The world is consumed by the COVID-19 crisis, and people everywhere — from public health experts to media pundits to Hollywood stars — are calling for animals to be left alone. Americans are often quick to blame “wet markets” abroad, lazily attributing the pandemic to a “foreign” practice and culture, even though there are live-animal markets in New York City and California, too. But those finger-pointers need a crash course in epidemiology. Because if you blame the coronavirus on people who kill and eat wild animals but you have no problem feasting on the body of a cow, chicken, or pig, we have news for you: Your meat habit may spark the next global pandemic.
EAT LESS MEAT – AND CALL FOR SLAUGHTERHOUSES TO SAFEGUARD THEIR WORKERS AT AMERICAN SLAUGHTERHOUSES!
“It boggles my mind how when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we don’t just shut it down. I don’t know what else has to happen to get us to appreciate that.”
—Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
COVID-19 is certainly not the first disease caused by humans’ practice of exploiting animals for food.
Remember SARS? Bird flu? Swine flu?
They all originated on farms, in slaughterhouses, or at live-animal markets.
The world is finally starting to connect the dots, and the link between today’s farming practices and an increased pandemic risk is getting more attention than ever before. Readers of the nation’s largest newspapers — including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times — were recently confronted with this reality head-on when PETA released full-page ads reminding Americans that U.S. farms are just as vile and hazardous as wet markets.
Time to Move Away From Meat
But despite the deluge in coverage highlighting the dangers that factory farms pose to animals, humans, and the planet, many Americans don’t consider themselves complicit, because they think they’re eating “humane meat.”
Which is impossible, because …
There Is No Such Thing as Humane Meat! The term “humane meat” is based on a myth and is one of the many deceitful marketing tactics used by the animal agriculture industry. So-called “humane farms” are not monitored or regulated by the government to ensure that animals are being treated well. Even third-party certifications still allow severe crowding of hens, whose beak tips are removed so that they can’t peck each other to death, and grinding up of unwanted baby chicks while they’re conscious. Pigs on “organic” farms, “grass-fed” cows, and “free-range” chickens still end up at the same terrifying slaughterhouses, where they’re hung upside down, scalded, and bled to death, often while they’re still conscious.
A 2017 survey found that 75% of U.S. adults believe that they usually eat meat, dairy, and eggs from animals treated humanely — but data shows that over 99% of farmed animals in the U.S. actually live on factory farms.
Globally, that figure is probably over 90%. You don’t have to be a math whiz to see the disconnect here — American meat eaters either don’t know or refuse to believe that they’re eating animals who came from factory farms.
But one bit of math does add up: 100% of animals don’t want to suffer and die — not for a burger, a glass of milk, or any other reason.
Watched PBS’s “JFK” last night, last week. … Wouldn’t it be great to have Kennedy as our President now, when we as a nation are crying out for leadership, compassion, honesty, guts and vision from our commander in chief? – Rose
It was my world: Green Street and the sweet Golub brothers (always a club sandwich for a homeless guys!) and BOWLING! 🎳 at Colonial bowling with Uncke Mark and Aunt Mary and their three kids. Almost every weekend Uncle Mark drove his big shiny gold Elektra up tobour Lafayette Street three decker and we kids (Ma following) would run diwnstairs to hop in the car, sit on our older cousins laps and this carload of kids and adults laughing, talking, would make the drive to Colonial. To bowl with little kid friendly little balls. Ma and my sisters loved to bowl – it was a little too boring for me. As I grew into teenhood, I opted out. Ma and my sisters still went running down those stairs – to bowl! They loved it – Bapy watched it on TV! The pros! My Uncle Fred was in a bowling alley – the one his shop sponsored. All the Woo factories and mills had them! I was out of step with Anerica – for so nany years Colonial Bowling’s huge cement parking lot FILLED UP – TOTALLY! – with cars and antsy kids! And some serious bowlers like my uncke and his buddues. They had their own shiny bowling balls, cool vinyl bowling ball carrier bags, cloths, wrist bands … it was its own subculture.
Worcester factory benefits pamphlet – touting the shop’s bowling league.
Mostly working class. Not hip and cool the way bowling is today – often with cool bars, artisan beers, chi chi food made bu chi chi chefs. Even bands playing in the bar.
🎳We had none of that! Man, we bowled! We got our food – our sustanabce – from the long row of candy, peanut, snack-dispensing machines! Pull that clear plastic knob – plunk, dropped yoyr OH HENRY candy bar. (Ma’s fave.)
🎳Half of America – all our backyard mechanics – all of America’s Hee Haw tv watchers and Betty Crocker cooks bowled. No irony in it for us. But the educated crowd looked down on us hayseeds …
Ma’s Green Island birthday parties, featuring the charter members of The Bowling Gang♥️!
🎳No matter! My cousin, who grew up to become a doctor, LOVED TO BOWL. WAS SO SERIOUS ABOUT HIS STRIKES AND SPARES. My sweet Aunt Mary spoiled her youngest child, with the blocked ear, no ear lobe, unable to hear in tgat ear! Go, Jeff, go! she’d holler as her little prince bowled. And she’d clap like crazy – even for a few pins knocked down.
