Who Murders Halloween?

It wasn’t long ago that trick and treating

was so much fun, where kids gather hanging

around the streets with their specialized masks on

creatively made by their doting moms for this occasion

as their annoyed dads yelled over and complained  

for a burnt cupcake in the oven or a dish uncooked.

It wasn’t long ago that homes were opened widely

for these adorable little ones, joyfully and happily

wanting to gather as many candies and sweets as they can

counting every bit of pieces, as a certain kid named Joann

is heard crying over a lost piece of candy or a stolen chocolate

from the notoriously naughty boy around, who is always late.

It wasn’t long ago, that masks were worn for fun,

for enjoyment, and for creating special bonds with everyone

it could be a friend, a loved one, or just a random fellow

on a party, on any occasion, on a bone fire with marshmallow

but mostly to put a smile on every child’s face in a voice so upbeat

knocking at your doors shouting at the top of their lungs “trick or treat”.

It wasn’t really long ago, because for now, this year maybe

it will all be just a memory not so long ago, we say

masks will still be worn every moment everywhere but not to have fun

or do trick or treat, but to combat a virus that kills like a gun

murdering excitement, enjoyment, and amusement in Halloween

he who truly scares destroys and ends fun in Halloween.

P. S.

When I think of Orange, (color) I think of Halloween. So this poem is posted and inspired by kate’s Friday Fun – Orange

And Eugenia’s weekly prompt/photo: an orange giant pumpkin house – normally used to adorn homes and streets during Halloween

The Disturbing Truth Behind the Massive Use of Face Masks and Gloves

 

 

It is day 10 of my mandatory quarantine after arriving in the Philippines.  I am well rested after the long agonizing and emotional journey home.  I am quarantined in a hotel accredited by our local government’s Department of Health for returning Filipinos. Since it is a paid quarantine facility, food, and other basic necessities is well provided for. However, after ten days, I noticed something. Due to specific health protocols, foods are packed and served in a plastic disposable food container along with the disposable spoon and fork and small bottled water.

I began to wonder, how they manage the disposal of these disposable food containers, considering that the hotel is fully booked and occupied since I arrived or even way back the time the Philippines opened its borders for returning Filipinos and Overseas Filipino Workers.  Imagine the number of accumulated plastics?

It is true then that the pandemic did not only change the way we live our lives and the way we treat people, but it has definitely affected our environment and has worsened the ocean plastic pollution problem. There is a drastic increase in the use of disposable masks and disposable gloves, along with the use of small easy to carry plastic bottles of hand sanitizers. This is threatening the health of our seas and its living organisms.

Before the pandemic or pre – COVID 19, there is a reported eight million metric tons of plastic waste dumped in the ocean every year. This equates to one garbage truck’s worth of plastic being dumped into our oceans every minute. The total weight is the equivalent of 90 aircraft carriers. That’s huge. Massive.

This is tragic for many reasons. Fish, whales, turtles, and seabirds and many other animals are eating the plastic and are dying. There are many existing studies in the process of exploring the relationship between human health problems and eating or consuming fish that contain microplastics (bottles and other single-use items that have broken down). Oceans around the world have been ravaged by plastic waste. Again, this was pre – COVID 19.

In the hindsight, the global pandemic might be the kind of silver lining environmentalist who has long been waiting. With social distancing keeping people off the road and out of the skies, the quality of air that we breathe has said to have improved. Carbon emissions have fallen by a very significant amount. The shuttering down of factories in some major cities around the world has lowered air pollutions. Suppose good news, right?

On the contrary though, the same cannot be said for our oceans and its inhabitants. Our oceans have been hit hard in the past months, with the massive use of face masks, gloves, face shields, and miniature hand sanitizer bottles. I even read somewhere that if we stitch together all of the masks manufactured already, we would probably cover the entire landmass of Switzerland.

And we are just talking about the use of these so-called PPEs. But the story of the rapid increase in the use of single-use plastic resulting from COVID – 19 is even more complicated.

 

So before things even get more complicated, we must as well act sooner and faster.

What can we possibly do?

  1. Hotels and other restaurants should serve their foods on a biodegradable container, over the plastic containers.
  2. We should buy hand sanitizers or alcohol in big containers and just have one small container for a refill in case we need to leave our homes.
  3. For non – medical practitioners, use the washable cloth masks instead of the disposable ones and refrain from using disposable gloves if not really necessary, otherwise practice regular hand washing and use hand sanitizers to disinfect.
  4. Proper waste disposal is also a must for gloves and face masks.

