A Not So Mighty Wind
Hurricanes Be Gone: It’s two days after Henri and I’m enjoying the AC during yet another miserable heat wave, grateful and relieved that the storm fizzled out around here. No real damage, no power failure this far from the shore. Coastal communities took more of a hit, bad enough but not as bad as it could have been. Call them what you will, in my book if a tropical storm does a lot of damage, I call it a hurricane, and that includes Irene and Sandy.
And as for complaints that meteorologists overdramatized the situation, first, any weather system is never 100% predictable. Secondly, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I always think of those poor people who drowned in the 1938 hurricane and how they might have been saved if more advanced weather forecasting like we have today had been possible 80 some years ago.
One positive note: we’re not having a drought this summer! Unfortunately, all the bugs are out enjoying the heat and humidity. I have never seen gnats as bad as they are this year. It’s impossible to walk anywhere without a swarm of bugs around your head. And all the rain has given us a bumper crop of mosquitoes, coming after you in the bright mid-day sun, never mind at dusk and dawn! Nature walks in the woods will have to wait till fall. Yet the weather has been so much worse elsewhere with violent flash floods, relentless wildfires, depending where you are, and terrible loss of life and property.
What is in a name? Late summer used to be called the silly season in the news biz, but would that it were so this year, with each piece of bad news apparently trying to outdo the other. One silly piece of news was the name chosen for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine (I have to look it up to be able to spell it) Comirnaty. One doctor said the name sounded to him like a small village in Ireland; I had the same thought. I wasn’t aware that the vaccine had to have a special name, but is this the best name they could come up with? I imagine everyone will just continue to call it the Pfizer vaccine and I’m just glad I got it a few months ago, whatever you want to call it.
It’s so discouraging to see the wretched virus making a comeback. A recent article in The Boston Globe quotes a psychologist who refers to people possibly feeling emotions like despair, anger, or a deep sense of weariness. One of her suggestions is to practice acceptance, which is much easier for those like me who are not in the thick of things. It’s very alarming to read about how many doctors and nurses, especially in the South where hospitals are overwhelmed, are leaving medicine entirely due to burnout. Things didn’t have to get this bad.
Flight attendants too are reaching their limit with bad behavior among their customers. I never remotely wanted to be a flight attendant (they still called them stewardess when I was young), which is good because I’m too short anyway. But with each passing year, I wonder how they can stand it. Now they are actually being physically assaulted by belligerent (and usually drunk) passengers who are throwing temper tantrums like two-year-olds. Yes, by all means stop selling alcohol on flights. Would you give alcohol to a fractious toddler?
Flying coach is a miserable experience even without a pandemic, made worse by the way the airlines have crammed too many seats into too small a space in recent years. Many travelers must have been gloating at the video of the drunk and abusive young man who got taped to his seat to control his outrageous behavior on a recent Frontier flight. I’m sure prospective flyers were making a mental note to pack duct tape into their carry-on bags next time. You never know when it will come in handy.
Another piece of coping advice from the psychologist mentioned above is to take brief mental vacations. With worries about flying and the pandemic, a mental vacation sounds pretty good, if somewhat more disappointing than a real one. The last piece of advice was “remember that this too shall pass”. Yes, eventually. But when?