Covid Finally Gets to Me

I fought long and hard, but Covid-19 finally caught up with me last Friday. I was super tired and couldn’t get up from bed without effort. At the same time, I had developed a wicked sore throat and a racking cough. At the time, I thought I had just developed a bad cold; so—lacking a pituitary gland—I upped my normal dose of hydrocortisone to help me fight the illness. (Without a pituitary gland, I have no adrenaline.)

On Saturday night, I got a call from a nurse friend of mine who suggested I get tested for Covid-19. Fortunately, I had sent away for free test kits, so I administered the test to myself. Sure enough, I had contracted the coronavirus.

I have no idea how I could have caught it, unless one of my vaccinated friends had it without presenting any symptoms. Or it could have just been a wild fluke, something in the air that suddenly took hold.

Fortunately, I have been vaccinated and boosted, so that by now (Tuesday), my symptoms have grown less; and I even had the energy to read again. Unfortunately, Martine caught the virus from me and has more severe symptoms. She, too, has been vaccinated and is not likely to wind up requiring medical care.

It’s a good thing that vaccines were quickly developed to fight the virus. Else both of us could easily have been at risk of a severe respiratory response.

L.A.’s Police Museum

Yesterday, Martine and I drove to the L.A. Police Department Museum in Highland Park. When we were in Vancouver some years back, we visited the local police museum and were enthralled with what it said about the differences in Canadian vs. U.S. culture (or lack of same).

The 2½ floors of exhibits covered a wide range of subjects, but the best exhibits were all on the second floor:

  • The 1997 robbery of a Bank of America branch and the ensuing gunfight with the two well-armed burglars
  • The Patty Hearst kidnapping and the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) terrorists (1973-1976)
  • The kidnapping of two LAPD police officers and the killing of one of them in a Kern County onion field (1963)

In the garage of the museum were two cars with multiple bullet holes that were part of the 1997 shootout. Also there was a police helicopter which Martine sat in:

The museum was only a few blocks east of one of our favorite stores: The Galco Soda Pop Stop, which deserves a post of its own. Stay tuned.

Tiny Treasures

Beware Malefactors!

My Martine is as sweet as sweet can be, but her heart can be steel-plated when it comes to street hooligans. On most days, she takes a long walk in the neighborhood, keeping a weather eye out for what she calls “tiny treasures.” Sometimes these are foreign coins or interesting lanyards or any number of things.

Lately, however, some of her discoveries have been on the alarming side:

  • Two baseball bats, near a bus stop ad that had been vandalized
  • A bolt cutter
  • A large sledgehammer

In each case, she walked the item to the Santa Monica Police Station and handed it to the officer on duty. I cannot help but think that the local police are wondering what she will bring in next. Will it be an AK-47? An RPG (that’s rocket propelled grenade)? A box of land mines?

The streets of West L.A. and Santa Monica are getting rougher each year, and that’s reflected in what she finds.

Hallelujah!

A Small Victory—With Large Consequences

Today I accompanied Martine to the Access Pharmacy in Westwood where she received the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine (AKA Janssen Covid-19 Vaccine).

Martine is a person of monumental stubbornness, so I was surprised that she decided to get the vaccine. In all honesty, it wasn’t my impeccable persuasiveness that did the trick: Her tête de Normande (referring to her Norman French stubbornness) was swayed by the Los Angeles City Council, which was going to make it hard for her to go to restaurants, movies, museums, etc. without either a vaccination card or a weekly Covid test.

Whatever the reason, I am delighted that she has disobeyed the KABC shock jocks and consented to possibly save her life.

My Fingers Are Crossed

No That’s Not Me: I Don’t Wear Ties

After months of bullyragging Martine about not getting her Covid-19 vaccination, Martine has finally made an appointment to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine tomorrow. There have been harsh words spoken by me (“That’s because you get all your info from Nazi radio!” “KABC Talk Radio is not Nazi radio!”). But the LA City Council’s unanimous vote on requiring vaccination proof for restaurants and other indoor locales finally did the trick.

I see this as a victory over the shock jocks of KABC, which I persist in referring to as Nazi radio.May all of them come down with Covid-19 complicated with a few other embarrassing ailments!

Since she made the appointment, Martine has been Googling all the negative info she could find about the shots, so I hope she doesn’t back down at the last minute.

Rejoining Society

The Vaccine: E-Ticket to Normality?

Having been vaccinated for Covid-19, I have, in effect, rejoined society. I am now visiting my friends who have likewise been vaccinated. Not coming with me, however, is Martine, who refuses to be vaccinated.

