Personality of Coronavirus

I am surprised at how compliant everyone has been with wearing a mask. It is mandatory within stores and public buildings, but it is just as common to see people wearing masks outside exercising. In Texas, even with the heat in the 100’s, people are continuing to wear masks outdoors, sweating from fear of the Coronavirus.

I think it would be interesting to do a psychological study of people based on how much they are masking themselves. As concern for the Coronavirus has continued, I’ve noticed people covering up their faces more and more. In retail environments where there have been the most people, I have seen people so covered up you cannot even see their face! How can the police even identify a thief anymore? Women are seen wearing large sunglasses and masks so that only their foreheads are left uncovered. Men wear bandanas that cover up the entire bottom half of their face below their eyes. Whereas in most cases it is difficult to implement any kind of policy, somehow wearing a mask is not even questioned. There are very few people who argue with it. How many of these are wearing a mask for prevention reasons and how many are wearing it because of psychological needs for safety, security, love, and belonging?

I have seen people who have their entire face covered. Is this a sign of care and security that the person is trying to create for themselves? Does the amount of coverage of the face signify fulfilling a need of self-love and way of conquering pain in their life, like trying to swaddle themselves in a baby blanket? Or maybe it is coverage from the fear of contracting the virus built up from all the hype and coverage of media, rather than the virus itself.

Perhaps for some, it is a way to physically look better or a means to lose weight. Sweating under a mask burns off calories on an entirely different area of the body than is typical. Similarly, with weight loss, how is it that a person can breathe who is exercising with their mouth and nose covered? I had a gym membership and it was manageable to walk on a treadmill at a slow speed with a mask on. However, any faster cardio activity was nearly impossible as the mask restrained breathing and caused my face to become really hot. Do people who workout intensely masked think it will strengthen their lungs by restraining their air? For those who are self-conscious about the bottom half of their face, it provides a chance to keep it hidden, but for most of us, we need a full supply of air. Likewise, it is a mystery to me how cyclists are able to ride their bikes completely masked. Yet many of them are cycling miles around the lake at the same speed as normal. How many of the walkers and runners with dogs on a leash do not care that the Coronavirus can be contracted to their pet? Where are the pet masks? Wouldn’t it make more sense if both pet and owner wore a mask or didn’t?

Living in a self-expressive era, people are eager to express themselves and show their personality and style. For those who care to express themselves by mask, wearing a unique mask is a way to do this. The number of styles I have seen have ranged from glitter and bling, to exaggerated mouths on the mask, patriotic versions, cartoons, and plenty of different colors and patterns. Those who love to sew, were quick to see the Coronavirus as an opportunity to show their skills. Handmade masks were made and distributed to friends and family members. Many still wear the basic disposable, blue and white mask. Bandanas also have been a quick makeshift for a mask, easily made by folding a bandana into thirds and popping hair bands on each end.

Very few people are actually practicing social distancing with 6 feet of space, but wearing a mask is followed by nearly the entire population and has become a trend. Has self-expression and the trend for fashion tied in with keywords like “social distancing” created a fad to drive compliancy?

Health and self-expression are always going to be top-sellers when it comes to the general public. Having an ailment or a special condition, makes you a commodity. We see this with parents and their children. “My child has ADHD”, or whatever other symptom, suddenly makes the child “special” and the parents have a topic to talk about. Topics revolve around the problem with their child, rather than emphasizing what the child excels in. This is a way parents can converse with one another encountering less feeling of inadequacy. Empathy can be found with a health issue, whereas bragging on talent might create adversity with another parent. The same type of approach applies to adult-to-adult conversation. Adults would rather discuss their woes rather than talk about what is uplifting. How many older people talk about their pains, medications and doctors visits when it would be more pleasant to hear about their life experiences. It creates a concern for self, which results in compassion from the other person. With the Coronavirus everyone gets a special band-aid pasted on their face.

It is understandable that vulnerable populations such as the elderly might have a greater fear of catching the Coronavirus. One would think that children would be of a higher concern as well. In retail store environments, I have heard mothers question why their children must wear a mask or if an exception can be made. Events and kids meals might make exceptions for kids, but with smaller lungs and little bodies, it would seem obvious they would fall into the high concern bracket. Psychologically is it that the parent feels neglected of care and must nurture themselves by wearing a mask while giving the child the benefit of freedom? The parent positions him or herself as the one who needs care above the child, when it should be both.

