COVID & Politics; I’m Over ALL Of It…

2020 has been a shit show.

I know it’s been 8 months, give or take, since I last posted. A lot has happened in that time frame.

My hot water heater blew up in January, which killed off the better part of my flooring in the hall and dining room. We got contractors in just before this virus-from-hell came to our state and it took until mid-July to get it completed. But there was other stuff going on behind the scenes:

I lost a good portion of my team at work due to layoffs. I got falsely accused of trying to make my boss look bad (total sham), which created a work environment that I could not longer be a part of (early retirement), and have watched people on both sides of the political fence lose their collective shit.

One of these days I’ll fill you in on much of the preceding paragraph outlines, but now? Now, I want to speak my mind.

I don’t know the political leanings of anyone still hanging on as a follower of this all-but-abandoned blog. To be honest? I really don’t care.

Shit has gotten so incredibly real in this country in 2020 that I don’t even really recognize my country anymore.

Mom, I know you will get an email when this posts, and you probably will want to just close this window when it comes up, or just opt not to read going forward.

I am the lone wolf daughter/sister/cousin/niece of a primarily democrat family, apparently. I am not proud of that. If they are sheep? I’m the black one. (BSLM – Black Sheep Lives Matter). I found that I was either unfriended or blocked by left-leaning cousins some years ago when I voted for Trump the first time.

Here comes the conspiracy theorist in me:

This virus was released on the world just under a year ago. It has created enemies within families. It was a given.

Initially, I thought it was released to wreak havoc on the US 2020 election, but I believe it goes deeper than that. I have a child who IS a total conspiracy theorist who called this years ago, and I laughed at him, sort of. I’m sorry, Boo. I stand corrected. He talked about the New World Order (NWO) and I thought he was over the top. Now I’m eating my words. I agree with him that this is something that will enable the mighty powers that be to create such a world.

I retired early from my healthcare job in mid-September of this year. I mean, why not? This year took my hot water heater, my floors, my staff and my job, ultimately. Now it’s taken my freedom to move about like a normal 2019 person. I wore a mask for TWO shifts at work. I have hand hygiene embedded in my brain like nobody’s business. I wear a mask to my once-weekly grocery trip out of my house.

Yet, here I am, homebound, with some crazy symptoms: day 1, fatigue; day 2, nausea, vomiting, low grade fever, loss of taste and smell, cramps and the runs; day 3, low grade fever, fatigue, headache, taste and smell back at 50% and sore throat. Repeat until today, day 12.

I haven’t been out of my house since I went to get the turkey the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving. It was an exceptionally small turkey for two, because our governor banned gatherings of 10 or more. I think my neighbors had more than 10 at their home, because they were fixing plates for their families and some of the needy in our community. I didn’t call the cops on them, much to the dismay of some of my family, because, quite frankly? What they do in their home is none of my damned business. Just sayin’…

I’ve been watching videos of election night live voter fraud, that the Left is claiming is a farce, to which I call utter and complete bullshit.

Our governor (that would be Dan Pooper Scooper Cooper) has shut us down a little more, effective Friday, 12/11 with a 10pm-5am curfew. (You know, because COVID only comes out at night with the rest of the freaks, right?)

This is NOT living. I don’t know what kind of bug I’ve got. It could be the flu but it could be COVID, just as easily (because of the loss of taste and smell and carousel gastro symptoms), but I’ve had a couple of covid tests and they weren’t fun, so I’m just doing common sense self-care. I don’t want to add to the already scary statistics the powers that be are using to scare the population into abiding to the unconstitutional mandates that are being constantly put into effect in my state.

Even if I weren’t sick? It STILL wouldn’t be living. Life is not staying home, avoiding people, avoiding the beach, vacations, restaurants, traditional holiday gatherings, etc. This all just SUCKS! If you’re sick, just stay the hell home and calm down. If you’re not sick, go live your lives. This crap is completely unconstitutional and delusional. Go live your lives! Go to the beach. Go to your favorite restaurants, if they are able to be open. Don’t curl up in you homes and mentally die!

If you do, they have won. Up until I got sick? I wore my mask and did what the mandates said, yet I still got sick, so to hell with them. Screw the establishment! Go live your lives! To let your local governments run your lives is NOT living! As soon as I’m fever-free 24 hours? We are going to the beach! I don’t care how cold it is there. It still beats how cold it is in my backyard, which I’ve seen enough of over the past several weeks.

SCREW THE ESTABLISHMENT!!!!