Martine is no anti-vaxxer who believes that nano-sized microchips are injected into the body with each shot. She is simply afraid of most medications, whether in pill or injectable form. Her doctor wants her to take Vitamin D3 supplements, but she gets an adverse reaction if she goes beyond a minimal dose.

I have long suspected that the Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card is going to be a useful piece of paper, whether for travel or work. Despite the efforts by Republican governors to outlaw mandating the card for this purpose, I think they will fail. Until I got the vaccine, even my own doctor did not want to see me: I had several “visits” in the form of telephone calls.

It is my hope that eventually Martine will get vaccinated. Martine’s family comes from Normandy in France. She therefore has what the French call a tête de Normande, in effect a head like granite block—impervious to argument. Perhaps she will eventually see the light, but she won’t take action based solely on my urging.

A Modest FODMAP Success

Here’s the Skinny on What You Must Avoid If You Have IBS

Although Martine keeps telling me not to worry about cooking for her, I feel challenged by the difficulty of preparing a meal that she can eat without triggering her IBS. So I made a ground sirloin and fusilli dish with celery, sweet red pepper, Chinese eggplant, fresh tomatoes, and tomato sauce with basil.

Missing were onions and garlic, which are two baddies. I naturally thought that without onions, the dish would be as yucky as last week’s ghastly FODMAP stew, consisting of ingredients that just didn’t belong with one another. I actually didn’t miss the onions, and I added garlic powder to my portion.

The big surprise was the quinoa pasta that actually tasted pretty good. I’ve had quinoa soup in Peru and Ecuador and liked it. This pasts contained no wheat or rice or corn, yet it was acceptable.

I can’t guarantee that all my FODMAP cookery will please Martine. At least, it shouldn’t disgust either of us.

The FODMAP Follies

Big No-Nos on the FODMAP Regimen

With the very best intentions in mind, I tried to prepare a beef and vegetable stir-fry for Martine as a first attempt at creating a FODMAP-free dish. It consisted of shredded beef, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and a yam. But no onions, garlic, or chiles to give it flavor.

Never before had I cooked a dish that I didn’t want to taste. For myself, I just had buttered corn on the cob, while Martine bravely confronted the tasteless muck I prepared for her. I called it FODMAP Stew. I will never make it again.

I realize now that seasonings are important in a dish with multiple ingredients, and that the best seasonings are expressly forbidden.

I think that in future, when Martine needs to adhere to this regimen, she should have a piece of meat (most are OK) plus a steamed vegetable, such as carrots, squash, and some rare Himalayan herb that can only be found on the northern slope of Mount Everest.

If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, which explains what this is all about, I urge you to click here.

Republicans

What Comes First? The Death of the Republican Party or the Death of Our Democracy?

As much as I hate talking about politics in America, I cannot shut up when I see one of our two political parties attempt to destroy the country even as they destroy their own party. It’s like a race to the bottom—that shit pit of death cults and failed states.

I can hardly believe that over 70 million Americans have drunk the Republicans’ poisoned Kool-Aid. I regret to say that the woman I love is one of them. Martine not only refuses to get the shots protecting against Covid-19, but she keeps trying to show me “evidence” from right-wing websites which the AM talk radio pundits cite for their over-the-air lies. Take a look at Natural Health News for its take Defending Health, Life and Liberty (followed, of course, by the obligatory American flag).

These people are the enemy. Follow their advice, and risk dying. Martine is convinced that the Covid shots are more dangerous than the disease they were formulated to fight. She says that her health is too fragile for the shots. How would she fare, however, if she contracted the coronavirus? Better? I don’t think so.

If Martine doesn’t want to take the vaccine, I’m not going to force her. But I have nothing but contempt for her “news” sources. The Republican cultists have created their own plastic bubble of destructive falsehoods in which they, and perhaps ultimately all of us, are weakening and perhaps failing.

Social Distancing Follies

The Adventist Health.White Memorial Medical Plaza in East Los Angeles

Today, I drove Martine for an ophthalmologist appointment in East Los Angeles. I went up to the waiting room with her, but was asked to leave because of social distancing requirements. So what happened? I had to stand in the corridor, which was full of other family members who weren’t really social distancing. And there wasn’t any seating to be had.

There is a bridge over César Chavez Boulevard (visible in the above photo), which would be an ideal place to sit—except it was posted all over with signs saying that, because of social distancing, no one may sit down there.

Perhaps one cannot catch the ’Rona when one is on one’s feet. At least, that seems to be the prevailing assumption. If the medical receptionist can’t see you in the corridor, then presumably you are, by definition, social distancing. ¡Que idiota!