THE CONSUMER VISION
Address: 359 Coggeshall St., New Bedford, MA 02746
Email Address: email@example.com
Publisher: Bob Branco
Editing and Proofreading: David and Leonore Dvorkin
Formatting: David Dvorkin
TABLE OF CONTENTS
In this Table of Contents, three asterisks *** are
used to separate the title of each article from its author. In the
same way, three asterisks *** will be used to separate articles to
make using your browser’s search feature easier. If any of you have
screen readers that make searching difficult or undoable with
asterisks, please let us know not only that, but also if three
number signs ### would be easier. If you are a screen reader user
for whom neither symbol works, please let us know what works best,
and we’ll do our best to accommodate.
In columns like Special Notices, Readers’ Forum, and
Recipes from Karen Crowder, letters of the alphabet—A, B, C,
etc.—are used to separate items.
1. HEALTH MATTERS: A Model for Hair Salon Reopening
During the Pandemic ***
by Leonore H. Dvorkin
2. THE BLIND AND THE CORONAVIRUS *** by Bob Branco
3. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: Pass It On *** by James R.
4. A WORD ABOUT SPORTS: A Silent May in Indianapolis
*** by Don Wardlow
5. WEATHER OR NOT: The 2020 Hurricane Season
Predicted To Be Very Active *** by Steve Roberts
6. SAFETY MATTERS *** by Ray Irving
7. THE BLIND ON THE JOB
8. TURNING POINT: The Coronavirus and the Mental
Health Crisis *** by Terri Winaught
9. TIDBITS FROM TERRI *** by Terri Winaught
10. RECIPE COLUMN *** by Karen Crowder
11. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
1. HEALTH MATTERS: A Model for Hair Salon Reopening
During the Pandemic
by Leonore H. Dvorkin
Copyright May 28, 2020
I welcome comments on any of my articles.
As U.S. deaths from COVID-19 pass 100,000, we’re all
wondering when and how this will end. Will we ever have a vaccine?
Barring that, will we have a safe and effective drug to treat the
symptoms? Will the virus somehow die out on its own? The truth is,
no one knows. We can only do our best to adjust to and cope with
this exceedingly strange and disconcerting new normal.
My old normal has been sadly curtailed. For several
decades, I’ve been self-employed as a tutor of foreign languages
and as an instructor of small exercise classes, and for the last 11
years, as an editor of books. While I used to teach in a variety of
other locations, I’ve been working entirely at home for many years.
Now I’ve had to cancel the exercise classes, which I’ve taught
since 1976, and I need to work with my language students by Skype.
Not everyone likes that method. As a result, my income has dropped
by several hundred dollars a month.
In addition, I’ve had to cancel the monthly meetings
of our Spanish and German conversation groups. Those meetings ended
in March. Right now, we have no idea when the meetings can resume,
or even if all the members will survive, given that most of the
members of my exercise classes and the language groups are in their
50s, 60s, 70s, and even 80s.
For all too many people in this country and around
the world, there are the life and death issues of employment or its
lack, unemployment benefits or the lack of them, and how to obtain
food. David and I are most fortunate that we have Social Security
benefits, Medicare, and gainful self-employment, so we don’t have
to worry about those all-important issues. We are sorry beyond
words for those who do.
But apart from major issues like those, many people
wonder what we should be doing about things like regular medical
and dental appointments and even haircuts. The idea of putting off
what were regular medical checkups makes us very nervous.
Some may consider worrying about haircuts beyond
silly. People who don’t color their hair and wear it long can just
let it grow. However, that does not describe most of us, and
knowing that we look unkempt makes for considerable unease. While
my husband always trims his own hair very short with a clipper, I
usually go every six weeks for a professional trim of my quite
short hair with bangs. But the salon I’ve gone to for 22 years,
along with all the other salons and barber shops in Colorado, was
ordered to close for several weeks.
I was more than a month overdue for a trim, feeling
quite shaggy and really kind of depressed about it all, when my
hairdresser, Renée, called and said that she is now taking three or
four clients a day – vs. her usual seven or eight. She described in
detail all the precautions the salon is taking. What she told me
reassured me enough that I felt confident that I would be safe if I
went for a haircut on May 18. And so I did.
Those precautions are so impressive that I describe
them here as a model for safe reopening. I hope that hair salons
and barber shops in your area are being equally careful.
