66 – COVID-19

An unexpected change in my posting schedule. Although I wrote this post in late February, it first appeared at Sorryless in March. Thanks Marc. The positive responses convinced me to post it here.

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like to walk on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Today, I walk with a heavy heart. I think about one year ago – late February 2020 – a time when we were entering our final week as snowbirds at the beach – doing things for the last time before returning to our northern home. COVID had entered the USA, but life for my relatives in Italy had already ground to a halt.

A year ago was a time when some proclaimed the virus contained in the USA; passing through like the wind, therefore limiting cases to a handful of 20-25. A year ago was a time when some dismissed COVID cases compared to the flu.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

A year ago, we saw reports of overwhelmed Italian hospitals and the beginning of the assault on New York City. We were preparing for our two-day journey home where my wife would have a few days to reorganize before departing on her annual cruise with her friends – leaving the husbands behind to fend for themselves.

During her week away when Ohio and other states went into lockdown – a time when people ravaged grocery stores and stocked up on paper and cleaning products. After seeing televised reports, my wife would call from a port to ask what was going on. Her ship made it back and hasn’t had passengers since she disembarked. She told me of the ship’s precautions and the crazed behaviors she observed at the airport.

As I draft this one year later, the death toll in the USA just passed 500,000. Yes, the USA – a country that is 4% of the world’s population having over 20% of the world’s pandemic deaths.

I think about my time here at the beach one year later – fewer snowbird renters, restaurants are not busy, and fewer people in stores. The great music venue only 300 steps away is a regular place for us, but a place we never entered this year.

I think about my cousins in Italy who spent months in their apartment; and only allowed to leave for necessities. Only one of them going to a market where they may have to wait in line to enter; and then have a limited time to shop.

I think about how a democracy can be messy. Too many Americans declaring a violation of rights based on Constitutional principles they misinterpret. People with countless reasons to justify a position – reasons that may be valid or invalid. Elected officials politicizing human health and general welfare – something that is still difficult for me to grasp.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

I think about those who said they are living in a Communistic state. I wonder if the Czechs in the 1940s would agree when the Allies handled their democracy to the Nazis on a silver platter. What would the same Czechs say after the Soviet occupation took hold after the war – a control lasting over 40 years.

I think about how the past year has ripped away something for everyone – yet, I laughed when American late-night host Jimmy Kimmel said at the beginning of Lent – (I paraphrase) – What is left to give up for Lent?

I think about those who provided simple solutions as, “We have to learn to live with this virus.” Isn’t that what masking does? Is that the role of social distancing? Isn’t that getting a vaccine to everyone as quickly as possible? Isn’t that choosing to take the vaccine?

I think about recent discussions about vaccine passports and someone’s comparison of them to a yellow star sowed on the clothing of Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust as if those victims of a great human atrocity had a choice. Isn’t it amazing what people will say in the name of politics?

Over 500,000 Americans, gone in a year. Yes, a small percentage of our total population – but still, a half a million with tens of thousands more on the near horizon – and so many died alone.

Over 500,000 people – gone – family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers to someone. Advocates, givers, and jokesters – the athletic, the artistic, the organizers, and the doers – the rich and the poor – the famous and the ordinary – the empathetic and the selfish – the nice and the mean – the positive and the negative – the young and the old – the humble and the egotistic – gone.

Over 500,000 people – more than the cumulative USA battlefield casualties of major wars. People with quiet integrity and huge hearts. People whom we’ve never met. People that we would be proud to know. Gone – and most with a limited funeral at best.

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

I think about a higher number – those losing their job during the pandemic – some of those jobs never to return. Food banks, present to help the needy, but with new demands stressing their supply. Cheers to the many who stepped forward to help the supply – but the demand continues.

In a conversation last summer, I asked this question: What have we learned? But, I wonder if people can answer that question beyond their political bias. One year later, after turning life in the world upside down – after a year of many losses – I occasionally still ask that one question, but seldom get a thoughtful answer.

On the plus side, it’s been a year of celebrating health care workers, although we may not understand their stress. We celebrate that science works – although many still don’t understand it. We celebrate that kindness still works – even something as simple as checking on someone.

