Today is pandemic social distancing day 526. COVID-19 is just as bad here as it was last winter, a viral fire fueled by misinformation and a variant tearing through the unvaccinated population that has chosen freedom without responsibility.
One day, those that spread misinformation and mistrust to further their own political aspirations will be held accountable one way or the other. I believe that. One day, we’ll peel back the layers and discover what made a portion of our population vulnerable to that misinformation. There are many theories, and I believe many causes. As a nation, we have much to examine and repair. Moreover, we have a great deal of healing to do.
A couple of months ago, I bought a very nice bottle of wine. Barrel aged for two years, smooth, delicious. I was saving it for a special occasion, but by the time I truly will get to share it with anyone, it will likely go bad.
Therefore, tonight I opened my aged, fine wine. I am celebrating being vaccinated, socially distanced, and safe. I know I have chosen the right path for myself and for others. I will continue the same course of action until it’s safe to open another bottle, another time, with others.
I stopped my daily video check-in yesterday, at Day 400. I felt like I’d said most of what I needed to and I’m fully vaccinated now, so maybe show clips, a bit further apart. I’m hoping to show more adventures instead.
The possibilities still aren’t as plentiful as I would have liked at this point. There are still people refusing vaccines, while I try and make plans to go to Indiana sometime this summer. I hate to draw such a fine line, but I really want to protect the elders in my family, whether they are vaccinated or not, and that means making difficult choices between visiting the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
As unfortunate as that is, because so many are making a conscious choice to not protect themselves as well as others, I believe this pandemic will be drawn out by the variants that sneak through the holes left by the unvaccinated. We are so close to the end, but yet so far.
While I feel much more protected than I felt this time last month, that doesn’t mean I’ll throw caution to the wind and act like COVID still isn’t out there, waiting to exploit someone, whether it be someone who willingly courts it, unmasked and unvaccinated, or someone who has been as careful as I’ve been, only to be sabotaged by the carelessness of other people.
I have COVID fatigue for sure. All of us do. As the days have stretched on into weeks, months, and now YEARS, I’m ready for a little more freedom. Will you help me get there?
Last Thursday, I received the second dose of my Moderna COVID vaccine. I was so relieved, I cried. Honestly, OVERWHELMINGLY relieved. It’s one step closer to being closer to whatever normal was 16 months ago.
When I hear people say they don’t want/need the vaccine, my heart breaks. These are the same people who want “normal” back, they want everything open and to move on with their lives, but they don’t want the vaccine.
I know people have their reasons. Fear. Side effects. They live where they don’t think they’ll need it. Blind obedience to someone who says they don’t need it. Religion. Whatever. Reasons.
This pandemic has already dragged out longer than it’s needed to. A year ago, we had the opportunity to nip this virus, but instead, America chose it’s “freedoms.”
On my left shoulder, you can still see my smallpox vaccine scar. Not long after I received mine, they stopped giving them to children. Why? With the vaccine, they had eradicated smallpox in this country and most places in the world. When the polio vaccine was offered in the 1950’s, people lined up to get the vaccine. Why? Because it was effective and protective against polio. Less than ten years later, polio was all but gone, and by the 1970’s, polio was no longer a threat.
Why is COVID different? Why has the attitude toward public health changed? Why don’t those choosing not to get the vaccination care about themselves or others? It’s baffling. Truly baffling. I remember being required to prove I’d been vaccinated against a myriad of diseases not nearly as viral or as deadly as COVID to go to school/college. A COVID vaccine is just one more for the list.
We’re headed toward the exit of this pandemic, but we are not there yet. To protect myself and those I love, I cannot, in good conscience, visit or reconnect with people who aren’t vaccinated yet. Those who refuse the vaccination, I may not get to see you for a while. I hope you understand. I have to look out for my own health, and if you won’t, I have to draw the line.
The CDC says I can travel domestically. I can have small gatherings with other vaccinated peeps. Science says not to put the masks away just yet. Keep doing what kept me healthy so far.
I’ve lived part of my life following, and somewhere I crossed over to living on the edge and leading the way. Trying new things and boldly going places I’ve never been. To me, choosing to be vaccinated is one of my boldest choices. I follow the science.
