Category Archives: Health Care

Athena Intanate: Love is a Lamp-Lit Room

Photo: Atena Intanate, Copyright 2020

 

Photography and Text by Athena Intanate, Copyright 2020

.

Love is a Lamp-Lit Room

.

I never particularly liked my dorm room until I started putting up my photographs in it. Its yellowed cinder block walls are sticky with age, and the carpeted floor is in dire need of a deep clean. My bed’s propped next to the wall with a gaping one foot gap, unable to be bridged because of an oddly situated pillar jutting out from the corner. But just like any new place, I needed more than to simply occupy that irregularly cuboidal space. I needed to make it mine, in order to make it a place I desired to be. 

Bedrooms are very private spaces, where we are allowed to feel all our emotions in their completeness. We sleep there, we dream there, but we cry, think, and laugh there too. University has been daunting and breathtaking to experience all at the same time, and if my bedroom was a person it has been the one that has comforted me most. There is sadness and despair, that is undeniable, but they are sutured in such close proximity to happiness and love that the fluidity that exists between each individual emotion amalgamates them. This is why I had one protagonist situated in one room – to represent the ever-changing nature of how we feel. ‘Love is a Lamp-Lit Room’ is, if anything, a self-portrait of how I navigate this turbulence. 

There exists a certain shard of despair in needing to get up and go to work at 5am five times a week, as I do. I fumble in the dimness, struggling to tie the laces of my shoes.

After eight hours of shifts on top of four hours of class, sometimes I am rendered exhausted, emotionally drained. All I want to do is curl up and bask in silence. 

Is the selfie a mark of vanity? Or is it a sign of self-love?

Happiness can be found in people, but also the things that I loved doing in the past. Reading has become conflated with homework, but can it bring happiness too? 

These were all thoughts that swirled around in my head as I attempted to reconstruct my own narrative into 35 frames. 

But at the end of the day my room is loved, as am I. I am enfolded in softness – the yellow glow from my bed-side lamp reminds me so.

.

Portrait of Athena Intanate by Cindy Ji, Copyright 2020

.

About the Author: Athena Intanate is a freshman enrolled at Haverford College, Class of 2023.

Also posted in Art, Blog, Environment, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, lifestyle, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Women

Dr. Michael Zapor: Covid-19

Novel Coronavirus Covid 19

Text by Dr. Michael Zapor, Copyright 2020

.

COVID-19

.

Being an infectious diseases physician, research microbiologist, and former deputy commander of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (which is in the business of identifying, researching, and mitigating infectious disease threats), I thought I’d make a few comments about Coronavirus Disease-2019.
 
Firstly, we’ve known about coronaviruses since the 1960s. Named for the crown-like arrangement of glycoproteins on their capsid, the coronaviruses comprise a family within the order Nidovirales and consist of four genera: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. Coronaviruses are common in birds and mammals (with the greatest diversity in bats), and human infections are caused by two alpha- (i.e. HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63) and several beta- (e.g. HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1) species. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS) are also beta-coronaviruses. Coronaviruses are ubiquitous and along with rhinoviruses, parainfluenza, metapneumovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus, cause most community-acquired upper respiratory tract infections (i.e. the common cold). As with other respiratory viruses, coronaviruses occasionally cause more severe illness. Individuals at the extremes of age (i.e. infants and the elderly), as well as those with comorbid pulmonary disease (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), or immune compromising conditions (e.g. hematopoietic stem cell transplant or HIV infection) are at increased risk. Certain coronavirus species (e.g. HCoV-OC43, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV) also are associated with more severe infection. Except for SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, there has not been much interest in producing coronavirus vaccines. This derives from the fact that most coronaviruses: 1) cause mild, self-limiting illness; 2) are difficult to replicate in tissue culture; 3) display antigenic variation (That is to say that the surface proteins against which protective antibodies would be made change); and 4) Vaccine trials with at least one animal coronavirus demonstrated a worse outcome upon challenge with the virus (a problem similarly posed by dengue virus). Although some medicines, including antivirals and chloroquine, have demonstrated potent in vitro antiviral activity against tested coronaviruses (i.e. SARS-CoV, HCoV-229E, and HCoV-OC43), there are no clinical trials assessing efficacy and treatment is supportive. As with other respiratory viruses (such as rhinoviruses), coronaviruses are transmitted by respiratory aerosol, and the mainstay of prevention is handwashing, respiratory hygiene (i.e. covering the cough or sneeze), and disinfection of fomites (i.e. inanimate objects which can become contaminated).
 
