Batman Building, TN

@SkettyArms @ExploringTennessee

“Neon City I”

Nashville, TN. This image was taken along the east bank of the Cumberland, looking directly into the heart of Broadway. Unlike my last photo, this one is devoid of any traffic. The goal was to make an image that isn’t as distracting as one with light trails, capturing motion. From left to right, you can see the Bridgestone Tower, Pinnacle Tower, beacon of the Bridgestone Arena(center), the infamous “Batman Building”, Wework Tower and the former tallest building of the 60’s, the L&C Tower. If you will, on the far right, you can see some paneling missing from the building facade. This is part of the restoration process as a result of the “Christmas Morning 2020 Bombing”. The restoration process will take several years.

You can make out some of the pubs and bars on 1st Avenue and their colorful neons reflecting off of the Cumberland.

Have a safe weekend, all!


Preparing a woodpecker for winter.
First he finds a dead tree and starts making holes for the acorns. Each hole is made very thoughtfully, because if the hole is large, other birds can easily steal the acorn. If the hole is narrow, the nut can break and deteriorate. By the end of summer, the woodpecker’s “jewelry” work ends, by this time the acorns ripen and take their places in the tree. The trunk of a large tree can hold about 50,000 acorns, allowing the bird a satisfying winter

Be compassionate, be responsible, for the common good

For the sake of the common good, please do your portion to help alleviate this serious situation that eventually will definitely affect all of us!

@The New York Times
Health workers call it quits

The U.S. is experiencing a crisis of burned-out health care workers. For nearly two years, overwhelmed nurses, doctors and hospital staff have raced to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people from a fast-moving and often mystifying virus.

The months of trauma, stress and personal risk have led to a remarkably high number of resignations — around one in five health care workers have quit since the pandemic began.

For insight into this exodus, I turned to my colleague Andrew Jacobs, who covers global health. I spoke to him as he was driving to Pascagoula Hospital, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, to report on the staff as they battled their fifth surge of the pandemic.

How did we get to this moment of mass burnout?

Many health care workers were already feeling underpaid and undervalued before the pandemic. Then came Covid, which was a real threat to their lives. Thousands died in the first few months, and the country really failed to protect them in terms of P.P.E. You may remember the iconic image of nurses wearing garbage bags as a stand-in for a proper surgical gown.

Then there were the political battles over science, masking and vaccines — fanned by the right — followed by hostility from patients, and the families of patients, who they’re trying to help. Then you have wave upon wave of Covid patients. These surges have been physically and emotionally exhausting, and they have pushed many hospital nurses to take less stressful jobs at schools, insurance companies or at doctor’s offices. Others have left the field for good.

What’s the situation like now?

The crisis is really at its worst point since the beginning of the pandemic.

And at this point, the vast majority of people being hospitalized with Covid have made a choice not to be vaccinated, because of what many medical personnel say is misinformation rooted in partisan politics. So nurses I’ve spoken to are disappointed and angry that they’re having to deal with the repercussions of this mass manipulation that ignores basic science.

And during all of this, they’ve been experiencing repeated bouts of moral injury that have a pernicious impact on their psyche.

What do you mean?

Moral injury is a wound to your sense of what’s right and wrong. With nurses, it’s because they can’t provide the care that they were trained to provide. They see patients suffering and, in some cases, needlessly dying because a nurse who is supposed to have a maximum of, let’s say, four patients instead has 10, because there’s no one else to staff the ward. When you’re stretched so thin, you can’t properly do your job — and that helps fuel the angst and burnout.

Can’t we just hire more nurses?

There has been an uptick in applications for nursing schools since the pandemic began. That said, nursing schools can’t increase enrollment because there’s a shortage of nursing instructors.

Another big problem is that older nurses who are near retirement age are also deciding to retire early. We need these veterans to help the newcomers learn about this very complex and demanding job.

What do the next few weeks look like?

Even if Omicron infections are as mild as we believe they are, the sheer infectiousness of the variant is churning a tidal wave of people who will be seeking care at hospitals.

The other piece of this is workers out sick. At Pascagoula Hospital, which is a small community hospital, there are 85 employees out sick with the virus right now, which has forced administrators to close two floors with 33 beds — about half of their regular beds.

Hospitals across the country are dealing with these waves of illness among their employees. Even though they are seldom sick enough to be hospitalized, they’re out of commission, and they’re leaving their colleagues to deal with this tsunami. So there’s a fear that the next few weeks could be really bad for health care workers and their patients.

Your health care stories
We asked our readers in health care whether they had struggled with quitting, what made them leave or why they were staying. Do you want to weigh in? You can share your story in the comments section here.

“I left my job as an emergency medicine doctor after serving two waves. I gave everything I had. We ran out of medications. We ran out of staff. Our 12-bed I.C.U. unit had more than 60 ventilated patients. I cried with the families over the phone, of course, because they were barred from their loved ones. Then, the country made the vaccine political. I couldn’t take on the emotional burden again, knowing there was a vaccine that could prevent another inevitable surge. I served my community, my state and my country. I couldn’t emotionally take on more senseless deaths. I left the hospital with PTSD and entered a jobless market.” — Kayla Guidry, emergency medicine doctor, Brooklyn, N.Y.

“I haven’t left yet, but I cut my hours back significantly. I hit a breaking point where I couldn’t stop crying on my days off. I dreaded work and still do.” — Whitney Hopes, registered nurse, Utah

“As a group, after two years of this pandemic, we are all suffering from PTSD. I have colleagues who gave their lives to this pandemic, others so scarred from disease that they may never work again. Very little thanks coming our way. Sometimes even scorn. It’s stressful to discover that the person in cardiac arrest that we just spent 45 minutes intubating and doing chest compressions on died of complications of Covid and rewarded my team with a massive exposure to the virus for all of their efforts to save him. He never bothered to get vaccinated. We are all pretty much fed up with this.” — Louis Cooper, attending physician, emergency medicine, New York, N.Y.

“I am a palliative care doctor and we serve the ‘end of the train’ with Covid as well as many other diseases. Although it is stressful and draining, and may ultimately take its toll on many of us, it is also critical. We need to remain devoted and compassionate to the care of patients near the end of their lives no matter what choices they have made or what got them there. We also need to support the teams of people who are taking care of these patients to reduce the degree of burnout they are experiencing.” — James Bell, M.D., Cedar Rapids, Iowa

“I had to leave my job due to developing long Covid. I realized that not only was my body a problem, but my brain processing was as well. I feared I would make a serious mistake that could impact patient outcomes. It was a terrifying experience that finally allowed me to listen to my physician’s advice to take long-term leave.” — Nicole, medical technician, Hendersonville, N.C.

“I was a nurse during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, so I wasn’t a stranger to fearing for your life because of your job. But in both instances when I saw what my patients were going through, I couldn’t desert them. Just yesterday one of my patients reached up from his bed for my hand and I realized that he was supporting me, wanting to thank and encourage me. How can you leave when you get that almost every day?” — Lawana Kelly, registered nurse, Kansas City, Mo.

Math puzzle

Each robot always tells the truth, or always lies. Who lies, and who tells the truth?

Poppy: If I am a liar then Jasmine tells the truth.
Ruby: If I am a liar, then Jasmine tells the truth.
Poppy: Ruby is a liar.
Jasmine: Poppy is a liar.

(Puzzle sent to @pickover by @mathsfrog)