Kidzdoc Has 20/20 Vision in 2020, Part 6

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Kidzdoc Has 20/20 Vision in 2020, Part 6

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 6, 2020, 1:39pm


2020 was an annus horribilis on many levels, for everyone and for me personally, including my reading output, as this will be the least productive year I've had since 2002. In terms of my reading plans for 2021 I'll pretend that 2020 didn't happen, and stick with what I had intended to do this year.

Currently reading:


Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture by Ed Morales
A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Books read in 2020:

1. Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson
2. The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom
3. Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World by David Owen
4. A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley

5. My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing "Slow Medicine," The Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Ones by Dennis McCullough, M.D.


6. Afropean: Notes from Black Europe by Johny Pitts
7. Ualalapi: Fragments from the End of Empire by Ungulani Ba Ba Khosa
8. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
9. Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
10. Dumba Nengue: Run for Your Life by Lina Magaia
11. The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

12. Contagion: How Commerce Has Spread Disease by Mark Harrison
13. Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera
14. Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire
15. Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer's Awakening by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
16. The Heartland: Finding and Losing Schizophrenia by Nathan Filer
17. Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
18. American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes
19. Mean by Myriam Gurba
20. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America by Beth Macy

21. The Tradition by Jericho Brown
22. A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson
23. In the Language of My Captor by Shane McCrae
24. Beloved by Toni Morrison
25. Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid by William D. Lopez
26. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
27. The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane
28. The Magnificent Conman of Cairo by Adel Kamel
29. March: Book One by John Lewis
30. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
31. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

32. If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
33. March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
34. Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli
35. March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

36. Letter to Jimmy by Alain Mabanckou
37. Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey
38. The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

39. How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang
40. Difficult Light by Tomás González
41. That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu

42. Apeirogon by Colum McCann

43. Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi (DNF)

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 6, 2020, 1:31pm

Black Male Writers for Our Time

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: Friday Black
Jeffery Renard Allen: Song of the Shank
Jamel Brinkley: A Lucky Man
Jericho Brown: The Tradition
Marcus Burke: Team Seven
Samuel R. Delany: Dark Reflections
Cornelius Eady: Hardheaded Weather
Percival Everett: Glyph
Nelson George: City Kid: A Writer's Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success
James Hannaham: Delicious Foods
Terrance Hayes: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Brian Keith Jackson: The Queen of Harlem
Major Jackson: Roll Deep
Mitchell S. Jackson: Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family
Yusef Komunyakaa: The Chameleon Couch
Rickey Laurentiis: Boy with Thorn
Victor LaValle: The Ballad of Black Tom
James McBride: The Good Lord Bird
Shane McCrae: In the Language of My Captor
Reginald McKnight: He Sleeps
Dinaw Mengestu: All Our Names
Fred Moten: The Service Porch
Gregory Pardlo: Digest
Rowan Ricardo Phillips: Heaven
Darryl Pinckney: Black Deutschland
Brontez Purnell: Since I Laid My Burden Down
Ishmael Reed: Juice!
Roger Reeves: King Me
Maurice Carlos Ruffin: We Cast a Shadow
Danez Smith: Don't Call Us Dead
Colson Whitehead: The Nickel Boys
Phillip B. Williams: Thief in the Interior
De'Shawn Charles Winslow: In West Mills
George C. Wolfe: The Colored Museum
Kevin Young: Book of Hours

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 11, 2020, 8:55pm

Literature and nonfiction by contemporary Latinx authors, as recommended by Myriam Gurba, author of the memoir Mean:

Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera ✅
Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli ✅
Black Dove by Ana Castillo
Bless Me, Última by Rudolfo Anaya
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
Across a Hundred Mountains by Reyna Grande
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester
Native Country of the Heart by Cherríe Moraga
A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande
The Affairs of the Falcóns by Melissa Rivero
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli ✅

Also: Mean by Myriam Gurba ✅

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 6, 2020, 2:04pm

Apeirogon, Colum McCann (Ireland/USA)
Burnt Sugar, Avni Doshi (USA) ✅
How Much of These Hills Is Gold, C Pam Zhang (USA) ✅
Love and Other Thought Experiments, Sophie Ward (UK)
The Mirror & The Light, Hilary Mantel (UK)
This Mournable Body, Tsitisi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)
The New Wilderness, Diane Cook (USA)
Real Life, Brandon Taylor (USA)
Redhead by the Side of the Road, Anne Tyler (USA)
The Shadow King, Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA) ✅
Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA)
Such a Fun Age, Kiley Reid (USA)
Who They Was, Gabriel Krauze (UK)

2020 Booker International Prize Shortlist:

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (German – Germany), translated by Ross Benjamin
The Enlightenment of The Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar (Farsi – Iran), with an anonymous translator
The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara (Spanish – Argentina), translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh
Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (Spanish – México), translated by Sophie Hughes ✅
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Japanese – Japan), translated by Stephen Snyder
The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Dutch – Netherlands), translated by Michele Hutchison ✅

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 20, 2020, 8:25pm

20 21 Classic Works of Fiction by Authors from the African Diaspora from the Shelves to Read in 2020 2021

Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa
American Hunger by Richard Wright
Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
The Bridge of Beyond by Simone Schwarz-Bart
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
The Fisher King by Paule Marshall
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The House Behind the Cedars by Charles W. Chestnutt
In the Castle of My Skin by George Lamming
The Interpreters by Wole Soyinka
Maps by Nuruddin Farah
Moses, Man of the Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston
Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed
Native Son by Richard Wright
The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
A State of Independence by Caryl Phillips
Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau
Train Whistle Guitar by Albert Murray

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 20, 2020, 8:39pm

20 21 Non-Fiction Books from the Shelves to Read in 2020 2021

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch
Can Medicine Be Cured? The Corruption of a Profession by Seamus O'Mahony
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present by Frank M. Snowden
Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire by Roger Crowley
Flesh in the Age of Reason: The Modern Foundation of Body and Soul by Roy Porter
Frantz Fanon: A Biography by David Macey
The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla
Journey to Portugal by José Saramago
Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture by Ed Morales
The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah
Love Thy Neighbor: A Muslim Doctor's Struggle for Home in Rural America by Ayaz Virji M.D.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America by Stacey Abrams
A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul by Jeremiah Moss
Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by John Lewis
Why Niebuhr Matters by Charles Lemert

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 6, 2020, 2:30pm

Planned reads for December:

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture by Ed Morales
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

joulukuu 6, 2020, 3:30pm

I'm almost half way with Obama's autobiography Darryl. He writes with such clarity; and openness about his own flaws and foibles. And I'm learning a lot about how US politics functions. He likes details, hence (he said in an interview) there is to be a volume 2.

joulukuu 6, 2020, 4:10pm

Happy new thread, Darryl. I am just starting Part Two in the Obama book. I love that man.

joulukuu 7, 2020, 12:10am

>10 Caroline_McElwee: Excellent, Caroline. I haven't read a single page of A Promised Land, or anything else for pleasure, since I flew back to Atlanta from my Thanksgiving Week visit to my parents' house last weekend. Fortunately I'm only scheduled to work Monday through Wednesday of this coming week, so I should be able to make good progress in it, and Shuggie Bain.

>11 jessibud2: President Obama is such a contrast to Not My President Trump, who will surely be measured as the worst POTUS by legitimate historians. I'm only on page 46 of A Promised Land, so I have a bit of catching up to do to keep up with the One Library Thing, One Book schedule.

joulukuu 7, 2020, 1:58am

>1 kidzdoc: Happy new thread!! Can't wait for 2021. : )

joulukuu 7, 2020, 11:10am

>12 kidzdoc:
So far all is well with me. Covid tests are negative, and I am really being careful both at work and at home. However, I haven't been able to do much reading either. I have been busy at work and doing all the baking at home so my spare time is in short supply. It is worth it, as I love giving baked goods for gifts. I am also packing my car because I am leaving for Kansas early on Friday morning. I hope to be able to drive straight through because I am simply not going to be ready to leave on Thursday morning. I don't have a problem with staying in a hotel, but canceled my reservation for Thursday night because I just am not going to be able to leave when I thought I would. I have been busy at work and this last weekend was my weekend to be on duty, so I had to stay plugged into my desktop or at least within hearing distance. Bread cough can be fickle and it just didn't want to raise yesterday like it should, so instead of 3 batches I was only able to do 2. But I guess that is the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.

We are having my family Christmas on Sunday, December 13 so that those of us who live far away can have time to do quarantine time - in case it is required before we go back to work. I am going to stay in Kansas until December 29 and then start back so that I can do a 14 day quarantine at home before classes start on January 13.

joulukuu 7, 2020, 12:31pm

Good plan to put 2020 behind you, Darryl. Hopefully 2021 will be better for fulfilling your reading plans and for so much more.

joulukuu 7, 2020, 1:43pm

Glad to find your new thread. Will be following along as usual.

joulukuu 7, 2020, 5:27pm

Happy new thread, Darryl, I think we all be glad when 2020 is over...

joulukuu 8, 2020, 6:45pm

>13 Berly: Thanks, Kim! I especially can't wait for January 20th, 2021, when President-reject Trump's eviction notice will be executed.

>14 benitastrnad: Have a safe and enjoyable trip to Kansas, Benita.

>15 Familyhistorian: Right, Meg. I had big plans and high hopes for 2020, on many levels. Things won't be back to normal in 2021, but I think it will be a much better year.

>16 rocketjk: Glad to have you here as always, Jerry! I'm off on Monday, so I'll be tuned in to The Jazz Odyssey.

>17 FAMeulstee: Amen, Anita. I don't know of anyone who will be sorry to see this year end.

joulukuu 9, 2020, 1:11am

I'm looking forward to reading A Promised Land by Obama. So far my library only has the audiobook and ebook so I placed hold on both. I'm 303rd in line for the audio and a similar number for ebook. I will probably buy my own copy as my son and his wife want to read it too.

>18 kidzdoc: Speaking of eviction notice being executed, I read a frightening story in the news today that the President-eject will be known for his prolific executions, more than any president in the last 130 years, and five more this week. How about that for a legacy.

joulukuu 9, 2020, 9:12am

Happy new thread Darryl! I hope life is treating you well.

joulukuu 9, 2020, 12:02pm

You had asked on your last thread about meat substitutes, Darryl—I'm very fond of the Gardein line's Italian sausage and meatballs, and Impossible for burgers. I haven't experimented a lot with things like chicken tenders or chorizo, though I probably will at some point. They're just improving their game all over the place, which is good for everyone: non-meat eaters like myself, folks who care about the environment and animal rights, or people who just want to cut down their meat/poultry consumption. I'm not a big tinfoil hatter, but I do think the amount of antibiotics that are pumped into factory farmed animals has to have an adverse affect on human health.

joulukuu 9, 2020, 6:16pm

Happy new thread, Darryl! I made the red lentil soup from the recipe you passed on to me some years ago, and had it for lunch today. Still one of my favorite soups to make.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 10, 2020, 4:08am

>19 VivienneR: Sounds good, Vivienne. I'm now at the beginning of an unexpectedly long five day work break in the middle of our busiest season at work, so I intend to make good progress in A Promised Land, starting today. I bought a copy of it for my father as an early birthday present, and I look forward to talking with him about it when I see my parents again after Christmas.

Trump's attorney general reinstituted the federal death penalty last year, which has contributed to the number of executions in this country. There haven't seemed to be many executions in 2020 to me, especially since Georgia has "only" put one person to death, in late January, compared to the three who died by lethal injection here last year. As a Christian I should be opposed to the death penalty; however, I won't shed a single tear when Dylann Roof, who murdered nine members of an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015 in order to launch a race war, and if Robert Bowers, another White supremacist, who committed the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in the United States by killing 11 members of a well known synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018 that several of my medical school classmates attended, are put to death. In the meantime I hope that they are placed in solitary confinement, restricted from communicating with the outside world, and not permitted to infect others with their poisonous and evil beliefs.

Sadly, now that Trump has lost the election I fear that there will be more individual and mass killings of racial and religious minorities by outraged MAGAts inspired to action by the President-reject's false and outrageous claims that the election was stolen from him. I look forward to the excision of this cancer in human form from the White House on January 20th, and the beginning of sane, mature, and competent leadership under President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

>20 Sakerfalcon: Thanks, Claire! Life will treat me well starting today, as it's the first of a five day break from work. The past three days were long ones, and yesterday's thoroughly crappy day was partially rescued by two of my favorite patients this week, a five year old girl who is really sick and feels miserable, but asked her father to buy me doughnuts, and summoned me to her room so that she could give them to me, and a 19 year old young woman from a small town in Georgia who is a ray of sunshine despite also being ill. However, these two lovelies were topped by the 15 month old boy I sent home on Monday; I had never met him before, but when I entered his room he squealed, ran toward me with his arms open, and allowed me to pick him up and put him on my lap while I talked to his bewildered parents, who were stunned that their son who cried whenever anyone else entered his room bonded with me on first sight. He must have known that I was the one who was going to send him home that day!

>21 lisapeet: I'm glad to hear that meat substitutes are substantially better than they used to be, Lisa. I tried one product several years ago, but was absolutely repulsed at the taste when I used it as a replacement for Andouille sausage in jambalaya, so much so that I threw away the entire pan of it. I'll go to Publix later today or tomorrow, and Whole Foods Market on Sunday morning, and I'll look for Gardein's products while I'm there.

I do think the amount of antibiotics that are pumped into factory farmed animals has to have an adverse affect on human health.

I agree completely.

>22 bell7: Thanks, Mary! I'm glad that you still enjoy that red lentil soup. Now that it's gotten cold I'll make more soups over the next five days, starting with Zuppa Toscana this afternoon. I want to try one or two of the soup recipes in my cookbook Soup for Syria: Recipes to Celebrate our Shared Humanity, either this week or next, and I'll post those recipes here after I do.

joulukuu 10, 2020, 10:09am

>23 kidzdoc:
Meat substitutes have improved, but so has plain old tofu's. I have been experimenting with using tofu and have found several recipes on the New York Times Food newsletter that have proved to be excellent. I am still not proficient at cooking tofu but I am getting better at it with practice.

Many years ago I made a decision to cut down on the amount of meat I eat and I have done so. I did it mainly by starting with the serving portion. I am appalled when I go to a hamburger fast food place and see that the largest selection for hamburgers are double burgers. Who needs that much meat all at once? It isn't good for us and it isn't good for the environment.

I have also been using more beans in my cooking. I find that takes some planning as I like to start with dried beans and soak them. Like making bread it takes time to perfect the methods that work into your lifestyle.

I have not tried many of the meat substitutes out there as for me trying to add tofu into my cooking schema has been challenge enough, but from what I read and see about food I would think that meat substitutes should be a viable alternative to meat. Even the texture of meat substitutes is getting better and better.

joulukuu 10, 2020, 10:13am

I thought long and hard about whether to make the trip home and I have decided that I will drive to Kansas and leave tomorrow as planned. Kansas is a real hot spot now for the Covid virus so I really had to think about how smart it was to go. However, my mother is 84 and I know she wants to have her family around her at Christmas. I ordered face masks and had them delivered to her house and I am not going to stop and eat at restaurants along the way. I am going to pack my food and take it with me. I will make a hotel room reservation today and that is the only thing that I wonder about, but I know that most hotel chains are doing super cleaning so I think it will be OK. I am also planning on coming back early so that I can stay by myself for 14 days before the semester starts. I plan on being cautious while making the trip so hope that things will go well.

joulukuu 11, 2020, 10:51am

Safe travels to Kansas, Benita.

joulukuu 11, 2020, 11:48am

Interesting lists. Nuruddin Farah is on my December pile after my current Mansfield Park, and maybe Genie and Paul, but not Maps which you have listed and which is probably his best. And I have two by Jamaica Kincaid for January. I decided on one fiction, Annie John, and one non-fiction, Talk Stories.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 11, 2020, 12:51pm

>27 spiralsheep: Thanks, spiralsheep (that's a great username!). Now that the members of Reading Globally seem to be favoring The Lusophone World as a quarterly topic for 2021 I'll create a list for it, as I am seriously considering retiring to metropolitan Lisbon in six or seven years, and have collected several books written by Lusophone authors and historical books about Portugal and its former colonies, including Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire by Roger Crowley. I intend to participate on a more regular basis in the Reading Globally quarterly theme reads and discussions as well.