The coronavirus now in the news emerged in late 2019 as a novel variant out of Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of China—hence, its earlier designation 2019-NCoV (i.e. 2019 Novel Coronavirus). Since it is no longer novel and is genetically and clinically like SARS, 2019-NCoV was re-designated SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 has subsequently spread to other countries including South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan. Most cases have been among people who had either traveled from China or who had been exposed to someone known to be infected with SARS-CoV-2. However, several cases in the United States were recently diagnosed among people with no obvious risk factors, suggesting that community transmission is occurring. The incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 appears to average 3-6 days. Because viral DNA has been isolated from respiratory secretions of exposed asymptomatic individuals, it is believed that not everyone who is exposed will become ill. The extent to which these individuals transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others is not yet known. Epidemiological studies of the Wuhan outbreak suggest that most infected individuals will have mild disease (81%), and only a minority will develop pneumonia (14%) or pneumonia with respiratory failure, shock, or multiorgan dysfunction (5%).The overall estimated case fatality rate (CFR) appears to be ~2.3%, making it less deadly than some influenza strains and far less deadly than MERS. Moreover, the CFR was lower outside of Wuhan (0.7%) and as with other coronaviruses, risk factors for severe or critical disease include extremes of age, comorbid illness, and immune compromising conditions.
SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection is by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, using an assay that is currently only available (in the U.S.) at the Centers for Disease Control and CDC-qualified labs. However, there is a push to make the assay more available (e.g. to state health labs). Currently, the treatment of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 is supportive, but antiviral drugs including nucleotide analogues and protease inhibitors are being studied. As with other coronaviruses, the mainstay of prevention is handwashing, respiratory hygiene, and disinfection of fomites. Several labs, both in the U.S. and in Israel, are pursuing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, buoyed by the stability of at least some of the spike glycoproteins as well as sequence homology with several other human and poultry coronaviruses. It is also possible that as more and more people become exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and develop protective antibodies, transmission between susceptible individuals will decline (the “herd effect”).
 
Although the emergence of a novel pathogen is never a trifling matter, it is important for people to have a realistic understanding of the disease caused by it without succumbing to hysteria. To date, SARS-CoV-2 has shown itself to be a respiratory viral pathogen most commonly causing mild, self-limiting illness, with more severe disease limited to certain susceptible populations (in contrast, say, to the 1918 H1N1 influenza virus which disproportionately killed healthy younger people). Moreover, researchers are making progress in developing vaccines and therapeutics. I certainly don’t mean to trivialize SARS-CoV-2. However, I’ve seen far more lethal viral pathogens such as HIV, rabies, Ebola, and other viral hemorrhagic fever viruses; and unless something changes with the virus, I am only moderately alarmed by SARS-CoV-2.
On a positive note, the anti-vaxxers suddenly seem awfully quiet on social media…
.

Dr.Michael Zapor

.

About The Author: Dr. Michael Zapor is the Chief of Medical Services at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Virginia.
.
 
Disclaimer:
1) Dr. Zapor did not write this essay in any official capacity.
2) Because the COVID situation is developing rapidly, some things included in the essay (e.g. case fatality rates) are a bit outdated.
Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Environment, History, lifestyle, News, Politics, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life

Bob Shell: Marijuana and Mind

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2020

 

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2020

.

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2020

.

The March/April 2020 issue of Discover magazine has a couple very interesting articles on scientific research into the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), shows great promise in treating ARML (Age Related Memory Loss), dementia, and may even reverse Alzheimer’s. That’s pretty amazing to me, because back in 1969 I was arrested for possession of marijuana, one single joint in the pocket of a man who didn’t live with us, was just visiting. Five people in the apartment, one had marijuana, all five were charged with possession! Not only were the four of us who had no marijuana charged with possession, we were each facing up to thirty years in prison!