I was told that only clients would be admitted; no
one could accompany them. Also, no more than a total of three
clients at a time would be admitted. That sounded quite reasonable,
as the various hairstylists’ stations are spaced well apart. I was
also told that everyone inside, including me, would have to wear a
mask at all times. For the washing of my hair and the trimming
around my ears, I could simply slip off the ear loops holding the
mask and press the mask to my nose and mouth.
I was met outside the door by a young woman who took
my temperature and then asked me questions about any symptoms,
recent travel, etc. Once I was inside, some drastic changes were
obvious. The waiting area chairs were turned so no one could use
them. There were no more coffee and tea supplies. All decorations,
like the artificial flowers and the jewelry that they normally
sell, were gone. For supplies like shampoo and conditioner that one
can purchase, there was a big sign affixed to a shelf. “STOP,” it
said. “DO NOT TOUCH. ASK FOR ASSISTANCE.”
Inside the large room where the stylists work, there
were indeed only three stylists cutting hair, and they were much
more than six feet apart. The three fixed basins for washing hair
are closer together, but there was a new wall of Plexiglass between
each one. I was the only one getting my hair washed at the time.
While Renée did not wear gloves to trim my hair, she said that she
uses hand sanitizer and carefully sanitizes her entire station
between each customer. She even told me that she is not allowed to
remove her mask at any time while inside; to drink water or eat,
she has to go outside.
While it was odd to get a haircut with a mask on, it
worked, and I was so happy to see my neatened-up image in the
mirror that I nearly cried. I felt like myself again. Renée seemed
very happy to be back at work, and she was touchingly grateful for
the considerably larger than usual tip I gave her. I felt it was
the least I could do to help make up for the drastic loss of income
she has suffered.
I left the salon feeling lighter, more attractive, a
lot happier -- and SAFE. Hurray for the wisdom and good care of the
owner and the employees of Reflections Salon and Spa. May we all
stay healthy and meet each other again on the other side of all
this, with our mutual smiles once again on full display.
About the Author
Leonore H. Dvorkin and her husband, the writer David
Dvorkin, have been married since 1968 and have lived in Denver,
Colorado, since 1971. They have one son and one grandson – which
Leonore notes is the same as it was for her great-aunt Leonore Dunn
Fertig, for whom she was named. Both also survived breast cancer.
Leonore’s four published books are listed below. The
copyright dates given are for the most recent editions. All the
books are available in e-book and print from Amazon and other
1. Her one novel, set in the 1960s: Apart from You (C
2. Autobiography: Another
Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Journey (C
3. Her breast cancer memoir in Spanish: Una nueva oportunidad
a la vida: El camino de una sobreviviente de cáncer de seno
(C 2012) Translated by Gloria H. López
4. A humorous fantasy play, with photos by the
Glass Family: A Play in One Act
David and Leonore invite you to visit any of their
websites for full information about their 33 published books, their
dozens of essays, Leonore’s language services, their editing and
self-publishing business, and more. Several of the regular
contributors to this newsletter, including Bob Branco, are among
their more than 50 editing clients.
David Dvorkin: http://www.dvorkin.com/
Leonore Dvorkin: http://www.leonoredvorkin.com/
DLD Books Editing and Self-Publishing Services: http://www.dldbooks.com/
2. THE BLIND AND THE CORONAVIRUS
by Bob Branco
The other day, I was speaking to a blind person
about how this pandemic affected her. As it turned out, she is one
of those individuals who believe that all of our American rights
and freedoms have been taken away from us because of the shutdown.
It’s one thing if she believes that we lost our free America, but
she also went on to say that her rights as a blind person are
violated, and that she is being discriminated against because she
cannot find a job right now.
Here is my very blunt reaction to those comments.
First, nobody denies that blind people are discriminated against.
It has happened to me at one time or another. We get it. However,
given the problems that exist right now throughout this country and
throughout the world, I don’t think this is the right time for a
blind person to cry discrimination. While this woman may be
struggling to find work, there are over 38 million sighted people
out of work. The coronavirus crisis does not discriminate. It
doesn’t care if you are sighted, blind, black, white, short, tall,
French, Spanish, or of any other nationality. When most of these
sighted workers return to their jobs once the pandemic is over,
then blind people will once again have reason to claim
discrimination if they are turned away from jobs for reasons we are
all familiar with. Now is not the time.
