70: Fix It

April 15, 2021

Rest and sleeping, reflecting on the Boulder shooting, Covid vaccine views, and would you rathers.


email: thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com

instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 70: Fix It

Episode Date: April 15, 2021

Transcription Completed: April 17, 2021

Audio Length: 52:17 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. It’s just us. We know how much you love us.

Claire: It really did feel like – I mean, it’s so great to have guests, and we had two really wonderful guests. And also it was like, do you miss us?

Joy: I know. People miss us. I know – I know you’re out there – that will skip episodes when it’s not just us. They’re out there.

Claire: Which is amazing because we just did an entire year where the only guest we had was that one time we had Casper on. Which was a great episode. He was worth it. He was worth being the only guest in 2020.

Joy: But all of our guests are so great, because you know why? We also are great interviewers. I’m just kidding. I’m not tooting my own –

Claire: You’re not kidding. Toot your own horn. We are good interviewers.

Joy: We are good interviewers. I feel like everyone always feels so comfortable around us, and I just really like people.

Claire: If you haven’t listened, if you’re like, “I don’t really like listening to interviews,” don’t forget who you’re talking about here guys. It’s Joy and Claire talking. 

Joy: You think you’ve heard it before, you have not. You have not heard an interview by Joy and Claire. Go back, listen. I think every single guest we have on is a really good guest. I just really like the last two that we did, so go check it out if you haven’t. We were just about to record, and we were talking about Claire’s squeaky office chair. And we got into talking about how much we missed the days –

Claire: Now I’m trying to squeak it and it’ not –

Joy: Now it’s not going to do it.

Claire: Now it’s not going to do it.

Joy: And how when we were 15, 16, when you’re young, in your youth and you could lay on a floor for overnight.

Claire: Haven’t we talked about how you slept on the floor the night before the first time you were running the NYC Marathon?

Joy: Yes! Yes! And it still baffles my mind. To this day, I’m like how on – I did it because I was 25. I still can’t believe. Now I understand as people get older how picky they are with certain things. I always made fun of those people. I am that person now. Of how I could never just sleep on someone’s floor the night before running a freaking marathon. I remember asking my friend – okay, so young 20’s. I didn’t have a lot of money, so one of my good friends lived in New York City for quite some time so she had a bunch of friends there. And I was like, if I buy her plane ticket – I don’t know how this made sense to me. It was pretty cheap to fly there direct. I was like, if I buy your plane ticket, can we sleep at your friend’s house? And she’s like, “Yeah, I’ll totally make a trip out of this.” We crashed at a few people’s flats, such small spaces. It was such a memorable trip though. I feel like those are the times where you’re like, yeah, I could just easily sleep on someone’s floor for five days and just be so happy traipsing around New York City. I remember being that tourist that I was so excited to go to H&M because we didn’t have H&M in Denver at the time.

Claire: Oh my gosh, yes. And H&M was huge.

Joy: Huge. And I remember going to H&M, buying all these fun clothes. I bought this huge fuchsia pink tulle skirt. This is totally my Sex & the City moment, being Carrie Bradshaw. Anyway, walking around New York City with these huge H&M bags. We went to an off-Broadway show. We went to a bar late at night. I think it was called The Salon or something, anyway. It’s just so funny because I would never – I’d be like, “I need to go home, and I need to rest for a while. I need to put my bags down, and I need to change.” And now, it’s just so funny to think back of how I could just go all day and just carry huge shopping bags to every single thing we did that day. And now, Claire can’t sit in a chair.

Claire: And now I go to LA with Joy, and if we’re somewhere for more than 20 minutes, I see her start to shut down.

Joy: I shut down, yeah. I’m like, “I need a break.”

Claire: Yeah, you glaze over.

Joy: We need to go get food. I need ice cream or food.

Claire: I need a $17 glass of juice, and I need it now. I need a frozen yogurt flavor you’ve never even heard of.

Joy: Oh my gosh, remember when we went to Jeni’s and we had some rose sorbet?

Claire: Yes, I do. Do you remember when Shane Farmer made us eat activated charcoal frozen yogurt and we had to pretend we liked it because Shane’s so cute?

Joy: Yeah, I totally remember.

Claire: He’s like, “You guys are going to love this.” “Yeah, I love it.”

Joy: We’ll do anything for Shane Farmer.

Claire: I would do anything for Shane Farmer, including eating coconut milk activated charcoal frozen yogurt and pretending to like it. I’m going to send him this clip. Shane and I after that trip became pretty close because I started doing all his marketing for him for a while. I’m going to be like, “Alright Shane, I have a secret to tell you. That coconut milk activated charcoal ice cream was nasty.”

Joy: So good. I didn’t like it. But I did like the Jeni’s –

Claire: But I wanted you to think I was cool. I did like the Jeni’s. Which now you can get at Whole Foods and eat in the comfort of your own home.

Joy: But now you can’t sit on an office chair.

Claire: No, without squeaking –

Joy: The squeaking, and you said you were sitting on a bed and your back was hurting. I’m like, “Aw man.” Back in the day, I could do that. But now, no.

Claire: Yeah, I’m not 17 anymore. I can’t just sit on a bed all day with my legs crossed and not have back problems from it. 

Joy: Oh my gosh.

Claire: That was last year. When we didn’t know how long we were going to be working from home, I resisted for so long getting a desk. Because before I had this office room set up, I was just in the corner of my bedroom and I was like, there’s nowhere to put a desk or a chair, anything. So I sat on my bed for realistically 9 weeks, and my back was so sore and tight all the time. I was like, what’s going on. And finally, I was like, maybe it’s because I’m literally sitting cross-legged on a mattress all day with a laptop on my lap. It was dumb you guys.