I think about how every one of us lost numerous opportunities and precious time. Some of us have handled it better than others. Then again, the selfish are seldom happy.

Yes, my heart is heavy today. Like many others, I reminisce of better times and hope for better days ahead. On the other hand, I’m still standing on the upward side of the grass; healthy and walking on the beach – which is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have written about COVID

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107 thoughts on “66 – COVID-19”

  1. Oh Frank, I have goosebumps … your words, followed by Freddy – always the showman – singing a final song when he knew his days were numbered …
    We have been so immensely fortunate here in Australia. I simply can’t imagine how you would feel, living in the USA, with family in Italy, and living through all of this. I don’t feel that I can provide a valid and genuine response to a world-wide pandemic that has caused barely a ripple in my country compared to the rest of the world. Just know that I care. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joanne,
      Thank you. Even with this being a global topic, I was hesitant to post this – but seeing the responses so far, I feel better about doing so. Places are your country and your Kiwi neighbors did very well – and being surrounded by an ocean is helpful. Fortunately for my family, all of us here and in Italy are fine – including members working in health care. Thanks for sharing and caring.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Frank, this year has really been tragic and grim across the globe. Just when things seemed to be looking up, with the vaccine out, we have now been hit by a second wave, which is more intense. Things are going out of control. There is fear and uncertainty looming large once again. Lets all pray for healing times and a journey back to normalcy. Take care and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Radhika,
      After reading your comment, I looked at your adjectives because they fit in so many ways to so many people. You mentioned the second wave, some are dealing with a fourth wave. Yes, let your hope, pray, and work toward normalcy – whatever it may be. Thanks for sharing, and stay safe.

      Like

  3. Yes, it’s been a difficult year to come to terms with, even though all our family has been fortunate: all my children and their families still in work, none of us sick, all the over 60s in our cohort vaccinated . And you’re right. The New Normal may still have to include masks and distancing and so on. It would be nice to feel it also included vaccinations, and luckily in the UK, the anti-vaxx movement isn’t as strong as in many countries. But still strong enough to prevent herd immunity. In some ways this coming year may be even harder, with health workers exhausted, the population fed up and increasingly resistant to containment, and new variants constantly rearing their heads. But we’ll have to stick at it ….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Margaret,
      Thank you for sharing your perspective from the UK. Given this is a global problem and the good people here being global, I became comfortable posting this. The anti-vaxxers are strong here in the US, and are even getting legislative support in some states – so I don’t see us reaching 70% – but maybe I’ll be surprised. Your thought in the next-to-the-last sentence is powerful – yet chilling. Thanks for sharing and stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a tough topic to bravely pick, my friend. Being of course very careful and following whatever rules imposed (already being a hypochondriac it wasn’t hard) I can’t help but wonder how many of our personal freedoms we are handing over.
    Yamas, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marina,
      A tough topic indeed. As one who has kept this place positive on the previous 65 posts, posting this wasn’t easy. But I did write this in February from the beach. Glad you have stayed safe, and I’m confident you will continue to do so. Yamas!

      Like

  5. Most of us have danced around this subject with expression of hope for the future but we have this little spot in our brains that niggles and wiggles and says “how do you REALLY feel?”. I know that life has changed – probably forever. I’m sad that so many think they don’t have to take the pandemic seriously and are choosing NOT to get vaccinated – this merry-go-round we’re on may spin well into the future if that’s the case. My world is different but it’s also the same. I intend to live out my life with a smile and hope in my heart which is how I felt many, many years ago as I looked ahead. Even Covid can’t change that. Wonderful post Frank…it will bring interesting thoughts from everyone I’m sure.

    Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Thank you. So far, the thoughts have been encouraging, thoughtful, and very real. So many of us hope for a positive tomorrow while minimizing selfishness. Love your concept of the spinning merry-go-round – so fitting! Cheers to you for doing what you can while maintaining a smile. Thanks for sharing and stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy,
      Thank you. Although part of me wants to be forceful, I tried to maintain a respectful tone on this walk. After all, we know the topic has a degree of volatility. Yes – it’s been quite the year, but let us hope for a positive tomorrow – that the year will end much better than it began. Thank you for sharing and stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Frank, I hope your relatives in Italy are OK, and I’m glad you and your wife got through your travels during that first surge without any problems. You know my mom died of Covid last April. I’m upset that the occupant of the White House at that time deliberately chose to minimize and then politicize the pandemic. Clear direction from the top might have prevented many deaths. I won’t go on a rant about socialism and communism used totally inaccurately, nor the willingness of many to embrace misinformation. 😀 But, as in any crisis, we have also seen the good and noble in some people.
    I see some hope with the vaccination.
    Hope you and yours–and all of us–stay well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Merril,
      Thank you. You were one of the people I thought of about losing someone during this time – and there are others. My Italian relatives are fine – as are my American family (with multiple working in health care). Thanks for sharing your thoughts – stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. They say that adversity brings out the best and the worst in people. We have seen that. I have barely left my apartment in over a year and I’m one of the lucky ones. My heart hurts for the pain and suffering all over the world and still people are arguing about petty politics. Death is permanent, politics are not. My head hurts because of the people who have eyes but cannot see. Why can’t kindness become the norm. The entire world is in this together whether people are willing to admit it or not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam,
      Thank you. “Adversity brings out the best and the worst in people.” Strong and a bit of an understatement at the same time. Yet, your point is the reason why I also mentioned good things about humanity. In some ways, all of us have experienced confinement – but you have given me a new perspective of that. Thank you! I admire the way you have expressed your intellectual humor online, yet I’m confident that you yearn to be out on your terms. Thanks for sharing, Pam …. and continue to stay safe. PS: Who would have ever imagined the border between our two countries being closed for so long.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ve written what I’ve been thinking in like forever – but couldn’t put into anything coherent…THANK-YOU!
    First off, how are your cousins? I hope the family is still intact.
    May I quote/use parts of this in a future blog post I’m mulling over? Of course, attribution is standard with me.
    I’m getting my second jab today and most of my family is ‘in-line’ on the vax path if not fully vaxed. Whew.
    I’ve never even considered ‘giving up my mask’ especially as I know many with conditions that make them unable to be vaxed – you know, the ones who were in that fragile category ***pre-pandemic*** and count on those in the general population to keep up with the standard array of vaccines protecting against deaths by other hideous diseases…
    But I digress…thank you again, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura,
      Thank you for the kind words … and of course, you can quote me. I look forward to your post. My cousins and my aunt (in her early 80s) are fine. 🙂 Cheers to getting your second shot today. Tip – have ibuprofen/Advil on hand for a possible reaction. They should tell you, and I think they also recommend Tylenol. (So you have a choice). Reactions are different from person to person. Thanks for sharing your good thoughts. Keeping staying safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You have stated it very well. The worst for me, has been watching the fear in my mother. Her concerns over family possibly getting sick, over her or dad getting sick and with their ages, it would be hard on them. It is more for them, that I will be happy to see the backside of all this.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hear, hear! Excellent post. I, too, am hesitant to cover controversial topics, although why masking and vaccines should be controversial is beyond comprehension. Also, you wrote “Elected officials politicizing human health and general welfare – something that is still difficult for me to grasp.” A perfect example of how power can corrupt. On the other hand, the Biden Administration has shown how government can (and should!) help.
    Phew! When your wife and her friends went on that cruise, they sure slid under the wire. Glad nobody contracted Covid-19. Hope your Italian relatives have made it safely through this pandemic. My eldest daughter lives in New York City, and last year at this time, our hearts were in our throats as we worried about her health. My husband and I had made plans for one of us to go to NYC to be with her should she get Covid. What a time! Fortunately, Covid passed her by, and she just got her second shot. Oh, gosh! What a time for us all. Finally, the blogging community has been a wonderful source of strength and comfort, a way to feel grounded in a very unsettled time. So thankful to be a part of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie,
      Thank you. I decided long ago that this blog would take the high road. Reaching the 500K mark was in February sparked the thought – so I wrote the post to get it off my chest, but wrote in a way that I felt was usable here IF I decided to do so. I approached Marc @ Sorryless with my idea and he approved posting it – which turned out to be a trial run. But I didn’t decide to post it here until several weeks later.

