Control What Matters

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There is a saying in self-help literature that I try to keep present in my life: control what you can control. However, I recently found a pearl of wisdom that goes a step farther. Out of all the things I can control, I should only focus on those that matter.

The natural fear of contracting COVID-19, or having a loved one becoming severely ill from it, has launched reactions in all corners of the world. We have changed our lifestyles to cope with the new reality and have a sense of control.

In the midst of all this, the media amplifies sentiments of doomsday 24/7 instead of providing relevant information that could prevent the death toll from rising, such as the findings of recent investigations.

The most prestigious medical journals have published thousands of pages in reference to risk factors. But, not until last Friday, did I read on a national news outlet, a comprehensive article about one of the top, driving underlying conditions of COVID-19 total deaths in America.

Under the title, ”Why COVID-19 is killing U.S. diabetes patients at alarming rates,” Reuters referenced the latest CDC study. It analyzed 10,000 deaths in 15 states and New York City from January to May 2020.

According to this study, nearly 40% of the fatal victims, in all age groups, had diabetes. In the United States, the prevalence of this underlying condition made hospitalizations of patients six times higher and deaths 12 times higher regardless of age.

Another article published by The Lancet on July 17th, explains that previous investigations have shown a direct relationship (known as J-curve) between Type 2 Diabetes HbA1c and all-cause mortality for infections, in particular of the respiratory tract.

Even though diabetes does not increase the risk of contagion, the poor outcomes of diabetic COVID-19 patients are a fact.

All diabetic victims had one or more of the following underlying conditions: hypertension, cardiovascular disease, nervous system disease, and chronic kidney disease. Keep in mind that diabetes is a contributing factor for all of them.

Ninety percent of Type 2 diabetics are diagnosed as adults who are usually obese (Body Mass Index of 30 or up) and lead a sedentary life.

So, going back to the things that matter and that I can control, instead of worrying about decoding the future, I am going to take power over my health and clean up my diet.

Although I don’t suffer from diabetes and exercise regularly, the uncertainty of this pandemic has forced me to eat more take-out and cheating foods because I am simply bored. Comfort food is called that for a reason, right?

Therefore, as much as social distancing practices, masks, and all other policies contribute to the prevent the spread, my body will ultimately determine how it will react to Covid-19 in the event I get infected. Diabetes is, for the most part, an acquired disease. That is the good news, and I can control it.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

Xiomara Spadafora

Disclaimer: The views expressed in Good Crazy Woman are the author’s and are not influenced by paid sponsors or advertisers. The author is not responsible for the comments generated in the open forum. All copy rights reserved.



Aged To Perfection


Last week I finally turned 40. I say it this way because I am the runt of the litter in my besties group and I couldn’t wait to get on the fourth floor!

Kidding aside, I have been 40, mentally, for quite some time because the life that God gave me has been everything but dull. Each year has truly counted by two.

On the day of my birthday, I had the privilege to celebrate with my adoring husband, son, mama, cousin, and the rest of my family in Colombia via Zoom. We cut the cake, sang Happy Birthday, and cried remembering the day when I was born. Continue reading “Aged To Perfection”

I Choose Solidarity

silver metal round gears connected to each other
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It was just a matter of time before the decision to reopen the U.S. economy was going to create a giant gulf between us. Just what we needed. Another wedge of division among Americans.

Those in the camp of going back to work and enjoying some freedoms are being portrayed as selfish and science deniers by those who want to stay home until a Covid-19 vaccine is ready.

In other words, the new fight is between two social media mantras: “Civil liberties under the law” vs. “You want people to die.Continue reading “I Choose Solidarity”

The Voice of The Earth

closeup photo of brown and gray cicada on twig
Photo by Egor Kamelev on

Writing for the past few weeks has been impossible for me. It seems my muse is in quarantine as well, but it will come back. I can only hope. Meanwhile, I have been enjoying the idleness and listening to the voice of the planet.

Earth is speaking. The oceans and beaches are cleaner. Dolphins are seen jumping close to shores. Birds can be heard singing at now silent iconic urban parks. And at night, the sky glows with the light of stars that before were invisible to me.

As I was thinking about the voice of the Earth, I remembered a short story I wrote in September 2018. The title is, “The Voice of The Cicada” and it won second place in a Spanish magazine contest. I have never published it because it is part of an anthology I have been working for a while.