Joy: But you think back and you’re like, oh man, I used to fall asleep in the weirdest places in college. I could fall asleep anywhere. I could fall asleep in a chair, just sitting sideways. My roommates made fun of me all the time.

Claire: One time when I was 10 or 11 – and granted, when you’re a kid it’s a different story.

Joy: You have no joints. You’re just so limber.

Claire: Right. My aunt had this amazing gigantic house in Montecito. She lived down the street from Jeff Bridges, was not that far from Gayle’s house.

Joy: Gayle?

Claire: A Hollywood house. 

Joy: Oh my gosh.

Claire: She owned a post-production company, one of the first post-production companies. She was very Hollywood. Anyways, she had this party when I was – so if I was probably 11 or 12, it was probably her 50th birthday party. And there was a live band that she set up in her living room. There were fire dancers and fire walkers and all these things. I fell asleep in an armchair in the middle of the living room in the middle of a live band with fire dancers all around me. I remember that everyone was taking pictures of me. 

Joy: Yeah, because you were a child, it’s not like you were someone drunk passed out in the middle of the room.

Claire: I was a 10-year-old who was just like, “I am going to sleep now, thank you. I am very tired.”

Joy: And then you get older, and then you can’t sleep. Do you sleep pretty well, or do you have a hard time sleeping?

Claire: I sleep really well, and it’s something that I don’t take for granted.

Joy: Same here. I do not take it for granted. I sleep very well.

Claire: Except that you wake up at like 4 in the morning. 

Joy: Yeah, but I go to bed at like 8.

Claire: Yeah, that’s true I guess.

Joy: I sleep a good solid 7-8 hours every night. But I am always very concerned about people who don’t sleep well. Like if I have a friend that doesn’t sleep well, I’m constantly trying to figure it out, as if they haven’t been trying it out their entire life. And I’m like, I will crack this code. Tell me more. What is the issue with your sleep?

Claire: Tell me more. I know. Our friend Jess doesn’t sleep well, and I’m always like, “Jess, I’m worried about you.”

Joy: Yeah, I’m worried about you. Sleep is a big thing. It’s a big deal.

Claire: Brandon also is not a great sleeper.

Joy: Really?

Claire: He goes to sleep fine. But if he wakes up, he has a hard time falling back asleep.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: I’m really grateful that our kids are sleepers like me and not like him.

Joy: Right,

Claire: Because our kids are actually both pretty good sleepers.

Joy: The thing that I found so helpful, not that anybody, if you have chronic problems sleeping, this probably isn’t going to help you. But whenever we’re traveling, which it’s been a while, but I love Brain Fm. If I wake up in the middle of the night. When we had Cadet too and you had to force yourself back to sleep, but you could see yourself staying up. Brain Fm has been huge. It’s an app.

Claire: Oh really?

Joy: It’s awesome. It’s awesome. It’s bioneural beats thing that does some type of soothing sound that lulls you right to sleep, and it’s great.

Claire: I’ve never tried anything like that, but it does sound nice. When I first found out I was pregnant with Miles, I had a ton of anxiety. Also remember when I found out I was pregnant with Miles, and then the next week my brother went into a coma. 

Joy: Yep.

Claire: So I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about this before, but when I found out I was pregnant with Miles, a week later my twin brother had a TBI and was on life support for several weeks and miraculously came out of it and is mostly full functional today. He is. He’s completely independent. He’s fully recovered. But there was probably a three-week period in there where I was newly pregnant, dealing with my sibling being on life support and obviously wasn’t sleeping great. So I would just listen to Harry Potter.

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: And that would turn my brain off enough that I could finally fall asleep. It was very soothing. Highly recommend.

Joy: Highly recommend.

Claire: So since we have had guest on for the past few weeks, there are a couple things that we haven’t had time to talk about. One of those things, to take a very abrupt right turn in this episode, one of those things we haven’t had time to talk about is the shooting in Boulder. I’m sure you guys all know what we’re talking about. This was now about three or four weeks ago. Gunman walked into King Soopers, which is our Kroger.

Joy: Grocery store chain.

Claire: In Boulder and fatally shot 9 people and himself. No –

Joy: No, he didn’t.

Claire: It wasn’t himself. You’re right. It was 9 people plus a police officer, 10 in total. That’s what I was thinking. Where’s that 10th. And he’s still around. He was captured alive in his underwear.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: So we still don’t really have any information about his motives or anything. It seems like it was pretty much completely random. But it was very, very, very close to home. Both literally and metaphorically. You guys know I’ve lived in Boulder my whole live. I’ve been in that King Soopers probably a thousand times. The shopping center is the hub of that whole neighborhood. That is the neighborhood where I went to high school. I still have dozens of friends who have family in that neighborhood. Unfortunately one of my classmates who I went to high school with, her mom was one of the victims. There was another girl who was a couple of years younger than me in school who her dad was killed. I was talking to one of my close friends who I went to high school with, and we were talking about, oh it would have been a miracle if we hadn’t known anybody. What a crappy feeling to feel like, “It would have been a miracle if I hadn’t known somebody who got shot while they were grocery chopping.” It was just so intense, and I think it was and still is this horrible feeling of what is safe? Is there anything that we can do that’s truly safe? Is there anywhere we can go where we don’t have to worry about this? And you take this place, like a grocery store – if you guys can think back to being in high school, and I’m sure there was a grocery store or a 7-Eleven or a gas station –

Joy: You always went to, yeah.

Claire: Where is that place, that parking lot that you went to? This grocery store was that.

