Thank you for saving my life

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. Last Monday I went to Jackson South Medical Center to get the scheduled second dosage of the Pfizer BioNtech Covid 19- vaccine , which hopefully will give me enough immunity to survive this pandemic. I got an excellent care at the facility and I would like to thank its proficient, efficient and enlightened care personnel. In the picture below, you can see Mr. Eduardo Calero, a Miami Fire Rescue member, and Mr. Lorenzo Chen, a guard.

Thank you very much to the glorious members of the Miami-Dade vaccination team and Jackson South hospital.

Note – The picture above was taken by Mr. Wilson Araujo, who can be reached at @wilsonaraujophoto.

I must insist that only through the stubborn determination and excellent social skills of Noël Marie, my dearest daughter, could I get the necessary appointment for the vaccination, even though I qualify two-fold, as a medical provider and someone at least 65 years old. In the picture below you will see us affectionately holding hands. Beso!

After the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, I had a severe febrile and articular syndrome that lasted almost three days; after the second dose, I have had the same syndrome but in a much milder form and hopefully will last less time. I am absolutely certain that if I had encountered this virus in the street, I would have died in a hospital bed. Alone. A few weeks ago, José Luis Garbarino, a dear uncle that was only twelve years older than me, suffered that fate in a hospital in Montevideo, Uruguay. We are still deeply mourning his loss. The pandemic became very personal for us.

In this country of 350 million people, only 40+million people have been fully vaccinated so far. How can that be? We sincerely hope that the new administration of Biden-Harris will get the critical Covid-19 Relief Bill approved quickly. We must vaccinate as many citizens as possible before the dangerous virus variants spread in our vast country.

A certificate of vaccination like this one should be carried in the wallet and handbag of citizens, like a driver’s license.

Speed the vaccination process! Do not procrastinate with concerns of financial costs! We will deal with that issue later.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Wear the Face Mask. Keep the Social Distancing.

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning and Happy Sunday to you all. Even if many of us are finally getting vaccinated, we must continue to wear a Face Mask and maintain Social Distancing in our daily labor/social interactions.

Do not get riskily complacent! The pandemic is still raging unabated across the whole planet.

In an excellent article of the New York Times, Mathew Conlen, Denise Lu and James Glanz said: “the coronavirus pandemic in the United States has raged uncontrollably for so long that millions of vaccinations will not be able to stop the spread of the disease unless people continue to wear masks and maintain social distancing measures until mid-summer or later, according to a new model by scientists at Columbia University.” Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said that only after a critical number of people-either because they got infected and developed defenses or received the vaccination-acquire the needed immunity, will the transmission of the virus start to significantly abate because the organism will find less recipients to jump into. His modeling predicts that, at present infection rates and the speed of vaccinations, that will happen only in July.

The dire Public Health picture of the USA mandates the utmost vigilance for strict precautionary measures. According to the experts only by mid-summer, we will have enough citizens vaccinated to cut the transmission of SARS–CoV-2.

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

 

Finally together!

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. With great pride and pleasure, we inform you that, at long last, my dear children and myself have reunited in the past few days, after several months of forced Social Distancing due to this terrible pandemic. We have enjoyed great moments together, catching up on family gossip, finding out about their latest study and work projects, watching some TV together and, of course, sitting down for a leisure meal in our shaded garden patio.

We chose the catering service of “El Rincón Asturiano” to get paella de mariscos, pulpo a la gallega and croquetas.

In the past few months, we have hardly ordered food and we never went out to a restaurant or bar for a snack. However, the recent vaccination with the Pfizer product and the presence of our dear daughter in Miami changed it.

Thank you God Almighty for allowing us to enjoy the company of our dear children for a little bit longer!!!!

Bon apétit!

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

We got vaccinated!

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. Yesterday, Monday January the 18th, 2020, we got the Pfizer vaccine in our left arm, as you can see in the picture below. It is still very difficult to get any vaccine in the USA, even though we qualify two-fold: we are a health care provider and we are over 65 years old. But our dear daughter Noël Marie aggressively researched how to get an appointment for us and, finally the tweeter account of Ms. Daniella Levine-Cava, newly elected Mayor of Miami-Dade County, announced that there was a new batch of vaccines coming to Jackson South Medical Center.

The picture above shows the moment when the lovely Matika, a nurse at the facility, plunged the needle. Ouchhh!!! She was assisted by the equally lovely Sonia, who checked the paperwork to keep us honest (good luck with that) We were treated like a V.I.P. by all the concerned staff: Lorenzo and Nick, at the sign-in station on arrival, Andrés and Ursula,  at the documentation station where they verify your true eligibility. Thank you very much for your service.

