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A true superhero wears his mask

Even after the Capitol was overrun by domestic terrorists attacking the police, whose job it was to protect you. Even out of sight of cameras and your dear leader, Trump. Even as you spent hours locked in a secure room with fellow members of Congress. Even after your Congressional colleagues begged you. Even after masks were offered to you by Representative Lisa Blunt Coleman of Delaware. Even after all of this, you brave Republicans refused to wear masks.

Now three of your colleagues who sheltered with you in that crowded room have tested positive foe COVID-19. They are Representative Pramila Jayapal from Washington, Representative Brad Schneider from Illinois, and Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman from New Jersey, a 75-year-old cancer survivor. …


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January 6, 2021. Remember that date. Like December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor Day that brought us into WWII). Like September 11, 2001 — this is “a day that will live in infamy.”

My father was a great history buff, so FDR’s quote about the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan was one I heard often growing up. For him, this started the greatest upheaval of his life. 2,403 Americans died in the attack. Luckily, his beloved cousin survived. 291,557 U.S. soldiers died fighting the war.

Most of us remember where we were on 9/11. Nearly 3,000 people died that day in the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and in the crash of United Airlines Flight 93. Until the mismanaged pandemic took over our lives last year, I thought that day would be my personal Pearl Harbor. As I wrote in On the 19th Anniversary of 9/11: Remembering the Power of Community and Caring, I will always remember where I was and how it felt. …


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No, that is not a spelling error. I am literally wringing my hands over what January 2021 will bring my way. 2020 started with some promise. We rang in the new year with our dear friends, having our customary early dinner, movie, champagne toast, and pie à la mode. I think we even made it to midnight. The number, 2020, seemed like it might be lucky. Hah!

Little did I know what was lurking in Wuhan, China when my husband and I went to Florida in January. We had a wonderful time staying with friends in Bonita Springs and then in Sarasota. We ate in great restaurants, took leisurely walks, watched the sunset on the beach, saw an amazing art exhibit, shopped. …


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The pandemic makes me lose my sense of calendar, so I missed a very important date. Last night marked the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. On December 8, 1980, he was murdered by Mark David Chapman, who was inspired by Lennon’s statement that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus,” the book Catcher in the Rye, and by the lyrics to Imagine.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace…


Thoughts About Thanksgiving

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When my grandkids were little, they loved to blow bubbles. Whenever we visited the three Indiana grandchildren, weather permitting, we brought bubbles for them to play with on their back deck. The combination of excitement and sibling rivalry often resulted in their bubble streams crashing into each other, some bubbles merging with others to create very large bubbles or bubble clusters while other bubbles burst under the onslaught.

The notion of Covid bubbles strikes me as similar. The members of your bubble of safe people also include all of the people they have in their bubble. The numbers add up. It’s much more exposure than you think you have. A friend of ours, a retired physician lecturing other medical professionals about Covid bubbles, shared this illustration with us, contrasting the bubble you think you have, basically your nuclear family, with other bubbles that envelop members of your family. …


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Every day for the past year, I received 150–200 emails begging me for money to support election-related causes and candidates. Most of these were frightening and negative, claiming if I didn’t sign a petition and donate immediately, all would be lost. For me, these pleas came from the left, but I suspect those of you on the other end of the political spectrum received similar emails.

But here’s the thing — no one needed to scare me into making donations. Between the pandemic and the chaos of the election, I was frightened enough. There was almost nothing positive in these email pleas for money. …


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One of my grandchildren, whose school is fully virtual, attends a dance program that adheres to strict pandemic safety guidelines. All dancers wear masks at all times. They sanitize their hands before entering a room. They socially distance while dancing. This means that if there are more than ten dancers signed up for a given class, half attend in person and half virtually on a given week. No one other than the dancers may come into the building, which was retrofitted with an air purifying system. No one eats in the building or uses the dressing rooms or water fountains.

Despite the abundance of caution taken by the program, a student in one of my grandchild’s classes came to dance and discovered later that she was positive for Covid-19. The other dancers in that class were tested before they could come back to the studio. None of them tested positive. …


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This morning, I went to the Kellogg Cancer Center at Evanston Hospital for a blood draw. While I am thankful not to have cancer, I know that others in the waiting room do. They are likely immune suppressed and sitting ducks for Covid-19. But rather than being extra careful, the hospital and some people coming to the center act as if we are not in the midst of a pandemic. …


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I date the start of my coronavirus life back to March 13, the last day I went anywhere without a mask. The weekend before, my husband and I went to Indiana to watch two of our grandkids compete in a divisional swim meet. On March 9, I took my granddaughter to the orthodontist. March 10, I went to an adult education class at Northwestern University and sat in an auditorium filled with seniors. I also waited inside my daughter’s house for my granddaughter’s bus and hung out with her for a while. March 11, I met a friend for coffee, went to see my personal trainer, and had an acupuncture appointment. On March 12, I had lunch with a friend in a local restaurant, and drove my granddaughter to an appointment. On our last day of normal life, March 13, my husband and I had doctor’s appointments. …


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Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,
All put out to sea.

In the sanitized version of this nursery rhyme, which I read to my children and grandchildren, no one said why the butcher, baker, and candlestick-maker went out to sea in a tub or what happened to them. Now, I know the answer. They were driven out of business by the Covid-19 pandemic and sailed away in a tub because there was nowhere else to go.

About

Laurie Levy

Boomer. Educator. Advocate. Eclectic topics: grandkids, special needs, values, aging, loss, & whatever. Author: Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real.

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