3. COMMENTARY AFTERMATH: Pass It On
by James R. Campbell
In January of this year, Aunt Sue and I went to the
local Albertson’s supermarket to purchase items for a pot of
homemade soup. In the fresh meat section, she saw a large number of
briskets. “Why not buy a brisket and fix supper some night for
Courtney and the kids?” she suggested. “That’s a good idea! We
haven’t done that in a long time,” I responded gladly. The brisket
we bought cost $25.00. It was big enough to feed the two of us and
Courtney’s family for a few days. The meal was enjoyable, and
everyone had a very good time.
Fast forward to May 18th. We went to the
same store and looked at the meat. The prices are beyond belief.
The brisket that cost $25.00 in January now sells for $57.00 and
up. We were lucky to find a pork roast for a reasonable price.
And that’s the way it is all across the land. The
reason: the pandemic. Some of the meat processing plants are
closed. A number of people who work at these facilities have become
ill, and the farmers can’t get their products to market. The result
Grocery prices are at their highest level since
1974. In the past three months, family budgets have been stretched
almost beyond their limit. At no other time since the Great
Depression of the 1930s have we faced a crisis of this scope and
This current generation isn’t used to these
conditions. We, the Baby Boomers and beyond, are accustomed to
enjoying anything we desire that we can buy. Fast food takeout and
microwave meals have replaced the home-prepared fare that Aunt Sue
grew up with in Bryan County on a southeast Oklahoma farm.
My grandma told stories about a community minder who
would visit the homes during the rationing of the Second World War
to inspect the dining tables of the residents. The laws concerning
rationing were strictly enforced. Aunt Sue thought he was a snoop,
but the residents took it in stride for the sake of our fighting
men overseas. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that many
people are now hoarding whatever they can get their hands on. This
does nothing for those who engage in this activity, let alone
others who need food and supplies.
Recently, a podcast appeared on the sgi.usa website.
The focus was on the Buddhist take on the pandemic. One of the
things that was mentioned in the podcast was how karma plays into
the present circumstances. According to Buddhist theory, the karmic
result of greed is famine. Those of us who buy food and waste it
(and I’m just as guilty as anyone else), those who ignore the hungry
and homeless, and the population in general are reaping the reward
for our greediness.
Yet, to be fair, there have been acts of generosity
at work during this time, as well. My friend in New York City gave
the food she didn’t want to her workers for distribution to the
homeless. Last Sunday, Aunt Sue and I received a box of groceries
from a woman who gets Meals on Wheels. She didn’t like the items in
the boxes, so she gave us the groceries. It’s our intention to
share with the widow who lives next door to us and Courtney’s
Let me close with this advice: If someone gives you
a grocery box, and some of the items aren’t to your liking, pass it
on. Just because the food doesn’t suit your taste, that doesn’t
mean that 10 other people won’t appreciate it. Only do it quietly,
so as not to hurt the feelings of the person who gave it to you.
As always, thanks for your time.
With loving kindness,
James R. Campbell
4. A WORD ABOUT SPORTS: A Silent May in Indianapolis
by Don Wardlow
The city of Indianapolis usually begins to buzz at
the beginning of May, leading up to The 500 on Memorial Day
weekend. At its peak, when some 400,000 spectators went to the race
every year, nobody had to call it The Indy 500. If you were in the
club, The 500 was all you had to say. Twice, war put a stop to the
race. This year, for the first time since the first 500 in 1911,
the race had to be postponed for a cause other than rain or war. The
cause is the coronavirus pandemic. As of now, the great race will
take place on Sunday, August 23.
The first 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
came from the mind of Carl Fisher, who would become famous a decade
later for making Miami Beach a destination. Charles Leerhsen’s
brilliant book Blood
and Smoke reads like a thriller, but it’s a true tale
of the mayhem and mass confusion surrounding the first 500. Even
before World War I, drivers from Europe were coming to test their
mettle at Indianapolis. There were no races in 1917 or 1918, with
American troops fighting in France. Two decades later, races were
cancelled between 1942 and 1945 as America and her allies battled
the Axis powers. Between the wars, the race became a sensation in
Indiana and to some extent in other parts of the country. Nobody
thought twice if they saw a license plate from Kansas or Minnesota
in the parking lot at the speedway, and this was well before the
Interstate highway system. World War One flying ace Eddie
Rickenbacker, who had finished 11th in the first 500,
owned the track from 1927 until 1941. He sold it to Tony Hulman and
his family, who resurrected the mostly abandoned speedway once
World War Two was over. The family owned it until Roger Penske
bought it last November.
