Worth The Wait

 Posted by at 12:54 am  Nick's Blog
May 142020

In yesterday’s blog, I told you that Miss Terry was back to her weaving looms after a long hiatus following her implant surgery. I mentioned that she had a couple of projects on the loom that she wanted to finish off before starting something new, and that’s how she spent her day yesterday.

And here are two of the shawls she finished. I may be prejudiced since she lives with me, but I think they’re pretty darn cool.

This view shows little more of the pattern, I think.

And this one shows the color and the sheen. I wish I had half of her talents.

Terry still has more of the same warp on the loom and tells me she will be turning out one, and possibly two more shawls, or a shawl and a table runner with what is left on it, before she starts something new.

People have asked me many times if Terry takes orders for anything, and someone asked me that again yesterday after reading the blog. No, she doesn’t want that kind of pressure. She weaves for the love it, and just about everything she makes is given away as a gift.

A couple of times, she has given a rough estimate of the cost she would have to charge for one of her shawls, and the conversation ends there. Most people don’t want to pay what it would cost to custom make something for them.

She uses only the best yarns in her projects, and they are not cheap. Besides the cost of the materials, many, many hours go into completing one of these. A typical project like you see here takes at least 24 to 32 working hours, plus the time for design and layout per shawl. Terry said she knows that there are people who turn out things much faster than she does, but again, this is a hobby, not a business for her. But if you are ever fortunate enough to be blessed with one of her shawls or scarves, I think you will say the same thing everyone else has who has received one – they consider them priceless.

As for me, yesterday was another good writing day. By the time I knocked off somewhere around 7:30 yesterday evening, I had a little over 10,000 more words in my new Big Lake book. If I don’t have a heart attack, get hit by an asteroid, or eaten by an alligator or something crazy like that, I will definitely have it done and in the proofing process by the end of the month.

I would love to jump right back into it this morning, but we’re going to run out to the Volusia County Fairgrounds first, and see if we can get the Covid-19 antibody test I wrote about in yesterday’s blog. I hope we can get in this time and that it won’t be another wasted trip.

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audio book of undone, the first book in my buddy Jason Deas’ new Burt Bigsley mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – Way too many of my stories end with “And that’s why I’m not allowed to go back there anymore.”?

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Worth The Wait”

