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.”
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!
The graphic above is the Satire DT, not the Real DT. There’s wisdom and leadership in that advice. Something we sadly don’t have. This is pretty much what I’ve been doing since this pandemic started back in early March. And finally I went ahead and checked the right box shown above. I voted very early by mail. It was the only right thing to do. Anyone who has played the kind of reckless games that the current president has played during this pandemic doesn’t deserve four more years.
I continue with my weekly physical therapy wearing a mask yet social distancing is difficult because others are in the rehab fitness center. It’s almost impossible to know when or if you’re exposed even though all precautions are being taken. Here’s a quick photo I took after finishing one of the exercise sessions. Pretty exhausting therapy exercises and I go home and rest:
The Right Thing By Jan Beaumont
The New Zealand election has now come and gone And we’re settling back into our lives But quite soon they will vote in the United States And they’ve lately been flashing the knives.
Where we had two women, quite young in their years The US has two older blokes One of them seems to be quite dignified While the other’s the butt of the jokes.
I just hope the American people come through As their country sure needs to get well But I trust the majority have some good sense Or they’re in for four more years of hell!
The numbers keep rising (according to Worldometer.com) and medical professionals.
In spite of ongoing reporting from reputable news media and medical professionals that the virus is going to be getting worse, the president continues to downplay the threat and flaunt the rules of mask wearing and social distancing. In a surreal reality TV show, he’s hospitalized after a positive testing of COVID-19. After a dramatic display of miraculous cure, he continues large campaign rallies and accuses the doctors of lying in order to get money.
In March, the real Donald Trump retweeting this in a sick display of humor:
August was a settling into the fact that this virus isn’t going away. We heard conflicting information from all sources. The president, without shame, used the pandemic to stoke more left and right division. It was unreal how half the country reacted to simple guidelines toward preventing the spread of infection. Deaths in the USA reached over 180,000. Total positive cases well over 5,ooo,ooo. The president continued to hold large campaign rallies, along with the Republican National Convention, that flaunted every effort of medical professionals and responsible citizens to prevent more deaths.
This portrait is made with the pictures of all the doctors and nurses who passed away in this pandemic. Enlarge it and you will see. Pass it on as a tribute 💖
It’s a tribute to healthcare professionals in Mexico.
As of July 2020, no international health body has published a global total for deaths of healthcare workers caused by COVID-19.
According to this study conducted by the UK newspaper The Guardian and US non-profit organisation Kaiser Health News, at least 768 frontline healthcare workers have died of COVID-19 in the US alone.
My life is slow and reflective. I’m centered and peaceful. The outside events that are battering my country break my heart yet I know I can’t fix it. There are so many who have lost jobs, a roof over their heads and no idea what the future holds. So many families that couldn’t be with a family member as they suffered with this virus.
My life is so much more enriched by being connected with beautiful people who show strength and wisdom that helps me carry on.
Winter is Coming ~ Seth Monk
Most of you know me as a positive person, or at least a realist. I’m not into conspiracy theories, or fear mongering, and I generally find a way to eventually flip any situation into a positive learning experience.There is something that’s been nagging on my mind though, and I feel like it needs to be shared.I need to ring the bell And the bell sounds like this:
WINTER IS COMING
In a few months, it is going to become darker and colder. We are going to be forced to spend more time indoors. However with the virus most likely picking up due to people being forced to be in closed spaces and weakened winter immune systems, we’re not going to have many places to go. Stuck at home, stuck IN our homes, we are going to be in dark, cold,forced isolation.We aren’t going to have much contact with nature, with the sun, with each other, or much physical exercise. Spending our time indoors with only artificial lights, iPhones and Netflix is going to seriously hurt our mental health. The economy is going to be hurting. More places will be closing down. More jobs lost. More uncertainty and insecurity. More unsureness and anxiety. We feel this collectively in our nervous systems. In November there is also going to be a presidential election. Not only is there going to be a crazy, loud, aggressive surge of voice and opinions and debates, but there is going to be a winner. Or more importantly, there is going to have to be a loser. No matter which candidate wins, the losing side is going to declare war on the country. Trump supporters will revolt in some way if he loses, The rest of the population will revolt in some way if he wins again. Either way, there is going to be heavy political and communal turmoil that will last for months. This backdrop will already bring the collective tensions to an explosive high, and that is just the default state from which the rest of your personal life, with all of your own problems, difficulties, worries, challenges, and neurosis are going to play out.For many people, This is going to be the hardest winter of their lives.I am ringing this bell to help people have time to prepare. Get outside as much as you can now. Get in the sun, get in some water, and safely strengthen whatever kind of community bonds you have. Start thinking about how to make your home a wellness fortress. Buy things to soothe your nervous systems; candles and incense and oils and teas and plants and uv lights and bath soaps. If you were going to be literally stuck at home for a few months, what do you need to make it bearable? In some cases, consumerism is an answer. Get into a wellness routine now; Meditation, yoga, journaling, anything that you can do regularly that can help carry you through the winter. Buy snow clothes and plan on being outside to get your exercise. Start drawing a line with social media and devices. We need to stay present and informed but our nervous systems can not take that stress and stimulation that is coming. Set healthy boundaries, pick your battles, and detach as much as you’re able to. Be aware of how much you really need to be connected and to make actual change and what is just addiction. Make sure you have social networks of people you can call or go on winter walks with. Start creating, building, strengthening interpersonal connections. They will help save you.Make peace with the unknown, work on trusting the greater process, know you are not alone and that things are working to work themselves out. The sun will shine again, the flowers will bloom, and we will again have the chance to be together. I’m aware that this might seem premature, and that people are sitting at the beach currently so this all seems very far away. But it’s in our best interest to start planning (not worrying, not panicking) to give ourselves the best chance and support of making it to next summer in the best shape we can.I hope this message was received in a good way, feel free to share.
