Paraphrasing an extremely funny woman who almost daily posts on Instagram: “Chicken Pox; Swine Flu; Covid; Bird Flu, Monkey Pox. I wonder, should I be going to a doctor or a veterinarian.
Paraphrase, used as a noun, is a rewording of something written or spoken by someone else.In other words: a rewording, rephrasing, rewriting, restatement, rehash, rendition, rendering. It comes in handy when one cannot remember exactly what someone says, therefore quote impossible – and the original source in unobtainable. Both of these factors were present which explains the paraphrasing of her words. Do recall that this woman posts on Instagram daily.
You: Really? Every day? I wonder who else does that?
Me: Please be quiet. I have been getting better recently. In fact, my blog master emailed saying that he thought I had been arrested as he had not heard from me in so long.
You: So what did you say to that?
Me: I said no, that I was safe here in Canada. Not like in Abu Dhabi where I could be arrested on the flimsiest of charges for speaking my mind. But I kept my mouth closed. You can not imagine how difficult that was!
You: I cannot imagine you doing that.
Me: Me neither, but necessity is the mother of invention. And It was necessary!
Necessity is the mother of invention is a phrase that is definitely and oldie but a goodie. Its meaning: a need or problem encourages creative efforts to meet the need or solve the problem. This saying appears in the dialogue Republic, by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. Wikipedia, in typical fashion, speaks eloquently about the matter “The proverb has been defined as “When the need for something becomes imperative, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it.”
• According to the Cambridge Dictionary, this is “an expression that means that if you really need to do something, you will think of a way of doing it.
• Longman dictionary has defined the proverb as: “if someone really needs to do something, they will find a way of doing it.”
If you desire more knowledge concerning this subject go to Google. Wikipedia ends on an interesting note, a section called Criticism. “In an address to the Mathematical Association of England on the importance of education in 1917, Alfred North Whitehead argued that “the basis of invention is science, and science is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity,” and in contrast to the old proverb “Necessity is the mother of futile dodges” is much nearer to the truth.”
Whitehead is saying that invention comes about through science which is an outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity. That is profound and will serve as the cornerstone of today’s blog.
When laughing at the Instagram woman’s words I did realize that I had never addressed the new plague that has descended upon us: monkey pox. Never. Whereas, I waxed eloquently on and about covid. Using the search engine of the blog found that I wrote about covid 140 times. I was totally surprised at the frequency. Reread my December 12, 2021 entry, which was packed with information about all matters including the UAE, where I was dwelling at the time. I was enamored with the region but no longer. Reality set in.
But back to monkey pox. I jumped in joy upon discovering The New Yorker article featuring a podcast interview of one of my favorite scientists., Dhruv Khuller. Here is the link if you wish to read and listen in its entirety. https://www.newyorker.com/podcast/politics-and-more/did-the-us-miss-the-chance-to-stop-monkeypox. The written portion begins: “The World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency. There have been nearly twenty thousand cases worldwide and nearly thirty-five hundred in the United States, with New York City a major hot spot. As cases continue to rise, there are questions about whether the Biden Administration has missed a critical window to contain the virus. The New York Times recently reported that shipments of more than three hundred thousand vaccine doses were delayed for weeks in the early days of the outbreak because of the government’s “wait and see” approach. (After this conversation was recorded, on Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that nearly eight hundred thousand more doses of monkeypox vaccine had been cleared for distribution.) The New Yorker contributing writer and practicing physician Dhruv Khullar joins the Political Scene guest host Michael Luo to talk about the monkeypox virus and what can be done to stem the exponential rise in cases. “The level of urgency and rapidity with which we should have addressed this outbreak did not seem to be there,” Khullar says. “[But] I don’t think we should give up hope. It’s still early days. . . . We eradicated monkeypox’s cousin smallpox. We know that we can do this with a forceful response.”
Listening to Dr. Khullar one learns that monkey pox was first identified in 1956, monkeys being the host. The first case of its transmission to humans was identified in 1970 in the Congo. Monkey pox was confined to Africa for decades. It is not highly contagious, nor usually fatal. It can be disfiguring. The group at risk is men having sex with men, that is presently the target group. Vaccines are in limited supply now and should be reserved for those who are most at risk.
Listening to these facts, this science left my mind at ease. Next week will bring an appointment with my esteemed Canadian primary care physician. I was going to ask her about getting a monkey pox vaccination. There is no need as I am not having sex with anybody soI am not at risk. Phew. Kept myself safe from covid, so far. At the present time I do not live in fear and can travel about mask free (except at offices of my physician and physiotherapist). March 15,2020 marked the beginning of my covid days – definitely my life was disrupted but kept safe without living in terror and hiding under the bed. Very fortunate to be in Marin County with its high vaccination rates and then Abu Dhabi which is, and was, the safest place on earth. However did learn by texting one of the men who kept me safe at the Abu Dhabi Airport Premier Inn that he had tested positive despite the mask mandate. Employees of the Premier Inn were (perhaps still are) PCR tested twice a week.
My criticism of the UAE is therefore moderated by the appreciation for my personal safety and health during the months of my residency. I continue to be somewhat appalled at the working conditions of some workers, the more marginal, uneducated ones. But the UAE provides safe haven for them, those from Sri Lanka for example. Those from other, more peaceful countries are able to send home large portions of their income to support family members. They do not identify with the UAE, so do look forward to the day they can return to their homeland – sometimes to homes built by their wages. I find somewhat ironic the expression: All men are created equal, it comes from the American constitution. “The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence starts as follows: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” However it must be remembered that this was written by Thomas Jefferson, who was a slave holder.
I regard myself as one of the privileged people. I came from a poor family, educated myself, did not have children, held stable government employment that earned me a respectable retirement income. I was not born into privilege but earned it. But was born in and emigrated to a country that allowed me to do so. Many of the workers in the UAE were not so privileged in either their birth place nor their immigration status. That must be remembered.
The UAE governing authorities are not altogether responsible for the inequities and there is appearing some new regulations that are more humane. Whether they are honored or just mere window dressing is another matter. It shall be shown. But I am not a watch dog for the downtrodden in the UAE as I no longer live there and the many residents that I care about have either escaped or have made their lives productive and meaningful caring for family members who remain in the homeland.
Window dressing, by the way, is the act or an instance of making something appear deceptively attractive or favorable. And/or something used to create a deceptively favorable or attractive impression. Window dressing can be unethical when it provides misleading financial or other information that is crucial in the decision-making process of stakeholders, investors, leaders and common folk who rely upon it.
I do have a new focus which provides meaning. Shall speak of it In the days ahead.
My new blog business card is pictured. A wonderful woman at Staples designed it. I have had hundreds, if not thousands, printed in London, San Francisco, Vancouver and Abu Dhabi. These are now my favorites. They fit and are enclosed in a container purchased at the Alberta Craft Council gallery – here in Edmonton. Edmonton, the city I left fifty-five years ago and now happily and gratefully have returned to live. Perhaps for the rest of my life. The property manager when I signed the lease made the following prediction:
He: You will live here for the next ten years.
Me: My goodness, you are clairvoyant. Do they pay you extra for that?