Covid Time, Inclusion Center newsletter

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BITS AND WITS:

Fact or Fiction on Social Media,  
Beneficial Bits and Wits
Stress Reduction during Covid


FACT OR FICTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA



EXTRACT DE FACT

IC Members share experiences

I have access to both facebook and television.  I check facebook periodically during the day and would trust only certain media outlets...New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC. 


The TV station I watch other then CNN and MSNBC is Nightly News with David Muir on ABC.  I certainly don't believe much of what Fox News reports and don't even tune into that station.


There are so many political posts on facebook out there by individuals that I would not trust....only reliable sources like those I mentioned above.

J.A.


***


I always recommend the Media Bias Chart at https://www.adfontesmedia.com/.


As you can see, the Associated Press is the most balanced newsy source in the chart. I recently signed up for the AP Morning Newswire emails. It gives me a good overview of some timely important topics, without having to sift through a bunch of BS.


I'm sure there are good articles out there on the issue, but i didn't do a search. I would say that people need to be really clear whether the thing they're reading or watching is an opinion piece as opposed to the news. Opinion doesn't mean it's automatically false or not trustworthy, but it does mean it's not a simple and balanced presentation of facts. 

Newspaper articles will be labeled as Opinion. Not always so on the Internet, which is where many people get misguided. 


TV networks have The News, and then they have many other shows where the hosts talk about current events but it's opinion. The Fox network just won a defamation lawsuit by arguing that the public should not expect factual information from Tucker Carlson's show.

 

https://www.courthousenews.com/nixing-libel-suit-judge-says-no-one-expected-facts-from-bloviating-tucker-carlson/?amp=1


Also I just ran across this, really interesting...

https://leapsmag.com/why-your-brain-falls-for-misinformation-and-how-to-avoid-it

J.H.


***


As far as believing what’s on the internet….well, for news, I rely solely on trusted sources, e.g. NPR, the NYTimes. the New Yorker, Vt Digger…..I’m “allergic” to social media, seems more of a gossip column…..

B.


 ***


What to believe on the internet....

that is a hard one!  Before the world wide web, we had local information and the news that covered global issues had at least a good current of honesty and integrity.

With the internet, anyone at all can post information. It can run like wildfire.  Scary stuff.  I go to certain websites to get the real truth.  A local one is https://vtdigger.org/


For worldwide info, I know that AP is a non-profit, has no corporate sponsorship, and is not government-funded.  This makes for a better chance of unbiased info.


But as someone who avoids the news for my sanity, and gleans bits of info from friends and family, I rarely seek out stuff.  When I do come across headlines or info, if I feel it is important to know, I will do some research. But that does not  happen often.

M.


***


How do I know that the facts that I read and rely on are actually facts? 

I count on the sources I use as being factual based on their long history. I rely on the Washington Post, The New York Times, and The New Yorker for my information. 


When on Facebook I check the source before I read the article. While the heading of the article might grab me, I take the second or two to read the source. If it’s not from one of my three sources I either don’t read it or I read and then double check the facts with my sources or with Snopes.com (a fact checking site).


One memorable day I didn’t do my usual process of checking sources. I thought the post I was reading was beautiful and touching and so I shared it without checking the source. Turned out the source was actually a Russian troll site! A friend let me know this, and then I googled away to see if that was actually true. It was! I had been taken in, just like millions of others. What a lesson to learn. The site posts four or five touching stories, and then posts something that is a bit questionable and nasty. But since we’re taken in by the beautiful posts we don’t think twice when they post something questionable.

Got me! Now I know to check sources for everything I see on fb!

J.


 ***



Helpful hints 


BENEFICIAL BITS AND WITS



1) Need to write something but not good at typing?

----------use google docs - it has built in voice to type -- and spell check


2) Need to turn on the light but can't reach from a wheelchair?

---------use smart bulbs ( $12 at walmart ) turn ur lights on from ur phone


3) Always adjusting ur heat?

---------smart thermostat ( $65 on amazon ) control heat from ur phone


4) Fingers too big for texting?

--------- voice to text is standard on most phones


5) Kitchen counters too high to prepare food in ur chair?

---------pull out one of your lower drawers and place a cookie sheet over it to create a lower work space


6) Cooped up indoors?

