Thursday, April 29, 2021

Nomadland: Review with a View on Poverty


Released 19 February 2021

Having been a fan of Frances McDormand for two decades, I was eager to see her performance as Fern in Nomadland (2020).  She did not disappoint. However, I did not walk away feeling blissful or triumphant. Instead, I was unsettled. 

The film is a blend between fact and fiction. The director, Chloe' Zhao, had a lot of people depict themselves in the film, people who are seasonal workers living in in all manner of vehicles--from campers to converted vans. 

The film shows Fern, uprooted after the factor closes where she lived in Nevada. She ends up living in a van and working seasonal jobs. She's barely managing to get by, so if she has trouble with her van, her job, or her health, she's poised to lose everything. 

Yes, Fern demonstrates industry, creativity, resilience, self-reliance, warmth and compassion. Her character was admirable. However, I kept asking questions about the way the economy in the United States is structured in such a way that laborers like Fern can reach their sixties without savings, equity, or healthcare.  

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Ten Books: An Essential Library on Aging

Over the past decade, I have read over 150 books about aging. The topics have ranged from physical to metaphysical with just about everything in between. 

For my full list of books read, see this page. 

I realize that scrolling through this list is a bit like drinking from a fire hydrant. Consequently, I decided to compile a list of the books that I judge as essential reading for anyone who is aging or anyone supporting another person who is aging. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

2020 Report on Older Americans


In 2020, the Federal Interagency Forum on Age-Related Statistics published an updated report about 40 key indicators of Well-Being. 

These 40 key indicators are organized into the following categories: 



Health Status

Health Risks and Behaviors

Health Care


Of course, this report published data about older adults before the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, some of the information has probably changed dramatically. 

Nevertheless, some of the information is still salient. 

You can read the full report here, which is more than 180 pages long. However, it includes three pages of highlights spanning pages xvi - xviii. 

After reading through the highlights, here are a few points that I found interesting. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Vaccinated on the Anniversary of the Pandemic


Photo by JernejFurman
via Creative Commons

On Thursday, 11 March 2021 I received my first vaccine to protect me from acquiring the disease COVID-19 in the event that I aim infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 

Because I received the Pfizer vaccine, I will receive the second vaccine in three weeks. 

Two weeks after that (around Tax Day), I will achieve the maximum immunity provided by that vaccine. My husband is on a schedule for his vaccine just three days behind me.  

I will always be able to remember the date of my first vaccination because it was the one-year anniversary for when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 had reached pandemic levels. 

The media has published a variety of retrospectives, so I will refrain from making observations about society at large. I can report on my own situation with some authority. 

Briefly stated, I have moved from vigilance to mania to information overload to worry to depression and now I feel an ember of hope.