Starting in 1946, the next five decades were the
glory years at the speedway. As early as 1912, AAA had sanctioned
the races. That’s the same AAA people call for help if their cars
break down. AAA pulled out after legendary driver Bill Vukovich was
killed in the 500 on Memorial Day 1955. From then until the race in
1995, the US Auto Club (USAC) was the sanctioning body. A new
group, Championship Auto Racing Team (CART), rose up to challenge
USAC for reasons that are hazy a quarter of a century after the fact.
The resulting rift kept most of the best drivers away from
Indianapolis, starting in 1996. They began to return in 2005, the
year Danica Patrick became the most successful woman ever to race
in the 500.
Since 1946, the race has always been run. It might
be held back for a day because of rain. In 1973, pouring rain and
two horrific crashes caused the already delayed race to be
shortened to just over 330 miles. The race was moved from Memorial
Day itself to the fourth Sunday in May starting in 1974. In 1986,
it rained that day, and the race wasn’t run until the following
This year, trouble hit the sports world in March.
Baseball, the sport no disease or war could stop, folded its tent
before the pandemic on March 12. The newer sports followed baseball’s
lead. An eerie quiet has hung over sports venues since, and a pall
has hung over the city of Indianapolis. Some who regret the delayed
race have taken comfort watching past races on YouTube. The day the
500 was scheduled, ESPN2 showed a mix of Monaco Grand Prix and 500
races, as both have been run on the same day for some years. But
nothing can make up for the lost income and excitement. Instead of
a month-long festival, Indianapolis will barely get 11 days this
year. The first practice will be held August 12, with the race
taking place on the 23rd. Nothing has been decided about
whether fans will be allowed in. Since the track has no lights, the
race has to be run in daylight, and August heat in the Midwest is
something else compared to hot weather near the water where you
might get a breeze. Simon Pagenaud, last year’s winner, has to wait
another couple of months to see if he’ll be the first champ to
defend his title. Helio Castroneves did it in 2001 and 2002. It
hasn’t happened since.
Then there’s the story of Russ Van Treese, age 97.
He was taken to his first 500 as an infant in 1923. He’s been to
every race since, 92 more in all, leaving out 1942-45. He remembers
his favorite finishes—Wilbur Shaw winning in 1937 and Al Unser Jr.
winning on a frigid May Sunday in 1992. He saw Bill Vukovich, a
favorite driver of his, lose his life in 1955. Russ’s wife stopped
going after seeing a 16-car crash early in the 1966 race. Van
Treese fell a few weeks ago, a fall that would have broken his
streak. He told the Indianapolis
Star that waiting three months felt like forever, but
if he’s alive, he will be at the next 500. Indianapolis and the
racing world are with him.
5. WEATHER OR NOT: The 2020 Hurricane Season
Predicted To Be Very Active
by Steve Roberts
Every forecast group that does seasonal hurricane
prediction is calling for an active to very active hurricane
season. There are several factors that lead weather forecasters to
believe that we are in for trouble from the tropical Atlantic.
What factors are at work that will make this season
Sea surface temperatures are way above normal. The
warmer the water, the stronger a hurricane that forms out over
those waters will be. Warm water enables a hurricane to be more
severe than if the water temperatures are average to below average.
Historically speaking, the years that the Atlantic is at its
warmest are also years in which Atlantic hurricane activity is at
There is a lot of rising air motion out over the
tropical Atlantic. Rising air motion is conducive to convective
activity that is the life blood of hurricanes.
There is a lot of convective activity out over
Africa. This convection will enable the tropical waves that come
off the West Coast of Africa to be more robust. These stronger
waves will go on to be better seeding systems for stronger
There are also indications that the winds blowing
across the Atlantic will be of uniform speed and direction with
height in the atmosphere. This is highly conducive to the development
of tropical storms and hurricanes out in the Atlantic.
Climate forecasters see no signs of El Niño during
the next six months’ time. El Niño is the periodic warming of the
eastern and central equatorial Pacific. During these warm phase
events, there are strong westerly winds that blow from the eastern
Pacific out into the Caribbean Sea. These winds cause wind shear
that cuts the tops off of the thunderstorms that go on to develop
into tropical storms and hurricanes.
