Saturday, May 16, 2020

Guest Artist: Paine - Notes from the Inside #8

My friend Paine, who is on the autism spectrum, looks through the looking glass of the pandemic


It’s strange, there’s all this glum stuff being said on the news, so much in fact that it would make someone want to give up on our country and head for Canada.

There’s two problems with this though, 1) Canada won’t take anyone trying to cross the border and 2) running away won’t solve any problems, either nationally or individually. Yet I still see a lot of things that give me hope.

I saw a lot of people shopping at Wal Mart the other day, a majority of whom were wearing masks and gloves. There were even lines on the floor either telling people to go one way down each aisle or to stay 6 feet or a carts length apart from everyone else. I didn’t notice what any of them were buying but it was good just to see people out and about.

I also saw kids around my neighborhood playing outside again which is great to see given the current climate. There were even some people sitting on their front stoops outside their houses, some of them talking to some people, from a distance of course, Some of them sitting in a chair having a drink.

I even saw more cars on the road then before, not too much more but more than there’s previously been. There’s even been more people heading to the supermarket, Target, Wal Mart or getting take out from local restaurants. So, things are starting to get back to some semblance of normal, at least they are where I am, I don’t know about anywhere else.

What I do know is that when everything opens up again I hope that both businesses and people act responsibly because the virus is still out there and it’s not going to go away just because everything is open once again.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Guest Artist: Paine - Notes from the Inside #7

My friend Paine, who is on the autism spectrum, sends his hopes and dreams out into the world.


Imagine all the people, living life in peace, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one.”

When John Lennon first sang those words, he called for people of his generation to come together to help make a better world. I think that those words ring true now more than ever.

I’ve said many times that things were going to get better and I stand by those words but the way they get better is if we make them better. We cannot just sit around waiting for someone to find a way to get us out of our current situation with this virus, we ourselves need to get up and help make things better, then we will not only advance as a nation but as human beings.

I know things seem bleak now and some people might think that it’s hopeless but it’s not, now more than ever we need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and face this challenge head on.

This virus has dealt us a huge blow, now is the time for us to get up and fight back against it in whatever way we can, whether it be by practicing social distancing or by giving to charity or by simply thanking all our first responders.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Guest Artist: Paine - Notes from the Inside #6

My friend Paine, who is on the autism spectrum, checks in again.  And he calls it as he sees it  - skype as much as you need to - getting "together" is important.  But to really flatten the curve, action talks and BS walks.  Put on a mask and gloves and keep social distance.  Actively work to flatten the curve.

Personally, this resonates for me.  I stepped outside for the first time in a month to see a doctor and I saw way too many people (mostly under 30! Why?) walking around without a mask or gloves.   Those folks are more dangerous to me that an 1970s mugger at 2 a.m. in the morning.


Since I started writing these notes, a lot of things have happened, not just in the world, but in my own life.
I managed to find another job that pays well and I’ve heard a lot of good things about people coming together to raise money for and awareness about the virus. This is great, this needs to keep going if we are to get out of our current situation.
Our leaders need to put aside politics, put aside egos, do what they were put in office to do and help the American people.
The media needs to stop spreading fear of the disease and tell us what is being done to help contain and eventually cure it, but most of all, we as a nation need to come together and help each other get through these dark times and not just by getting together via Skype or FaceTime or whatever webcam service people use to talk to each other or have a singalong.
We need to do our part to fight this virus, whether it be washing our hands, wearing a face mask and gloves when we go out or even donating to help with the effort in combating the virus. This situation will get resolved, how long and how fast it takes for it to do so is up to us.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Guest Artist: Paine - Notes from the Inside #5

My friend Paine is bright, articulate and on the autism spectrum. He has a unique take on things and continues to share it with us here.


During the week I heard that a scientist said that people in our country might have to practice social distancing until the year 2022.

When I heard that, I thought that people would really start panicking, I also thought of all the things that happened to cause all of this to happen and of what needs to be done to make sure we get through this.

If our government hadn’t kept downplaying this virus then chances are, we probably wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. As it is however, we are and we need to come together to help each other get through this tough time.

I’ve seen people on social media doing some good things such as Broadway stars singing songs from their homes. There’s even been TV specials where people sing songs from their homes, sometimes even encouraging home viewers to sing along.

This is proof that we’re all in the same boat and that we can and will get through this very tough time.

I don’t know how long this will last but I do know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it might take us a little while to get there, but we will get there.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Guest Artist: Payne - Notes from the Inside #4

Payne, my dearest friend who has mild autism and OCD once again nails it.


I heard on the news the other day that a health official was being interviewed. In the interview he said something along the lines of that people would listen to Kendall Jenner before they listen to someone like him, which is why people on social media need to talk about how important it is to shelter in place, wash your hands, use a face mask, all the stuff everybody has been saying to do.

I agree, while I know that not everyone will do these things, we still need to take precautions and do all the things health officials tell us to do to slow and eventually stop the spread of the virus.

I also think that if our government had taken this virus seriously from the beginning, we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in right now and have to do these things. The government has downplayed this virus for so long and that has caused our country to almost come to a standstill. If they had taken this virus seriously we would be safer and less panicked as we are now, but this is the way things are at the moment and because of that we need to come together.

We need to listen to what health care officials say and do what we can to slow and eventually stop the spread of the virus. I know it can be tough to do all these things but the more people do them, the healthier we can get.

When this pandemic is over however, we cannot forget this virus and all the suffering it caused, otherwise we won’t be ready for when and if the next one hits.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Guest Artist: Payne - Notes from the Inside #3

Payne, my dearest friend who has mild autism and OCD sent me another note.  Once again, this extraordinary young man blew me out of the water.  If more people were like him, there would be toilet paper on the shelves and masks in hospitals and policies in this country that put people first.


Fred Rogers once said “Look For The Helpers.”

It seems to me that people are looking for more negative things to say about this situation than they are positive things. I get it, these are scary times and it does seem that every other country in the world is taking care of the virus situation before we can, but there are many things that are happening in response to this virus.

I heard about professional athletes organizing drives to get food to help victims of the virus and celebrities and other people getting together to help people through this time. Yes we are going through some bad times right now, especially with China and South Korea seeming to get a handle on this situation faster than our country can, but even in the darkest of times there are glimmers of hope to be found, we just have to know where to look for them.

Now more than ever we need to “Look For The Helpers” and perhaps even become helpers ourselves, because when we work together and help each other we can get through any panic and any dark time like the one we are currently in.

When it is over and this virus is gone however, we cannot forget what happened because of it, how many people have suffered, gotten sick or died because of this virus because if we do, we won’t be prepared for when and if this happens again.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Guest Artist: Payne - Notes from the Inside #2

My old friend Payne, a young man with mild autism and a passionate and patriotic heart, visited me again.


When the week began I felt depressed, I miss hanging out with my friends, going to the movies, going out to dinner, all things that can no longer be done because of this virus.

On top of that I heard that the president wants to open up everything in two weeks, which is honestly the most irresponsible thing that could be done. Opening up everything after two weeks would cause the virus to spread almost to the point that we couldn’t be able to contain it, but I guess we should expect nothing less from a man who prioritizes money and ego over the health and safety of the people he’s supposed to be governing.

As usual the media’s reporting on the situation isn’t helping, it’s only making people more scared. We need to stop panicking and start using our common sense, this is a time where we need to come together and help each other through these tough times and I know these are scary times and it is okay to be scared but we need to stop letting fear guide how we make our decisions.

I’m not saying these things to back a political candidate or to impose my opinions on people, I’m saying them because I love my country and I hate to see it’s people suffer whether it be from the virus itself or from the panic this virus is causing.