With the rich and famous, masking opens up more opportunities to be in public and not be identified. For those aspiring to be rich and famous, they too can dress differently and go around town in mask for a different experience. It is a chance for the affluent to be fashionable and show their sense of fashion by affording specialized masks to coordinate with their outfits. An article was posted about the Queen of England who wears a mask that matches her daily wardrobe of brightly colored suits. I also saw a young woman in downtown Dallas who had a mask made of the exact material of her outfit.  

While some cultures such as Islam require head coverings, covering the face is new for most Western cultures. Will this develop a greater appreciation for our mouths? An uncovered mouth is needed for sound and volume. Many hard of hearing must be affected by not being able to hear people who have mouth coverings on. It may create a new vision for how we see people, noticing the person rather than the external qualities. The mouth is also used for reading facial expressions. A person can take a vacation from smiling and no one will even know. I’ve even seen people stick their tongue out at me from behind their mask. And as for revenue from foundation makeup and lipstick, I would imagine sales are down. Personally, I prefer to be mask-free as much as possible, but follow policies where wearing a mask is required.

Wearing a mask is the perfect prelude to a reformation of etiquette in our culture. After being in timeout with the Coronavirus, with shelter in place, we were able to have a greater appreciation for our freedom and ability to interact with one another. Covering the mouth and nose, can visually signify halting gossip and nosiness, which is also indicative of rudeness. When restrictions were lifted for public shopping, it was a renewed experience of respectfulness of distance and the exclusiveness of having space while shopping. People were obedient to this and cautious of infecting others by following social distancing procedures. Now that most places have opened up, there seems to be not much difference as everyday life returns to normal. When we take our masks off, we will see other people’s faces again. What it would be like to remove the band-aids over our mouths and noses yielding a healed and healthy society of people. Furthermore, what if being mask-free meant a world culture safe from the Coronavirus, and one with a greater respectfulness for each other in our interactions and speech.  

Note: It is noted that the Coronavirus is real and has caused many deaths worldwide. This article is written from another perspective hoping to present other points such as how well marketed the Coronavirus has been with precautions followed seamlessly by the majority of the population because of the scare. A lack of respectfulness in today’s culture is equally contagious and deadly, which is a natural segue to this current worldwide concern.


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COVID-19 and Sporting Kindness

Gyms started re-opening a month ago in some areas of the country. Is it working out?

Taking steps to ensure cleanliness of the facilities and following social distancing recommendations has been a top priority of local gyms in Dallas-Fort Worth after being closed since mid-March due to the Coronavirus. Gyms have geared up with pre-cautions in place. As members enter the gym each person’s temperature is taken with a digital thermometer. At some locations, sports bags are required to be disinfected by wiping them down before entering the gym. Workout areas are available while lockers, showers, and workout classes still remain closed. The workout areas have limitations enforced for social distancing. Equipment such as weight equipment and cardio machines are available with every other station taped off to ensure space between those working out. Members must wear gloves while working out which is strictly enforced. Although masks have not been required since re-opening, they are now required starting this week as part of the next stage of re-opening. As part of this new phase, the gyms can be filled to 50% of capacity and gym classes are being re-introduced. Posted signs throughout the gym remind members of COVID-19 prevention policies to wipe down equipment using disinfectant spray after each use, maintain social distancing, and to wear gloves.


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How-To Say I Love You PODCAST

PODCAST SCRIPT

This is Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness, today is April 17, 2020 and today’s podcast is a How-To Podcast on How-To Say I Love You. Today happens to be the wedding anniversary of my parents so I want to say a quick “I love you” to them and wish them a happy 44th wedding anniversary. This month’s theme is Kindness and Kids, & Kind and today we’re going to be sharing some reminders of the importance of saying “I Love You” and saying this frequently within your family and to your children.

First of all here are some statistics…

Did you know that of full-time working parents, 39 percent of mothers and 50 percent of fathers say they feel as if they spend too little time with their children? 59 percent of full-time working mothers say they don’t have enough leisure time, and more than half of working fathers say the same. Of parents with college degrees, 65 percent said they found it difficult to balance a job and family; 49 percent of non-graduates said the same. 

Based on these statistics, families are finding it more difficult to spend time together. However, with the quarantine mandated by the Coronavirus families must stay home and therefore have more time to spend with each other. Parents also have more time to relax and have some extra time to enjoy leisure activities at home as well as with their families making it easier than ever, with no excuses, to spend time with them and say “I love you”.

