From the Editor

How Are You?

tn_JillProfilePic2

I have asked that question a lot lately. People usually say something along the lines of fine or okay. I am never quite sure they are telling me the complete truth, but I assume they are at least fifty percent fine or okay, and are willing to settle for that being their status.

Did you imagine yourself living through a pandemic? I did not. But as I write that question, I am well aware of how wonderful it is to be “living” through this pandemic, and not have become a statistic, with my name listed in a column of those who perished.

I do think about those who have died, especially those who were not fighting a chronic illness, and did not expect that 2020 would be the year their story ended. Did they have any warning? Were they able to get their affairs in order? Did they get to say good-bye? Were they able to make peace with their Maker?

It is impossible not to take note of all of the people who have succumbed to covid-19, or to thank God when I realize someone I love has survived. Nor can I escape the fragility of life; and how completely powerless I feel over what happens next.

Did you used to feel more powerful? I used to make a lot of plans; maybe not as many as I should, but I did always have “to do” and “to go” lists, which I was working on. There were things I wanted or planned to do, and places I wanted to go; usually that list was attached to people, which I either knew personally, or admired for their professional accomplishments. But some things have changed; I can no longer imagine going to Chile, for example, just to see Pablo Neruda’s home. Has your life changed too? What has surprised you the most?

I am most surprised by people. It seems like peoples true characters have come out of hiding, as defenses and pretenses, have both been dropped.

Also, I am surprised that I am not rolling bandages, or passing out coffee and doughnuts, or even hiding anyone in my basement or attic. You know I always figured, if I was involved in something, which impacted the entire world, turned our economic life upside down, created a situation where I would feel lucky if I could buy overpriced tea, and it was defined by a death toll and me not being able to spend times with those I loved, that I would be doing a little more than just “staying home”.

The pandemic has not come to an end, but some curves have been flattened, and many places are not just talking about re-opening, but actually are starting to come back to life. Does that make you feel better? I am concerned that it is too soon; I hope those dreaded numbers do not go up again. But it is impossible not to want it all to be okay, and for the world to mostly come back to what it was and what I knew.

However, regardless of what those in power say, I do not feel like I can go into the bank, and maybe say hi to Nicole; then go on to Savers or the mall, before going onto Trader Joe’s and then Market Basket. Nor do I feel like I can get in my car head anywhere out of state, though I do imagine some may want to tell me that I need to go out and spend money.

A certain innocence is gone, which I do not think will ever return, regardless of what anyone says. I will admit that the older I get, the more cautions I am; but this is something else entirely.

The reality of the invisible boogie-man cannot be ignored. We no longer live in a world where something bad might happen if you go sky diving to mountain climbing, but going to the grocery store or a family gathering is now something, which we will feel apprehensive about, even if only slightly. We will not be able to ignore the stories of people dying because they went to a birthday party or a wedding, innocuous activities which used to have almost no risk associated with them. For a good long while, we will have to think twice about what we do, and who we see. We will not want to wonder if that person is symptom free, or has been quarantined for 14 days, or if their cough is hay fever or something else, but we will.

But alas, not everything which as come from these days is bad; one of the good things, which I will be taking from this pandemic, and applying to that other life is paying more attention to the notion of “keeping” the Sabbath. It has become more important than ever, to have a day set aside, where we step back and change our focus.

In fact, as I see the photographs of views unobstructed by pollution or wildlife coming out of hiding; I think maybe we could all do with a day of rest. A time where we stop running errands, doing chores, and attacking our “to do” lists, to instead spend time connecting with those we love and appreciating the beauty of nature.

These are unprecedented days for most of us; we are all trying to figure out, the best way to cope and not hurt anyone else, as we go forward. I know that being more considerate, grateful, and kind, has made an impact in the world. I hope we do not quickly forget that our actions matter, especially to those we love. Meanwhile, I do care how you are, and hope you are well my friends; that is all for now.

Poet’s Corner

Is Someone Holding Our Place

 

 

The world has gone to sleep
Or at least to take a nap
Do you question
What it all means
And
When will it wake up again
The streets are empty
Shops closed
And
Where we gathered darkened
Will life stir again
If so
When
For the moment
The shades are drawn
Doors are locked
And
Windows are boarded shut
But surly not forever
I have to wonder
What will the world
We awake to
look like
And
Is someone holding our place

~ Cristina Jill Mosqueda ~

Connected

Covid-19 and Changes to the Cybersecurity Landscape

Tech-016-300x225

Covid-19 has changed the cybersecurity threat landscape. Often, the cybersecurity community looks to reduce the attack surface and provide less opportunity for bad actors. But Covid-19 has opened a very wide door and Advance Persistent Threats are on the rise, targeting businesses and individuals.