🎳We were Polish immigrants who had internalized the American Dream⭐⭐⭐🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸…so we were fiercely competitive. With our neighbors, classmates – each other. My jock kid sister always wanted to beat Jeff. She got plenty of spares – and strikes. In the zone … concentrating so hard, staring at the pins yards ahead down that shiny pristine lane. The owner – I remember: Always so serious and respectful of all his HINDREDS of customers – the kids and the league players. I remember him giving us our special no skid bowling shoes – rentals. Cool color green (or was it red?) on beige…
🎳Bowling was COMMUNITY. The talk in the factory lunch room, the giddy anticipatory chatter at the breakfast table at the Tirella house, Ma frying up her special weekend French toast for us kids – always cutting the bread in quarters and sprinkling them with granulated sugar when done Magic! Would my kid sister beat Jeff? Would my other kid sister get some spares? Would chubby Rosalie STOP ROLLING THOSE GUTTER BALLS?!
🎳As the decades rolled by and I would drive by Colonial I noticed fewer and fewer cars in their parking lot – even on weekends. Finally just around 10 on a Saturday!!! I felt sad … for the owner and the city. Everyone was on FB or Instagram, hiding inside before all kinds of social media platforms and TV choices…streaming their lives away, alone, locked down in their homes.
🎳We had it different when I was young – We played outdoors with all kinds of sketchy friends, we got beat up! and limped home, we bowled gutter balls – AND YET EVERY DAY WE WENT OUT INTO THE WORLD. To have fun, explore, take our lickin’s … DO SO MUCH WITH FAMILY AND TEAMS AND THE GIRLS CLUB.
Never mind the church at Adams Square holding services for 20, 40 congregants – spreading the coronavirus throughout Worcester: pic: R.T.
Yesterday I talked with the Albion Rooming House’s owner – Mike O’Rourke – and he said THE CITY’S ROOMING HOUSES ARE THE PERFECT BREEDING GROUNDS for COVID-19. Worcester needs to step up.
Mike, before his beloved Albion. pics:R.T.
Mike is a saint: He took over the huge formerly crime-, drug-ridden, bed-bug-filled Main South rooming house a few years ago AND TURNED THINGS AROUND BIG TIME! No more building code violations for the Albion, on Main Street. Mike repainted rooms, repaired stuff, works with the City of Worcester building and code dept and the Worcester Police. O’Rourke takes care of – cares about! – his boarders. Decorates the front yard /entrance to the Albion for Christmas! Love rules here now …
So, naturally, Mike O’Rourke stepped up during these COVID 19 days. He had his boarders/tenants tested for the novel coronavirus. A few tested positive. He isolated them in their rooms and informed all his other boarders they must shelter in place – quarantined everyone. AND BOUGHT FACIAL MASKS AND GLOVES FOR ALL HIS BOARDERS. AND INSTALLED HAND SANITIZER DISPENSERS on walls in rooms throughout his building.
The Albion Rooming house, Main South.
Mike kept, is keeping, everyone in his building healthy. He gets breakfast, lunch and dinner donations from Billy Riley of St. Johns Church Food for the Poor program and city nonprofits. Mike feeds everyone so well! He buys folks meals, even, if they seem especially unwell, hungry. “I go to the Pickle Barrel for (meals for) them,” he said. Strictly takeout. “They are down on their luck,” he said of his tenants. “You have to take care of them.”
St. O’Rourke is right!
His tenants, like the tenants of all Rooming Houses in Worcester – 20 or so buildings – are the city’s most vulnerable folks. They are down on their luck and highly susceptable to the highly contagious novel coronavirus. They are poor, mostly alone in the world, have underlying health challenges such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma … malnourishment. Living together, in close quarters, makes things tough for them during this global pandemic.
Yet Mike has kept all his boarders/tenants healthy! More so than other places in Worcester – many health facilities. At Mike’s Albion no one had to be hospitalized. The COVID 19 “patients” Mike had displayed only mild iterations of the COVID 19 disease – he kept them fed and healthy so their resistance was strong. And he made them, as best he could, stay in their rooms. They coughed … but did not get pneumonia. Mike made sure they were eating well. Everyone else at the Albion sheltered in place and wore their PPE. Mike is there every day, staying on top of them. CARING FOR ALL.
City Hero Mike O’Rourke believes the 20 or so rooming houses in Worcester are filled with COVID 19, but their managers/owners of are in denial. Won’t test their tenants. Do not want the hassle. Will not admit their buildings may harbor the virus, are potential COVID 19 Worcester hotspots. Their boarders go out into the city … are spreading the coronavirus throughout Woo as I write this …
“The City has to have the same standards for all Rooming Houses,” Mike told me. “We need to be doing the same thing” to prevent the spread of the virus.
Take it from a guy who hasn’t lost one patient, one tenant one soul – not even to the DCU field hospital or the new Covid 19 Hotel in town!
O’Rourke’s Albion building is a Woo success story. A beacon of hope for all rooming houses in the state. Here, Science and Love came together. In Main South. ♥️♥️♥️♥️
As many of you know – and may not know – Mother’s Day is a bitter sweet day for me. When I was very young I had a baby boy and I gave him up for an open adoption. Hoping that someday we could meet and I could tell him the reasons for giving him up. … Later in my life I had tried everything to try to find him and to put it out there to him that if he wanted, I was open to connecting with him.
