The Importance of Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19

The spread of the more contagious #Delta variant of the coronavirus has many areas reeling from a dramatic rise in #COVID-19 cases, illnesses and hospitalizations. And getting #vaccinated can help slow the spread and avert more tragedies.

While no available #vaccine is 100% effective against the virus, CNBC says, all of them drastically reduce the chance of contracting a symptomatic infection and almost eliminate the chance of mortal illness completely.

Don’t think that because the first wave of the coronavirus affected the elderly worst that you’re in no danger. Delta is more transmissible, so younger people are getting infected, too — and new cases are concentrated among the unvaccinated.

One great reason to get vaccinated is to protect elderly, sick and immune-compromised friends and relatives. Even if they are vaccinated, they are safest when the people around them are at least somewhat immune to the virus and able to inhibit its spread.

Think of the #veterans in your community: Many have chronic health conditions such as diabetes that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. When you get a #vaccine, you are honoring the sacrifices they have made on behalf of the county.

The vaccines — contrary to the misinformation campaigns out there — are safe for use. More than 4.48 billion doses have now been administered worldwide and 352 million doses in the U.S., according to Bloomberg. Serious side effects are exceedingly rare.

Many people experience a headache, fever, chills and fatigue in the first 48 hours after their first or second dose. That’s your body learning to fight off the virus. But that’s it — and what a small price to pay for months of protection against a deadly disease.

While vaccines are available free of charge, getting sick from COVID-19 can be very expensive. A coronavirus hospitalization will cost a person with no insurance coverage about $73,000, FAIR Health estimates, or max out an insured person’s deductible.

Perhaps most importantly, vaccines are the best hope for everything — school, work, social gatherings, concerts, event and even grocery shopping — getting back to normal. Don’t you long for the carefree, maskless days of 2019?

The Health Benefits of a Clutter-Free Home

#Decluttering can help you protect your health during the #coronavirus #pandemic, says HealthFirst. It can improve your focus if you’re attempting to work from home, as well as lower the stress and anxiety that coping with a pandemic can produce (and the boredom of being at home). What’s more, decluttering, #organizing and #cleaning can help eliminate allergens, improve sleep and even provide some low-impact exercise. And if you give what you don’t need to, you can feel good that your extra stuff went toward a good cause.

Declutter to Take Control of Your Quarantine

Spending more time at home doesn’t automatically result in a #cleaner, more #organized space. You’ll have to #declutter more often to stay on top of all the accumulated #WFH materials, school work, clothing and foodstuffs that you ordinarily might buy or use outside the home. Fortunately, is still offering free, contactless #donation pickups just like it did pre-pandemic. Start weeding through the things that you don’t need, don’t want or don’t fit to get control of your #COVID bubble today.

What Your Donations Do for Veterans

If you’ve donated clothing and other household items to in the past, you may be aware that your stuff helps fund programs that support veterans throughout the country. But do you know how, and what your donations fund?

When you give the things you no longer need, the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) resells them in bulk to partner thrift and secondhand stores, where other people can shop for great deals on lightly used stuff.

VVA takes the proceeds and uses them to underwrite range of programs. On the national level, the association helps veterans tap government benefits and health care guaranteed to those who have served, and lobbies on behalf of veterans in the nation’s capital.

Aware that war can have challenging health effects for decades after a deployment, VVA offers outreach programs to veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.

It offers programs targeted to POW/MIAs and their families, minority veterans, women veterans, and justice-involved and jailed veterans. In other words, it is a comprehensive, wraparound service organization operated by and dedicated to Vietnam veterans.

As Vietnam veterans have aged and the country has continued to engage in overseas conflicts, VVA has expanded its mission to welcome veterans of all U.S. conflicts. “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another” is its motto.

VVA programs are supplemented and supported at the local level by the organization’s more than 500 chapters nationwide. The chapters use some of the money raised through to host educational and social events, honor veterans, and give back to their communities through parades, scholarships and sponsorships.

Last month, for example, dozens of VVA chapters celebrated National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29, hosting luncheons, memorial observances and educational programs around the country to thank veterans living and dead for their service.

While donations to don’t pay for the entirety of the programs VVA offers, the money raised eases the organization’s fundraising burden while providing you — the loyal readers of the Organizing Blog — with an easy, earth-friendly way to get rid of your unwanted stuff.

The nation’s veterans appreciate every donation, and thank you for your support!

Mayday! The Clutter Must Go

In medieval times, May Day began as a celebration of the return of spring. People would weave floral garlands, crown a local May king and queen, and decorate and dance around a May tree or maypole to ensure fertility for their crops. In the late 1800s, though, May Day became associated with the labor movement. Workers’ rights groups designated May 1 as a holiday to commemorate Chicago’s Haymarket Riot.

In these relatively prosperous times, you may instead recall the old distress signal, “Mayday, Mayday!” This expression, it turns out, has nothing to do with the May 1; it is borrowed from the French “m’aidé,” or “Help me.” And people who have too much stuff know all too well the helpless feelings it can produce.

Psychology Today says that physical clutter — which it defines as more knickknacks, paperwork and other junk than can comfortably fit into the space — can have an adverse effect on a person’s ability to move and think. Multiple studies say that streamlining one’s space can reduce stress and improve one’s life satisfaction, physical health and cognitive capabilities.

Physical clutter (and now, digital clutter such as email) competes for your attention, LifeHacker says; it takes away from the tasks at hand and robs people of creativity. In order to think effectively, you must eliminate it. Unfortunately, getting rid of stuff that has emotional value produces a pain response in the brain. It may actually be easier to apply constraints to the things you bring into the home than get rid of the things that are already there.

In addition to increasing stress, clutter can affect your diet, produce respiratory distress, harm relationships, encourage poor spending habits and bring on a host of other problems, the Huffington Post says. And when you have boxes of extra stuff stacked in your bedrooms, overflowing closets and stacks of dusty papers in your office, clutter has reached a crisis level. You need help! (M’aidé!)

Take a deep breath. Designate a place in your home where you can stage a major decluttering (perhaps the garage, where you can also stage a sale). Set up boxes and bags for the stuff you’re going to keep, trash, and sell or donate. Schedule a donation pickup with and start sorting. Decluttering will get easier — and once you start, you’ll feel better in so many ways that you may make it a habit.