Heartbreak City: Rio at Carnaval with Zika

Carnaval in Rio de Janero stats tomorrow! My heart is breaking. We have known for  more than a week now that Zika in Brazil is a big threat. But the 20-something ladies in the pre-Carnaval street parades are not even phased.  NPR interviewed some of them a day or two ago. The journalist asked each girl if she were wearing mosquito repellent. Each said no, admitted she probably should, and then shrugged it off with a guilty little laugh.

So here we are. The good news is that Mark Zuckerberg has committed Facebook to partner with Abrasco Divulga to fight Zika. But can they act fast enough to get the word CONVINCINGLY to the streets? Social media was wildfire in the Arab Spring. Can that fire be aimed at Zika in Rio starting tomorrow? If anyone can orchestrate that it would be Zuckerberg and the Facebook team. But is Carnaval on their radar?

Who else could take the battle to the Carnaval streets of Rio? How about the Catholic Church? If someone could get Pope Francis focused on this, he would make it happen. How about the leaders of every major denomination with churches in Rio? How can we get their tremendous firepower bracketed in on the streets of Rio NOW?

Finally, how can we make sure that not a single at-risk woman leaves home to fly to Rio for Carnaval this year? The media giants could launch a blitz targeting those ladies specifically. Will they?

Unfortunately, I do not have ins with the Pope, Mark Zuckerberg, the leaders of big churches, nor the media powers. But you do. You are only six degrees away! Right? Own it!

We the People vs. Zika

Why Zika is a Big Deal

Zika causes birth defects! There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. There is no medication to treat it.

Why Zika Requires Your Action

At this very moment, as you read this, somewhere in the world a pregnant woman is at risk of being bitten by a mosquito bearing the Zika virus. Governments and other organizations can not or will not move fast enough to save her baby.

I know. It sounds alarmist. And it is. I am alarmed. I hope you will be too. If it were your wife or sister or daughter or cousin or aunt or niece or mom at risk of being bitten, would you be content to wait until governments and medical institutions figured out the exact level of risk and decided what to do about it? I am not.

What do I think should be done? First, I think the Catholic Church should launch a major campaign NOW to protect at risk women and promote every reasonable form of birth control possible in the countries at risk.

Next, I think all politicians at all levels should look at this problem as though they were trying to save their own baby or the baby of a family member or friend.

Then, there is what could be done by the leading philanthropists of the world. As of this post update, a search of gatesfoundation.org for Zika turned up no info. I hope Bill and Melinda Gates will use some of the knowledge they have gained in their awesome fight against malaria to tackle the Zika problem. If you have contact with the Gates’ or the foundation, please ask them to take action rapidly! Do I think that can happen? Definitely. And I believe there are lots and lots of other philanthropists world wide who will tackle this problem as soon as it is on their radar scope.

My belief though is that what you and I, we the people, can do is the essential element in the battle against Zika. What can you do? First, be convinced that of all the causes in the world it is those that impact the health and well being of children that are the most important. I believe that if you do the numbers, you will find that investing in children is the best investment a person or society can make. Second, you can inform yourself. Learn more about this than I know, which shouldn’t take you long. Then take your stand and share it. If you save one baby from Zika birth defects, you change the future forever. You will have made your mark on eternity.

Things to Do Now If You or a Pregnant Loved One is At Immediate Risk of Zika Infection

The best thing to do, if possible, is to move to an area where Zika risk does not exist or is minimal. If this is not possible, then create a Zika shelter where you are and stay in it until you deliver. Even if neither you nor any loved one is pregnant and at immediate risk, please read the following list and add comments to give more specifics on how to implement each item in the list, e.g. sources of how-to documents and supplies.

  1. Use mosquito repellents that are safe for pregnant women.
  2. Live in an air conditioned environment with windows and doors kept closed if possible. If you can only manage to air-condition one room, do so, and stay there as much as you possibly can.
  3. Sleep under a mosquito net canopy.
  4. Make sure all windows and doors are equipped with tight fitting mosquito-proof screens in good repair.
  5. Wear mosquito resistant clothing if you have to go out.
  6. Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, such as anything that allows water to collect and stagnate.
  7. Install mosquito killing lights inside and outside where possible.
  8. Eat a mosquito repelling diet.

A List of Seven Things Everyone Should Do Now to Combat Zika Birth Defects.