I hope more people choose the vaccine down the line, once they’ve seen its effectiveness. I want to put this pandemic in my rearview mirror, and the only way to do that is to fight it with methods we know that work – distancing, vaccines, masks.
Vaccines work. I have the smallpox vaccine scar to prove it.
A year ago, I came home from the office for the last time, not knowing how long this newly minted pandemic would last. In all honesty, I was thinking by the fall, we’d all be back to “normal.” I couldn’t grasp anything longer than a few months.
One year later, with thousands of new cases still being reported every day, at least we have vaccines and a rollout plan. I have one of my two doses of the Moderna vaccine and am waiting until after the second one achieves full potency and then… I have no idea what I’m going to do.
The possibilities aren’t endless, but at least there are possibilities. Photo walks with friends, riding in the same car with no masks on, going to a restaurant and sitting down inside, and most of all, HUGS. ONE YEAR WITHOUT HUGS.
So much has changed in the world and stayed the same in my life. I work from home now, and probably will to some degree for some time. I haven’t traveled since 2019 and can’t wait to pick some place to go even if I have to drive for days and not fly. Vaccinations are opening up some of the world.
I struggle to understand why someone would not want the vaccine but still wants to continue to live life as if that didn’t matter to everyone around them. The longer people reject the vaccine, the longer the pandemic will go on. By fall there could be variants that affect all of us because of the unvaccinated. I encourage everyone to get the vaccine as soon as they can. Please. It is the best way forward.
One year. 365 days. 525,600 minutes. Each one precious. I don’t consider the last year a waste, but a learning experience. Much of my future is actually clearer than it has been. I know that I don’t want to waste any more days or minutes. I’m hopeful there won’t be a day 730 social distancing.
I’ve always thought it was serendipitous that National Hugging Day would fall on my brother’s death anniversary. I always appreciated being around people on this day, because I would get loads of hugs.
I’m a hugger. Being in essential isolation for 312 days now with no hugs or touch whatsoever, I understand why hugs and affection are important.
I’m weeks, likely months, from being vaccinated twice. When I think about it, I want to scream or cry. Or eat a cupcake. I am relieved, however, that the current President has an actual plan to get two vaccines in my arm sooner rather than later.
I will never take hugs for granted any more. If you have someone in your social distancing pod, hug them from me.
I can’t believe we are at the end of 2020. I started off the year by choosing “Roar” as my One Word 365 choice. Little did I know I would not be the one roaring my way through the year, but COVID 19 would instead.
Today is social distancing day 291. Trying to bring my thoughts together is difficult, simply because the circumstances of my life haven’t really changed from day to day. I had so many plans for my staycation, but mostly all I’ve done is survive. That, my friends, is a worthy goal achieved. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Last night, I took a late call from a friend who lost her mother to a savage, quick-spreading cancer. We talked about all COVID had taken from us, robbed from us in broad daylight. Though she was able to have the final, precious moments with her mother, her confidante, her best friend, she was robbed of all the moments she could have had if she had been able to visit her in the hospital the last few weeks. My aunt could have had her family visit her and not leave her wondering if everyone was dead because they weren’t coming to see her. My aunt didn’t understand. My friend doesn’t understand. I don’t understand.
None of us understand.
COVID has robbed me of visits, precious time with my family. Some aren’t getting any younger, and some are getting older at a pace that if you blink, so much is missed. Kids are missing the camaraderie of choir, sports, clubs, and special dances. The adults are missing some semblance of preciously needed down time. Others are missing company. We are all missing something.
Yet there are still people out there who complain about masks or doing anything to prevent COVID for their neighbor. Even if it was only symbolic and not effective, as they claim, they still show their selfishness putting their supposed inconvenience against showing they care for their neighbors, their families, OUR families.
One of my childhood “Dads” passed from COVID recently. Two more adults from my childhood have died as well in the same time period, and while they may not have passed from COVID, COVID is robbing the families of proper funerals, robbing them from the normal first steps of the grief journey.
Compassion is free. Kindness costs nothing. Empathy means you are emotionally mature enough to realize it’s NOT ABOUT YOU because you’ve felt someone else’s pain and you can understand what someone’s going through. Our country is full of people who cannot muster any of those three emotional states or actions. That’s one of many frightening revelations COVID has shown me about America in 2020.