And this being Richmond, Virginia, we were all convicted! I got a three year sentence, thankfully suspended, and had to fight to get that conviction expunged so I could vote, own firearms, and exercise constitutional rights that most people take for granted.

My life was totally disrupted, and one of my best friends who’d been living with me in the apartment put a gun in his mouth and killed himself over it. I’ve never completely gotten over that. A young life ended by the evil of misguided government.

Now, fifty-one long years later, we’re finally getting around to doing the research to find out what marijuana actually does when ingested by humans. And we’re finding out that it does some remarkable things, like restoring memory function to aging brains when used in moderate quantities.

Serious research was blocked for generations by stupid regulations that made such research almost impossible.

Actually, the research had unwittingly already been done in the field. There are areas in Kashmir and other high Himalayan regions where people have cooked their food in Red Oil, marijuana oil, for centuries. All we need to do is compare them with others who live in similar localities but use other oils for cooking.

When National Geographic sent a team into the area years ago for a story, the photographers and writers ate what the locals were eating, and found themselves too high to function. It took them weeks to get accustomed to having high levels of THC in their systems and become functional again. But the people who cook with Red Oil aren’t any less healthy than their neighbors who don’t, and show no increased level of mental problems. They live quiet, happy lives.

Is marijuana totally harmless, then? No, (and probably should only be used by adults, as it may be harmful to developing brains), but neither is coffee, chocolate, tea, or countless other plant products. Demonizing marijuana, as the U.S. government did for years, ruined lives and was far more harmful to society than marijuana ever could have been, even if the lies about it had been true.

Here in backwater, backward Virginia, people have even seen the light. Our legislature, the General Assembly, which likes to remind us that it is the oldest elected legislature in America, has finally passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana, and our Governor says he will sign it. But decriminalization is not legalizing, and they’ll still be able to bust you for having it. It will just be a fine instead of jail or prison.

We’ve had a “medical marijuana” law in Virginia for years. It says they can’t charge anyone for possession if they have a valid prescription from a Virginia doctor. But doctors here were not allowed to write such prescriptions! And prescriptions from one of the surrounding states or D.C. weren’t any good.

All laws making marijuana illegal need to just be struck from the books. For that matter, it is my opinion that all drug laws do far more harm than good. We could save a hell of a lot of money and break the backs of the drug cartels by ending unproductive prohibition and disbanding the Drug Enforcement Administration, and have local police stop wasting time and money harassing people for simple possession. All those millions of tax dollars could then be put to productive use.

Almost all of the Democratic presidential hopefuls say they favor legalizing marijuana, as has President Trump. I say, stop talking and do it! Trump could do it with the stroke of a pen with an Executive Order, as could the next president, if it’s not him. Fifty-one years is too long to wait.

.

About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 11th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: https://tonyward.com/bob-shell-finally-something-good-to-report/

Also posted in Affiliates, Art, Environment, Friends of TWS, History, lifestyle, News, Popular Culture, Science

Katie Kerl: Against All Odds

.

 

.
Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2020

.

AGAINST ALL ODDS

.

As many of you know my father is my heart and soul. He has been dealing with cancer since 2009. Now most people hearing such news would stop everything and go right to the doctor for a treatment plan. Not my dad. At the time he was working 90 hours a week at Amtrak as a crane operator being sick. I could remember nights before he’d go to work. He’d basically be asleep at the kitchen table before he was ready to leave. I used to think to myself, “ how in the hell is he going to work like this?!” He always shocked me. It was like work brought him to life and continued to give him meaning through some really ruff periods of his  life. Not just sickness.

At the time the only treatment for cancer was chemo. He had just lost a brother to it and there was no way he was doing that. I never to this day fought him on any medical decision he made for himself regarding treatment. As time passed he continued to work and lived his life the way he wanted to.

He did not work all those hours for himself. He did it for me. My father solely lives for my happiness over his own. When I think about what that actually means; I’m not sure if there’s a greater compliment you can give another person. It’s very humbling.