  1. You’re about to get a blood test to see if you have been exposed to Covid-19, the deadly disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
    You’re hoping it will tell you that you have, right? That your blood is full of beautiful antibodies, the body’s soldiers called to fight when a known enemy invades our systems again.
    You may dare to hope the discovery of antibodies in your blood means you will be immune to the virus in the future — you won’t ever get it again or give it to anyone else.
    That’s the holy grail, of course — the ticket to freely visiting your parents, friends and loved ones again, to going back to work in the office again — basically, to getting your life back.
    Not so fast.
    In today’s reality, testing positive for antibodies to Covid-19 means nothing of the sort. In fact, it may not mean much at all — at least right now.
    There are still too many unknowns, both about the accuracy of the antibody tests that are available and about the nature of the virus itself.
    “It is clear that we’re still not where we need to be. It’s a brutal truth, but one that needs to be told,” said CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in the May 5 episode of his podcast, called “Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction.”
    “And this is exactly why I keep advising people to behave like you have the virus,” Gupta said.
    What is an antibody test?
    An antibody test can only be administered by gathering blood, either through a finger prick or from a vein. It’s designed to detect antibodies, the Y-shaped proteins called immunoglobulins that circulate in our blood to help fight off infections in our bodies.
    Produced by white blood cells, the two “arms” of the antibody are designed to recognize and fight bacteria and viruses that have been encountered in the past, thus hopefully stopping these germs from taking hold again.
    Even if you’ve never had any symptoms of Covid-19, the presence of antibodies in your blood would show your body has encountered the virus.
    To be clear, antibody tests are not the “swab” tests that are meant to find out if you are currently carrying the virus. Called rt-PCR tests, or molecular diagnostic tests, those typically gather mucus from way up the nose or back of the throat. They take a few days to report results.
    There are dozens of such tests being used or developed in the United States right now, but few are highly accurate. That means they can fail to detect an active virus, thus delivering a false sense of security.
    A recent yet unpublished study of five commonly used diagnostic tests by the Cleveland Clinic found 15% delivered false negatives. In China, one study found the number of false negatives was nearly 40%.
    Nor are antibody tests similar to the antigen test just approved for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration last week. That diagnostic test, also done via nasal swab, can report results more quickly than the rt-PCR tests but is not as sensitive, which means it will be even more likely to miss a case of Covid-19.
    In addition, both antigen and rt-PCR tests can only give a “snapshot” of your status at that specific point in time. If you were exposed to Covid-19 the next day, you could easily become sick and not know it.
    How accurate is the antibody test?
    First, let’s look at timing. Antibodies just don’t appear overnight. It can take weeks to build up enough of a level in the blood to be picked up by even the most sensitive test. So if you have the test before your body has fully responded, it may give you a false negative.
    That’s if you develop antibodies at all.
    To understand that, consider the entire concept behind vaccines. Vaccinations are supposed to give just enough of a live or dead virus to get the body to mount an immune response — but not enough to make you sick from the illness.
    But everyone is different. Some people don’t react to the vaccine at all, or their immune response is not quick or adequate enough to protect them.
    Antibody tests are also plagued by error. Just like the diagnostic tests, “antibody tests haven’t been as accurate as they need to be,” Gupta said. By their very nature, such tests can easily produce both false negatives and positives.
    “With the antibody test, what you’re really hoping to avoid is a false positive,” Gupta said. “Then, someone might feel that they have the antibodies, thus feel that they are protected, go out into the community, to a hospital, to a nursing home and spread the virus.”
    The tests also need to be able to differentiate between past infections from SARS-CoV-2 and the other known set of six human coronaviruses, four of which cause the common cold and circulate widely.
    Then there’s the lack of oversight. The need for testing has created a market free-for-all in which companies are creating tests without any scientific oversight.
    “There are plenty of antibody tests floating around that haven’t been reviewed or validated by the US Food and Drug Administration. It’s been a big problem,” Gupta said.
    According to the FDA, there are currently over 130 unvetted antibody tests in use, along with the dozens of diagnostic tests. The agency recently announced it was tightening its policy to keep unproven and even fraudulent tests from entering the market by requiring commercial testmakers to meet new standards of accuracy and submit information proving testing quality.
    If I have antibodies to Covid-19, will I be immune?
    Of course, the big question is: If your blood does show antibodies against Covid-19, are you immune to the virus if exposed in the future? Scientists hope that will be the case since it has historically been true for other viruses such as chicken pox and polio.
    But so far, there’s no evidence of that with SARS-CoV-2.
    “It’s unclear if those antibodies can provide protection,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on its website. “This means that we do not know at this time if antibodies make you immune to the virus.”
    The World Health Organization is more direct. In late April, the organization released a scientific brief that said, “There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”
    While studies of blood samples taken from people who have recovered from Covid-19 do show an immune response to the virus, some have “very low levels of neutralizing antibodies in their blood,” WHO said.
    It’s possible that immunity may need to occur on a cellular level as well as via antibodies circulating in the blood, the agency warned.
    “The body also makes T-cells that recognize and eliminate other cells infected with the virus. This is called cellular immunity,” WHO explained.
    Along with antibodies, the “combined adaptive response may clear the virus from the body, and if the response is strong enough, may prevent progression to severe illness or reinfection by the same virus,” WHO said.
    But consider this: Even if we are lucky enough to have that happen, we still don’t know how long that immunity will last.
    No ‘immunity passport’ yet
    What’s the takeaway from the results of your antibody test? Simply put, it really doesn’t matter if you test positive or negative, because until testing improves and we understand more about the virus, you (and everyone else) are still at risk.
    “At this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of an ‘immunity passport’ or ‘risk-free certificate,'” WHO stated.

  2. As usual they are beautiful and how she pans and executes her designs is way beyond my pay grade ! she is amazing and soooo talented ,proud of my precious daughter

  3. oops! plans

  4. Terry’s shawls are works of Art that she can be proud to say she made.
    Be Safe getting tested and Enjoy the outing.

    It’s about time.

  5. Terry’s shawls are beautiful. I too would love to have one. I think there are some hobbies that you only do because you love doing it, not to make the money. It would be nice, but people don’t realize how long it takes and the planning that goes into some hobbies. As long as she loves doing it, go for it. (BTW, I would be willing to at least pay for the the yarn that goes into it. She could at least charge for that…..

  6. I have had the same conversation with people about my quilts as Terry has had about her shawls. They need to be regarded as works of art and priced accordingly.

    Also, I worked all my life. Now that I am retired, I want a hobby, not a business. I make gifts, not inventory.

  7. I find Terry’s projects incredible…so intricate…amazing that someone can basically teach themselves to do such a thing!! It is important sometimes to keep hobbies as hobbies…I had a brother who taught music in schools…nearly made him quit loving music…so there is something to that. I do some handcrafts…sewing is one…but the times I sewed for pay were miserable…you have so much more freedom when not under that pressure!!

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