I decided to combine May, June and July because of ‘brain fog’ and also I wanted to catch up to the present month of August. It’s easier to journal as it’s happening than to attempt to go back and recall these surreal events over the last five months.
One by one school systems made the decision to close all schools. It was surreal because Spring was arriving and if we didn’t have the news reporting the pandemic we wouldn’t know that the threat was there.
Here in my apartment complex the county school bus would stop by around 11 a.m. and drop off school lunches for the children. The first nice Spring day that I sat outside in the patio there was a lot going on with cars pulling up to the school bus and the sound of the driver greeting those who came to get theirs. There was a little girl running up and down the bank of the running creek, calling out to her mother. The decision was made that by delivering the school lunches, the children would have a feeling of connection to their school while classes weren’t in session. At the present time, in August, there are plans to continue this program.
On May 25th the world witnessed a video of George Floyd being slowly killed by one of our civil servants in law enforcement. Millions of people took to the streets in peaceful protest all over the world. My family members among them. The message was clear. There needed to be reform that addressed the ongoing brutality by some in law enforcement that crossed over the line. The call for reform concerned the lack of swift action on the part of law enforcement to bring accountability to the offenders within their ranks. This message began to get lost when radical left and right took advantage of this and provoked violent confrontations.
By May 27th, the Worldometer recorded cases in the US that were growing at an alarming rate:
I was attempting to find ways to take my mind off of what was unfolding day after day. So many unknowns. So much confusion of facts. The president continued to minimize what we were hearing from the medical professionals. the States that were the epicenter of the pandemics surges were met with criticism and partisan resistance to needed federal action. He blamed everyone but himself. It was exhausting and infuriating to watch his briefings.
For most of May I enjoyed participating in an Audubon Webinar on Drawing Birds. Most of my time was spent watching birds coming into my bird feeder and they brought me a lot of joy. It was a wonderful distraction to see the sketches of the other artists and share my attempts on artist Facebook Pages.
By the end of June it was obvious we weren’t mitigating the spread of the virus here in the US:
When business shut down and we weren’t able to get a hair cut, I decided I was going to let my hair grow for as long as COVID-19 kept us staying home. I had long hair when I was young and my grandmother wore her hair pulled back in a twist when she was older. Being I’m not going anywhere, what do I have to lose and I’m saving the price of a hair cut.
Just as I had predicted, the fashion industry jumped on board and began marketing all different styles of masks. We were learning just which masks provided the best protection. I finally gave in and ordered two masks from AmazonPrime. It was looking more and more like we were going to be dealing with this virus for a long time. There was a growing anti-mask rebellion by those who were listening to the president and the conspiracy theories. Dr. Anthony Fauci continued to be the Voice of Reason for those who looked to science and the medical profession for the clearest advice and guidance.
By the end of July, Worldometer continued to record ever-increasing numbers of positive cases and deaths around the world:
Every day Pat and I talk with each other. I’ve come to love (and need) this connection with him. I’d love to be with him and he keeps asking me when I’ll be able to come for a visit. It’s been over five months since I’ve been with him and the information coming from the Virginia Health Department isn’t very reassuring. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I carried the virus with me into his Independent Living/Assisted Living facility. We are both strong and offer each other a comforting and supportive love. His birthday was in July and I look forward to the day when I can have him over for a nice birthday steak dinner and raise a glass of wine to another year. ❤