R(0) & The Real Numbers

The daily cases of positive SARS-CoV2 are rising in several states. Newspapers and Govt. channels are providing the total positive cases detected daily. However, a visibility on the total burden of positive cases is not available despite knowing the daily stats. Often, it is erroneously thought that the cumulative numbers are less.

In this blog, I have talked about the incidence and prevalence of the persons affected that are shedding the viruses in the community, both from the symptomatic and asymptomatic perspective. The average number a symptomatic patient sheds virus and the average number an asymptomatic person sheds the virus is based on the the referenced scientific data. The details are mentioned in this blog.

This blog provides us a perspective on the cumulative cases within a community as well as how long should we continue lock down amidst the airborne nature of the virus.

Let me explain the concept of incidence and prevalence.

Incidence is the new cases occurring in that period, whereas prevalence is the cumulative cases existing during that period. If I presume the incidence at the time of collection of the swab is 10,000, and the asymptomatic is 5x to 10x (let us call it A), the total burden of positive cases is in that proportion.

If we are to presume the disease persists for 14 -21 days in its mild form, then the prevalence now is 14x-21x the multiple of A. If I go by some researchers, the asymptomatic shed the virus for 21-28 days.

That’s the total burden of test-positive cases.

Airborne precautions are likely to be scaled up on the risk stratification. All those risk color charts floating around are likely unreliable for this simple reason. To make it simple, I will just make two categories –


Non-essential are all those without which we can survive.

You may naturally ask, until when should we live like this? It’s not too long, vaccines and drugs are on the horizon. Also, though the virus is still aggressive, it will likely become less aggressive in the future. So, let’s wait before taking an unrequired risk.

Shashank Heda
Dallas, Texas

Coronavirus – A Weekly Roundup

Friends, ‘First a Happy Friday’. Let us round up the events of this week (June 15, 2020) as we have seen exciting and not so exciting stories for this week. Let us demystify those one after the other – Dexamethasone, Testing, Huge Second wave, Unscientific Americans, declining Antibody titer.


This steroid is suddenly touted as a panacea for mankind to protect its herd from Coronavirus. Let me say, Dexamethasone is used only for seriously ill patients. The drug has been shown to reduce the mortality in severely ill COVID patients those on a ventilator. So, make a note – It is for severely ill patients on a ventilator. It is not for prevention or cure of mild or moderate disease, and of course not for asymptomatic carriers.

How does this help me as a common man? This is not for prevention or cure of the mild to moderate disease. Other drugs and vaccines are in the pipeline.


The percentage of positive tests is rising across the Sunbelt, Arizona has 15.9%, Texas 7.9%, and Florida is high. Rising temperature and spreading Corona has dispelled a myth, that it is associated with Cold. Beyond numbers, an average of 5% – 8% positive are considered within the normal range for a pandemic (ideal is 0%), however, when the numbers rise above 8% it is time for a lockdown. However, let us understand, if the probability of positivity is 8% that means you have a 92% probability of negative test results, or in other words, 1 in 10 patients will test positive with a similar spectrum of symptoms.

Let us look at these 1 out of 10 positive cases. The probability of mild disease (given you have no risk factors) is 80%, another 15% have a probability of moderate disease and 5% have a grave outcome. It is surprising that Corona takes a toll on the young and healthy, and spares often the elderly recover from the disease. Another aspect is the residual scarring after recovery. Both these aspects mandate taking deferring unrequired risk.

How does this help me as a common man? The symptoms between Coronavirus and other respiratory virus overlap a lot. It is wise to get tested and be confirmed negative, rather than deny it and get delayed help.

What is an unrequired risk?

I see several kids interacting in my neighborhood, adults taking a stroll, and few doing their business without masks or adequate protection protocol after presumed exposure. Of course, Coronavirus is not a cloud. So if you have an asymptomatic person taking a stroll in the 2-3 hours window preceding your stroll (let us add no wind current during this time), he has left behind a cloud of virus-laden aerosol which you will naturally inhale. I presume you recollect how tightly the S protein binds to the ACE2 receptors of the human cells. (@ COVIDRxExChange.Org; Visit http://www.covidrxexchange.org).

How does this help me as a common man? It is best to avoid walking in a public place until the second wave has waned.

