Never sprain your UCL, and other advice

I’m back online and typing very gently after a few weeks’ rest for my dominant arm, which needed to recover from a sprain of my ulnar collateral ligament. I hadn’t even really known it was possible to sprain an arm outside of sports involving throwing balls, and yet, I achieved it!

While my twice-broken, once-surgically-reassembled LEFT arm has more reasons to resent me (!!), my right arm is still making its displeasure known. I look forward to not waking up fast and for the wrong reasons due to its response when I stretch in the morning, half-awake! (Gaaahhhhh!)

Good advice: do not sprain any of your ligaments!

Outside of sitting around in pain, there has been a lot going on. My very liberal hometown achieved getting 80% of adults vaccinated against COVID-19 weeks ago AND has had a less than 1% rate of positive test results, and so has started to ramp up ordinary urban activity. This means that going to the store no longer has a high personal risk score I have to calculate.

Good advice: live in an area where people believe in science!

There IS still a risk score, what with news of the delta variant rising elsewhere, but also because I have people in my social and professional circles that I just can’t TRUST to protect me (or others). I’m not spending any time indoors with anyone who refuses to be vaccinated, and while I like to think I don’t know such people, it turns out I do.

They will not be appearing on my indoor social calendar.

Combined with the social calendar hygiene that I applied for people who expressed unreasonable right wing and/or conspiratorial views in the last 4 years, I’ve only had to drop a few people, but the quality of my social calendar is much improved!

Good advice: spend time with people who care about your health, safety, and well-being.

After writing a terse letter to a pen friend who takes lots of medicines, but also insists broadly, in defiance of facts, that the COVID vaccines have not yet been tested (!?!) , I have had to reflect that smart people can be hopelessly GULLIBLE. Not just about how drugs are tested and approved in the US (where our regulatory regime makes them more valuable and widely trusted than those of many other countries, counter-intuitively – regulations can be quite beneficial in unexpected ways!), but gullible or oblivious to a range of things. Peers I care about have expressed unexpected lack of awareness of: the fact that eggs they buy in the store aren’t fertilized; what forms of birth control are available and how they work (and that some also prevent transmissible diseases); that heart disease is not random, but caused by lifestyle (or, infrequently, by genes – just like cancers); that there is more than one kind of cancer, and that cancer treatments differ; that the main way to obtain vitamins is through eating foods that contain them…

As someone who is curious about the world and who reads constantly, the idea that some of my peers wouldn’t know these things shocked me at first… but should it?

Good advice: read, and spend time with other people who read.

(John Waters has a more strongly worded sentiment about this, which also applies.)

Speaking of reading, I’ll find my notes about recent books, and share them here…