4 Things to Know About The New Coronavirus

The sudden outbreak in China of the so called deadly corona virus has caused some 1700 deaths already, other members of the virus’s family originated in animal hosts, the new virus has possibly originated from fish or seafood as many of those infected had been shopping in the Huanan seafood wholesale market. The virus has now been confirmed as being transferable from human to human what else should you know?

  1. Origins – it is still being investigated where this genome of the coronavirus came from as it is unlike any others which have been discovered in the world to date, other human coronaviruses are those that cause the common cold like 229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1 viruses, as well as the deadly zoonotic MERS virus.
  2. Symptoms – The virus causes pneumonia. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties.
  3. Travelling – Increases the chance of the virus being spread and ultimately with Chinese New Year starting in a few days then the likelihood it will spread increases exponentially. What it also means is an increase in awareness for cleanliness and the need for avoiding germs, wearing a face mask is likely to help reduce any spray if you sneeze or cough. Three airports in the US are deploying extra health screening from the Centre for Disease Control as part of the boarding process to try and limit any further spreading of the disease.
  4. Treatment – Viruses unfortunately mean that antibiotics are not a viable treatment, antiviral drugs may manage the symptoms better but ultimately its the strength of the patients immune system which will decide, if they are already in poor health it may not be strong enough. Hopefully new research will shed light on where it came from so a treatment or vaccine can be found.

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Deathly Hallows Come to Life

Standing at the waters edge, it felt sacred, Jules wasn’t religious in the traditional sense, she didn’t believe there was a god, but she felt something different when she stood at this spot by the river. They say the Ganges is a hallowed space and she could understand why, people bathed in the water and it changed their lives, it might be because of the bilharzia disease that everyone seemingly picked up, but none the less it was a change.

This river wasn’t in a tropical place or infested with parasites or littered with burning bodies like the Ganges but it still had that special something about it. Jules could come here on a Sunday morning for her version of meditation, it wasn’t necessarily traditional, sometimes she even had primal screaming sessions rather than her flow sessions which consisted of a series of linked stretches, which didn’t stop until the flow was completed.

The concentration required was more than enough for 20 minutes to clear her mind completely and open her third eye. Keeping it open for her was the challenge she couldn’t quite maintain the rhythm required whilst still doing her flow, primal screaming was it easier, she could carry on making as much noise as she liked and it would open like window at an ice cream parlour.

None of her friends knew of this place, she would never bring them here as it was really the only sacred place she had, she shared her home with her parents and her friends often dominated her life out of habit. They hadn’t moved on from school, she most definitely had but being stuck in her home town was a burden she would have to bear for a little while longer, just whilst she saved a bit more and gathered everything she needed.

In a few months Jules would be able to fly the nest, even her parents knew she was going, her friends wouldn’t believe she would do it, they assumed she was staying forever, she knew they would be shocked. One morning she came to meditate and one of her friends was sat on the farthest rock, looking out over the drop, the water just a few metres below, angry and confused that someone had violated her space she shouted to them to get down and go away.

At first they didnt hear or so Jules thought she shouted again, she didnt know what to think, how on earth was she going to sort this out. Then they started to wobble, stumbling closer to the edge by the second, Jules’s heart was in her mouth, she shouted again, this time she thought they looked back, they teetered nearer and nearly managed to fall back in land.

The rocks were slippy, down they went into the water right in front of Jules’s eyes, devastated she ran towards the edge secretly hoping they would still be there, standing on the cliff she saw Tom hanging on for dear life, “what the fuck Tom” Jules was incandescent with rage she tied her ropes to the nearest rock and tensioned it before offering her hand to him, the last thing she wanted was to end up over the edge too.

“I thought you were dead Tom, that almost killed you!” Jules shouted still unable to control her emotions, he was of course in shock, “I just wanted to feel what you feel” he looked down ashamed, Jules snapped out of her anger, “what do you mean?” Tom looked her in the eye “this place is sacred to you, I dont have that, I wanted to see what it was like but I dont feel anything” Jules took a deep breath “its because its not yours, you will find yours in time and life will be better.”

