Pandemic Tips Illustrated

Anyone noticing my signature image caricature is already familiar with the work of Danny Fry. Since Cedarcrest Sanctum has been on COVID-19 lock-down since March 2020 and occupying most of my time being a creative administrator, I thought it might be fun to have Mr. Fry illustrate a series of PSAs for Humans and Vampires alike, featuring Danny’s unique take on my supernatural likeness (in my favorite London Fog trench, of course, which has curiously grown shorter over the years).

Feel free to share (as long as you use them unaltered) and please link them back to us at CedarcrestSanctum.com if you like. I hope these will help make these reminders a little more memorable.

God, yes, I know we’re over all this. “COVID” fatigue isn’t fake news, but if everything we currently know is accurate, rest homes and long-term elderly care aren’t the only places that will be put to the test before a real vaccine is ready. It may be up to a year from now before things will return to some semblance of normalcy.

Trust me; I’m a Vampire.

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
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Discus @justjaniss

Three Takeaways of the 2020 Quarantine

To all of Cedarcrest: good day.

Janiss here.

On Tuesday, March 10th, 2020, our facility closed its gates in an effort to protect our residents and staff.

Some of our staffers have family… family we can’t maintain on-site. On a voluntary basis (and in some cases with applicable compensation), most have chosen to stay with us while a few on the outside continue to support us. This is fine for singles and those whose kids are grown and support themselves, but it’s far harder when you have others depending on you that aren’t part of your paying job, so no judgment. Happily, we’ve worked through all of those situations.

I, of course, will stay on-site for the duration.

That said, there are three key takeaways the 2020 Quarantine makes abundantly clear.

First, for everyone in the West Virginia state legislature and in the United States congress, let me be clear: a $15 minimum wage is the LEAST you could do for what you’re all now calling “essentials services.” From truckers to utility workers and every grocery store employee, stop penalizing people from making a living wage just because “they could do better and should only be paid accordingly.” Yes, we’re all dependent upon the medical field and hospital workers (who are risking their lives trying to keep the citizenry alive and hospitals from being overwhelmed), but we all need to stop looking down at “mere” restaurant workers and begin seeing so-called entry-level work as a potential career choice instead of an unworthy stepping stone of shame.

Second, the Internet must be seen as a utility and the essential service it is. Especially in states like West Virginia where shady companies promise the moon, take your money, and provide no service while threatening to fine those who quit services they’re not even getting because of questionable contracts. Information, education, and the economy itself have been uploaded, and those without reach are being left behind. When the only way to get your paycheck and spend it is through “a hand-held talisman with a magical connection to a ghost tower” be effective, forget all that Net Neutrality stuff; like water and power, the ‘Net is now essential for survival.

Third, it’s time for tribalism to end. I’m not talking about Progressives and Conservatives or Elephants and Donkeys; I’m talking about seeing the Planet Earth for what it is: a living organism. While even my own parents complained about the Unites States being “the World’s Police Force,” there was a certain truth to it and a need for it. If a war breaks out, Americans can help keep it from spilling out into another country… or a bad actor from using the opportunity to expand into that region. But it should be clear by now to everyone (no matter who you voted for) that hiding behind a wall and wishing nothing gets through it is futile and foolish. Viruses don’t care about politics, borders, or economic status; they just want to infect another host and move on to the next… and that includes our country of residence. Helping others helps ourselves, even if it wasn’t already the right thing to do.

We’ll survive this. We can even thrive from it. For now, we have to limit the damage being done to buy the precious time needed to keep COVID-19 contained until the spread can be halted.

Hang in there, guys.

Trust me; I’m a Vampire.

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
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Facebook @JanissConnelly
Discus @justjaniss

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COVID-19 and Program Update

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To all of Cedarcrest: good evening.

Janiss here.

As prior bulletins were distributed door-to-door in addition to being reposted in high-traffic areas, a few of you continue ask basic questions we’ve already answered. Going forward, check your email… yes, including you, Mr. Johnson.

With regards to all the conspiracy theories going around, here’s what the world outside of Cedarcrest knows according to the CDC:

“Currently there are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent COVID-19. Therefore, community approaches to slowing transmission including appropriate hand hygiene, cough etiquette, social distancing, and reducing face-to-face contact with potential COVID-19 cases are needed to slow disease transmission and reduce the number of people who get sick.”

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/guidance-hcf.html

Obviously, Cedarcrest doesn’t have this issue — you’re welcome — but the problem is currently one of transmission. As you know, the Program suspends symptoms while preserving the host, meaning if anyone becomes infected, something communicable could still be passed to any visitors because of the two-week incubation period. Again, from the CDC:

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Anyone in the Program will not be allowed close or direct contact with outsiders for the immediate future unless a direct exception is filed and approved and a Team protocol implemented… yes, including me. All visitors are encouraged to use “facetime” and other digital communications media, up to and including our GSC volunteers. Unfortunately, this also means our mall trips and other outings are postponed for the time being.