Thanks to their generous and committed work, we were finally able to get this so precious vaccination certificate.

It is funny that the vaccine they administered to us was produced in the Pfizer facility of Kalamazoo, Michigan. In fact it is located in Portage, a suburb of that city, where we spent our days as an Foreign Exchange Student in 1972, the first time we arrived at this generous country. At that time it was named The Upjohn Company and, being interested in going into Medical School after High School, we visited it for a full day, as an honored guest of the scientists and physicians that were running it. We had a great time. Now they prepared this life-saving vaccine. Thank you very much.

Thank you, Ms. Daniella Levine-Cava, Mayor of Miami-Dade County!

Thank you, Keith R. Tribble, CEO of the Jackson Health Foundation!

Thank you, all the marvelous staff of Jackson South Medical Center!

Thank you, Dr. Albert Bourla, CEO of the Pfizer Company!

Muchas gracias, queridissima Noelita!

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

 

 

Che cosa ti ha portato La Befana?

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Today is the Day of the Epiphany when millions of children everywhere will get up early at dawn to eagerly find out what the Three Magi Kings left in their shoes the previous night. We still remember our excitement, and the one of our children, when we discovered a toy, a jersey or a book in them. (we confess that we then preferred the toys)

In Western Christianity, this day celebrates the time when the Three Magi Kings arrived at the humble manger where the baby Jesus Christ was lying in his crib, surrounded by the reverent animals all around. Jesus Christ was born.

Note – This image of Filippino Lippi’s Adoration of the Magii was taken from Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1191547

However, this religious feast has a parallel pagan counter-story in the Italian Peninsula where children are waiting for a dubious character called La Befana to show up with presents. Please visit our previous article on the subject.

Che cosa ti ha portato la Befana?

(What has the Befana brought you?)

Today we are all asking that same question. Moreover, we discreetly wish that, besides bringing toys and other presents on her way in, this feisty witch will take this terrible pandemic away on her way back flying on her broom to her isolated cave somewhere. We need all the help we can get to save us from this dire threat to Mankind’s survival.

Happy Three Kings Day!

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Mad Max (Joe), come to our rescue

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good afternoon. Do you remember that Mad Max was supposedly set in the year 2021? We did not, but we were just reminded by a news anchor in Radio Nacional de España who commented that there were funny memes of it. We have all enjoyed the adventures of that lone Justice Man, in the vein of the Lone Ranger and other similar heroes. Imagine the relief that those defenseless Outback Aussies felt when they saw his virile image coming down the road.

Note – This image from Mad Max, the Road Warrior was taken from Wikimedia Commons.

When we were younger, we all naively believed that the worst scenario for Mankind was that awful hot wasteland crisscrossed by disgustingly looking bandits in a frantic search of victims and petrol to satisfy their basest needs. Hardly did we fathom that there could be a worse scenario like we sadly have today. We have a world now that, due to the economic slowdown of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Social Distancing, has less need of oil and derivatives. The foe that is killing thousands and thousands of our kind is just a tiny microorganisn that likes to jump all around. And our most threatening enemies are the well-dressed politicians and bureaucrats that use a “langue de bois.” Instead of taking care of our urgent need for a massive vaccination campaign in the USA , funded and directed by the federal government, they are fighting about non-sensical issues in D.C,, but at the same time “jumping the line” to get the vaccine. Bunch of deadbeats!

May the Heavens above send us a providential Road Warrior to help us out in this most critical bifurcation from the road ahead of our precious Life.

If incoming President Joe Biden wants “to do it right” , he must similarly get mad at this incredibly inefficient, haphazardly usage of public resources.

And don’t forget to bring your little dog along as it can bite away at the Armani pant’s sleeves of all the useless-talkative-do-nothing D.C. politicians. 

Go get them, Mad Joe!

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Happy New Year 2021

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. We wish you all a Happy New Year 2021, in the company of your loved ones and the realization of your cherished professional and personal goals. May God Almighty grant you those wishes (and many, many more)

After almost a full year of a terrible pandemic, like we have never even fathomed we would go through in Life, we are ready for some glimmer of hope like a massive vaccination campaign to cut the viral transmission for good.

Let us raise our glasses to celebrate the young 2021 and wish good tidings for our families and friends everywhere.

Cheers!

Salud!

Auguri!

A votre santé!