Dorrie, the biological father and her son♥️, years ago.
As fate would have it, back in the 1970’s when someone’s “files” were paper (no computers or saving disks), after going through many steps to try to find my son, I was told that the place that had done the adoption had burned down and all records were destroyed.
However, I didn’t give up trying to find my son. I was in the process of hiring an attorney to help when I found a website in New York that helped adoptive moms and adoptees connect. I gave them all the info that I had: my son’s date of birth, the hospital and state that he was born in. They assured me that they would do everything they could to help locate him.
ears went by and my life took yet another turn, so I put searching for him on the back burner and thought that perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. But I constantly thought about him and his life and how he had turned out. If he was happy, healthy, in love, was a dad …
Dorrie’s son Geoff and his late girlfriend
One evening my home phone rang, and a woman was on the line asked me if she had reached a Dorrie Maynard. I assured her, Yes, it was me. She told me that I should sit down! She proceeded to tell me who she was and that I had contacted her years earlier with regards to my son that I had put up for adoption in New York state. My heart started racing and I tried to prepare myself for what she was about to say!
She told me that she was pretty confident that she had located my son, based on the information that I had given her. And the best news was that he was searching for me as well!!! She told me she had to confirm a few things, but she wanted to check with me to be sure I was still open to meeting him. I was almost speechless! She also wanted to ask me that, if everything checked out, if it was ok for her to give my son my phone number so he could reach out to me at his comfort level.
I said absolutely and started crying!
I thanked her and could not wait for the next step.
The next day my phone rang again: she told me that the facts were there, they had found my son and that he would be calling me that night!!!!! That night I waited by my telephone. No rings. I began hoping that he had not changed his mind about connecting with me.
Finally my phone rang. When I said “Hello” I heard a “Hello” back on the other end and I knew it was him. He sounded exactly like his father! His voice brought me back 25 years! With tears in my eyes and my hands shaking, I was finally having a conversation with my child whom I had brought into this world!
My son was living in Colorado at the time, so I wasn’t able to see him right away. My mom’s husband actually met him first, as he had a business trip in Colorado and contacted Geoff to take him and his girlfriend out to dinner.
I think it was about a year after call me that my son moved back to Rochester, New York, and I was able to plan a trip to meet him. He was very odd about arranging a time, so I was a little concerned that meeting each other might be too much for him to deal with, but it finally happened. It was surreal: We met at an all-night breakfast place, we met in the parking lot. It was like meeting his father all over agsin: Geoff talked like him, looked like him and had the same mannerisms. I had not seen his father in 30+ years. We hugged but I could tell he was a little uncomfortable. So we went inside and sat down.
I have to say that meeting my son was one of the hardest things I have ever done! The last time I had seen him, he was a tiny baby and, after three days in the hospital, they took him away. I went home with an empty feeling! But I knew my newborn baby boy was on the road to a whole new, better life than I could ever have ever provided for him, at the time.
While still in the hospital, they finally brought him to me after he was born. He was so small! So completely adorable!! I wondered if I had made the right decision in giving him up. That was the selfish side of me – in my heart I knew he was better off going into a stable environment with two parents who could give him everything he needed. The funny side of this to me was, he was a tiny person. To everyone else on the maternity floor, he was that huge baby in the nursery! Everyone was talking about him, and when I ventured down to the viewing room, I realized what they were talking about. Geoff was double the size of all the babies in the room! That’s my son! He weighed more than 10 pounds when he was born. He was so big – and long! I knew he would be a survivor just like his birth mom! AND that is the only credit I am going to give myself for this. I had options, but I felt there was a reason he was brought into this world!
Today my son and I have an online, text-messaging relationship. It is so much better now that he is in recovery. I had a hard time dealing with him when he was “using” every time we had contact. He was always on the defensive. He always asked me why I didn’t want him and why did I give him up?
My son came to visit me when I had my house in Vermont. He started drinking at 9 am and never stopped until he passed out. I had to ask him to leave. I could not witness what he was willing to accept as a life! It totally broke my heart. I felt like I failed him as a mom. But I had to remind myself that I did not raise him. He went to his adoptive parents as an innocent child. In his defense, his biological father was an alcoholic and totally abusive to me when we were together! That is why I felt my only child was better off being adopted into a loving family!
The good irony of this all is that my son’s biological father became sober at almost the same time Geoff did. I was so grateful and hoped they would have a “real” relationship – other than drinking together. Unfortunately, his biological dad died when he was 62 years old of a massive heart attack in his sleep. Two weeks after he retired. He and Geoff had so many plans together. I was the one that had to call my son and tell him that his birth father had died. It was so hard, my heart completely went out to him! He was so unable to accept the fact that his birth dad had died just as they were going to start a sober journey together.
I am going to stop writing now about my son and continue in a positive way about my view of Mother’s Day! I love my Mom beyond anything that I can translate – she has always been a rock, the foundation, in my life. She is the reason I have become the person that I am today. She is and has always been there for me.
My mom was always my best cheerleader. We have had our share of “issues” over the years, but I ALWAYS know she has my back and will be there for me!