I wrote this story after I fell in love with the landscapes and foothills of the eastern Colombian state named Casanare. I visited two years ago and spent a week with one of my uncles who owns a rice plantation in a small town called Nunchía. I hope you like it and share it. I give you,

The Voice of The Cicada

Continue reading “The Voice of The Earth”

A Distant Happy Birthday


Last Monday, March 30th, my third-grader started online learning, following the long, stretched Spring break due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Needless to say, it was a nightmare.

The website collapsed a couple of times adding to my son’s anxiety; he randomly clicked the mouse of the computer like a mad-mad.

I miss my school“, he said, his eyes filling with tears. I didn’t know what to do, so I simply sat next to him and guided him through the day’s assignments. The next morning, I sent an email to his teacher asking if she could send him a message of encouragement. A few minutes later, she invited the entire class to a video call.

Once my son heard his teacher’s voice and saw the faces of a few of his buddies, his face lit up like fireworks. Seeing his smile brought me to tears. Immediately after finishing the call, my son began Tuesday’s tasks without complaining once. Continue reading “A Distant Happy Birthday”

The Working From Home Challenge

turned on laptop on bed
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

Daily life has changed quickly–and dramatically–in the United States and around the world. The planet’s economies are trying desperately to keep going and forego the financial devastation that is being forecast.

Therefore, working from home is as good as it gets for many companies, big and small, to keep their workforce employed and their services and products available in the marketplace.

However, as more people are glued to their laptops and cellphones (yours truly included), there are a few things to keep in mind to maintain healthy, not only mentally, but also physically. Continue reading “The Working From Home Challenge”

Fear’s Nature

lion head
Photo by Jakob on

If you want to listen to the podcast of this blog, click here!

Last week will remain in my memory for many years. Not because of the exponential raise of coronavirus Covid-19 cases around the world, nor the closing of the borders to contain its propagation.

This past week will remain in my memory because of the irrational reaction of millions of people on the face of this global threat: the purchase, in bulk, of toilet paper.

Watching pictures of empty shelves and endless lines outside of supermarkets are not new to me. On the contrary, they are a reminder of our annual hurricane season in Florida, the state where I reside. Continue reading “Fear’s Nature”

The mystery behind Leap Year

birthday wallpaper
Photo by Ylanite Koppens on

If you want to listen to the podcast of this blog, click here.

The media bombarding about Coronavirus or COVID-19 these days is practically impossible to escape. Nevertheless, I tried diverting my attention by reading about other subjects, such as the mystery behind the Leap Year.

Planet Earth’s tour around the Sun actually takes 365.25 days, not 365. Therefore, every four years, the second month has an extra day called Leap Day. In other words, February 29th is a surplus, and to be born on a day like this is definitely special.

According to the History Channel, only five million people have been born on this day,  making the odds equivalent to 1 in 1,461 babies.

Continue reading “The mystery behind Leap Year”

The Coronavirus’ patient profile

two test tubes
Photo by Martin Lopez on

Writer’s note: This blog has been updated on February 24th to show the cases data increase since the original publishing date, February 16th, 2020.

The Coronavirus–recently renamed COVID-19–epidemic maintains its grip on China. Based on the latest data released by the World Health Organization, the numbers continue to be alarming. However, Chinese officials changed the reporting criteria of Coronavirus cases this past week .

Therefore, patients who exhibit the symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness, but have not been tested or tested negative, are now included under the new category “clinical cases”.

Let’s take a look at these reports from WHO. To read the daily report click here. Continue reading “The Coronavirus’ patient profile”

Coronavirus: Stay informed, and don’t panic

chinese guardian lions
Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Last night, I enjoyed a plate of Chinese food while I read a article about the spread of the coronavirus designated 2019-nCoV. An ironic coincidence I have to admit.

JAMA online (The Journal of the American Medical Association) published two articles last week to explain this epidemic. One refers to the cordon sanitaire–sanitary cord in English–the public health measure taken by the Chinese government on January 23rd.

This measure restricted all transportation–land, air, and waterways–to and from the city of Wuhan, where 11 million people live, as well as over 15 other cities in the province of Hubei.

Additionally, the large cities Beijing and Hong Kong have cancelled the majority of public events, as well as classes for schools and universities, until at least the middle of February.

To illustrate the state of affairs in this Asian giant, imagine the population of California, Oregon, and Washington State combined tied under the measure and Los Angeles County as the epicenter of the epidemic. Continue reading “Coronavirus: Stay informed, and don’t panic”