Earth “minutes” and turning the page

The beginning of the year started with critical minutes of being at the wrong or right page at the right / wrong time, taking in the “lessons learned” and see what we can do to help ourselves, our neighbors, our globe 🌍 whether it’s climate change, a tragedy, and even an opportunity that you have not “noticed” before. Let’s reframe!

We have witnessed entire towns and villages in Turkey 🇹🇷 and Syria 🇸🇾 disappear almost 30K dead according to CNN news, with estimates over 40,000 people possibly gone due to an earthquake of the worst in the 21sr century besides the 9,5 Richter scale in Chile in 1960. Be aware of what to do to protect yourself in event of an earthquake as CDC advises for prevention!

This morning in this little church of Saint Gerasimos in the city of Patras in Peloponnesus, I heard the priest say to a very stressed videographer preparing for a christening, “don’t stress because you might not be here tomorrow”… perhaps 🤔 he was referring to stress related issues as this is February the month of preparing for heart ❤️ health, or maybe due to the massive loss in the neighboring countries. I listened to these words of wisdom and appreciated the time I had to pray 🙏🏼 for all these lost souls, and pray for the living !

Then we had the snowstorm “Barbara” did we think that it “inconvenienced” us or perhaps helped us gain some snow literacy ? In some parts of the globe it’s natural to get “snowed in” we may gather supplies and equipment great for a few days, and be realistic to ask questions of the local municipality and government. Streets which have constant potholes less room for parking will suffer more when the snow falls as snow ploughing may be difficult. In other parts of the globe local contractors help with small trucks so as to take the ownership off the government.

Elon Musk gave us his recommended reading list for the past year of 9 books (reinvent life !) and it still seems that some still like to read, while younger generations spend more time on social media and everything online and don’t read enough (except the comments on YouTube or TikTok videos!?). After a very stressful last two years finally many people are rethinking their life, beyond the New Year’s resolutions. Maybe the year of the rabbit 🐇 will finally help some of us move on for things we were stuck in our minds! Let’s turn the page …seeing new horizons and help protect our earth 🌍 as reminded by our Mardi Gras (also known as Carnival) statuette in the city of Patras waiting for their big Carnival event!

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Snow melts, let’s move on from the Covid pandemic !

The latest big news 📰 on the pandemic when trusted expert, Harvard doc and occupational health specialist Dr. Stefanos Kales speaks we listen. He was the first to address the preventive power of face masks during the pandemic and now says let’s “move on”! check out his interview.
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Recently many parts of the globe 🌎 experienced extreme snow ❄️ ⛄️ even as far as the Middle East. Just like some endemic diseases, climate changes are here to stay. But as with all we learn and move on.

A couple of years ago our post on “snow literacy” proves current today. The earth 🌍 of extremes — floods, snow emergencies in winter months, more floods and extreme heat 🥵 causing fire 🔥 in summer months.

This year started with a big “snow ball” in greater Athens, and all parts of Greece which are unaccustomed to so much snow… although children live for “forced snow days” — the perfect ‘powder snow’ can turn into sticky mayhem that can make many adults very unhappy and life can suddenly become treacherous on the roads or in the home (power outages or worse fires 🔥). It’s the first time that the National road had hundreds stranded causing the government an unneeded headache and necessity to reimburse drivers.  Some narratives still show that our snow literacy  ❄️  ⛄️ is severely lacking.

There are many types of snow that one can find from places like the ‘National Snow and Ice Data Center’ (Types of Snow, NSIDC). We all can remember at least once making those wonderful snow angels so why ruin that pleasantry with a tragedy film of small-town America which received low reviews this past decade (Snow Angels from the New York Times Review).

Snow melts, hence ice, hence slippage and likely injury.  You need to sweep and shovel the snow, throw sand or salt on it as it melts, and at night when it is colder tread carefully (including appropriate shoes, and car tires) or not at all.  Avoid slipping, sliding, to prevent injury. Of course on the other hand, some physical therapists, orthopedics and sports doctors will have some extra work!

Question #1 — do most societies experience high violent crimes especially by teens and young adults due to CoVid lockdown?  as these years are the highest age of ‘sensation-seeking behaviors’ and the pent-up energy needs to be redirected into a more positive societal outlook? 

Question #2 — can parents afford to not go to work because their kids stay home? Why do kids with few symptoms COVID positive need to stay home 🏡 more  than 4-5 days? Focus on immunity building and as for the snow, some municipalities do not have enough snow plowing machines, and worse no salt to throw on the ice.

