April 2020 – Plastic Picking Round Up
May 8, 2020
To say that this month has been a bit off is an understatement. We finished two months of COVID-19 quarantine. We are undergoing this collective experience. It has been documented on social media, including this blog. I made a comment on one of the COVID-19 MD Facebook Groups for Pediatricians under my real name. It was just a simple uplifting post about a patient encounter, and I kid you not – it generated already 373 likes and 32 comments of others sharing their stories. I was initially very excited but my wise high school son warned me that putting value in the number of likes one gets on social media is harmful. He is right. But I am still happy that the post resonated with my fellow pediatricians. It made them feel good. I think the story was straight forward, simply written and described a heartfelt encounter that many of us have as pediatricians. I was my gift to my colleagues as we are going through this collective angst.
What made me happiest about that post is that it was quickly written, well written and I think the by-product of now having written over 180 blog posts! I have now had 3 blog posts also accepted onto KevinMD. That my writing generates emotions is the greatest compliment I could receive. I’m still not quite comfortable with this new role I have taken (blogger/instagrammer/writer) but I love it. My old mentor in clinic years ago several times would send me grammatical corrections to my work emails, and I remember being unreasonably angry at him. I was so mad! Some of it was that I felt overworked as a younger mother and middle manager, but now I realize perhaps criticism of my writing hurt more than other criticisms because I valued writing as an artform.
But I am happy to retreat to this blog. I feel much more free to write in this forum. Let’s get back to the task at hand, which is my Monthly Plastic Picking Totals! I’ll sum it up for you quickly. We were all afraid we would catch COVID-19 and two million people would die. No one knew how it was spread really, and where it was spreading. The last thing I wanted to do as a still practitioning pediatrician, was to hold myself up for criticism for putting myself at risk unncessarily. As the month wore on, I think we realized that litter picking is not more dangerous with proper protection than going to the grocery store. But by the time the beach reopened, the crowds were too risky and I returned to mostly litter picking around my neighborhood. I use one glove, metal grabber, and wear a mask. I shower afterwards. Litter-picking is not as fun as beach cleaning, because the trash is actually dirtier if that makes any sense. I have no desire to make trash art from any of the litter I pick right now. Plus it’s probably dangerous.
But I am picking up bags of trash now around the storm drains and most of those were toward the end of the month. I am noticing my neighbors’ gardens now, which look spectacular, and the birds that are in our neighborhood. I’ve been trying to identify the species, but they fly away too quickly and my iPhone camera is not powerful enough to get a good photo. But they are all beautiful.
I am at 181 blog posts on drplasticpicker.com, 219 instagram posts, 62 Facebook readers, 728 instagram friends. The blog traffic has returned to semi-normal which is 200 readers a day. When it spikes up, for some reason I get uneasy and fear Russian or Chinese or Big Oil/Big Plastic trolls. But most importantly for April 2020, I picked
8 Bags of Plastic Litter
2 alumium cans.
I usually insert a table at this point, but really it is not worth it. In total I am at 186 bags of ocean bound plastic and 649 salvagable items. Below is a picture of bag #186. Thank you for following along my plastic picking journey. I really appreciate my metal grabber these days. My mom gave it to me.
Click here to see my blog totals from when I started. https://drplasticpicker.com/plastic-picking-round-up/