mus·ing /ˈmyo͞oziNG/ (plural noun): musings: A period of reflection or thought.

Right now, I am listening to the sounds of sirens. They go off so often because I live just a few blocks from a fire station. All day I hear them, and I feel fleeting hope when there is silence for a stretch of time. Some nights there are no sirens and I think maybe that is a good sign, maybe less people are sick, less people are dying, less people need help. The news then reminds me that we have not even peaked yet and I feel the dread that many of us are experiencing right now.

I am sure I am not the only one for whom reactions to this pandemic fit the well-known Kubler-Ross and Kessler stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Many of us have already run through the entire spectrum and some of us are stuck in one phase or another. All of which feels appropriate for what is happening.

I think we were all in denial as we traveled and danced in just a short while ago while the virus was silently wreaking havoc in the bodies of thousands. Anger that our government chose to ignore the warnings. We bargain with the God to let the scourge will pass our doors, we sink into depression when it hits home and for so many, we accept that this will be with us for a while.

Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of great tools to deal with all of this, but we do have some. What gives me hope and sometimes even joy is knowing that I can make better use of the a few tools that are free solutions to life’s greatest challenges. These are mine:

1) Practice silence. There is no greater gift to all of us than our ability to calm ourselves by looking within. By taking a few minutes throughout the day (I do it at the start of mine) to just be still is the ultimate reset. If we want to hear God’s voice, we need to stop doing and start being. If it is hard to just be still, start by listening to sounds inside first and outside. Start with your breath, your heart, your room, your home, the birds outside your window, the wind, the passing plane, the universe. Yes – listening to everything will eventually result in silence and that is where your spirit will rest and be replenished.

2) Practice gratitude. It is almost impossible to hold anger, uncertainty, or fear in your heart when you are being grateful. Try it. Gratitude is salve for the soul. The power in saying thank you (whether to your higher power, your parents, your family or friends) is a way to affirm and increase the bounty of blessings that we have and that we will receive.

3) Practice connection. Right now our inclination may be to withdraw to protect ourselves and our families. Wearing masks, social distancing and sheltering in place certainly reinforce that instinct but these barriers should not serve to disconnect us from each other. And it is the recognition of our connection that lifts our mood and normalizes this very abnormal situation. It is okay to wave to your neighbors who are sitting on their front porch. Go ahead and join that Zoom group that you think will be silly. When greeting people out in the world smile. Your smile will shine through your mask and others will feel the warmth of your spirit.

4) Practice forgiveness. What a great time to just let everyone off the hook. Forgive that money you never got back. Forgive any insults or slights. Forgive everyone. Forgiveness is a gift for you that allows the release of mental and emotional chains never meant to serve you in the first place.

5) Practice creativity. Everyone is blessed with a generative instinct, meaning we are meant to create more than we are meant to consume. Unfortunately, our smart phones, televisions, computers are made for 24/7 consumption and can trick us into believing we are inadequate and untalented. The truth is we are just the opposite. Taking the time to cultivate our creative juices forces us all to be present in life and to bring new expressions into existence. So cook, draw, garden, write, sing, play, produce.

6) Practice love. Say “I love you” to everyone who has touched your life. Say it to the people whose lives you want to touch. Say it to yourself and know you deserve it.

We are in this situation for a while and if we can practice wellness by using these tools we will not only survive, we can be the generation that produces a new era of enlightenment. One that will be filled with people that are generous, loving, kind and forgiving.

I am still hearing sirens but I am also hearing the birds singing every day. I think we can learn a lesson from them. Keep moving, keep producing and keep signing. We will all be okay.

DJ Lori Branch
Chicago, IL, USA

“In the month of January, 2020, I began to hear about the Coronavirus. I thought it was just another new strain pf a virus similar to the flu. Then the people of China began to get very sick and dying from the virus, which began in Wuhan, China. Why should I be stressed? Next, it was awarded its own personal acronym (Covid-19.)

Now, I’m beginning to pay more attention to the news. The virus was spreading throughout the entire country of China. Next, it began spreading to Italy, Spain and eventually reaching the United States.

The Covid-19 had become a deadly virus and I am a senior citizen…reason to be concerned. There was a new term created for people to allow at least six feet between each other when in public called “social distancing.” Fear began to grow inside of me.
I thought about going outside to shop for food, doctor appointments, and visiting friends or relatives. But, instead of experiences the feeling of separation, it brought the world together. People realized that this method was the only way to get control of Covid-19. So far, this confinement has been a revelation for our society.