Joy: Was that for you, yeah, yeah.

Claire: It is really like, how do you think about the repercussions of that when you have this very safe space in your mind that something like this happens.

Joy: The other thing that is probably on a lot of people’s minds is you always wonder what if that happened to my hometown. You always in the back of your mind, we all go to that place of what if it were me. What if that was my hometown? And because it often feels, like we talked on the show with Bree, there is a very small percentage of mass shootings. But when you see that, you automatically think what if it were you. Then you start to calculate – at least, I do. I know a lot of people do. Calculate the likelihood of that happening in your hometown. You start to do that because our brains are wired to protect, so we think what are the chances of that happening in my hometown. 

Claire: Right. You think what if that was you. And for me, this time it was so – I didn’t have to make any leaps to imagine what it would have been like. It was like, yeah, I’ve been in that store, my parents have shopped, my best friend’s parents go there all the time, my best friend’s husband’s family lives right down the road, my boss’s boss lives behind. One of my closest mentors, her parents live so close by that they could hear the gunshots. Apart from it truly literally impacting my family, apart from me actually being close with someone who was killed, this is the closest you can get. So it really was that, that easily could have been my mom. And not just from an abstract of, “Oh it could have been anyone’s mom.” No.

Joy: It really could have been your mom.

Claire: It really could have been my mom.

Joy: And you know the thing that always happens after something like this is to go how do we prevent this in the future. I have noted, at least for our local stations, and I actually haven’t seen much on the national stations because I do love Lester Holt. I do love my Lester Holt Nightly News. But I have not seen much on the national news circuits that there’s been attention paid to the gunman. Nothing has been on our local news about the gunman, at least the stations I watch. I’m a huge fan of 9News. I love Kyle Clark. 

Claire: We know how you feel about Kyle Clark.

Joy: I love Kyle Clark so much. Anyway, I’m laughing because Scott and I are so in love with Kyle Clark. But I have not seen anything on the news about the gunman. It’s all about the victims. This is such a change from all the times we’ve seen that gunman’s face and the picture plastered on the news, and who knows if the next one takes that as inspiration, “I’m going to be famous.” Who knows? But I just really appreciate it because this is where media has so much power over what comes next and how we perceive what happened. Giving these victims and the victim’s families a name and a story. They’ve been profiling the shooting victims so intensely that it’s like, this is what I need to see. I don’t need to see the horrible person who did this. I need to see the people whose lives were beautiful and loved and had dreams and goals and they were cut short.

Claire: Right.

Joy: It’s really sad, but those are the things we need to see, not this horrible person.

Claire: I think the other thing too that is obviously the gun rights piece about it and the fact that Boulder County had a ban on assault rifles that the NRA sued the city for – not the county, City of Boulder – sued the city and won ten days prior to this, and the gunman went out and bought the weapon six days prior. This was a direct results. And again, not saying that they couldn’t have bought it somewhere else. They couldn’t have gone to a nearby city or county or whatever. When you look at the timeline, it’s pretty hard to argue with that. It’s pretty hard to say this couldn’t have been prevented because it seems like that timeline is pretty linear and pretty obvious. I feel like that is the hardest thing for me when I talk to people who are very, very pro-gun rights from an NRA standpoint, of like, “No, we deserve unfettered access to guns” effectively. If someone’s going to commit a crime, what’s stopping them from going out and illegally getting guns? What’s stopping any of us from going out and illegally doing anything?

Joy: That’s the stupidest argument, by the way. And I hear that all the time. Where it’s like, “They’re just going to go get it illegally.” It’s like, are you kidding me? That is your argument? So you’re saying that you would rather leave it as-is and potentially kill more people than to take a gamble here that it could save lives. You’re more willing to be so stuck on your gun protection.

Claire: You posted something on your personal Facebook that somebody commented and was like, “Gun access is not the issue. Mental health is the issue.” Your response always to that is like, fine. Tell me what you mean by that.

Joy: Tell me please.

Claire: But I think more than that, my response to that person was at this point, I’m willing to try to see if gun access is the issue.

Joy: I’m willing to try.

Claire: Why have we decided as a society that we have to know that what we try is 100% going to work before we’re willing to try it. It feels like gun control is one of the few areas where we have accepted that, that we have accepted we can’t do anything unless we know it’s going to work. That’s not how solving problems works. That’s not how solving complex issues works. You don’t get to wait until you know you have – no pun intended – the silver bullet before you even start trying things. And that is really how we on a national level definitely have approached it. We don’t know for sure that that would work, so we’re not going to try. How does it make any sense?

Joy: Remember the Marjory… Marjory Stone Lynn Douglas…?

Claire: All I was thinking was Marjorie Taylor Greene who was the –

Joy: No.

Claire: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Joy: Yeah, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School kids. I just want to replay this again because they had a town hall with the high school kids, the surviving high school kids, kind of the faces of that movement when that happened. And the head of the NRA, I don’t know what her title was, she was disgusting. She made herself look like a fool. They were basically saying kind of what you were saying. Why don’t we just try this? And it all goes back to, well, guns aren’t really going to kill people. The bad people kill people. If we don’t stop that argument, I really want to understand why we can’t get to an agreement, at least just making background checks really strict, making sure that you have some type of checks and balances of whose hands these are getting into. Why do we have assault rifles? Why do we have bump stocks?

Claire: And then when you say, “Explain to me what you mean by it’s a mental health issue. It’s not just a mental health issue” and people come back and say, “So mentally healthy people do these things?” 

Joy: Right. Which is also stupid. Because I’m like, no. You think I’m stupid? I would never think that a mentally well person is going to –

Claire: Right, that a rational human is going to be like, “This is a great plan.”