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

125 years of Magical Dreaming

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good afternoon. Today is the 125th anniversary of the first screening of a film in Human History, which took place in the Salon Indien, a small billiard room of the Grand Café in Paris (at the present time it is occupied by the Hotel Scribe) Louis and Auguste Lumière, inventors of the seventh artform, initially tried to rent space in the Musée Grévin or the Folies Bergères but they were roundly rebuffed by the management of both prestigious places. Finally they convinced Mr. Vopini, owner of the 100 places-salon, to rent it for the sum of 35 francs per day; even though they offered him a cut of the profits, he politely declined to participate in the business (an incredibly silly decision)

That day the brothers Lumière held a small conference for notables and journalists earlier in the afternoon to advertise their nightly show; however, they could not convince a single one of them to attend it Saturday night. They could attract exactly 35 badauds (passers-by, which has a connotation of leisurely walking by in French) that paid one Franc each for a total 35 Francs at the box office. The anxious spectators were really expecting a show of marionettes or the Chinese style play with candles. When lights went out and an attendant started to tinker with a box illuminated from the inside, they knew it was different. Then images started to flicker on a white wall upfront.

Mesmerized, those lucky few watched the crude projection of a few sketches of poor technical quality, one after the other. According to an excellent commemorative article in Herodote.net, they saw La sortie des ouvrières de l’Usine Lumière (the exit of the working women form the Lumière factory), Leçon de Voltige à Cheval ( a lesson of horse acrobatics), Pêche aux Poissons rouges, etc. Word of mouth produced a quick reaction of the Parisian public that started to throng the Grand Café to view the marvelous invention. The director of the Musée Grévin rushed to offer 20,000 Francs for the new invention (an exorbitant amount of money) but the Lumière brothers turned it down; the same happened when the owner of the Folies Bergères doubled that offer. It was not that they were waiting for a  bigger cash-out with their invention. On the contrary, they honestly believed that it had no commercial potential and wanted to spare their rich friends from a bad investment. Auguste Lumière told the illusionist Georges Méliès:

“You should thank me, I am sparing you from financial ruin, because that contraption, simple scientific curiosity, does not have any commercial future.”

These two successful businessmen enjoyed the public success of their invention and started to open many cinemas all over Paris; their ultimate worldwide consecration came during the Expositiom Universelle de Paris in 1900. On a humongous screen of 336 square meters, they made 80,000 spectators dream awake simultaneously. Que c’est beau!

We have all, sometime in our lives, dreamt awake in the flickering darkness of a movie theater, with good company.

Let us hope that after this terrible pandemic finally passes away, we can recover that unique magical experience. 

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’ leave me alone.

E Pluribus Unum

Today is not the day when you elbow your way through the maddening crowds to do your last minute shopping.

Today is not the day when you gobble all the leftovers (and more) from last night’s dinner to make you sick.

Today is not the day when you fight a ferocious war of words with your all too insufferable mother-in-law. 

Toady we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior (for Christians) and a savvy teacher (for the rest of people)

In an excellent article in The New York Times, Peter Wehner said: “First-century Christians for what a radical and radically inclusive figure Jesus was, and neither are today’s Christians. We want to tame and domesticate who he was, but Jesus’ life and ministry don’t really allow for it. He shattered barrier after barrier.” He put the example of the famous parable of the Samaritan woman at the well (included in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John) Even though he surely knew that this lady had a “disreputable reputation” (being married five times and living with the fifth without the blessing of a rabbi) Jesus Christ treats her with respect and dignity, without judging her a priori. Grateful with his kind and empathic attitude, she became the first woman preacher of the nascent Christianity.

Note – This picture of Carraci’s Christ and the Samaritan Woman at the well was taken from Wikimedia Commons.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Annibale_Carracci_-_The_Samaritan_Woman_at_the_Well_-_WGA4446.jpg

The same author said: “For Christians, the incarnation is a story of God, in the person of Jesus, participating in the human drama. And in that drama, Jesus was most drawn to the forsaken and despised, the marginalized, those who had stumbled and fallen. He was beloved by them, even as he was targeted and eventually killed by the politically and religiously powerful, who viewed Jesus as s a threat to their dominance.”

In the United States of America there was a politician who followed Jesus Christ’s teachings: Abraham Lincoln. In a 1859 speech, he said: “Nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into this world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows.” In these times of extreme political polarization, where half the country is “red” and the other one is “blue”, we need that inclusive discourse in our civic space more than ever. We must remember that the Founding Fathers created a nation for all the American citizens, not just for half of it. To emphasize the need to include each and every one of them in the great national project, they chose to speak in Latin.

E Pluribus Unum

(Out of Many, One)

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

Mangiamo il bellissismo panettone

Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning and Merry Christmas to you all. As is our custom, we are having breakfast enjoying a big slice of a panettone. For those that do not know the legend behind this Italian specialty that was exported (and we honestly believe, bettered in the River Plate region) we are enclosing a link to a previous article on this treat. Buon appetito!

Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.