The Second Wave

We predicted it right before Memorial Day that a second wave is in offing. What I failed to predict was the Floyd Protests and the huge second wave due to claustrophobia. This wave is huge and I will not be surprised to see another lockdown. However, the economy has exhausted its appetite for another lockdown, and only when the hospital beds are exhausted, that they will say, “Flatten the Curve” and impose another lockdown. Let us not worry about the schools reopening in fall. Fall is too long, let us follow R0 (naught).

How does this help me as a common man? 99.99% is not enough; do not let your guards down. Follow precautions as stringently as possible.

Unscientific Americans –

Dr. Fauci is right when he said, Americans are unscientific. Look at the malls, the beaches, and the pool parties. What is the point in having a six feet separation?

How does this help me as a common man? Follow precautions as stringently as possible. Try to understand the science behind the cause and effect. Model your life according to the scientific principles. I would visit CDC guidelines and follow those as strictly as possible.

Antibody Titer

Reports have started emanating that the antibody titers wane after 2-3 months. It does sound scary as the protection from the previous disease (in the exposed and affected) lasts only for 3 months. Well, I want to assure you, cross-reacting antibodies and memory persist and even if re-exposure happens, this memory gets activated and will build a faster immune response. This is how all vaccines work.

How does this help me as a common man? I won’t worry if I read news about waning titer after 2-3 months. My small pox childhood vaccination still offers me a lifelong protection.

Quiz time –

If you inhale one virus, how many daughter coronaviruses are produced in 24 hours?

Shashank Heda, Dallas, Texas (June 19, 2020)

Karen and Rohingya – Shared Legacy

Yet another sordid story of immigrant plight, like Rohingyas are thrown out of Myanmar, Karen, originally a tribe from Myanmar, are dislodged from Thailand. Painful with pathos. Worth a read and ponder why this is happening.


‘When you’re doing the right thing, you have to keep fighting, even if it means you may lose your life.’. “And after he said that, I couldn’t ask him to stop,” she recalls.

“We Karens respect nature as our God. We worship a water God, a forest God and every living thing in the forest. Our farming technique is environmentally friendly. And we grow things we can consume all year round.

Thailand’s disappeared Karen activist Billy and the burned village

Human ‘Engineered Babies’ Not Ok?

Gene editing and Eugenics has been in vogue within the scientific community for over 50 years now. However, there is a taboo or phobia within human mind of modifying or re-engineering the human genome. Part of the concerns are ethical and part imperfections associated with any scientific experiments. Our ambivalence is seen while we promote Bt crop and edit genes for diseases but oppose re-engineered because of ethical reasons. I have cited select reasons for our ambivalence without providing a way out since I believe, that is subject to interpretations.

Word Count: 1173; Time to Read – 5-6 minutes; Expertise – Curious Mind.

The Advent Of Dolly

Dolly – An ingenuous experiment conducted in the late nineties, depicted a clone being developed from a mature differentiated cell. As the world believed, it was a landmark event. However, little did they realize that such experiments of creating newer varieties were already conducted by Humans in producing the best yielding agricultural varieties in the late ’60s. Until then, mixing and creating a newer gene pool was within the realms of nature alone. Humans made the stride but it was silent, never associated with any opposition. Instead, these events were applauded across unchallenged. It never crossed our definition of ethos and tailoring when it was done by nature or humans until it remained restricted to plants.

CRISPR Babies Project

CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) are patterns of DNA sequences found in the genomes of bacteria and other microorganisms. If a virus threatens, the bacteria use the CRISPR immune system to identify and destroy the viral genome. Scientists have adopted this system to use in cells from animals and, now, humans. Cas9 is an enzyme that works like a pair of “molecular scissors”. A guide molecule is programmed to tell the enzyme exactly where to cut in the DNA sequence.

CCR5 Plus Minus

He Jiankui was a noted scientist working in Bay area, until he was invited by the Chinese Government, as part of the ‘Thousand Talents Plan’. He masterminded the engineering of designer babies who would be immune to HIV (and AIDS). The CRISPR babies project entailed eliminating a gene called CCR5 with the hopes of rendering the offspring resistant to HIV, smallpox, and cholera. I would like to remind readers of our BT resistant seeds. BT Crops such as Cotton, Corn, Eggplants, Potato, Tomato, Rice, Sugarcane and Poplar are few of the agro products that are Bt transformed. They are disease resistant plus the promoters claim that they provide a higher yield.

