Currently: Surging COVID, Art, & Opioid Book

December 11, 2020

Surging Cases of COVID-19

As health experts predicted, cases of COVID-19 are surging all across the country. Just two days ago, the United States hit its highest one day toll, with a total of 3,054 deaths. It terribly upsetting, frightening, and also disheartening, since there are still thousands of Americans who refuse to wear masks despite overwhelming evidence of the effectiveness of masks in saving lives. It continues to both baffle and infuriate me that anyone would refute something as simple as putting a piece of cloth on your face to help stop the spread of a deadly virus that has killed so many Americans. 


Due to the severe surges in cases that are likely to only become more severe with the holiday festivities and winter months approaching, it is increasingly important that we all stay home as much as we can and adhere to social distancing and mask wearing guidelines. We are approaching the light at the end of the tunnel with vaccines beginning to receive approval, and Americans just need to hold steady for the next several months until vaccinations become more widely available. 


Artwork

Since I have not ventured out much in the past several weeks except for a short, outdoor day trip to Washington DC, I have been trying to keep myself busy at home. A substantial amount of my time has been dedicated to working on projects and assignments for my heroin class, but because traditional classes do not resume until after winter break, I have still had extra time outside of class. One hobby I picked up a few weeks ago has been sketching and making collages in an old art journal I have from a Digital Imaging class I took my sophomore year of high school. While I by no means consider myself an artist and, in all honesty, am pretty poor at drawing, creating art has been an enjoyable and relaxing activity to keep me busy. Though, again, my work is not at all praise-worthy, I have included a few images of some of my sketches and collages below.



 A Book About the Opiate Epidemic

As a mentioned in previous blog posts entitled A Course on the Heroin Epidemic: Initial Thoughts & More and Recent Reads, I am taking a course focused on the heroin epidemic in America. In the three weeks of the course, I have learned so much about the issue, from the science behind addiction and medical assisted treatment to the role of Purdue Pharma in promoting opioids to treat pain and harm reduction practices aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding drug use and saving lives by offering clean needles, Naloxone, and resources for treatment.


I am also currently reading the book Dreamland as a part of the course, and am only around fifty pages or so from the end. While it is only around 360 pages, I feel that I have become so much more knowledgable about the opiate epidemic from this book, and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the origins of the opiate epidemic in the United States. Weaving together history by delving deep into the prescribing of pain medications in the 1990s with stories of addicts, Mexican dealers, and narcotics investigators, Dreamland is a powerful account of the opioid crisis and reveals just how extensive and threatening the issue is.


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