Since this order of ”shelter in place,” also known as “stay at home,” has been implemented, people are exhibiting more thoughtfulness and kindness. Instead of wondering how I will be getting to my doctor appointment and shopping, my three doctors are visiting me by phone and asking if I need food or someone to go shopping for me. Never before have I seen such genuine kindness before. College students are volunteering to go shopping for seniors and the disabled. There are many food bank donations, plus rent and utility extensions, just to name a few contributions. My belief has been restored that unity and kindness can and will always exist within our society.

Helen LaNoyette Evans
A Concerned Citizen
Merrillville, IN, USA

My Name is Sandra and I’m an RN. My experience working has been quite challenging, when dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic. As a hospice nurse, our practice is not limited to just hospitals. We see patients in hospitals, nursing homes and in their home. Hospice nurses provide “End of Life Care” to patients in all settings.

So far, my experience has been extremely challenging. I have been exposed twice, with two different patients, in their homes. Well, actually one patient, and the other person was a family member of a patient I cared for.

Working with home patients during the pandemic I am finding to be extremely challenging, due to the fact that when families have a loved one not doing well, they call and we visit. Upon screening the patient and family members, I find most of the times family members will say the patient, themselves or any household members are not exhibiting symptoms, only to find out upon arrival that there’s a family member or two who are exhibiting symptoms.

We ask screening questions to protect ourselves and to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus. However, when family members are in a crisis, the only thing they are concerned about is getting their loved ones needs met.

In the beginning, this was an extreme challenge for me due to the fact I didn’t feel family members were being honest. After experiencing this a couple of times, I took it upon myself to just assume that everyone was positive or exhibiting symptoms and used the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE.)

I feel extremely helpless seeing a patient and their family go through dying, particularly from COVID-19. Many of our patients have a life expectancy of SIX months or less. However, since the pandemic, I am seeing higher incidences of deaths happen a lot quicker than I normally would see them.

Many of them are stable when they come on to our service. However, I am seeing more and more patients come on to service and within a week or so, they pass away. I feel terrible for the families, due to the fact that they will not be able to properly funeralize their loved one, or because the funeral will have to be limited to only 10 people, which can be stressful for a family. I would also like to add, that I am seeing more and more families choose cremation over the traditional burial services.

When our patients go into the hospital due to COVID-19; we are not allowed to visit those patients in the hospitals due to the goal, which is to minimize exposure. Families are not able to visit patients either. So, after I visit a patient (nurse of the patient,) I’ll call the family and update them on a daily basis. This helps alleviate any worries they may have and provide additional support to them. My experience has been, families are extremely grateful for the telephone call and the caring support I provide. The hospital nurses are doing an excellent job with video calls for family members, especially when they know the patient is not doing too well.

My professional opinion on how people are protecting themselves; it gives me great comfort seeing more and more people wearing masks and gloves. I feel for the most part, people are taking this serious. It most certainly disheartens me when I see individuals not taking it seriously, especially people of color. As a race, we are at higher risk for contracting this virus, due to the many comorbidities people of color have. I have two diabetics in my home. It is my job to protect not only myself, but my loved ones as well.

The pandemic has certainly changed the entire healthcare profession, especially for nurses. Many of my colleagues have mentioned changing professions. However, once we reflect on why we became nurses, we do what nurses do…and that’s to continue to care for those in need.

STAY SAFE!


Sandra
Registered Nurse

Chicago, IL, USA

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected me in a lot of ways. I am not able to do what I love most, which is play basketball. I’m not able to sit in an actual class with teachers. We have school through a computer screen, which is called “e-learning.”  Plus, all class of 2020 graduates won’t even be able to have OUR graduation. Our school trip to Atlanta was canceled, which we were all looking forward to. My friends that I’ve been in school with since kindergarten, I won’t ever see again.

Everybody has to stay inside 24/7. I haven’t seen my family. I miss my grandmother so much. I can’t hang out with my friends. I can’t go over their house and neither can they come over mines. The only way that I can communicate with my friends is by phone or the video game.

Also, just look at the environment that we are in right now. When you step outside, all you see are people with masks and gloves on. You go in a grocery store and get in line, you have to be 6 feet away from the next person. If you sneeze or cough, people are gonna look at you like you have the virus.

Overall, COVID-19 has changed the world…and my world, so much.

Eric Emmanuel-Amaru Shaw
8th Grade, c/o 2020, Chicago Public School (CPS)
William Bishop Owen Scholastic Academy ES (OSA)

Chicago, IL, USA

#FuckCoronaVirus  #ReadBooks  #StayHome #SaveLives

While you’re quarantined… take this time to do some reading!!!

