“Today is a great day for America, ………“Get vaccinated — or wear a mask until you do.”
“We’ve gotten this far — please protect yourself until you get to the finish line.”
The numbers; the cases, the deaths and the hospitalizations have suddenly plunged here in the United States. And in what seemed to be an about face, the CDC declared no more masks for those who are fully vaccinated. Forty Percent of the nation has been vaccinated. And the rest, for various reasons, remain unvaccinated and continue to be at risk of infection. Along with the announcement came confusion.
On May 13th, 2021, there were 39,825 new cases here in America and 791 new deaths (Worldometer.com):
~Thinking of India ~
So, as the confusion settles, it comes down to continuing to do what you need to do to feel safe. I’ll be wearing a mask in situations where I’m coming in contact with others. This is my season of rest. My time to slow down. So ‘back to normal’ for me is what it has been even through this pandemic. I’m easing up of my expectations for myself. A season of rest which is nice at this stage of my life.
~Allow~ There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
Containing a tornado.
Dam a stream and it will create a new channel.Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry you to a higher ground.
The only safety lies in letting it all in –
The wild and the weak: fear, fantasies, failures and success.When loss rips off the doors of the heart, or sadness veils your vision with despair,
Practice becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your known way of being,
The whole world is revealed to your new eyes.
By: Danna Faulds
Early Easter Sunday morning my loving friend, Pat, passed away. And I will miss him so much! He is the kindest, sweetest, loving man I’ve known. I’m so thankful for the beauty and goodness he brought into my life.
There are so many beautiful memories.
This last year of COVID-19 isolation was difficult for those of us above the age of 75. While he was in a long-term care facility and I was in my own apartment, we made a commitment to talk with each other on the phone every day and give each other the support and encouragement we needed to make it through. Our daily conversations helped both of us through the uncertainty of this pandemic and we grew closer. I was able to visit him over the course of the year and we were relieved to have finally gotten vaccinated. Spring was coming! Soon we’d be able to get outdoors in the sun and make more plans to be together.
The year before the pandemic hit was filled with good memories. I’d known him for quite awhile, from a distance, and finally we were brought together while in physical therapy. I was drawn to his sweet and kind ways. Our relationship grew and I believe we found each other at the right moment in time.
COVID-19 didn’t win in this case. Our worst nightmare was that one of us would wind up on a ventilator isolated from family. That didn’t happen. A stroke and pneumonia worsened in the hospital and he died peacefully with loved ones by his side. I was able to be with him and tell him how much he meant to me.
I was given this gift of having him love me and being able to love him. Because of that my heart has broken wide open with love. It hurts to have him gone and I’ll miss him yet it’s a different kind of broken heartedness. Knowing him has raised me up.
It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth — and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up —that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross~
(Now, more than ever, I’m realizing this. Now, today, I woke up to another beautiful day, realizing that, once again, you’re not in it.}
On March 10, 2020 I was sitting in the waiting room of Airport Auto, working on a Sudoku puzzle. People around me were coughing and sneezing.
TheWhite House briefings had just begun to alert us to the corona virus that was spreading from country to country.WHO (World Health Organization) declared COVID-19 a Pandemic on March 11, 2020and the world temporarily closed. Food deliveries and tele-health calls became the new way of getting needs met.Healthcare professionals became our examples of thinking and acting under the rapidly increasing hospitalizations and dealing with a totally unknown and highly contagious killer.
Looking back over this year I can see the resilience that brought so many of us through. We’ve faced the possibility of becoming infected with this virus and met that possibility with common sense and resolve. Now that I’m fully vaccinated I’m still using that common sense and resolve to proceed carefully as I go about my day. I’m taking the attitude of pacing myself when it comes to rushing out and getting back to ‘normal’. That goes for shopping, hair cuts, travel etc.
And, of course, this happened!!
The year has brought many changes into my life. Changes that also include my hair! I had a great hair stylist before the pandemic began and she did a great job with the cut and the lowlights. When COVID-19 entered our lives, I made the decision to let my hair grow. Over the year my hairstyle took many twists and turns!! I’ve found out that most of my hair is still a reddish-brown except for the top bangs which are white/grey (depending on the light). My hairstylist was beautifully covering up the white/grey with a low-lite. Now that the lowlights have grown all out of my hair, I’m faced with the question of whether to return for a new style and lowlights again. Or to just let it grow! Growing old gracefully hasn’t been easy while navigating a pandemic!!
“This will end! I promise you!” ~ Dr. Fauci
Quote of the Day: “Viruses don’t respect borders.”
The roll out of vaccines continues to improve after a very fitful start! It was just by a fluke that I happened to snag my appointment early on by filling out the survey with the health department. I had no idea that I’d be one of the first 5,000 in our district to be put in the pilot program with the University of Virginia 75 plus Employee Health. As of now, I’m feeling relief that I have both #1 and #2 dose when I see so many getting frustrated with the mechanics of securing their appointments. Pat also had his #1 and #2 dose, and the long-term care facility process went very smoothly. No major side effects for either one of us.
The federal government continues to act in getting information out to all Americans. Vaccination sites now include pharmacies and hospitals, as well as the mass vaccination sites around the district. It was just announced that the federal government is sending 25 million masks to Community Health Centers, Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries across the nation!!
I kept thinking about the memoir my Uncle Jack wrote about the period covering (1917-1927). I couldn’t remember if he’d written about the 1918 Flu Epidemic. I’ve been writing in his mother Anna’s, first-person voice with the information he’d provided. It was also during the time the US was at war with Germany and rationing food. (WWI)”
The number of deaths from the 2018 flu epidemic was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. Mortality was high in people younger than 5 years old, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older.
Over the last year I’d stopped writing about his and my paternal grandmother’s experience because of COVID-19 brain fog and writer’s block. When I finally took the memoir out, I came across this section about their own experience with this deadly epidemic.
“The worldwide flu epidemic killed many people and we had our own scare when Jack got very sick. We put his bed in the front room where we could keep the temperature cold by opening the windows because the doctor believed this killed the germs. We covered him with lots of blankets. The only foods he could eat were soft foods like soft-boiled eggs, ice cream, custard, jello and rice pudding. He really liked this because we rarely had these delicious foods during the rationing. I tried to keep him quiet by propping him up with pillows so he could look out the window and watch the men build the new school across the street. They tore down all the houses that were there, leaving only the foundations, and putting up the school in their place. It was going to be named Roosevelt School.
Jack’s fifth birthday went by without our celebrating it because he was so sick. When he was feeling better, we surprised him with a birthday cake. Ray, Henry and I, along with two of Jack’s aunts, walked into his room carrying the cake with lighted candles. We all sang ‘Happy Birthday to you” and rolled in the brand new red wagon that he’d always wanted.
Finally, the day came that we could close the windows in his room and heat up his room. We got him out of bed and up on his feet. We helped him stand up but he was too weak to walk. Each day I would help him out of bed and walk with him around the room. It wasn’t long before he was running all around the apartment. The day came that we all celebrated when Jack was able to go outside!! What a joy to see him pulling his red wagon up and down the street. The workmen building the school across the street asked him if he’d like to load some of the pieces of wood laying all over the construction site into his wagon, and bring it home for firewood for our stove. Jack was so proud when he wheeled the wagon into our apartment and put all the wood into our coal bin.”
COVID-19 cases continue to grow here in the United States. This is over-shadowed by 50% of the country that continues to protest our election results. More and more voices of integrity call on the Trump to stop feeding the Stop the Steal machine. All of his efforts to overturn the election results failed and tension has been building up to the day that Congress meets to certify the electoral votes. Trump continues to organize his followers around that date and calls for a massive protest outside the Capital Building.
A sense of dread was building up in me as January 6th drew closer. The president’s rhetoric clearly was a call to his followers to ‘take back their country’ and to stop congress from taking the final step to making President-Elect Biden the 46th president of the US. When the morning arrived, it was clear that the huge crowd that gathered were determined to ‘stop the steal’.
It was also clear that most of the massive crowd weren’t wearing masks or social distancing. As the 45th president ended his speech, the mob – acting as one – stormed the capitol where congress was in progress. The assault on the Capitol left the nation stunned yet many of us were not surprised.
Meanwhile, we were getting increasingly urgent warnings that the next three months were going to be the worst in the pandemic. It was predicted that the death toll in the US by the end of March would be 500,000. We were encouraged to stay home and return to the level of precautions that we had back in the beginning of the pandemic.
Our local Health Department opened up phase 1a and 1b for the first vaccination and I completed the survey for 75 and over. I was one of the 5,000 given an appointment for the pilot program through the local University Medical Center. The process ran smoothly and my second vaccine is scheduled for February 12th. I soon learned that I got in just before the vaccine shortage was announced and many are now forced to wait maybe months.
Pat and I continue to be a daily comfort and support to each other. He’s set to have his first vaccine at his long-term-care facility next week. It’s hard to believe we’ve been living this pandemic life for almost a year now. We’ve been able to be together three times since it began and every day I feel hugged and loved when we talk on the phone.
Since the new administration has taken over there’s been intelligent and thorough briefings of where we are when it comes to this pandemic. President Biden’s first actions have been directed at the people of America who are truly suffering from loss of jobs, housing and basic needs. There’s a feeling that he gets it!
Martin Luther King Day was January 18th. This year it had even more meaning considering the unfolding of Black Lives Matter Protests along with the impact that COVID-19 has had on the African American communities. I read a few of his sermons and his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. This man was a prophet filled with truth and wisdom and continues to lead us.
Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968)