--------sunlight promoted vitamin D which WILL improve your mood  -  get a "happy light" it simulates natural sunlight

 

7) Need help lifting someone when they have fallen. I have scarves all around the house. If my son falls I grab a scarf, put it under his arms and chest so that the ends are in the back. I can then fairly easily lift my son with fewer concerns for him or for me. 





Look to the cube.

As a major collector of gadgets to help those of us with disabilities, I have had some success with a few purchases, but the cube timer is the most useful of all. A cube timer available from Amazon, is a plastic cube with different times on four sides.  My favorite has 5, 10, 20 and 30 minutes intervals.  To time something for 20 minutes, simply turn the cube so that 20 is on the top. No squinting, turning knobs, setting time digitally etc.  


Here is how I use it: On really slow days I set the timer for 10 minutes and accomplish something quick like putting magazines in recycling or bringing dirty glasses from other rooms to the sink.  On moderate days I use 15 minutes to quickly clean the bathroom, fold clothes, do some stretching and so on. 

 

Timer as a motivator works great for me when I am feeling useless, even a small accomplishment matters!  The most important use of the cube time for me, however, is to slow myself down on days when I have a false sense of strength, overdo and spend the next several days in bed.  I set the cube for 30 minutes and then weed the garden or clean floors etc.  The timer is vital as 30 minutes can be invigorating, 35 minutes debilitating. 


STRESS REDUCTION DURING COVID


***


I am feeling stressed. Everyone I know is stressed. There have been traumatic events, friends in crisis, everything going wrong and no matter what it is, every single thing is difficult. Taking my van in to the mechanic was a huge deal (can’t sit in the waiting room, can’t stay outside while waiting, to name a few of the issues), getting medication from the pharmacy while our aide is home quarantining for two weeks (We finally realized Rite Aid would mail us the medication!), to visiting with a friend outside (Oops! Too close! What? I can’t hear you!) to sitting on zoom (my legs cramped up, my back hurt the rest of the day until I bought a ball to sit on. Apparently everyone is using these balls though and I had to wait ages to receive ours) to you name it, it’s been stressful!


I’m handling the stress by meditating. Because of the great need for stress reduction a group of people began on line meditation sessions for half an hour every hour night and day. The sessions are free and offered throughout the world. I love attending. Some of the people have never meditated before, others are pros. I love these sessions for a number of reasons including that I can show up whatever time or day it works for me. Meditate Together


I also spend as much time as I can outside. I have to remind myself to get out there, especially when it’s cold or wet but after a few minutes of being outside I feel better, warmer, more peaceful and my body feels better too.


Other than that, I’m working as much as I can with Inclusion Center, and thoroughly enjoying the i.c. sessions. Laughing with everyone is such a relief and such an excellent release of tension and stress.


***



Covid is such a stressful time for all of us. There's no way around it.  If you try to reduce your stress by trying to educate yourself about what is going on - by getting all the facts, watching the news, listening to the experts, social media etc, then you only compound the stress because there are so many conflicting 

" opinions " . The fact that some have turned the whole pandemic into a divisive political issue only makes things worse.


For me, the only way not to be stressed about covid is to " Look at the past - and think to the future ". By that, I mean:


Look at the past -  our history shows that we have overcome epidemics ( and many other issues, diseases, wars, catastrophes ) in the past. All things will eventually come to pass. We will survive as people.


Think to the future-  Don't dwell on the present mess of things but look at the changes that will come about because of the mess. This pandemic is a wake up call.  From medical readiness,  government, financial, health care, economic, business, personal, technology, research, regulatory even world politics- take your pick - We will be dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic for years  - even decades.  Look at all the things that we need to fix to make things better.so we are prepared in the future.

We have done it in the past - we will do it in the future.


Overly optimistic?  Maybe so but i prefer to be that way. - it reduces stress-- :)






Stressed? 

Watch some touching videos


cody llee --https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5Gwm9bctv8


Celine Tam - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG9TVQwCAIw


youtube.com/watch?v=HeUJ4Y&feature=youtu.be


Spend time with animals or out in nature


Do qigong, yoga, tai chi


Listen to music


Draw


Play board games


Write


Call friends and family


Attend Inclusion Center


Go outside 


Take a nap


Watch children's shows or movies