Tag Archives: Blog Post 2 – Connected Writing

Domestic Violence in times of Covid-19 Lockdown

The fear of contracting the Corona virus, wearing masks, social distancing, unemployment, economic crisis etc. have been the most highlighted topics since the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 as a Pandemic. Following the declaration, governments declared stay at home or shelter in place orders in some cities. Governments shutting down cities, employers furloughing or asking their employees to work from home, schools, shopping malls and recreational areas being closed, and isolation has taken a toll on many. It is one thing to go through a pandemic and experience a lockdown, but it is immensely unimaginable to be locked down with abusive partners for unknown number of days. The increased amount of time that families have been spending during such times can escalate domestic violence.

As the death toll rises, the stay at home solution deemed to be effective to somewhat reduce the spread of the virus. It is during these lockdowns that some struggle to survive not because they are afraid of the virus killing them (well that too) but in fear of losing their lives in the hands of their own partners. In times like this, victims also find it challenging to report the abuse as they are constantly monitored by their abusers.

According the Marshall project, a non-profit journalism about criminal justice, it is always hard to measure the scope of domestic violence and its particularly hard during a pandemic when families are essentially confined to homes, where a victim can’t easily escape an abuser.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline highlights some of the unique COVID-19 impacts on intimate partner violence survivors:

  1. Abusive partners may withhold necessary items such as sanitizers or disinfectants
  2. Abusive partners may frighten victims by misinforming them about the pandemic to prevent them from seeking medical help if they have symptoms
  3. Abusive partners may withhold insurance cards or threaten to cancel insurance cards
  4. Victims fear if they leave, there may not be space availability in shelters, and they may fear being in close quarters with a group of people
  5. Travel restrictions may also impact a victim’s escape or safety plan

The Decline of Domestic Violence Reports

During the Covid-19 health crisis, victims must contemplate whether to continue to live with an abuser and tolerate pain or look for places to live amid the virus scare, unemployment and lack of access to other public places during the lock down. They are also afraid of further threats from their abusers if they report such cases to the police. Margaret Bassett, a training director at the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the University of Texas, Austin highlights that for victims, sometimes tolerating the abuse is safer when the alternative is moving into a shelter where victims and their children may be exposed to the coronavirus or when the abuser is the primary bread winner as tens of millions lose their jobs. Margaret heard a victim once say “women stay because they are afraid to leave, and they leave when they are afraid to stay”

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/04/22/is-domestic-violence-rising-during-the-coronavirus-shutdown-here-s-what-the-data-shows

Katie Ray Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, gave an interview on Tamron Hall show stating that the agency was concerned about survivors being trapped in their homes with abusive partners and that they would have the inability to seek out help because they were in such close proximity to the person who is most likely watching their behaviors and watching who they are talking to”.  Victims are afraid to report in fear of the several threats they continue to receive from their abusive partners. Margaret emphasizes that for victims of Domestic Violence, their homes are not their sanctuaries and calling the police is a complicated factor especially during a pandemic like Covid-19.

What are Domestic Violence Indicators?

Examples of domestic violence indicators include the following:

  1. Bullying
  2. Physical abuse
  3. Verbal abuse
  4. Sexual abuse
  5. Isolation from friends and family
  6. Confinement at home
  7. Restricted movement
  8. Restricted access or no access to finances
  9. Threats

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-domestic-abuse-signs#1

What can victims do to Seek help?

  1. Have a strategy and carefully come up with a plan
  2. Never announce their strategy to the abuser
  3. Reach out to family members and friends
  4. If possible, leave unannounced and stay with friends and family members
  5. Reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/
  6. Remember that they are not alone and there is help out there, the sooner they leave the safer

To reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline which is available 24/7:

  1. Call 1-800-799-7233
  2. Chat @ thehotline.org
  3. Text LOVEIS to 22522

Here is a link of resources for victims and survivors of Domestic Violence

https://ncadv.org/resources

Working from home

Working from home is a reality for freelancers and entrepreneurs. But has recently become something to adjust to for many affected by the crisis. Working from home and success when working from home depends on a lot of things.