Every time I fell down there he was picking me up off the ground and making sure whatever it was messing with my head booze , Boy’s , mismanaging money when I was younger; he didn’t ridicule me . He listened, not in a parental way he just listened, till whatever it was came out. Then we moved on with life. He always said it was ok to be down, cry but you do not do that too long because it changes nothing.

When I was a kid he had to gain seniority at Amtrak to hold a job in Philly . He’d be working in another state sleeping in a camper car all week. There was no such thing as per diem like there is now. Also, before they had machines doing the work today; these men in their twenties with families were doing it. They are now dying from breathing complications from all the broken up dirt and dust on the tracks in the 80’s.

From work experience alone my dad has seen more than enough for one person in a lifetime . The year he retired, that horrible accident happened where the train hit a piece of machinery and two men lost their lives. I remember that day and pleading to my dad not to go clean it up. I was immediately shut down and he said,  “I can’t Kate those were my friends, and now I have to go help my other friends clean this up.” He wasn’t afraid he just did it and didn’t complain once. They didn’t even clean the blood up from their fellow workers first before they sent them down there to repair the track .

That was the last year he worked . My father retired with 37 years under his belt. In that first year of being home his cancer worsened. He was forced to do radiation, and a battery of other tests. After spending a week in the hospital for his lungs. We couldn’t ignore it anymore. To say the summer was an emotional roller coaster is putting it lightly.

Doctors had opposing opinions it was very overwhelming. He got through that though like a champ. He never complained about it either. They put him on immunotherapy a chemo alternative, and steroids for inflammation. 

All of that really changed me . I was more of a destructive person when things went wrong. Realizing he’s going to need help at some point I was going to have to get it the fuck together. I had started writing these pieces , volunteering, and trying to do as many positive things as I can.

About a month ago we learned he has a new cancerous tumor in his throat. I’m very fortunate to have my cousin Mike continuing to help him  go to doctor appointments when I can’t take off work. I’m not sure how we’d be doing any of this without him .

I’ve never seen my dad worried about all this, but this time we were at lunch and he got very quiet. If you know my father the Kerl gift of gab usually gets stronger when we are nervous. He wanted a burger so we were sitting in 5 Guys. He looked out the window for a while and I had to ask a few times to get it out of him. He finally said to me,“ I just wonder if I’ve done enough.”

I immediately stopped eating and let my dad know that I’m aware what he’s going though is very scary. He’s going to question many things about his life. There were a few things I was going to tell him so that question is taken off the list.

I said you may not realize this, but you have the best life story and proceeded to make a list:

.

You’re childhood was amazing growing up with 50-60 kids between one block

Every time you ever fell down you got back up even better just to prove a point.

You loved your job and were exceptional at it.

You lent tens of thousands to people who you knew couldn’t pay you back, but you did it anyway.

You’re very involved in our family

You own your house and car

You have a full pension from a 37 year career.

You Vacationed when you wanted to.

Took the time out to talk to my struggling ex with work when you were in fact getting sicker with this tumor. (My biggest fear at that time.)

There is not one person who came your way for help you refused.

You retired distinguished, and still see the men you worked beside in the union. You’ve known them longer than I’ve been alive.

You have given all of your time and energy to me, no matter the situation. You were the first to be on the scene of a SEPTA accident in your Amtrak vest before the first responders.

You paid me what I would have made working  every week when I was in a very serious accident, so I didn’t have to sit at home feeling sorry for myself not being able to work. ( You did get that back after my settlement lol) I still don’t know many parents that would have done that.

People want to be there for you because you have contributed so much positivity to their lives and you may not even realize it.

.

DID YOU DO ENOUGH? You have done enough for ten people. You have exceeded what it means to be a father, a friend , co-worker, and someone to confide in. ALWAYS putting the ones you love above yourself.

Sometimes hearing things you forget about in stressful situations is very helpful. Cancer should not be in every sentence. It does not have to take over your entire being. My dad’s about to get a biopsy on the tumor in his throat, and we are going to go back down this road again. No one is ever prepared for this. There’s no way to be. You’re going to feel differently everyday.