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When Stained Becomes Worthless

A stained rag can mean any number of things, it can be used to neaten the edges of something wiping it so the lines are clean or something used to mop spilled liquid. A stained shirt or item of clothing is more serious, it becomes unusable because it is unclean, stains are often hard to remove some are even permanent, you soak your favourite top in some god awful chemicals to try and remove the oil stain from the previous night, you would have normally bothered but it was your favourite top and there was no replacing it but stained it was worthless there was no wearing it and on that basis there was no point in keeping it full stop. It’s a shame that some things have to be thrown away but nothing goes on forever and they make way for the new coming through.

We often used to associate stained with older or antique items such as letters, manuscripts and books but with the digital age now fully upon us there is no age tinted books of records they are all clearly displayed in black and white on a screen the author can be traced to the computer within reason so there is no doubt of who made the records and how the information was entered into the database. A stained computer would be worthless if the liquid had seeped into the electrics and blown all the circuits up, we found stains on paper to be endearing but blind panic ensues when there is moisture near the computer.

As the world progresses there are plenty of things which get replaced with new parts because the old ones are now obsolete, perceived to be worthless because they have been superseded, they are exchanged for new models which promise a even bigger world than the previously discarded item. Its the same for stained items, they are replaced by things that aren’t marked forever so they are newer and better by definition. Then time steps in and works its magic, then we are back to stained or deprecated parts which need replacing.

5 Essential Tips for When You Sweat

Working in a warm office or climate means that some of us sweat a lot, its important to keep cool and be aware of your body. Bacteria build up on the skin is very common and only one of the reasons why we smell when we sweat, when we are ill we smell different again as the adrenaline is pumping round your body trying to help cure you, the smell is a mixture of hormones, your skin and external factors like environment. Here are 5 tips to help you deal with those sweaty days:

  1. Baby wipes – perfect for staying fresh, they clean everything off so you can reapply your deodorant. Its also helpful for full body sweats as you can still wipe yourself down if needs be. Anti-bacterial wipes and gel do just as well.
  2. Deodorant – not to be confused with antiperspirant which is what stops you from sweating, this is a often an innocuous scent for your underarms which wears off in about 8 hours. I have very sensitive skin so its quite hard for me to find one that lasts long enough and smells nice without making me come out in a burnt rash.
  3. Antiperspirant – There are several types all block your skin so you cant really sweat, this can cause allergic skin rashes and serious itching, its not something I would recommend speaking from personal experience.
  4. Drink plenty of water – sounds counter intuitive but you will dehydrate if you sweat a lot so you need to be replacing that water to help keep you cool as well and that reduces the sweating. If the room is warm make sure you up the intake even more, your body will be working twice as hard to keep cool.
  5. Loose fitting clothing – wearing a uniform all day is a pain for me as none of its lovely breathable skin friendly stuff, its all clingy man made fabrics which are not great for staying sweat free.

So there you have it, remember the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant its important, and above all stay hydrated, your body and your brain will thank you I promise.

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Make New Years Resolutions Work For You

So we are now 2 weeks into January of 2020, I have to say i’m embarrassed at how quickly the time has gone, I don’t make resolutions as a rule but the beginning of a new decade has warranted a review of my current goals and it has resulted in some room for improvement.

With that in mind I think its important to view your resolutions as goals if you truly mean to complete them. New years resolutions are now considered almost a joke, its something one can use to try a ‘life change’ out for size, don’t get me wrong there are some who go on to achieve their goal but they are the ones that are fully committed. Rather than just dipping their toe in to decide if they actually want to get fit and healthy or stop smoking etc.

Surely we all want to be healthy and wealthy right? A resolution to be healthier can only be a good thing so having a goal to be healthy is just as important, your body depends on your attention to its needs both emotional and physical. Its important to consider what you are feeding yourself, are you drinking enough water? I’ll hold my hand up and say I need to drink more water and maybe some of you will too, one thing I have learned is the power of water knows no bounds. Its important to stay hydrated to keep your body in peak condition, you can get bottles that monitor your water intake and tell you when to drink, personally I dont think you need anything more complicated than a standard travel water bottle but if it helps you then fair enough.

