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)
When I was a kid, they rolled out a vaccine for polio. We were given it at school on a sugar cube. I went home and my dad, who was working on Mary Poppins, asked how my day was. What I didn’t know was that Julie Andrews who was hired to play Mary had not really liked the song my dad and uncle had written -“Through the Eyes of Love” – and it was rejected. It was their favorite song for the movie. Walt asked the Sherman Brothers to come up with a new song that would be in line with Mary’s //Julie’s philosophy. Dad asked me how my day was and I told him about getting the polio vaccine at school. I was known for rejecting the booster shots at my doctors’ office and running away. He said, “ Didn’t it hurt?” I told him they put it on a sugar cube and you just ate it. He stared at me, then went to the phone and called my uncle Dick. They went back to the office and wrote -“A Spoonful of Sugar” (Helps the Medicine Go Down.”) It’s my little corner of film music history I suppose. Inadvertently. For anyone I know here on FB, trust the doctors. When the vaccine for Covid comes out, get it. We are all dependent on each other in this pandemic. Trust science and doctors and epidemiologists. We are a small world and we will beat this enemy if we listen to those who know. Be safe. Wear a mask. Be kind and thoughtful and considerate to your fellow man and woman. We will beat this. xo J
“I wasn’t nervous at all.” 90-year-old British grandma is the world’s first to receive Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID vaccine.
First COVID Vaccine In U.S. Goes To NYC Critical Care Nurse
I was one of the lucky 16 days of giveaway winners at my apartment complex! A wonderful Spa Kit to help me get through the next two cold, winter months.
It turned out to be a very nice Christmas this year. My son, Jeff, came down a few days before to take me out to lunch (a first for me since COVID-19 began) and we were the only ones in the cafe. Masks and social distancing were strictly enforced and yet it was still a pleasant experience. Jeff received his first vaccine provided for the healthcare providers.
I was able to talk on the phone with my other sons and know that they are all well. Each is fortunate to have jobs that keep them secure.
The long-term care facility where Pat lives provided a wonderful Christmas lunch that was delivered to his apartment. We’re both happy to have made it this far and to have had each other to lean on.
Lie of the Year(Yup! You guessed it!) The “award” this year goes to claims that deny, downplay or disinform about COVID-19:
November 2020 will surely go down in history as the most memorable during this pandemic. After grooming his followers with expectations of massive voter fraud, the president set the tone that the only way Vice President Biden could ever win would be through fraud via mail-in ballots. Meanwhile, states began preparing for a different kind of election because of COVID-19 and put in place a process of requesting ballots early and voting early. In my state alone a majority of the Virginia votes cast in this election were done through early voting to the tune of 2.7 million. From all accounts the process worked well for most states and I learned that there are already some states who have been successfully doing only mail-in voting for some time.
The Pandemic has also changed the way we are approaching the 2020 holiday season. On going warnings from the CDC and medical professionals brought many to reconsider travel and large family gatherings for the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s expected that the next months are going to be even worse than what we experienced in the beginning. For those of us who are elderly and/or dealing with health conditions that make us more vulnerable, the best option was to avoid exposure to infection in any way. I was grateful to be able to spend Thanksgiving Day with Pat at his long-term-care facility. They served a wonderful turkey dinner and, because it was a gorgeous day, we were able to take a walk outside.
President-Elect Biden continues to be certified as the winner in all states at this time yet there are still steps being taken by this president to ‘steal the election’. It appears that the two main reasons that he lost the election were his disturbing performance in leading us through the pandemic and the fact that he encouraged his base not to trust the mail-in ballot process early on which might have contributed to some not voting at all. In any case, this election brought about the highest number of voters than in any other election totaling more than 155,000,000 votes. To date, Joe Biden is 7,000,000 votes ahead of Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, world-wide case of Coronavirus totaled 63,071,670 with the USA at the top of the list with 13,750,608 (according to worldometer.com).We’re told that a vaccine is coming in the next few weeks. Virginia is getting 70,000 doses which will be given to healthcare workers and the elderly living in long-term-care facilities.
I turned to watercolor paints to help me through this month and keep me distracted from all the ongoing drama in our news. I signed up for Joanne Sharpe’s Holiday Greeting online course. We had a lot of fun sharing our creations and now I’m deciding who gets which card. The next two or three winter months ahead of us are predicted to be bad so I’m looking for ways to keep the stress level down and remain lowkey through it all. Meditation, reading books, watercolor sketching and basically just keeping a calm routine are all a part of my plan. My connection to family and friends is very rewarding and the daily love and support connection over the phone with Pat keeps me going.
To My Blogger Friends here in the United States and all around the world: Be Well! Stay Safe! Happy Holiday in whatever way you celebrate!