I'll also create a Science, Medicine and Public Health list, as I have a number of books I would like to get to next year, particularly Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present by Roger M. Snowden, and several unread books that were longlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize in past years, such as Murmur by Will Eaves, How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS by David France, Signs for Lost Children by Sarah Moss, and Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon.

I own three novels by Nuruddin Farah, Maps (since 2011!), Gifts, and Knots, bonut I've not read any of them yet. I'm glad that you think that Maps is probably his best novel. I've read four of five books by Jamaica Kincaid, but nothing recently, and since I haven't read Annie John or Talk Stories I'll be interested to find out what you think of them.

My reading has ground to a near complete halt, but since I'm on day two of a five day break from a very busy inpatient service I'll have time to make good progress on the three books I'm working on now, A Promised Land by Barack Obama, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, and Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture by Ed Morales. I'll be satisfied if I finish two of those three books before the end of the year, especially since I'll be working for most of the Christmas break.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 11, 2020, 2:32pm

>28 kidzdoc: I'll peruse your Lusophone list with great interest as I seem to only have poetry on my immediate To Read. I recently read My Father's Wives by Jose Eduardo Agualusa which was good. OTOH Olinda Beja's The Shepherd's House doesn't seem to have achieved much love from readers of the anglophone translation. Chilling in Lisbon sounds superb, with the sea and many many many good cafes.

We'll see how Reading Globally votes. I have an epic recs list for countries with populations under 500,000, but I'd be happy reading most of the popular topics.

The world does seem to need more education on evidenced-based thinking, especially when it comes to health and the environment. It's astonishing how many western people don't seem to have grasped even the basics of germ theory despite their survival potentially depending on it.

Good luck with your reading! I've had a couple of fallow weeks this year but otherwise I haven't had much to distract me from books. I wouldn't, of course, wish this privilege on other people, lol.

joulukuu 11, 2020, 3:05pm

>28 kidzdoc: - Darryl, I also have the Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree on my shelf (it's a tome!) but though I haven't read it completely yet, I have seen the documentary film he made based on it (same title as the book). If you are able to find it somewhere (netflix?) I highly recommend it. Several of the people he highlights in the book actually appear in the film, and I think that brings it all alive more than it would on the page. One of those rare exceptions of books-to-film.

I also still have one book by Atul Gawande on my shelf that I haven't read (I think I have read all his others), called Complications. I also still have to get to the Sarah Moss book.

joulukuu 11, 2020, 4:38pm

>29 spiralsheep: I've come up with an incomplete list of unread Lusophone literature and nonfiction from my library:

Lusophone Literature

José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola)
- Creole
- The Society of Reluctant Dreamers

António Lobo Antunes (Portugal)
- An Explanation of the Birds
- Fado Alexandrino
- The Inquisitors’ Manual
- Knowledge of Hell

Maria Isabel Barreno, Maria Teresa Horta, Maria Velho da Costa (Portugal)
- The Three Marias: New Portuguese Letters

Chico Barque (Brasil)
- Spilt Milk

Helen Constantine, ed.
- Lisbon Tales

Teolinda Gersão (Portugal)
- The Word Tree

Milton Hatoum (Brasil)
- Ashes of the Amazon

Fernando Pessoa (Portugal)
- The Book of Disquiet

José Saramago (Portugal)
- All the Names
- Baltasar and Blimunda
- The History of the Siege of Lisbon
- The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis

Non-Fiction Books about Portugal

Roger Crowley, Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire
Barry Hatton, The Portuguese: A Modern History
Malyn Newitt, Emigration and the Sea: An Alternative History of Portugal and the Portuguese
José Saramago, Journey to Portugal

I'm sure that I have several more unread Portuguese and Brasilian novels in my library, especially since Joaquim (gioacchinoponte), a retired pediatrician who I met in Lisbon in 2018, gave me a novel by a Portuguese author whose name I'm blanking on at the moment. We saw that relatively well known author when we went to the Feira do Livro de Lisboa (Lisbon Book Fair), and Joaquim encouraged me to stand in line to get him to sign it, but I was having severe lower back pain that day and left the Feira early that afternoon.

If The Lusophone World is chosen as a Reading Globally quarterly topic in 2021 and if no one else is interested I could easily be talked into leading the discussion, as long as it isn't chosen for the first quarter, and especially if it is chosen for the third quarter. I would enlist the help of Joaquim, who was born in Angola, and D.B. (deebee1), one of my two original LibraryThing friends, who lives in Almada, just across the Rio Tejo from Lisbon. I had intended to spend the past month of June, when I'm off from work, in Lisbon, to take a four week course in Intensive Portuguese, spend more time with D.B., her husband, and Joaquim, and look at retirement property there, to start the process of getting a Portuguese Golden Visa. If all goes well I'll go there this coming June, God willing.

I haven't heard of Olinda Beja, and a quick search of Amazon US and Amazon UK shows that neither have any books by her that have been translated into English. I remember learning from D.B. on the first day we met, at the Livraria Bertrand in the Chiado section of Lisbon, the oldest continuously operating bookshop in the world, that a large amount of contemporary Portuguese literature has yet to be translated into English. She showed me several books by writers that she loves, none of whom were (or still are) familiar to me.

Writing from Small Countries seems to also be likely to be voted as a quarterly theme read, so I look forward to your recommendations.

The world does seem to need more education on evidenced-based thinking, especially when it comes to health and the environment. It's astonishing how many western people don't seem to have grasped even the basics of germ theory despite their survival potentially depending on it.

Amen to that. I can't speak for the citizens of other countries, but Americans as a whole seem to be spectacularly ignorant about science, medicine, public health and the environment, perhaps more so now than at any point in the past 50-75 years. (It certain doesn't help that the Messiah, Donald J. Trump, is astonishingly ignorant as well. I don't believe for one second that he wasn't serious when he proposed bleach or internal light as treatments for COVID-19.) My medical colleagues and I are frequently astounded by comments made by parents of the patients we care for, especially well educated people who you would assume would have a basic knowledge about medicine. If I had a dollar for every time that someone claimed that the influenza vaccine caused the recipient to contract the flu I'd have a nice year end bonus.

Good luck with your reading! I've had a couple of fallow weeks this year but otherwise I haven't had much to distract me from books. I wouldn't, of course, wish this privilege on other people, lol.

Thanks! I've had many distractions this year, most recently yesterday, when I spent several hours watching the Food & Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting to discuss Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, especially since there is a chance that I could receive the first vaccination in the next week or two.

>30 jessibud2: Thanks for letting me know about the documentary based on Far from the Tree, Shelley. Hopefully I can get to that book next year. Unfortunately it seems unlikely that the Wellcome Book Prize will be awarded next year, as there has been no word about it since the announcement in late 2019 that there would be no prize for this year, so I should have time to catch up on unread longlisted books from years past that I own. Bodies of Light, the prequel to Signs for Lost Children, was absolutely brilliant, and it's another book that my dear friend Rachael (FlossieT) recommended to me that I loved. I also need to get to Summerwater, her latest novel, early next year.

joulukuu 11, 2020, 4:57pm

>31 kidzdoc: - Here's a link to the trailer, Darryl:

joulukuu 11, 2020, 5:03pm

>32 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley!

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 11, 2020, 5:13pm

One of my former physician colleagues and neighbors, who recently retired from Children's and moved with her husband to Charleston just before Thanksgiving, posted this very useful commentary from another physician on her Facebook timeline, which I thought was worth sharing widely. Apologies in advance for typos.

A clear, concise and SCIENTIFIC explanation about the COVID vaccine:

I wanted to provide some info on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which are soon to be available. Let me first say that I will not entertain any anti-vax comments based on conspiracies such as “they want to track you”, “there is a microchip”, “It will cause autism”, “Fauci will get rich”, “It will give you Covid”

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines. How do these work? mRNA or (messenger RNA) is simply a genetic template that once it enters a cell is capable of being read by the cellular machinery and translated into a small SARS-Cov2 protein called “spike protein”. Spike protein is a viral protein that is primarily used by the virus to gain entry into cells.

Ok let’s make this clear now, this mRNA vaccine does not make the whole virus. It only makes a small portion of a viral protein called “spike”. So there is NO (ZERO) biological possibility of getting COVID19 from this vaccine. Same goes for the influenza vaccine. In addition, while mRNA is technically genetic material (nucleus acid) it is NOT DNA. DNA and RNA are two different molecules with two different functions in the cell. Think of RNA as just a carbon copy of a piece of DNA used as a template to make proteins so that DNA can remain in the nucleus and keep doing its day job. This mRNA will NOT go into the nucleus, it will NOT change your DNA, and it will NOT integrate into your genome or alter your genetics in any way. Again, it is simply a template for making a small protein of the virus in order to introduce this foreign protein into the body to mount an immune response.

Ok let’s talk about symptomology. As I mentioned there is 0% chance of getting COVID from both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. But that does not mean there will not be some symptoms. As with most vaccines, the majority of symptoms will be at the injection site. Anytime there is anything “foreign” injected under the skin there will be some inflammation and soreness. That is natural and expected and will have no lasting effects. Think of it as if you stepped on a rusty nail, it is going to be sore for a while, because the body will inflame that area and fight anything foreign that was on the nail. So far, both vaccines have been through 10s of thousands of test subjects in phase 3 trials. With not one single major adverse event. This is great news for the vaccine as it appears to be quite safe and effective just like the safety profile of all other vaccines.

Ok let’s talk about the delivery. All vaccines are given with substances that either can enhance their immunogenicity (adjuvants) or can help them get gain entry into cells. In this case, being an mRNA vaccine, naked mRNA cannot readily enter cells but it does need to gain entry into the cells in your arm in order to begin making that foreign spike protein. The delivery vehicle for both of these vaccines is called a lipid nanoparticle or LNP for short. I have worked on these in my career. How do these work? Well consider LNP to be little tiny spheres that surround the mRNA. Since in order to get into a cell, a molecule needs to be hydrophobic (greasy) these LNPs are lipid based (grease) and will slip into the cell easily carrying their payload of mRNA into the cell. Once inside the cells the LNPs break open and “delivers” the mRNA payload. The LNP debris is simply broken down further by the cell and gotten rid of. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based on this LNP delivery. “What does this mean for safety”? LNPs have been given to hundreds of thousands of subjects thus far and are used as a delivery method in other approved medicines, not just these vaccines. The ONLY thing to say about LNP safety is that LNP can exacerbate the local inflammation, so your arm may be a bit more sore than a flu vaccine. But in most cases there will be little discomfort.

Finally, I want to talk about systemic symptoms like fever, chills, etc. This COVID19 vaccine is given in two doses. We call this is a “prime/boost” strategy of immunization. During the first injection you will likely experience no “whole body” symptoms other than a sore arm. But during this first injection, your immune cells have been “primed” to respond to any further exposure to the same protein. Therefore, upon your second dose, there will be a greater immune response, as your body has developed “memory” from the first innoculation and can quickly “recognize” this same foreign protein and mount a robust immune response. This second “boost” will in fact “boost” your immunity further and is required to develop that high efficacy (>90%) we have heard about from the clinical trials. But.... this second “boost” may be accompanied by the release of normal immune proteins (called cytokines) into the bloodstream. These cytokines can cause some transient fever, fatigue, and generally “feeling bad” for a day or so. This only means the vaccine is working well and will go away within a day and this “feeling bad” will not happen in every person receiving the vaccine. So while this vaccine will likely not be without “some” discomfort please remember and keep this in perspective. There is much less discomfort from this vaccine than dying on a ventilator from COVID19. So PLEASE get the vaccine. We need enough people getting the vaccine to finally once and for all kick this virus in its little virus butt.

Finally, if you do not go back for the second boost you will NOT have adequate immunity to COVID19. I repeat, you HAVE to go back for your second dose. I suspect compliance on this will be an issue but the initial “priming” will not protect you adequately from COVID19. Also, both of these vaccines appear to be highly efficacious. Which is great news. Much more effective than influenza. So far the efficacy is in the order of what we see with polio, yellow fever, and measles vaccines. Both Pfizer and Moderna are reporting greater than 90% immunity to infection and more importantly if infection did happen in the small percentage of folks outside that 90% none of those subjects had severe COVID19 that required hospitalization or resulted in mortality.

If EVERYONE, were to get this vaccine as it is rolled out this nightmare will be OVER. I implore you to please set aside any conspiracies or non-factual things you read on google or through the grapevine and rely on us scientists to give you the facts. I have absolutely zero benefit (financially or otherwise) from asking you to take this vaccine other than to keep my family and yours safe from this deadly virus in 2021.

In summation:
1. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe
2. Neither will give you COVID
3. Neither will “alter” your DNA
4. There will be local discomfort on the first innoculation and possible some fever and fatigue with the second. Not everyone will experience the fever on the second boost.
5. It is highly effective in stopping covid and cannot be compared to the highly mutable influenza virus that we have to chase each year with a new vaccine.

And In the meantime WEAR A MASK!

Stop making biology political. Biology does not care who you voted for.


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joulukuu 11, 2020, 7:01pm

I’m not going to lie, I’m scared for John getting the vaccine. He had the pneumonia vaccine in October following his MS diagnosis and it causes a mini relapse which meant his upper spinal lesion flared, reducing all his hard regained sensation in his legs, and causing him to have the first loss of sensation in his fingers and hands.

Thankfully this flare up only lasted about a week after the pneumonia vaccine. He didn’t have the same response after his flu vaccine, which was administered 3 weeks after the pneumonia one.

He is now, after an extraordinary amount of hard work and determination, walking with a walking frame and crutches. I’m so scared that getting a vaccine will send his immune system into overdrive and cause another relapse.

Despite that. Despite the massive implications a relapse has for his mobility, independence and health, he WILL be getting the vaccine when eligible (he’s fairly high on the priority list - group 3 or 4 I think, behind the extremely elderly, those extremely clinically vulnerable, and frontline workers). I recognise that the risks of him contracting Covid-19 are far, far higher than the risks of him having a relapse. We can, hopefully, manage a relapse with the help of his fab neuro team. We can’t manage covid if it kills him.

I’m still scared :/.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 11, 2020, 7:31pm

>35 lunacat: I don't blame you one bit for being scared, Jenny. This week's issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, which was published yesterday, leads with the article Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine, which contains the data from the Phase 2 and 3 trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that was first administered in the UK on Tuesday, approved by the Canadian government on Wednesday, and approved by a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee in the US yesterday; the FDA is expected to announce its approval of the vaccine later this evening. The article states that "Adults 16 years of age or older who were healthy or had stable chronic medical conditions, including but not limited to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus, or hepatitis C virus infection, were eligible for participation in the trial. Key exclusion criteria included a medical history of Covid-19, treatment with immunosuppressive therapy, or diagnosis with an immunocompromising condition." I would consider MS, as an autoimmune disease to be an "immunocompromising condition", and I would assume, in the absence of specific information from the trial, that people with this condition were not studied, and that we don't know how people with MS will react to the approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the yet to be approved Moderna vaccine. I don't know if the British Medical Journal or The Lancet have any data on vaccine studies conducted in the UK or elsewhere. I would consult the Multiple Sclerosis Trust or another body of the NHS before I would consider administering the vaccine to John if I was his GP or neurologic consultant.