If Bt crop is not bad, why modification of CCR5 gene a bad idea? After all, it modifies the immunity by increasing the resistance to HIV, and other diseases.

Designer babies Dilemma

DNA Editing

The scientific community raised key objections for characterizing He Jiankui’s gene-editing plan. Amongst those are –

1. The technology is ethically charged because changes to an embryo would be inherited by future generations and could eventually affect the entire gene pool.

“We have never done anything that will change the genes of the human race, and we have never done anything that will have effects that will go on through the generations,” David Baltimore, a biologist and former president of the California Institute of Technology, who chairs the international summit proceedings, said in a pre-recorded message ahead of the event, which begins Tuesday, November 27. The risks of introducing unwanted mutations or yielding a baby whose body is composed of some edited and some unedited cells. Data on the Chinese trial site indicate that one of the fetuses is a “mosaic” of cells that had been edited in different ways.

2. One risk of CRISPR is that it can introduce accidental or “off-target” mutations. But He claimed he found few or no unwanted changes in the test embryos.

A gene-editing scientist, Fyodor Urnov, associate director of the Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences, a nonprofit in Seattle, reviewed the Chinese documents and said that, while incomplete, they do show that “this effort aims to produce a human” with altered genes. Urnov called the undertaking cause for “regret and concern over the fact that gene editing—a powerful and useful technique—was put to use in a setting where it was unnecessary.”

Science knows it very well that the retrovirus genome is embedded into our noncoding genome (exons). Can anything be done to these exons? We have examples where viruses cause germline mutations that are inherited from generation to generation? The proponents of this hypothesis emphasize that it is the nature that induces these aberrations. If nature can randomly induce these aberrations, why can’t humans try? Has there been an experiment that has worked perfectly from the get-go? Errors drive perfection and such human endeavors into Eugenics will eventually be perfected.

3. Aren’t Industry innovations driven by profit or fame?

Investigators from Guangdong Province Health Commission said that He had conducted the work “in pursuit of personal fame and fortune, with self-raised funds and deliberate evasion of supervision and private recruitment of related personnel.” The authorities also said He forged ethical review documents and blood tests to circumvent a ban on assisted reproduction for HIV-positive patients.

State Induced Definition of ‘the outer limit‘ of right?

What is Right or Correct? Ethics and morals always evoke discussions and expose our deep-seated differences of ideologies anchored to our understanding. Somewhere, we have never understood our own evolution; we presume we rose through the ranks of Neanderthals… to Homo sapiens. Evidence has started mounting that we could have not made that leap from apes to Homo sapiens (and the current Homo Teknicon), without such experiments.

The Ethics of Discovery, Artificial Intelligence, Eugenics

To address the ethical concerns Stanford Institute of Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence is exploring the option of leveraging AI to reduce the shortfalls of human scientific endeavors and march towards perfection that can be called Ethical. In my view, eventually, ethics is so subjective and prone to interpretations of the perceptions from religious, scientific and natural interpretations.

There is a significant gap between the evolution of mankind (300,000 years) and the recent human history, which dates back to not more than 15000-30000 years at best. What happened during these 270,000 years? That hiatus has been a subject of exploration and we are gradually unraveling those horizons where we have possibly started accumulating little shreds of evidence of possible gene (pool) mixing.

It is too early to call that the above hypothesis to be proven right, but if it is eventually proven correct, posterity will prove that this scientist was possibly not wrong.

My personal view is that we, humans are not capable of understanding ourselves and such studies may be lopsided since there is a potential to produce chimeric havoc. However, I can counter my own fear with the recent genetic studies in agriculture where we have produced better yielding varieties including disease-resistant BT species.

It arouses my curiosity to understand that human beings are ready for consuming genetically modified crops, ready to gene therapy for treating genetics diseases but not yet ready to engineer their babies while they are in situ. As Hoover Institute pointed it out, “We don’t need a moratorium. We need to push the frontiers of medicine to cure more patients”.



As you might have noted, my own ambivalence will gradually tilt in one direction with mounting evidence. I know I am just part of the global wave of such ideologues. However, these are interesting times.