Check out GO BANG! Magazine’s founder, Pierre Andre’ Evans’ CELEBRITY INTERVIEW book “Inside The Minds Of Entertainers.”  Dedicated to the late Cuba Gooding, Sr., who was also interviewed weeks before his death.  He probed deep into the mind of well-known Hollywood celebrities, revealing their spiritual, political and psychological thoughts.  You thought you may have new them…but you have no idea!   

“A GREAT READ” – Damon Williams, Comedian

Website:  https://insidethemindsof.com/

Available on Amazon

BOOK link: https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Mind-Entertainers-Thought-Provoking-Celebrities/dp/197785446X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=12VLD13KY0O4S&dchild=1&keywords=inside+the+mind+of+entertainers&qid=1586469698&sprefix=INSIDE+THE+MIND+OF+ENTER%2Caps%2C184&sr=8-1

KINDLE link:  https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Mind-Entertainers-Book-ebook/dp/B07JGDT18X/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1588264337&sr=8-1

TRIBUTE:When creating my magazine, I had various titles to choose from. But, the one that stuck out the most was GO BANG! GO BANG! was the perfect description for what my magazine would represent…power, explosiveness and excitement. In addition to that, the song GO BANG, simply gives that cool feeling that describes the magazine’s vibe. Lastly, the lyric in the song that says, “I wanna see, all my friends at once!” really hits home with me and my generation. We, the House community, are a family of friends that actually have true love for one another, whether formally introduced, or just meeting for the first time.

With that being said, let me introduce you to the creator of the song GO BANG, the late Mr. Arthur Russell.

Link to the “Making of Go Bang

The following is a reproduction of the bio of Arthur Russel from his Facebook Artist page:

Music critics love to write about the underdog: the guy who never quite made it, the one whose songs ended up stuffing the bank balance of the wrong party, the genius who took a wrong turning and ended up in nowheresville. Without doubt, Arthur Russell was such an underdog. In all the fields of music in which he excelled, success eluded him. Songs were never quite finished, projects fell apart, the world was cold hearted.

Yet Arthur made records and established a reputation that set him apart from the usual commercial underachiever. Dance tracks like “Go Bang!” and “Let’s Go Swimming”, along with his ethereal solo album, “World Of Echo”, live on as legendary assaults on all the petty rules that govern what’s possible and prohibited in the worlds of pop, dance and experimental composition.

Arthur was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on the 21st May, 1951. In 1970, equipped with little other than his wits and a training in piano and cello, he joined a Buddhist commune in San Francisco. On the west coast he met poet Allen Ginsberg, recording songs which also featured Bob Dylan, Perry Robinson and Happy Traum. Then in 1973, after two years of study at Ali Akbar Khan’s College for Indian music, he moved to New York City.

During the first half of the 1970s, Arthur wrote songs. He founded The Flying Hearts with Modern Lovers bass player Ernie Brooks, worked as musical director of The Kitchen and formed collaborative associations with composers such as John Cage, Laurie Anderson, Peter Gordon, Rhys Chatham, Philip Glass, Peter Zummo and Elodie Lauten. From the mid-seventies, the boundaries between experimental and popular were under assault. Sound artists like Laurie Anderson recorded hit records and composer Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham composed pieces for massed guitars that drew as much from noise rock as from American minimalism.

Inspired by bubblegum pop and easy listening, Arthur composed his first major piece, “Instrumentals”, a composition that would take 48 hours to perform if played in its entirety. Released in Belgium in 1984, “Instrumentals” is a great demonstration of Arthur’s compulsion to mix simple chords and rhythms with formalistic processes and complex moods.

Then he went to a disco called Gallery, one of the earliest underground clubs in the city, and heard DJ Nicky Siano. That experience changed his life. In collaboration with Siano he made “Kiss Me Again”, the first disco 12inch released by Sire. Featuring David Byrne on guitar and Arthur on cello, “Kiss Me Again” was the first of a sequence of extraordinary dance tracks. “Is It All Over My Face” by Loose Joints followed in 1980, along with the more experimental “Pop Your Funk”.

In 1981 Arthur worked with theatre director Robert Wilson on a production of Medea, staged only once at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Despite the disappointing failure of this project, Arthur continued to engage in other collaborations. The following year he founded Sleeping Bag Records with Will Socolov, releasing “24-24 Music” and in 1983, the legendary “Go Bang!” through the label.