      Thanks for sharing about your daughter in NYC. That was a scary time for everyone, but I cannot imagine what she or you went through during that time. So far, all well with my Italian relatives – including my aunt in her early 80s. My wife was fortunate, too – and now we are both vaccinated, yet still cautious. Thanks for sharing and stay safe.

      Like

  11. This is an excellent post, Frank, and I love your candid approach to a controversial subject. I am glad your family in Italy are fine, as well as your family here. You’re welcome to add a pingback and leave a link in my comment section. Bravo on your well written piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post Frank and so unfathomable what we have dealt with this past year.
    It’s like the twighlight zone that could rip your heart out and glad your rellies are all ok.
    When we look back on this it will be like a movie as we scratch our heads. life … life is unexplainable but glad we have each other on the ride.
    and gotta love and laugh or we’d cry all day.

    These lines. 🤣
    “I laughed when American late-night host Jimmy Kimmel said at the beginning of Lent – (I paraphrase) – What is left to give up for Lent?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy,
      Thank you. Twilight Zone definitely fits. I wonder how we will look back at it. For sure, many won’t do it constructively because of something selfish. My question is simple: What have we learned? So many people providing a sensible answer. But – at least the Kimmel line made you laugh. 🙂 Continue to stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It certainly hasn’t been the best of times for all of us, Frank, but day by day we’re battling through, and there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We can only hope the whole sorry situation is resolved sooner rather than later, and any political point-scoring is done when it’s all over. That hope’s a slim one, but we now have the beginnings of a political football fiasco over here which will take most people’s minds off things. Did somebody mention distractions? Not for me, I don’t do football…
    Great post, Frank, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tom,
      Thank you. So many bits to nibble on in your comment …. the best of times and the worst of time … the light at the end of the tunnel that I hope is not a train …. oh the political football that loves to either seek attention or distract us away, Oh boy … Thanks for sharing and continue to stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you Frank so much for this post! I too am saddened but I’m hopeful. I’m about to get my first shot. Regarding the politics it has been difficult the way this pandemic was used, and yes at times weaponized. If we let the far-right extremists carry our democracy into the abyss, they will.

    I was thinking about the idea of our freedom. And America was never founded with the idea – you can do whatever you want. Sometimes you need rules to keep people safe. Proof? Yes, traffic laws. We don’t have traffic laws to be a communist nation. We have traffic laws to KEEP PEOPLE SAFE. And that’s a good thing. Peace my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nico,
      Thank you. The weaponizing of a health crisis for political gain gets to me. So does the continual misinterpretation & misrepresentation of the various aspects of our Constitution – again for political gain. Great point about keeping people safe. Thanks for the comment and stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. aFa – are you now aFbeach? – your reflections are, as always, spot on.
    I recognize that I have it easy; it has been no big deal for me to follow COVID guidelines and wash my hands, stay isolated, wear a mask and get vaccinated. Nevertheless, when I hear those (usually old colleagues) complaining on social media how their “liberties” are being taken away, I wonder about the liberties of the 500K lives lost and the front-line healthcare, medical, and emergency responders working long hours and unable to distance themselves from this pandemic.
    I use as an example from a friend who told me that two of his friends from college – all three of them are in their eighties – staunchly objected to the COVID restrictions, refused to follow them or get vaccinated. Those two are now on ventilators. Why is it so hard for some people to accept valid restrictions as cautious prevention rather than loss of liberty?
    Mudge

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mudge,
      Thank you. To me, the story of those proclaiming lost liberties who made to ventilators is easily explained. They use the “loss of liberties” line because they got it from someone – most likely a talking head spewing political rhetoric. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t be surprised if the same gentlemen also believe Hugo Chavez was involved with stealing the election. Hmmmm – science or conspiracy? Oh well. Thanks for sharing … and stay safe.