Until next time…

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Post-Quarantine Week 1

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…and it has come to this.

Friday, April 10, 2020

So after having three fever and symptom-free days, I was able to return to work on Good Friday, which in normal times would have been the beginning of my three day Easter weekend, but I’d missed so much work, already, even working from home, that I really felt the need to get back and catch up on paperwork, which I couldn’t access from the house.

My boss sent me a text the day prior stating we have to be masked to enter the building. All I had was the mask my daughter made for me:

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Pardon the bed-head. This was quarantine Day 2 and nobody was going to see me, or so I thought.

He told me that would be fine, and it was. 🙂 It was sooooo amazing to be back amongst the living! Being a social animal by day and a recluse by night, I was just so excited to see my work family again! I did my usual oxygen rounds, my reports, caught up on payroll, checked on my team throughout the day and all was right with the world. Until I realized I’d gone into a soiled supply room outside of one of the COVID units, and the clean supply  room inside another. I wasn’t thinking. I had mask and goggles on, but no gown, and God only knows what I brushed up against in that room, filled with things that had come out of patient rooms. Patients with the virus.

I texted my husband and told him to place my slippers, favorite sweats and an oversized tee-shirt in the studio for me with a couple of old plastic shopping bags and to leave the front door to the building unlocked. I changed before I went into the house and bagged both my shoes and uniform. The shoes stayed in the bag until the next Monday and the scrubs went straight to the washing machine. Welcome to the new normal, I guess.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Over the weekend, I’d worked myself up into a frenzy of near-panic, thinking that I’d unthinkingly put my health in jeopardy by going into that first room without a gown and gloves, and going into the clean room on the other unit without an N-95. I did what every other normal, well-adjusted 54 year old grandmother does when she has the option; I called my mom. No, she didn’t think I was over-reacting. No, she understood why I was frightened, and no, Mom, I didn’t think to tell them NO, not without an N-95 and certainly not in the same mask I’d been wearing three days prior to my getting sick the week before. We decided I would be having an honest conversation about my concerns with my boss upon my return to work on Monday.

Monday, April 13, 2020

The aforementioned conversation went down, and I came away feeling much better. Going into a unit only requires eye protection and a paper mask; only when you enter an unmasked COVID patient’s room do you need the N-95. I do, however, need to be mindful of what I brush up against going into that soiled room that isn’t within the unit. Duly noted.

As an aside, I grabbed a can of Bubly to go with lunch that day. I had to laugh and take the following picture, because who doesn’t love a side of irony with a cheeseburger?

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Yeah, since we are all headed to theaters in throngs… LOL!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The next day, my boss came down to meet with my team. Usually, when he surprises us with a visit like that, he is either bearing food or bad news. He had no pizzas that day. We were told that like many other hospitals across the country, because of the low census (inpatient count for any given day), our organization was implementing a voluntary four-week furlough, and for the rest a mandatory 8 hour PTO day each week. Now, I’d already dropped my team’s hours to 30/week, so this was going to mean 22 regular hours and 8 PTO hours. This still wasn’t going to get them to the under 23 paid hours they would need to draw unemployment of any kind.

After he dropped that particular bomb, he asked to see me behind closed doors in my office. Uh-oh. I was pretty certain I was not going to be offered a promotion or given a raise, based upon his facial expression. I was told that in addition to my weekly 8 hours of PTO, I was going to be transitioned from a salaried position to an hourly position effective the next payroll. I would also be dispatching and transporting. Uhhhhhh… (I honestly believe that may very well have been what came out of my mouth, followed by, “Okaaaaay?”

I kind of indicated that at this time I would kind of like to think about the furlough. The look he shot me screamed a definitive NO. Evidently, the goat-rope my unplanned quarantine had created quite a jam in our processes, so I was guessing that was out of the question. He confirmed that the following day.  Okay, I’m alright with that. I’ll keep getting paid, have a work life balance, and some three-day weekends in the process.

He left, but called me a short time later, stating that since we’d just started a new payroll my hourly status was effective immediately. I literally teared up before I’d hung up the phone.

Here’s the deal; over the previous four or five weeks, I’d been pulling 45-50 hour work weeks. I was coming in early, working through lunch, leaving late, and texting/mailing from home to get my employees work elsewhere throughout the facility. I still wasn’t getting everything done I needed to get done, even with all those extra hours put in. Now I’d been knocked down to 32 weekly work hours, adding dispatch and transporting to my already full plate, and had to punch a time clock for the first time since the summer of 2004? Again, I say, Uhhhhhhhhh. How would I get it all done? What misstep would I make because I was rushed to cram everything into such a decreased time span? What would slip through the cracks?

