Tag Archives: Women

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.

Person of the Year

10 Dec

Angela MerkelCongratulations to Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, who received Times Person of the Year!

After I read several times on Twitter through news sources that this was the 1st woman in 29 years I stopped, and I’m sure my expression read by my computer web cam told a story. Really? Twenty-nine years? This is most likely a reflection of society or management. Now, I’m not one to beg for equality; I do think it should be earned. I didn’t burn my bra years ago. Instead, I befriended people, both genders, and worked hard in the profession I chose at age 18.

Later I realized I was in a ‘woman’s’ profession and the term hand maiden was used frequently, mostly in jokes. I worked very hard, weekends, nights and holidays. I delivered patient care to very sick people, some died, some we revived, and others became my friend before they passed on to eternity. While doctors studied hard and longer, I did notice they were mostly men and most had female secretaries or office help.

They also made a lot more money. Money is power. They golfed on Wednesdays, drove fancy cars, had cell phones, pagers, and spent two or three minutes with their patient in the hospital. Yes, we nurses knew who took care of the sick patients and the patients did too. This was the way it was.

I almost went back to school to obtain a further degree as I hungered for more, not necessarily the monetary items, things of privilege, but I had knowledge and wanted to give more towards the input of treatment. It was a sixth sense, a real desire, and a caring attitude that governed my thoughts. I loved it actually but was limited. Several surgeons asked me to be their nurse beside them in the operating room. I was tempted but never did this. Then came family and the cards were dealt.

I would be a mom at age forty and if I couldn’t be a PA(physician’s assistant) or CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) as becoming a doctor was out of the question while I pushed forty, then a mom I would be. I knew I wanted that, too.

As I look into the world for role models for my teenage girls, I’m perplexed. Women faces don’t jump out at me. We have beautiful, talented actresses and singers, but everyone can not do that. Maybe that’s why there is so much reality TV as everyone wants to be a star.

Where are the women? I believe it’s my role to encourage my girls and to do this fairly. There is gender bias and women have been suppressed for so long that they have not caught up to men as yet. You simply can NOT do it all at once. Frankly, I can’t wait to find out more about Angela Merkel, her rise and power on a global scale.

Women and girls are equally important to men. I believe it’s not about outdoing each other but coexisting with mutual respect! Women have children and should be admired for this role in the universe … the mother or mom. I believe the time has come to create jobs or job share, so that we don’t have to put children aside away from mothers. We need more than three months to bond for a lifetime. Not all women want to be mothers, and likewise not all men want to father children.

Instead of sacrifices for the career, why not allow them to be home more? Home is a great environment for children and women could work half the time at their profession and stay home with children half the time. This way they keep moving up that professional ladder to receive promotions or increases in pay. Women could still maintain the bonds of parenting by being at home where the schedule is 24/7. Time is elemental to a child. Presence is important but so is doing something we are rewarded for or gives us independence and income. Full time work for women deprives them as a mother because they are too tired and have no ‘me’ time. Rewards for parenting are unique and too many to claim, including raising children who feel loved and protected.

This could be done in professions like doctors, lawyers, policemen or women; possibly everywhere we work. I know because I job shared with another Registered Nurse in the 1990’s in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit for a couple years. It was our idea and the hospital loved it. Maybe companies should look into career sharing as viable options for their work force and especially women who are mothers or even father’s who want to nurture and stay home more with children.

By Kim Troike



Google Images Credit


Hilary Clinton Urges Unified United Nations Response

14 Sep

Women and GirlsHilary Clinton met with an audience on Friday after discussions about women and their empowerment in the world. The Ford Foundation held a two day conference and Hilary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, was a speaker. She is also a potential candidate for the presidency of the United States of America in 2016. The faces of women and girls in times of normalcy are showcased here in the following photos.

Women and GirlsClinton is deeply concerned about women and girls where terrorists are concerned and wants the United Nations to do even more on a global scale. She sees that terrorists and especially two groups, Boko Haram and Islamic Militants are a direct threat to women and girls in Africa and parts of Iraq and Syria. These groups use women by kidnapping and other violent acts of war.

Women and GirlsShe would like to see a tracking mechanism done very early maybe through the Security Council and more unification from the United Nations. The kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian school girls, which occurred in March, is still ongoing and some governments have not shown a serious enough concern, she feels. Areas of concern for Hilary Clinton are of course previous war zones and terrorist sites such as North Africa, Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now areas across Africa where Boko Haram threatens.

Women and GirlsSyria and Iraq have come to the forefront with ISIS, or ISIL, spreading fear through evil acts put across social media. Now a third victim has fallen for all the world to see, meanwhile three families have seen their worst nightmare realized from sheer horror at what ‘monsters’ can do. This is  now the world where our young children grow up. An adult can not even process the terror, let alone the mind of someone who trusts them to know right from wrong. Unfortunately they get to “see” the evil and it becomes a part of their day. Women and girls are vulnerable in places where they have yet to realize true freedoms because they are female.

Women and GirlsJohn Kerry, Secretary of State, says the United States is at war with the ISIS group. He urged everyone to not get “war fever” over the terminology as it can be confusing. He further states in an interview with CBS “Face the Nation” that just like we oppose and fight al Qaeda, we will do the same to ISIS. Saturday a video was released by ISIS with its terrorists’ act against an aid worker from Britain.

Women and GirlsHumanitarian aid workers and journalists who’ve been captured are now being killed by terrorists; they show these monstrous actions for the world to see. John Kerry has met with leaders in Egypt to hopefully build a coalition against ISIS. This is Obama’s strategy and they feel Egypt could have an influence over the region. Egypt has 25% of the Arab people. Kerry says the ideology of ISIS has “nothing to do with Islam.” The message of hate is not what a Muslim is about.

Women and GirlsKerry will attend a conference in Paris on Monday in which the international community will address the Iraq crisis. In addition the UN will discuss this crisis also. Retired General John Allen and Deputy Secretary of State Brett McGurk have been appointed to lead this US coalition against ISIS. Women and girls are at risk around the globe and Hilary Clinton urges the United Nations to be more broad and encompass this growing conflict, that puts women at risk during times of crisis, terror and war.

Women and Girls Around the Globe

Opinion by Kim Troike

Google Images Credit




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