Public Views of Gene Editing for Babies Depend on How It Would Be Used

China jails ‘gene-edited babies’ scientist for three years

Bt Insect Resistant Technology

AI and Ethics

Think Tanks – How gene editing is changing the world

Wahhabism Versus Sufism and Ahmadias

Why is Islam in AfPak degrading with anarchy and radicalism, while Malaysia, Indonesia, and South East are evolving into civilized societies despite practicing Islam?

Not sure, but if one can speculate, economic regression and lack of education play a prominent role in keeping those anarchists (and their mullahs) at busy with the religious cause. Opportunities and education, conversely, will keep these elements in control.

Another cause, which has long been usurped, in AfPak including Kashmir, that their land is in trouble. Those from the middle east suffer from crusader syndrome (just created this word, so don’t say you knew it), which the followers from distant southeast Asia don’t align with.

Also, the shades of Wahhabism gradually fade and dilute, as you reach distant land. Only if Sufism or Ahmadias start taking over will we see a recession in radical Islam.

No one can deny having met absolutely superhuman beings from Islam. So, if Islam were to be bad, all these folks would too. The problem is not with Islam, the problem is with the brand of Islam. Islam has several flavors, and it is deeply subject to interpretation. The educated and elite know how to interpret Islam, the uneducated, deprived of economic opportunities and without a milieu to question or reflect, never get to know the real Islam. Added to that, economic regression, war and a constant barrage of the threat to their religion/region create a cauldron for a radical brand. More so, the Wahhabism school is a firebrand, whereas the Sufism and Ahmadis are more open and relatively evolved.

Generally, in any society, irrespective of religion, the sane are polite and modest in interaction, whereas, those who are less mature are aggressive and to some extent, go unscathed. This phenomenon also exists amongst the practitioners of Islam. Those educated and elite, take a nonaggressive modest humble approach and those irrational and uneducated take aggressive approaches. Consequently, the sane voice is diluted and the aggressive one heard.

Islam is good, those interpreting Islam (aggressive Mullah’s) are responsible for its defamation. That also means practitioners of any religion define its class and interpretations. No religion is barred from this, including Hindu radicals and fanatics.

Election fever – How it resonates with NRI

Recent messages by most ruling elite are not connected with either of these two features and given the propensity for resentment, it is very likely that their messages won’t resonate with the ordinary. People want action and not messages and messaging is anyways choked because of recent laws, compliance and activism. My thoughts are captured in the blog earlier.

Waiting for Godot Samuel Beckett

It’s election fever, and though few things have changed, more change is in the air. The entire India is plugged into the election grime. Interpreting between the lines and knowing what happened in the last five years, i think the ruling elite is disconnected with its messaging on the ground. I have summarized the outcome of the general elections 2019 on the following reasons –

  1. Lack of ability to absorb diversity
  2. No attempts at building collaborations and coalition
  3. Generalized and wide sectors of business impacted by BJP
  4. Farmers woes not addressed
  5. Lack of opportunities for youngsters to work and live
  6. Concerted effort to decimate opposition
  7. Dwarfing of internal RSS decision machinery
  8. Generalized lack of trust from any initiative

For centuries now, those who wish to rule India, need to understand its diversity and another element, it’s ability to absorb differing views, and perspectives. India is not the first country to be so diverse but its heterogeneity is so deeply pervasive and percolates into several different facets, that it is hard to define. However, when it comes to realpolitics, it is absolutely difficult to ignore diversity and its ability to absorb divergent view, to the extent that it becomes a antithesis not to accept diversity. Another trait, Indian strongly believe at face value and get carried away. But if they realize the lack of substance, that trust is breached pretty much, they resent equally and it takes time to undo and rebuild.

Recent messages by BJP are not disconnected with two characteristics that define Indian voters – diversity and ability to absorb. BJP lacks either of these two features and given the propensity for resentment, it is very likely that their messages won’t resonate with the ordinary. People want action and not messages and messaging is currently choked because of recent laws, compliance and activism. 

More so, no attempts were made to build coalitions and collaborations, in fact it was a strategy to demean and deface all, including their own stalwarts. The population five years back was relatively small, as compared kids have grown to youthful vibrancy. Barring the urban elite, many are unemployed within their milieu. They are striving for opportunities and those are lacking. Farmers are not happy due to unresolved problems festering their ecosystem. Workers are not happy due to not a strong economy. Businessmen are unhappy for the unruly rollout of GST and demonitization. Regional sections are unhappy with coalition and religions are unhappy due to fear of extinction. It’s not Muslims alone, even Buddhists are not aligned. Intellectual are anyways minuscule minority and who cares for them?