Once your body is running at peak performance you are unstoppable, make a resolution to be unstoppable and see how far you get, you will undoubtedly learn some important lessons during your journey but they will certainly be worthwhile. Remember your resolution is your goal, its there to help you build new habits and parts of your life, giving up smoking can be replaced with any number of more positive actions and habits, whatever you choose make it right for you, don’t kid yourself into being something you aren’t, if it means baby steps and changing small parts of your life then so be it but don’t give up because you are worth it.

Enjoy your life as it is meant to be – to the fullest – its important to remember that sometimes things feel difficult but you can get through it and if you need support then there is a plethora of help out there, the internet has broken down the walls and barriers to communication we are now free to talk with people around the world and share our feelings and experiences. Googling your feelings is not unusual and chances are someone has already done it before you so theres an answer out there somewhere, please do consult a medical professional if you are googling actual physical symptoms its better to be safe than sorry.

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4 Disturbed Books You Need to Read

I love reading, I don’t do anywhere near enough but I will give anything a try having said that as a rule i’m not big into psychological thrillers as my mind has a tendency to run away with itself but there are a few that happen (weirdly) to be some of my favourite books to read, so without further ado and in no particular order:

  1. Naked Lunch – William Burrough’s finest work, the sheer weirdness of the film leaves out much of the reason which it was originally banned in Boston for obscenity reasons. The book is to be enjoyed with an open mind and an open interpretation, it can be hard work but it is worth the read.
  2. Perfume – Patrick Suskind’s phenomenal book about a murder addicted to perfume in the South of France is something to be devoured, the film doesn’t do it any justice at all so don’t be tempted to think that you’ve experienced the creepiness of someone tracking their prey by scent alone.
  3. The Pigeon – another Patrick Suskind short story, it has to be read to be appreciated, describing it somehow doesn’t convey the subject matter, a man trapped in his apartment by a pigeon. It made my skin crawl the first time I read it, it hasn’t stopped me from reading it again though just to remind myself of perspective.
  4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – a book I haven’t managed to finish yet because I find it very harrowing, Hosseini’s style is beautiful but sadly a little too graphic for want of a better word, still a stunning book nonetheless.

The joy of reading is something I want to celebrate, losing yourself in a book is far more inspiring than listening to some of the vacuous crap circling the internet at the moment. Expand your genre choice and find something different, I dare you to try! If you have any suggestions to add to the list come join the conversation at facebook.com/onlynomeswriting or follow me at twitter.com/onlynomesforyou

Laughing Out Loud

When did you last laugh out loud? Some people don’t because they don’t want to be stared at, why should you care, you are the happy one they are simply envious of their happiness, heaven forbid that they enjoy themselves and laugh out loud. Growing up in Britain meant that peoples emotions around were suppressed in every which way, I found it oddly fascinating. Both my parents had eastern European mothers, my dad’s Hungarian and my mother possibly Ukraine we were never quite sure, they are not afraid to show emotion, Hungarians in particular. Laughing and crying openly is common in both men and women and certainly not discouraged so I come from a family background where there isn’t that traditional filter. Showing emotion should not be frowned upon, although full blown adult tantrums might be best off saved until you get home. Having travelled quite a bit I have seen and had my fair share of emotions in public places, when faced with adversity sometimes it takes you a moment to gather yourself, if there are lots of people about it can become overwhelming for some, if you start to feel your emotions bubbling up find a larger open space or a bench, sit down and take a moment to breathe and laugh out loud, the laughing will encourage endorphins in your body making you feel good, ignore the fact that everyone else is probably harbouring the same feelings as you which is why they seem so pushy and aggressive towards you, its nothing personal you just happen to be the closest person. Just because everyone else is having a pants day it doesn’t mean that you have to as well.