♥️I LOVE you Mom! It makes my heart full knowing you have always been there for me!♥️♥️♥️♥️
Lastly, I want to say that I have become a dedicated dog mom, picking up and rescuing dogs that were thrown away like trash, left to fend for themselves on the streets, or taken from breeding situations where the only thing the dog provided to their owners was $$$money! I adore my dogs! They are my life and they make my life complete. So Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms and a happy dog’s/cats’s Mother’s Day to those who have and love their fur-babies!
In these trying times, we all deserve recognition!
… yet today – on this sunny spring day with all the old and young Worcester trees half in bloom and the daffodils outside Price Chopper their buttery-est yellow and the neon-vested construction workers on Millbury Street making THEIR BEAUTIFUL NOISE♥️ again – telling Worcester: WE CHOOSE LIFE! The FUTURE IS OURS! – I choose to stay in my apartment. Under the covers so to speak.
How strange! I’m still in my shorts and tee and old cozy sweater, unshowered – but eating fresh, feasting on the little tangerines I bought yesterday, heating up my leftover tomato-rice mix, topping my bowl off with more cherry tomatoes and the good cheddar cheese I bought yesterday …
… giving myself some self-love.
BUT I AM AFRAID.
The coronavirus sneaked up on me yesterday! At the end of my work day, around 7 p.m., when I was tired from CECELIA delivery and my guard was down. It was raw and raining. I was outside the slumlord Bob Largesse’s crumby building, on Ward/Stone streets, on the right side of his inner-city liquor store, in front of the Dunkin Donuts.
I saw three homeless people – rough … Bob Largesse – Canal District “visionary” – owns this dump. Bob is all about money$$$$.
… dirty, covered in layers of bkack and gray rags. Standing in front of, blocking the front door of, the Dunkin Donuts. One guy, the older one, was missing his four front teeth – or they were pretty rotted. So when he basically told me to go Fu** myself, his thin lips curled up to show me his teeth. His lady friend, long-haired heavier looked annoyed – I was the interloper. The kid – in his 20s – held a dog leash … with no dog attached. That would be the beige pitbull hovering by their calves. He was wearing a red tee shirt meant for a human. Like his masters, he too was trying to seek shelter from the rain, dampness and cold. So they all huddled by the Dunkin’ Donuts front door, under that tinny brown piece of crap roof.
I was with my “pups,” Lilac napping in the corner of my car’s backseat …
… my high energy Husky-mix Jett boppin’ ’round in back, as he always does (he’s only 12 years old!) But when my hound Lilac got the scent of the pitbull she perked right up and went crazy barking in the back seat.
I grabbed my Dollar Store scissors and a bundle of CECELIAs to make it fast – my delivery – 100 CECELIAs on the DD counter – 100 in their “wrapped” bundle. To deliver cuz the customers love them. I shouted to the little homeless “family”: “CAN YOU MOVE OVER TO THE LEFT? MY DOG IS GOING CRAZY – I DON’T NEED TROUBLE WITH YOUR DOG, AND I NEED TO GET IN TO DELIVER MY PAPERS!
I did not say: You are homeless, bereft, dirty and possibly carrying the novel coronavirus! You are wearing no facial masks! You scare me! And maybe I carry COVID-19 and my bandito mask is slipping off my face and I am too exhausted to readjust it. So I should scare you, too!
Instead I said, the cantankerous old broad I am: “I AM NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU ANY MONEY! LET ME IN!”
And I started the car again and backed up. The pitbull ran onto the highway off ramp, looking comical in his damp red tee shirt, like a pup outa a Charlue Chaplin film. A car whooshing by stopped short, the dog was still running … the older toothless guy grabbed the leash from the kid and went onto the street to get their dog. The man was scrawny and limped and used a gnarly cane that looked like some tree branch he had shorn of its smaller branches and wittled down to some smooth, tan, slippery snake stick.
The medicine show begins!
All the gods are watching us!
But we turn to deviltry!
We are at the end of our COVID 19 tethers – cruel to each other. There is NO VACCINE OR EVEN ANTI-VIRAL MEDS. The package of 30 disposable facial masks I saw at the store today cost $30, and I didn’t have enough money on me to buy them. They flashed before my eyes now, and I thought: I hate poverty. I have been poor all my life! The hard COVID-19 truth.
I said again, turning stubborn, shutting the car engine off: I NEED TO DELIVER MY PAPERS! SOCIAL DISTANCE! YOU ARE LOITERING!!!
And the homeless crew made faces and stood their ground – staked out their three square feet of DD territory.
I had forgotten how I had driven down this street just four months ago – in the dead of a Worcester winter – giving homeless people new warm knit winter hats, gloves and scarves! To help them! Chatting with them under the Green Street bridge, too – and they stuck their pale faces, pock-marked chins into my car, on the passenger side, and patted Lilac on the head and thanked me for my gifts and smiled their toothless smiles – even the beautiful young homeless women.
All that goodness washed away in the COVID 19 rain.
It has been two months and chaos is still here!