  1. Don’t get pregnant or get anyone pregnant until you know the risks of Zika.
  2. Use your personal and social network relationships to encourage pregnancy avoidance. Every woman who might possibly become pregnant should learn enough about Zika to make an informed decision about her risks. Imagine the grief of all the moms in Brazil who are now raising babies with microcephaly those and the moms in the US who contracted the Zika virus while travelling abroad. Imagine the chagrin of the mom in Hawaii who gave birth to a baby impacted by the Zika virus. And promote the idea for the guys in your networks that “Friends don’t get friends pregnant until the risk of Zika is known.”
  3. Put some pressure on your elected officials to get informed and take action.
  4. If you are a Catholic, petition your church, from the local Parrish all the way to the Vatican, to take action. Most countries where Zika is spreading rapidly are home to many Catholics.
  5. Find out which non-profit organizations are doing the best work at fighting Zika and support them with your money, your time, and backing through your social network and media connections. Since I do not know which organizations these are, it would be great if you could add comments to this post that identify some organizations that are leading the charge.
  6. Find out what you yourself can do to provide a refuge NOW for pregnant women at risk of Zika infection. For example, if you have a friend or a relative who is pregnant and living in an area of high Zika risk and you live in a part of the world where Zika is not a threat, invite that person to come take shelter with you NOW. Couch crashing is worth it if it saves a baby.
  7. Add things to this list that you think should be done. We need the world’s greatest minds, imaginations and entrepreneurial spirits working on this. NOW.

One Thing to Do if You Are a Native Speaker of a Language Other than English.

My friend who is pregnant just read the draft of this post. She found it informative. Then she added that it should be translated into Spanish. Please comment on this post if you would be willing to help translate into Spanish or any other language for that matter, especially all those spoken anywhere in range of  the Aedes aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquito, which are the ones that spreads the Zika virus?

Who Am I and Why I Care

I am a guy who thinks kids are the best place to invest our resources, both societal and personal. As mentioned earlier, I have a close friend who is pregnant and at risk of exposure to Zika, and she had never heard of the danger. I spend lots of time in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. I have never yet heard the local Mexican media address the Zika problem.

P.S.

I had to republish this post so it would go out to my network accounts. Just a little learning curve with connecting with my Medium account. Also I edited out some of the more ostentatious aspects of the initial post.

We the People vs. Zika: Pope Francis, Bill and Melinda Gates, Bono and Ashley Judd, and All World Leaders, especially President Peña Nieto, Please take note!

Why Zika is a Big Deal

Zika causes birth defects! There is no vaccine to prevent Zika. There is no medication to treat it. I am not taking time to document these claims for this post. Would you please help me out on this? Just add a comment linking to authoritative sources.

I did see a post a day or two ago where a CDC doctor essentially stated that the medical  establishment really didn’t know enough yet about this threat to state how big the problem can become nor how to best counter it. As I searched for that statement online, I could not find it again. It was so frank it amazed me. I hope you can find it.

Why Zika Requires Your Action

At this very moment, as you read this, somewhere in the world a pregnant woman is at risk of being bitten by a mosquito bearing the Zika virus. Governments and other organizations can not or will not move fast enough to save her baby.

I know. It sounds alarmist. And it is. I am alarmed. I hope you will be too. If it were your wife or sister or daughter or cousin or aunt or niece or mom at risk of being bitten, would you be content to wait until governments and medical institutions figured out the exact level of risk and decided what to do about it? I am not.

What do I think should be done? First, I think the Catholic Church should launch a major campaign NOW to promote every reasonable form of birth control possible in the countries at risk. But do I think the Catholic Church is going to start passing out condoms tomorrow? Probably not.

Next, I think all politicians at all levels should look at this problem as though they were trying to save their own baby or the baby of a family member or friend. They should take speedy action even if it might put their political future in jeopardy. That will happen tomorrow if tomorrow is the day hell freezes over.

Then, there is what could be done by the leading philanthropists of the world. Let this be a call out specifically to Bill and Melinda Gates: Please use some of the knowledge you have gained in your awesome fight against malaria to tackle the Zika problem. Please do it now! Do I think that can happen? Definitely. And I believe there are lots and lots of other philanthropists world wide who will tackle this problem as soon as it is on their radar scope.

My belief though is that what you and I, we the people, can do is the essential element in the battle against Zika. What can you do? First, be convinced that of all the causes in the world it is those that impact the health and well being of children that are the most important. I believe that if you do the numbers, you will find that investing in children is the best investment a person or society can make. Second, you can inform yourself. Learn more about this than I know, which shouldn’t take you long. Then take your stand and share it. If you save one baby form Zika birth defects, you change the future forever. You will have made your mark on eternity.