Joy: That is also a weak argument. Don’t come at me and say, “Oh you think” – which is ridiculous. Are you kidding me? No. Of course, they’re not mentally well. But I’ll say it again, if you think that mental health is going to solve the problem of people dying by guns, I really want to know what you mean. Because I work in mental health. What happens is, if you see someone who has homicidal ideation, meaning they’re thinking of killing someone, you can ask them all the questions in the book. They could lie to you. They could never come back. You could tell them, “I’m really concerned about you.” They’re never going to enter into treatment. It’s like trying to glue Jell-O to the wall. You can’t get them all. And nine times out of ten, the people who are the most unwell are not engaging in treatment. What do you want to do? Everybody go to therapy for five years? When they’re ten? What do you mean by mental health? If you want to throw more money at mental health, by all means I will take it.

Claire: Right. I’m not saying no. I remember when the Parkland shooting happened, and Glennon Doyle who lives in that area and she was talking about that. She was like, if you think it’s a mental health problem, great. Let’s solve mental health in America. If you think it’s a gun problem, great. Let’s solve gun rights issues in America. Stop arguing about where to start, and somebody just start doing something because we are losing lives every day because no one is willing to do anything. And that’s fine, if you want to put your flag in the sand and say, “I refuse to accept that changing access to guns would solve this problem,” then fine. Go forth and make a plan for addressing mental health. What does that look like? What does that mean? Because there are plenty of people out there who can tell you what it looks like and what it means to have more comprehensive background checks, to have waiting periods, to have all these things in place. There are a lot of things out there that people have clearly proposed this is what we think will work. This is what other countries have done that has worked. And that’s the other thing too is it’s like, we’re the only first-world, westernized nation in the world where this happens. We are not the only first-world, westernized nation in the world that has mental health issues. We are the only one that has personal access to guns like we do. And anything else, any other type of epidemic, any other type of social issue, you would look at those variables and realize, okay, this is the X factor. But again, we refuse to do that here because of the national conversation around the second amendment. 

Joy: It’s the national conversation around the second amendment and politicians who have made it popular to have that be such a hot-button issue that it just fires everybody up. My hope is that we can steer away from those types of politics where it’s just either-or. Like you said, why aren’t we working on one – heck, if we’re not going to make any movement with gun control – and by gun control, we’re not talking about everybody get their guns taken away –

Claire: Literally, no one is saying that.

Joy: Literally, no one is saying that. Understand, please go read what gun control actually means and get Lauren Boebert out of office because that is the problem.

Claire: She’s the one from the Western Slope, right?

Joy: She’s ridiculous.

Claire: This woman is from Colorado. Listen. The main town that’s in her district, the name of the town is Rifle. 

Joy: Yeah, and she owns a restaurant called Shooters or something.

Claire: It’s so bad, guys. Anyways. But all that to say that –

Joy: Learn. Listen. Learn. Read.

Claire: And it was just so intense to have that happen in my community and in my backyard and in my home and to feel like if you – I think we do always have that moment of, “This could have been me” or “This could have been my town,” and it finally was my town. It almost was me and it really did feel like not just abstractly that could have been my mom. No really, that could have been my mom.

Joy: As we’re talking, I’m not even joking you. As we’re talking –

Claire: I don’t want to hear it.

Joy: CNN on my Apple Watch, it says one person is dead, an officer is injured, and one person is in custody after a school shooting in Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville police say that multiple agencies are at the scene of a shooting at Austin East Magnet High School. What the actual bananas? I’m so angry that I can’t say anything more about this because I’m not going to be –

Claire: No. And with the Boulder shooting, the week before it was the shooting incident in Atlanta. Since then, there have been other shootings. I can’t even recall all of them, and it’s horrible that I can’t recall all of them because these are people’s families and communities, and they’re happening so frequently and with such – again, no pun intended – rapid fire that you can’t even process them and move on. You have to just let them kind of bounce off you. And I think that’s the other issue. At an emotional level, almost have no choice but to normalize it because you can’t grieve every single one or you would never be able to live your life. And that’s horrible.

Joy: I’m just at a loss. I’m just at a loss.

Claire: Alright, well that covers my recent thoughts.

Joy: So here’s the thing too. I was called to go to the CU Boulder Police Department. Some of the first responders are connected with Canine Companions, so we brought all of our dogs over to the first responders. It was wonderful. It was five minutes from the grocery store where this happened. I debated and I debated because I’m just like, ugh, do I want to go there? It’s a memorial site now. And I was just like, you know what Joy, I’m going to go there with Cadet. I had Cadet with me. I’m going to go there if there’s a place to park – Because I didn’t want to be disrespectful. There’s a huge crowd. I’m not going to be disrupting that neighborhood even more. I found a place to park. Cadet and I walked up and down the street. We saw the huge chain-link fence where they had hundreds of bouquets and signs, and it really was just such a beautiful – for something so tragic, you could see there’s a car in the parking lot with the windshields blown out. You see the aftermath. But you see also this wall around it, and I heard on our beautiful Kyle Clark show that one of the victims’ partners was like – people were debating whether or not those memorials were helpful. It wasn’t a debate. It was just a discussion. He was like, “I really am so glad that it’s there because I don’t have to see the place where my wife died.” It’s a barrier around it, and it’s this beautiful memorial. So many cards and flowers. And of course it’s Boulder, so people are so artsy, it’s awesome. Writing these cool poems. Then it’s political of posters saying why are we doing this again, the whole call to action for the government to do something. It just felt really good to be around people, especially with this pandemic. It was outside. It was a beautiful day. People came up to pet Cadet. They didn’t even talk to me, and I didn’t want them to. But that’s the beauty of having her with me or people just needed to pet her. Then you’d have small conversations and talk to some of the news people and then you just keep walking. But it was just like, you needed to feel that grief within the community. You’re all grieving together, even though you’re not directly related to the victims. But the whole city is grieving, and you just feel that special vibe of Boulder. If you haven’t been to Boulder, there’ s no place like it. I think too the taint of that, it’s tainted. I think that everyone is mourning in so many different ways. I can’t explain it. It was really beautiful and sad and tragic. And now we have another shooting that I haven’t read because we’re doing a podcast. This just has to stop. What do we do next? What are the actions? Please go onto Moms Demand Action. I sign up for their texts all the time. They do little text messages if there’s something in your area that you can sign up for, a letter that you can send to your representatives, to your legislators. Do something, get involved.