I drive by the DCU center, and it looks like a MASH unit with the big white tent, police cruisers, the ambulances, the sawhorses set up all over the place … lost souls with backpacks looking at me with scared eyes. No more bar life here or hockey fun or Woo memorabilia to be sold or jaunty college youth walking in freshly the painted crosswalks. Now sickness and death.
My crew before the Ward Street DD maybe decided to skip all this stuff, to omit the City’s new homeless shelters, the City of Worcester-sponsored coronavirus tests for at-risk populstions like the homeless, the National Guard on hand to guide and help during emergencies. Nope. Not for this round and hard as a chestnut crew huddled together before the front door of the Ward Street Dunkin’ Donuts. They would be free of the societal responsibilities, society in general.
But in my way. I am still trying to do my life’s work!
I should have driven home yesterday and tried again today. But I had dug in, too, like the homeless crew. This old lady who has been running her feisty little rag for almost 20 years. MY RIGHT to deliver my papers to the DD I have been delivering to for years. So I rolled up my car windows and sat in my jalopy, waiting. Waiting. Too tired to think.
Lucky for all of us, the kid behind the counter at the Dunkin Donuts came out in the rain and stood by my car window and grimaced. He was scrawny and pale – and wore his face mask, which he pulled down to talk to me. All the fast food kids make this mistake! All of a sudden my heart broke! He said: THEY CAN STAY HERE! THEY ARE PAYING CUSTOMERS! I showed him my car stuffed with my newspapers – my mask had slipped down too, so we were both talking to each other a foot apart, my car window down, no barriers between us. He said, annoyed at playing ump: DO YOU WANT ME TO BRING THEM IN?!
YES! I said.
I gave him my bundle of CECELIAs through my open car window, and then I drove home. At home I felt infected, guilty, lost, fearful, hating myself. Lost in the brutal America my country has become. Always was if you are poor. I felt covered in novel coronavirus microbes, their red and green coronas sparkly, rolling in the Worcester night, latching on to the starlight and my lungs. That Dunkin Dounts kid – I had forced him out of his work place … he pulled his face mask down in the sea of billions and billions of coronaviruses … and the scared little pitbull in floppy red tee shirt meant for a human. And the homeless “family” sheltering from it all, not believing in science or Worcester outreach workers, or physical distancing or face masks. Just believing in themselves.
FOR EARTH DAY, A NEW FILM FROM MICHAEL MOORE! WATCH IT!:
Today – April 22 – is Earth Day!
It’s the perfect time to slow down, reflect on how our actions impact the planet, and consider the ways in which we can do more.
Maybe this year, you’ll plant a garden, volunteer to do a coastal cleanup, or attend a local festival.
Whatever you choose, here are five easy actions that you can incorporate into your day that will help animals and the planet:
🌎1. Save water!
Let your friends and family know that while dairy products may not be meat, their production is just as bad for the Earth (not to mention cows).
🌍2. Bring a vegan dish to the office to share with coworkers:
With hundreds of delicious vegan recipes on our site, PETA.ORG, we’re sure that there is something for even the most skeptical palate.
🌍3. Print/MAKE this sign and put it in your car window:
Why not use your time while you’re sitting in traffic to let others know just how detrimental eating meat is?
🌍4. Share the Cowspiracy trailer and host you own moo-vie party:
The more people who see this vitally important film, the faster we can save animals, people, AND the planet.
🌍5. Go vegan: EAT LESS MEAT, WORCESTER!
According to the United Nations, a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.
Whatcha waitin’ for?
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE!
Life was more “basic” in Worcester way back when my Bapy and Auntie, pictured here, …
… lived in Green Island, in The Block, on Bigelow Street. They cooked all the family’s meals from scratch – often using mushrooms, blueberries and fish that my Polish immigrant grandfather, “Jaju,” picked/caught in the wilds of Worcester! My high school friend’s mom, a Polish immigrant, still made everything from scratch for her family – noodles, rolls, pierogi, gawompki – many Polish meals. And pizza!!!! Very tasty! As a teen, I ate many a meal in that grand three decker on Vernon Hill!!
We kids – real young to teens – walked everywhere. To see friends. To play whiffle ball, tag, Red Rover, double dutch, Chinese jumprope, hopscotch, marbles … When we got older we took a bus downtown to meet our pals and hang out at “Worcester Center” – the big mall, The Galleria, next to Notre Dame church (always full to capacity on Sunday)! A Galaxy of fun in The Galleria: record stores, clothing shops, shoe stores, a five and ten and our fave – Orange Julius!!
We did SIMPLE, BASIC STUFF – like read books and magazines, listen to our albums on record players … We learned how to play a musical instrument … We joined the Providence Street Junior High School Chorus – led by our beloved – THE ICONIC ♥️ – Miss Avedikian! Everyone’s favorite teacher, she was adorable – only 4′ 10″ high but, boy, could she keep the big tough boys in line! And she got them singing! She hugged everybody! All the time! She knew many of us kids were deprived … city kids in need of music and love! And so much more! She was our ally and booster – this little lady who needed a booster seat for her desk chair. This little lady, dressed impeccably, her little legs dangling from a kid’s desk chair!
THIS EARTH DAY, LET US LEARN FROM THIS PANDEMIC and LOVE THE BASIC and simplify, simplify, simplify!