Jinkx Monsoon

To quote the one and only Jinkx Monsoon its just water off a ducks back, repeat it out loud if you like, nothing can hurt you, your mind is yours to control. If you need to vocalise your fears you can just remember that its still water off a ducks back. The key to travelling in my personal opinion is to try and have a certain base level of control and organisation, there are plenty of things you can leave to chance like what restaurant you go to but transport and accommodation need to be at least semi sorted before you embark, this means you will at least be able to get to the place you are sleeping and put your luggage down, create yourself a little base you can call ‘home.’ Make sure you give yourself mental space as well as the activities involved with your trip remember to check-in with yourself, make sure everything is ok. Once your base is established you can get on with your itinerary whatever that may entail, just make sure you are doing things because you want to and because you enjoy them, that goes for business trips as well, if you aren’t enjoying it is it really worth it? There might be a couple of hiccups but you can laugh them off, nothing is 100% perfect and we learn something each time we try something new, perspective means we can see the same thing in different ways, one might be closed minded the other open etc, we might see one thing one day and then notice something the day after you didn’t even know was there because you had been blindsided by something and could suddenly see again.

Laugh out loud as much as possible and most of all – Enjoy your trip!

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Out of the Frying Pan Into the Freezer

The world is plagued by man, politics and violence, we are on the brink of yet another senseless war. The younger people at work were wondering if they would be enlisted, it would in fact take a change in law to reinstate drafting so I guess we’re safe from that one. I hasten to bring up world war 3 but what else are you going to call it if everyone gets involved? The US are about to bite off much more than they can chew, their mouth is still half full from its last effort.

Geopolitics is something that affects us all ultimately, we need to remember that a change in one law somewhere might not directly affect you until you go to visit or do something which is linked to it by proxy. I am reluctant to bring up Brexit, Trump and all the other geopolitical disasters which seem to have come about over the last few years. Whether we could have foreseen them or not they have happened and we have no choice but to live with the choices we or in my case others have made, although I voted to remain we all know where that got us. Clearly President of the USA was on Trumps list of things he desires, he always seems to get what he wants one way or another, unfortunately much like the people who voted leave the people who voted for trump live in a distorted version of reality which seemingly makes no sense at least to me. Life wont be quite the same when we lose the huge amount of funding and laws which the EU have supported us with when we were in our time of need. Those weekends to Paris and a week in Benidorm will have to be planned with a visa, the freedom of movement and cheap booze and cigarette runs will be a thing of the past.

Life will go on of course, its not the complete end of the world and we may be ok but brexit is truly an insult, propaganda used to dupe an ignorant public into a pseudo-democratic referendum. When the end of January comes it will be interesting to see the after effects once the dust has settled, provided we arent on our way to another world war.

My Top 5 Favourite Dishes

Sitting down and thinking of my top 5 favorite dishes is actually quite difficult because of the variety of food in the world, so to help me narrow it down I’ve decided on all time favourites thus meaning I can pick from a few different styles and no one gets left out! So in no particular order here are my top 5 favourite dishes.

  1. Lasagne – one of my favourite dishes ever and comes in a variety of different diet suiting recipes veggie, vegan or otherwise.
  2. Jack fruit curry – I had this when I was sailing down the river Ganges, they made it in a tiny galley kitchen on the boat, i sadly didn’t get the recipe but I urge you to try jack fruit curry, it has an almost chicken like texture and genuinely feels like you are eating a meat curry, my mum also remains obsessed with the memory unable to recreate it.
  3. Sausage casserole – another highly adaptable dish, I prefer meat sausages but you can now get plant based if you prefer.
  4. Crispy duck and fried noodles or nice with plum sauce, I always order this as I never have the duck in the house.
    On a side note – anything Korean particularly bibimbap.
  5. Pancakes – I’m not really fussy if they are fluffy or crepe, i like both sweet and savoury, bacon and maple syrup, anything really. Its now a very adaptable dish with plenty of plant based options for everyone to try.

Thats my top 5 favourite dishes, what would you choose for yours? Join the conversation at facebook.com/onlynomeswriting or twitter.com/onlynomesforyou or leave a comment below, I’d love your thoughts!