Working from home could be part of your job or career or something that your accustomed to as part of running a business from home. Some may find working from home a struggle when it comes to productivity, juggling tasks at home and focusing on your work. And the financial strain as shown in this USA Today article about a couple spending thousands of dollars on a home office and a teacher having to upgrade her home internet plan to accommodate zoom meetings to name a few examples.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/05/18/coronavirus-remote-work-home-office/5182645002

“It all added up quickly, I had no idea it would cost this much”

Some jobs and careers may have the flexibility of working from home. But for others that are used to working from the office, working from home may be stressful both financially, as shown by the examples in the USA today article, and or emotionally.

Kerry Hannon gives some advice about working from home in order to be more productive and to find the transition easier for your routine.

Overall, success when working from home depends. It could be part of your job, or for freelancers something that you’re accustomed to. But it all comes down to productivity, setting a schedule, and being proactive with your time.

Maintaining Your Mental Health Through a Pandemic.

In the wake of COVID-19, much of the population is still adjusting to the completely different lifestyle that is required to slow the spread of the virus. Perhaps at one time the thought of being at home with nothing to do was one of strong appeal, but as the country is approaching the two month mark of quarantine, that feeling has dissipated.

Those who had already been suffering with a mental illness are some of the people being most affected through the stay-at-home order. With a lack of tasks that need to be completed, a person can quickly feel unproductive and begin, or continue, to spiral into a sort of depression. The loss of income and the uncertainty of the future for many creates an easy path to anxiety-related issues.

In the interest of maintaining mental health, and the importance of it, we must find a healthy way to deal with all that we are feeling. It is crucial that we find a way to become productive during these times, no matter the significance of the task. The Canadian Mental Health Association provided an article displaying ways in which we can aid in the healing of our minds.

Benefits of Good Mental Health – Canadian Mental Health Association

As a brief rundown of the subjects covered:

  • Get Physical
  • Eat Right
  • Take Control of Stress

All of which play a large role in the state of your mental health.

Another resource that I came across while browsing the subject is an article on meditation done by the Black Dog Institute. Within the article there is plenty of information to give an understanding of meditation and what it does for your brain. For the topics covered, the article includes information such as:

  • Physiological effects of meditation
  • What happens to the brain during meditation?
  • Why should you try it?

It is easy to feel worn out after doing a whole lot of nothing, but there are decisions a person can make to solidify the well-being of their mental health. “Your mental illness is not your fault, but it is your responsibility.” – Marcus Parks

Blog Post 2- Blogging as connected writing

The year 2020 has started as a horrible year with the coronavirus making the government shut down many things. One of the big affect that COVID19 played was causing School to close in over 20 states. In the two link below it both talk about COVID-19 and school closures. During the beginning of this Pandemic in mid-march, many school across the United state started closing to help prevent the spread of COVID19. In April, data showed 26 states closed school and there was a suggestion to keep school close for the rest of the year.

Although many school k-12 was closed, the virus continue to rapidly spread through out the United stated and caused the whole school systems to close for the rest of the spring time. It is still on debate if school will be reopen again for the Fall. In Education week, it has the most updated information. as of May 1st, 2020 and it stated “44 states, 4 U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia have ordered or recommended school building closures for the rest of the academic year, affecting approximately 47.8 million public school students” (para. 3).

With school closure, it plays an affect on a lot of things such as parents, daycare services and education learning. At this time, remote learning has taken place and parents are pressured to act as teacher at home and do social learning. This is the only way for schooling to continue but it is tough on those who does not have internet access and essential worker who cannot be home to teach their kids.

Link:

https://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/map-coronavirus-and-school-closures.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/16/835941050/nearly-half-of-u-s-public-school-students-are-home-for-the-school-year

Success.