Let us review what was achieved in the last five years –

  1. A solid aggressive assertiveness for Hinduism
  2. Serious attempt to choke black money and parallel economy
  3. GST rollout
  4. Stiff stand off at Doklam
  5. Active defense with Pakistan
  6. Adhar rollout (i guess I am not wrong)
  7. Partial Make in India program
  8. Securing reservations for the upper middle caste economically backwards

If I have to credit Modi, the first one is sufficient reason to stand for the Hindu cause. We heard holocaust and we resent it. Often, Modi is blamed for the 2002 riots against Muslims. Let us for a moment, believe those allegations are true. No one had the guts to call out the xenophobia when Hindus were slaughtered for centuries of Muslim’s onslaught. Wars have been the feature of humanity but decapitation and desecration on the basis of religion was never before seen as in the Muslim invaders. It is observed that, with Modi, Hindus have risen and and asserted themselves? I am not in support of the genocide of of 2002. However, we have to consciously realize to be judicious in our assessment and not ignore the slaughter created by Muslim invaders from historical times. The rise of right wing radical is just a reflection of this insult. I know my years of writing and credentials of being secular will be watered down with these thinking. Trust me, I mean no bad towards any religion and especially Muslims. I see it is is time that Hinduism is asserting and its time to reconcile increasing assertiveness.

Why Modi is a need of time?

Never had I seen a leader holding his grit as in Doklam. Never did anyone venture into Pakistan before 2019. Never was the world so aligned against terrorism, as is it now. Never did the rupee appreciated after a fall. Never did we see clean temples (and possibly cities) in a majority Hindu country. So what if demonitization was attempted and failed? At least someone tried checking the spiraling parallel economy. At least, someone someone has the will to authoritarian will to act.

GST rollout was a grand failure. Business and Economy suffered inordinately due to humps and bumps in the GST rollout. After Gandhi, Modi is the one who realizes the importance of ‘Make in India’ or relying less of foreign goods but selling good abroad. It is no brainer, but no one caught this obvious one. Another plus, that can be ascribed to the BJP Govt. is providing a reservation to the economically backward upper caste.

If you review the above, I strongly feel the wave is against Modi. However, does that mean we can rule him out? No, India does not have a strong leader yet and Modi is the only choice. He has to learn to collaborate and understand the ethos of India, not just the ethos of Hindus. It seems, a coalition is most likely with Modi leading the way.

You may or you may not vote but this is your time to cast your opinion.

Barbaric Invaders

Just imagine another example – a great culture, a thriving community with a distinct identity and a one uniquely in unison with nature in deep jungles. There are several stories of the richness of the African culture. One fine day, some Europeans realized these are gullible stock who can be captured and enslaved to work on their newly acquired land. That’s not barbarism, that ghastly criminal, barbaric are at least rudimentary and rustic, this was a pogrom. The weakness was civility and absence of gun culture, yes they had their belladonna arrows. But belladonna falls weak when the bullets rip through and these were captured as slaves. More than two hundred years now, they are gradually recuperating as a community. Is this the story of weakness? Of culture, connect or humanity? They lacked nothing except Ammonium Nitrate and the Bullet.

Fly another continent apart, down you see the Mayan and Incas and other Latin American culture. Europeans totally decimated and destroyed their country, culture and identity, killed their men and made a big Harlem of concubines. There is not enough.

Let’s turn to India, Europe or Mongols, they invaded a serenely evolved country that reached a height that no civilization competed. India was a panacea and a place of happening, a country for immigrants for thousands of years, a very welcoming one, a great land that assimilated all, that coexisted with all to usher in civility unforeseen anywhere on the blue marble. That spectacular fabric was woven by Sanatan Dharma, which evolved a philosophy that nurtured multiple facets of life, living and human cognition and potential without imposing itself. Just look at the ethnic diversity, just keep analyzing where these distinct ethnic stock might have arisen from. Swathes of civilization migrated in herds beyond their harsh terrains to establish and identify with the land beyond Hindukush to add to the gallantry of innovations from the discovery of Yogas, the Panchang, The Astrology, The Zero…To make themselves as part of these great evolved cultures. Not to tear apart with religious ideology or boundaries.

