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Watch a Pennsylvania Woman Disrupt Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Who Avoided Fracking Discussion
You would be pretty frustrated if you lived in a state where politicians seemed to ignore concerns about an industry responsible for explosions and drinking water so dirty that it looks more like apple juice, right?
You might even be angry enough to speak out at a big event attended by fellow residents and gubernatorial hopefuls. Of course, you run the risk of getting escorted off the premises if your tone is deemed too confrontational or your voice too loud. Once that happens, you'll just be written off as some crazy person, regardless how valid your points are.
That's what happened to Elizabeth Arnold when she attended a recent Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial debate. She approached the stage demanding to know why candidates had no plans to discuss fracking, despite its well-documented impact on the health of Pennsylvania residents. She even brought a list of 1,700 families that have been impacted by hydraulic fracturing. She held the list up the whole time she spoke, likely to assure people that she had no weapon or violent intentions.
Because Arnold's appearance was unexpected and loud, fracking proponents had the benefit of dismissing her with boos and calls to "get her out of here," which is a shame.
"We can't fund our schools on a boom-or-bust industry," Arnold said before she was ushered off the stage. "They're poisoning our state and ruining our chance for a strong economic future."
The race for the Democratic nomination features four candidates, including U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and state Treasurer Rob McCord. The primary election takes places Tuesday.
"I’m not particularly brave, I just feel that there is nothing anyone could do to me worse than what they are doing to our planet and to the families who can no longer live in their homes," Arnold wrote in a blog post hosted by Gasland, which made the short clip its "video of the week.”
"I actually hate the spotlight, but someone had to do it. I could not sit by and let this critical issue go unaddressed."
The list of families Arnold held up—entitled the "List of the Harmed" and compiled Jenny Lysak and the Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air—actually exceeds 6,000. The 1,700 families were all Arnold's printer could handle.
"We are not asking for much, just a chance for Pennsylvania to protect our long-term economic and environmental health," wrote Arnold, who is a Philadelphia-based activist when she is not working. "No one should live without clean drinking water and a safe environment.
"No part of Pennsylvania should be a for-profit sacrifice zone."
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Cabin fever is often associated with being cooped up on a rainy weekend or stuck inside during a winter blizzard.
In reality, though, it can actually occur anytime you feel isolated or disconnected from the outside world.
What is cabin fever?<p>In popular expressions, cabin fever is used to explain feeling bored or listless because you've been stuck inside for a few hours or days. But that's not the reality of the symptoms.</p><p>Instead, cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people may face if they're isolated or feeling cut off from the world.</p><p>These feelings of isolation and loneliness are more likely in times of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/yes-covid-19-cases-are-rising-why-you-still-need-to-practice-social-distancing" target="_blank">social distancing</a>, self-quarantining during a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pandemic" target="_blank">pandemic</a>, or sheltering in place because of severe weather.</p><p>Indeed, cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.</p><p>Cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological disorder, but that doesn't mean the feelings aren't real. The distress is very real. It can make fulfilling the requirements of everyday life difficult.</p>
What are the symptoms?<p>Symptoms of cabin fever go far beyond feeling bored or "stuck" at home. They're rooted in an intense feeling of isolation and may include:</p><ul><li>restlessness</li><li>decreased motivation</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irritability" target="_blank">irritability</a></li><li>hopelessness</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/unable-to-concentrate" target="_blank">difficulty concentrating</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irregular-sleep-wake-syndrome" target="_blank">irregular sleep patterns</a>, including sleepiness or sleeplessness</li><li>difficulty waking up</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/lethargy" target="_blank">lethargy</a></li><li>distrust of people around you</li><li>lack of patience</li><li>persistent <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness" target="_blank">sadness or depression<br></a></li></ul>
What can help you cope with cabin fever?<p>Because cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological condition, there's no standard "treatment." However, mental health professionals do recognize that the symptoms are very real.</p><p>The coping mechanism that works best for you will have a lot to do with your personal situation and the reason you're secluded in the first place.</p><p>Finding meaningful ways to engage your brain and occupy your time can help alleviate the distress and irritability that cabin fever brings.</p><p>The following ideas are a good place to start.</p>
When to get help<p>Cabin fever is often a fleeting feeling. You may feel irritable or frustrated for a few hours, but having a virtual chat with a friend or finding a task to distract your mind may help erase the frustrations you felt earlier.</p><p>Sometimes, however, the feelings may grow stronger, and no coping mechanisms may be able to successfully help you eliminate your feelings of isolation, sadness, or depression.</p><p>What's more, if your time indoors is prolonged by outside forces, like weather or extended shelter-in-place orders from your local government, feelings of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety" target="_blank">anxiety</a> and fear are valid.</p><p>In fact, anxiety may be at the root of some cabin fever symptoms. This may make symptoms worse.</p><p>If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you're experiencing. Together, you can identify ways to overcome the feelings and anxiety.</p><p>Of course, if you're in isolation or practicing social distancing, you'll need to look for alternative means for seeing a mental health expert.</p><p>Telehealth options may be available to connect you with your therapist if you already have one. If you don't, reach out to your doctor for recommendations about mental health specialists who can connect with you online.</p><p>If you don't want to talk to a therapist, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/top-iphone-android-apps" target="_blank">smartphone apps for depression</a> may provide a complementary option for addressing your cabin fever symptoms.</p>
The bottom line<p>Isolation isn't a natural state for many people. We are, for the most part, social animals. We enjoy each other's company. That's what can make staying at home for extended periods of time difficult.</p><p>However, whether you're sheltering at home to avoid dangerous weather conditions or heeding the guidelines to help minimize the spread of a disease, staying at home is often an important thing we must do for ourselves and our communities.</p><p>If and when it's necessary, finding ways to engage your brain and occupy your time may help bat back cabin fever and the feelings of isolation and restlessness that often accompany it.</p>
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