Tag: Health

I’ve not felt calm in ages like I felt just now out on my tiny front landing, in the chair, reading about neurodiversity on the Kobo, noise cancelling AirPods active, with a travel mug of tea. I continue to be not capable of saying enough about the chair, to the point where I now want to find a living room loveseat effectively built to the same height and with the same seating angle. It perfectly supports my back, and the sitting position yields no restlessness in my legs. Internet, do you thing: find me such a loveseat.

Addenda

  1. Someone is going to suggest a futon, due to the angle, but I've never seen or experienced a futon as low as this, or as comfortable as this; I'd need to roughly replicate the depth of the seat itself to approach what the chair does.

Actions will tell, but Patrick Allen — head of Oregon Health Authority — issued kind of a remarkable statement yesterday.

While health equity is a stated value of our agency, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how far short we are from eliminating health inequity in this state. A crisis has a tendency to expose your weaknesses and areas where systems are inadequate, and this pandemic has been no exception. The broad impacts of the coronavirus have fallen especially hard on Black and African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Native American, and Latino, Latina, and Latinx people, in the U.S., and here in Oregon. A centuries-long history of racism and oppression have led to the very health conditions that exacerbate the impacts of COVID-19. And we at OHA were, frankly, too slow to recognize that threat and act on it. For that, I’m truly sorry.

My biggest fear as a Black woman and public health leader was the all-too-likely murder of an unarmed Black person at the hands of police leading to mass protests amid the virulence of two infectious diseases: racism and Covid-19. And here we are, a few weeks later, in the nightmarish scenario I can’t unsee: Black America and allies, rightfully angry and fed up with 400-plus years of racist violence and white supremacy, taking to the streets to protest in cities around the country and the world.

From My nightmare: Covid-19 meets racism meets the killing of a Black person by police by Lauren Powell

Meet Adam Mazza, My Instagram Bully

Back in March, there’d been a pandemic-prompted reunion of sorts of my original online community (scroll down) that I even touted in response to a call for items from a newsletter I read. It didn’t, for me, even last a month, because of reasons I’d tweeted and also posted to Instagram at the time.

Fast forward to the end of May and the beginning of June, when a completely-unrelated person from that same community fell like dick from the internet sky.



Full disclosure: between the first and the second comments was my only reply: “Yes: fuck you.”

To be clear, waking at noon was both due to a recurring fatigue condition and mental health stresses during social distancing lockdown, and the AirPods are for the active noise cancellation I use to mitigate autistic sensory sensitivities. The selfies, like most people’s selfies, are to mark the pushing through.

Adam Mazza, my Instagram bully, is engaged in online harassment that’s reached the point of bullying me over disability. He’s been reported to Instagram as such, and will continue to be with each new post. I haven’t blocked him because I want him to keep digging his own virtual grave.

I also note a common irony of the internet bully: trying to shame people into thinking no one cares about what they have to say…by repeatedly responding to what they have to say.

One thing I have a greater appreciation for because of this, although I wouldn’t go so far as to say I thank Adam Mazza, my Instagram bully, for the lesson: I’m not a suicidal ideation guy, I’m not a self-harm guy, but the massive anxiety spike caused by each of the comments so far by Adam Mazza, my Instagram bully, definitely helps me understand a little better why online bullying and harassment can lead people there.

Oh, for the halcyon days when all I had to criticize Instagram for was the out-of-order feed hurting my autistic brain. To stay on point: it’s safe to assume Adam Mazza, my Instagram bully, would see that as just more complaining my four 227 followers don’t care about.

And then, headache. And then, a hard crash out like a light for four hours.

My back hurts, and I’m tired, and there definitely was an anxiety spike, but I managed to get up, have a quick bowl of cereal, get to the post office, figure out how to finish packing the old laptop I sold, figure out where out back of the post office they wanted parcels dropped off, and got in the minor grocery errand I’d wanted to do and hoped I’d have the resources to add to this trip out of the house. Exhausting and stressful, but no panic attack, no sense of suffocation (so the Braddock masks, although I need to replace the elastic ear loops with head-ties secured with cord locks, are comfortable enough to not be an extra stressor), and now I can just be at home to have my one coffee for the day and see if Crew Dragon launched.

Face mask use is a social contract. My mask protects you; your mask protects me. But face masks are not perfect and they need to be used in conjunction with other measures to lower risk of infection such as physical distancing and hand washing. There is ample evidence to suggest that widespread use of masks results in significant reductions in the transmission of respiratory viruses. Mask use is grounded in biology and can have a real world and meaningful effect on slowing the spread of infection, protecting your coworkers, and those vulnerable members in your community.

From What’s the deal with Masks? by Erin Bromage

Ed Pilkington’s excoriation of the ways in which “America’s deep and brutal fault lines […] rendered the country ill-prepared to meet the challenges of this disease” easily can be read by the light cast by Venkatesh Rao’s exploration of how the Black Death “brought a bunch of strong historical forces, which had been building up pressure, to a crisis point”.

Riffing off an observation on Twitter that coronavirus is no longer the story but the setting, Venkatesh Rao explores the idea, noting, for example, that “social distancing is an element in protests”. Rao goes on to try to “unpack what it means to for a big, all-subsuming condition to evolve from story to setting” by revisiting the Black Death, exploring the phases of our own pandemic so far, and suggesting bleak comparisons between our present circumstances and how the Black Death “brought a bunch of strong historical forces, which had been building up pressure, to a crisis point”.

Now here’s the thing about the Phase 2 of the Black Death: it’s clear that everything basically broke at a very deep level, which is a very strong statement coming from me. I don’t like to call complex systems broken very often. Usually when people say that, they are just complaining that the system is working for somebody else rather than for them. But when the system doesn’t work for any of its human individual or institutional parts, or even to preserve and perpetuate itself, I think it is safe to say it is actually broken.

Designers and engineers: where are the better design ideas than Saran wrap on PVC frames? (Don’t get me started on the Cone of Silence.) We’ve got to do better than this.

Handshakes are not valued equally among all the social and cultural groups that practice them. According to Yuta Katsumi, a cognitive neuroscientist who currently researches memory but has conducted several studies on people’s evaluation of handshakes, everyone he studied appreciated a handshake. They were taken as a sign of goodwill and trustworthiness and business competence. However, Katsumi saw one group’s brains light up more than all the others when they witnessed a good, firm handshake: men, and white men in particular. “There’s a good amount of evidence that handshakes are a male activity,” Katsumi says. “If you do an observational study, male-male interactions involve a handshake much more frequently than female-female or mixed-gender interactions.” A quick Google search will reveal articles cataloging multiple strains of gendered handshake angst. There are worries about grip strength, chronicles of boardroom handshake snubs, advice columns urging women to engage in flesh pressing and for men to tone down the macho bone-crusher routine when dealing with their colleagues.

From The End of Handshakes—for Humans and for Robots by Emma Grey Ellis

Those kinds of observations must be tempered by the day-to-day realities of those who don’t have the cheat codes of whiteness to help them avoid racial harassment, especially from police. The Jane Jacobian idea of “eyes on the street” very easily becomes “eyes on the black people” — which is why some African Americans disengage from public spaces like parks altogether. These peaceful green spaces just as easily induce anxiety and trauma for black and brown people, especially when they know the cops can be unleashed at any moment.

From The Toxic Intersection of Racism and Public Space by Brentin Mock