Tag Archives: pandemic

SpaghettiOs: Salve for the Human Heart

Though we usually don’t think of canned pasta as health food, for one Massachusetts mom SpaghettiOs have calmed both her and her autistic daughter’s souls during the pandemic. Because her autistic daughter’s routine has been so sorely interrupted it is the only food she will eat and it has been in short supply during the pandemic.

While many went crazy buying toilet paper and hand sanitizer, Crystal MacDonald had just one product she needed to find: SpaghettiOs. Her daughter, Ashlyn, is mostly nonverbal and the 11-year-old has taken comfort during the pandemic in SpaghettiOs with meatballs.

MacDonald believes that because food is a more intense experience for her daughter than the average person that the SpaghettiOs are the only food with the right balance of texture and flavor she could handle. Without her routine, which is vital to her daughter’s and many other autistic people’s mental health, she couldn’t handle eating other foods. MacDonald believes the predictability of taste and texture bring Ashlyn a sense of control in these troubling times.

When local stores ran dry MacDonald spent her time calling or visiting up to 20 out of the way stores each day. Eventually she took her quest to social media and the Sun Chronicle eventually featured MacDonald in a August piece about food shortages amidst the pandemic.

MacDonald has already received hundreds of cans in support and the Campbell’s Soup Company has now heard of her story and is committed to sending MacDonald and Ashlynd a one-year supply of the calming SpaghettiOs.


A New Poll Investigates How Pets Help Us During the Pandemic

According to a new study 70% of people who spent a lot of time with their pets during the pandemic feel like they know them much better.

Many recorded behavioral changes in their pets, 60% in fact. 27% said their pet’s behavior improved while 17% claimed it had gotten worse. The study found that during the pandemic 36% percent had more active pets, 31% thought they were acting needy, and 27% of people reported they had trouble going up or down stairs while 26% of those polled reported behavior based in curiosity.

With the incredible increase in pet adoptions and people spending lots of time at home it is probably no great surprise that almost 3/4th of those polled (72%) said that they wouldn’t have gotten through stay at home orders with out their pets.

The survey polled 2,000 dog and cat owners of which 81% said their pets helped keep their morale up. They said the rocky period made them feel closer to their pets.

However, these pet owners are now concerned about their furry pals when they go back to work and to life. 70% reported that they thought their pets liked the extra time their owners were at home and it has 66% worried their pets won’t react well to them not being around as much.

56% of people say they plan to stay home more to lessen the sudden shock to their pets if they had suddenly returned to their normal lives. About 33% said they plan to take their pets with them more often when the leave and almost half (42%) said they would continue to work from home after the pandemic.


Cleaning your Produce

covid-19With this Covid-19 pandemic ever-looming over us, it has made us re-think just about everything we do. How do we handle the food we eat? We want to be even more vigilant about what we are putting in our mouths. We recently posted about this.

Yes, you should wash everything but no, you shouldn’t use soap or detergent to wash them. Soaps can cause diarrhea, nausea, or even cramps. Do not use bleach, either. There isn’t any evidence that this would kill coronavirus either.

Washing in cold water will remove a large amount of germs and bacteria. You can use a vegetable scrub brush on tougher skin produce like potatoes. If you are eating a fruit with a peel or even peeling vegetables, clean the skin first. You can contaminate the fruit while peeling it.

Some people have even gone so far as quarantining their food before bringing it into the house. This is unnecessary. It can also be dangerous if the food should be refrigerated.

A precaution you should take is to clean your grocery bags. If you have washable ones, many stores are requiring you to wash between trips. You can clean the plastic coated ones you get from some stores with soap and water as well.

Always wash your hands before handling food and before eating food.


Covid-19 Compared to Spanish flu of 1918

covid-19We are in the midst of a pandemic the likes of which anyone living now would not remember. The last huge pandemic was the Spanish flu in 1918.

Remember not to panic. The Spanish flu of 1918 was worse than Covid-19, the current pandemic that is being passed around these days. What brings about the deaths from Covid-19 is usually pneumonia. Those at risk are people who already are challenged with respiratory issues, such as asthma or COPD. If you are older, you are more at risk as well.

The spread of the Spanish flu was slower because they didn’t have air travel in those days. The mortality rate of the Spanish flu was closer to 10-20% compared to 2-3% with Covid-19. The Spanish flu lasted 2 years. We cannot expect this pandemic to go away very quickly.

We should learn from the past and shelter in place, avoid crowds, clean often and use disinfectant when you can. Hopefully you have cleaners on hand as it is is getting harder and harder to find wipes or cleaners anywhere.