How to not get sick or get everybody else sick

My mother’s been on my ass about stocking up on food and water for months, and predicted this pandemic years ago.  I’m using a bit of her common sense from childhood to state the obvious in the face of a nasty virus hitting the streets.

Wash your hands before you touch your genitalia and after you touch your genitalia. Stop picking your nose, and stop ignoring when others do it. Wash your hands or wear gloves everywhere. Wash your hands as soon as you get home, get to work, where ever.  Cook your own food and avoid large crowds.  Cancel your vacation or business trip.  Stock up on food and water.  Work online and minimize your face to face work settings and public transportation.

Wash your nasty hands, fool.

‘We Were the Undeserving Throngs’

From Chronicle Review:

Being a Black Academic in America

In the wake of the scandal, The Chronicle Review asked graduate students, junior professors, and senior scholars what it’s like to be an African-American academic today.

“The first thing I learned at college was that as a black student I had ruined college for everyone else.”  Read more here.

I’ll be back in a future post to talk about my experiences from grad school in New England to mid-career at an HBCU in the midst of many micro and macro aggressions along the way.

Comment and discuss below.

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Statera Fiducia

Gravitas, Pietas, Veritas, Severitas, Virtus, Dignitas

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First day back!

First day back–old office packed up, key acquired, meetings attended–big thanks to Helene, Ada, Aparajita, William, Stacy, and Gregory for helping me get things sorted out today! Love my new office!

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Dr. Cherie Ann Turpin

Under the Hood: Gums, Teeth, Vaginas, and Blood

Every once in a while, I like to get a check-up, see if everything’s working under the hood, especially as the year begins to wind down a bit, and especially since Mercury Retrograde is about to arrive on Samhain aka Halloween.

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Samhain

I usually don’t anticipate emergencies or crises in my everyday personal life, but I work in a high-stress environment with constant contact with the public, plus my research, teaching, and committee work tends to put me over the top in terms of stress levels and workload.  There’s something I have been missing lately:

Rest.

This blog has become a part of my workload.

Visiting the doctor should relax me, but as a Black woman, the white coat syndrome always pops up for me, regardless of the reason for my medical visit.  What should relax me actually makes me even more anxious than dealing with my job.

You get the idea.

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I usually do my doc visits around this time of year, and this time I decided to see my psychologist, my dentist, and my gynecologist within a two week period, which usually leads to the other things–followups for more dental work, mammograms, colon checks, etc.

At age 53 I am beginning to realize that my blood pressure isn’t as reliable as I thought it was, and chances are high that I’m going to have to make even more changes than the weight loss I accomplished this year.

One change involves me becoming much more informed about drug interaction and spacing out medical appointments a bit more generously.

Here’s a couple takeaways for you since you’ve taken the time to read my post today.

When you go to the dentist, do make sure (if you are having work requiring gum anesthesia) that you

  • 1) remind your dentist if you have hypertension; and
  • 2) do a frequent check of your blood pressure for about 12-24 hours after the procedure.

Could save your life, and keep you from stroking out or having a cardiac arrest.

Why?

Because until last Thursday, I had no idea that Novocain could cause me to have stroke-ready/cardiac arrest-ready blood pressure.

Where was I?

At the gynecologist waiting for my pelvic exam and pap smear, which ultimately did not happen because my blood pressure was off the charts.  I got as close as being stark naked, save for my socks, but no stirrups or breast exam that day. That’s right–she would not do the exam because my blood pressure was too high.

After having them do my blood and urine tests–which I insisted on because otherwise that whole day out in suburbia would have been a waste–I spent two hours sitting in ER having more tests done before going home and having to monitor my blood pressure.

We are fully in the shadow of Mercury Retrograde, and last week was the beginning of me having to alter my whole way of thinking about my blood pressure and my health overall.   As I get through the rest of fall semester and plan out my podcast episodes, I will need to plan for real resting points.

Everything else besides my blood pressure checked out well for me.  I am healthy, sane, well-balanced in my thinking, which is great for me, and even a relief that my attention to my blood pressure will help me learn how to not allow my work environment to harm my well-being or take me from my sense of grace.

Take your medicine on schedule (I do!), and stay informed — save your own life.

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Dr. Cherie Ann Turpin

“Kenya islanders rehabilitate their environment, lives” – this is also Afrofuturism!

Kenya islanders rehabilitate their environment, lives – AlertNet.

I am inspired to write this brief note about this article because of the optimism of these people as they work to save their living and working environment for the present and for the future.  For these islanders climate change, over farming, overfishing, and deforestation without replanting has had an immediate effect on their ability to sustain a good quality of existence in their communities.  As a collective residents renewed their environment by replanting and growing trees, capturing rainwater and disinfecting it with solar heat, as well as using manure to revive the fertility of the soil.  Residents use refrigerators without electric power, “…lined with charcoal, into which water seeps through a hosepipe fed by a bucket. The wet charcoal absorbs heat and keeps the items inside the fridge cool.”  Recycled plastic containers are painted black on one to capture rainwater and subsequently exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun for disinfection and use by families.

In short, it’s the environment and they “get it.”  This is also Afrofuturism.  Technological advances must take into consideration the needs of the people and the needs of the environment.  These islanders are using technology without becoming dependent on electricity to save their lives, thereby serving as an example to those of us living in the West draining resources with our fancy gadgets and cars dependent on oil and electricity.

As I sit here typing away on my laptop powered by PEPCO, I wonder what we will do when our water resources dry out, when we pull the last fish out of our oceans, when we find that the soil in the Heartland can’t give us another bite of bread because of the chemicals we’ve pumped into the soil and water.  I wonder what we will do when we find that we the people must stop ignoring climate change and do something to save our planet.  The politicians want us to believe that science is a fairy tale and that we can continue to be irresponsible to our planet.  As an Afrofuturist, I know that fairy tales have more than a margin of truth–it would be wise for us to listen to the Earth tell us Her tale and take decisive action to protect Her for the future.