Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Comfort TV

Brian Broome wrote an article Monday of this week (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/07/25/comfort-tv-golden-girls-escape/) about turning off “the strife” in our relentlessly cruel, crazy world. His solution is to watch comfort TV, and he listed his favorites.

He said: “And I watch them over and over. I long ago memorized all the dialogue and every twist and turn that these shows and episodes will take.”

Broome noted that, “You might even engage in this soothing ritual alone . . . .[because you] just can’t deal with the outside world. . . . We are supposed to ignore those nagging feelings of worry, angst and helplessness . . . .”

Broome’s article resonated with me because I also watch comfort and escape shows and also because this is also something that disabled people sometimes do. See my blog post of October 1, 2019: https://disabilitydisability.blogspot.com/2019/10/do-you-watch-tv.html

As I pointed out in that blog, taken from my book on how to apply for Social Security & SSI disability, claimants for disability benefits actually have to explain their “watching television” so as not to be denied benefits.

Social Security disability administrative law judges are trained, when questioning about memory issues, to ask claimants, “Can you follow the story on TV[?]”

Television comfort shows, as I have written, serve many purposes:

“In reality many people leave a television on as background noise or to offset other noise in an apartment building or on the street outside, as a way to block out intrusive thoughts and/or as company when lonely and depressed. Many people identify with the characters portrayed in television series—they become almost like real friends. Many people will doze off for brief periods when watching television particularly people who are in constant pain and people who are unable to sleep through the night. Perhaps a claimant may be able to concentrate on television programs, and that while watching TV, his pain is somewhat dulled.”

Monday, July 4, 2022

Vaccination vs. Non-Vaccination (Demographics vs. Psychological History)

With Covid 19 vaccination at issue, in this study, researchers attempted to identify “health messaging that is more empathic, respectful, and sensitive to the deep-seated needs of vaccine-hesitant and resistant audiences.”

Taking advantage of an ongoing longitudinal study (a 5-decade longitudinal birth cohort study, the New Zealand Dunedin Study), researchers uncovered personal psychological stories associated with vaccine intentions.

The researchers concluded that “demographic groups are poor proxies for people's actual long-held personal beliefs, preferences, cognitive abilities, and motivations that might feed into their vaccine intentions . . . .” [Emphasis added.]

The abstract stated:

“Vaccine-resistant and vaccine-hesitant participants had histories of adverse childhood experiences that foster mistrust, longstanding mental-health problems that foster misinterpretation of messaging, and early-emerging personality traits including tendencies toward extreme negative emotions, shutting down mentally under stress, nonconformism, and fatalism about health. Many vaccine-resistant and -hesitant participants had cognitive difficulties in comprehending health information. Findings held after control for socioeconomic origins. Vaccine intentions are not short-term isolated misunderstandings. They are part of a person's style of interpreting information and making decisions that is laid down before secondary school age.”

“Deep-seated psychological histories of COVID-19 vaccine hesitance and resistance”

https://academic.oup.com/pnasnexus/article/1/2/pgac034/6553423 [Accessed 07-04-2022]

Nicely Said

“. . . the court’s new originalist majority appears most of the time to be making history by inventing it, instead of by interpreting the law.”

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/06/clarence-thomas-gun-decision-bruen-anti-originalist.html (Clarence “Thomas’ Latest Guns Decision Is Ahistorical and Anti-Originalist” by Saul Cornell, June 24, 2022). [Accessed 07-04-2022; h/t Laurence Tribe/Brian DeLay on Twitter]

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Long Covid

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—CDC.gov), long Covid or post-Covid conditions are “a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems” about four weeks after a Covid 19 infection. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects/index.html [Accessed 06-25-2022]

The CDC has found that people with possible long Covid report the following symptoms:

Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life

Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (post-exertional malaise)

Fever

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

Cough

Chest pain

Fast-beating or pounding heart (heart palpitations)

Difficulty thinking or concentrating (brain fog)

Headache

Sleep problems

Dizziness when standing up (lightheadedness)

Pins-and-needles feelings

Change in smell or taste

Depression or anxiety

Diarrhea

Stomach pain

Joint or muscle pain

Rash

Changes in menstrual cycles

“Some people, especially those who had severe COVID-19, experience multiorgan effects or autoimmune conditions with symptoms lasting weeks or months after COVID-19 illness. Multiorgan effects can involve many body systems, including the heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain. As a result of these effects, people who have had COVID-19 may be more likely to develop new health conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, or neurological conditions compared with people who have not had COVID-19.”

