Saturday, October 31, 2020

Mackay's Swiss Cheese COVID-19 Defense

This is just a detail.
Keep reading to view
Mackay's entire C19 infographic.

People from all vocations are seeking ways to address the current COVID-19 Pandemic.  

Researchers are verifying that we benefit from adopting MULTIPLE MITIGATION LAYERS in order to reduce the spread of viruses. 

As a gerontologist, I am reading about the vulnerabilities that older adults face if they become infected with SARS-CoV-2. 

As a university teacher, I am guiding my students to write papers based on peer-reviewed, scientific articles about the virus and the resulting disease. 

And as a family member, I am constantly seeking information on how to protect myself and my family. 

By following scientists and medical professionals on Twitter, I read information about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 before the mainstream media brings information from medical research to the lay reader. 

Here is my Twitter list of 200 plus COVID-19 stakeholders. 

This is where I discovered Ian M. Mackay, PhD, who uses his expertise as a virologist on his Twitter account @MackayIM Mackay has a PhD in virology from University of Queensland where he now works as an adjunct associate professor. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

COVID-19 Neologisms and When Old Words Were New


image by jovike

As a college instructor who has been teaching classes English departments since the 1980s, my observations about aging often focus on word choice, etymology, usage, technical terms for phenomena observed by people in aging bodies, and evolving definitions:

  • Generation Jones-er as a specific term for younger Boomers
  • Gerotranscendence as type of wisdom often associated with advanced age
  • Gray vs Grey in the context of my age-correlated changes to my hair color
  • Grounded as my focus word for inviting greater calm and maturity
  • Midlife defined not by age but by a variety of milestones
  • Older Adults as the preferred term replacing senior citizens, etc. 
  • Vollendungsroman a literary term for a novel of completion or fullness 

Consequently, my curiousity was piqued when I saw @MerriamWebster share a link to their Time Traveler search tool.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Keep the Home Fires Burning during a Pandemic

I'm spending way too much time in my office. 

Most of my posts take an objective tone--whether using a first person or third person narrator.

Today, I am going to dispose of my usual "let's present some research" approach. 

Instead, let me testify of the value of keeping the home fires burning. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

On with the Butter: Book Review


Inspired by her mother's resilience and sense of adventure, Heidi Herman has written On with the Butter: Spread More Living into Everyday Life. (2020, Hekla Publishing). 

The gist of the book can be summed up in an Icelandic saying that translates roughly to "On with the Butter!" It's similar to the British saying, "Carry on," but contains a bit more zest, particularly as embodied by Herman's Icelandic mother. 

Disclosure: I have received a complimentary copy of Herman's book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Heidi has a long career as a writer of various genres, but this book was part of a collaboration with her mother to enumerate nearly one hundred activities that can help older adults remain engaged and joyful. 

The book, however, is not just a list. It conveys an outlook on life that is an invitation to find happiness in the moment rather than being bogged down with one of life's many challenges. 

Even though I am many years younger than Ieda, the author's mother, I appreciate the suggestions for engaging in life when some people might suffer depression due to role loss and struggle with how to re-engage in life. 

I still teach classes at two universities; however, I experienced a slump when all of my children launched in August of 2019. True, I only have two children, but having them both fire me as their mother was quite a shock. 

Instead of looking back at what is missing, I am inspired to engage more fully in the moment by reading narratives about Iada's adventures followed by checklists for having an adventure of my own.

For example, in Chapter 5, "Take the Scenic Route," Herman describes a road trip she and her mother took through some of the smaller roads that connect I-80 and I-25. In doing so, Ieda convinced her daughter to stop at the Mormon Handcart Museum that documented the 1,300 mile trip of handcart pioneers.