The Other Side Of Seventy.


Mike’s post of the same title inspired this post from me. Please read the comments from me and Mike’s response to it too.

Just a day after that I received this in a WhatsApp message from my sister.

Yesterday afternoon, I received news that my friend, philosopher and guide of many years HI died following a failed chemotherapy session for cancer.

Last week was news of the death of a classmate and dear friend.

On the 10th inst, Nick wrote about biographies and autobiographies. I commented there : “I am not and never was into bio/autobiographies. Somehow, I just could not get interested in that genre. My own kind of biography is perhaps my blog just like yours is yours.” Nick responded with “Yes, blogs are very much a form of biography. Not at all chronological, but revealing all sorts of personal details.”

Little did I know that I was about to read an autobiography, and what a one!

Later yesterday, I received a forward of a video of a Cardiologist talking about life and death and how to manage our lives where he referred to a book called When Breath Becomes Air. I got a Kindle version and started reading it and just could not put it down.

Most of my readers here are senior citizens and quite a few are avid readers. For these, I strongly recommend this book. The most poignant and elegant book that I have ever read about a person’s last days written by himself.

Humourous Fortitude.

A friend called me up to inform me of a misadventure that another mutual friend SC and the latter’s wife had had. He could not give me the full information as his had come from second hand sources.

I therefore called my friend who took some time to answer the phone but, on seeing my name on the caller id slot,  started off by letting off a big laugh. This surprised me as I was expecting anything else but this as his opening. When he had calmed down, he said that he was glad that I had called and that he was planning to call me any way to share his misfortune with me.

The story that unfolded was that the 80 year old SC had slipped and fallen in their bedroom two days ago. He found it difficult to straighten himself as he had fallen between a dresser and the bed and also was hurting badly. His wife, hearing his shouts came to rescue him and in trying to, also fell down and had broken her fore arm bone in two places. Now, both were in agony and on the floor and unable to get up but, luckily, SC was able to lay his hands on his cellphone that had fallen below him. He called his neighbour who had to break down their entrance door to gain access to their flat and in the process gathered a few other curious neighbours as well.

The whole crowd came up with many suggestions culminating finally in one of them calling for an ambulance from a nearby hospital and finally the two were evacuated to the hospital for treatment.

I could not hold myself back any further at this point and asked him why if he had undergone all this he laughed as he answered my phone and his response showed why we are friends.

He said, that for the past two days, he had been reviewing all that had happened and was shocked at the response of the crowd that had gathered in his room before he was shifted. In his words, it was mostly morbid interest on how both the oldies had got into the distressing situation. He said, instead of those ghouls, had I been there, I would have lightened up the situation, taken charge and pointed out the comic side of the drama. He therefore was planning to call me to give his comic version when coincidentally, my call had come in while both were still in a hospital room. He just burst out laughing impulsively and was glad that I had called.

Both are well on their way to full recovery albeit with bruised egos and lighter wallets. Both however are facing their misfortune with humourous fortitude if that is the term to use in the situation.

How Is The New Normal Shaping Up For You?

The question in the title for this blog post has been asked by Shackman. For him perhaps the new normal is strange and perhaps even awe inspiring as he lives in the USA,

For me, at my age of 78 and with health issues that have made mobility quite a problem for me for the last few years, the new normal is not something that I will have to get used to as apart from the need to wear a mask when going out and maintaining social distance, my life style is unlike to change much. I have been confined to my city and even there, to within my home for the past five years and so the limitations imposed by the pandemic have not seriously affected me bar some minor inconveniences on and off like the barber shop or the pedicurist being shut on lockdown days.

Leaving my personal life alone however when I see the trends around me, I can see major thrusts in the way people work and move about in day to day life. Increasing use of the internet and AI will radically change things and the immediate casualty that I foresee will be a collapse in the housing and business property businesses with many buildings already built not finding buyers. Sale of automobiles will also very likely take a hit as commuting will become less necessary and the travel and hospitality businesses will also see drop in volumes.

Health related businesses will change to be better equipped to meet emergencies having learnt from the stress undergone due to the pandemic. I anticipate more training institutions coming up in the areas of medicine and nursing as shortages were felt during the recent past.

This likely scenario is unlikely to seriously affect me personally and with that observation, I conclude this post with the question asked addressed to my readers. I look forward to hearing from them about how the new normal will be for them.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 3 On 1 blog posts where Sanjana, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been suggested by Shackman. Please do go over to the other two blogs to see what they have to say on the same topic. Thank you.

Vaccination.

This photograph was taken this morning at our local ward Municipal Hospital where I got vaccinated against Covid 19. The template contains messages in Marathi, our local language, to the effect that I have got myself vaccinated and am safe from Covid 19; and so should you get vaccinated  and  become safe.

It is expected that such photographs will spread through social media and persuade sceptics into taking the vaccination.

Including twenty minutes of driving time to and from the hospital the total time taken between leaving my home and returning was 90 minutes.  That also included 30 minutes of post jab observation and a follow up speech by the attending doctor.

I have been vaccinated with Covishield manufactured locally at Pune.  I have to take a booster shot after six and before eight weeks again.  The second shot however will be at a different hospital where the registration process need not be followed and one can simply walk in and get the shot.

I was most impressed with the efficiency and enthusiasm of the staff.  Totally unexpected from a government run organisation.

 

The Vaccination Drama.

First it was the race to find the vaccine. Cartoonist Shadi Ghanim’s take on the race to find a vaccine for Covid-19:

In India, Serum Institute won the race closely followed by Bharat Biotech leaving five other companies behind but, still in the reckoning.

Indian vaccines started going out to various countries who needed it fast, gaining considerable goodwill.

In the meanwhile, Indian citizens over the age of sixty years and 45+ with comorbidities started receiving the vaccine driven by variuos state governments.

Now, the drama started. The social media took over to announce being vaccinated and reports of either no or some side effects. A streamlined online registration process was set up and as I write this, seems to be working very efficiently. I registered last week for being vaccinated at a particular hospital where my GP wanted me to go to, and I have been asked to report on March 30, 2021 to get vaccinated. Others who have already got vaccinated are goading me to just walk in into any nearby hospital and get it done but, I have decided to wait till my appointment comes up.

In the meanwhile, social media has become super active with reports of side effects, efficacy, what can one expect post vaccination etc and the drama continues. From all these, one gathers that despite the vaccination one has to follow the pre vaccination protocols for some more time for the vaccine to take proper effect and this has caused many groans and protests.

I enjoy being on the sidelines and observing the drama.

This is my contribution to this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman , Srinivas and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Maria. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic.

Small Pleasures.

I experienced a very painful attack of food poisoning early last week and the cure which included some strong antibiotics, was worse for its side effects. While the pain disappeared, the unease and listlessness lasted well into the weekend but, the worst of it all was my inability to sleep like I am used to.

Anyway, after the major side effects wore off I decided to go for a hair cut and a head massage with my usual barber.

The head massage should have made me sleep well but, it did not.

So, yesterday, after almost after a year, I went for a pedicure and foot massage and that did the trick.

I slept very well last night.

Three instances of small pleasures.

Another of the small pleasures was my having overslept. I woke up this morning, two hours after my normal time and found myself totally refreshed and amazed at having over slept.

The best of the small pleasures however was that after over a couple of decades, I did not have to make my morning mug of tea and had the pleasure of getting one delivered by my daughter in love.   She had woken up at her usual time, and having seen me oversleeping, let me do so and waited for me to wake up to give me tea.

I wonder if there is a moral there somewhere in that story!