What’s great is they are simple to make: You can add anything to them, like spinach or broccoli, or mushrooms. Or you can go all French and do ham and cheese.
The secret to a great veggie quiche is to partially cook the veggies – let them cool down and you place everything in the pie shell. Then you add your egg mixture.
The base layer is always cheese, then top it with your meat or veggies – or both – then pour on the egg mix and bake approximately 30 mins or less at 350F.
I use pre-made shells …
… as they tend to be less expensive to make and are quick. If you want to be traditional: take 2 sticks butter … Cut them up … also let them get soft. Take 2 cups flour and a pinch of salt. Add a TINY amount of cold water to get it to grab – mix well with your hands and roll out the crust.
Then fill with cheese and toppings.
For the egg filling, whip together 6 eggs and a small container of plain yogurt. I like the Greek kind:
Mix together well – pour into the shell …
… – and you are done! It’s great with a salad!
COVID-19 in France: My Thoughts
By Chef Joey
So here we are halfway through April and decisions are being made on what to do about the “Corona Virus’ “covid 19.” Being housebound by a mandatory curfew here in France I get to see lots of social media, some fun posts – and many disturbing ones, such as people wanting to go to the beach.
Sand harbors disease, people spread disease … And if the rest of the world is on “protection mode” so shouldn’t the USA! In 1918, in America, during the “Spanish Flu,” when Americans wanted to have parades, post World War I – cities that did not have parades survived, but cities that did, like Philadelphia, were “piling up corpses like firewood.”
Here in France, we must wear a facemask that is provided by the town. We must wash hands and wear gloves but, most importantly, Stay Home. To leave our homes we have to print out a form that explains the purpose of our travels and the time you left your house. The form has civil information, like address and birthdate, and being out for the following reasons: Essential employee, a pharmacy run, bringing food to the elderly, essential food shopping, and personal exercise and or dog walking. Quite simple. And the walking: Yes, it’s stay within 1 kilometer of your residence – and wear a mask.
These simple tasks are paramount to people regaining their lives again. Bars and restaurants are currently closed here🇫🇷 until mid-July. Hotels are closed as well – this too shall pass! The streets here are sprayed down every day to prevent the spread of the disease. Places that have foot traffic, like pharmacies, grocery store sidewalks and ATMs are done first – then the rest of the streets are done.
Children are restricted unless completely necessary to go to stores, as are the elderly, and social distancing is paramount – and enforced everywhere.
I do not look at this as my rights being taken away. I look at this as something serious because in the final stages of the disease, the patient is quarantined off and left to pass away on their own. No one to hold their hand, no one to kiss goodbye. Even in death there is no public celebration, no funerals allowed … of course, weddings are stopped as well.
So we will remember 2020 as an off year when the world was on hold, and I will be glad to have stayed home and stayed healthy to tell the story to (hopefully!) a grandkid or two!
Thinking about our homeless … This past Saturday: Worcester’s Canal District.
… Thinking that despite Dr. Hirsh, Mayor Petty and City Manager Ed Augustus’s Herculean Efforts to safeguard them from COVID 19, treat/test them, and quarantine them in a beautiful new space, Worcester’s homeless folks and the people who feed them, care for them, ♥️love them are contracting COVID 19 at an alarming rate.
Woo’s PATRON SAINT OF THE HOMELESS – BILLY RILEY – the Worcester guy who FOR YEARS has fed our homeless, the alone, the suffering, and the working poor at the St. John’s Church soup kitchen on Temple Street, even giving folks groceries for their week (every Sat. morn) HAS CONTRACTED the Coronavirus. Billy is at home now, praying and self-quarantining. DEPRESSED AS HELL, no doubt! BILLY LOVES HIS FULL-TIME VOLUTEER GIG. It is city-wide, it is doing a million good things with a million good folks. Jesus’s work. For the good of Worcester. … Good Luck with contact-tracing for Billy, Dr. Hirsh!
I learned this weekend that Father Richie – the other hub of help for the city’s homeless – has contracted COVID 19. Father Richie – the street pastor who for years HAS OVERSEEN St. John’s HOTEL GRACE, THE CITY’S EMERGENCY WINTER SHELTER – is out of commission, too. At home self-monitoring. Good luck, Dr. Hirsh, with contact-tracing in this case, too.
The homeless under the Green Street Bridge
Our pal Dorrie, another person who loves our homeless, says Abby’s Shelter for women has laid off most of its workers – except for our Dorrie! She is holding the fort there, and Abby’s is paying her for her community service at the “Seed.” DORRIE CONTINUES TO DO HOMELESS OUTREACH AT THE MUSTARD SEED soup kitchen in our Piedmont neighborhood. She is helping homeless people with bkankets, clothing, backpacks – and STILL GIVING THRM PET FOOD AND SUPPLIES FOR THEIR DOGS AND CATS! All the while wearing PPE – a face mask and latex surgical gloves. And practicing social distancing as best she can.
GORDON HARGROVE, right, OF THE FRIENDLY HOUSE IS COORDINATING CITY OF WORCESTER’S FREE HOT MEALS FOR ALL WOO KIDS program.
Saint Dorrie!!!! We pray for her and other social service workers’ safety!
