Health, Human Nature

Civilized Conversations

Maintaining ongoing conversations and relationships requires time and energy – from both ends. Not everyone has the ability to keep up with a civilized conversation all the time. If you have years of practice and experience in sustaining decent long term relationships, you may count your blessings.


Fifth Wave

When one looks at the grafts depicting global Covid-19 infections and daily deaths, one can clearly see an upward curve of a fifth wave. It is really unnerving to think that at this moment, there are several deadly variants brewing in some highly populated places filled with low vaccinated and very misinformed people.

A year and half into this, and we are none the wiser… 🙁

Flashbacks, Health

Over Medicated

When I was a child, I suffered from fevers, skin rashes, hives, colds, sunburns, nose bleeds and so on and so forth. Nothing really serious, but it did not stop my parents from making me take all sorts of medication and supplements. Back then, I just thought it was the normal thing to do. But if memory serves me correctly, I do not recall any of my siblings having the same childhood ailments.

I think I might have just solved a personal health mystery…

Since last Friday, I stopped taking my nightly allergy pill. Reason being that it will be rainy and grass pollen will be in low concentration during the weekend. But instead of feeling great, the days that followed had been hellish for me. I was having sneezing fits (even during sleep!), non-stop runny nose, occasional coughing, and feeling drowsy like I was still on medication. This morning, I woke up sneezing and expect to suffer the whole day, like I did the passed six days. Thankfully, the runny nose and abrupt sneezing just stopped happening after lunch.

I was having allergy reactions when there were nothing to react to! It was a sign of dependency on the antihistamine that I was ingesting. It took my body almost a week to remove this ‘attachment’ to the allergy pills.

Good grief, my entire life, I have been getting sicker from ingesting chemicals which were supposed to make me feel better?!

Belgium, Health, Numbers


I was vaccinated exactly two weeks ago. By now, my body should have built up the necessary amount of Covid-19 antibodies. The vaccine side effects had been mild and tolerable. I cannot say the same about my seasonal grass pollen allergy…

Aside from the sense of relief, I am also glad that I have taken the needed steps to not get infected. I would have been extremely unhappy if I have to deal with losing my sense of smell and taste. And I definitely cannot afford to have brain fogs or any neurological issues.

Vaccinated or not, we still have to be cautious and not let our guards down completely. The virus is still circulating among us, and there is the very real threat of the Delta variant. Masks, hygiene and social distancing will still be the norms we all have to adhere to for a while.


Side Effects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed the following as possible side effects of Covid-19 vaccination:

In the arm where you got the shot:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

I only suffered pain in the arm where I got my shot. No redness nor swelling. 48 hours later, I only feel a bit of tenderness at the injection area.

The night after the injection, I had chills and felt feverish in my sleep. General tiredness and muscle pain in the first 24 hours. I am thankful I do not have any headaches nor nausea. I do experience some sort of dizziness and tend to be rather thirsty these past two days.

I would classify my side effects as very mild. Getting them is actually a good thing because it means that my body is fighting and building up the necessary antibodies.

Belgium, Events, Health


D and I left the house at eleven twenty this morning. And I was out of the vaccination centre at ten past noon. The whole process was quick, detailed, systematic and efficient.

When being ushered from one segment to the next, I do feel like I was going for the slaughter. However, that thought dissipated immediately when I think of the protection and freedom I am going to get in exchange for a single jab. 🙂

Now that is done, my objective for the next two weeks is to build up enough antibody against Covid-19. Yeah to that!

Health, Numbers


Probability is the branch of mathematics concerning numerical descriptions of how likely an event is to occur, or how likely it is that a proposition is true. The probability of an event is a number between 0 and 1, where, roughly speaking, 0 indicates impossibility of the event and 1 indicates certainty. ~ Wikipedia

We have been living in a Covid-19 world for more than a year now. Currently, the probability of getting infected is much lower compared to twelve months ago, because we have come to understand the virus a little bit better. However, this probability value can be volatile. Infections (reinfections), hospitalizations and deaths can still go up again if variants manage to simmer into deadlier more infectious forms. All it takes is for this killer variant to hop on its seven billion potential hosts and wreak havoc at every corner of Earth.

Belgium, Health

Vaccination invitation

This afternoon, I received the long-awaited vaccination invitation per email. I confirmed the appointment shortly afterwards.

In the second week of June, I shall get my one shot of J&J vaccine. Fingers crossed that I will still be very much alive and kicking by July and beyond. 😛

Health, Human Nature, Simplify

Blue Zones

Wikipedia has a well documented explanation regarding Blue Zones. In short, the people in all five zones adhere to the following lifestyle trades:

  • Family – put ahead of other concerns
  • Less smoking
  • Semi-vegetarianism – the majority of food consumed is derived from plants
  • Constant moderate physical activity – an inseparable part of life
  • Social engagement – people of all ages are socially active and integrated into their communities
  • Legumes – commonly consumed

While diet, exercise and social well being are essential roles in our ageing process, the psychological aspect should not be ignored.

My take is simple. When I start worrying about my age, I just remind myself that I have already gotten a good head start on people much younger than me. Heck, I am done with schools. Have read hundreds of books. Learned six languages. I have driven, flown, and have seen many wonderful and weird places in this world. I have tasted all sorts of food and like most of them! Most importantly, I am still here. I am breathing, aware and still curious as hell. The path ahead is open and my ikigai is intact and strong.

Belgium, Health

Do Not Get Infected

“Hou vol en laat u vooral niet besmetten in afwachting van uw vaccinatie.” ~ Steven Van Gucht

Mr. Van Gucht is the Belgian spokesman and expert on Covid-19. The remark he made above is to ask the public to remain vigilant and not get infected while waiting for our vaccinations.

One has to wonder what this damn virus do would next, when it has run out of old and weak people to infect?!