Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Parenting in the Time of Covid

He was on his way out the door, to walk around with a new friend outside. 

Me: Rapid test, masks, or walking 6' apart? Which are you doing?

Him: It bothers me that you ask. I shouldn't have to live with your anxieties. You just ask because you're anxious about it, and your anxieties shouldn't have an effect on my life.

Me: You're going to hang out with someone and then come back into the house with other people who are vulnerable. Omicron is far more contagious, so being outside isn't enough. There is a very real risk that you could catch and spread the virus walking outside next to someone if you're both unmasked. You have to choose one of the three. Either she tests before you go, or you both wear masks, or you walk far apart. 

Him: But that fact that you ask means you don't trust me. I know what I'm doing. I read the research.

Me: I read the research too, which says that we need to start masking outside. I trust that you'll follow your own risk assessment. But I think we have different risk levels that we're comfortable with. I accept far less risk because your sister is way past needing a booster. Once she gets it - if that ever happens - I might be less inclined to check that your risk levels are in line with mine. Right now, I want some reassurance that your plan is in line with my lower level of risk comfort. 

I'm at the "My house - my rules!" point in the pandemic. It makes it very difficult to live with adult children - for everybody. He said he'd be gone an hour; he was out for five hours. I'm happy he's meeting people and getting out there, but I'm also really glad that I pushed him to wear a mask! Here's hoping that he actually kept it on!

ETA:Turns out, she was on it. She insisted on rapid testing first and wearing a mask outside. Thank god for small favours!

Monday, December 27, 2021

On "Fixing" ASD

I watched a course-load of videos by Dr. Alok Kanojia (@HealthyGamerGG) this past summer. He's a therapist specializing in addiction in his day job and focused on gaming addictions online, but he has broadened his videos to encompass many other issues. He doesn't do therapy online but "coaches" people instead. And typically right there I'd be out. Coaching?? It all sounds a little goofy and new-agey. But I got hooked when I first saw his video with Natalie Wynn (aka ContraPoints) the previous October because of his openness to really listen to her experiences and learn from them before asking the precisely right questions necessary to get her to understand herself at further depth. And then they meditated. It's a mix of Freud and a mountain top guru; at the very least I'm learning lots of Sanskrit words in the process.

I appreciate how he let Natalie explain her experience as a trans person, BUT then I saw a more recent video with a streamer, DesMephisto, taking about being autistic. Dr. K focused on fixing their ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). He often uses an addiction analogy to explain that, generally, first we need to understand and accept who we are, like we have to accept being an addict, but we don't stop at acceptance; the next task it to change ourselves so we can better live in the world. And then he asked Des what many consider an offensive question: "If I gave you a pill that would make you no longer autistic, would you take it?" 


If that doesn't seem offensive, then imagine if he had asked Natalie that same question about being trans. It doesn't even make sense. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Chomsky's Lessons from 2021

Yanis Varoufakis spoke to Noam Chomsky, at DiEM25, about what 2021 has taught us. In a nutshell: the wealthy puts profits over people to their own detriment (e.g. patent rights over vaccines, which provoked mutations) and will only help with climate change if they can profit without taking risks. We have climate policies that could help, but we need more protesting to force this change. The U.S. citizens have been convinced of lies around climate change and world politics. Europe needs to stand up to lead instead of following the US, and we need to negotiate better with China or we'll end up in a terminal war. We must focus on what we might actually influence - i.e. our own country's acts of atrocity. Don't seek protection from ideas you don't like, but meet them head on with intellectual rigour (abridged quotations below).