I filled out a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine registration form from Children's this afternoon, and, based on an email from our Physician in Chief, I and other clinical staff that care for patients with COVID-19 may receive the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine sometime next week.

joulukuu 12, 2020, 6:32am

>31 kidzdoc: Thank you for the list! I'll have to take a closer look. I've definitely got more Fernando Pessoa on my To Read, and I read extracts from one of the Marias a while back, but the others are all new to me.

I thought a friend had mentioned Olinda Beja in English but we were mostly discussing poetry so I've probably misremembered.

I think Settings, who is reading an epic 1000 books list and has a post about it on Reading Globally, suggested the Lusophone theme but it appears two (?) of Settings' suggestions might become 2021 themes and it would seem burdensome to host two quarterly threads. And, of course, additional lists in comments are usually welcomed by hosts. I can personally confirm that Settings is a recs-aholic like me! We shall see how the planning goes.

I hope your Portuguese dreams work out one way or another. I had an uncle and aunt who retired to the coast back in the 1990s and they loved Portugal (especially the fish dishes, lol).

"My medical colleagues and I are frequently astounded by comments made by parents of the patients we care for, especially well educated people who you would assume would have a basic knowledge about medicine. If I had a dollar for every time that someone claimed that the influenza vaccine caused the recipient to contract the flu I'd have a nice year end bonus."

I've heard so many stories from various friends around the world along the same lines and England is exactly as foolish as the US. Ignorance, alas, doesn't lie within national borders.

Thank you for the vaccine article, and for publicly taking on health education. I know that challenging people who're determinedly fixed in their habitual patterns can be exhausting. Pace yourself!

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 13, 2020, 2:03pm

>37 spiralsheep: You're welcome! I'll use that list in my first Club Read thread of 2021, provided that The Lusophone World is chosen as a Reading Globally quarterly theme next year — and I may do so even if it isn't. I'll add books from my library to that list as I discover them.

I thought a friend had mentioned Olinda Beja in English but we were mostly discussing poetry so I've probably misremembered.

No, you are probably correct. Her novel The Shepherd's House has been translated into English, according to this article, but it must be out of print and not widely available.

I have led Reading Globally theme reads on at least one and possibly two or three occasions, so I'm comfortable doing so for The Lusophone World if Settings would prefer not to, as long as it isn't chosen for the first quarter. I have to work over the immediate Christmas holidays, and I'll probably fly to Philadelphia to visit my ailing and elderly parents afterward, so I won't have much time to set up a thread for it in late December or early January.

I hope your Portuguese dreams work out one way or another. I had an uncle and aunt who retired to the coast back in the 1990s and they loved Portugal (especially the fish dishes, lol).

Yes!! I love seafood, dating back to my youngest years, when my father was a member of a fishing club in northern New Jersey close to NYC and routinely brought home fresh fish for us to eat. Living in New Orleans for a little over three years only added to my pescatarian tendencies. I have crawfish tails and alligator fillets in my freezer, and I plan to make two of my favorite Cajun dishes, crawfish étouffée and alligator sauce piquante, this weekend. I'll make another New Orleans themed dish, Emeril Lagasse's Macaroni with Four Cheeses!, as payment for an informal bet I lost with two members of the Infectious Diseases team last week. I'll receive a jar of goat's cheese from a local farm in return, so I'll still win a nice prize.

Ignorance, alas, doesn't lie within national borders.

That is sadly very true. I know that there are plenty of vaccine skeptics in Europe, especially after Andrew Wakefield's notorious article in The Lancet that appeared to show that the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) jab directly led to autism, an absolutely false claim that has been roundly debunked by the journal and all reputable clinicians and scientists who have investigated the vaccine, but it continues to be spouted as gospel by anti-vaxxers across the globe.

I and, I suspect, most of my fellow physicians embrace our role as health educators, for the patients and families we care for, and for the general public at large. Now that the scientific community has provided us with effective and (with some caveats) safe vaccines that target SARS-CoV-2, it's our job as health care professionals to educate the public about the benefits — and risks — of these vaccines, as they cannot be effective in controlling the pandemic if a sufficient percentage of the population doesn't take both jabs of one of them, which is essential to achieve herd immunity. The husband of my dear friend Rachael (FlossieT) is a physician and group leader of the Cell Biology of Infection Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute in London; Rachael is on the staff of The London Review of Books, and Rupert has written several articles in the LRB this year about the pandemic, especially regarding the development of the vaccine, in an effort to educate the public. His latest article is in the upcoming 17 December issue:

Get the Jab!

joulukuu 12, 2020, 10:43am

Get the Jab! tell that to my neighbours here in rural France. Whenever i speak to them (on the phone because we are isolating) and talk about the vaccine, there is a long silence at the other end. Many of them have refused or not bothered to have vaccinations since they left school (where it was compulsory).

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 12, 2020, 12:31pm

Here's hoping that you get your vaccine very soon! My fingers are crossed for my brother and his wife and all the other health care workers.

The Montana governor has announced that Montana will be getting 10,000 vaccine doses for the first shipment. Unfortunately, there are 40,000 MT frontline health care workers.

I can only pray and hope the vaccine rollout is smooth and timely.

With my age and pre-existing conditions, it's hard to accept that the best thing I can do for the health care community right now is to continue my social distancing at home. Although I did give blood this week - for the first time I used the 'Power Red' option which removes two units of RBC and returns your plasma and platelets (sort of the reverse of donating plasma). The plasma is mixed with saline, so you receive a higher volume of fluid than is removed, supposedly making it less tiring than giving a single unit the regular way. I did take a long nap when I got home. :)

I miss all the holiday performances and get-togethers. Today, I'll be doing a library sponsored zoom with mystery author Craig Johnson. Tomorrow, I've bought a ticket to an online performance of the Hip Hop Nutcracker.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 12, 2020, 12:48pm

>39 baswood: (Huh. Where did my original reply go?!)

We have a similar problem in small town and rural America: many people who live there refuse to accept that the pandemic exists, don't believe Dr Fauci and well respected experts in the fields of science, medicine and public health, and are at times violently opposed to wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and applying common sense public health measures that would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives; by the middle of next week 300,000 people in this country will have died due to COVID-19.

Jodi Doering, a nurse in the rural state of South Dakota, gave a stunning account of her experiences with COVID-19 patients critically ill and dying, who get angry at her and deny that they are infected with the novel coronavirus, even with their last breath, some of whom prefer to think that they have lung cancer.

Nurse: Some patients who test positive refuse to believe they have Covid-19

This may seem far fetched and incredulous, but one of my closest friends from medical school, an adult pulmonologist who still lives and practices in Pittsburgh, told me similar stories earlier this year. Several of my friends who are primary care pediatricians in metropolitan Atlanta have given accounts of parents who were angry at them for diagnosing their children with the infection, asking them to quarantine to stop the spread of the virus, and insisting that they wear masks when they enter their offices. Last week I cared for a young patient with an infectious illness that turned out to not be COVID-19, but her father whined like a toddler whenever we asked him to put on a cloth mask, saying that it was uncomfortable and restricted his breathing. This didn't go over well with those of us who were wearing far more occlusive N95 masks underneath procedure masks for hours at a time, along with googles, gowns and gloves in patients' rooms.

Needless to say, the vast majority of these COVID deniers, including that snowflake father, are diehard Trump supporters, or MAGAts, as I call them.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 12, 2020, 1:58pm

>40 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I received an email from Employee Health late yesterday afternoon stating that my registration for the vaccine had been accepted. I assume that sometime next week, or possibly the following week, I'll be able to register for a time slot to get my first dose of the vaccine, although I don't know how many vaccine vials Children's has been allotted, and where I fall in the hierarchy of the subset of hospital based clinicians who are eligible to receive the vaccine in the first shipment.

I hope that your physician brother gets the vaccine soon. Children's did post a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine FAQ paper yesterday, which stated that non-clinical spouses of Children's staff would not be eligible to receive the vaccine in any of our hospitals or clinics, and that they would not be granted any enhancement in their hierarchical status just by being the husband or wife of a clinician. Similarly, primary care pediatricians affiliated with Children's but not practicing in one of its hospitals or clinics will have to go elsewhere to receive the vaccine, which caused a good amount of consternation in the Facebook group of Atlanta area pediatricians that I'm a member of.

Although I haven't seen any information about it yet, I'm sure that the number of vaccine doses in the first shipment from Pfizer will be far less than the number of eligible health care workers and nursing home residents in the state. I suspect that Children's will get at least its fair share and probably more, as Atlanta is the state's capital and the current and past governors work closely with the CEO of Children's and know her very well, especially since the governor's mansion is no more than five miles away from the hospital I work in.

I donated whole blood to the American Red Cross in June, when it was offering free SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing to donors as an incentive. I hadn't seen many patients with COVID-19 at that point, so it was no surprise that I tested negative.

I was supposed to have met up this weekend with one of my closest friends at work, a nurse practitioner who used to work in our Department of Psychiatry, whose offices are in the same suite as ours are. We get together at least once or twice a year to cook dinner together, as Erin is a fabulous and adventurous cook, but we postponed our plans to do so until we've been fully vaccinated, especially since her elderly father is living with them at least temporarily. One of my former colleagues would normally have a large Christmas party at his home this weekend or next, but neither he nor his wife have even mentioned it or sent an invitation, and my group's year end holiday party hasn't been discussed, either. Children's would normally have a large holiday parade through downtown Atlanta today that many of us would have attended, especially this year when the weather is particularly pleasant (it's currently 67 F in the 1 o'clock hour), and that's also been cancelled, for the first time in at least 20 years. Bah, humbug.

joulukuu 12, 2020, 2:49pm

>38 kidzdoc: It looks as if one of the buyers at my local library is very fond of the works of Jose Scaramago so he's now on my list, thank you.

I see you're a foodie, but I'm more familiar with Cajun music (and Zydeco) than Cajun food. Sounds delicious though. And, of course, no pasta-cheese combo should ever have less than two cheeses (same with cheese sauce imo). I like Tasty Lancashire, made as a melting cheese, with whatever blue cheese is in the fridge, usually Shropshire Blue. I'm too lazy to be a proper foodie but I do appreciate the best ingredients, as in life generally.

Don't get me started on the damage done by Wakefield. I live in a developed country with free vaccinations for children and yet deaths from childhood measles have risen! And the psychological damage done to many autistic people (and their parents) is incalculable. Everyone makes mistakes but by the time a person is tripling or quadrupling down on an error that's killing people then the words "manslaughter" and "prison" spring to mind. /rant

I've met Rupert Beale in a scientific context, although I haven't been reading his LRB articles, and within his area of expertise he's not only an exemplar of scientific method but also an excellent communicator and admirably patient. Of course, nobody's perfect and I have better taste in music than him.... ;-). I don't think I've met FlossieT either online or off, but I might have heard her sing, and well.

joulukuu 12, 2020, 3:31pm

>34 kidzdoc: Thank you for posting that clear explanation of vaccines (my family are all are all very much pro-vaccination)

joulukuu 12, 2020, 3:34pm

We’ll certainly be following whatever recommendation John’s neuro team advises.

In good news, because John’s MS is highly active and because the impact on him from the relapses is so extreme (loss of nearly all function below the waist), he is eligible for a higher efficacy disease modifying treatment than he may otherwise have been. NHS England has very strict criteria for allowing these to be prescribed because of the cost/benefit ratio. He is going through a gamut of tests currently to make sure he is eligible, and then, providing the drug company has a nurse available for his monitoring, he’ll be starting Gilenya on January 8th.

This is our first experience with such an expensive drug that requires a different prescription route than usual. His team had to apply to NHS England to prescribe it, as they do for all drugs that cost a certain amount I assume. Once approval is granted, he goes into hospital for monitoring when he takes his first dose, and the nurse for this monitoring is a private nurse provided by the drug company as opposed to an NHS one.

He will then get the medication couriered to our door direct, as opposed to needing to go through our GP, and the drug company also provides a nurse to perform at home blood tests at regular intervals during his treatment.

It’s certainly bizarre compared to the ‘normal’ workings of the NHS, but we’re very thankful we have said NHS and are not having to fund it privately, given its cost. In our research about the drug, we were appalled to read articles from the US about it not being an option for many MS sufferers there because of its cost.

joulukuu 12, 2020, 5:21pm

>42 kidzdoc: Glad to hear you're on the list. I'm wondering where, say, third-year med students in clinical rotations fall in line (for obvious reasons, since that's what my son is doing).

joulukuu 12, 2020, 5:43pm

Hi Darryl, glad that you are going to get the vaccine soon. I am not sure where I am in the queue; technically I am a health care worker, as I work in geriatric mental health; and also a higher risk myself, with lung issues. But it sounds like it will be a few months before there are enough doses to get to me.

That is cool to have a Lusophone challenge. I used to do the Global Reading challenges, but in recent year haven't organized my reading that much. Have your read Saudade? It wouldn't qualify for the challenge, as it was written in English. I believe that the author lives in Australia, her family is Goan and the book is set in Angola (she had family there during Colonial years). I really liked the book when I read it earlier this year.

I looked at my books, and it appears the only Portuguese writer I have read is Saramago.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 12, 2020, 8:31pm

>43 spiralsheep: That's great that your local library has plenty of books by José Saramago, spiralsheep. I've been a huge fan of his since I read Blindness in 2001, IIRC; it was unlike anything I had ever read before, and the ending was chilling and unforgettable. In addition to Blindness (5 stars) my favorite novels by Saramago are Death at Intervals (alternative title: Death with Interruptions), The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, The Stone Raft (each 4-1/2 stars), Cain, The Cave, and The Elephant's Journey (4 stars each). I'm pretty sure that I read and also loved The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis before I joined LibraryThing, as I haven't rated it. I intend to read The History of the Siege of Lisbon and Journey to Portugal next year.

Cajun — and Creole — cuisine from South Louisiana is out of this world. It's hard to duplicate outside of the state, although there are several such restaurants in London. One of my work partners (Laura) also visits the capital frequently, as her sister lives in Islington, and we often meet up when we're there (I think we've still met for dinner more in London than in Atlanta!). There is one Cajun & Creole restaurant, Plaquemine Lock, in Islington that looks moderately interesting, although their House Jambalaya mixes sausage and shrimp, a combination that makes me cringe. The Turkey, Duck & Chicken Gumbo sounds interesting, they do seem to serve proper Po' Boy sandwiches and what sounds like an interesting Veggie Muffuletta sandwich, and amongst their drinks is the Sazerac, my favorite New Orleans cocktail. Laura is a foodie, as her mother is from New Orleans and she grew up on the city's cuisine, so I could probably talk her into going there the next time we're in London at the same time.

I like to cook Louisiana food, but I unquestionably defer to Jane (janemarieprice), who grew up there and is a far better cook than I am.

We've definitely seen a significant uptick in cases of measles in the US, from 86 in 2016, to 120 in 2017, 375 in 2018, and 1282 in 2019. Apparently the last death from measles here occurred in 2015, though, unless someone died from it this year. I've been a pediatric hospitalist (a pediatrician who cares for hospitalized children) for just over 20 years, and I have yet to see a single case of measles, not including my three years of residency and two years as a medical student on rotations in clinics and hospitals.

I'm sure you know that Andrew Wakefield was struck off of the UK medical register in 2010, but that hasn't stopped him from spouting his wrongheaded beliefs, and profiting from his false claims.

That's interesting that you've met Rupert! I've met him at least four times, most notably when he and Rachael invited me and our mutual friend Fliss (flissp) to Sunday roast in their home in Cambridge. He is a great conversationist, and a fantastic cook, and the two meals he prepared were absolutely superb; I would have been happy to have had what he made in a restaurant. (IIRC he did most if not all of the cooking those two times, even though Rachael can hold her own in the kitchen.) I don't know anything about his musical tastes, although the last time I met them for Sunday roast, probably in September 2018, they mainly played Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Sarah Vaughan, which was perfectly fine with me.

