Today a pickup truck full of corpses showed up at the Philadelphia city morgue. They were pulled out by their feet.

There is a lot that we do not know about this virus, however let us focus on what we are pretty sure is true:

People without any symptoms whatsoever can be carrying and can transmit this virus to others. So that means that anybody that you see could potentially be carrying the virus and could give it to you. There is no way of knowing at this time how you will react to the virus; young or old, sick or healthy.

At this point in time what we don’t know is very important. It would be nice to know alot of things about our current situation such as:

How long will it take before someone who has the virus still be contagious?

How will we personally react to the virus?

How exactly contagious is the virus?

How is the virus really spreading?

How contagious is it through the air? From talking, breathing, walking on the street? Walking through the park? Walking through our apartment building? Walking into an elevator? Walking into a subway car or bus?

There is a lot of talk about the 6 foot rule. You must truly question this! Where is this 6 foot rule coming from? Do you really think that the 6 foot rule is enough? Do you really feel comfortable being just 6 feet from someone who is absolutely contagious? How do you know if the person six from you is contagious or not?

Oh yes, more questions than answers if you really think about it!

We strongly suggest that you seriously think things through, from your trip to the grocery store to just walking down the street on the sidewalk. How safe is each of these activities? A run in the park? A walk in the park? Where do you go that is safe and is not safe? When do you think it will be safe again by looking at the numbers in the maps? This is a time to really look at the raw data that is out there being collected by journalists and news organizations.

Just one year ago we were putting up pictures and talking about the Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve. We were admiring the Trilliums and Bluebells. We have been worried about the oil pipeline that they wanted to put through the preserve and of course global warming.

Failure and disaster: And more failure and disaster. Downplaying the crisis followed by a failed re-opening of the economy.

Watching this crisis unfold in real time. Everything has been going pretty much as expected. Not enough supplies in the hospitals and people dying because of it. Healthcare workers getting sick and dying because of a lack of supplies. A complete mis-management on the Federal government level. Hospitals are fending for themselves, states are fending for themselves. Pretty much everyone is on their own.

There will be a pre-mature re-opening of the economy with lots of fanfare. Many people will be smart and continue self isolating. Many people who do not have the luxury to do that will be forced to go to work and put themselves in danger. They will also be putting everyone else in danger that they are around so there will be a lot of people who are going to be put in grave danger because of this very bad decision.

If you are in a position to be able to still work from home and have that luxury please do not be tempted to go out and go on as life was before.

Before you are tempted into putting yourself in danger ask yourself the hard questions about testing and also about contagion. Who is contagious and how can you know if they are or are not contagious even if they are your some of your best friends?

Just wait. Give it some time, give it the time that you know it needs. We need people who are thoughtful and cognizant of the real dangers of this situation to do the right thing. This summer they will probably have the economy reopened- bars will re-open and maybe even your friends will have gatherings and get-togethers. However it is most advisable to continue to avoid these until we really see the numbers come down to very significant levels. Now mind you we may not see these numbers because they will not be shown to us -there will still not be proper testing and we are going to be living in the dark.

There will be plenty of gaslighting and we will most certainly be in the dark so as long as we do not have the information we need to make informed decisions. We must stay on the side of caution and continue to stay home. If we have that luxury.

What is most comforting to us is to see our family and our friends that we may have not have seen in these dark times.

However comforting these times we look forward to may be could become what is the most dangerous thing for us and for our friends and family. It’s an insidious disease. That is why I urge you to continue the self distancing and the staying at home policy until we really know what is going on. We must not jump the gun and put the cart before the horse. As much as we want to see our friends and go to the local bar and see our family we must resist the temptation especially as the weather gets better and we feel like things are getting better. We must be smarter than that. Look at what other countries are doing now.

If we don’t do it right the disaster will continue on and continue on.

Gaslighting and FOG: Narcissism in the Pandemic

Sunday morning thoughts (okay not random this time, inspired from a conversation I had with a loved one recently xoxo ).

Have you had a toxic narcissist in your life? If so, you know the signs to watch for and you can spot them a mile away.

And you will stay as far as possible from that person.

Because there’s one thing you’ve learned through that painful part of your life: the only way to emotionally, mentally, and in some cases physically survive from the affronts of a toxic narcissist is to extirpate yourself entirely from their lives.

The reason I am bringing this up is because in such uncertain times of covid-19, I’m thinking that toxic narcissists are going to act out, weaponize the situation to manipulate, lie, accuse, gaslight. Don’t let them throw you off.

More specifically, observe the leaders in charge of managing and communicating covid-19 pandemic public health policies. What behaviors are you witnessing? If the leader makes you feel confused, unsure of your own capacity to understand the situation…dig further…what else are you noticing.

The article below did a great job itemizing the range of tactics the toxic narcissist will use. There are many checklists out there but this particular one really resonated with me (I wish it didn’t but I hope my experience will at least help any of you currently confused by the FOG of covid-19).

Important note: those behaviors need to be consistent day after day. We all have our low moments of self absorption: those incidental lapses of judgement do not count.

So here goes. Source of article is provided below but summary right here for your review:

Verbal abuse: includes belittling, bullying, accusing, blaming, shaming, demanding, ordering, threatening, criticizing, sarcasm, raging, opposing, undermining, interrupting, blocking, and name-calling. Consider the context, malice, and frequency of the behavior before labeling it narcissistic abuse.

Manipulation: Generally, manipulation is indirect influence on someone to behave in a way that furthers the goals of the manipulator.

Emotional blackmail: Emotional blackmail may include threats, anger, warnings, intimidation, or punishment. It’s a form of manipulation that provokes doubt in you. You feel fear, obligation, and or guilt, sometimes referred to as “FOG”

Gaslighting: Intentionally making you distrust your perceptions of reality or believe that you’re mentally incompetent.

Competition: Competing and one-upping to always be on top, sometimes through unethical means. E.g. cheating in a game.

Negative contrasting: Unnecessarily making comparisons to negatively contrast you with the narcissist or other people.

Sabotage: Disruptive interference with your endeavors or relationships for the purpose of revenge or personal advantage.

Lying: Persistent deception to avoid responsibility or to achieve the narcissist’s own ends.

Withholding: Withholding such things as money, sex, communication or affection from you.

Neglect: Ignoring the needs of a child for whom the abuser is responsible. Includes child endangerment; i.e., placing or leaving a child in a dangerous situation.

Privacy invasion: Ignoring your boundaries by looking through your things, phone, mail; denying your physical privacy or stalking or following you; ignoring privacy you’ve requested.

Character assassination or slander: Spreading malicious gossip or lies about you to other people.

Violence:This includes blocking your movement, pulling hair, throwing things, or destroying your property.

Financial abuse: Financial abuse might include controlling you through economic domination or draining your finances through extortion, theft, manipulation, or gambling, or by accruing debt in your name or selling your personal property.

Isolation: Isolating you from friends, family, or access to outside services and support through control, manipulation, verbal abuse, character assassination, or other means of abuse.