There is a possible La Niña on the way. Should this
cold phase take place, there could be even more hurricanes than are
currently being called for. The official forecast from NOAA calls
for 13 to 19 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes, and three to six
Meteorologist Dr. Todd Crawford says that the door
is still open for a hyperactive hurricane season. If a La Niña
develops in the Pacific, then this season could be more active than
we currently predict.
Steven P. Roberts is the author of The Whys and Whats of
Weather, C 2014.
Website with full details of this book and his novel
6. SAFETY MATTERS
by Ray Irving
I attended a coronavirus support group last
Thursday, as I do each week. The group is hosted by Bob Branco. We
talk about how the virus has made things difficult for the blind to
follow social distancing regulations. Someone in the group referred
to it as a blindemic. This got me thinking about how the pandemic
has affected so many groups. We, the blind, are not the only
So many lives have been turned upside down because
this virus is so contagious. All sports spectatorships have been
canceled; no doubt they will take a huge cut in pay. Musicians will
be out of a job. All other forms of entertainment will basically be
The hardest hit, in my opinion, are the kids who are
still in school, particularly the class of 2020. Can you imagine
missing out on your senior prom or having a picture taken of you
walking across a stage to pick up your diploma while wearing a mask?
Couples who live in separate states have to wait
until the borders re-open before they can get together again.
So you see, we are all in the same boat, and we will
get through this together. We just need to think of creative ways
to stay safe! After all, isn’t that what all these safe distance
rules are about?
Should, we the blind community, ease up on social
distancing? Would that keep us safe? It’s no secret that keeping a
safe distance can become challenging for the blind, with physical
contact playing such a large part of everyday life. Most folks
can’t reach six feet in front of them, never mind touch someone six
feet away. And wearing a mask can be very disorienting, blocking
out facial vision.
The experts say that wearing a mask and gloves,
washing your hands frequently, and keeping a safe distance from
others will cut down on the spread of COVID-19. Although wearing a
mask can be very uncomfortable, it is said that COVID-19 is spread
by liquid droplets, and it’s hard to speak without spraying those
droplets. One sneeze or cough can contain at least 3,000 droplets
of COVID-19, which can land on others around you. A mask will not
prevent you from catching the virus; it can only cut down the
spread. This is vital because you can be carrying the virus for up
to 14 days before feeling sick.
Many states are reopening their economies, but until
a vaccine is found, I don’t think safe distancing will go away. We
can complain about how inconvenienced we are or think of creative
ways to get around it. For example, just today, I did an
experiment. I went food shopping. I called my Price Rite store and
asked to speak to the manager. I told him that I was blind and
would need to do some shopping. I also told him that, for me,
wearing a mask was a little disorienting, and I was concerned about
touching or bumping into stuff in the store. I also asked him if I
could e-mail him my shopping list and come by with a friend to pick
up what I needed. He was very accommodating and told me that he
would have the items on my list ready in about an hour. When that
time had passed, I went to the store and paid. We filled the car
with six bags of food. This was just one store, but I believe that
if we communicate our needs, more businesses will provide
accommodations. We just have to be specific about what we want and
what time we will arrive.
Soon travel restrictions will be lifted, and many of
us will be traveling by train, bus, or plane. Some of us will be
traveling independently and will need assistance. Keep in mind that
we are moving into a new normal. The virus is still with us, and
until it is stopped, a uniform is required. This uniform consists
of a mask and gloves. The mask cuts down on the spread of your
germs, and the gloves help keep you from touching someone or something
that may be contaminated. After all, you wouldn’t want to grab onto
an elbow that has just been sneezed into 10 minutes before.
Whether you use a sighted guide, a white cane, or
just follow someone’s voice, what works for one person may not work
for another. We must use our own discretion as to how we get
around. However we do that, the appropriate uniform is needed, and
we must all look the part. In these times, going outside without
mask or gloves can make other people see you as not safe to help. Until
a vaccine is found or this virus is extinguished, we all should
look like we care about ourselves and others around us. Safety
really does matter.
7. THE BLIND ON THE JOB
In this feature, you will be reading about success
stories of blind people in the work force. While most of us
understand that blind people can compete on equal terms with the
sighted at work, this feature always serves as a public awareness
for sighted individuals who may not understand this concept.