I am hopeful, that as vaccines are distributed (disturbingly slow) that COVID, the great thief, becomes COVID the great professor of how to human better. Many lessons yet to learn, many battles yet to fight, but we made it to this point in time. A time to look back (20/20) and a time to look forward.
I haven’t chosen a “One Word” for 2021. I don’t know if I will or not. After all, I chose the voice of a lion for a year that began hopeful and bright that turned into a roaring storm that has tossed me about while staying rooted in the same place for way too long. I need to think more carefully and reflect on lessons learned in 2020 that began like a lamb, and is ending as a rain-soaked roaring lion.
I’ve been mocked by how seriously I take my COVID precautions. I’m not an alarmist. Anyone who tells you COVID not serious or that you don’t have to be careful, or it’s just like the flu, hasn’t experienced COVID personally or known anyone who has or they’ve just been super lucky.
It’s personal now. I hate that it’s personal now. COVID can affect the lungs and heart (and so many other things) long after a negative test. I’ve known this in my head. Now I know it for a fact. I hope none of you have to learn this the hard way either personally or because of someone you know and cared about.
No, I don’t have COVID. And I will continue to be super cautious so I don’t get it. Monday, my doctor cautioned me that the next wave is coming and implored me not to relax, to not let my guard down. Hunker down, get to the other side.
No matter the intention or diligence, the only person I can trust to take care of me and ensure that the right precautions are taken is me.
Today is day 214, and I’m not sure I can do a video today without weeping, screaming or begging. Maybe I’ll try later. I don’t know. I’m still upset. The mixture of emotions – knowing COVID ultimately ended the life of someone I knew, wondering how long we have to wait for the politics to be extracted from this virus and wondering how long until I can safely see people and hug people and just relax outside of my bubble – it’s all so overwhelming right now.
I’m grateful I am able to work from home and I have everything I need in my bubble. I plan on living a long life. I have too much to do and see and experience and I will never take any of that for granted again.
Please, please take COVID seriously. I don’t if care I’m mocked anymore. I know I’m doing what’s right for me and those around me. When I get to the other side of this season, I will have no regrets.
I finally have a home computer, which makes it much easier to do updates to just about everything, because I’m wordy and I like to type. As much as I love and have been grateful for my iPad the last couple of years, I’m so happy to have a computer again.
I’ve been away from the office, working from home, since March 14. More than two weeks! I’ve had staycations before, but nothing like this. Nothing like this mind-numbing isolation. No good morning chats, no phone calls, no interactions of any sort.
The social distancing has been extended until April 30th. I’ll admit I cried when I saw that news. Being alone like this, even as introverted as I can be, is not optimal. Even if I go out for walks, I can’t interact with anyone really. Most people are scared to come close enough to talk to each other. I have my groceries delivered. I’m trying to see if I can get my prescriptions delivered as well.
I have to be careful. I’m one of those who could be classified as immunocompromised. It’s not something I talk about often. I had admitting any vulnerability but after a good talking to by text by my beloved cousin/doctor, I had to go into my boss and ask to work from home (about a week earlier than most ended up doing so themselves. Of course, my company cares about its people, and they loaded me up with monitors and a full desk setup and off to my home office I went.
Working from home sounds like fun, and it is nice to work from home every now and then. To work from home for WEEKS ON END without any social activity in between, is not fun. It’s not. I don’t hate it, but it’s difficult. If I had social time after working at home all day, that might be a different story.
I started doing a video blog on my first day of working from home. To be honest, I’ve been home a couple of days longer than that. I decided to start posting them to Facebook and to my YouTube Channel as an outlet and as a way to let people know I’m ok. Or struggling. Or both.
I’m hopeful that, now that I have more tangible creative outlets, that I will endure better. Until then, I am Pandemic Social Distancing, at least until April 30th. I’m hopeful that will be it, but as we inch closer to 200,000 people infected, I doubt it. Before it’s over, I’m sure we’ll all know someone who succumbed to COVID 19.
Until we’re out in the sun again together, less than 6 feet apart, let’s keep lifting each other up, even if it is from a distance.