Do you ever have moments where you sit and think… you could’ve and should’ve graduated already, have married someone by now, bought a home and started a family? That was me.

I remember days where I’d be scrolling through my Facebook or Instagram feed, and I’d feel this pang of envy (aka FOMO) every time I saw a friend or family member’s big announcement. I’d always think to myself, “I should’ve been engaged by now too, right?” or “shouldn’t I have already moved out two years ago?” Of course these aren’t exactly positive thoughts but as a 20-something year old, they came and went rather frequently (especially at family gatherings or events).

This idea of what success is and isn’t is and was no stranger to me. I am the oldest daughter, the oldest grandchild, the “second” mom to everyone younger than me – so it wasn’t hard to comprehend what others wanted for me. Of course, their intentions were good – “I just want the best for you.” “I want you to be successful, that’s all.” And I get that. But, no one should feel like they are bound to someone else’s definition of success.

Forbes published an article in 2016, titled “My Biggest Regret in Life: Going to College.” It highlighted the author’s POV on why you just might regret continuing higher-ed. Many, in fact, do believe that, “College isn’t a shortcut to success. In fact, it may be a roadblock to your success.” And respectively, I understand that too. Everyone’s experiences are different. Someone could’ve had a crappy experience during their first semester while another believes that it’s just a waste of time. In the last few years, the perception behind not going to college is changing – and many are searching for creative ways to obtain real-world experiences without having to spend huge weeps of money for a piece of paper or to “read a book.”

In contrast, Abound: Finish College, a college guidance system for degree-seeking adults, wrote a blog post breaking down the advantages of earning your degree: 1) a changing job market 2) an ill-prepared labor force 3) the impact of a college degree for your family, friends, children and community.

In fact, experts expect that by the year 2020, two out of every three jobs will require a bachelor’s degree.

These are all valid reasons and perspectives – but again, it’s what works for other people. It’s how others define success but it’s not how you define it. So hopefully during this pandemic, you’re able to slow down and truly think about how others have influenced or pressured you into thinking the way they do, how your experiences contribute to who you are today, and what true success looks like [for you] in the next 3-5 years. Maybe even 10 years.

Cheers,

M

Blog post #2 connecting


I am personally a political outsider. I do not owe much if any allegiance to the liberal or conservative party. I personally choose to always vote my conscience or really ask myself what Jesus would do as described by the the four gospels. It feels a lonely life sometimes not voting with my church or family or friends depending on the issue but My own beliefs demand I stand for what I think is right even if inconvenient. This makes it really easy for me to be critical of either party without necessarily being very helpful. Pointing out mistakes that a party makes with its wide audience is easy and even young children can find an example of something a member of a party said that was wrong and condemn the whole party, pointing out insufficiencys is easy when your on the outside.
Ive been trying to work more lately as a bridge between the parts of late. As an outsider its easy for me to acknowledge the merits of both sides and help both sides see that their opponents stand for good important things not just the tearing down of what they believe. I want the party’s to see that they are more the same rather than how they are different both in the good ways but also the bad.
When we read books or movies the anti hero is a popular character. This character contains both the traits of a marvelous rescuer to some degree but also bad or loner characteristics that allows that rich character diversity that makes our minds work hard to and long to decide how we value this character. In the real world we rarely get a hero that is all good [in fact I would say we have none] might I say that all we have are combinations of anti-heros with real dangerous weakness that we support because there is no perfect person to support. In fact it could be felt that we actually are choosing between villains when selecting our leaders [This is especially the case for outsiders such as myself] instead of picking people for the good qualities they possess we select them for the bad qualities they do not possess.
I was reading a triple threat selection of articles and I could not help but feel overwhelmed by the hypocrisy as each side worked to condemn the other for the same crime they found themselves guilty of. I feel it is a losing mindset to do politics this way. perhaps I could describe it: “its okay for my candidate to have problems as long as the other guy gets brought down” or from a more personal fear based perspective “we cant have that other bad person in office so we have to accept our bad person”. All while this is happening they condemn the other side for supporting someone with clear problems [which to be fair is true] but they are completely unaware that they are both in an desperate situation clinging to what they have not what they wish they had like two people stranded in a lifeboat fighting for a broken oar. I wish for less fighting between the sides and more empathy, for themselves who wont admit they are in a bad position but also their opponents who are in the same lifeboat fighting for the same oar believing they know the way to safety. In this age of misinformation we need understanding and composure to see beyond the felt desperation and see that we are in one boat with one oar and in that boat sits not a tiger or a bear but a virtually identical person raised to think about things differently. We cannot have perfect politicians but we can find and elect better men if we are willing to break from this safety of the heard mentality and realize we are strong enough to carry on even if we dont get what we want today.