The CDC states, “for some people, post-COVID conditions may last months, and potentially years, after COVID-19 illness and may sometimes result in disability.”

According to the CDC:

“Estimates of the proportion of people who had COVID-19 that go on to experience post-COVID conditions can vary:

13.3% at one month or longer after infection

2.5% at three months or longer, based on self-reporting

More than 30% at 6 months among patients who were hospitalized”

Thursday, June 23, 2022

My new book, Money & Insurance Claims for Injuries & Illnesses: Medical RecordKeeping, is now available at Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Money+%26+Insurance+claims+for+injuries+%26+illnesses%3A+medical+recordkeeping&crid=N07VIEUHDHUG&sprefix=money+%26+insurance+claims+for+injuries+%26+illnesses+medical+recordkeeping%2Caps%2C61&ref=nb_sb_noss

Money & Insurance Claims for Injuries & Illnesses: Medical RecordKeeping provides a guide for creating a Medical Appointments Book, a Prescription Journal, and a Medical Status Journal. It seeks to respond to three needs of people impaired now, or who may be in the future:

One, it helps to find the words, to describe or explain their symptoms, including pain.

Two, it advocates that people must properly complete “medical” forms and retain copies of completed forms and their own records of their care and treatment.

Three, it recommends that people create medical status diaries to describe their baseline health and/or to record symptoms that may be associated with future illnesses such as Long Covid or fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

This book is a guide to creating a Medical Appointments Book, a Prescription Journal, and a Medical Status Journal.

In 2013, Patricia A. Petow, a now retired Massachusetts attorney, published How to Get Social Security Disability & SSI Disability at Amazon.com. https://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Social-Security-Disability/dp/1495315045

Friday, April 29, 2022

Scammers Exploiting the Elderly

Many people, especially the elderly, have been victimized by scammers who intimidate them into buying pre-paid gift cards to pay for correcting non-existent problems such as IRS debts, law enforcement action, Social Security or utility shut offs and actual problems such as scammer-installed computer malware and viruses. See https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/gift-card-scams.

I have written to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggesting that a warning label be placed on each pre-paid gift card, much like the warning labels on cigarette packages.

Because the elderly population is largely composed of people who get their information from reading than video content, a written warning is likely to be effective.

The pre-paid gift card warning label might say: “Government offices, including the IRS and Social Security, are not allowed to accept payment with pre-paid gift cards. No Sheriff, no court, no county, no state, no city, no town is allowed to accept payment with pre-paid gift cards. No legitimate business accepts payment with pre-paid gift cards. If you have a computer problem, call your Internet or cable provider. Only scammers ask for payment with pre-paid gift cards.”

Please join me and contact the FTC to request that it require such warning labels on each pre-paid gift card.

Federal Trade Commission 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20580 Telephone: (202) 326-2222

By email to: antitrust@ftc.gov

Thursday, April 28, 2022

We have a Constitution--No more Czars and Kings.

My paternal great grandfather and maternal grandfather, from Belarus in the Russian empire, and from County Kerry in Ireland, respectively, immigrated to the United States and became citizens.

One renounced and abjured “all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatsoever – and particularly to Nicholas II Czar of Russia whose subject he has heretofore been . . . .”

The other renounced “forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, and particularly to Edward VII King Of The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland, of which I am now a subject . . . .”

They both declared themselves to be “attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States.”

I, too, am attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States. I believe that candidates for public office, at all levels, must support the US Constitution, the rule of law, and the results of elections. Failure to be attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States is a disqualification for office.

Incumbents who cannot support the US Constitution, the rule of law, and the results of elections should resign from office. Where proven by evidence, incumbents who have committed acts that interfere with the US Constitution, the rule of law, and the results of elections should be removed from office.

With my forefathers, I renounce fidelity to any and all individuals, who are not attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States.