A. Hello, Robert,
My name is Larry Crismond. I have RP. I am legally
blind. I’m not able to use a computer with magnification. I use a
screen reader called JAWS. I have worked in the insurance industry
for over 10 years. I was also hired at AAA, but things did not work
out with accessibility. I currently work at the VA hospital in Long
Beach as an operator. The Lighthouse for the Blind has a program
where they pair blind people and sight-impaired people with a lead
operator who is sighted. I enjoyed working in the insurance
B. Hi, Bob,
I have been in the security field for nearly 40
years and love every minute of it, especially now. Of course, there
are frustrations and irritations, but you have to learn to get over
those. I did when I went blind in 2003. Since then I have continued
to write, blog, teach, research, and be interviewed about my
specialty, which is workplace and school violence prevention.
I get up early, usually at 2 a.m., and work. That’s
when my creative juices are best and I think logically and
What I do now, instead of working in the field, is
consult with organizations that wish to prevent any incident of
violence in their facility. I have finally had the time to sit and
write nearly full time. I have published four books since 2014,
three on security issues and one on customer service. I also write
a twice–weekly blog on Facebook and consult with organizations and
individuals to keep them safe.
My mission on this blue marble and ball of mud is to
protect lives in any way I can. Therefore, despite not having found
work in security, I continue on my own to keep people safe.
Robert D. Sollars
Book-related website: https://www.dldbooks.com/robertdsollars/
My latest book is Murder
at Work: A Practical Guide for Prevention
C. Hi, Bob,
I am a certified recruiting and sourcing agent from
Indiana. A sourcer is somebody who turns people into candidates.
The recruiter then turns candidates into employees. I worked for a
year and a half as a self-employed independent contractor and then
was just recently hired by the company as an employee.
Description of Position
A sourcer turns people into candidates through
reading job descriptions and picking out keywords that are unique
to the position. Most times, these keywords are jargon used in a
particular industry. However, sometimes they are just everyday,
usual words that get results. Armed with a list of words, a sourcer
will then do a search on Google, arranging the words in a specific
order and with specific commands to bring up people. The next stage
is to parse through the names and pick the lucky ones. Get their
contact info through crawlers and put them into a Google sheet or
spreadsheet program. If need be, a sourcer can also be a recruiter.
This stems from working with multiple sourcers and having to pull
duty as a recruiter while others source.
Usually, the talent industry works in pods and in
teams, throwing out ideas for search strings and different ways of
bringing candidates to the forefront.
I love what I do. If you need anything else, please
May the source be with you,
D. Hi, Bob,
My job is doing Meals on Wheels enrollments for the
Division of Senior Services in my county. Using an Excel
spreadsheet on the computer, I fill out the required information
and send it to work colleagues, who continue the process of putting
clients in the Meals on Wheels program. It’s particularly busy
right now on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
E. Hello, Bob,
My name is Curtis Jackson, and I have been totally
blind since birth. I work as a cashier/stocker at a base supply
center in Fort Riley, Kansas. I also just started a voiceover
company called Jacksons Production LLC. I’m currently attending
broadcasting school. The website for my company is www.djcurveball.com. I also do
radio shows for a couple of radio stations. Those stations are
blindcaferadio and g-spin radio.
F. Hello, Bob,
From October 28th through December 19, 2019, I
worked at Images of Glory, Inc. as a receptionist assistant. Images
of Glory, Inc. is a non-profit organization in Orlando, Florida,
that provides services to disadvantaged youth who have been victims
of sexual abuse and human trafficking. My primary duty was to
answer phone calls. My secondary duty was to greet the customers
who entered our office building. I also had the opportunity to
answer any questions that clients asked.
I utilized both JAWS and the Vonage phone system to
perform my job duties. The Florida Division of Blind Services purchased
a laptop computer with a full version of JAWS.
8. TURNING POINT: The Coronavirus and the Mental
Summarized by Terri Winaught and taken from the May
12, 2020 issue of the New
York Times’ opinion piece written by Jennifer Finney
Since March, the local and national news has been
inundated by statistics and reports that tell us not only how many
people tested positive for COVID-19 but also how many people died
each day. What hasn’t been reported, however, is a less visible
crisis: the impact the current health challenge has had on people’s
mental health. According to data Jennifer Finney Boylan shared,
more than half of Americans say that the coronavirus is impacting
their mental health. Here’s a more specific example that shows the
contrast between this time last year and the here and now: A crisis
line with services specifically geared to disasters reported
receiving 20,000 text messages this April compared to 1,799 last
In Jennifer’s article, we also read about the
heartbreaking struggle of a family living in Maine with a member
diagnosed with anxiety. By May 1, after seven weeks of isolation,
this individual could stand the current situation no longer.