One of the great off-the-wall disco tracks, “Go Bang!” combined dub
influences with jazz and funk, and Arthur’s unique sense of space and dynamics. In that same year, a sombre orchestral work, “Tower of Meaning”, was released by Philip Glass’s Chatham Square Records and another dance track, “Tell You Today” was the first US release on 4th & Broadway.

In 1986 he released two of his most enduring 12 inch singles: “Let’s Go Swimming” and “Schoolbell/Treehouse” (as Indian Ocean). Featuring Arthur’s cello and vocals, along with Mustafa Ahmed’s percussion, both records were mixed (with love) by the late Walter Gibbons, whose dub unorthodoxy contributed to the status of these records as disco masterpieces. During the same period, Arthur also released “World Of Echo”, a poignant solo album of songs performed on voice and cello.

Licensed from Upside Records in the U.S., and released on Rough Trade Records in the UK, “World Of Echo” should have been followed by an album of songs commissioned by Rough Trade’s Geoff Travis. In 1986, Arthur was diagnosed with HIV. Although he worked on the album until his death, he felt both physically unable and emotionally unwilling to complete the project. Despite declining health, he continued to perform, either solo or with Elodie Lauten, Peter Zummo and Mustafa Ahmed as The Singing Tractors. Arthur Russell died of Aids in New York City on April 4th, 1992. A year later, the first postumous compilation of Arthur’s work, ‘Another Thought’, was released by Philip Glasses Point Music.

In 2004, long time fan and former Tommy Boy executive Steve Knutson launched Audika Records to exclusively compile and release the exceptionally varied, long sought-after music of Arthur Russell, and in the process has succeeded at helping the beloved, late artiist find the broader audience he always believed he would reach. A new generation of listeners and critics has come to appreciate Russell as visionary and an influence upon a broad range of today’s most compelling musical artists.

Working directly with Arthur’s partner Tom Lee, Audika’s first release began with the 2004 disco/new wave collection, ‘Calling Out Of Context’ (in part compiled from the material commissioned by Rough Trade in the mid-80’s) continuing with a reissue of Arthur’s definitive work, the cello-and-voice masterpiece, ‘World Of Echo’ (2005); the instrumental compositions collection ‘First Thought Best thought’ (2006) (includes ‘Instrumentals’ and ‘Tower Of Meaning’); the hip-hop inspired ‘Springfield’ EP (2006); the singer-songwriter collection, ‘Love Is Overtaking Me’ (2010) in which a number of the songs are featured prominently in Matt Wolfs film, ‘Wild Combination: A Portrait Of Arthur Russell”; the expanded ‘Let’s Go Swimming’ EP (2011); the 2012 Soundtrack ‘Keep The Lights On’, and the forthcoming album of previously unreleased rhythmic material, CORN (2015).

In 1986, Arthur predicted that many of the ideas that made him commercially unreliable at the time would become commonplace. The breadth of his talent allowed him to work with artists as diverse as Alice Coltrane, John Cage, Christian Wolff, Jackson MacLow and the young Vin Diesel. This open hearted attitude to music was far ahead of its time. Perhaps he was right; finally, the world is ready for Arthur Russell.

For all the fear and uncertainty surrounding the CORONAVIRUS outbreak, it has given most Americans great pause to reflect about life, and how they plan to survive during this tumultuous time. The irony is, many of the social ills that separate us as individuals and communities, suddenly now confines us as human-beings, as more people become infected.

As social distancing becomes part of our new normal, it doesn’t matter how wealthy or famous you are. The risk for catching the virus is three times higher than the flu. There is no amount of money anyone can throw at this global pandemic to stop it. However, we all must do our part to ensure that no one else dies or get sick.

Social-distancing has changed the way we live and how we play. Yet it is vital that we find new and creative ways to focus our energy. Although doctors and scientists around the world are working vigorously to find a vaccine, the daily challenges we face ahead as a nation cannot be ignored.

President Trump declared the outbreak a national emergency, but has made it clear that true leadership, in his eyes, means not taking responsibility for any decisions that he may, or may not make in the weeks ahead. In any event, we can’t allow our opinions about our political differences, sway us from following the strict guidelines and instructions giving to us by the Center for Disease Control and State Health Departments.

For updated information on the coronavirus visit www.CDC.gov.

 

William J. Booker   CEO/Publicist, ChicagoPRworks
photo Mobile:708.600.1573
Email:ChicagoPRworks@gmail.com
Website:https://thebookerreport.blogspot.com