Dorrie says she believes A THIRD OF WORCESTER’S HOMELESS POPULATION has contracted COVID 19.
She works in the middle of this plague and believes the global pandemic is a sign – a warning for us all to become more self-sufficient.
No one is to blame for COVID 19 attacking OUR HOMELESS COMMUNITY/WORKERS. Many homeless folks do not – cannot – have problems with sheltering in place, staying put – and safe. IT REQUIRES DISCIPLINE – IS A HARD THING TO DO if you are struggling with other issues.
SO … DO our homeless inadvertantly SPREAD COVID 19 …ol on downtown benches, door ways, stoops, stairs, WRTA hub shelters? THRU NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN!
BETO says WE MUST ALL LOVE AND CARE FOR EVERYBODY these days!
HOW DO WE STOP – OR SLOW – THIS SPREAD, city leaders? To save lives and reopen Worcester …
From🇫🇷 Chef Joey:
Text+pics by Chef Joey
You don’t need a big meal to feed your family. How about a Spanish omelette for breakfast or lunch?
You need an onion …
2 cloves of garlic
1 large boiled potato, quartered and cut into slices.
Add a tablespoon of butter and some oil to a frying pan.
Add your onions, sauté until clear.
Add the potato, and as they brown with a cover, add the garlic.
Take 8 eggs and blend them and add to the mix.
Cover about 6 mins – until it sets and place a plate on top and flip over.
Cook another 6 mins or less on a low flame and slide on to a plate.
Make a salad and lunch is served!
Animal shelters must not wash their hands of responsibility during this pandemic
By Teresa Chagrin
Rose’s Jett and Lilac were shelter rescues♥️
While we race to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, we are in danger of forgetting what started it: our own species’ blatant disrespect and disregard for the other species who try to share our world but often aren’t permitted to. The novel coronavirus originated in one of the world’s many live-animal markets — violent, filthy places where animals, terrified and trembling, are crammed into cages stacked on top of each other. Excrement, pus and blood from animals in the top tiers drip down onto the animals below, spreading disease, until it is time for them to be butchered in full view of the others.
Now, in the midst of this human-created crisis, other animals who depend on humans for almost everything, from drinking water to their very lives, are also being treated as expendable: Many animal shelters are closing their doors, refusing to accept dogs and cats from people who sometimes have no other recourse. As a result, animals are being abandoned on the streets and essential, lifesaving services like spaying and neutering, which prevent the births of more homeless animals, have ground to a halt. This is inhumane and irresponsible and will cause more animals to suffer and die. It needs to be rethought.
Animal sheltering services are more essential and critical now than ever before, and that’s saying a lot. Millions of people are out of work and scrambling to pay their bills, putting animals at risk of going without necessary food and veterinary care. Animals whose owners are hospitalized can be left with no one to care for them. What do those people do?
Shelters are the last resort for many, and when even taxpayer-funded facilities won’t help, some people take matters into their own hands. For example, a Pennsylvania man admitted to strangling his own ailing dog to death after being turned away from his local shelter. In Virginia, a Georgia woman, who testified that she had contacted two shelters and was refused help by both, admitted to shooting and killing a litter of puppies and dumping their bodies over an embankment.
Horrifying cases like these are reported nearly constantly in communities across the country where shelters have made it difficult or impossible for people to surrender animals. Others who are refused help by shelters simply dump animals in the woods or on the streets to die of starvation, be hit by a car or succumb to the elements.
So while debates continue over what constitutes “essential” work during the pandemic, there is no question that lifesaving animal sterilization surgeries should continue. Every sterilization saves countless lives, by preventing millions more unwanted dogs and cats from being born into a world with too few acceptable homes, a world in which many will suffer and die on the streets or at the hands of cruel or neglectful people or end up being euthanized in shelters that must make room for an endless flood of animals in need.
Suspending spay/neuter clinics’ vital services will exacerbate a crisis that was raging long before anyone had heard of COVID-19 and set back the progress that the humane community has painstakingly made to reduce animal overpopulation. Not only will it result in more homeless animals, it’s also likely to cause a spike in cruelty cases and in diseases contagious to humans, including rabies.
Humans have created the dog and cat homelessness crisis by domesticating animals and then failing to take responsibility for them. Animals depend on shelters to stand strong and do what is right. That means keeping their doors and clinics open when animals need them the most.
Bill Coleman, right, and James Bonds working to get the World War II Black Honor Roll monument re-erected! pic submitted
Strange and challenging times, these COVID-19 days, weeks, possibly months. I called upon my family to help me, to give me guidance, to let me know how they’re feeling as we are living in our communities and our country, the world … As we ALL experience the devastation of microbes killing Harmony – hospitalizing so many of us, killing thousands, too.
I asked my son, who lives in California, to tell me his feelings. I asked my daughter who told me a few weeks ago that this is something like none of us will have ever seen in our lifetimes. I asked her to share, to continue to share her thoughts with me. I asked my extended family to share with me their thoughts and their feelings about what’s going on in this world today. How they are DOING!
I believe that this is the time that we really need to look to our fellow humans and to reach out to each other – and to talk about what’s going on.