Things to Do Now If You or a Pregnant Loved One is At Immediate Risk of Zika Infection

The best thing to do, if possible, is to move to an area where there Zika risk does not exist or is minimal. If this is not possible, then create a Zika shelter where you are and stay in it until you deliver. Even if neither you nor any loved one is pregnant and at immediate risk, please read the following list and add comments to give more specifics on how to implement each item in the list, e.g. sources of how-to documents and supplies.

  1. Use mosquito repellents that are safe for pregnant women.
  2. Live in an air conditioned environment with windows and doors kept closed if possible. If you can only manage to air-condition one room, do so, and stay there as much as you possibly can.
  3. Sleep under a mosquito net canopy.
  4. Make sure all windows and doors are equipped with tight fitting mosquito-proof screens in good repair.
  5. Wear mosquito resistant clothing if you have to go out.
  6. Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, such as anything that allows water to collect and stagnate.
  7. Install mosquito killing lights inside and outside where possible.
  8. Eat a mosquito repelling diet.

A List of Seven Things Everyone Should Do Now to Combat Zika Birth Defects.

  1. Don’t get pregnant or get anyone pregnant until you know the risks of Zika.
  2. Use your personal and social network relationships to encourage pregnancy avoidance. Every woman who might possibly become pregnant should learn enough about Zika to make an informed decision about her risks. Imagine the grief of those moms in the US who contracted the Zika virus while travelling abroad. Imagine the chagrin of the mom in Hawaii who gave birth to a baby impacted by the Zika virus. And promote the idea for the guys in your networks that “Friends don’t get friends pregnant until the risk of Zika is known.”
  3. Put some pressure on your elected officials to get informed and take action.
  4. If you are a Catholic, petition your church, from the local Parrish all the way to the Vatican, to take action. Most countries where Zika is spreading rapidly are home to many Catholics.
  5. Find out which non-profit organizations are doing the best work at fighting Zika and support them with your money, your time, and support through your social network and media connections. Since I do not know which organizations these are, it would be great if you could add comments to this post that identify some organizations that are leading the charge.
  6. Find out what you yourself can do to provide a refuge NOW for pregnant women at risk of Zika infection. For example, if you have a friend or a relative who is pregnant and living in an area of high Zika risk and you live in a part of the world where Zika is not a threat, invite that person to come take shelter with you NOW. Couch crashing is worth it if it saves a baby.
  7. Add things to this list that you think should be done. We need the world’s greatest minds, imaginations and entrepreneurial spirits working on this. NOW.

One Thing to Do if You Are a Native Speaker of a Language Other than English.

My friend who is pregnant just read the draft of this post. She found it informative. Then she added that it should be translated into Spanish. I would like to add French and Portuguese to that list. In fact, why not  every language, especially all those spoken anywhere in range of  the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the one that spreads the Zika virus? As I searched the web for info on Zika, I saw a lot of posts in Brazilian Portuguese. Sadly that is a language I don’t know.

Who Am I and Why I Care

I am a guy who thinks kids are the best place to invest our resources, both societal and personal. As mentioned earlier, I have a close friend who is pregnant and at risk of exposure to Zika, and she had never heard of the danger. I spend lots of time in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. I have never yet heard the local Mexican media address the Zika problem.

 

 

Post-op praise

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2     Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100, New International Version)

 

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Paul’s letter to the church at Phillipi, Chapter 4, New International Version)

 

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (Paul’s letter to the church at Thessaloniki, Chapter 5, New International Version)

This morning, I rejoice, praising the Lord. Thursday before going into the operating room, I signed a sheet acknowledging that I had been warned of all the ghastly possible outcomes, including brain damage and death. It is almost noon on Saturday. The Lord protected me through that valley of the shadow! This morning, the Spirit prompted me out of bed and into my prayer walk. My system started moving again. Gone now is the refuse that had accumulated for two days.

I changed the dressing on surgical incisions. There was no infection. I was able to bathe. I am able to sit here and share with you my joy over what did not happen as well as what has.

Now I pray for marvelously quick healing so that the work of Dr. Schultz the surgeon will be perfected through the post-op care of the Great Physician. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Good medicine

A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. (The Book of Proverbs, Chapter 17, Verse 22)

Have you ever been to a healing service? Miraculous healing is a joy to receive or behold. Overall though, health is a matter of wisdom. It is a path. It is a life style.

Oh, Lord, teach me to cultivate a happy heart and maintain a cheerful mind even in the face of painful circumstances. Defend my spirit. Do not let it be broken in the ebb and flow of earthly battles. My bones are my frame. Let them be strong yet supple, resisting the tear and torque of daily stress.