Half the battle is mindset. Not letting your loved ones feel defeated, or feel as though they have one foot in the grave when they are in fact still alive. Talking about dying is ok, make arrangements etc. Do not make it your everyday conversation. Remind your loved ones,“ HEY YOU ARE STILL ALIVE!” Get them out of the house as long as they are able to. Make sure they are getting the proper nutrition to fight. Make the appropriate doctor appointments. If you do not like what they are telling you do not be afraid to get second opinions.

Part of me is convinced my father is Superman, and he’s my personal hero. If I turn out to be a quarter of the human he is I will consider myself very lucky to find that kind of strength inside me, as he does. I can’t wait to celebrate ending another round of radiation, or whatever this brings to our lives.  Thank you to everyone that continues to be there with us. Calls daily, and checks in with us. Support is the number one thing that makes someone feel better and David Kerl is a very fortunate man. You will never lose to cancer. You keep living, fighting , and helping others during your very long journey. That’s admirable, that’s what heroes do.

Thank you for being my Superman.

.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

.

To access additional article by Katie Kerl, click herehttps://tonyward.com/valentines/

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, commentary, Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, News, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Katie Kerl: Valentine’s Self Care & Cocktails

 

Text and Photos by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2020

.

Valentine’s Self Care & Cocktails

.

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! It smacks you in the face at every turn. This year I urge you to put the phone down and stop swiping in dating apps. I was doing a little research and downloaded everyone I could find. Be very careful when on them. It seems as though at least 50% of men are on dating, hookup, and seeking arrangement apps. That is not my idea of a good time. Cross reference your picks that way. If not you could end up with a disease meeting a sex addict who is using all of the apps.

This led me to wonder why we so desperate for acceptance and mediocre dates on a Hallmark holiday? It is filled with awful pre-fix menus, cheaply made jewelry, drug store boxes of candy, & flowers that DIE. Why have we let the media make us think we have to have a date, or do anything on this day?

When I am in a relationship I make it special by surprising the person I am with. I make dinner, buy cool gifts, and usually some fun sex gag gift to be used later; haha! Going out for a few drinks and dessert is a very nice alternative the whole over reserved pre-fixed meal. I think it is one of the worst days of the year to eat out.

This year I am completely single, and will be spending it with a few friends. I’ll probably get a manicure, make dinner, and we will go dance somewhere. That is what makes me happy. If you are single celebrate that! If you are involved do not let that day be the only one you get off your ass to show appreciation to your loved ones. Self care is love, for men and women. Take that $300 you were going to waste and invest in yourself. After all, you are worth it!

I have compiled a few lists of perfect self care services around the city, and places to have cocktails and small bites that I enjoy. I’m going to start off with the men, let’s face it ladies they feel like they get left out a lot on this holiday. If your man treats you well appreciate that too!!  

 Masculine self care Ideas:

The Blind Barber just opened in the Gayborhood. They have locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York, and now Philadelphia. It will not be a place to miss. Get your hair cut, and have a drink in their restaurant/club and relax.

Sulimay’s Barber Shop in Fishtown specializes in haircuts and straight shaves. This barber shop has been around since 1922! If that does not give you an idea of the quality here I am not sure what will. After, check out Suraya for a few cocktails and great people watching.

Blokes Barber Shop & Gentlemen Emporium in Old City. This unique barber also has a slew of gifts that are perfect for a self care splurge. They carry cufflinks, books, shave sets, socks, flasks, jewelry, and funny gag gifts as well.

Ashton Cigar Bar in center city is a very nice place to relax if you love your smoke and whiskey. The servers are all pretty, and they have a wide variety of drinks and cigars to choose from.

Art in the Age located in, Old City is a liquor tasting boutique. It is a unique spot to gather a group of friends, and start day drinking. They offer tastings, cocktail classes, sell bar accessories, bitters, mixers, & recipe books for the at home bartender that likes to entertain.

Follow it up with some sushi around the corner at Tuna Bar.

Reserve a table at Rec & Royal, for their weekend brunch party, Saturday and Sunday from 11-5. There is a food buffet, mimosa bar, and cool arcade games to keep you fully entertained.  

