An Overdose of Stupid

I think this lock down combined with the pandemic is making us stupid. We are watching endless hours of television which has been doing its best to numb our minds since its arrival in our living rooms many years ago. It once had a nickname of the”boob tube” if you’re old enough to remember.

I could write about stupid people refusing to wear masks or denying that the coronavirus even exists. Don’t get me started on all the politicians on both sides of the aisle who swallow down their dose of stupid pills with regularity. I really want to discuss something that has entered our lives in order to make us smarter. Alexa.

“Alexa. What’s the weather?” I asked.

“The weather in Melbourne, Australia is 62 degrees and raining,” she answers.

Alexa has lived in my home in Melbourne, Florida for the past 5 years. I never had to clarify the city, state or country for her before. Suddenly she believes I moved to Australia which is an interesting idea but I’m grounded until I get vaccinated.

“Alexa. When did Les Miserables debut on Broadway?” Richard asked.

“1862,” she replied.

“Am I really that old?” Richard asked. “I guess Alexa thinks so.”

I think Alexa has taken an overdose dose of stupid pills today too. Even the digital world is not exempt from its addictive qualities. She answers all of our questions with such certainty, if I didn’t know any better, I’d find her very believable.

This next one is my all time favorite. I like watching Schitt’s Creek. The Rose’s daughter is named Alexis, so often when her name is said on the show, Alexa will spew some nonsensical banter out of the blue to interrupt the comedic dialogue.

The other night the dialogue from the show was this: “Alexis. Do you have a mind?”

Alexa’s response was as follows: “I don’t have a brain like you do. My smarts live in the cloud.”

We have become dependent on on all the information that lives in the cloud. True or not, if it comes out of the cloud we believe it. I can’t even trust Alexa with the weather so why should I believe anything else she says? The only thing she’s really good at is setting a timer and letting me know when my roast is done. Let’s put our brains back to work. What’s happening up in the clouds is pretty scary stuff these days.

Kindle Challenge Update

I haven’t paid much attention to my Kindle lately. What I mean by that is during my time in the hospital, I read all day until the battery finally died. I didn’t pay any attention to how many books where still waiting to be read, I just picked on and dove in head first. It was the only thing I had to pass the time in between the nurse handing me my little cup of pills.

I finished my December book club pick, Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts. It’s historical fiction about Maud Baum, the wife of the author L. Frank Baum of The Wizard of Oz fame. One night the 1939 movie popped up on tv and I watched it. It never gets old.

Next I read The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristen Harmel. I’ve read other books by her and they are all enjoyable and are about the French resistance during World War II. Then I read the first Harry Potter book again. I didn’t find it nearly as captivating as I did the first time around.

I selected a book called Spellbreaker by Charlie Holmberg. I have no idea where I picked this book up but I loved it! It’s historical fiction with a magical twist but trust me, nothing like Harry Potter and his wizarding world. The sequel is not coming out until March of next year and I already pre-ordered it. That’s how much I loved the story and its characters.

And when I finished all those my Kindle still said I had 7 pages of books to go. I turned to page 7 however and low and behold I gasped! Only 2 entries remain before I’m down to only 6 pages. I am making progress but let’s hope I can keep up this same pace while out of the hospital. That’s my plan for sure!

The Wrath of 2020

As we enter December, the final month of what has been a year to remember, I can’t help but think we are all expecting January 1, 2021 to turn the page making all things wonderful and rosy again. I’m an optimist, a glass half full kind of person but a gnawing in my gut says, ” Not so fast”.

Up until about 2 weeks ago, I believed that the year 2020 would leave me unscathed. I was careful, wore a mask, limited my time in stores and cancelled trips long and short that I thought might bring me some relief from the monotony. I was however, feeling I was safe from the wrath the year dished out with fury since the year was soon coming to a close.

How wrong I was. I ended up in the hospital with a kidney infection and had to stay there for several days while my cultures grew. Sitting there reading books and watching bad television; there’s no Netfilx in the hospital, I had a lot to reflect on.

For those of you who think a mask isn’t necessary, please think again. While in the hospital a mask is required 24 / 7. Yes, even while I was sleeping, or trying to on that uncomfortable bed. No exceptions. If it slipped down, every nurse and doctor asked me to pull it up before they entered the room. Think about that for a moment when you want to resist the mask for any reason. We all hate it. You are not special.

If you think getting a COVID test every couple of days is going to save you, think again. Since I came into the hospital with a fever, the test was required. That swab up the nose is the most painful thing. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank goodness it was negative but I have no burning desire to do that again anytime soon.

If you think COVID is the only disease you can catch in 2020, you’re wrong. But the presence of COVID in our world will affect how all other things are treated. Take care of your body and your mind. Don’t be afraid to call the doctor or the dentist or a good friend for support. The simplest thing you can do for yourself and those around you is wear a mask and wash your hands. Those two simple acts will help protect you from a multitude of things we hope and pray will miraculously disappear in 2021.