Just a few things and a few thoughts I want to share.

First, THIS link about happiness and mental-well-being. The site is the Happiness Lab and it currently features short episodes on coping with coronavirus Social Distancing and isolation. You can also listen to Season 1 and Season 2 begins on the 27th.

Even more interesting is THIS link . . . it takes you to Yale’s most popular course (over 2M people currently enrolled for the course) which begins today, April 18th.

You can join the course for free — as I did — or pay the $49 entry fee if you want to earn a certificate to add to your resume. I entered for free; just provided my name and email address, and I was registered. There are ten weeks and it looks like there’s about 2-3 hours worth of material per week (just a cursory look, I had, so don’t hold me responsible if that’s not true).

Here’s the bio on the professor (including the links above):

Laurie Santos is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. She hosts the popular podcast The Happiness Lab and she teaches the most popular course offered at Yale to date, titled The Science of Well-Being. Laurie is also the director of the Comparative Cognition Laboratory and the Canine Cognition Center at Yale. She received her A.B. in Psychology and Biology from Harvard University in 1997 and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard in 2003.

That blurb is from the Sam Harris interview with the lady, featured on his Waking Up app (a meditation app).

Some of what I see (looking at the titles) covers ground I’m already familiar with through reading various articles about cognitive studies and listening to podcasts, and I’ve already incorporated some of what I learned into how I live my life and how I cope with life.

Still, I’m always interested in learning more about how my brain works and controlling it to my benefit.

The class begins today, as I said, and I don’t know if it’s also the last day to register. Keep that in mind if interested in it.

Right, let’s proceed . . .

So, as the pandemic continues, I cross paths with more things that annoy me . . . no, that’s too mild. It’s things that piss me off.

Look, I spend a fair amount of time gently — and sometimes not-so-gently — pointing out to people that being “for” one political party or the other is, frankly, dumb. As is one religious belief over another, or any single ideology over another.

I cannot think of any religious, political, social, ethnic, or racial group that is completely right or completely wrong about things they believe and act on. Typically, they all have some things they get right, some things they get wrong, and some things that make them sound like they are bat-shit crazy. The proportions might change, but there’s always a spectrum.

Hence, it’s difficult for me to respect anyone who completely and totally buys into everything “their” group says. And it’s not just losing respect. 

If you are one of them people who are steeped into the culture of either the Far Right or Far Left, in short order you will cease to exist for me. I mean, I used to give a nod and a wink and let some things slide, but as I get older — and especially now — I have far less patience than I had even last month.

Truthfully, they too will likely lose their patience with me . . . and I can live with that, but then, stay out of my orbit.

What does this have to do with COVID-19, you ask? Good question; let me answer it after this photo.

Yet another grass photo as it came out of the D7500.

These days, it’s tough remaining positive amid all sorts of bad news. I mean, there’s also good news from certain quarters reporting small victories in the current fight against COVID-19. But, when I read them, they seem but drops in a large bucket. Eventually, the bucket will fill, but it will take a while.

Also . . . it’s not really a fight, is it? I mean, the virus isn’t mobilizing and planning and plotting. It’s just out there and a bunch of idiots are trying their best to help it spread.

What I find most disturbing is the current seemingly Keystone Cops-like response from governmental bodies, elected officials, religious leaders, and the average idiot on the street.

Before I go on, let me show you a photo as-snapped of one of the birdbaths as the first raindrops of a storm start hitting it.

As shot, straight out of the camera.

It’s been a few months now that I’ve been repeating the standard line of not wearing masks unless caring for someone sick or if you are sick yourself.

However, I’m one of them idiot guys who listen to what people say . . . and what they don’t say . . . and I especially listen to people when they say two things that contradict each other.

And so, I stupidly got into a discussion that seemed to get overly heated way too quickly and for no reason that I could tell.

Well, this post is me discussing things with myself. I mean, how much trouble can I get into?

Yes, COVID-19 is a serious matter. People are suffering on multiple levels and some are even dying.

But, it’s human nature to often laugh in the face of adversity. Some won’t see the humor because they are going through a really tough time and they’re not likely to look for humor. But, maybe they are. I know I would be, but I’m weird like that.

Plus, there are a lot of people who are struggling to cope with situations they’d never thought they’s have to face in their lifetime. Some express their bewilderment and frustration by choosing to laugh at it. I join them with enthusiasm and a hunger for relief from the constant bombardment of terrible news.

I give you . . . my COVIC-19 comic relief in the form of accumulated graphics and videos that made me laugh. We begin with cats; everyone loves cats, right?

One thing . . . I get these from various sources. If you are the owner of any of them and wish for me to remove them, just let me know.  Anyway, on with the show . . .

I’ve been doing something I rarely do. I’ve been sending out group emails.

“About what?” you ask.

What else? . . . COVID-19.

I wrote some stuff about the virus in Part One, but that was a while ago and the situation is about as dynamic as they come.  Now, I say “a while ago” and these days — the two weeks between the last post about COVID-19 and today’s offering — seem more like two months, if not years.

If you have a copy of the Hitchhiker Guide (the actual guide, not the novel) you would be reassured by the words “Don’t Panic” in bold letters on its cover.

These days, that’s difficult to do. From moral, to political, to existential, we’re constantly pushed toward panicking. Even when you have the resolve to follow a steady course, it’s difficult doing so when everyone around you is running the opposite way screaming in fear.

So, easier said than done. But not impossible.

Yes, I’m referring to . . . COVID-19.