https://www.theonion.com/republicans-ridicule-democrats-for-caring-as-little-abo-1843160385

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/29/politics/kirsten-gillibrand-joe-biden-support/index.html


https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/david-bossie-trump-hating-media-should-stop-protecting-biden-from-sexual-assault-allegation











Blog Post 2 – Paul Nettles

Due to the spread of the Coronavirus, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Many governors across the United States issued a stay-at-home order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. So according to this article, one state didn’t and there were consequences. Also, a lot of states across the U.S are planning to reopen, or lighten on on their current restrictions.

https://gen.medium.com/how-do-you-reopen-a-state-that-never-closed-33eb43f63129

The article above talks about how the state of Iowa must have missed the memo on how serious the Coronavirus is. Author Lyz Lenz explains how governor Kim Reynolds refused to shut down bars and restaurants when majority of the United States felt that it was best to do so. The governor refused to issue a stay-at-home order. Some employers were proactive a made sure that people began to work from home, while other companies didn’t mandate it until employee’s tested positive. Reynolds issued an order stating that all gatherings of 10 people or more be canceled but allowed an Iowas Horse Auction to continue. The event drew in over 600 people. On April 6th the virus had been discovered in 75 of Iowa’s 99 counties and nearly 1,000 cases statewide. As things got worse Reynolds has been a little more proactive according to the article. The article ends with an interesting quote from Kim Reynolds ““We can’t stop the virus. We have to learn to live with it.”.

Should Minnesota Re-open? These two articles put both options into perspective. I must say that seeing what has happened to the state of Iowa has eased my mind about how Governor Walz has choose to shut the city down. I now feel that the Minnesota’s Stay at Home Order was well needed. As states begin to reopen for the sake of the economy, we all have a big decision ahead of us. Do we stay at home and continue to Social Distance or go back out into the public and try to live a normal life?

Coronavirus ruins senior year events

I didn’t anticipate my final year of my undergrad to be like this, nobody did. Being the first person in my household to get my college degree and walking on that stage was what I was looking forward to but now that’s been postponed to a later date. I’m not too hopeful about it either since anything could happen and it could get cancelled, which I understand. Also not being able to be at classes physically and being stuck at home doing final assignments is very difficult and anxiety inducing, since so many of us probably don’t have the best home environments. Young people all over the world who are either high school seniors or college seniors are all going through the same things, we are missing out on our important milestones that we worked so hard to achieve.

This article shows interviews of 5 seniors who range from either high school or College. One of them is part of their high school school paper, they’re bummed out that things are cancelled but they’re thinking positively and working online with other members in the school paper to publish papers online and talk about what others are doing at home. Another interviewee is a nontraditional college senior, he graduated high school ten years ago and was looking forward to this day for awhile, but of course things happen and he’s just looking forward to getting his degree. The thing he’s upset about is not being able to be in classes physically and using the resources on campus.