Rachael is the first member of LibraryThing I met in person, in 2009 during my second trip to London, when we had lunch at the London Review Cake Shop, which is part of the London Review Bookshop. You're absolutely right in saying that she does sing regularly in a choir in Cambridge, as does Rupert, I believe. They met while studying at Cambridge, as members of a student choir, I believe. I've not seen her lately as much as I would like to, due to her busy schedule, as I think I've only seen her once for tea since that epic Sunday roast in her home in 2018. We do stay in touch on Facebook, though, and hopefully we can meet up again sometime next year.

>44 Nickelini: You're welcome, Joyce. Despite the typos I also thought it was an excellent description of the messenger RNA vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 12, 2020, 8:40pm

>45 lunacat: Although I'm sorry that John has such a severe case of relapsing MS I'm glad that the NHS approved Gilenya for him. I looked it up just now, as I'm not familiar with that medication, and apparently it costs well over $5,000 US for a 30 day supply of it. I wouldn't be surprised if most insurance companies here would balk on paying for it, and that physicians and their patients must overcome numerous barriers to get them to cover a portion of the cost.

>46 lisapeet: Thanks, Lisa. I won't know until next week, at the earliest, when I'll get the first dose of the Pfizer SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, and if I'll get it with the first shipment. In a paper to the clinical staff, Children's said that a vaccine task force has been assembled, which will prioritize those at greatest risk of exposure to the virus and vaccinate them first. Since I, my partners and the subspecialists are exposed to hospitalized patients with COVID-19 we have a significant risk, but arguably less so than our colleagues in our Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Clinics, as the vast majority of kids diagnosed with COVID-19 in our system do not require hospitalization. I would think that respiratory therapists who perform aerosol generating procedures, especially on critically ill patients in our PICU, are at greater risk than we are. The floor nurses caring for these patients spend more time in their rooms than we do, so the argument could be made that they are also at greater risk than we are.

Having said all that, I think that third and fourth year medical students are considerably lower on the priority list. This would be even more true if they were restricted from seeing COVID-19 patients, as was the case earlier this year when we were trying to conserve PPE, personal protective equipment, and forbade them from entering these patients' rooms. I haven't been on the teaching team, which consists of residents, interns, medical students, and the occasional physician assistant student or pharmacy student, for the past three or four weeks, so I don't know if that policy is still in effect, and obviously I don't know what your son's medical school is doing to protect its students from exposure to the virus during their rotations. I'm an adjunct faculty member of the medical schools in Atlanta, Emory and Morehouse, as my partners and I teach Emory pediatric residents and physician assistant students, and Morehouse medical students and pediatric residents during their Inpatient Pediatrics rotations, but I'm not a core faculty member of either school, so I'm not privy to information about policies related to the students or residents. It should be easy enough to gather that information from my partners and colleagues who are core members of the Department of Pediatrics of these schools, so I can ask them about it this weekend or sometime next week, and report back to you.

>47 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. Although I'm not completely sure, I think the vaccine prioritization is still a work in process after Phase 1. According to the CDC, Phase 1a is composed of healthcare personnel and residents of long term care facilities; Phase 1b are essential workers; and Phase 1c consists of adults with high risk medical conditions, and those 65 years of age and older. I would assume that you would fall into either Phase 1a or 1b, and that you would be offered the vaccine relatively early next year.

Are you referring to Saudade by Suneeta Peres da Costa? If so I own a copy of it, but I haven't read it yet.

joulukuu 13, 2020, 6:47am

I’ve learnt a new word on your thread Darryl: lusophone. I can’t remember coming across it all before and here everyone is using it. By why ‘luso’, I wonder?

>49 kidzdoc: I had an example of the wonders of NHS prescribing recently. Having been very stressed over the last couple of months my gastritis (something I’m prone to) has flared-up. The doctor prescribed lanzoprozole - I asked for the dispersible tablets. He double-checked with me as his computer system said that the normal ones should be prescribed unless there was a good reason not to, as dispersible ones are more expensive. Me telling him that ‘I’m not very good at swallowing tablets’ was considered a perfectly good reason so I have my dispersible tablets. And from March next year I won’t be paying for prescriptions at all as I’ll have reached the magic age of 60.

joulukuu 13, 2020, 7:06am

>48 kidzdoc: Ah, yes, my Cambridge cousins are choir fans, and I also love choral music.

I've added your Scaramago recs to my library list, and Death with Interruptions is at the top. Thank you again.

>50 SandDune: Lusophone is from the Latin meaning "voice of Lusitania".

joulukuu 13, 2020, 9:03am

>50 SandDune: The quirks of the NHS do make me chuckle sometimes, at the same time as been ridiculously grateful for it.

John has been on a short acting muscle relaxant for his spasticity (Baclofen) which comes in either pill or liquid form. Because of the tweaks he does to the dosage, the doctor wanted to prescribe him the liquid form but because it’s rarer and more expensive, their dispensary had to try 2 different suppliers for it. I didn’t even realise each dispensary had different suppliers, I assumed all medication would come from a centralised NHS source, but apparently not!

joulukuu 13, 2020, 10:22am

>50 SandDune: Hi, Rhian! "Luso" comes from the word Lusitania, or Hispana Lusitania, which was a province during Roman times that roughly corresponds to the current country of Portugal. The Lusitanians were an Indo-European people who were conquered by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. The territory of Lusitania extends into the Spanish provinces of Extremadura and Salamanca, and its northern border is the Rio Douro, and as you and I know from our travels Porto lies just north of that river.

Good on your GP for prescribing you the Prevacid SoluTabs (Prevacid is the trade name for lansoprazole in the US). As you can imagine a good percentage of our patients cannot swallow pills, and there are a few medications that come in dissolvable form that we can prescribe in place of capsules or tablets.

And from March next year I won’t be paying for prescriptions at all as I’ll have reached the magic age of 60.

Argh!! Don't remind me!! Magic, indeed...

Most of you don't know that Rhian and I were born on the same date, a few hours apart, so I'll also turn 60 in March. I can no longer claim to be young or even middle aged after that happens.

>51 spiralsheep: Very nice. I would love to hear Rachael's choir sing in person someday.

I loved Death with Interruptions, a touching comic novel that was a delight to read. It wouldn't take much for me to give it another go. The Stone Raft is another delightful comic novel by Saramago, and either of those books is a great introduction to his work.

>52 lunacat: That is interesting, Jenny. Diclofenac, the generic name for Baclofen, is also manufactured in the US under different trade names, including Voltaren and another one I heard of just recently. We use it for patients with spastic diplegia or quadriplegia, due to cerebral palsy or neuromuscular disorders such as myotonic (muscular) dystrophy, Huntington's disease and spinal muscular atrophy, and many of them are unable to feed by mouth, which necessitates dissolving the pill or getting it in liquid form. The large pharmacies here, such as CVS and Walgreen's, get their liquid medications prepared from a central location, whereas smaller, independent ("Mom and Pop") pharmacies often get the powder or pill form of the medication, and are able to prepare them in liquid form, using instructions from the manufacturer. Those pharmacies are especially helpful to a subset of our patients, as they can prepare nonstandard strength medications in milligram per milliliter suspensions that are better suited for them.

joulukuu 13, 2020, 11:14am

>53 kidzdoc: Ah, that explains it. I should have asked my son if it had anything to do with the Roman Empire.

I don’t know why I can’t swallow tablets. It’s really stupid and obviously psychological - I mean I don’t have any trouble swallowing food ... And I’ve always been like that - it’s not a new thing.

joulukuu 13, 2020, 11:25am

>54 SandDune: You're certainly not alone, Rhian. When I write discharge prescriptions I always ask the parent, or the patient if they are old enough, if the child can swallow pills, as I can't make any assumptions for anyone older than a young toddler. I've had five year olds that can readily swallow pills, and 15 year olds who can't. I'll bet that you had one or more traumatic experiences taking medications as a child, and that is what led to your current difficulty.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 13, 2020, 11:33am

>54 SandDune: I remember reading an article several years ago in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which found that a significant percentage of adults (20-40%) are unable to swallow standard size capsules or pills. The following article in The New York Times references that article, and provides tips on how to overcome this problem.

Can’t Swallow a Pill? There’s Help for That

joulukuu 13, 2020, 12:03pm

>48 kidzdoc:"Cajun — and Creole — cuisine from South Louisiana is out of this world. It's hard to duplicate outside of the state, although there are several such restaurants in London. "

Soon after I moved to San Francisco from New Orleans, a small, wonderful New Orleans/Creole restaurant opened up right on Haight Street. I was living not far from there at the time. Of course I went in almost right away. Sitting at the counter with my plate of red beans, I got to talking to the owner, who was also doing the cooking. He was a recent New Orleans transplant and the food was absolutely the real deal. Within about a year, though, the fellow got home sick, as will happen when New Orleans natives move outside their unique environment, and went home. He sold the place, though, and the folks who took it over--not from Louisiana--did their best. It was still good and I still ate there, but only a very few of us could discern it was not quite the same. Somewhere along the line, still in the late 1980s, a place opened up on a quickly gentrifying stretch of Fillmore Street called the Elite Cafe. I was still a recent enough transplant from New Orleans to be able to recognize so-so Creole food at extreme prices and never returned. The place was a long-lasting sensation, of course.

There's actually a pretty good place in the wine country town of Healdsburg, CA. I think it's still there, anyway. The fires were pretty bad in Healdsburg last year.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 13, 2020, 1:22pm

>57 rocketjk: I've been mostly disappointed by Cajun and Creole restaurants outside of New Orleans. However, one place I did like is Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen, which is located on Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley, not far from the BART station with the same name. Jane introduced me to a legit po' boy shop in NYC, Cheeky Sandwiches on Orchard Street in Chinatown, and earlier this year I made my first visit to Just Loaf'n, another small restaurant that serves good po' boys, with locations in SE Atlanta and the suburb of Marietta. Hmm...I should go there again soon, maybe even tomorrow for lunch (takeaway, of course).

Having said that, my gold standard for po' boys is still Domilise's, on Annunciation Street near Tchoupitoulas in Uptown New Orleans. I'll bet dimes to dollars that you, and especially Dan and Deborah, have eaten there, as it's within walking distance from Tulane's campus.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 13, 2020, 1:45pm

>56 kidzdoc: Please tell me that that the answer is a spoonful of sugar!

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 13, 2020, 1:51pm

>59 ELiz_M: Mmm, no, it's not that simple, unfortunately. The NYT article I posted mentions different methods for overcoming this all too common problem, though.

joulukuu 13, 2020, 2:22pm

>49 kidzdoc: Yes that's the book Saudade by Suneeta Peres da Costa. Really an interesting glimpse into Portuguese colonialism.

My daughter couldn't swallow pills until she was a teen, when her doctor recommended practicing with m & m's. That did the trick.

joulukuu 13, 2020, 2:59pm

>59 ELiz_M: I actually tried eating a spoonful of sugar once, just to see what it was like. I...don't recommend it.

Hi, Darryl!

joulukuu 13, 2020, 3:50pm

The only way The Wayne can swallow pills is in food like ice cream that he can eat without chewing. Can't do it with just water. Basically, he has to hide the pills like one would do for a cat or dog :-P

joulukuu 13, 2020, 5:38pm

>61 banjo123: That worked for me too! I was in my mid-20s and getting way too embarrassed to ask for liquid medicine all the time. I got a tube of mini M&M's and practiced all afternoon until I finally got one down. Now I have no issue swallowing even giant pills.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 14, 2020, 3:40am

>61 banjo123: I purchased the Kindle version of Saudade in the first week of this year, Rhonda. Someone recommended it to me; maybe you?

Yes! Practicing swallowing pills with candy in pill form, such as m&m's and Reese's Pieces (my favorite!), is one tried and true technique.

>62 scaifea: Bleh. I'm with you, Amber. I'd rather put the pill in a dollop of honey, which would be much tastier and more effective than sugar.

>63 katiekrug: Yes, ma'am! That's probably the technique we pediatricians recommend most. Apple sauce, Jell-O or pudding also work well.

For bad tasting liquid medications we'll suggest adding cherry or chocolate syrup. Every year during residency one of our Noon Rounds at Emory was (and still is) led by a hospital pharmacist, who gives the residents and medical students samples of commonly prescribed liquid medications. Some of them, particularly clindamycin and especially Prelone, the old preparation of methylprednisone prednisolone, which is commonly given to young kids who have asthma attacks, were utterly revolting, so much so that in the Asthma Room of the Emergency Department in one of our hospitals, parents were given emesis basins and towels as their kids were given Prelone, as many of them would vomit after taking it. Fortunately Orapred, a much better tasting preparation, has replaced Prelone, although Decadron (dexamethasone) is now the oral corticosteroid of choice, as two doses spaced ~24 hours apart is equivalent to a 3-5 day burst of methylprednisone or prednisone, due to its longer half life. A key principle of pediatrics is to give the best tasting medications the fewest number of times per day for the fewest number of days, to improve compliance and a better chance that the medication regimen will be successfully completed.

>64 Yells: Mini m&m's are an even better idea! I'll have to remember that. I usually recommend tic tacs as a smaller option to m&m's.

joulukuu 13, 2020, 11:55pm

I arrived in Kansas late last night and today was treated to a perfect bright snowy day on the Plains. This evening I watched the sky turn pinkish and the last sparkles on the snow. The snow is only a couple of inches and the ground is white. It was cold today and will be very cold tonight.

I was not going to go home for Christmas but my mother just got out of the hospital on Friday. My sister is working extra hours over the Christmas holidays in order to get all the income she can in a short amount of time so she can't spend the time with my mother that is needed. I have plenty of vacation time and so decided to chance it and travel. I have not been home since this time last year.

My mother had Covid 19. She has the antibodies. She is telling everybody that she had pneumonia. She mentions nothing about Covid. She only spent three days in the hospital and was released with antibiotics and instructed to drink plenty of fluids (she was quite dehydrated when she was admitted) and to rest. However, she doesn't seem inclined to rest and instead wants to sit up and talk and talk and talk, and I am finding it exasperating. I went to church this morning and was shocked to find that not a single person in church (about 15 people- its a small town and a small church) had on a mask when I walked in. However, after I showed up my cousin pulled his out and put it on. The minister also wore one. I am so surprised at the cavalier attitude I found. I don't know what they are thinking. The University of Alabama is certainly practicing Covid prevention in a different way than these people. My mother told me that she doesn't like to wear a mask because it irritates the small skin cancer lesion she has on her nose. She was angry because the hospital made her take instruction on how to properly wear a mask before they dismissed her. I am not sure how long I will stay because this behavior is just incomprehensible to me - and from my own mother. I planned on two weeks figuring that she would be much better by then and I can go back to Alabama where I can isolate and be ready for the Spring semester at school, but I may bug out early if this behavior continues. My mother is in her right mind, so I don't want to spend my time here arguing with her. Not a great way to spend Christmas break.

joulukuu 14, 2020, 1:34am

That’s interesting about dexamethasone. As you can imagine, we’re becoming well versed on high dose steroids after John has needed them for his two relapses. He was given a 3 day IV course of methylpred to treat his first relapse (before we knew it was MS) which worked wonders and took him from complete non functioning legs to walking on crutches.

For his second relapse (after he’d regained the ability to walk and we were doing 2 miles a day all summer) he was initially only prescribed prednisone by his GP, as the relapse didn’t appear as severe and the GP was concerned about the immune suppressing effects during the pandemic. However this second relapse has rumbled on and gradually got worse, causing him much more long lasting damage, and it was only when his neurologist prescribed 500mg per day of oral methylpred that it got thoroughly suppressed. Again, the miraculous effects of high dose steroids were astonishing, as his legs began waking up almost immediately, though it’s taken 6 weeks for him to graduate from a wheelchair to a walker. However he was so bad, the neuro physio didn’t think he’d ever walk again, so his progress and hard work has been excellent.