Claire: Okay. So the other wildly controversial thing – I wish that gun control wasn’t wildly controversial, but it is. The other much more controversial, maybe, that I wanted to talk a little bit about as we’re all starting to get vaccinated. I had my first dose of the vaccine. Colorado opened up vaccine access to everyone – is it over 16 or over 18?

Joy: I think it’s over 16 now.

Claire: Yeah. So that was fairly recent. So now that vaccine access is becoming much more open to everyone, I am definitely seeing a lot more conversations around the difference – and I’ve been seeing this this whole time, but I think now that it’s becoming more the reality that people are in the moment of having the make the decision instead of it being this sort of abstract in the future I’ll have to decide. One thing that I wanted to talk about is the difference between being “anti-vax.” When I think of anti-vaxers, I think of conspiracy theory and misinformation. Versus being somebody who is skeptical of the system o skeptical of the science. I think for me, a big thing that I’ve realized in the last couple of weeks is that I remember when we had that episode with JK where he was talking about, you know how he has his Help Me Understand podcast. 

Joy: Right.

Claire: One thing we talked about was this assumption that a lot of us have. Like, if I disagree with you, I will have a conversation to explain my viewpoint. But at the end of the day, I’m really coming from the place of, I will explain this to you because I think that once you understand me you’re going to change your mind and agree with me. So many of us pretend to be open-minded about having these conversations when in reality, we’re truly trying to change someone’s mind. And it just made me think when it comes to vaccines and people who are skeptical of vaccines and particularly the COVID vaccine, I really started thinking anyone who is against the vaccine is against the vaccine because of misinformation.

Joy: And there’s also the Black community who has –

Claire: No, no, no. I’m saying these were my beliefs. This is what I was thinking. I know the Black community has a whole history of horrible medical misinformation and particularly with vaccines. When I’m thinking of the wellness influencers that I am seeing who are anti-COVID vaccine, they are like that because they’re getting bad, bogus info. They think it’s going to have a microchip. They think that it’s going to change their DNA. They think it’s going to make them infertile. They think Bill Gates planned the pandemic so that he could implant 5G internet into their bodies. Whatever the case may be. That was the story that I had in my head of the only reason that you would be against this vaccine is because you believe a conspiracy theory.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: Or maybe you are part of the tiny, tiny percentage of society that truly has a known medical – you know, like you’re allergic to MRNA. That’s an extreme, simplified example. You know what I mean. You have a known autoimmune thing that makes it really dangerous for you to take vaccines. In my mind, I’m thinking anyone who is skeptical and not going to get the COVID vaccine, it’s because they are believing bogus info. And the more that I hear from different people in my life and really take the time to listen, I have realized that that’s not necessary the case. Of course, it’s not. Because of course it’s not. But I’m just being transparent here about what I was thinking. A lot of people right now are finding themselves in this really tricky position of this public discourse around vaccines being so – when in your life have you ever asked someone, “Are you vaccinated?” “Oh my gosh, I’m getting vaccinated.” “Here’s my picture of my vax card.” And now people for whatever reason are not interested in getting vaccinated or distrustful of the medical system or are concerned about side effects, thinking about the long-term implications that we don’t know about. For them, the risk analysis of getting COVID just doesn’t hit as close to home, whatever the case may be. They’re now in this weird position of feeling shamed for having those questions. I don’t really have an answer for, okay, here’s what we do now. But I’ve just been really thinking about how I had to challenge my beliefs that the only people who weren’t rushing out to get the vaccine were doing it because they thought it was going to give them bodily wifi. And that there are a lot of people out there who have legitimate questions but are feeling really shamed about asking those questions.

Joy: Right. Because if you’re just kind of lumped up – it’s kind of similar to people who are all about Trump. Like, oh, I have an assumption about you. When not necessarily. Maybe there’s just politics who are Republican really like, and it’s not like they’re all for Trump. It’s kind of similar to people who are scared of the vaccine doesn’t mean they’re anti-vaxers, which I also think let’s not put a title on them. People who question something that they’re putting into their body, they’re right to ask that question. And it all of the sudden becomes a team. You’re either pro-vaccine or you’re against it. It’s a really good question. Because when have we just stopped being able to be like, you can ask the question, you can get informed without being attacked, “You don’t trust science.”

Claire: Right. And I think that there is also the very serious reality that we need X% of a population to get vaccinated if we want to come out on top of this pandemic and that we as a whole society need to sort of agree. Almost none of us are like, “Woohoo, I have absolutely no hang-ups on this whatsoever, and I’m totally positive that this is going to be fine, and I don’t care about side effects, and I don’t care about” you know whatever. I think a lot of us have done everything we can to get the information that we feel is helpful to us. And also, what a weird year where we’ve been getting our medical information from the news.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I’m really ready for that to be over. But it just makes it so much more – it’s so impersonalized.