Saying “I love you” can be as simple as saying “hello” to a stranger, giving a hug to someone, saying it with meaning to someone you love, giving someone a compliment, doing something for someone, or one of the best ways is to spend time. Spending quality time in person with someone is needed to grow a relationship and to say “I love you”.  It cannot be replaced by virtual contact which has become part of many relationships.

Kids can tell your parents you love them. If they are small they can draw a picture, help around the house, give hugs and kisses, and express appreciation. Tell your parents you love them!

If you are a parent or a single person, to love someone else, you need to make time in your day to love yourself. Self-love doesn’t have to be selfish. We all need time to care for ourselves and in the end it gives you more energy and the ability to love others even better. Here are some ideas. You can take a walk, write, do something you enjoy, take a bubble bath or other self-care like a massage or pedicure, spend time with other people who bring you joy to be around, vary up your day and routine by adding variety in what you do, eat, and wear, dress up, buy yourself something, pray, think good thoughts, exercise, and find time for those hobbies and activities you enjoy.

In families spending time together in person is essential to the family bond between parents and children, as it is with marriages between spouses. As I was recently going through some books I had collected and hadn’t read yet and found this book which goes along with the theme of kindness and kids and kind. The book is called Ways To Say I Love You: To Those You Love the Most. It’s written by Stephen Arterburn, Carl Dreizler & Jan Dargatz. It is important to tell people in your life how much you love them, and this book provides simple ideas and suggestions to express your love to someone by spending time together.

Each chapter of the book shares a creative idea of how to express “I love you”. The first part of the book addresses spouses and the second part of the book is how parents can express “I love you” to their children in unique ways.

I want to share a few of these ideas out of this book. Some of them may not strike you but maybe it will inspire you to do something for another person and spend time with them in a fun, creative, and meaningful way.

 

[A few random selections read from the book: Ways To Say I Love You: To Those You Love the Most by Stephen Arterburn, Carl Dreizler & Jan Dargatz. Listen to the Full Podcast including Excerpts from the Book]

 

These creative ideas are special ways to bring love to a sometimes loveless world. They are for any two people who love one another—husbands and wives, mothers and daughters; fathers and sons; lifelong friends, parents, grandparents, family; the ideas are designed to create closeness in all kinds of loving relationships. I’m sure you can come up with many ideas on your own! Spend this time of quarantine to spend more time with your kids, your spouse, and yourself. Say “I love you” by saying it frequently and showing it by spending time together as a family and with your kids. Build a special bond, by letting them know you love them!

Follow Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness on Facebook and WordPress and on Twitter and Pinterest @cultureofkind

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Ways to Say I Love You: To Those You Love the Most
 
by Stephen Arterburn, Carl Dreizler, and Jan Dargatz

Family Facetime

One benefit as a result of the Coronavirus quarantine, is spending more time at home. For families who are always on the go, this is an opportunity to spend quality time with the family.

With many families, the time spent together as a family is considerably less than it historically has ever been. Spending time as a family helps bring together the family as a unit while providing the opportunity to teach values to children. Parents and children probably spend more time engrossed in their electronics than with each other. True face time, however, is invaluable. Children need to be loved and learn to love, which can only truly be fostered by spending time in person. The time you invest now with your children teaches them how to be loving people. They learn how to survive in a world of hate and how to love others.

Plan some family time if you haven’t had the chance. Try to get on a regular schedule to plan for family events. If you don’t already eat together because of other commitments, try to make it a point to eat dinner every night, or at least most of the week rather than grabbing something on the go. Plan for family game nights. Plan for family outings or a big vacation and have the family members help contribute by giving each family member a specific part in planning for the trip.

You’ll find that family disagreements are easier resolved when you spend more time in front of each other. Families grow together and love each other when time is spent as a family in person. Face it–families need face time to nurture family.

Build Your Kind. With Face Time.

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Books

 

Spring Into Kindness: International Reach

As a country that has access to the best resources, it is easy to take for granted being able to purchase almost anything we need or want at any time. With rows of brands of the same type of item in supermarkets, we have a wide selection to choose from, and within a reasonable price range—granted, not when under national emergency crisis, but even still there are options. With the convenience of having a gas station or major retail store within a few miles, if not on every corner, shopping is a natural part of everyday life. We don’t think much of spending or spending spontaneously to buy items when we are so inclined. In fact, most of what is purchased is what entices us rather than what we need to get by. Waving the flag of consumerism based on capitalism, not every country is as fortunate. Many people in the United States do not consider how stretching a little by chiseling micro-luxuries from everyday expenditures can substantially make a difference in the life of another. Donating to help another person’s life in an impoverished country which does not have these options, let alone the resources available, can bring relief.