      Like

  16. The one phrase that stood out for me, Frank. “So many died alone.” What a tragedy this has been for so many families. Those of us who have survived to get vaccinated, are the lucky ones. People who blithely refuse the vaccine are in my opinion, very foolish. We should all embrace science and be grateful that we live to fight another day. I know of families who have lost loved ones and they will never be the same again. Okay, so we have maybe lost some freedoms , but when weighed against the risk of contracting a deadly virus, they are negligible. Your choice of song gave me goosebumps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sylvia,
      Yes – so many died alone … and I imagine many of us know someone that couldn’t be with a loved one at that critical time. In that light, I applaud the many health care workers who stood in for them in absentia. Staying by a person’s side during their final hours – a person they did not know until admittance. Thanks for sharing! Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. We moved just at the beginning of the stay-at-home order in Illinois (although it didn’t apply to moving) and being in a new place when you can’t do normal things as easily makes it difficult to meet new people. Thankfully my family is here and I’ve been blessed to be able to do some traveling (with care.) Makes life easier. But we’ve had it easy compared to people in Europe, that’s for sure. My s-i-l and b-i-l in France have experience several lockdowns. At one point, anyone going out had to have papers or something on their phone allowing them to go, they could only be out for a short time and not at a far distance from home, and could go to one store and then home. People in apartments like your Italian relatives had it even worse. At least my s-i-l has a house and is in the country!

    I’m glad your wife made it back without an issue. That wasn’t true for many people on cruises.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet,
      Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. Looking back, I can’t imagine moving when you did. Oh, little did you realize what was to come. Like you, I also believe many Europeans went through more difficult times than we did. My Italian family also told me about the requirement of papers to be away from home. However, we both know those two countries are still struggling. So much to think about – so much. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I think your post was very deep and hit the nail on the head so to speak about how most ‘ordinary’ peeps feel about this mess we are in. Why a disease had to become so political is still beyond me. Phooey. And those who do not take it seriously put themselves and others in jeopardy for their lives. They may yet regret the way they are doing things.
    I hate all the lockdown stuff, and here in Michigan we really have felt that and all its consequences…but on the other hand, if peeps are not doing these things of their own accord, or using common sense, then that is how it gets handled.
    I still feel bitter that I cannot go and see my Canadian family, nor can any of them come here. At least we have the phone and computer to keep in touch. Zoom and such are blessings, actually. Where/what would we be without those tech things?!
    We had covid invade the nursing home where I work, it was horrible. To say the least. I felt so robbed when we lost 16 residents in short order…and several afterwards, not directly due to covid, but they were so weakened, they just couldn’t withstand all the other issues they were dealing with health wise., And yet, there were many who are still with us and doing pretty well. You just never know what that virus will do. So many of our staff had it, too; thankfully none were lost, and they are all back at work.
    I have had both doses of the moderna vaccine, as well as hubby and both sons. And we hope all of us to not get this virus, so we do practice all the preventive measures. Not that hard actually…just an inconvenience, but its worth it.

    Lets pray that this virus will soon be but a memory no one wants to think about…but we have all learned a lot about ourselves and others as we walked on that path.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ingrid,
      Thank you. There is so much in your comment. Being a worker in the nursing home and witnessing death’s carnage on that group – let alone the feeling that placed on you on multiple fronts. A dual citizenship friend of mine who recently got into Canada to see his elderly mother – but hearing the story of what his trip entailed. Another dual citizenship friend didn’t get across in time for one last visit with his mother. I hooked the two of them together about the process, but it turned out to be too late. The second friend did have a long Zoom time with her – but that’s not the same. Now we come to today, and your state is in the midst of another spike. Thanks for sharing your story – but best of luck as we hope for a positive tomorrow.

      Like

      1. Yes, that kind of thing is so terrible, to not be able to see your family, just because of a border line:(
        I think often of my long gone relatives and parents who lived in care facilities, and I am glad that they did not have to deal with that kind of isolation.
        I am sorry your friends had to experience that kind of tragic thing, too. This virus is so evil, with its far reaching tentacles.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Frank, what a thought provoking post and it’s been interesting reading through the comments. For me personally here in Melbourne, with all we’ve been through and watching events unfold all over the world it’s been like a cross between The Twilight Zone and The Truman Show. Yes, we’re in a movie and the central theme has been about control. But we can choose how we react to it. For many who have dug deep it’s been about holding faith over fear, which has been the real virus. Love, truth and compassion will always overcome the darkness in the end. Wishing you and yours love and all the very best. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miriam,
      Thank you. I had not thought about watching from your perspective – that is watching things happening around the rest of the world. Although, I did get a little of that as we watched Italy while we were considered safe – watching New York City as if it were another planet – and then the sudden shutdown action in my state. Aussie and Kiwi physical isolation helps, but so did prompt action. Yes, love, truth, and compassion overcoming darkness – which is one of the reasons I had to include a section about health care employees and many in the general public stepping up. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The percentage of the world’s population compared to us, and yet. Yeah, I mean . . I think anyone with any sense knows what was going on in this country a year ago, and what WASN’T going on. What a mess it was.

