Thursday, January 14, 2021

That's a Shot in the Arm!

seeing the light

The federal government a couple days ago announced that the Covid-19 vaccine can now be administered to anyone 65 and older. The states were still in group 1b, which was for folks age 75 and older. This is one of the few times when I am excited about my age as I turned 65 last fall.

Today I was able to register online with one of the major health care systems in the area, even though it is not the system my primary care doctor is in. The system crashed many times due to user overload, but once I got through the process I was able to go ahead and book my appointment. It took some trial and error because each time I picked an appointment, by the time I verified my information the time slot would no longer be available. I prevailed, though, and I will receive my first shot on February 5th.

I cannot begin to express how uplifting this development is to me and my friends who have secured a date to receive their first vaccination. For the first time we can actually see a little light at the end of the tunnel we have been stuck in since last March.

Jim is not eligible yet as he doesn't turn 65 for a couple months. By then I will have hopefully received both doses of the vaccine. It is only the second time that I have been happy about being older than him (the first becoming eligible for Medicare). I pray that soon everyone will have access to this life-saving vaccine, and we can wipe Covid-19 off the face of the earth.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Peace in Nature

Between Covid-19 and the unrest in this country, it is hard to find peace. But this scene from my back yard yesterday morning came close to soothing my soul.

seagulls on Mountain Island Lake

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Proud to be an American?

One thing I have never done on my social media channels is discuss politics. I've always thought there were many good reasons for the old adage "don't discuss politics or religion." We are all entitled to our personal opinions on both. Most likely you won't change my mind, and I probably won't change yours.

But yesterday's storm on Capitol Hill by Trump protestors has really sickened me. Protest the election results all you want, it is your right. But to illegally enter and damage the Capitol building - a symbol of the American people and their government - is beyond belief. Our country is already so divided over many things, and this riot in Washington, D.C. really illustrates how wide-spread the division has become.

There are a lot of unanswered questions regarding who the protestors are and how they managed to breach the building on the very day that Congress was verifying the electoral college votes to determine who the next President of the United States will be. Hopefully those who broke the law will be aptly punished for what they did.

Despite the chaos around them, Congress stayed into the early morning hours to count the electoral college votes. Joe Biden has been officially declared the 46th President of the United States. I can only hope and pray that he can bring healing to a country that is being torn apart from within by its own citizens. I'm not looking for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but instead peace for the country of my birth.

rainbow over Mountain Island Lake

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Still Staying at Home

Another announcement was released by Governor Cooper today regarding Covid-19 restrictions in North Carolina. Current rules were set to expire this Friday, but basically due to the devastating statistics that are coming out, he extended the restrictions for at least another 3 weeks. We are at day 229 of Safer at Home orders, and 286 of overall restrictions due to the pandemic. 

To date, North Carolina has had 578,000 cases and 7,080 deaths. In the United States there have been 21.1 million cases and 357,000 deaths. Worldwide there have been 86.8 million cases and 1.88 million deaths. The statistics are daunting, and the fear is that we haven't seen the peak of cases resulting from the more than 80 million Americans who traveled over the Christmas and New Years holidays.

With the Covid vaccine being months away from having a significant impact on the spread of this deadly virus, it is difficult not to get discouraged at the situation we find ourselves in. I continue to be grateful that Mother Nature offers me an opportunity on a daily basis to stop and take a breath.

yesterday's sunset

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Take a Hike!

 While Covid-19 has kept us pretty close to home, we do try to get out and enjoy nature when we can. Saturday we drove to South Mountains State Park, which is about an hour and a half away from where we live. There is a beautiful waterfall there, and we have hiked the trail to get to it once before. I forgot that it is a pretty arduous hike, despite the fact that the hiking websites describe the trail as "Moderate". I have decided that it must be 20-30 year olds who are rating the trails. What is "Moderate" to them is definitely "Strenuous" to people in their 60s.

Rain on Thursday and Friday meant that the trail was wet and muddy. That was the bad news. But the good news was that the creek was full and flowing, and there was an abundance of water coming down from the falls. The park was quite crowded, which is a bad thing during Covid. The trail is quite narrow at many points, making it very hard to socially distance. While we were masked, I would guess only about 25% of the other hikers had masks on. It is so frustrating!

After the hike, we took the chairs and lunch we had packed and sat along the creek to eat. It was peaceful, and a good way to relax before making the drive back to Mount Holly. But we will definitely avoid going to any of the parks on the weekends again. 

South Mountains State Park