To know our history is to know our present and future. But today we have an opportunity not to judge what’s going on but to think about what we mean to each other. Life is so precious and so limited in time! We could be here today and gone tomorrow! What will we have learned?
If we look at our past histories … of things that have happened in this world: the swine flu, AIDS, the Bubonic Plague, the Influenza Virus of 1916 to 1920 … so many people died during those times. If we look at wars that we have participated in or by reading articles in the newspaper or listening to conversations on the radio or even following breaking news on the Internet … when do we get a chance to really express how we feel to people in our family or our close friends?
As I look back and read old newspapers and try to find newspaper articles to get the feelings of people years ago as they experienced these different pandemics, all the suffering, I find things have not changed all that much in the way people have reacted and interacted with each other. How many can remember the scourge of Polio? There are a lot of articles about polio and how families felt when one of their children was diagnosed with it. What were the feelings of FDR – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt – when, in his late 20s, he was diagnosed with Polio? What was that like? Did it make him a better, a GREAT, President? I think YES!
I remember what it was like during the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic was running rampant – people didn’t understand. They were accusatory of a certain gender of individuals, saying: Oh, this is God’s Wrath on Them. Then we found out it was a simple disease … Or how about people coming down with the swine flu, the bird flu – all these different types of illnesses that were affecting our society? Some of us stood in judgment. How can we stand in judgment? When we look at the Ebola crisis that happened in parts of Africa, when we look at the illnesses because of infected water that happens in our country … HOW CAN WE JUDGE????
When we look at people who are victims of constant War – 24 hours a day – in various countries. It is still going on, and there are cries to end the wars, but the bombs do not stop!
If we can learn anything from COVID 19, we realize that there are no borders that can stop us from getting sick or dying from some force greater than our inability to care. Every once in awhile it seems like we all need a wake-up call. Then maybe our society, the world, will change for the better.
Maybe during this holy time of Passover and Easter we can fight the ills of our society by kindness – not judgment. Maybe, just maybe, 100 years from now, people will look back and see what happened in our society and say: They did their best. They did what they had to do.
And they were kind to each other.
Bill Coleman today … at the Woo Sox stadium groundbreaking celebration.
From Chef Joey:
ROMAN STYLE GNOCCHI♥️!
Missing our chef!
We all seem to keep using the same side starches: rice, noodles, pilaf, potato, mashed potato. How about polenta?
Simple corn meal! Cook according to the package directions and add a bouillon cube – either vegetable or chicken.
If you want to add protein, as it is cooking, add 2 beaten eggs to the mix. Spread it out and let it chill. Cut into cubes and layer a pan. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for 20 minutes until heated through. Serve! Simple and delicious! It tastes great with pasta sauce, too! Even pesto!
Yesterday, I went out for groceries. I was so IMPRESSED by this Worcester 7-11 CASHIER – Louis – and 7 Eleven in general.
Louis, behind his slab of plexi glass, did not have to be so sweet when I rushed into his 7 Eleven store and cried: One HOT PIZZA SLICE!!!! Please!!!
I was hungry – and sick of doing the right thing at my apt @ 36 Blackstone River Rd. I was out with my pups, shopping AND enjoying the car ride, the sky, the fresh air, the trees, the precious interactions with PEOPLE♥️♥️♥️! … Louis said he could no longer do puzza slices…I assumed that was cuz of COVID 19 – large pizzas sitting in the display window was a no no now. …So I said: Anything else? Louis said: Chicken sandwich or sausage …I said: I am a vegetarian. No meat! I’m hungry…anything cheese???
Louis smiled and said: WAIT HERE. HE WENT IN BACK, GOT A LARGE PIZZA, put it in their oven and said: Two minutes. I went outside after I paid him my $1.50. Then … out came my hot, delicious pizza slice. Louis did not put the rest of the pizza in the display case to sit – it went in back (now his pizza$?). I said: THANK YOU, LOUIS! You are so nice!
Rose’s slice of pizza – to go!
Later I thought: and so smart and professional during these COVID 19 days.
First – Because I am a regular customer, 7 Eleven IS ALWAYS SUPER CLEAN. And it has GREAT pizza and Coffee – Green Mountain Coffee! Starting at $1 – all flavors, decaff, real cream, half and half, milk – at a great coffee station that is a bit different these days …
7 Eleven sells terrific Green Mountain coffee, starting at $1/cup
Second: The conveience store/gas station yesterday looked especially clean and sanitary: plexi glass between Louis and his customers … bottle of hand sanitizer on counter for all customers to use … light plastic disposable gloves for all customers who are buying gas and pumping it at the 7 Eleven gas pumps.
♥️Best of all: a polite, courteous counter person – Louis – helping his customers with grace and ♥️ during these dangerous COVID 19 days. Louis, like all gas/convenience store cashiers /counter staffers, KEEPS WORCESTER ROLLING. He is an essential worker! He is as heroic as a nurse or doc – maybe more so because many service workers may not be fully aware of the super-contagiousness or deadliness of the coronavirus. …They certainly are not making money commensurate with the health risks they take doing their job. WHY NOT $$BONUSES FROM THE STATE, THEIR COMPANIES?? Why not a $15/hour LIVING WAGE for them?