A Visit From Totoro

(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the con,
No anime stirring, no art was drawn;
COVID-19 hung over everyone there,
We dared not stir–too deadly to share; 
Our people were nestled in costumes they made,
Disappointed pandemic had squashed what they played.

This December

I was going to write out an entire poem like this called “A Visit From Totoro” about COVID avoidance tips for the holidays. But then I read a headline about the Yankee Candle company being bombarded with negative reviews because people are claiming their candles have no scent, and I just couldn’t do the poem thing, anymore. (Loss of the sense of smell is an early sign of COVID-19.)

Look, I know the holidays demand a certain kind of attention and energy. I know people expect that holiday gatherings should happen. That the whole gift-giving and food-sharing thing is a matter of strict tradition. And while I know that a lot of families out there played it safe, it seems clear that a lot of them did not. We should all find this frightening and saddening. 

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COVID-19 May Impact Your Sex Life

We’re all adults here, right?  If you’re not an adult, skip to the last blog post.  But for the rest of us, we need to have a frank talk about how COVID-19 may impact your sex life.  

Protected Sex Is A Necessity

COVID-19 has changed the way we maneuver our public lives, from mask mandates to social distancing. However, it’s crucial to stay safe in our private lives as well, especially when it comes to sexual encounters. Now more than ever, protected sex is a necessity. Whether hooking up or dating, it’s important to be conscious of our decisions when engaging in sexual activity, and remember how we can keep ourselves safer in these trying times.

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Check On Each Other

This piece was co-authored with Jennifer Clark, LMSW.

Ah, the Holidays. The “Silly Season.”  I do wonder how much more mad the regular holiday madness will be as we continue to contend with issues of COVID-19 and other global stressors. 

Check On Each Other

Pandemic puts a big magnifying glass on existing stressors.  The frustrations that one normally feels–the family stuff, all the feelings of sadness, loneliness, or grief–all of it is likely to feel worse than usual.  I’m not telling you this to induce despair.  I’m telling you this so you can be ready and rationally know that what you’re feeling is likely normal, and that there’s actually less reason for despair than you want to make yourself believe.  

But, the Silly Season being what it is, some of us will simply have a harder time of it than others. Seasonal Affective Disorder may kick in, further complicating things.   So here’s what I’m asking you to do:

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Will You Accept Me?

National Coming Out Day is October 11th. UsagiMed has always had a special relationship with the LGBTQ+ community. Some of our own Bunnies (even in our senior leadership) identify as alphabet soup. No matter what letters you claim, we’re happy to work with you, to serve you, and to have you in our ranks.

New Pride Flag

Our team’s diversity is very important to us. It is one of UsagiMed’s greatest assets. In addition to providing more varied viewpoints, our diversity helps us to provide better patient care. The events that Usagi Medical Group services have a higher percentage of their attendees and crew identifying as LGBTQ+ than the general population. Our inclusivity makes it easier for GSM folks to seek care, for issues related to their alphabet status and in general.

Will You Accept Me?

Coming out to family, friends and colleagues can sometimes be a risky and scary proposition for many. While we’re lucky to have a wonderful, accepting community within our fandoms, it can be more difficult to judge whether we’ll be accepted for who we are outside of that arena. To help address this, one of our own has built a free, secure tool to help LGBTQ+ folks gauge how accepting someone might be in a completely anonymous way. Check it out: https://willyouaccept.me/

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Working from Home: How to Find Decent Jobs In Your Field That are 100% Remote

“Do I go to work to make money, but endanger myself into getting the virus? Or do I quit my job to stay safe, but lose the ability to support my family?”

Sound familiar?

Financial Stress

Usagi Medical Group recognizes that mitigating financial stress remains a huge part of coping with conditions of pandemic.

COVID-19 has left millions of working Americans with this frustrating internal dialogue. You might be thinking “well, there’s no way there’s remote positions for my career or field.” However, whether you’re a chief estimator for construction, a psychologist, a software engineer, or an animator, you can probably find high-paying work that’s fully remote.

Remote work varies from small, part-time, online work all the way to full time jobs that pay past six figures (depending on your degree). Here, we’ll list great ways to find remote work that’ll help you achieve the best of both worlds!

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Living Life and Staying Safe in the Time of COVID-19

We need to talk about the gorilla in the room… The same gorilla as before, but the guidelines, they keep changing. Why is that?

Because this is a novel disease, something we’ve never seen before. We’re pushing out information as soon as we think we have a handle on it, and then we get schooled by the virus again, and the information changes. Information flows faster now than it ever did before, so you get to see how science itself ebbs and flows. Science has always been this way, but we’ve never before had the ability to communicate it as fast as it happens.

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Sequestered Sanity: A How-To

by Jennifer Clark, LMSW, and Mickey Desai

So, here we are, social distancing.  We are working from home. We are ordering take out.  We are staying away from our favorite exhibits, restaurants, and events.  If you’re like us, you miss people. And even if you’re just a massive introvert, social contact is still a part of healthy living. 

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Remembering Marco Rizk

With a heavy heart, UsagiMed marks the passing of our dear brother Marco Rizk. Marco succumbed to his long battle with depression and PTSD.

Marco was a Corporal in the Georgia State Defense Force, an EMT, and an amateur radio operator.

Within UsagiMed, Marco was a fantastic medic, treating his patients with the utmost of care and empathy. He genuinely cared about people. One only needed to spend ten minutes with Marco to discover him to be among the kindest of souls–pure and giving of his love and loyalty. His smile never failed to brighten the room. Marco was our friend. And we will miss him.

COVID-19 and You

We’re all concerned about COVID-19.  Whether or not you’re one of the people who are buying out all the toilet paper on the eastern seaboard, we here at Usagi Medical Group would urge everyone to try to put their anxieties in check when it comes to COVID-19 and what it might do to the local convention scene.  Panic seems almost reasonable these days, but panic creates more trouble than it solves.

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COVID-19 for Anime/Fandom Convention-Organizers

By Laura Block, PharmD, NREMT

The only thing that we can predict about COVID-19 is that we can’t predict much.  This is a novel virus, and while the scientific community is discovering an amazing amount of information very rapidly, our society and this virus move even faster. 

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