At least we now have a treatment plan for the future, as with any hint of relapse he’s getting put on high dose methyl pred again.

Sorry, I’ve turned this thread into a long medical discussion, but as you can imagine it’s what we think of a lot these days!

However, John is slowly able to cook again now, and he’s plotting our Christmas dinner, so perhaps I’ll come back here with food comments soon. We had a fabulous Jewish inspired mezze feast last weekend, nearly all cooked by him, and he’s planning a duck, a rib of beef, and a joint of pork for Christmas Day. I’ve also bought him two Ottolenghi books for Christmas so hopefully we’ll be enjoying some food from them in the new year.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 14, 2020, 4:03am

>66 benitastrnad: Yikes. That is absolutely frightening, Benita, and, with all due respect, your mother's behavior is very disturbing. I dare say that the discomfort of prongs for low flow or high flow nasal cannula oxygen, a face mask or an endotracheal tube is considerably greater than a simple cloth mask. That attitude is what we physicians (and nurses and respiratory therapists) have been experiencing and reading about, which boggles our minds and is quite dispiriting, especially to my adult colleagues who are swamped with sick COVID-19 patients.

>67 lunacat: A three to five day burst of high dose IV Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone) can work wonders for many autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, as you said.

Wow...500 mg of oral prednisone is a massive dose! That's tenfold the dose I take when I have a bad asthma attack, once every year or two. I'm relieved that John had a good response to it, though, and hopefully his new medication will control his symptoms without the need for taking high dose corticosteroids.

Ooh...your mezze feast and Christmas dinner plans sound fabulous; can you set a chair for me?

Which two Ottolenghi cookbooks did you buy? I have Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, Plenty, and Ottolenghi Simple, and I've used the Simple cookbook far and away the most. The sweet potato fries recipe in Simple was a huge hit for our Thanksgiving dinner two years ago.

Please tell John I said hello and give him my best wishes. I think I last saw the two of you for dinner in a restaurant in the City of London in 2018, right? I can't remember where we dined, though.

joulukuu 14, 2020, 4:30am

>34 kidzdoc: Thanks for posting that detail on the vaccine. I have a friend who is frontline and will be one of those getting the vaccine early and she's a little anxious, so I'll pass that on to her.

I'm guessing my dad probably can't get the vaccine as he has stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (although hasn't had any treatment). We're therefore looking forward to getting the vaccine so we can all go back to going into my parents house, and the grandkids can hang out which they've been hugely missing, but as I'm under 50 I think myself and the kids will be at the very end of the queue for it which is hugely frustrating. I'm expecting at least another 6 months therefore before we can feel safe enough to be around him, which given his medical situation and his age (81) feels like time we're all being robbed of together.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 14, 2020, 8:54am

>69 AlisonY: You're welcome, Alison. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting a COVID-19 Vaccine Safety webinar at 1 pm EST (6 pm GMT) today for clinicians in the United States, so that they can educate their patients about what to expect after vaccination, and can help monitor the safety of the vaccines. I'm not working today so I'll definitely attend this webinar, and I'll gladly share what I learn here.

Based on the CDC criteria, your father, if he was a resident of the United States, would presumably be classified as Phase 1c, which consists of adults with high risk medical conditions, and those 65 years of age and older. Those individuals will probably be vaccinated here in early 2021. I would assume that the UK has a similar system to decide the order in which people of certain groups are vaccinated. OTOH, you and especially your children would be considerably lower on the priority list, unless any of you had risk factors for severe disease from COVID-19.

I hope that you and your family are able to safely visit your father relatively soon.

joulukuu 14, 2020, 9:39am

>70 kidzdoc: Thanks Darryl. If my dad is able to get vaccinated then the rest of us will feel much happier about waiting, but at least my parents could enjoy their grandchildren visiting again.

joulukuu 14, 2020, 11:53am

>68 kidzdoc: Blimey, was it 2018? We’ll have to rectify that as soon as possible! I can’t remember the name of the place we ate but I do recall the most amazing roast cauliflower that we still recreate occasionally :).

I got him Ottolenghi: The Cookbook and Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook so hopefully he’ll enjoy trying out some of the recipes. The mezze feast we had came mostly from cookbooks called Mezze by Ghillie Basan and Fress by Emma Spitzer. It was very good, and I’m looking forward to him being able to cook ever more regularly, as I hate cooking!

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 14, 2020, 4:07pm

I posted this to the COVID-19 Discussion thread in Club Read, but this is for my friends from 75 Books and other groups who may not see that thread.

The first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are currently underway in the United States, to nearly 150 sites today and over 400 others tomorrow. The Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccine will be reviewed by the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Thursday of this week (meeting link here), and similar to the process of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine last week, approval from the committee will likely come late that afternoon, with approval by the FDA on Friday or Saturday. Once that happens we'll have even more vaccine available, first to healthcare providers and residents of long term care facilities in Phase 1a, then to people in Phase 1b (essential workers in the Education Sector, Food & Agriculture, Utilities, Police, Firefighters, Corrections Officers, Transportation), followed by those in Phase 1c (Adults with high-risk medical conditions, and Adults 65+).

I just finished attending a CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) webinar titled What Every Clinician Should Know about COVID-19 Vaccine Safety. The CDC will be monitoring individuals who receive the vaccine and clinicians who administer it via several methods: a smartphone app called V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker, which recipients of the vaccine will be asked to download upon receipt of the vaccine. Users of the app will be asked about their symptoms on a daily basis for 7 days, then weekly after that, for 6 weeks post vaccination, followed by checks at 3, 6 and 12 months. Once the recipient receives the second vaccine dose, 3-4 weeks later, the timing for this monitoring resets, with daily checks for another 7 days, followed by weekly checks for 6 weeks and checks at 3, 6 and 12 months. Those who experience an adverse event thought to be due to the vaccine, or clinicians of these recipients, can report it to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System through the Department of Health and Human Services, a system that is already in place for other childhood and adult vaccinations. Vaccine safety will also be monitored by the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a collaborative project between CDC’s Immunization Safety Office and nine health care organizations, and by the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project, which is a national network of vaccine safety experts from the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office (ISO), seven medical research centers, and other partners, which provides a comprehensive vaccine safety public health service to the nation.

The webinar also discussed what symptoms are to be expected from the vaccines and when, and which ones should prompt further evaluation. Counting the day of vaccination as day 1, recipients can expect to experience fevers, fatigue, headache, chills, myalgias (muscle aches) and arthralgias (achy joints) for the first three days after vaccination. The symptoms will be mild to moderate, and should resolve in two days. These symptoms will mainly be felt by those 18-55 years of age, and will be more likely with the second dose of the vaccine. (BTW, those who get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine with the first dose should not get the Moderna vaccine with the second one, and vice versa.) Signs and symptoms that are not expected include shortness of breath, rhinorrhea (runny nose), sore throat, or loss of taste or smell, and symptoms after day 5 post vaccination are not to be expected, either. These criteria apply to healthcare workers and residents of long term care facilities who receive the vaccine, but I assume that they will apply to others who are vaccinated as well.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 8:51am

Barring a small miracle in the next 11 days 2020 will be the worst year of pleasure reading I've had in 20 years, which was unexpected because I had more days off from work than in any year of my adulthood, as I cut back my work hours and took a six week leave of absence in February and March to tend to my mother while my father was hospitalized in an ICU and a rehabilitation hospital. Yesterday I had an online conversation with several close British friends who are minimally or no longer active on LibraryThing, and all said that they had terrible reading years as well.

In response to a question from another friend, a fellow pediatric hospitalist who is also an avid reader, I came up with my list of Best Books of 2020, the books which earned 4½ to 5 star ratings from me:

Apeirogon by Colum McCann
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer's Awakening by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
The Heartland: Finding and Losing Schizophrenia by Nathan Filer
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey
My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing "Slow Medicine," The Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Ones by Dennis McCullough, M.D.
Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson
A Promised Land by Barack Obama*
Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid by William D. Lopez
Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli
Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World by David Owen
The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom

*I added the memoir by Barack Obama even though I haven't finished it because I intend to do so by the end of the month, and, based on what I've read so far, I expect it to earn at least a 4½ star rating. If I do really well I might also finish Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, this year's Booker Prize winner, which may also earn a spot here.

Apeirogon was a lightly fictionalized account of two men, one Israeli and one Palestinian, who each lost young daughters to violent deaths as a result of the conflict between the two communities, and became close friends after they joined a group of those who also lost children and were dedicated to achieving understanding and kinship. McCann weaves their stories with snippets of information about Israel and Palestine into a very compelling "novel" that was longlisted for this year's Booker Prize, but unfortunately was not chosen for the shortlist.

Beloved was my introduction into Toni Morrison's work, and it was a searing story of the horrors of slavery in America, a compelling tale of magical realism, and a mysterious ghost story that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. It was my favorite novel of the year.

Birth of a Dream Weaver is the third volume in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's autobiographical series, which covers his years as a student at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, when his home country of Kenya rebelled against its brutal colonial rulers and gained its independence from the United Kingdom. In this book he gains his voice and consciousness, and becomes a columnist for the university newspaper and a prominent paper in the Ugandan, writes an award winning play, and works on his first novel, all before graduation.

The Heartland is the author's account of this dreaded illness from his vantage point of a mental health nurse in the UK. In it he describes several people with schizophrenia, along with their families, friends, and those who provide care to them, in a moving account. This book and his earlier novel The Shock of the Fall, the winner of the 2013 Costa Prize, were recommended to me by Rachael (FlossieT), and as usual they were both outstanding.

How to Be an Antiracist is Professor Ibram X. Kendi's follow up to his National Book Award winning book Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. In it he uses his own life story and growth and development as a thinker and public intellectual to lay out his views on racist and antiracist ideas and policies. It made me consider several of my own racist opinions and beliefs, particularly toward my fellow African Americans, and provided me with much food for thought going forward. My copy of Stamped from the Beginning is at my parents' house, and since I'll visit them after Christmas and for the New Year it will be one of the first books I read in 2021.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 8:54am

Ah, more books to put on the wish list! I also haven't read as much as I thought I would-although I have been happy with my book choices this year.And.. the Giller shortlist was really good.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 9:07am

Invisible Man was a reread for me, as I had read it somewhat distractedly many years ago (pre-LT), and I got much more out of it on a second go than I did the first time.

Lost Children Archive was a superb novel narrated by a Chicana audio documentarian whose second marriage is to a fellow colleague, each of whom brings one young child into the new family, who decides to take a road trip from NYC to the southwestern United States, she to attempt to locate the children of a fellow Latina she befriends in her community, and he to chronicle the last resting place of Geronimo, the great Apache chief, and his followers. The novel is based in part on the author's nonfiction book Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, which is her account of several people she interviewed as a translator for Latinx caught trying to cross the Mexico-US border who sought political asylum in America.

My Mother, Your Mother is the best of the superb books I've read about caring for elderly loved ones and end of life care, even more so than Being Mortal by Atul Gawande and With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix, which are both outstanding and highly recommended works. The author is a geriatrician in New England, and this book provides a wealth of practical advice, especially for those of us who are caring for aging parents approaching the end of their lives. I read it during the six weeks that I was caring for my mother during my father's near fatal collapse early this year, and it was easily the most useful book I've ever read.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 9:56am

Petals of Blood is a classic African post-colonial novel from one of my favorite writers, which is set in a small village in Kenya and is centered on four men from different backgrounds who become friends, and are accused of murdering four corrupt businessmen who build a major road through the town, supposedly to modernize and develop it, but, as businessmen do, they gain all the profit as the villagers suffer even more hardships than they experienced previously. Ngũgĩ wrote this novel in 1977, and based on it and his subsequent play I Will Marry When I Want, he was arrested by Kenyan authorities on December 30th of that year and detained in a maximum security prison for 12 months.

A Portable Paradise, the winner of the 2019 T.S. Eliot Prize and the 2020 Ondaatje Prize, is high on my list of all time favorite poetry collections, and it may be my favorite book of the year. Written by a London born writer, musician and spoken work artist of Trinidadian descent, it starts out with the horrific Grenfell Tower fire in West London on 14 June 2017 which claimed at least 72 lives, which took place during one of my frequent visits to the capital. He writes poignantly about some of the people who died in that disaster, particularly in the book's opening poem The Missing, as read by the author in this short video:

Other sections concern the plight of Blacks in Britain, and a touching tribute to the NICU nurse who cared for his prematurely born daughter. None of his other poetry books are apparently available in the US, but I will gobble up all of his books and acquire the CDs of his albums during my next visit to London.

Separated is a powerful and detailed examination of the devastating effects that an immigrant raid in 2013 had on a Latinx community in Washtenaw County, Michigan. The author befriended several members of the community as a graduate student and activist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and he views the raid and its aftermath as a public health crisis in the community, as several breadwinners and leading figures were arrested, detained and deported in a ham handed raid for their supposed involvement in drug trafficking, even though the actual trafficker had already been arrested and none of these men were involved in criminal activity, although many came to this country illegally. This book vividly portrayed the fears and challenges that these immigrants face on a daily basis, when every trip and knock on their front doors could lead to capture and deportation, which a good portion of the families of Latinx patients I care for in the hospital must also experience.

Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World is a great look into the world of people with hearing disorders, written by a sufferer of tinnitus, which was recommended to me by Madeline (SqueakyChu) and was of great interest, as my father suffers from tinnitus and progressive hearing loss. The author describes the different types of hearing loss, the deaf community and the challenges it faces, both within and outside of it, and the technologies that are available to overcome hearing deficits, which was very well written and enjoyable.

I've previously reviewed Memorial Drive and The Yellow House, which were outstanding memoirs by African American women set mainly in Mississippi and Atlanta, and New Orleans, respectively.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 10:02am

>75 torontoc: I'm glad that you liked my choices, Cyrel. I had a poor reading year, and an even worse reviewing year, so this was my attempt to briefly summarize the 15 books, not counting A Promised Land, that had the most impact on me in 2020. I wish I had read more books, especially given my promising start and big plans for the year, but I did read a high percentage of great books, including the 4 star books that didn't make this list.

I'll have to pay attention to the Giller Prize shortlist. I'm glad that it was a good one. I did add How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa to my Christmas wish list, based on recommendations from you and Lisa Peet, and I'll probably receive a copy of it from my father or brother this week.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 10:16am

>76 kidzdoc: - I am just starting My Mother, Your Mother right now, Darryl. I am also midway through Barack Obama's book, A Promised Land reading along in my hard copy as I listen to him read it to me on the audiobook I borrowed from the library. I am learning a lot as well as enjoying his voice. And the man can write!

And I also read Volume Control earlier this year (or was it last year? Time has totally got away from me this year).

joulukuu 21, 2020, 11:07am

>75 torontoc: I was correct in assuming that I would receive a nice book haul from my father this week; it just arrived a few minutes ago. However, How to Pronounce Knife was not one of the five Afrocentric nonfiction books he gifted me from my wish list:

Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream by Mychal Denzel Smith:

The events of the past decade have forced us to reckon with who we are and who we want to be. We have been invested in a set of beliefs about our American identity: our exceptionalism, the inevitable rightness of our path, the promise that hard work and determination will carry us to freedom. But in Stakes Is High, Mychal Denzel Smith confronts the shortcomings of these stories -- and with the American Dream itself -- and calls on us to live up to the principles we profess but fail to realize.

In a series of incisive essays, Smith exposes the stark contradictions at the heart of American life, holding all of us, individually and as a nation, to account. We've gotten used to looking away, but the fissures and casual violence of institutional oppression are ever-present.

Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie S. Glaude:

James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the civil rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. In our own moment, when that confrontation feels more urgently needed than ever, what can we learn from his struggle?

Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. (recommended by rocketjk):

This timely special edition, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, features a new preface by the authors that places the Party in a contemporary political landscape, especially as it relates to Black Lives Matter and other struggles to fight police brutality against black communities.

Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement and its disastrous unraveling. Informed by twelve years of meticulous archival research, as well as familiarity with most of the former Party leadership and many rank-and-file members, this book is the definitive history of one of the greatest challenges ever posed to American state power.

Afropessimism by Frank B. Wilderson III (longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction):

Combining trenchant philosophy with lyrical memoir, Afropessimism is an unparalleled account of Blackness.

Why does race seem to color almost every feature of our moral and political universe? Why does a perpetual cycle of slavery―in all its political, intellectual, and cultural forms―continue to define the Black experience? And why is anti-Black violence such a predominant feature not only in the United States but around the world? These are just some of the compelling questions that animate Afropessimism, Frank B. Wilderson III’s seminal work on the philosophy of Blackness.

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by Les Payne (winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction):

Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X―all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction.

The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, a work whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his Hartford followers stir with purpose, as if the dead were truly arising, to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting Malcolm’s life not only within the Nation of Islam but against the larger backdrop of American history, the book traces the life of one of the twentieth century’s most politically relevant figures “from street criminal to devoted moralist and revolutionary.”

I'll plan to read at least two of these books during Black History Month next year, probably Black Against Empire and The Dead Are Arising, and aim to read all five by year's end.

>79 jessibud2: Excellent, Shelley. I look forward to your thoughts on both books. I'll resume reading A Promised Land shortly.

Time has totally got away from me this year

I agree completely. In the middle of a lovely online conversation with Rachael (FlossieT), Fliss (flissp) and Luci (elkiedee) on Facebook yesterday I asked Rachael if I had told her about the afternoon I spent with Dr Kathryn Mannix, a British palliative care specialist and author of With the End in Mind, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival after the talk she gave there. I absolutely could not remember if that took place in 2018 or 2019, and I couldn't remember if I attended the festivals in Edinburgh last year, and if not why I didn't. I think I'm suffering from non-COVID-19 brain fog...

joulukuu 21, 2020, 12:13pm

What a great reading list! You may not have had quantity, but you definintely had quality.

And your haul from your dad is awesome. I'm adding a couple more to Mt. TBR.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 12:33pm

>81 markon: Thanks, Ardene! I'll make it my business to do a better job reviewing books in a timely fashion next year (famous last words).

joulukuu 21, 2020, 12:43pm

>80 kidzdoc:
I have Black Against Empire on my reading list for next year. I don't know if I will get to it, but it is on my list.

I just put "Black in Selma: The Uncommon Life of J. L. Chestnut, Jr." by J. L. Chestnut on my personal best reads of 2020 list. This book was published in 1993 and won the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award in 1994, which was how I discovered it. I found it fascinating. Of course, I live only 50 miles from Selma, Alabama so it was very relevant reading. If you haven't read it you might consider reading it. I found it a very honest autobiography, and of course, it had immediate geographic interest for me.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 2:11pm

>83 benitastrnad: Sounds good re: Black Against Empire, Benita.

Thanks for your recommendation of Black in Selma. Despite its historical significance I didn't have a good idea where Selma was located in Alabama until I used Google Maps just now. My mother was born in Troy, and I went there with her and her sisters for a family reunion (yikes) 30 years ago. The reunion was held in Troy and Enterprise, and afterward we visited relatives in Montgomery, not far from Selma, and Wetumpka, and made a day trip to Tuskegee, before we traveled by Greyhound bus from Montgomery to Atlanta, my first trip there, where we spent nearly a week before we took the train (Amtrak's Southern Crescent, needless to say) back to Philadephia.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 2:18pm

>74 kidzdoc: Good list Darryl. I've read 4: Beloved, How to be an Antiracist, A Portable Paradise, and A Promised Land. The last two will definitely be on my best of the year list too.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 2:23pm

>85 Caroline_McElwee: Very good, Caroline. I have you to thank for recommending A Portable Paradise to me, and it was as good as you said it was.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 2:45pm

Tachyon Publications, an SFF house, posted this on Twitter. Says it all, no?

joulukuu 21, 2020, 3:16pm

>87 richardderus: Definitely!!

joulukuu 21, 2020, 3:24pm

I would agree that 2020 has been a poor reading year for me as well. I haven’t been able to focus on more demanding reads, so I’ve read far more books which could be considered an easy read, and far less literary fiction or challenging non-fiction. Roll-on 2021!

joulukuu 21, 2020, 3:24pm

Friendly reminder: Jazz Odyssey today.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 21, 2020, 5:19pm

>89 SandDune: Fliss and Luci also said that they had difficulty concentrating on serious books this year. Hopefully we'll all do better in 2021.

>90 rocketjk: I'm tuned in to The Jazz Odyssey, and enjoying the opening selection by Hank Mobley. Thanks for the reminder!

ETA: I'm completely diggin' Don Cherry's Communion Suite! I need to check out more of his music.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 5:11pm

I'm always for quality over quantity when it comes to reading... when it comes to most things, I guess. And that's a good list, Darryl. I'm glad I nudged you toward How to Pronounce Knife—it's a good collection, an interesting glimpse into another culture, and a worthwhile investment of reading time.

I'm not ready to wrap up my year in reading just yet... in the middle of a dense nonfiction book where the subject matter is interesting but the writing itself is pretty dry, and I'm hoping I have at least one more book left in the year to end on a more fun note.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 6:06pm

>91 kidzdoc: Thanks for listening! You'll hear Don Cherry on all, or at least most, of Ornette Coleman's early albums. He has quite a few great LPs as a leader, as well. Also check out a 1966 album called "Avante-Garde" co-lead by Don Cherry and John Coltrane.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 21, 2020, 6:39pm

>93 rocketjk: Thanks for another great show, Jerry! I have several of those early Ornette Coleman albums that feature Don Cherry, including The Shape of Jazz to Come, This Is Our Music, and Something Else!!!!. I also purchased one of Don Cherry's later albums, although I haven't listened to it for many years, don't remember its title, and don't know where it is (I'll guess it's in my collection of albums in my old bedroom in my parents' house). I was also a fan, albeit briefly, of his daughter Neneh Cherry in the early 1990s, although I haven't listened to anything by her for two decades or more.

I'm glad that I saw Ornette Coleman perform live in San Francisco a year or two before he died, possibly as part of the SF Jazz Festival, which I attended regularly before I stopped going to San Francisco on a regular basis. His band included his son Denardo Coleman, who performed with his father one night, and with his mother, the poet and spoken word artist Jayne Cortez, and her group one or two nights later at a theater in the Mission District. I'm glad that I attended that performance as well, as the formerly married couple have since departed from us.

joulukuu 21, 2020, 11:21pm

>92 lisapeet: I agree completely, Lisa. I'd rather read 25 high quality books in a year than 100 mediocre ones, and most popular literature, especially bestselling books by American authors, leaves me annoyed and unsatisfied.

It appears that I'm getting another shipment from Amazon tomorrow, presumably from my father or brother, and it's possible that How to Pronounce Knife will be in it. Yikes, I hope that my father didn't buy all the books on my wish list!

I wasn't ready to wrap up my year in reading either, until a non-LT physician friend of mine asked me which were my favorite books of the year yesterday morning. After coming up with that list I was inspired to recreate it here, and write brief comments about each book that I hadn't reviewed previously.

joulukuu 22, 2020, 5:26am

>94 kidzdoc: Yes, I got to see Ornette Coleman three or four times. It was a truly revelatory experience. There was no sound as soulful as his horn.

joulukuu 22, 2020, 2:24pm

Thanks so much for your wrap up of books! Putting some on my list. Some others I have read. And still others are on hold at the library.
2020 has been an odd year for reading. At times I found myself devouring books that would help me understand this world in which we find ourselves. However, I could not stick with books that had a lot of greed and violence in them like Yellow Bird. And there was some escapist reading as well.

Currently reading How to Taste by Becky Selengut. all truth, it's a Christmas present for my son, to be paired with a bottle of Bourbon Maple Balsamic Vinegar (ever want to just drink vinegar out of the bottle? yum!). But no harm in skimming through the book before wrapping, right? I mention it because I thought you might find it interesting. I consider myself a pretty good cook, but have found some tips about when to add seasonings that I did not know.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 22, 2020, 3:48pm

>77 kidzdoc: I was thinking that I hadn't read any of Roger Robinson's work since The Butterfly Hotel in 2013, and then I realised he hadn't published any books between that and Portable Paradise. I see the latter is in my local library system so its now on my list for 2021. Thank you for the reminder.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 22, 2020, 4:22pm

>96 rocketjk: Bet you didn't see him at the Albert hall London playing violin to Yoko Ono's "singing". Now that was a noise. Thankfully it was only one number. Most of the concert was Ornette playing alto backed by Charlie Haden bass, David Izenzon bass and the wonderful Ed Blackwell on drums. I seem to remember Ornette played some trumpet as well. It was a magical night.

joulukuu 22, 2020, 4:30pm

Happy everything, Darryl. Here's to good health, above all, and of course, good books.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 24, 2020, 11:50am

>99 baswood: Wow, that's a great memory and photo. One of my great Ornette Coleman memories wasn't even from a performance, or at least not a musical performance. When I was a freelance jazz journalist, I used to attend an annual jazz industry conference run by the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE). There would be great performances, seminars on everything to do with the jazz world, from education, to journalism, to PR and so forth.Anyway, one evening the singer Kurt Elling was on stage to try to interview Ornette. Coleman was very good natured but he simply refused to give any straight answers to any of Elling's questions. He kept circling and circling back to a single memory: "I was six years old and I was in the kitchen with my mother, and my mother looked at me and said, 'Don't forget, I know who you are.'" He must have repeated that phrase (well, Im paraphasing but I think I'm pretty close) five or six times. At first the audience was nervously astounded. Had Coleman lost his mind? Did he just really dislike Elling? But then it occurred to most of us that Coleman was creating a prose poem, with a couple of themes being repeated. To Elling's credit, he picked up on the vibe quickly and just let it all flow without trying to control the direction of the event. It was an unforgettable performance.

joulukuu 24, 2020, 3:28am

Or in other words, Happy Christmas! And have a great New Year as well. Here’s hoping 2021 is an improvement on 2020.

joulukuu 24, 2020, 3:54pm

Wishing you a happy (merry doesn't seem possible this year) Christmas and a bright healthy New Year.

joulukuu 24, 2020, 5:04pm

I hope there are some treats, some relaxation, and some reading over the festive season, and that 2021 is a kinder year to everyone.

Hoping there will be some fine reads among your parcels Darryl.

joulukuu 24, 2020, 5:24pm

Darryl--Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you get a little time off during the holidays and I want to send a big shout out to you and all your health worker friends for all you do. THANK YOU!!!

May 2021 bring you less need for masks, loads of peace and joy, good health and, of course, books!

joulukuu 24, 2020, 8:43pm

Happy Holidays, Darryl! May your holidays be merry and socially distant.

joulukuu 25, 2020, 9:07am

Merry Christmas, buddy. I hope you're having a grand time with your folks. Debbi, Becca and I - and Jesse - send our best holiday wishes.

joulukuu 25, 2020, 11:12am

Merry Christmas, Darryl. Glad we got to be LT friends this year. Keep swingin'!

joulukuu 25, 2020, 8:16pm

I hope you get some of those at least, Darryl, as we all look forward to a better 2021.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 26, 2020, 8:37am

Thanks for the Christmas wishes, everyone! I'm on day four of my current five day work stretch, which included being on long call (8 am to 8 pm on Christmas Day), and after my short call on Sunday I'll be off from clinical service until January 7th.

I did get my first SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dose (Pfizer-BioNTech) on Wednesday. Other than mild soreness at the injection site and in my left deltoid muscle, which has now resolved, I felt completely fine. I'll get the second jab on January 13th, which works out well since I'm not working on the 14th and 15th, in case I am one of those who experiences systemic symptoms with the booster dose.

I'll catch up here later today or tomorrow.

joulukuu 26, 2020, 1:53pm

>110 kidzdoc: I'm so glad you've gotten the first part of your vaccine! My nephew is working on a floor with COVID patients in New Jersey and I hadn't realized how much I worried until his family reported that he'd gotten his first dose and his mother (who works in the same hospital as a pharmacist and who has some health issues that make her high risk) is getting hers on Wednesday.

I hope your well-earned break is restful.

joulukuu 26, 2020, 4:14pm

Hi Daryl-Just catching up on your thread, and going back to the last one discussing recipes and Pinterest, would you mind saying what your name on Pinterest is so I can check out your recipes? Thx.
I hope you have had a good Christmas, and glad that you got to spend Thanksgiving with your parents. It feels like forever since we’ve seen our kids and grandkids, and I haven’t seen my 90 year old mother for almost 2 years (unable to travel for more than a year before covid due to husband’s transplant). I for one am ready for the vaccine. My daughter and son-in-law got theirs last week (both doctors). DeSantis, governor of Florida where we are now has announced Florida will vaccinate the “elderly” (which we are even tho’ it doesn’t feel like it) before essential workers, so I’m hoping we get vaccinated within 6-8 weeks.

joulukuu 26, 2020, 6:23pm

Hey Daryl, glad things are moving along OK and that you're getting some good time off. Also good to hear that you're getting the vax. My son gets his first one on Monday, which is a huge relief for me.

joulukuu 26, 2020, 9:01pm

>96 rocketjk: Yes, I got to see Ornette Coleman three or four times. It was a truly revelatory experience. There was no sound as soulful as his horn.

Nice. I only saw him perform that one time in San Francisco, and I'm very happy that I did manage to go to one of his concerts before he died.

Many of my most memorable jazz concerts took place in San Francisco, far more than in NYC, oddly enough. The most unforgettable ones were Pharaoh Sanders' performance with pianist William Henderson at Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill in 2006 (he directed his notes towards the inner walls of the church, and the audience could hear the note he was playing at the moment, and at least two or three of the ones he had just played), Ravi Shankar's performance alongside his stunningly lovely daughter Anoushka at the Nob Hill Masonic Temple in 2009 (I won't soon forget walking up Powell Street from Market Street, looking up, and seeing Anoushka in a jogging outfit smiling at me as she ran past me down the hill), McCoy Tyner's solo performance at SF JAZZ Center roughly five or six years ago, and the 50th anniversary recreation of the famous 1957 Thelonious Monk/John Coltrane Carnegie Hall concert, as performed by Brad Mehldau/Joshua Redman et al.

>97 tangledthread: You're welcome, tangledthread. As you said, this has been an odd year for reading.

Thanks for mentioning How to Taste, which sounds interesting. Have you read Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat, and, if so, how does this book compare to that one? I'll try to get to her book in 2021, and I'll keep an eye out for Becky Selengut's book as well.

I consider myself a pretty good cook

The nurses and fellow physicians I work with at Children's who have tasted what I've made would say that about me, including those who enjoyed the jambalaya I made for lunch for those of us who had to spend Christmas Day in the hospital; no one wants to eat cafeteria food on major holidays. I still think of myself as more of a technician, someone who can follow a recipe in the manner of following instructions for performing a task in a laboratory. I respect those folks who can put together a very tasty dish based on their knowledge of foods and spices, and a book like How to Taste may help me get to that level.

2021 will be a year in which my friends in Atlanta will get together far more often than in years past, to dine in restaurants and in each others' homes to have potluck dinners once we're all fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. Two of my favorite ED physician friends (Abby and Sarah) and I made plans yesterday to meet for dinner on the last weekend in January in Abby's house, along with other foodie friends yet to be determined, and I've agreed to make Emeril Lagasse's alligator sauce piquante. One of my partners had several of us over for dinner in October, and we're planning to meet early next year, another good friend, a nurse practitioner who I've cooked alongside twice, wants to resume our mutual dinner preparations soon, and several others have separately expressed interest in doing the same thing, particularly two nurse practitioners, one Cubana from South Florida and one Brasileira from Rio de Janeiro, who are both fabulous cooks.

>98 spiralsheep: You're welcome, spiralsheep. Roger Robinson's books don't seem to be available in the United States, or at least not widely so. I'll have to search the online catalog of the Emory University Libraries to see if they have any of his books, especially since Emory has an extensive poetry collection.

>99 baswood: That sounds like a great concert, despite Yoko Ono's shrieking singing, Barry.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 26, 2020, 9:32pm

>100 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! Happy Holidays to you, and I look forward to your reading exploits in 2021. I'll continue to make Club Read my primary reading home next year, but I'll follow you and selected others in the 75 Books group.

>101 rocketjk: That's a great recollection about Kurt Elling's interview of Ornette Coleman, Jerry. Have you heard of or read Ornette Coleman: The Territory and the Adventure by Maria Golia, a biography of the great saxophonist that was published this spring? I'll be on the lookout for it next year.

BTW I'm listening to A New Perspective by Donald Byrd now, as Cristo Redentor has been in my head off and on since I played it while I made jambalaya on Thursday evening.

I'm not working on Monday, as tomorrow is my last work day of the year, so I'll almost certainly listen to The Jazz Odyssey that afternoon.

>102 SandDune: ¡Muchísimas gracias y Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo a ti y su família, Rhian!

>103 VivienneR: Thanks, Vivienne! Happy Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too.

>104 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline! I hope the same for you, too. My father went well beyond my wildest dreams, as he sent me 10 books from my Amazon wish list this week, the five I mentioned in >80 kidzdoc:, and these five titles:

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu (the winner of this year's National Book Award for Fiction)
Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine
Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education by Mychal Denzel Smith
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
Deacon King Kong by James McBride

It will now probably be quite a while before I go book shopping! Sanne (Ennas), one of my Dutch LT friends who I've met at least twice in the Netherlands, may be correct in wondering if my to-be-read collection has reached SABLE (Stack Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy) status.

joulukuu 26, 2020, 9:43pm

I am on chapter 18 of Obama's book, Darryl, and am enjoying having him read it to me. I find it's moving more quickly for me this way. I follow along in my hard copy and am pleased that I will be able to return the audiobook to the library before it's due on Jan. 6. In fact, I am hoping to finish it this week so I can count it as my final book of this year.

joulukuu 26, 2020, 10:17pm

>105 Berly: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too, Kim! Yes, I will have a nice break after my last shift tomorrow, and I'll fly to Philadelphia on Tuesday to spend a week with my parents, brother, and cousin from Ann Arbor, Michigan, who has become the little sister I never had in the past few years.

I appreciate the shout out to me and my fellow front line healthcare workers, especially in this pandemic year and those of us who had to spend Christmas Day in the hospital. None of us wants to be there that day, but we do our best to make the best of it. We had a great potluck lunch with the nurses on the 2nd floor (first photo), and the 4th floor crew (second photo) had a nice spread as well; I didn't think to take any photos of the impressive table of food from either unit.


As expected, our load of patients with COVID-19 has increased significantly, especially since there was a COVID-19 outbreak at a nearby hospital that houses kids with eating disorders on Christmas Eve, which led them to send us four of their infected patients that day, discharge the rest of them, and shut down their inpatient unit.

>106 RidgewayGirl: Happy Christmas to you too, Kay! I love that art work. I hope to see you and Pattie in Atlanta for the 2021 Decatur Book Festival in September; we should all be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 by then.

>107 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! I'll fly to Philadelphia on Tuesday to see my parents for a week, which I'm greatly looking forward to. Are you still in Pittsburgh, or have you returned to Chicago? Give my best wishes to Debbi and Becca, and I hope to see all of you, in Chicago and London, in 2021.

>108 rocketjk: Thanks, Jerry; Happy Holidays to you, too! I'll continue to follow you on LT, and listen to The Jazz Odyssey whenever I can.

>109 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul; I hope that you, Hani, and the rest of your family have a blessed and far better year in 2021. Hopefully we can get the gang together in London or Yorkshire next year, although it won't be the same now that Café Also has permanently closed.

joulukuu 27, 2020, 6:02am

>180 >115 kidzdoc: The Baldwin has gone straight in my cart. It is out here on 14 Jan.

Beyond doubt I'm suffering from SABLE (Stack Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy) Darryl.

joulukuu 27, 2020, 12:30pm

>118 Caroline_McElwee:"Beyond doubt I'm suffering from SABLE (Stack Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy) Darryl."

"Suffering" is the wrong word, though. :)

joulukuu 27, 2020, 12:54pm

>119 rocketjk: True Jerry. My floorboards and shelves groan, but I smile...

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 27, 2020, 1:55pm

>111 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay; I'm both glad and grateful to have received my first SARS-CoV-2 jab on Wednesday. My minimal arm soreness on Thursday and Friday completed resolved yesterday, and I feel completely fine. I'll get my second (booster) dose on 1/13/21, and I'll be fully protected two weeks after that.

I hope your well-earned break is restful.

I hope so too...but it probably won't be as restful as I would like, due to my parents' needs.

>112 arubabookwoman: My username on Pinterest is my personal name, Darryl Morris. Let me know if you have trouble finding it.

I wouldn't visit my parents if they didn't need me to help them out, and going there always makes me a bit nervous, not because of me seeing COVID-19 in the hospitals, but because of the idjits who don't practice social distancing or other recommended public health measures.

>113 lisapeet: That's great news, Lisa. I wish your son well.

>116 jessibud2: You're further along in A Promised Land than I am, Shelley. I'm on chapter 11, and have roughly 420 pages to go in it. I still think I'll finish it before the end of the year, but I seriously doubt that I'll read anything else.

>118 Caroline_McElwee: Excellent, Caroline. I look forward to your thoughts on Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own.

Beyond doubt I'm suffering from SABLE (Stack Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy) Darryl.

I suspect that most of us have this problem.

>119 rocketjk:, >120 Caroline_McElwee:

"Suffering" is the wrong word, though. :)


ETA: I may need to use that acronym in the title of my first Club Read thread of 2021.

joulukuu 27, 2020, 7:52pm

I thought you might be interested to hear that John has been told that his new disease modifying treatment (Gilenya) means that when he receives his vaccine he won’t be as covered as the general population, as the Gilenya sequesters a lot of his lymphocytes into his lymph nodes in order to stop them attacking his nervous system, and obviously that has an impact on the vaccine efficacy.

We still don’t know if he’ll be advised to have the vaccine or not, but Novartis have to inform him that taking Gilenya will reduce his response to it if he does get the vaccine.

joulukuu 28, 2020, 4:21am

>122 lunacat: Thanks for that very useful information, Jenny. I just looked up the mechanism of action of fingolimod (Gilenya), and the information I found matches exactly what you mentioned. T lymphocytes, or T cells, are essential to the recognition of foreign antigens, or proteins on the outer cell membranes of bacteria, viruses and parasites, including the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 that is produced by the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines and displayed on some of the recipient's own cell membranes. The subset of T cells that recognizes the Spike protein as foreign then signals the alert to the rest of the immune system, and B lymphocytes, or B cells, produce antibodies specific to that antigen, which coat the infected cells and allow killer T lymphocytes to destroy those cells and stop the spread of the virus. If your lymphocytes are mainly sequestered inside of lymph nodes and are not in circulation in the bloodstream you'll have a more difficult time in mounting immune responses to pathogens, disease causing microorganisms.

Please let me know once you find out if John is or is not advised to receive one of the mRNA vaccines.

joulukuu 28, 2020, 9:45am

Hiya, Darryl. I hope you've been having a good holiday in between work stints. Happy Kinda New Thread, and Happy New Year. I can't wait for 1/20/21, and have my fingers crossed for 1/5/21 in Georgia.

Thanks for your posts about your covid vaccine experiences on Facebook. We're figuring March or April for us, but maybe it'll happen sooner, given that two have been approved.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 28, 2020, 11:13am

>124 jnwelch: Hey, buddy! I completed my last work shift yesterday afternoon, and I'm now on day one of a badly needed 10 day break. The past five days were emotionally draining, due mainly to one patient in particular, and I'm glad to leave that girl and everything else behind me and recharge my batteries over the next 1½ weeks.

Like you I'm very eager to see what happens on January 5th. I cast an early absentee ballot early this month, which has already been received, accepted and counted, so I can sit back and watch the election coverage after I return to Atlanta from Philadelphia that day. The early turnout has been extremely high, nearly as much as the turnout for the presidential election in Georgia, and both races seem to be very tight, due to the high local and national interest in these runoff elections, and to the flurry of television and radio ads for all four campaigns, along with mail from them, the Democratic Party of Georgia, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama. I just realized that the 8-10+ text messages and 3-5 phone calls I received each day have now come to a halt, most likely because the organizations which are sending them have been able to see that my ballot has been cast and counted.

I think March or April is a reasonable guess for when you & Debbi will receive the first SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. As you've probably heard, the next group to receive either vaccine after front line healthcare workers and residents of long term care facilities (Phase 1a) are people 75 and higher, and frontline essential non-healthcare workers (first responders (e.g., firefighters and police officers), corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the education sector (teachers and support staff members) as well as child care workers) (Phase 1b), which is expected to be completed by late February. Becca fits into this category, as you may have heard. The next group (phase 1c) will be other essential workers: workers in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, and public safety (e.g., engineers), and public health workers; persons aged 65-74 years; and persons aged 16-64 years with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19. Phase 1c should begin in early March, since the CDC anticipates completing the vaccination of people in Phase 1b by the end of February.

I look forward to my octogenarian parents getting vaccinated in the next month or two, as do they.

joulukuu 28, 2020, 3:12pm

>118 Caroline_McElwee: >119 rocketjk: SABLE, an apt acronym :)

>125 kidzdoc: enjoy your break Darryl! Sometimes you (i.e., me, us, anyone) don't realise just how much you needed one til you are having one. I am thoroughly enjoying my down time this week.

joulukuu 28, 2020, 4:34pm

>126 LovingLit: Thanks, Megan! Your words are particularly apt this afternoon. I felt great this morning, and after running several errands (hair cut, supermarket, bakery, takeaway breakfast burrito, gas station, pharmacy) I came back home feeling fine, but around noon I felt wiped out, and starting having some mild gastrointestinal symptoms. I feel really tired now, and I'll probably postpone my trip to Philadelphia for at least a couple of days, in order to get some more rest, and to monitor my symptoms, as I did care for two or three patients hospitalized with COVID-19 this past week. I don't have any symptoms suggestive of that infection, but, given its severity and that my parents are not protected I want to be as safe as I possibly can before I travel there.

joulukuu 28, 2020, 11:16pm

Fingers crossed for January 5. It could be huge or it could be more of the same. It does seem like the Republicans painted themselves into a bit of a corner with the coronavirus relief bill. I say "sleep with a dog, wake up with fleas" to any of them who thought their loyalty to the current occupant of the White House would be appreciated or honored.

Enjoy your ten days off. I agree that 2020 has been annus horribilis and I hope for better things in 2021. For you and for me: less stress and more reading. Oh, and a bit of travel.

I'm really enjoying (is that the right word? perhaps appreciating...) Memorial Drive. I'm listening to it narrated by the author so it's going slowly as audio books are not my main thing. But it is good for distraction while riding the stationary bike which is good for my 4-month-old knee.

Happy New Year, Darryl!!

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 29, 2020, 3:55am

>128 EBT1002: Right, Ellen. The Senate runoff races are both very tight, according to Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight, which shows David Perdue with a statistically insignificant lead over Jon Ossoff, 47.9% to 47.8% (presumably the remaining 4.3% are still undecided), and Raphael Warnock slightly ahead of Kelly Loeffler, 48.3% to 47.3%. I would be thrilled beyond measure if both Democratic candidates won, satisfied if Reverend Warnock defeated Buckhead Barbie (Kiss Ass Kelly is my other name for her, as she essentially bought her seat on the Senate due to her massive donations to Governor Brian Kemp's campaign and to the local and national Republican parties), and massively disappointed if Perdue and Loeffler held their seats. Loeffler has resorted to thinly disguised race baiting ads that are designed to rally her racist supporters outside of metro Atlanta, which may backfire on her amongst well educated and sophisticated Whites in the suburbs of Atlanta and Georgia's other major cities.

I spoke too soon when I celebrated the apparent end of the text messages and phone calls from political organizations. I received one phone call and five or six text messages, most of which had my name incorrect, and I suspect that these will probably increase over the next three days, as early voting ends on December 31st. I'll submit another donation to both campaigns later today.

For you and for me: less stress and more reading. Oh, and a bit of travel.

Amen to that. I've cancelled my flight from Atlanta to Philadelphia this morning, which is set to leave in a little less than five hours. I'm still having mild gastrointestinal symptoms, and now have developed equally mild upper respiratory symptoms (rhinorrhea and sore throat), so I do have something, although in any other year I would label this as a routine respiratory viral infection and not think twice about it, or change my travel plans. I also feel a bit hypocritical in deciding to travel for what is, frankly, an unnecessary trip, while criticizing others who don't follow recommended public health guidelines. My parents will be massively disappointed, but I'll call them later this morning to tell them that I've decided to cancel my plans to travel there this week, and instead will visit them in three weeks, once I've received my second SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and I'm nearly completely protected against the novel coronavirus. I'll receive my second jab on January 13th, and per the information from Pfizer-BioNTech and the CDC, I'll be fully protected two weeks after that. I could visit them from January 21-24, but I'll probably wait until my group's February schedule is posted before booking my next flight there.

I'm glad that you're, um, appreciating Memorial Drive. Although I don't use it as often as other major streets I'm quite familiar with that thoroughfare, which runs from downtown Atlanta east to Stone Mountain, where Natasha Trethewey and her mother lived. I don't know exactly where they lived, but I've undoubtedly passed their complex on several occasions since I've lived here. I look forward to your final comments about it.

If you haven't read The Yellow House I would highly recommend it as well.

Happy New Year to you and P! See you in 2021.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 5:05am

>117 kidzdoc: I am ever so glad I expressed my gratitude to health care workers on the 24th because on the 25th I wound up in the ER! Grrr. Allergic reaction and all my fault because I missed the ingredient when I read the list. Sigh. The staff was great and they got me home in time to sleep some of the night in my own bed. See? Good Karma!

Also love the photos you posted -- I notice some great Christmas sweaters. The staff at OHSU had some pretty spectacular ones, too. Made me smile even in the midst of everything. : )

>129 kidzdoc: And I am very glad you get some time off, although not that you are now fighting something. Dang it. Hope you feel better soon and glad that you will get your second SARS-CoV-2 vaccine mid-January. Then you can visit your parents and have a great time!

Crossing my fingers on the Senate runoff...

joulukuu 29, 2020, 6:01am

>130 Berly: I'm sorry that you had to go to the ED, Kim, especially on Christmas Day! I'm glad that your stay was a brief one, though.

I should have taken more photos, of the staff wearing Christmasy gear, and the great decorations on each unit.

My "illness" is quite mild, and I wouldn't think of calling out sick. I have been exposed to several patients hospitalized with COVID-19, though, and although my symptoms at the moment aren't consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection I don't think it's worth taking a risk, especially since the local testing centers are booked for appointments until at least January 2nd.

My first Club Read thread of 2021 is here:

joulukuu 29, 2020, 6:16am

>129 kidzdoc: I've never said "I hope you have a cold" to anyone but I do hope your symptoms resolve into something minor. Very sensible to stay at home to look after yourself, and everyone else.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 29, 2020, 6:26am

>132 spiralsheep: Thanks, spiralsheep. I'd say that I'm at least 90% normal in terms of my health, with resolution of my rhinorrhea, a barely discernible sore throat, minimal GI tract symptoms, and nothing else. It is probably just a cold, but given that I can't completely rule out COVID-19 and that my mild symptoms could be deadly to my parents, and to the wife of one of their closest neighbors, who is battling stage 4 breast cancer, I don't think it's worth the risk to travel there, along with the risk of acquiring the virus en route. I could use the rest myself, since I normally run around like a crazed rabbit when I've visited my parents this year, and I could use a nice long mental and physical break heading into our busiest time of the year at work. It would also allow me to get off to a good start in terms of my reading goals for 2021.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 10:17am

Sorry to hear you're not feeling well; I hope it resolves quickly and completely. Enjoy your R&R. I assume you'll be doing some cooking and some reading.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 10:24am

Hope you’re feeling better soon Darryl.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 29, 2020, 10:55am

>134 markon: Thanks, Ardene. Yes, I will be cooking up a storm, and reading several books over the next nine days. I have ingredients to make a Mexicanized version of chicken matzo ball soup (a.k.a. "Jewish penicillin"), which I'll probably make this afternoon, and in subsequent days I'll make alligator sauce piquante, crawfish étouffée, Emeril Lagasse's Macaroni Cavatappi with Four Cheeses!, another pot of Zuppa Toscana, and on New Year's Day I'll make Hoppin' John and collard greens, in keeping with Deep Southern tradition.

I'll get back to A Promised Land by Barack Obama shortly. I'll finish it on Thursday if I read ~150 pages a day, a very achievable goal, and then I'll resume reading Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture by Ed Morales, and, time permitting, Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present by Frank M. Snowden

>135 SandDune: Thanks, Rhian. This is the first time I've been "sick" with anything all year, and if it wasn't for the current pandemic I wouldn't even mention it to anyone, or change my travel plans.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 11:02am

>136 kidzdoc: I'm making shrimp creole tonight. I have three different Louisiana cookbooks to choose from. I think I'll make the dish once per fortnight for the next month and a half, using each cookbook in turn, until I figure out which my wife and I like best. My wife has promised Hoppin' John for New Year's, as well.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 11:18am

>137 rocketjk: Excellent! I made Shrimp Creole for the first time in January, and posted the recipe in La Cucina in Club Read. I have shrimp in my freezer, but I'll probably use it to make John Boutté's Down in the Tremé Carrot Coconut Ginger Shrimp Soup, one of my favorite cold weather – and under the weather – soups, along with chicken matzo ball soup, and the West African sweet potato and bean groundnut stew that my group's former practice manager told me about several years ago.

I'll create another La Cucina thread in Club Read 2021, so that we can all share our culinary creations there.

I went to Publix Supermarket yesterday and saw plenty of collard greens then. If I knew I was going to stay in Atlanta I would have purchased some, so I'll go back there tomorrow or later today, since in past years there was a severe shortage of greens just before New Year's Day (folks in the Deep South normally make collard or mustard greens to go with Hoppin' John, as the greens signify wealth in the New Year). I think I have dried black eyed peas and either smoked turkey neck bones or ham hocks in my freezer for Hoppin' John, but I'll check shortly.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 3:06pm

*Hugs* to you for staying home to keep your parents safe, and I hope you're feeling better soon!

joulukuu 29, 2020, 3:32pm

Darryl, I was going to post on your new thread, but it looks like I have to join the group to do so in 2021... Here's hoping you feel better soon, and I'm glad to hear you got the first part of the vaccine!

joulukuu 29, 2020, 3:49pm

>139 scaifea: Thanks, Amber! My parents are massively disappointed, and my baby brudda is apparently ticked off at me for not coming, as he won't get a break from checking in on them, but I feel completely comfortable with my decision, as it's the right thing to do in a non-emergency situation.

>140 bell7: Thanks, Mary! Here's a link to my first Club Read thread of 2021:

I intend to follow you, Amber, and my other dear 75 Books friends from now on, so I'll look for your threads in the new group.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 6:28pm

Darryl, do I have to join another group to post on your new thread? Did I join this year? I hadn't thought so but maybe the rules changed. Or maybe I am not paying attention (more likely)

joulukuu 29, 2020, 8:42pm

Hi Darryl! Sorry to read you are feeling not so well. I hope it will turn out as just something mild. Would the first injection give you some protection right now? I think you are quite right not to take the risk to infect your parents at this moment.

Happy cooking! And wishing you the best in 2021!

>142 jessibud2: It does look like it, Shelley.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 10:05pm

>142 jessibud2: Uh oh. Hopefully that's just an oversight, rather than a policy change. I had only wanted to maintain a thread in Club Read, and not 75 Books as well. If Lois has changed the policy then I'll create a 75 Books thread, as I don't want to lose contact with you and my other friends there.

>143 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. I think that it is a mild viral infection, but I do know of some people who were shocked to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 with similarly mild symptoms, and what could be a mild infection for me could be deadly for my parents.

My body's immune system is probably now starting to produce B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes and antibodies that are specifically designed to attack the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 in large numbers, and a serum (blood) test might show evidence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG (immunoglobulin G, one of the antibody classes). I probably have a limited degree of protection against the novel coronavirus, but it might not be enough to prevent infection, and it would certainly be less than the protection I'll have after I receive the second (booster) vaccination in two weeks, on 13 January, and I'll be maximally protected two weeks after that, on 27 January.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 10:11pm

>142 jessibud2:, >144 kidzdoc: - I think you have to join the group to post on threads, but that just involves clicking the Join button on the group page. You don't need to set up a thread or anything. No biggie.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 10:13pm

>145 katiekrug: That wasn't the case last year, though. And, I'm no longer a member of 75 Books this year, but I can freely post on members' threads there.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 10:16pm

>146 kidzdoc: - I believe it's an Admin setting. My point was that it's not really an issue to join the group to post on your threads, if you don't want to have to maintain a second thread. No skin off my nose either way!

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 29, 2020, 11:26pm

joulukuu 30, 2020, 2:00am

>145 katiekrug:
I think you have to join the group to post on threads, but that just involves clicking the Join button on the group page. You don't need to set up a thread or anything. No biggie.

I disagree. It means >Talk > My Groups is now unusable. I mean, I know how to navigate around that, but years ago I used that a lot. I used to have threads on the 75 Books group, but I never joined the group due to the cacophany over there that overwhelmed my other groups. It was better to stay unsubscribed if I actually wanted to see the posts I wanted to see.

joulukuu 30, 2020, 10:35am

>149 Nickelini: - I just use the Starred Threads view for Talk and keeping track of who I want to keep track of. You are right, of course, that it would add a lot of "unwanted" threads to the My Groups view, though at least Club Read isn't cacophonous :)

joulukuu 30, 2020, 12:18pm

Although I'm thoroughly enjoying A Promised Land by Barack Obama I still have a little more than 400 pages to go, so I doubt that I'll finish it by tomorrow night. It will be the first book I finish in 2021, though.

joulukuu 30, 2020, 1:19pm

This might make you smile: John is planning a full Ottolenghi feast for NYE with his new cookbooks.

We’re having:

Roast pork belly with spiced red plum, ginger and rhubarb relish
Beef tomato carpaccio
Cauliflower tabbouleh
Tenderstem broccoli with soy sauce and peanuts
Roasted whole cauliflower and
Butterbean mash with muhammara

I knew I married him for a reason. The baby is most put out to discover she’ll just be having milk!

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2020, 1:30pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2020, 1:35pm

>152 lunacat: That sounds fabulous, Jenny! I'll buy a HoneyBaked half ham tomorrow morning, cook macaroni & cheese and alligator sauce piquante tomorrow afternoin, and black eyed peas with rice (Hoppin' John) and collard greens with smoked turkey neck bones on New Year's Day. I'll eat well, but not as well as you and John!

If the baby is taking your milk she'll get a taste of that superb meal. Bon appétit!

joulukuu 30, 2020, 1:35pm

>150 katiekrug:
though at least Club Read isn't cacophonous :)

LOL - yes! That's why I'm here and not over at 75

>152 lunacat:

Your home is going to smell marvelous

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2020, 2:09pm

>155 Nickelini: Yes. I definitely appreciate the small size, quietude and lack of competitiveness in this group.

joulukuu 30, 2020, 2:41pm

>152 lunacat: - That sounds amazing, Jenny.

>155 Nickelini: and >156 kidzdoc: - I like visiting over here and giving my ears a break.... I'll try to remain quiet and unobstrusive.

joulukuu 30, 2020, 2:58pm

>149 Nickelini: - I am thoroughly confused. If I click to join Club Read in order to follow Darryl's thread, are you saying that I will no longer be able to access the 75ers groups in talk? When it comes to technology or anything even remotely confusing like this, I am very easily confused.

>151 kidzdoc: - I have a bit over 100 pages left, Darryl and I am determined to finish it by tomorrow! ;-)

joulukuu 30, 2020, 3:03pm

>138 kidzdoc: fyi, the Shrimp Creole came out quite well. I used the recipe from a fun small cookbook put out by the Tabasco Sauce company: Cookin' Up the Blues with Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce. Each recipe is supposedly provided by a different musician. So what I was working from last night was "Buckwheat Zydeco's Shrimp Creole." I was also looking at a recipe from the Commander's Palace cookbook. Figured I'd save the Shrimp Creole recipe I found in Tony Chachere's Cajun Country Cookbook : Featuring Seafood and Wild Game for another time. Anyway, I went with Buckwheat Zydeco's recipe because it was simpler and because it called for sauteeing in olive oil rather than a stick of butter (Commander's Palace). But I did borrow the paprika reccommendation from CP. Anyway, it all came out well!

As I mentioned before, my wife is planning on Hoppin' John for tomorrow night. The "Cookin' Up the Blues" cookbook includes "Maria Muldaur's Hoppin' John," which Steph looked at for a minute, but I think she's going to go with the recipe she's used before.

Happy New Year!

joulukuu 30, 2020, 3:10pm

>158 jessibud2:
I have no idea. I was only commenting on >145 katiekrug:

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2020, 3:40pm

>157 katiekrug: Join in and comment whenever you'd like, Katie. Some will certainly disagree that this thread is quiet!

>158 jessibud2: No, I'm sure that's not what Joyce was saying, Shelley. Joining Club Read should have no effect on your ability to participate in the 75 Books group.

It's now very unlikely that I'll finish A Promised Land by tomorrow, especially since I'll be busy shopping and cooking that day. I suppose I still have enough hours to do so, but I don't want to speed through it unnecessarily.

>159 rocketjk: Ça c’est bon, Jerry! I looked online, and found this recipe for Buckwheat Zydeco's Shrimp Creole:

Buckwheat Zydeco's Shrimp Creole

Serves: 3 as the only dish or 4 with side dish(es)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

¾-1 # large shrimp, peeled, de-veined if desired, tails on for lifting
1 medium yellow onion coarse chopped
1 medium green Bell pepper, coarse chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced crosswise
3 green onions, sliced crosswise
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 red jalapenos, seeded and coarse chopped; green can be substituted
2 of 15oz cans of diced fire-roasted tomatoes with chilies
2-3 T peanut oil
3/4 cup Ellis Stansel’s gourmet white rice from LA if possible; regular long grain white rice can be substituted
Salt to bring out flavors, fresh ground pepper to taste and Tabasco on the table

1. Place rice in 1 ½+ cups boiling water, turn down heat and simmer for twenty minutes. When cooked, drain and keep warm in pot until shrimp sauce is ready.
2. Place oil in 12” cast iron skillet over low/medium heat and saute all vegetables except garlic and tomatoes until starting to brown slightly. Then add garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
3. Add tomatoes; turn heat down a little and simmer until the liquid is reduced slightly (10-15 minutes).
4. Add shrimp, cover with sauce and cook for 5 to 6 minutes turning once and recovering shrimp with sauce.

1. Place rice in shallow bowl or deep plate.
2. Spoon on shrimp and sauce.
3. Serve with salt, pepper and Tabasco brand pepper sauce; other hot sauce can be substituted if no Tabasco is available.

Is that the same recipe you used? I might have everything on hand to make it, save for red jalapeños and that gourmet rice; I have plenty of Uncle Ben's parboiled rice and regular green jalapeños, though.

I assume that you ate it with his music playing in the background, including "Lache Pas la Patate":

I can't remember which recipe I used to make Hoppin' John last year; I'll check now...

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2020, 3:57pm

>159 rocketjk: *smacks forehead* Right. I didn't use a recipe, as one really isn't needed! Here are the "instructions" I posted in January:

When I cook black-eyed peas I soak dried peas in water for at least 6 hours, drain them, and flavor them similar to greens, with ham hocks and onions, and cook them, as others have said, until they are done. They shouldn't be completely mushy, and they should maintain their shape yet be easily mashable with a fork or spoon. The cooking time isn't as important as the texture, but I would cook them on low heat with as little water or chicken broth as possible.

I serve them over Uncle Ben's parboiled rice, but that's probably also obvious to anyone who has lived in the Deep South.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2020, 6:14pm

>161 kidzdoc: No, the recipe in that Tabasco book is a bit simpler. No green onions, "vegetable oil" instead of peanut oil, nothing about chiles in the tomatoes, or the tomatoes being "fire roasted." The cooking process was basically the same, though. I think "Cookin' Up the Blues" is basically a novelty book for tourists or maybe it was sold or given away as a promotion at grocery stores. I don't recall where I got it. Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if all the recipes in it were "dumbed down" somewhat. Now the Commander's Palace cookbook was a different matter entirely!

While I cooked, I listened to the album "Reflections on a Golden Dream" by Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes. Spacey funk/jazz from the 1970s. No particular connection to the cooking, though. It's just what jumped off the shelf at me. :)

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2020, 8:20pm

>163 rocketjk: Thanks, Jerry. I have green onions and peanut oil, but only plain diced tomatoes. Ro*Tel does sell Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies but I don't have any in my cabinet. I'll look for some when I go to my local Publix Supermarket tomorrow morning.

My alligator fillets are thawing in my refrigerator, so I'll make Alligator Sauce Piquante tomorrow, using Emeril Lagasse's recipe. I made it earlier this month, but it didn't last long, as I ate it once or twice a day for four or five days. I was asked to make it for a dinner party that one of my colleagues, an Emergency Department physician at Children's, invited me to at the end of next month. By that time we'll all be fully protected from SARS-CoV-2, which will be achieved two weeks after our second vaccine dose (my appointment is on 1/13). I can get frozen alligator fillets at Publix, but just before the party I'll look for fresher alligator tail at a local farmers' market which sells a wide variety of meats.

I'm listening to "Reflections on a Golden Dream" on Spotify now: great choice! I have to have music going whenever I cook, especially when I'm making a Cajun or Creole recipe that calls for the Holy Trinity, as all good Louisiana recipes do. Chopping onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic goes much faster if I'm distracted by a few catchy tunes.

I'll create another "La Cucina" thread in Club Read 2021 tomorrow after the Alligator Sauce Piquante is done, as there are a few members, including you, who have ties to New Orleans and might like that Cajun delicacy, provided that y'all can find alligator tail locally.

joulukuu 31, 2020, 12:50am

>164 kidzdoc: I love alligator dishes, but I'm not going to find any alligator tail around here. Can't even find a decent bagel!

Just a word about the tomatoes I used: grown by my wife in her garden, made into sauce and canned by her, too. She's gotten great at it.

joulukuu 31, 2020, 6:12am

>165 rocketjk: I'm not surprised that you couldn't find alligator tail in rural California...and I shouldn't be surprised to learn that you can't find a decent bagel, either. The suburb my parents live in, despite being just north of Philadelphia, is also bereft of good bagels, and I have no idea where I would find alligator tail there, or in the city.

Ooh...freshly canned tomatoes. I miss my parents' vegetable garden, which they maintained for over 40 years until their recent health crises. One of the joys of summer growing up was to pick tomatoes from the garden and use them in tomato sandwiches on Amoroso's hoagie rolls, a simple but very satisfying mid afternoon snack.