that while we look out for ourselves, it's not at the expense of our neighbors.

I'm betting on the economy - that it can snap back from this if corporations act responsibly and take care of their employees.

And I'm betting on our politicians ( and believe me, this is a leap of faith) - that they can hammer out a bipartisan stimulus plan that protects our frontline essential service heros - our caregivers, nurses, doctors, hospital administrators, police, our friends who stock the shelves, unload the trucks and check us out at the stores, the civil servants of NM who are working smart and tirelessly to keep us all safe. And that American workers are provided for - not left behind.

Maybe, when all of this is behind us, we will have learned something. If we are mindful during this period, maybe we will come out of this a little better than when we went into it. I believe this virus grew from seeds of neglect. I think our unwillingness to address the climate crisis has been at the expense of the natural world's autoimmune system.

This is a shot across the bow. You can pick which boat you're in - but for me it's a warning that if we don't get serious about the climate crisis, we can expect more of these pandemics. For you it may be you need to get your house in order. Or to realign your priorities. Or simply say I love you more often.

Let's not overlook how fortunate we are that we have incredible technology helping us - keeping us informed, in touch with loved ones, and trying to find the fastest and most efficient means of getting essential supplies to our healthcare providers. 

No doubt we will have questions - how did we do? How could we have done better? Who really stepped up to the plate - did companies respond to the need for manufacturing the equipment and goods that were in perilously short supply? Who were the heroes?

  Please look at those around you and acknowledge the heroes. Now.

Thank them. Let them know how much you appreciate them. Don't wait - they need to hear it while they're doing the heavy lifting for us. Be kind, be patient, and where appropriate and possible, please be generous.


COVID-19 Resource Center

 Up Close


Last Week  at this time in NM:   21 cases    Current Count: 83


Links that matter:




This just in:  

Administrative Office of the CourtsSupreme Court halts eviction orders in landlord-tenant cases
SANTA FE – The state Supreme Court today ordered a temporary moratorium on evictions for inability to pay rent during the COVID-19 public health emergency.



 Shelf Life


Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague - Geraldine Brooks

 [Historical non-fiction, published in 2001 in the UK]  

“Plague stories remind us that we cannot manage without community . . . Year of Wonders is a testament to that very notion.” – The Washington Post

An unforgettable tale, set in 17th century England, of a village that quarantines itself to arrest the spread of the plague, by Geraldine Brooks, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and introducing "an inspiring heroine" (The Wall Street Journal), Brooks blends love and learning,loss and renewal into a spellbinding and unforgettable read. Timely.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy - Jenny Odell

A more accurate title for this book might be: "How To Reconsider What It Means To Do Something." Far from advocating inaction, Odell makes an extremely convincing and quite profound case, using an omnivorous mix of philosophy, art history, and good old rumination, that we should start paying attention to what we pay attention to, and to how that attention shapes, and limits, the scopes of our lives. Reading this book, I began to notice how I interact with the bodies around me—bird, tree, human, creek, neighborhood—and how paying them fuller attention might make me a better person, both happier and more truly alive. (Staff member at a Soho bookstore)

Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book is a four-course meal in the age of Soylent.

Anagrams - Lorrie Moore

"An extraordinary, often hilarious novel." —The New York Times Book Review"From the very start, Lorrie Moore's generous gifts as a writer have been clear: A wry, distinctive voice, a gift for telling detail." —The New York TimesAnagrams has all the wit and inveigling playfulness of Self-Help, plus an organic sophistication astounding in a first novel.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer"A rare novel. . . . Its surface sparkles with wit and humor, but underneath there's a keen intelligence at work, a seriousness of purpose that's deeply touching. Read Anagrams. It will bowl you over." —The Plain Dealer

About the Author: Lorrie Moore, after many years as a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is now Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Moore has received honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Prize for Literature and a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. Her novel A Gate at the Stairs was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award.    



 Essential Services

MLG with Brian Williams (3/23)    <<< Click on that

Netflix: Tiny House Nation, The Two Popes,

Suggested Binges:

amazon Prime: TRAPPED, Seasons 1 & 2 (Icelandic TV mini-series)

Acorn: A PLACE TO CALL HOME (think DOWNTON ABBEY in the Outback)

Feel Good for $3.99 - rent on amazon Prime: The Swiss Family Robinson (1960)



Be careful on those essential forays -

Your favorite golf bucket hat  can be adapted to personal protection equipment [PPE].

Get creative - and if you have more time on your hands than you know what to do with, sew hospital masks or cut the patterns.



Ten years ago, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama.

The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of Americans access care, lower their health care costs, and receive treatment—Americans who would have been left on their own in the old system. In just a few years, it covered half this country’s uninsured. That’s not to say it was perfect—no major piece of legislation is—but it saved lives, expanded access, cut down on medical-related bankruptcy, and made our nation healthier and more equitable. 

Ten years later there are 27 million Americans without access to affordable healthcare. 

Will one of the results of nCOV2019 be universal healthcare and paid sick leave for all?



  Dining In

This is the quick version of the Philadelphia restaurant's signature hummus. It is sensational. Add enough water and process long enough so it is totally creamy - no grit or texture at all. FABULOUS.


This Week's quiZZZ

#1If Joe Biden were to become the Democratic nominee, who will he select for his VEEP?

Editor's note: I'll share my guess with you next week.

#2 Will Anthony Fauci still be a member of the WH COVID2019 Rapid Response Team by next Monday?


Last Words

Don't be too quick to criticize Senate Democrats for holding out for a stimulus package that actually does what it's supposed to...

In 2008, it was House Republicans  who voted down the TARP rescue package, triggering another big stock sell-off before the plan finally passed.


Parting Shot


"Do you think it's okay to drop in like this?"

"Well, she said dinner would be casual."