Friday has almost finished repainting the bathroom!
Tonight as part of Geek Fest, I’ll be doing a virtual chat through the Portage District Library, talking about the power and importance of humor in SF/F.
This will be similar to a panel I did at ICON over the weekend, but with 90 minutes, I’ll be able to get a bit broader and deeper. My plan is to talk about things that should be relevant to writer, but interesting to non-writers as well.
Here are the details from the library:
Date Time: Oct 21, 2021 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Jim Hines: Writing Humor in Fantasy and Science Fiction
Description: Michigan native and fantasy/science fiction author Jim C. Hines comes to Geek Fest to talk about how and why to include humor in your SF/F stories! Join the Hugo Award-winning author of the Goblin Quest trilogy, the Princess series, Magic ex Libris, and the Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, and take away tips for your own writing! This Zoom webinar program is open to everybody. A moderated question and answer session will follow the presentation.
First off, everyone is more-or-less okay.
A week ago today, I got a call from my mother that she was in the emergency room with my father. He’d fallen while getting things ready in the truck for a camping trip they were planning to take this week. After a CAT scan or two, they found that he’d fractured his temporal bone and given himself a nasty concussion.
He was banged up, but the biggest concern was the bleeding in the brain. Bleeding that wasn’t helped by the fact that he’d taken asprin (a blood thinner) earlier in the day. They weren’t sure whether they’d have to operate.
Thankfully, with clotting drugs and blood pressure meds and a transfusion of platelets, they got the bleeding under control. He ended up staying about 3-4 days in the neuro ICU and another day or so in a neuro step-down room before coming home.
I wasn’t able to visit while he was in the hospital, but I’ve gone over pretty much every day since he came home. Physically, he’s in a fair amount of pain, as well as dealing with the weakness that comes after being stuck in a hospital bed for close to a week. Mentally, he seems to be much more himself than he was when I talked to him on the phone a week ago. But it’s going to take a while to bounce back from this.
All of which is to say, if you’ve been expecting an email or phone call or anything like that from me, just know that I’m running a bit more behind than usual.
As scary as the past week has been, we all recognize that it could have been much, much worse. So I think we’re trying to focus on the gratitude side of things.
“I don’t know how to explain to you why you should care about other people.”
Here in the U.S., we’ve reached the point that 1 in 500 Americans have died of COVID.
Reading the responses to this news has been enlightening. Some people have immediately pointed out that 1 in 500 is only 0.2%. Others responded that 0.2% of the U.S. population is roughly 660,000 dead.
All of which is correct. But while the mathematics are equivalent, they don’t necessarily suggest the same thing.
The 0.2% figure is the chance, all else being equal, of you as an individual dying of COVID. If your focus is on your individual safety, then 0.2% looks like pretty good odds. Of course, everything else isn’t equal. Some states have higher COVID rates than others. Some people have more risk factors. (By the way, one of the biggest risk factors these days is being unvaccinated. I’m just saying…)
The 660,000+ number, on the other hand, is about the damage this virus has done to us as a country. COVID has killed far more Americans than died in World War II. It’s killed more than the entire population of Vermont. From a community standpoint, COVID has been devastating.
And this doesn’t even touch on the roughly 10% of people who contract long COVID, meaning they’ll have long-term health consequences from this disease.
Now, I’m glad that the odds of me personally dying of COVID are relatively low. But when I see people focusing exclusively on that 0.2% figure as a way to attack COVID precautions, well, it makes it very clear who those people really care about, and who they don’t.