Here’s the good news: there isn’t any more bad news. All facilities are open to you as always, and if there’s something we’re all interested in, our creative manager Kelly Jean will do her level best to figure it out. Oh, and of this memo, WV has no documented cases… yet.

We’re also well-stocked in toiletries and hand soap — before anyone asks.

Also of interest, May 12, 2020 is Primary Election Day here in West Virginia. Early and absentee ballots will be available, and if COVID-19 is still an issue at that time, we’ll figure it out before then. The following site has additional information:

https://sos.wv.gov/elections/Pages/GoVoteWV.aspx

Addendum: 17-year-old Avi Schiffmann in Seattle, Washington created a tracking site to see the numbers in real time: https://ncov2019.live/data. While I don’t advocate staring at escalating numbers and worrying, there is an encouraging number there as well: Total Recovered… and that’s a great thing.

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
Instagram @janiss.connelly
Facebook @JanissConnelly
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Discus @justjaniss

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The Longest Night of the Year — Vampire Verisimilitude

Happy Winter Solstice to all! That was yesterday technically — last night for me — but I prefer to think my heart is still in the right place.

This post is going to sound cryptic, so fair warning.

Things have changed. No, I can’t go into details about it, and yes, it has something to do with our last evacuation drill.

On a sad note, we lost one of our own. On a positive note, others are now safe, even if we don’t know where they are.

I warned you it was cryptic.

Yes, I’m fine, for those who’ve been asking.

As we draw closer to Christmas and the New Year, here’s another reminder from your executive administrator and the entire staff of Cedarcrest Sanctum that to make the most of the time you have with the people you love, especially since none of us know how long that may be.

Trust me — I’m a Vampire.

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
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Thirty is the New Eternity

Thirty is the new twenty. Forty is the new thirty. Apparently, fifty is back to being thirty again.

I still try to smile at the idea that a Guy Fawkes mask reminds me of my own birthday.

Thanks, mom and dad.

I said no parties for me this year and I meant it. Too much going on. My plate is full.

Our facility drill is this Friday, November 9th; details to follow.

We’ll be busing down the few who didn’t vote to the courthouse tomorrow. See or email Kelly Jean about that.

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
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Facebook @JanissConnelly
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Discus @justjaniss

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September Thoughts, Election Day, and Facility Update

Yes, I took the summer off from regular updates… my apologies. It’s time to get back to it!

As all of you know since our little send-off party last month, our own Timothy has been working with our friend Nancy — no, that wasn’t a typo — on his special project. I spoke to him over the weekend, and he wants everyone to know he’s doing fine. Nancy sends her best, too.

Denton has also been in school at Glenville State for the last few weeks and is doing very well. Don’t tell him I told you, but I think he might be sweet on a nice young lady he met on move-in day. More on that gossip as it develops…

Thank you for maintaining your voting registration from our drive. We had 100% participation (well done!) and Kelly Jean has already made arrangements for Election Day on Tuesday, November 6 to bus everyone to the polls and minimize wait times. We’re planning something else nice for that day, too — no matter which way you vote (and no I won’t ask).

Happy Fall and just a reminder: my first and only priority is to you and our facility.

Trust me — I’m a Vampire.

Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe. Be indomitable.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
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Facebook @JanissConnelly
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Discus @justjaniss

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Local Color and Vampire Inspiration: The Big Easy

Today’s post has been copied from author Kevin A. Ranson’s blog at https://thinkingskull.com/2017/02/12/local-color-and-vampire-inspiration-the-big-easy/

I’ve talked previously about the inspirations for my vampire novel series, The Matriarch Vampires. The central West Virginia locations, Glenville State College, and the character nods. After shelving the original first drafts of the book two decades earlier, why did I feel it was time to dust them off and finally finish the story?

One of those reasons was certainly Jonathan Weiss.

neworleansjacksonsquarenight2010My wife and I enjoy walking through old cemeteries and taking local ghost tours. There are many haunted places around the U.S., often in old cities like Birmingham, Alabama, Savannah, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida. Back in 2010, we traveled to New Orleans and took such a tour, and our guide to the city at night was none other than Jonathan. He looked the way I imagine a time traveler might, combining a classic appearance with a modern sensibility, a person whom has long since reconciled the old and new ways with a natural ease, elegance, and an eagerness to share his experience.

Not having given much serious thought about fiction writing for twenty odd years, Mr. Weiss captured my attention and filled my imagination with stories and embellishments as we toured the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, recounting local legends with intriguing details and playing to the crowd… and yes, much was said about vampires. He and other occupants felt like a necessary part of the city, a piece of its soul that would be lost forever if abruptly cut out.

Yet, as I understand it, that’s exactly what some are trying to do.
Continue reading “Local Color and Vampire Inspiration: The Big Easy”

Happy New Year from Cedarcrest Sanctum!

It’s been a tough year, lost some good people along the way, but now we turn toward a new cycle. Hope you enjoyed your favorite drink last night and got some well-deserved rest afterward. Happy New Year, everyone.

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Take your power seriously. Keep each other safe.
~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
Instagram @janiss.connelly
Facebook @JanissConnelly
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Discus @justjaniss

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