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.
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”.
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.
Last Friday, I met with the jurors of the creative writing contest at my son’s elementary school; I have sponsored this event for the past three years. In the fourth grade stories’ pile, there was one handwritten in blue ink. The title was “Carito“–short for Carolina in my home country, Colombia.
Immediately, I remembered the name of a famous song and thought: “I bet this is has something to do with Colombia.” I was right.Continue reading “The Vanishing”
Two days ago, I watched a viral commencement address by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven at the University of Texas in 2014. The title of the speech is, “Change the World.” The voice and demeanor of the Admiral in uniform–besides the numerous medals on his chest–are an unmistakable display of leadership.
Nonetheless, what moved the audience that day, and continues to awe people worldwide on the internet, are his words and the essence of his message. This is my favorite part:
Last week, the details of the first double lung transplant to a 17 year-old due to vaping were revealed. The procedure took place on October 15th at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Although the identity of the patient is being kept anonymous, the hospital shared a written statement from the family.
This post was originally published last December, but the story is timeless. I want to salute our troops and thank them for their service, today and always. X.S.
Sgt. Lippencott is a father of four. He joined the Marine Corps in 1996 in Chantilly, VA, and since then, he has completed seven tours of duty to Iraq and Afghanistan for the operations Iraq Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn. He is planning his retirement for June next year after almost 23 years of service.
Needless to say, the wounds of his sacrifice to defend our country’s freedom are not only the ones he bares on his body, but also the ones on his soul.
After our first visit, I emailed Sgt. Lippencott and asked him a couple of questions to write this blog. The first one was, what would you say to a seven-year-old boy’s mother, like me, if my son decides to enlist in the military in the future? I asked him this because when we met, he said that he never thought about joining the military. His answer brought me to tears. Continue reading “An Oath of Gratitude”
Last Sunday, October 27th, Argentina elected Alberto Fernandez as its new president; he will take office on December 10th. Nonetheless, his triumph has not been the main focus of the media spotlight. Center stage is the return of the controversial and former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as his V.P.
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became the first female president of Argentina in 2007 succeeding her husband, Nestor Kirchner; she was re-elected for a second term. Together, The Kirchners became the power couple of the Judicialist Party, amassing twelve years in office from 2003 to 2015.
The center left elected government will face the challenge to steer the third largest economy in Latin America with inflation over 50%, US$100 billion in foreign debt, and more than 30% of its population in poverty, according to Argentinian media outlets.
The results of this election have sent shock waves across the markets. Why? Perhaps it is the phantom of Fidel Castro’s ideology that haunts Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Continue reading “Divide and conquer”
Last year, my eight-year-old son started struggling with his second-grade math. For a few days, I felt as if our kitchen table transformed into a Medieval torture dungeon while doing homework. Who would have thought that the unanswered 3+2 question could trigger so much anxiety?
Once I decided to stop inflicting pain on myself and causing my son’s irreversible psychological damage–imagine his face trying to understand mathematics smothered in a thick Spanish accent–I searched and found a tutoring facility close to home.
After I dropped him off for his first session, I noticed the yoga studio* next door and realized that I too, needed some tutoring. The next Thursday, and almost every Thursday since then, I have been religiously practicing yoga with one simple goal: taking a deep breath from life.Continue reading “Taking a deep breath”
Last week, there was a controversy in the U.S. that had nothing to do with President Trump. I’m not kidding. It was in reference to the premiere of the film Joker next Friday, October 4th. (See trailer)
In April 1940, DC Comics introduced the Joker, a bank robber with clown grandeur. However, throughout the years, the creators of Batman’s arch-enemy transformed the character into a psychopath with genocidal desires capable of the most abhorrent acts.