Tag Archives: novel

To MASK or Not To MASK

7 Aug

A globe entangled in barbed wire

Covid-19 or “Chinese Virus” as named from the derived location of such virus has consumed us. On social media and the news, the world, and especially the USA, life seems to be coming to an end. “Turn it off” my husband says. I’m a writer and I want to be as informed as possible. Politics is an idea, the idea of looking out, being fair and voting for your area and elected official to office, to improve upon an already wonderful, though imperfect at times country would be icing on the cake. To mask or not to mask has become the “to be or not to be” Shakespearean question.

Back in March with the uncertainty of it all had most people wanting to do the right thing. Staying at home, homeschooling, masking, hand washing, and social distancing were a small problem compared to the projected 2 million deaths predicted by the CDC. One watched in fear as Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx predicted this outcome. It was on every news station. We all paid attention. Everyone became campers in their own home huddled by a huge fear. We were back in 1918 when the Spanish Flu killed millions. The news said it escaped from a Chines Wuhan lab and they knew about it. We were now in the dystopian novel many writers had already written and the movie was now being filmed. When would the guns come out? More fear. Can you hear your heart beat? Hold your kids close! The grocery stores were cleaned out in those first two weeks. In the south we know that process-happens every year with the forecast of a snow. It could be a dusting on the pines, or ice covered landscape that shuts everything down for a week. Dusting or disaster we never know until it hits.

The world watched as Italy suffered greatly, with American states New York and New Jersey, too. More fear. President Trump selected the CDC and NIH officials to join him with Vice President Pence to give televised updates. Some information is better than no information. I believe they truly wanted to help American citizens entering a pandemic. One would think the CDC should know best about disease, diagnoses and outcomes. America always steps in to help for the greater good. Very sweet people indeed. I saw many people volunteering with food drives. Officials wanted tests. Remote work became the thing. Imagine that. Home school would now be in vogue. Sports was cancelled. Netflix soared. Booze sales went bonkers, guns too. And many people found that freshman fifteen again. Fin.

After two months when the dust began to settle, the economy which had shattered record highs a month earlier, tanked. Wall Street plundered. New York and New Jersey had the majority of deaths and were truly overwhelmed. Someone didn’t receive the memo not to return old folks sick with the virus to others. But the CDC got it wrong with the projected deaths. We relied on them over the years in Atlanta with expert advice. I personally don’t always agree with them on vaccinations/immunizations and possible connections to autism. They are the experts, they handled Ebola, etc. We are thankful their visuals did not come true in number of deaths for this pandemic. Seriously. New York was given tremendous help from the president with a ship in port and a makeshift hospital with all the ventilators one would need. Only a business man would have pulled this off so effortlessly. I knew as a nurse that 40K vents would not be used because that would require personnel beyond belief. So many people talking that don’t know what they are talking about. It would require 10-20K nurses. Not doable.

Blood pressure device on table

Governors were given a daunting task, rely on who they could trust, experts, themselves, or both. Twenty-twenty has such a nice ring to it but my goodness it’s been an evil year. Printing money helps, I suppose, but then arguments arise as to who deserves it or not. Do college students deserve to make more per hour than last year’s summer job? Do older retired folks with paid off mortgages deserve money they won’t even go out and spend? Do corporations with high profits deserve money? Do rich artists deserve payouts? I thought it was the service workers living month to month that suffered the most. Could they even eat was the question? I haven’t heard one sports player complain about anything this year nor the singers or actors. I guess they are set. If they did receive funds I hope they gave it to the starving artist, restaurant, bar workers, low paying jobs etc. I bet governors wouldn’t close so many businesses if their own salaries dried up. The worst was a 7K fine and a week in jail for a hairdresser! Are you kidding me? The system already takes from these individuals in taxes, licenses, and fees. It’s a wonder they stay in business. I should know I’m a cosmetologist and I opened a salon suite last year quickly losing 5K in rent with little walk in business. I was done. There was a time in May when people smiled, came together (social distancing from afar) and looked forward to summer knowing it wouldn’t last. But the spectrum of people’s fears, choices, and character would surface and it became very ugly.

Just so you know I am not a scientist or government official. I’m educated and informed and like to question what is directed towards me. Especially because I’m a registered nurse. Twenty four years at the bedside, as a manager, and in the ICU open heart teaches you many things about people and medicine. What May and June should have done is clear up this Covid-19. Instead lawlessness came out in the form of BLM protestors after a terrible incident. Was everyone feeling pent up?

I guess you could call 2020 “The Perfect Storm” or terrible tragic storm. Like we needed one more thing to fight about. Let’s see … war brings peace and rioting cures racism. Of course, we all despise the knee to neck on George Floyd, killing him over eight minutes and wanting justice yesterday. Cameras catch many things. Besides the addiction we have to our phones and information at our fingertips, we have these videos to help us circumvent injustices. That may be a great thing. A great thing for Steve Jobs.