Thursday, April 16, 2020

I had exactly 8 hours to get a furlough schedule created and posted, as I had four signed forms and one “maybe” going in before noon. When I arrived there were treats. A LOT of treats! Soooo much food and well wishes!

There were fruit snacks and Mac & Cheese and granola bars and popcorn and almonds and Nabs and chips and candy! All donated by the community. Our meager pantry was going to be full of blessings and snacks for a good while! Our hearts were truly full that morning! Did I mention there were also mini-Rice-Krispy Treats? 🙂

Turns out my four furloughs turned into five, which is 1/3 of my transporting staff. For the 8th time in just a few days, I was re-doing the schedule to accommodate for five long-running absences.

I left that afternoon with a skeleton crew for the following day (my mandated PTO day) and the weekend.

How did it all turn out? Tune in to the next installment to find out. *Hint: Forced work-life balance = GOOD!”

Until next time…

 

 

 

Posted in COVID-19, Current Events, health care, Hospital Stories, Hospital Workers, Life Changes, Of Interest, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Quarantine Day 5

So I have been a little social media shy, lately.

The book of faces has been addled with entirely too many talking dog videos telling us to socially distance. The pizza guy my husband watches regularly is now confined to his small apartment, reviewing frozen pizzas. False information is running rampant, so it was time to pull the plug, or at least cut back on it, much like I’ve done with the news.

Yesterday, however, after receiving numerous private messages regarding, what has, apparently become a glaring absence from work, I posted. Probably not my best idea.

I wrote:

“I’ve gotten some PM’s about my absence from work, so I’m just going to put this out there…

Yes, I’m on quarantine. Yes, I’ve been tested.

No, I don’t have the results back, yet. On Thursday, when I was tested, I was told it would be up to 14 days before I would get my results. I tested negative for flu and strep throat.

The test is no joke. I honestly believe my sinuses are still feeling what can be best described as a roto-rooter to behind my eyeballs.

What were minimal symptoms on Wednesday are now reportable symptoms, today; shortness of breath and dry cough. I’ve had a low-grade fever throughout.

While it’s nice to be reading in my hammock in these warm spring days? I’m more than a little paranoid over every chest discomfort, hoping that all of this s pollen-related.

Thank you to all the people who have PM’d and texted me to make sure that I’m okay? Thank you❣️

To those that think that going out, casually is okay? I went from work to home, rinse, repeat, until I had to get groceries at the Pikeville Food Lion a week ago, Saturday. People still need to eat, and I stayed the hell away from Walmart, given their parking lot looked like Black Friday.

I’m just saying: #staythefuckhome

I had zero idea that I’d get 77 comments on that post.

Today? I received two calls from UNC Healthcare; one to further explore the newer symptoms I’ve been experiencing and the second was to give me my test results. Can I just say that this was the most happy I’ve been about a negative test result since the pregnancy test as a teenager and the biopsy I had done some number of years ago.

But then, there is also that barb that kept me from doing cartwheels (as if I could actually DO those); my nurse was kind enough to inform me that one out of every three tests is a false negative.

After having posted last night’s entry, I felt obligated to post the results. There is always that one; the one that publicly questions how I can have a negative with so many symptoms and then asked via pm if I was going to be retested.

To which I say not only no, but no with a capital F!

It’s like this, people: unless you personally know the pain of testing? You wouldn’t be so quick to suggest re-testing. My biggest fear from the possibility of being positive was the two or more re-rests!

Also, I suffer badly from seasonal pollen allergies every single spring, to the point where I’m on antibiotics at least once a season because of sinusitis. This also causes shortness of breath, headaches and a low grade fever. In the 23 years prior I don’t know if I had shortness of breath because I wasn’t looking for it.

My fever has been no higher than 99.2, and that was after I’d spent a few days in the hammock, reading, because being outdoors is good. Evidently, it also causes shortness of breath, too. Sound familiar? Yeah, me, too.

That being said, I’m going to ride it out at home, per the letter they gave me telling me to continue to self-isolate until I’ve been fever free and have had drastically reduced symptoms for three days.

If this was a false-negative, this is a mild case, so the rules for re-entering society and the workforce are the same.

Either way? I will sleep soundly, tonight. I hope y’all will, too. ❤️💜

Until next time…

Posted in COVID-19, Health, health care, Personal, Random Thoughts, Self-Care, Suckfest, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment