guided by prompts from WDC challenges, life, and whatnot
|This is a collection of writings prompted by WDC challenges.|
|Written for: "Journalistic Intentions"
This video talks about the "Baby Bust" of the recent year due to the effects of Covid-19 on our society, which runs in direct opposition of their prediction that it would result in another Baby Boom. They interviewed people with differing opinions on whether the decline in child births was a good thing or a bad one. The video also attempts to introduce reasons as to why this decline is happening. I am going to attempt to look at this from both sides and give my opinion along with reasons I feel the way I do.
Side 1: "This Baby Bust is a bad thing for our world." - Those who feel this way believe that in order to support our growing population of persons in the older demographic, a child has to be born to "replace" each person who dies or is too old to work. What's wrong with this view in my opinion? Mainly, I oppose this view because the world is overpopulated with humans as it is. Bringing more children into this world is not going to immediately refill a slowly receding workforce, nor will it ensure that those too old to work will be taken care of. It is just going to put even more stress on the adults who actually do work for the next ten years or more because they are then having to care for the older generations as well as a growing population of a new generation. This seems, to me, to be less economically feasible than the "Baby Bust" does.
Side 2: "The Baby Bust is a good thing for our world." - Those siding with this view acknowledge that we have already overpopulated our world and due to our overpopulation, we are killing the earth. My opinion? I side with this way of thinking personally. In nature, when a population of anything gets too high, it begins to choke out other life. Eventually, an act of nature will happen that helps restore the order of things and reduce the overgrown population. Casualties occur both while the population is exploding and when nature comes to correct it. How can we, as the supposed only creatures to have a conscience, be okay with killing the earth and its denizens to ensure our continued growth of population?
The Whys: What were considered to be the reasons that people had forecasted a Baby Boom and the actual Baby Bust that happened? Opinions were that due to couples being stuck at home together for interminable lengths of time due to Covid-19 restrictions, there would be an increase in the number of children being born. The reality was, in fact, that there were fewer. Why? The video offers a few viable reasons. First, economic instability was a factor. During the lock-down, very few people were able to go to their jobs to earn a living and many had to result to using monies from their savings in order to get by. Secondly, it was proposed that being stuck in a domicile with each other for so long began to grate on nerves and so people were less likely to want to have sex. For single people (somehow usually sizeable contributors to at least the U.S. population), they were no longer able to go out and meet up with one another. Then there was the reasoning that women are demonstrating their rights, do not want to have children and instead want to have a career and lead their own lives. (I do not understand how this particular one can be included in a video about how birth rates have gone down instead of up during the pandemic. I mean, wasn't this happening before the pandemic? And finally, some didn't want to bring more kids into an already messed up world. But what could be some other reasons for fewer births since the onset of Covid-19?
Being a mother of two and an aunt of eight, all in their child bearing years, I asked. Yes there were responses of economic uncertainty, becoming tired of being around their spouse or significant other all the time, and for those not in serious relationships, the inability to go out. But They also had other reasons. My youngest doesn't want kids at all. She is aware that my medical issues, as well as her fiancee's, are genetic and could possibly be passed to any child she might have. My oldest said she didn't want to have children with the guy she had been with and was going to wait until she felt she had found the right one. She is less worried about genetic traits being passed down. My nieces and nephews are a varied bunch. A couple of them aren't interested in getting into serious commitments (and kids are definitely that). Two of my nephews are married to lovely ladies and already have children, one of them is a brand new father. One of my nieces is happy being single and doing her own thing and says she has enough responsibilities for now. At least one of the kids is on drugs and I hope he doesn't help create any kids until he gets off the stuff - but he's too lost in his drug induced world to care about too much. But you know what they all have in common? They all said their lock down time was dominated by playing video games and being on the internet and their phones. How can the youth of our nation procreate when they're lost in the artificial worlds of computers and video games? They talk or text people using their phones and other apps rather than interacting face to face. Heck, most of them don't even have the time to spend with family because their lives are dominated by the digital world. Wanna have a kid? I'm sure there's an app for that.
|Written for "Journalistic Intentions" Prompt: Memory Fails Us These Days
It's been quite some time that my memory has been failing me, worsening by the year it seems. The doctors said it would happen. If the seizures didn't take some of my memory, the medications would. So, for thirty one years I have had an excuse for my undependable memory. I have adapted. I now tell people when I meet them that I will most likely not remember their names, and sometimes their faces, the next time I see them. Seizures and medication - excuses, excuses. And now, new research shows that sleep deprivation, depression, mania, and anxiety all have negative effects on memory as well. As do autoimmune diseases. Like I really needed any more excuses for my crummy memory. But are they really just excuses or do the researchers actually have something there?
Thirty one years of pretty much being a guinea pig for this new medication or that has proven to me that medications can and usually do have an impact on my memory. Seizures definitely do as well. I am missing weeks of memories because of one seizure or another indiscriminately wiping parts of my memory clean. The worse the seizure, the more treasured memories lost. At first, it was just some of my short term memories but over the years, I have noticed more and more of my long term memories going as well. It became hard to teach my students when I couldn't access the information I took years accumulating and practicing. And it was more than a little embarrassing. Information comes, yet, more and more of it tends to go nowadays.
This is especially true since becoming ill with certain chronic autoimmune diseases. And yeah, it is worse when I have recently had a depressive episode, a manic attack, or an anxiety attack. At this point, supplements to help memory do not work for me. Maybe too much is stacked against them. I do get frustrated when I cannot remember something that I know I knew. I think my memory will fail me before the rest of me finally succumbs to one of these dastardly diseases though. On a more positive note, I was told I should never have to worry about getting dementia or Alzheimer's. I guess one of the pills in the handful of pills I have to take twice a day helps with it, who knows. I'm still just a lab rat on which my doctors continue to try out the "newest and greatest" treatments for my many conditions. But, hey, they're keeping me alive. Sometimes, I wonder though, when I remember to ponder, "What is life without memories?". Do you suffer from long term memory loss? I don't remember.
LeJenD'Poet - Wait, What?
Zen came into my life when I most needed a friend, and wanted one the least. I had given up on the world, on myself, on my life. I hated everyone and everything. But into my life strolled this quick witted dude with a sense of humor that matched mine and it drew us to one another immediately. The beginnings of a beautiful friendship. The more we conversed, the more we found we had in common. While there are a lot of nerd-geeks in the world, not all of them are into Star Wars, Star Trek, art, nature, astronomy, Volkswagens....and Pinky and the Brain. (And disc golf; it's a way of life for those of us who play for more than recreation.) We shared some of the same quirks, same outlooks on the world, wanted to help people even though neither of us could go around people without having a panic attack. If I'm going to be honest, he was there for me more than I was for him, and when he needed me most I couldn't be there for him -- I didn't even know he needed me.
When I first met Zen he rode a motorcycle around the streets of Seattle if he needed to go somewhere. It was his "newest toy", as he put it. He enjoyed that motorcycle until, as all motorized vehicles tend to from time to time, it needed to be fixed. See, Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance were never able to meet on the same plane. He had completely forgotten to keep up with the maintenance of the little bugger and as such, it broke down. Zen wasn't too heart-broken about it though. That was one of his qualities after all, not placing his whole heart into anyone or anything.
One day, he just calls me up and says, "Hey Jenn, I'm gonna sell the bike."
Being a somewhat practical person, I ask, "So, whacha gonna drive?"
To which he responds, "I still have the Ghia, it's about time I bring her out again. Maybe take a road trip south to visit you and Rox." -- he never was able to make that trip though.
The Ghia, a 1971 Karmann Ghia, all shiny black with sexy curves, a relic of another time. It was one of his favorite things, along with his telescope, his Star Wars collectible figures, and his pet rats -- named, you guessed it, Pinky and The Brain. When he became ill, he told me he was thinking of selling the Ghia to pay for medical bills. I finally convinced him that he shouldn't sell it because it was one of the only things he loved. Then he was admitted to the hospital again. He never made it out of the hospital that last time to be able to enjoy another road trip. I was told his liver failed and that's what did him in. I suppose his mom did sell the Ghia in the end -- along with all of his other treasured possessions that didn't just get thrown into the garbage because someone didn't know their worth.
But, Man! was Zen a great friend. He helped me through the transition from looney bin to regular life, he advised me in matters of the heart, he tried his best to get me out of the gloom of depression on many occasion, and he tried to talk me down from many a manic episode. He created art for me. Took pictures he knew would make me smile. Zen was a great man, a caring human. A creative artist and humorous man. A misunderstood man. Most of all, he was my friend and I will always consider him to be one of the best of them. I will forever regret that I didn't get to say goodbye. That day in February 2020, the world lost a beautiful soul and became a little less bright because of it.
Rest in peace my friend Zen.
LeJenD'Poet - Just ME.