 

Classroom with empty wooden desks

Empty classroom with no students

Now we have opposing ideas about back to school, business openings, etc. More fear. I am not afraid. Why? Maybe because I am a nurse and I’ve been exposed to numerous infections, viruses, etc., over the years. If two million or even 500K deaths had occurred, you can bet I’d be worried. You cannot pin every Covid-19 virus to a death. People die every year, let’s make sure they were comfortable and not in pain. You should talk with a nurse, everyone knows a nurse, and he or she can comfort you and keep you safe. Do your best-that’s it. Then don’t worry. The numbers are not there. I have twin daughters-one got it and the other tested negative. They live together. You see. America is a country that bends to many under the rule of law. We must pay our taxes, obtain a driver’s license, put our kids in school, and obey the laws to peacefully coexist. Other than that we have many freedoms which we must keep, to pursue happiness and keep America great. Fight back in a peaceful way.

My suggestions are that we wear a mask voluntarily, social distance during cold and flu seasons or until we achieve herd immunity thru antibodies or a vaccine. And that immunocompromised folks don them as they know when they need them. Usually they have been told by a physician if this is the case. Schools should open, recommended by the CDC, and not place undo amount of fear in these kids. More disinfectant and cleansing is a good idea anyway. I think children spend way too much time sitting down at a desk all day. In person school and homeschooling should be the norm. Possibly school choice might be progressive and great! If you never try this you don’t know. Art, music, sports and useful skills are equally important to math and science, etc. Remember we are all different. Let’s celebrate that and showcase our uniqueness. All students should receive an associate degree from high school ready for business or a job, and two years of college should net you a BS degree in your specialty. Everyone saves money and time. What a concept! These progressive ideas may move us forward to be less stressed, feel more at peace, and have time for sports, true talents, and happier kids!

My recommendations based upon an American citizens view from a healthcare background who has three children: age 60 and over with medical conditions wear a mask and social distance as desired; school choice of in-person, home-school, or use government $$ for your choice; open up sports and venues socially distancing and/or mask use for three months. Discontinue mask and social distancing for all except elderly with underlying health issues. No fines. Let’s not be afraid to live joyfully. Your body is making antibodies, antibodies are a good thing, you are stronger!

Caroline Clemens

Novelist, poet, nurse, and mother to my three exceptional children. Am living my best life. Ha ha. Writer and citizen journalist from Atlanta discovering the world one day at a time. This opinion article was sent to the New York times, Washington Post, and USA Today.  Marketing my novels and currently writing a parallel (tragedy thriller) sequel to thriller “Three King Mackerel and Mahi Mahi” titled Magenta Fleurs, both set in the south.

Three images by I-Stock Photos.

Margaret Mitchell House

16 Aug

Gone With the WindThe Margaret Mitchell House is the museum where the Pulitzer Prize winning author wrote her famous novel ‘Gone With the Wind’  back in the 1920’s. Published and released on June 10th, 1936 after years of typing this epic historical romance, it later became a film produced by David O. Selznick. It is considered the king of movies and plays out at three hours and 58 minutes on screen.

Margaret Mitchell was married at the time and wrote Sunday articles for The Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine. You can view an article at the museum from the paper. When one visits “The Dump” as she affectionately called her place shared with her husband, John Marsh in the 1920’s, she created the most read novel of all time. Margaret typed out each page from a typewriter onto paper relentlessly over more than four years.
I recently toured this museum with my home schooled daughter and I learned about the author behind the best-selling novel. Prepare to step back in time, all the way to the 1920’s. Things were more simple back then and this museum showcases just how she lived, where she wrote tirelessly on and on in this small flat. She was recovering from an accident, therefore was home-bound. Her husband encouraged her to write the book. The museum guide was especially thorough and gave you a sense, a feel, of how she accomplished this overwhelming fete.

The Dump

This is the 75th anniversary of Margaret Mitchell’s novel and the Premiere of ‘Gone With the Wind‘ which was held on December 15th, 1939 in Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta held a parade back then for the premiere and its cast of stars. A visitor to the museum can view movie clips of this enormous event and also the painting of Vivien Leigh ‘Scarlett’ in the beautiful blue velvet dress which adorned the library wall in the movie. The painting contained the actual tear where Clark Gable ‘Rhett’ threw a glass in a fit.

Gone With The Wind

The film was presented at the 12th Academy Awards in 1940 and obtained ten Oscars after 13 nominations. Hattie McDaniel became the 1st African American to win an Oscar, however, due to segregation at the time she was not allowed to attend certain events held in the gala and excitement of this movie.  With a budget of 3.85 million and produced by MGM and Selznick International Pictures, it took in 390 million at the box office. For all the adjustments it remains the ‘most successful film in box office history.’  Selznick had purchased the Pulitzer Prize winning novel one month after it was published for 50,000 dollars but it took over three years to secure actors and cut the script down for viewing.

The Margaret Mitchell House which is run by The Atlanta History Center is also on the National Register of Historic Places. What people don’t know and I certainly did not is the philanthropic work that Margaret contributed to after her success allowed her to do this. She gave back to Atlanta by giving financial support to the Family Welfare Society, The Florence Crittenton Home for Girls and volunteered with the American Red Cross.

Historic Registry

She gave money for medical students tuition in scholarship form to Morehouse College and contributed to the Grady Memorial Hospital for African Americans to have access to an emergency room. This woman and author, Margaret Mitchell, contributed vastly through her creativity and spirit to the world.

By Caroline Clemens

~picture credits to Google Images

filmsite.org

theatlantahistorycenter.com

Margaret Mitchell House Tour

 

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