There are plenty of organizations which have the specific mission to assist those in other countries. Supplying food is probably one of the top philanthropical missions of international non-profits, but other organizations help assist with housing, building, and other missionary efforts. One of the best ways to get first-hand experience with how others in the world live is to join a group traveling to another country with a mission to lend-a-hand. Many organizations such as Peace Corp, UNICEF, World Vision, Love the Children, and others service other countries in the world. Churches organize mission trips which you can be part of to travel overseas and help within 3rd world communities. Take the risk and have your eyes opened with a fresh view of all we have and the ease we have to obtain what we need. Pulling away from everyday life here in the United States which we are accustomed to and experiencing places which may not have food, water, electricity, or clothing resources as we have, will create an awareness to the daily life of others in the world with their attitudes and outlook. It also generates a new set of eyes for those who are lacking resources in our very own communities with a new understanding of survival and what assistance can be provided.

Global efforts around the world are just as diversified as the people they serve. There are organizations for the environment, social change, children, special needs, women, business leaders, and other world-wide revolutionary efforts.


For More Information:

www.dfwworld.org/media-resources/charity-organizations
www.charity.lovetoknow.com/Top_100_Charities
www.bizfluent.com/list-international-non-profit-organizations-10665.html
www.greatnonprofits.org/categories/view/international

Download a List of Top 100 Non-Profits found online to research for more information


As you put your action plan together to spring into kindness this Spring, consider ways you can donate, volunteer remotely, and ways you can travel abroad to help. Giving a few dollars a month to fund world-wide charity organizations can make a significant difference in providing a daily meal for someone. What could be more interesting than using your talents abroad helping in person! If you haven’t had the chance to travel abroad with a non-profit to help others, consider researching options and plan an adventure this year to spread your kindness across the globe. Make a difference. Reach and spring this Spring, with kindness.


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Go Viral: Clean Up

Several months have passed since the first news announcement of the COVID pandemic went viral. Although people have started to venture out, and businesses are re-opening, a hyper-concern still exists for sterilization, practicing social distancing, and keeping our noses and mouths covered. If only there were such a panic or pandemic with the case of rudeness. What we can do is be prepared for the next rude encounter, the next time someone sets us off, or the next time we are about to act inappropriately toward another. It takes conditioning to be able to master civility. If this were everyone’s preparation, civility would come back into style.

Wearing a stylish mask covers the mouth and nose, but cannot contain the nose protruding into others business or exhaling rude words which has become the standard for today’s culture. What better time than the present than to promote civility of speech while we still have our masks on and are advertising “clean up”? It would seem to be a natural transition while the general public is still wearing masks and is focussed on “clean up”. Cleanliness has become an integral part of everyday, why not upgrade that to speech? Rude speech is by far the largest contaminant to society second to the Coronavirus itself and the physical mask already serves as a good reminder to contain what may be harmful.

While so much concern is spent on keeping everything externally clean, very little time is spent cleaning one’s personal house of your very self. We all have areas to work on. Think about ways of how you can be more kind. Cleaning, if done thoroughly, takes effort at first but the results are well worth it. Start by examining how you are not as kind and then make a commitment to work on those areas. Consider ways of being more charitable in words and actions. With a plan in place and a resolution to be more kind, you’ll whisk away old habits of rudeness leaving a new you!

Go viral with “clean up”. While encouraging cleanliness to prevent the Coronavirus is still very important, equally important is the deadly spread of gossip, hate speech, and discriminatory talk that has become acceptable as the standard of speech throughout the United States. Speak well of others and master civility. Correct those who are contaminated with infectious speech. Consider social distancing from those who are rude and offensive. Raise the standard for etiquette with good speech by encouraging “clean up”.

Be Cultured. Be Kind.

excerpts edited from Go Viral: Clean Up @cultureofkind


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How to Make an Examination of Conscience
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Examination of Conscience for Adults: A Comprehensive Examination Of Conscience Based On Twelve Virtues For The Twelve Months Of The Year
by Rev Donald Miller CSSR


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