The upside of social distancing

Friends and supporters:

We’ve had a couple of weeks of social distancing and staying at home Now. The days are starting to go quickly and seem to be blending into one another. Sunday seems more like Wednesday or Friday. No church yet, no more Friday night Attleboro high boys basketball games, City Council on Tuesdays has been postponed twice, theater rehearsals with Norton Singers are cancelled, no more swimming at the YMCA or conversations with my clients at Morin’s, and lunches at the Senior Center are suspended unless I knock on the locked center to ask for a take out bag lunch. I only did that on St. Patty’s Day because those lunches are meant for someone else. I stay home and make my daily turkey burger instead.But I wonder how my many friends at the Senior Center are doing? I don’t hear anything about them now.

I have to hustle each morning to pick up my Boston Globe and Attleboro papers. Otherwise, I don’t have any idea what is going on in Attleboro. I make certain I catch part of Paul Healey’s morning show on WARA 1320 which is one laugh after another. I swear Paul is deliberately ignoring our pandemic and substituting laughter for our myopic despair and worry. Paul Healey is a spiritual lift for Jan and myself. Wish he was on the air on weekends!

So life has changed considerable, slowed markedly, and sometimes comes to a downright crawl. I have few reasons to wake up early lots more time to dream. For instance, this morning I dreamt that I was walking across the entire state of Montana. I need my full eight hours to trek huge distances in my dreams now. Every day is like New Years day minus the football.

So what the upside of social distancing?
1. Lots more time to clean up the leaves and overgrown backyard garden.
2. Lots of long phone calls with new and old friends. I even had great phone calls with my younger brothers in Missouri and New York City!
3. Regular strolls in the woods with Jan, Choey and no one else!
4, Reading the Boston Glove daily.
5. Time to eat dinner slowly and fall asleep on the couch with Jan afterwards.
6. More time to pet Cloey, as dogs are supposedly safe to touch.
7. Making lots of phone calls while running to be elected to the Mass. Democratic Committee…. meeting some fascinating people.
8. Shocking myself by learning how to use Zoom. I’ve been called a luddite…. unable to learn 21st century technology. But with help from Jan and friends on the phone…. I can learn new tech.
9. As a member of the Board of Directors of Attleboro Enterprises, Inc (A.E. I.) I am advocating for the best possible treatment of staff who had to be furloughed, via Zoom phone meetings.

I suggest making a list of how your life is changing. Examine what the positive upside is… caring for your pet, walks with your spouse and children, playing games with family in the house, long phone calls with far away relatives….

You’ll get through this crisis…. make your own list of surprises. What’s your upside?

Good luck, Ty

Bernie Sanders/Mass.

Friends and neighbors in Attleboro and beyond:

For the past two weeks I’ve been busy organizing and helping run the Bernie Sanders staging center in Attleboro, mostly servicing Foxboro, North Attleboro, Attlebor, Norton, Mansfield, Plainville and Taunton. We have had dozens upon dozens of volunteers… many from Attleboro and the burbs, and a surprising number of Rhode Islanders, mostly from Providence. I have been incredibly impressed by the dedication of the volunteers as they drive all over our region knocking on pre-selected doors. Lots of volunteers in their 20’s and 30’s. I haven’t seen young adults so excited by a presidential candidate since I was in college helping Bobby Kennedy!

Democrats have several good candidates and I sincerely respect both Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. But I believe Bernie Sanders is a special candidate. Bernie prioritizes the needs of the "average" person. He knows that it is almost impossible to live off two-part time jobs, especially when they are minimum wage. He totally understands the difficulties of finding good, affordable health insurance unless you work in a company or for a city/school system that buys into large group plans like Blue Cross or Harvard/Pilgrim, Tufts, etc.

But so many people have to settle for United Health Care and its counterparts, which offer 4 to 5 thousand dollar deductibles. I just met a man who only had medical care as a child when his family could afford to pay medical premiums… which was off and on. I met another man in the Sanders campaign who had a bike accident and had to pay the first $6,000 before his coverage kicked in. By the time he paid off his medical bills he owed several thousand dollars in back rent.

I am very fortunate. I managed to live till 65 and am covered by Medicare Part B. When I was hospitalized for prostate surgery two years ago, medicare paid for my entire surgery and 48 hours at Brigham and Women’s hospital. I didn’t owe a single penny and my life was saved. But if I had been 63 years old with cancer, I might have been dead broke, or dead as a doornail, if it wasn’t for my wife’s great medical plan through the Framingham school district.

No one should be avoiding medical care because of bad health insurance or no insurance at all. Bernie wants everyone to have an equal opportunity for affordable, excellent health care!

I think Bernie will pay for Medicare for All by eliminating the generous tax breaks that millionaires and billionaires are currently receiving. By the way, I don’t know anyone who admits to being better off with Donald Trumps tax breaks. No one that runs in my crowd.

Medical care alone is enough for me to vote for Bernie.

How about climate change? The good old USA is doing next to nothing as a federal government to address rising temperatures, violent storms, and vast changes in precipitation across our land.

The good old USA isn’t working with the rest of the world to address climate change. Australia burns away, Europe has record heat waves, the ice caps on both poles are melting, the oceans are rising, fish are dying,
and Donald Trump’s version of science is to ignore everything and call it all a hoax. Boston will eventually by inundated by salt water, especially along the harbor. The Cape will have houses slip into the ocean. Attleboro will be forced to find permanent cooling centers for people who cant afford the cost of air conditioners.

Bernie Sanders will bring the good old USA back into climate change discussions with European nations, maybe even the United Nations. We use 8% of the world;s energy but we don’t seem to care what the rest of the world is doing to save our planet.

Bernie cares. Bernie will act and join up with the rest of the planet. We don’t have much time or it could be too late to change our fate. Bernie will immediately begin fighting for the life of Planet Earth! Many younger voters understand Bernie’s passion to save our world.

Please consider Bernie tomorrow in the Massachusetts primary. Bernie will fight for your rights…. you have the right to good health care and a healthy climate. Is this too much to ask for?

All my best…. Ty Waterman

Ty WatermanTyWaterman1918
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