        De Nader!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. It’s been a grim time, no doubt about it. And sadly, COVID cases are still showing up in Illinois, despite precautions (and probably because too many folks aren’t following guidelines as to masking, distancing, and hand-washing). So easy to scream “conspiracy” and refuse to get vaccinated (we even have health care workers professing that).

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.” – A. E. HOUSMAN
    What have I learned? – A humbled deference to Mother Nature
    Jimmy Kimmel’s point… is funny; pathos.
    Sweet choice of song!
    Chheers and be well, Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What a difficult year it has sure been. I well understand your feelings – I am in the USA while my family is in India. Life has felt so cruel and all I can offer are my prayers.

    On a brighter note, glad to follow your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pallavi,
      Welcome first-time beach walker to the friendly sands of my personal beach. Being so many miles apart from your family must be very difficult for you. With different regions of the world seemingly going through spikes at different times places a unique perspective on the news. For instance, I recall my cousin in Italy telling me that the US would become the next hot spot before it did. Best wishes to you and your family. Stay safe and thanks for sharing!

      Like

  23. You really do provide a good way to look back and assess how we’ve all come through so far, Frank. There are so many individual losses we could all share. We experienced some of our lowest days ever with my daughter’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, but then had the true benefit of being locked up together in a strange solidarity that couldn’t have been accomplished in the same way if we weren’t all on lockdown. I hadn’t been in one grocery store or public space before March of THIS year. We have survival stories we will tell until our last days. And as hard as it was, we were the really lucky ones. This has been a time for major self-assessment. We truly know what matters to us the most, and what we can shed as superfluous! And the beach/ocean is still there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra.
      Thank you. I like the way you ended your comment – the beach and ocean are still there! I say that because too many people focus on losing, not gains and what remains. But you also did that in your comment. Thanks for sharing, and I wish your daughter & family strength during the fight. Stay safe and thanks for sharing.

      Like

  24. I remember watching the terrifying news reports from Italy early on and now lately from India. Even though things are getting better here we’ve got to help the rest of the world get vaccinated, too. Over 500,000 lives lost here is a staggering number. Over 3,000,000 worldwide. Science and kindness — I like the way you linked those two essentials.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Barbara,
      Thank you. Isn’t it interesting your we watched Italy first, then New York City, followed by many elsewheres. Compared to 7 billion, 3 million is a small number – and 500K is a pinhead – but that is still many people. My heart goes out to India today as they face a new round of horror. Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I can imagine how you felt as you walk down your beach reflecting on a pandemic that never should have happened. I, too, initially dismissed covid as another flu or another SARS, etc. I was a skeptic for a while but numbers don’t lie, especially now at 500K gone. My mother passed just before covid locked us all down and how lucky I was to be able to see her and say goodbye, unlike so many others who lost their loved ones that died alone. I’m grateful to have recently been vaccinated and I get my second jab next Saturday. I had a mild bout of covid last fall and still struggle with my sense of taste and smell. Who knows what the long-term effects are? I have met naysayers here in rural Washington state to this day who don’t believe it’s real until I tell them I had a mild case. Then the eyes widen and the look of chagrin on their faces as they meet an actual person who had it opens their eyes to its reality. Honestly, I believe the vaccines will slow the spread, but I fear for another virus on the horizon. None of our governments ever got this right, and why should they? No one has ever seen anything like it. Pray for a real end to this. Nice walking with you Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terri,
      Welcome back. Your choice of this walk surprised me, but that’s OK. Thank you for sharing aspects of part of your journey with this virus. The lingering loss of taste and smell baffles me, but I’m not sure that is explainable – but I haven’t sought more information. No state is without its naysayers … and they are also urban and rural, men and women, young and old, educated and less educated. Meanwhile, all of us continually adjust. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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