Joy: And there’s also inherently the news is not trusted. I’m just saying. People always go, “Well, is this really true?” 

Claire: They’re only telling you what they want you to know.

Joy: And then politics and politicians and Fauci. Even though he’s awesome Fauci, he’s in the White House and people have feelings about the White House.

Claire: Right. Even though he’s a lifelong, like this is his career –

Joy: Right, like lifelong career.

Claire: Right. He also is inherently involved in politics. I’ve been trying to figure out, how do I have that conversation and allow for that space of the doubt and of the questions while still firmly believing that the majority of us need to sort of go for it. And obviously, Brandon’s a nurse. You work in healthcare. For us, it’s never really been a question of whether or not we would get vaccinated. It’s never really been a question of we’ve just been at such a higher risk for this whole past year that the moment it was available, it was like of course this is such a relief to me. The risk I’ve been at and my whole family has been at for the past year has been so stress-inducing and insane that I will do anything to get out of that scenario. But a lot of people feel the opposite. They’re like, “We made it work this past year and we don’t have high-risk people in our immediate circle and my family is at peace at what the risks are and we’re not worried about it.” I don’t understand that viewpoint. It’s not a viewpoint that I can empathize with really at all. Because for me the risk has felt so immediate and knocking on my door every day. But I’m just trying to have more of an open-minded position, of not just immediately jumping to a conclusion about people who are still not sold.

Joy: I think that’s a good practice for a lot of things, to just be like, “Help me understand.” I’m just going to quote JK this entire episode. Help me understand. For me, I’ve been working at the vaccine clinics and I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of people get the vaccine with, at least the days that I’ve been there, not one person having an adverse reaction. Not a one. Even for people coming to get the second dose. And normally they want to tell you everything, they want to talk to you. It’s just nothing but a positive experience and people who are so excited to get and have a good experience with it. Just everybody is going to come around to their own decisions, whether they get it or not. But I think what has been difficult for this pandemic is what someone referred to as a huge group project with the entire world where some people feel like they’re doing something to move it forward and move us past the pandemic, and then we look at people having huge parties in Florida and we’re like, “Ugh, you just ruined everything that I’m trying to do.” It’s really hard because we all want to judge and point fingers and blame. It’s really been difficult. I think it brings a lot of anger and judgement for sure.

Claire: I don’t really have a wrapped-up bow of that. I think the way that I’ve talked about it and the way that I’ve been thinking about it. In a way, I don’t even want to leave room for questions because I so badly want to get this over with, and I know that for better or worse this is the only chance we have. Again, I think that when it comes down to it, if we had another solution I would be all for it. But we don’t. This is the solution that we have to work with, and I’m willing to do that. And I think I’ve been so in that mindset of, don’t ask questions, just get this fixed. 

Joy: Just get this fixed so we can move on.

Claire: Exactly. But now that it’s been opened up to that many more people and I think people are really having to get – it’s not, “I’m not eligible yet.” It’s, “No, I’m not planning on getting vaccinated.”

Joy: Yeah, everyone’s pretty eligible in most areas. 

Claire: It’s coming down to that personal choice, and I’m really having to open my mind into having those conversations with the people who – and the people who are close to me in my life potentially, like close friends or whoever. If they have that answer of, “No, my family’s not planning on getting vaccinated,” I can’t have a knee jerk reaction of like, “Oh, where’s your tin foil hat?”

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Even though I want to a little bit.

Joy: Yeah, it’s been a hard year of conversations, of trying to understand. It really has.

Claire: I just want a year where we’re not getting medical advice from the news or nobody gets shot while they’re grocery shopping. I saw this great reel. It was like a TikTok. First of all, can I just say that I appreciate that the best of Twitter and the best of TikTok ultimately ends up on Instagram, so I can just consolidate my –

Joy: I deleted both of our Twitter accounts by the way everybody.

Claire: Bye.

Joy: I am doing a mass exodus of social media. That felt so good, and it will continue.

Claire: I mean, we never tweeted.

Joy: No, we never tweeted.

Claire: So on Instagram, I saw a reel that was from TikTok. It was this guy that was like, “I can’t wait to stop panicking every day about the pandemic so that I can go back to panicking every day about climate change.” And I was like, I kind of feel that way. I’m excited to panic about something that I want to panic about.

Joy: Remember when we had Mark on from Thailand and we were just all about it.

Claire: Oh my gosh, regenerative agriculture is my jam.

Joy: Right before the pandemic.

Claire: Yes, it was.

Joy: Right before.

Claire: Which speaking of Mark, he is wonderful, and we have been talking to him about potentially having a conversation on the podcast about what it was like to go through COVID in Thailand. I actually feel like it might be cool – I know we have a lot of listeners from all around the world – to do a couple of mini-conversations into one episode. What was pandemic life like in Thailand, in Dubai, in Sweden, in Japan, places where we know we have these listeners. If that’s something you would be interested in, let us know.

Joy: Or just send us a voice memo. Let’s bring some voice memos back. Tell us what it was like. Because scheduling with people all over the country is –

Claire: Slash world.

Joy: All over the world is very difficult. Send us a voice memo.

Claire: So there you go, great idea. If you want, please send us – it can be a couple minutes long because then we can stitch these together into a bonus episode.

Joy: We’ll allow for longer than a minute for these.

Claire: Maybe four or five minutes. Maybe talk about how the pandemic shook out in your town and in your country. And if you have a reference point of knowing anybody in the United States and how that situation all was happening at the same time, maybe relate it back to the US so we all kind of know. Because most of our listeners are based in the US, we can have a little bit of a baseline. That would be really interesting.