 

I am not an expert environmentalist but I believe these are practical tips we can all follow. In as much as we want to protect ourselves from the COVID 19 virus, we should also not forget to protect our oceans and its living organisms. After all, they are part of our ecosystem and without them how do we live our lives again after the pandemic?

 

for kate’s Friday -fun:

https://aroused.blog/2020/08/15/friday-fun-plastic/

 

You are the Reason #whatdoyousee

the world is in need 

of a gentle touch

and a gentle smile,

a kind heart

and a kind reminder

and for whatever reason

you remain my gentle touch 

my gentle smile;

my kind heart 

and my kind reminder

you are after all my poetry

my lovely verses and metaphors

my song, my melody, and my symphony

you are my story

and you are always and forever 

the greatest love of my life

 

 

sadje

 

The image shows a baby monkey, admiring the view from above the tree. I could almost see his eyes glow with so much joy. He is so adorable and so cute. And I am reminded of all the good reasons that made me smile amidst the pandemic.

{for Sadje’s What Do You See https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2020/08/03/what-do-you-see-41-3-august-2020/}

 

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my book is still available for pre -order at

http://kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/after-rain-skies

Just Like You

thunderstorms masquerade
as little raindrops pouring
creating a sweet tender lullaby
a rhythmical beating
a melody of nature
a comforting hymn
for lonely, lost souls
satisfying, memorable
combination of pitch
and rhythm
with a falling
and rising
intervals
up until it takes on
a higher note
slowly ascending
taking control
gaining power
soaring higher
’till it becomes
one loud noise
one big bang
a raging storm
is born
heartless
destructive
wrathful

just like you

 

It’s a fine morning from my side of the world. I just finished my usual morning yoga and a couple of strength and toning exercise. After a cup of tea, I went for a short rest and I came across some heartwarming feature stories about neighbors and what they do to each other during the pandemic.  It warms my heart to know that kindness and compassion are still alive among us especially during these trying days. One of the stories I’ve read is about a group of neighbors who decided to take turns in going to the supermarket to buy their supplies, this way, they limit the number of people going in and out of the neighborhood and the frequency of going to the supermarket as well. This also is another way of easily tracking down people. And it went on smoothly until restrictions were eased down.

As I finished my reading I notice a chain of conversation from a group chat back home. They were talking of how one particular neighbor just went his way into the house of another neighbor yelling and shouting and asking them to live the community. Apparently, the said house had a family member who just arrived and with clear quarantine certificates proving he is not COVID 19 positive thus, he has all the right to live a normal life in the neighborhood. Sadly, this was not the case in that particular community. Some local community officials have to take over to control the situation.

Someone from the group chat said that she was surprised to witness the rage of that person as she used to be a very gentle, kind, and calm. Has the pandemic changed her? Or did the pandemic triggered her true self to be revealed? Or maybe, she was after all really a war- freak, just so good in hiding and keeping it and masquerading as a gentle, kind, and calm friendly neighbor.

We never know. What we know is, the pandemic has changed our lives and the way we live.

So if you need emotional support to process your anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek help. Or if you know of someone who is suffering from anxiety, find a way to reach out. 

 

Linking to Eugi’s  Weekly Prompt – Neighbors https://amanpan.com/2020/07/20/eugis-weekly-prompt-neighbors-july-20-2020/

A Flicker of Light #whatdoyousee #hope #light

‘ Twas dark, cold
and eerie
I am scared
scared to death
I could die
any moment
of fear
fear of the unknown
of  not knowing
and why
the stillness of the air
could suck even the sound of the wind
the trees seemed not to rustle
tensed for what was to come
a moment when God seemed
to readjust the world
the colors changed
the air didn’t move
the sounds were muted
the sky was empty
everything was the same
yet different

the world stopped
I waited
you waited
we waited
for that single flicker of light
time passed
time-lapsed
we are still waiting
the world is still waiting
for a single flicker of light

 

P. S.

May we all find our single flicker of light amidst the pandemic. We pray. We hope. And we believe.

 

For Sadje’s What do You See https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2020/05/25/what-do-you-see-31-25may-2020/

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(For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a road leading towards a dwelling in the forest. It is hidden in fog and surrounded by tall trees. A light is shining brightly out of the window of the house.)