I’ve stopped saying it can’t get worse because I kept being proven wrong. I guess that’s what happens when you are living through a pandemic. It’s not like I have a lot of experience with something like this.
I actually feel like I’ve been affected by the pandemic more in 2021 than I was in 2020. In 2020 it was like we were all in this together even though some people neither wore masks nor stayed 6 feet apart. But most of us seemed to care, we wanted to support the businesses that were able to stay open, and to help those who found themselves abruptly unemployed for no fault of their own.
We even seemed to have hope a year ago, knowing a vaccine for this coronavirus was on the horizon, and holding the belief it would then speed the demise of the pandemic.
I feel less hopeful than I did a year ago.
I feel like I’m going to continue to be learning the Greek alphabet for the unforeseeable future, what with all the names of the virus’ variants. While delta and omicron are the better known, the World Health Organization has also used alpha, beta, gamma, lambda and mu for other strands.
I’ve resorted to asking people if they are vaccinated before they are allowed in my home. If the answer is no, they wear a mask or aren’t allowed to enter.
I have declined social gatherings because I didn’t want to be indoors around people who I didn’t know their vaccination status.
I’ve only massaged people who are vaccinated.
I continue to wear a mask in stores and the like.
I worry about next summer’s family reunion that was originally scheduled for 2020. A reunion that I am hosting in Lake Tahoe. Many family members are anti-vaxxers. Do we ask people to identify as vaxxed/unvaxxed and then let everyone decide if they want to hug, mingle, be close to each other? Do we wing it and become that large group gathering known as a super spreader? Do I stay home? Trust me, the latter has been on my mind for months.
What brings me hope is that my close friends—wherever they live—are vaccinated. This is leading me to already have more plans on the calendar than I had in 2021. OK, so that isn’t really saying all that much. Still, it’s encouraging.
While the future social gatherings with vaccinated friends brings me hope, I also wonder if as a society we are not only becoming more divided philosophically and politically, but now physically. How are we to overcome our differences, to understand each other’s points-of-view, to find compromise if we are self-segregating based on a vaccine? I don’t have that answer.
All I can do is try to listen to those I disagree with, to not shut them off, to invite conversation. We may not change each other’s minds, but maybe we can find a way to appreciate, respect and live together in this world without name calling, threats or violence.
2022 will be what we make of it. All we can control is how we react to things. Remember, you can disagree with someone without being disagreeable.
Happy New Year!
Very well put and it is tough to accept someone’s belief that you just can’t understand. I agree that in many ways this year has been tougher than the last. I too, feel we are becoming more and more divided . I can try and respect one friends standing but sadly I don’t want to be around her anymore and that means refusing her to be my tennis partner.
Gatherings are still not a good thing to be doing even if everyone is vaccinated and boosted. So many I know have , and they still can get it. Luckily it’s not so bad if you get it, but there’s children and seniors who are at risk for becoming very sick. If I was by myself and not responsible for my parents and job w little ones, I perhaps would go to a New Years Eve party and be with friends . It’s so hard to say “no “ when it comes to good friends. Hopefully your gathering in the summer can still happen and the variants will be wiped out. Definitely require family to be vaccinated and boosted. We’ve had to do that in our family for one of our members.
Let’s stay positive and have a good 2022!!! Happy New Year!
Tough call with family and old friends but you have to protect yourself.
I appreciate your thoughts, Kathryn. I think you are “right on.”
As an “elder” member of society
I perhaps have a bit more optimism about the future of society. During the pandemic young people and others protested against treatment of people of color, brought up subjects of climate change, treatment of the environment, human rights, all important subjects to address now. My granddaughter age 23 who died suddenly this year, was working hard on the human rights issue. We all need to be more aware of these and other issues. Most important we must be more loving of each other.
I totally agree with you. It is hard to go to the grocery store without wondering if the unmasked people are anti-vaxers.
I too have family members that refuse to be vaccinated. I feel like they are risking their lives. There is nothing I can say to change their minds.
I am wishing that we all have a New Year that is full of laughter, love and good (better) health.
As usual, Kae, you are not afraid to weigh in on controversial subjects. I am not as philosophical as you. It makes my blood boil when anti-vaxxers insist that vaccine mandates take away their freedom. (Freedom from sickness, possibly death? Freedom to put others at risk?) What about my freedom? It annoys me that my book club must meet on Zoom (even though we are all vaccinated and boosted) rather than at the cozy tea house where we usually gather to discuss our readings. My brother jack and I have a nephew who defends his refusal to be vaccinated because when you get a shot “they put a chip in you to follow you around.” Jack pulled out his phone and told him: THIS is your tracking device! I will heed your advice for tolerance, Kae, by not snatching my first opportunity to call him an idiot.
Thank you for all your wise words, and Happy New Year!!