Come to Genghis Khan and his cavalry, they gutted huge libraries, plundered people and destroyed families, culture and the entire microcosm built by the finest threads of Dharma, an ultimate form of ideology, not just religious one. Then the Britishers and flocking Europeans. Waves after waves plundered and destroyed ravaged the country and its culture – that country is still recuperating its identity. Current times are a snapshot in recovery, it won’t matter if Fitz has revised its economic outlook to 6.8% from 7%. It will rise, like a Sphinx.

Let us fly a little towards southeast – let us visit this great mass of land just below the Mongols. Oh boy, several novelties, innovation, and refined culture thrived here too. Dynasties after dynasties enriched this nation, only to make it richer and deeper. Not just paper, silk but several other facets of human intellect were revealed uniquely in this land. People here hated war but often brutalized from the north, that they decided to build that wall, not to separate and stop immigration but to maintain and nurture their civilization. That Great Wall of China was recognized so much from space, that even the meteors hugged it often. Those nasty Europeans could never build it, trading spices and silk, they borrowed deep and injected heroin, to turn the civilization into decadence and dependency, ultimately looting and succumbing it to its knees. China is that civilization that is emerging as a towering figurehead from the East. Today’s is a snapshot if their GDP is receding and internal debt ballooning. It is just a matter of correction.

What is so common in these three scenarios?

The uncommon common thread between vastly separated continents.

Shashank Heda, Dallas, Texas

Unfolding Saga of Migrants

A few days back, you saw a country melting, literally, the inflation shot through the roof like a rocket. Vital parameters, such as infant and mortality, which WHO has set up as indicators of the health of a country, are fast deteriorating Provides a fertile ground for emigration.

However, emigration such as these was seen in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, several African nations. However, Latin America was spared of such mass migration. They had loose borders and little rules to govern the movement since they have a shared culture language and uniform living conditions across the Latin American continent (Brazil is an exception since they speak Portuguese). Their commonality made it possible to tolerate population movements.

However, mass migration triggered by the Venezuelan crisis will create massive issues and fragmentation of these shared bonds within these bound countries. It goes without saying that the existing and newly migrated would struggle for similar resources – be it physical, cognitive or abstract. Many would-be left homeless again after decades of finding a home in their newly found abode, recollect how India had to deprive 4 million migrants of Bangladesh. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, we will see riots from resource constraints, and if cultural fitness is an issue, possibly malalignment that is evident in Europe after they assimilated migrant Muslims from Syria.

This truly is the cauldron of the emergent future crises.

Venezuela migrant crisis: Peru tightens border controls


A Sombre reality

It is no blasphemy. Sanatan Dharma, commonly called Hindu religion, has its own artifacts and deficits. However, its greatest strengths lie in its ability to question itself, introspect and build a logical foundation for the next generation of thoughts. This very ethos of the religion aligns well with the natural pursuit of human intelligence. It is this fundamental posit that has lead to its longevity through the annals of millenia and history. However, we also have to realize that, somewhere the safeguardians have introduced aberrations and fossilized those practices not enumerated by our religious texts.

In this blog, I have taken a critical view of two such percepts – the varna system and the deprecation of women as a second class citizen by a patriarchal society. https://wp.me/p7XEWW-12n

Sounds sombre… it will only stop with women being assertive of their own rights.

So i was writing this week in response to the reaction of a Christian from a southern Indian state who felt India is changing, it was never like this before…Let’s admit, we bastardized our own religion, fossilized the great ideas given by our Lords and created this Varna system.

Concurrently, we men (gender inclusive) also created and institutionalized patriarchal system, a dominance of a male gender over female, irrespective of the merits and often at the cost of innate vulnerabilities that the fair gender is born with.

Both are in servitude towards dominance of a state, that worked for millennia, at the cost of many. It’s a time for change. Seeming change in political ideology won’t be any resemblance to the actual and deemed change to these fundamental aberrations of justice.

Both, the class and varna mobility as well as gender equality has to rein in for a true freedom.

‘I couldn’t mourn my grandmother because I had my period’