A subtle shift in perspective

Honestly, I don’t know what to believe anymore when it comes to COVID-19 reporting by the media. “Official” guidance changes every time we turn around. I find it hard to believe that the best tools we have to fight this virus are soap, hand sanitizer and a piece of cloth strapped to one’s face. Today, social distancing requirements went from 6 feet to God only knows how far. Businesses that spent tons of money to upgrade ventilation equipment, may still have not done enough – despite their best efforts.

Enough already!

It’s been six months since life as we knew it came to a screeching halt. No one could go anywhere. People lost their jobs. Some folks are still hanging on to their homes by nothing more than sheer luck and a moratorium on foreclosures/evictions. Kids haven’t physically been in a school building in my district for six months. Families have been struggling to put food on the table. There’s been a lot of financial, emotional and mental fallout as a result of COVID-19 and the the social justice firestorm that swept the country over the summer. I know of two, possibly three, people who committed suicide in the past six weeks because life, in their eyes, things had simply become too much to bear. As I watch my friends grieve the loss of a mother and a son, I really have to wonder how things got to this point.

Yes, people have died – almost 200,000 of them according to the most recent figures. Any loss of life is unfortunate and very sad. Could this loss have been avoided? We don’t really know – and may never know. All we can do is look at the data, consider the science and trust out gut. To date, 6 million people have tested positive in the US for COVID-19. That’s roughly 1.7% of the total population. 3.3% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 are said to have died from COVID-19. This equates to 0.00057% (yep that’s 5 10-thousandths of 1%) of the total US population who have died from COVID-19. We don’t really know how many people truly died from COVID-19 because of the way people were recording causes of death.

This math is simply not reported anywhere. It’s all gloom and doom when it comes to coronavirus. People are so scared to go to the doctor that medical facilities are laying off staff. Then there’s the other nagging feeling in the back of my mind. Of those who are seeing patients, will the billing coding be inflated a bit to make up for lost revenue? Hubby went for an eye exam. The practitioner found a few things “wrong” and referred him to a specialist. I don’t know how much of this is reality and how much is padding to make up for lost revenue. I guess we’ll know when the specialist does his/her evaluation.

When considering things from a data perspective, I have to agree with my pet sitter – it’s time to get back to living. Take precautions and protect those at highest risk, but everything doesn’t need to stay completely shut down. Am I concerned about going back to school with the kids? Of course, I am! We’ll take precautions as best we can, but it’s way past time to get back to somewhat normal.

I’m willing to wear a mask through the winter months but come next spring – here’s hoping we can have mask burning parties.

Bye, Twitter

You may have noticed that the Twitter feed has been removed from my sidebar.

Yep, it’s true. I broke up with Twitter. I canceled my account. It’s not like potential customers find me via Twitter. Most of my referral traffic comes from search engines, followed by FB.

Why did I cancel the Twitter account I’d had since 2011? There are simply too many trolls out there. A colleague from another work site is currently being investigated for potential “ethics” violations because of a mainstream news story retweeted to a personal Twitter account. Apparently, another employee reported it to HR. What do you bet this person found the retweeted news story “offensive”?

Not. worth. it.

Several of my friends are turning off their social media accounts completely. They definitely seem happier. Definitely food for thought. I find value in the sewing/quilting groups I belong to on FB. Wonder if there’s some way I can access the content without FB? Worth looking into.

I

Okay, sew what’s next?

You bought a sewing machine so you could do something to help with COVID-19. You made many, many masks which are still being worn by grateful family and friends. Frankly, you’re masked OUT!

You discovered you actually enjoy sewing and are now wondering, “What else can I do with this thing?”. Wonder no longer, my new sewing friends. I’ve got your back. Today, I’m going to highlight 3 resources to assist in expanding your sewing machine knowledge.

  • Sewing machine manufacturer websites and social media
    The big brand names all have websites with machine info, manuals and support links. Even if your machine is slightly older, you may find a manual under “retired” machines on the support page. Educational content produced by machine manufacturers varies. In my opinion, Baby Lock, Bernina and Janome do a really nice job of producing instructional videos/tutorials and project ideas. Be sure to check out your sewing machine company’s Instagram and Facebook pages for project ideas and additional how-to videos.
  • I spy a similar machine with a different name
    As with cars, sewing machine companies make machines with different models and brand names. Take Brother, for instance. Brother machines are sold through dealers and mass merchandisers. Brother even makes computerized machines for Baby Lock. A Brother SE625 purchased from Wal-Mart is an economy version of the dealer level Brother Innov-is NS1750D. The Innov-is is equivalent to a Baby Lock Verve (also a dealer only machine). It’s still a great machine, but comes with fewer stitches, fewer accessories and fewer bells & whistles.

    What can you do with this knowledge? Head over to the Baby Lock site and watch the instructional videos on the Verve. Take the time to find a local Baby Lock dealer, who will usually be more than happy to answer basic questions you might have, especially if you purchase extra machine feet and accessories from their shop. Yes, Baby Lock feet fit Brother machines and vice-versa. Hint #1: Baby Lock Category G feet will fit the SE625. Hint #2: Non-branded accessories made by Brother may be cheaper than branded ones. All it takes is a little time to educate yourself and comparison shop online.
  • YouTube it!
    Many sewists share videos about their sewing machines from unboxing to advanced techniques. Sure, some are better than others, but I always manage to learn SOMETHING. Simply search by manufacturer and model name.
    While you’re at it, check out these YouTube channels:
    Missouri Star Quilting Company
    Sewing with Nancy (search “Sewing with Nancy full episodes” in YouTube search box)
    SewVeryEasy
    Crafty Gemini
    Professor Pincushion

Note: Your local fabric store and sewing machine shops are also excellent F2F resources for sewing instruction and machine questions. I compiled these resources because so many of us are still at home. While sewing machine shops and some fabric stores have reopened in my area, very few F2F classes appear on the local class schedules. Most events are held virtually and I’m told they will be virtual until at least January 2021.

Until later – happy sewing!

Teresa

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