Completely distraught and hyperventilating, this loved one said
that they would rather not be here. (Note: “They” is being used in
this sentence because the New
York Times article failed to reveal the person’s
After a call to Maine’s state crisis line, an
evaluation four hours later, and discussion among family members,
the decision was made that the family member in crisis would spend
a few days at a crisis center—a residential facility halfway
between home and a full-blown hospital stay. However, no beds were
available at the center due to COVID-19. After further reflection
and discussion, it was decided that the family member would stay at
home. The individual did stay home. A medication change was made.
Sharp items and extra medication were moved to where the vulnerable
person couldn’t access them. There was no further talk of suicide.
What makes this a turning point article, you may
ask? For one thing, to the best of my knowledge, had this happened
during my childhood, there would have been no crisis centers to
provide respite care. Instead, a person with mental health issues
who was suffering with debilitating symptoms would either remain
home or go into a hospital. In the same way, I don’t remember
crisis lines existing during my childhood and adolescence. In fact,
even the 911 system many of us take for granted wasn’t implemented
As a person with lived mental health experience, I
know that debilitating anxiety is no fun, but how refreshing that
there are now alternatives to toughing it out at home with family
members, who may or may not understand, or being admitted to a
hospital. That there are now crisis lines, evaluations without
going to an emergency room to be assessed, and crisis centers if
one can’t stay at home are positive changes that lead straight to
self-advocacy and recovery-oriented treatment.
Here’s hoping that you are all weathering the
current situation as well as any of us can when variables and the
expectations around them are always changing.
If you have any comments or want to share a Turning
Point in a difficult situation affecting your mental health, feel
free to write to: Terri Winaught: 400 Cochran Road, Apt. 409,
Pittsburgh, PA 15228 (braille only), or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(I currently have no home computer.)
9. TIDBITS FROM TERRI
by Terri Winaught
Let me start by apologizing for such a long hiatus.
I no longer have a home computer because it got fried in a storm
that resulted in a power outage. I also found that there was so
much in the news about which I wanted to write that I didn’t know
where to start.
I’m going to start with a topic that I am tired of
hearing about, talking about, and listening to. You guessed it:
That topic is the coronavirus.
A key reason I am so tired of hearing and talking
about the virus is that the network news services seem to focus
exclusively on the negative.
Given that our current health crisis is a pandemic
and not an epidemic, I readily appreciate our need to be as updated
and informed as possible. What has often drained me emotionally,
though, is hearing only about new outbreaks and deaths. Again,
there is nothing wrong with informational updates. I just wish that
the media, whether liberal or conservative, would also tell about
the many things we have done right. Examples of this: More people
have recovered than have died, and people have exhibited many acts
of kindness. Both individuals and businesses, for example, have
stepped up to help those in need through donations and drives.
If any of you have been impacted by COVID-19 or have
loved ones who have been, my heart definitely goes out to you.
With Memorial Day being in a few days after I am
writing this, I hope all of you will be blessed with a wonderful
holiday weekend. In addition to enjoying standard picnic fare and
the fellowship that goes along with it, I also suggest taking time
to pray for members of the military who gave their lives in various
wars. May their souls rest in peace, and may their loved ones left
behind be comforted.
To contact me, feel free to email me at: email@example.com,
or phone (412) 595-6187, cell. If your preferred method of contact
is a letter, my address is: 400 Cochran Road, Apt. 409, Pittsburgh,
PA 15228 (braille only).
Thanks so much for reading with me, and take good
10. RECIPE COLUMN
by Karen Crowder
When June arrives, days are longer and warmer. At
night, there are the sounds of chirping birds and crickets. Summer
arrives on Sunday, June 21. June is a time for cookouts and trips
to beaches and parks. Summer roses bloom, as do strawberries,
rhubarb, chives, lavender, and spearmint.
There are two special days: Flag Day is Monday, June
14, and Father’s day is Sunday, June 21.
June is a month for graduations and weddings.
However, because of the pandemic, graduations have gone virtual and
many weddings have been postponed. Some in-person graduations may
take place in the fall.