Question #3 — unrealistic expectations from some people — do you expect the government to actually plow your front door and sidewalk ? 😱 change policy and change thinking, buy a snow shovel and salt. Take some personal responsibility. This learned helplessness attitude needs to change.

Yes indeed, snow literacy should be one of the fundamentals of survival and overall health literacy AND yes 🙌 we need to move on from a “pandemic”, the data speaks !

One might think it was the Swiss Alps! Attica, Greece 2022
Photo by Rulo Davila on Pexels.com

The “forced” snow day

It’s snowing ❄️ in Greece

Today I choose “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven and I did not realize the cartoon Angry Birds had satirized “Ode to Snow” as there are many poems dedicated to the beautiful crystallized water. A friend sent me this image of the stones on her balcony which had formed a beautiful heart …. it’s a reminder I said of God’s love.

Epidemiologists are happy today because people have been forced to stay inside due to the snow ❄️ In warn climates people find it hard to stay indoors. Much to our distress we often find worse crowds on the street, “walking their dog”or loading up on toilet paper in the supermarket (the Purple Heart !) . Hearts go out to families in locations with power outages in cold, the homeless, and strays ….may you find warmth soon

Love ❤️ and virtual hugs 🤗

People do not seem to understand that getting a vaccine is not full proof. It will take TIME and maintaining some sense of physical distancing is continuing to be important (official wording see January Global Health Promotion Sage Publications here) as well as wearing your mask 😷.

Adults made snowmen/women for the first time ! Children found it hard to resist making snow angels and why not? They increase their physical activity, and joy for all, as it is the elixir to good health !

One last note 📝 we all need some snow literacy …I hear crazy demands on the government to clean front doors, people ask “why do we need salt?” “What are snow tires?” The list goes on ….meanwhile enjoy the winter wonderland for a few days. Be happy and sing your own “Ode to Snow” ⛄️ today !

February winter

We need some ‘snow literacy’

Perhaps it is due to ‘chance’ or is it related to climate changes, but many parts of the world are having some unusual weather.  Take snow in greater Athens.  Unexpected yet so perfect ‘powder snow’ as the image below from Kifissia (Northern suburb of Athens).  In most places it was about 1 foot of snow (0.30 cm.) but in other places over 4 feet (1.22 meters). From the perspective of our individual and community knowledge and what I’ve been seeing in the local news here in Greece, our ‘snow literacy’ is lacking. Then again, some other crazy stories from snow-familiar places like New England (U.S.) who put out calls for snow emergencies are similar — this includes the guy who went jogging during a snow emergency and was accidentally plowed over because the snow plower worker did not see him (understandable due to low light or snow flurries)… or people driving fast in dangerous snow conditions.

There are many types of snow that one can find from places like the ‘National Snow and Ice Data Center’ (Types of Snow, NSIDC). We all can remember at least once making those wonderful snow angels so why ruin that pleasantry with a tragedy film of small-town America which received low reviews this past decade (Snow Angels from the New York Times Review).

snowy kifissia

Snow melts, hence ice, hence slippage and likely injury.  You need to sweep and shovel the snow, throw sand or salt on it as it melts, and at night when it is colder tread carefully (including appropriate shoes, and car tires) or not at all.  Avoid slipping, sliding, to prevent injury. Of course on the other hand, some physical therapists, orthopedics and sports doctors will have some extra work!

Question #1 — why go running in your school courtyard if your principal told you not to go out?  This happened to a school today in Northern Greece and the young man (anonymous) at about age 15 (the highest age of ‘sensation-seeking behaviors’ as described by developmentalists) fell and broke his leg.  His parents are now going to sue.

Question #2 — can parents afford to not go to work because their kids’ schools are declared closed?  This is because the municipality does not have appropriate snow plowing machines, no basic shoveling done, and worse no salt to throw on the ice.

Question #3 — unrealistic expectations from some people expecting the government to actually plow their front door or worse, beating up the slow plower person because they did ‘not do a good job’ with the street? This is another unrealistic expectation.

Question #4 — why can’t people be responsible to take care of ploughing their front sidewalk as they do in other parts of the world, else be fined?  This could include cleaning up waste or unwanted tagging graffiti (some of it is done because the thieves want to ‘mark’ their target territory). Since we also want to respect cities I must emphasize the recent ‘fines’ placed on a 15-year-old Greek girl who thought it would be ‘cute’ to write her name and ‘was here’ on a historical bridge in Florence, Italy. She got caught, fined, and could have faced imprisonment.  My final question — why are we not following suit in common sense policies and procedures?

Yes indeed, snow literacy should be one of the fundamentals of survival and overall health literacy.