Joy: I want to hear from all corners, all corners of the earth.

Claire: Please. Couldn’t have been worse than what we did. Although, you know, some things – for example, Maxine our au pair, she’s from Brazil and they’ve had a very similar political climate to the US with their president being sort of a COVID denier and an anti-vaccine and all that. On top of that, something that she talked about early on in the pandemic that I thought was really interesting and that I completely take for granted is that in Brazil, most people don’t have wifi in their house. Or maybe not most people, but it’s not that common. Maybe you live in an apartment building that has an area that has wifi in a common area, or you don’t necessarily have streaming quality internet in your home. You have just enough to check your email and do some stuff, but not enough to video chat all day every day. And I realized I completely take for granted that so many areas of the US have really high-quality internet. And then, of course we heard quite a lot at the beginning of the pandemic about should internet be seen as a basic need utility. Because there are so many areas in rural America and intercity areas and in lower income areas that don’t have good access. When we wall went into being at home, it really became obvious that internet is just as critical as electricity for survival in a situation like this. It was interesting to me to realize there are a lot of things I take for granted. And I’m like, yeah, the US had it as worse as possible. But actually, there are a lot of things that could have made it harder.

Joy: Yeah, I would love to hear from everybody about what their experience was. And just backing up for a second about how we were talking about judgement and about how this whole year has really put us into judging one another really strongly is I, because my family’s all vaccinated, I decided to plan a trip to see my brother and my sister-in-law and my nieces and my nephew in May.  Because once I heard the CDC say that it’s – I don’t want to say they said it’s okay, but that you can travel if you’re fully vaccinated. Wear a mask. I decided to book a trip to see my family because I am so excited to see them. It’s been over a year and a half since I’ve seen my nieces and my nephew, who just turned 15 and I want to cry about it. That’s something where I was thinking about, yeah, even two months ago, I was just like, “I can’t believe people are traveling” and how we are going to make our decisions on our own, and everyone’s living their life. Please everybody, just do the best we can with this huge pandemic. But when I heard the CDC say they are okay with people traveling, I was like, okay, I feel good with that because that’s just how I live my life. I’m a rule follower. It’s not to say that everyone who traveled during the pandemic before that was not a rule follower, but I think it’s just hard when we’re trying to move forward to be like we’re not there yet, we’re not there yet, we’re not there yet. You hear messages of people being like, you’re not there yet. I could come back and they could be like, “Wow, things are really bad. You shouldn’t have traveled.”

Claire: And on that topic, we are truly deep in the research planning of our first post-pandemic podcast trip. We asked some questions on Instagram stories last week, and I think we’re going to keep this first trip somewhere in the Central America zone. A lot of you guys wanted to go to Fiji, Bali, 15+ hour plane ride. And I’m all for that. Joy is going to be a tougher sell. It might just be a Claire and friends podcast trip to Bali in 2023. But we’re thinking probably spring or very early summer 2022, most likely Central America. We are going to try to give you guys as much heads up and additional pre-information as possible. The group that we used to do our custom trips with doesn’t do custom trips anymore. We were one of their last ones for our Iceland trip. So if you have a great custom trip company that you have gone on a trip with them before or that you’ve even worked with before, we would love some recommendations. Please send them our way. I just want to go somewhere with my friends.

Joy: Oh my gosh, I know. And it’s so fun to dream about that and the trips and hear people when you did that online little survey of where people want to go. I’m like, people would actually go travel and they’re really excited to go travel, and this would be such a fun trip. I can only imagine how excited we all would be if we got to travel together. So really excited to hear your ideas. Send them our way.

Claire: Yes, absolutely. Oh my goodness, I feel like we’ve covered so many heavy things. We dove right in.

Joy: It’s another week. We really have. Heavy stuff happens. Life can be heavy, but we’d love to hear what you guys think if you want to hear other topics in the coming weeks. Please email us thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. We read every single one of your emails. You can find us on social media @joyandclaire_ on Instagram. We’re off Twitter, that’s gone. We barely use Facebook. I would like to say I am very much considering a social media cleanse, if you will. I was thinking about it the other day where I was like, it doesn’t bring anything really substantial to my life. If anything, it makes me sad.

Claire: It helps new people find us. That’s one of our number one priorities for this podcast. If it wasn’t one of our number one priorities, we would have been off Instagram forever ago. We love sharing our lives with you, but I think that there are other ways for us to do that. We have yet to come up with the best way to help other people find us. Do you want to close with going back over some really old would you rathers? These are all on our Instagram story highlights, so if you want to play along you can. We have a would you rather highlight. This is from three years ago, so I think we should revisit.

Joy: Okay, yeah, let’s see if my answer is the same.

Claire: Would you rather live in an igloo with all of your friends or on a beautiful island by yourself.

Joy: Beautiful island by myself, please.

Claire: I would way rather live in an igloo with my friends.

Joy: No way. I’m alone. I read all the books – I don’t know what books they were, just fictional books about people on islands. That was all I was drawn to. And Nancy Drew. I was reading Nancy Drew when I was very young.

Claire: Okay, would you rather be a backup dancer for your favorite singer or a stunt double for your favorite actor?

Joy: Oh my gosh, backup dancer.

Claire: I know, you would definitely be a backup dancer. 

Joy: At 43, really that dream is not possible, but one of my dreams is to be a backup dancer in a music video.

Claire: Maybe if you get to be like 80, I could see an artist doing a music video with a bunch of 80-year-olds. I would watch that.

Joy: It’s her lifelong dream. Let’s make it happen for her. Okay.