This recipe column is shortened due to technical
problems. There are three recipes this month.
Sweet Egg Salad
Creamed Asparagus and Mushrooms with Toast
South Shore Chocolate Chip Squares
A. Sweet Egg Salad
Everyone likes egg salad sandwiches, especially
during the spring and summer months. Sweet relish makes it extra
Six large eggs
Three pearl onions
Handfuls of dried chives
Dashes of curry powder and optional dried dill weed
4-6 tablespoons mayonnaise
One spoonful of sweet relish. It can be from a
supermarket or a garden.
Two hamburger rolls
1. Fill a large lock-lid saucepan half full of
water. Bring eggs to room temperature in a small glass bowl. This
will take five minutes. After 15 minutes, put eggs in nearly
2. While eggs are cooking, chop two or three sweet
onions into a small mixing bowl. Add chives, curry powder, salt,
and optional dill weed.
3. Drain water into the sink. Fill the saucepan with
cold water. After 15 minutes, drain the water.
4. Shell the eggs and rinse them to be sure all
shell pieces are gone. Cut eggs into small pieces with a paring
knife over the mixing bowl. Combine them with the onions and
spices. Add mayonnaise and sweet relish. Blend with other
ingredients with a large spoon.
5. Transfer egg salad to an airtight container.
Refrigerate egg salad until serving time.
6. Toast hamburger rolls, dotting them with butter.
Egg salad has always been a treat, not only for me,
but also for my Claire Mary and the late Marian Cote. The
ingredients for the relish I used often came from my stepdaughter’s
garden in Maine.
B. Creamed Asparagus and Mushrooms with Toast
Six tips of asparagus
Six whole mushrooms
One-half stick butter
Dash of olive oil
Four tablespoons flour
A handful of chives
Dash of salt
One and three-fourths cup milk
One-fourth cup light cream
Three slices buttered toast.
1. In a large four-quart saucepan, melt butter. Add
flour and stir for a minute with a wire whisk.
2. Add milk and cream. Stir until lumps disappear.
Stir infrequently for 30 minutes.
3.While the cream sauce is cooking, sauté vegetables
in a one-quart saucepan with two tablespoons of butter and a dash
of olive oil for fifteen minutes.
4. Add vegetables to the cream sauce. Toast Italian
wheat or white bread in a toaster oven. Break up toast into crocks
or large bowls. Measure out cream sauce with vegetables over it and
Accompany it with a tossed salad on a cool late
spring night. Everyone will enjoy it.
C. South Shore Chocolate Chip Squares
I have made this recipe for Bob’s summer picnics.
Everyone liked them.
21 whole honey graham crackers
One can condensed milk
One stick butter or Imperial margarine
18 ounces Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate morsels.
1. In a large mixing bowl, break up graham crackers.
Put them in a Ziploc bag and crush them into crumbs. Melt butter or
margarine in the microwave in a crock or large bowl. This will take
2. Combine cracker crumbs, condensed milk, and
cooled butter to the large mixing bowl. Stir the batter with a
wooden spoon for two minutes. Add chocolate chips and stir again
for two minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a
foil-lined or parchment-lined 7” x 11” Pyrex pan with butter.
4. With a one-cup measure, scoop brownie batter into
the pan. With a sandwich knife or spatula, smooth brownie batter
over entire pan. Bake brownies for 40 minutes.
5. Remove brownies from the oven and cool pan
on the counter for an hour. Turn pan over, inverting brownies onto
a dinner plate. Cover plate with foil. Cover brownies with plastic
wrap. Refrigerate uncut brownies overnight.
6. Cut them up the next day with a serrated knife.
Everyone will enjoy these delicious brownies. They
are the right dessert at summer cookouts and picnics.
I hope all Consumer
Vision listeners and readers will enjoy these recipes.
Let us pray for a patient, kinder, and more peaceful
11. CONSUMER VISION TRIVIA CONTEST
The Osmonds were the musical group who had a hit
song called “Crazy Horses.” Congratulations to the following
Roanna Bacchus of Oviedo, Florida
Jan Colby of Brockton, Massachusetts
Daryl Darnell of Urbana, Illinois
Nancy Hays of Oakville, Connecticut
Brian Sackrider of Port Huron, Michigan
And now, here is your question for the June Consumer Vision.
On the television series “Leave it to Beaver,” what was Clarence’s
nickname? If you know the answer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 508-994-4972.