Treat yourself to a pair of new shoes or sneakers at Lapstone & Hammer.

The Suit Supply Is also a great place for the trendy go getter to add to their wardrobe.

Noto will be having a weekend full of parties to go dance the night away at.

The Ritz Carlton Spa offers lovely massage packages.

You can follow it up with their smoked mescal drink in the beautiful marble lobby.

Finally, treat yourself to the concert, or sports game you have been dying to go to.

 For the men who say Valentine’s Day is a women’s day; I think my laundry list of things to do may challenge that statement. Sometimes it just takes a little more than last minute planning.

Some gender neutral ideas:

Treat yourself to the gym membership you have been putting off, and get sexy for summer!

Luxury: The Sporting club at The Bellevue is a full gym/spa club equipped with pool, massage, food, meeting rooms, and personal training. Follow up your work out with a drink at XIX and try the seafood platter. It is located in the top of the hotel.

Mid level: City Fitness has multiple locations throughout the city. I recently joined the Northern Liberties location. They offer a wide range of classes, sauna, tanning, personal training, and a juice bar.

When you are finished walk a few blocks down Second Street and pop into Spuntino Wood Fired Pizza, and grab a heart shaped pizza. Bring your favorite wine because they are a BYOB, they have private parties, and pizza making classes!!

Basic: Planet Fitness has all of the equipment you would need to get cut for summer. They also have a few locations around the city.

Treat yourself to the concert, or sports game you have been dying to go to.

Revive Med Philly Is located in Northern Liberties. They are a non surgical cosmetics boutique. Offering a wide variety of services: facials, Botox, fillers, laser hair removal, EMsculpt, skin care products, finally IVs for hangovers & to boost immunity. I have been there a few times, and you will not find a more welcoming staff in the city. They will not over do it and tell you NO if you are being ridiculous. That is important! Patient continuity of care! Stop in and check out their V-Day specials, and guess the number of hearts in the glass jar to win a free service. You must be present to enter.

Take a photo in front of their beautiful wall for the gram, after they get you glowing in the right direction! They just started a monthly membership call for inquires.

Now for a few Feminine self care options:

Lacquer Lounge in old City is so cute for a mani/pedi. They have all white interior, and pops of pink spread around. Sip a glass of wine and relax while they take care of you.

Rescue Spa is a very tranquil space that you immediately feel at ease upon walking in. Great for a girl’s day, this spa offers a wide variety of services that are sure to please anyone. Call and see what works best for you, and your budget.

The Dandelion in Rittenhouse offers a fantastic afternoon tea. I actually took my mother there and it was quite the experience. You get a tower of tea sandwiches, sweet treats, and a pot of tea. There is a mimosa add on option that is very reasonable. The interior makes you think you have left Philly, and are sipping high tea in England.

 KAWAII KITTY CAFÉ in Queen Village, order your favorite coffee or tea. Then you are taken into a room to play with adoptable kitties. It is very cute to do if you have children as well. All of the cats were very friendly.

The Smak Parlor, located in Old City is a cute clothing and accessory shop that has yet to disappoint me.  They have very trendy reasonably priced pieces.

Book a Photo shoot session. Grab a bunch of outfits, go to a cool spot, and have fun! There is no better self esteem boost than amazing photos taken of you.

Have a Galantines’ brunch! Grab some friends and decorate your place. Make cute heart themed food, Valentines’ notes as place settings, and pomegranate mimosas.  Toss in a berry or two for garnish.

.

While love is not always in the air in a romantic sense; we absolutely can enjoy Valentine’s Day in our own way. Appreciate the people in your life. After all, when your relationships end your friends are still there for you.

If you are happily involved I wish that REAL DEEP LOVE for all of you.

These suggestions work if you are single, taken, or for any gender if you identify differently.

I wanted the singles out there to know;

IT IS OK TO BE SINGLE and LOVE YOURSELF FIRST!

I hope everyone has a fun Valentines’ day no matter how you choose to celebrate.

.

 

.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

.

To access additional article by Katie Kerl, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-dating-guide-2020/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Friends of TWS, Popular Culture, Student Life, Women