Claire: Would you rather climb Mount Everest or run across America? Those both sound like horrible options.

Joy: Mount Everest I just saw a news story about this, and it looks so intense. I feel like running across America, I could run and go to fun bars and eat at places.

Claire: I could just run between pizza stores.

Joy: Yeah, that’s what I would do. I think that’d be fun. That’d be enjoyable.

Claire: Yeah, it doesn’t put a time on running across America. It would take years.

Joy: So I’ll take my time and I’ll just run to restaurants.

Claire: Climbing Everest sounds horrible.

Joy: Did you see that story, was it before COVID when people were stuck on the train to get to the top of Mount Everest? And people were dying.

Claire: Did you hear how they were going to solve that problem?

Joy: No.

Claire: They’re not actually addressing the problem. They’re banning photography.

Joy: [gasp] What?

Claire: Because it was such a controversial photo.

Joy: Well yeah, people were saying they were stepping over dead bodies.

Claire: I mean, that always happens. You can’t evacuate dead bodies on Mount Everest. If you die, people are left. 

Joy: [gasps]

Claire: You didn’t know that?

Joy: No.

Claire: If you die on Everest, they leave your body. And the following season, they can try to come back and evacuate part – because if you’re up there, if you’re at 20,000+ feet, you yourself are in such a state of rapid deterioration that you can’t carry someone else’s body back down. That’s why people die up there is you can’t evacuate them.

Joy: Oh my gosh, I never knew that. That’s crazy. And so sad. I’m not making light of it at all. I’m just, holy cow. That’s insane.

Claire: Okay, would you rather have a personal stylist for your wardrobe or your house.

Joy: Wardrobe.

Claire: House. Definitely house.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: Would you rather be able to read your partner’s mind or have them be able to read your mind?

Joy: Oh, my partner. He doesn’t need to see what’s going on up here.

Claire: Yeah, absolutely.

Joy: My husband would probably be like, “Video games, Pearl Jam, video games, Pearl Jam, basketball.” That’s all it would be. It would be so cute.

Claire: “I want to go outside.”

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Would you rather be an athlete in the winter or summer Olympics.

Joy: Summer.

Claire: I feel like winter. I want to be like a bobsledder.

Joy: I want to be a lizard in the sun. I just want to be in the sunshine.

Claire: Summer Olympics, Joy.

Joy: I know.

Joy and Claire: [laughing]

Joy: I’m going to lay out when I rest.

Claire: Okay. Would you rather be a seat-filler at the Oscars or at the Grammy’s?

Joy: Oscars, because maybe I’ll sit –

Claire: Definitely the Oscars.

Joy: – in like Meryl Streep’s seat. Or I don’t know.

Claire: I know. Although I feel like your fashion choices for the Grammy’s would be more fun.

Joy: For sure. Like Beyoncé’s outfits and Lady Gaga’s, oh my gosh.

Claire: Okay, let’s see here. Let’s do three or four more.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: Would you rather shave your head once or never cut your hair again?

Joy: Shave my head once. I want to be sensitive to that question because I know this is not withstanding –

Claire: Like involuntary hair loss.

Joy: Yeah, this is not withstanding involuntary, like having to shave your head. Yeah.

Claire: Yeah. I would rather shave my head once. Would you rather fly on the back of a dragon or a magic carpet?

Joy: Dragon. Game of Thrones.

Claire: Definitely dragon. I was thinking more like How to Train Your Dragon, but that’s the difference between your life and my life. Would you rather have woodland creatures help you clean your house or magic brooms?

Joy: Oh, magic brooms would be so fun.

Claire: Haven’t you seen Fantasia? 

Joy: I know, it is kind of scary, it is kind of scary. In Cinderella, the little mice. Oh, so cute.

Claire: Definitely. Much more good will. Because magic brooms are not filled with good will.

Joy: That’s true. The birds unfold her clothes.

Claire: Would you rather have a genie or a fairy godmother?

Joy: Fairy godmother.

Claire: Yeah, definitely. She can help you forever. Genie’s only three wishes. Okay, last one. Would you rather have your farts smell like expensive luxury perfume or your breath smell like fresh baked bread? 

Joy: [laughing]

Claire: I know you’d pick the farts one because you want to smell expensive.

Joy: No, I was just thinking it would be so much to have your breath smell like fresh baked bread. But we’re wearing mask right now, so no one can smell your breath.

Claire: You know what it smells like. Imagine you smelling it all the time.

Joy: That’s true. Do you ever think about the people who have bad breath? Recently in the past year, I’m like finally the people I talk to who have bad breath, maybe they’ll finally understand that they have bad breath because they have to smell their own breath. That’s a thought that I’ve had in the past year.

Claire: I was just talking about this with Brandon last night. I read this meme that was like the 2020 version of a Dutch oven is burping in your mask. I was like, oh, that’s so gross. But it’s so true.

Joy: That’s so gross. 

Claire: Gross, but true.

Joy: Oh my gosh. 

Claire: Well on that note, I’m glad you guys are all being left with that beautiful image.

Joy: I’m glad you’re still here. If you’re still here, we applaud you.

Claire: Alright guys, well don’t forget you can follow us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can email us at thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. Please send us a message, send us a note, leave us a review wherever you find your podcasts. It’s so helpful for us when you rate and review. Please share our podcast with a friend. Share it in your Instagram stories. Send it in one of those email chains that’s like, “If you don’t pass this on to seven people, you’re going to have bad luck.” Do it. It’s the best way you can help support us. We really love that you’re here, and we’re really glad that you’re listening to us. We will talk to you next week.

Joy: Bye guys.

Claire: Bye.

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