Personally, I have had calls from individuals who are working at home, from companies that have my personal identifying information. I have no idea what type of security controls they are using and how they are protecting my information. Thus, individuals have become a very real target.

What is happening and simple steps to protect yourself:

First, beware of scams and terms that lure you with the title; Covid-19. Identity thieves are taking advantage of the fear that has been created with the Coronavirus pandemic. Individuals, who are looking for financial information, medical advice, and basic protection and treatment of Covid-19, are going to malicious websites. The fake websites are collecting personal information stating that updates will be provided to you, if you provide personal information. They have also set up donation sites for victims of Covid-19. Be very aware, before donating money. If you would like to donate money, check the traditional sites such as Red Cross, and Samaritan Purse, as examples of a couple of good organizations which individuals can donate money.

Additionally, fraudulent e-commerce vendors are promoting sale of personal protection equipment, such as face masks, hand sanitizer and even test kits. I would avoid nontraditional websites and look online at Walmart, Amazon, Home Depot, as examples of companies that will be able to provide certain protections for the consumer. And presently, there is only one authorized Covid-19 at home test kit, and you cannot buy it online. The home test kit for Covid-19 is from Pixel by LabCorp, is only provided to healthcare workers and first responders. If you have tried to buy a home kit and provided your medical information, call your insurance company and look for email alerts with explanation of benefits, EOB.

Second, beware of Phishing and Vishing, voice calls looking for information. Individuals and businesses, wanting more information on Covid-19, are more susceptible to fake coronavirus emails, texts and voicemails, such as alerts. Do not click on any links provided in emails or texts. And if someone calls wanting information, just hang up. Be aware, like I stated above, I had calls from my insurance company that appeared at first to be potential spam. I did not provide them information, but had them provide me with the information, on the reason for the call. Companies have their employees working from home, and are masking the individual’s phone number. So not all calls are spam, but remember, there is no reason to ever provide your full social security number. There are other ways in which to identify you, such as your zip code. These times are unprecedented, and policies are changing, being less restrictive on identification as an example.

Third, employees have also been a target, when they are looking for updates, on work conditions. Legitimate looking websites have been spun up, collecting personal information of the employee and even capturing sensitive business data and customer information. Businesses will provide the means on how employees will connect. Again, be aware of how you interact with your personal and business devices.

Fourth, spoofed government communications has also provided another threat vector, personally connecting with a lot of people who want information. While many of us do not go to local news sites, in this instance, I would recommend this avenue. The reader will be able to get the latest information, on what is happening in their community, and what efforts are underway for legitimate help.

Fifth, job sites and applying for unemployment has provided another opportunity, for bad actors to collect all of your personal identifying information, even what you were earning. Fraudulent websites appear legitimate, so again, be aware and know your social security number will never be needed, when applying for a job. And applying for unemployment should only be done at the state department of labor site.

As we emerge from the Coronavirus shutdown, the world will be a different place for us, personally and digitally. We need to stay safely Connected at home as well.

Film’s Recommended by Marcial


 

“This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.”

 
~ Phineas T. Barnum ~
 
L.A. Confidential, US, 1997, 138 minutes, crime thriller
 
Capote, US, 2005, 114 minutes, crime drama
 
The Jacket, US, 2005, 103 minutes, Science fiction thriller
 
Hugo, UK, 2011, 127 minutes, family drama
 
Source Code, US, 2011, 93 minutes, Science fiction thriller
 
It’s a Wonderful Life, US, 1946, 132 minutes, classic drama
 
Casablanca, US, 1942, 102 minutes, drama/romance
 
How to Steal a Million, US, 1966, 127 minutes, classic comedy
 
Beginners, US, 2010, 105 minutes, comedy/drama
 
The Debt, US, 2010, 114 minutes, espionage thriller
 
Larry Crowne, US, 2011, 99 minutes, romantic comedy
 
Ed Wood, US, 1994, 127 minutes, comedy
 
Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 136 minutes, black comedy

The Mouse That Roared, UK, 1959, 83 minutes, comedy

The Party, UK, 1968, 99 minutes, classic comedy

Fair Game, US, 2010, 108 minutes, political thriller

The Right Stuff, US, 192 minutes, Drama

The Black Balloon US, 97 minutes, Drama


Public Square

Public Square

Key West Memorial to José Martí José Martí, el Apóstol, the apostle, is considered to be the father of a free Cuba; something not yet achieved, in my humble opinion. Today, May 20, is one of the days celebrated as the Cuban Independence Day, and thus I offer you a look at this memorial,...

Nature

Nature

Gardening Through Quarantine (My first keiki {baby orchid} in Maine, and it bloomed!) There...

My Mother’s Favorite Verse

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”~ Jeremiah 33: 3 ~

~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.

Archive


Art


Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.