This article discusses the ways people around you can help but I also think you can use it to help yourself. The first step is to acknowledge their feelings. The seniors will probably feel sad and hurt and it’s important to notice their feelings and talk about it. A lot of them haven’t experienced something like this. Second step is encourage them to stay connected. Right now it’s a hard time to stay connected with people, especially if we cant see them physically. So it’s important to connect with people virtually. It’s the perfect era for social distancing since we have so much social media. Third step is to focus on what they can control. They can think about what they can do after this pandemic, like plan a big trip with friends or family, have a party, anything that’s super positive. Fourth step is emphasize the greater good. Talk about the reasons why this is happening and why they’re important. It’ll give them a better understanding and not be too upset.

Although everyone has been looking forward to graduations, proms, finishing up classes and saying final goodbyes to peers and teachers, we know that we’re not alone and after this pandemic we’ll celebrate and have the fun we deserve.

Prisoners of marijuana…

Many people celebrated the stoner holiday of 4/20 yesterday. I’m almost positive all of the participants woke up today, unless they passed overnight from some other type of illness or complication. Marijuana to date has caused no birth defects, no overdoses, and no person to eat someone’s face off on the beaches of Miami (true story). Marijuana has been made legal in 11 states recreationally, and 33 medically. If my math is correct marijuana is legal, at some capacity, in 44 of 50 states. So why are people of color in the United States arrested at a much higher rate for selling or possession of a drug that is actually more helpful than harmful (research has actually proven this statement to be true).

https://drugabusestatistics.org/marijuana-incarceration/

This article uses visuals, specifically graphs, to show the number of people arrested for possession of marijuana in the United States, during certain years, and even compares it to the number of people arrested for possession of other controlled substances. Some of the years there are more people arrested for marijuana, which again has recorded no deaths due to overdose, than other deadly drugs. This article does touch on a good point, that arrests don’t equal sentences. However, once you are arrested you are put into the system and sometimes have to spend days in a county jail because you aren’t able to post bail. Is that really necessary for non-violent, [legal in some state] drug offenders?

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/opinion/lifers/2019/09/04/pot-weed-war-marijuana-prison-life-sentence-lifers/2057276001/

This article from USA Today discusses how people of color are being placed in jail for non-violent drug offenses at a much higher rate than white drug dealers. It also points out that the amount of revenue made from the legal marijuana business is in the hundreds of millions and most of the people benefiting from that profit are white business owners. The opportunity to be a legal marijuana distributor aren’t as plentiful for people of color and seeing the incarceration rates that is something that needs to be discussed and changed.

Ultimately, I do believe that anyone who was convicted and sentenced for a non-violent marijuana charge in a state that marijuana is legal should be released and their record wiped clean. I personally know people who have a felony record for selling marijuana and haven’t been able to do things like vote, get a good job, or a place to live because of it. They aren’t even able to receive federal financial aid to continue their education once released from prison leaving them to low paying jobs and unsafe living conditions. If an industry is making hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few years alone, maybe they can find careers for inmates released after doing hard time for a crime that brought no harm or foul to any person.

Bullies are Cowards Proven By me!

Are you bully? If yes, you already know what I will be talking about so read my other blogs. Or have you seen bully person. If yes, what do you remember about them. They are loud and show off other people what they are doing. I can tell you this, bully person is coward in nature because they only target those they perceived as weaker, so long as you remain passive and complaint, you make yourself target. You should never stay complaint hoping that they will come to their sense and one day stop bullying you. Most people will you that to place yourself in a position where you can safely protect yourself and you might ask, how about bully how is bigger than you. I will tell you otherwise, be willing to bully the bully themselves until they know that you are not weaker person. I remember friend of mine who was smaller in size but was most feared person in our group. If older guys bully him, he will start fight every time he sees that person. Whether they are ready for fight or dressed up for wedding, o mourning for their mothers’ grave. I am not suggesting you bully but I will tell you that make bully to never ever bully you because if you let them once, it will be haunting you forever