Thursday, September 30, 2021

Getting a Boost

booster shot
Yesterday my husband and I received the Pfizer Covid-19 booster shot. As soon as we heard it was recommended and approved for those age 65 and over, we scheduled our appointments at Walgreens. We arrived a few minutes early, filled out the paperwork, and quickly received our shots. The pharmacist did a great job, and I barely felt the injection.

So far we are doing well. Neither one of us has a fever, but our injection arms are pretty sore today. I was thinking of the irony of the fact that my left arm was finally pain-free following my frozen shoulder surgery a couple months ago, and now it hurts due to the shot! I will definitely take a couple days of arm pain to avoid getting Covid, that's for sure. 

All these break through cases (vaccinated people who are getting the Delta variant of Covid despite their vaccines) are pretty nerve-wracking. I know that vaccinated folks are pretty unlikely to end up in the hospital or die from Covid, but I don't want to get it in the first place. Who knows what the long-term repercussions will be from having the virus in your system?

As of yesterday in the United States, 213,752,856 people or 65% of the population have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine. Overall, 185,265,610 people or 56% of the population have been fully vaccinated. We are still so far from the 70% vaccination rate goal.

In terms of the booster shot, over 2.8 million Americans had received the shot as of a couple days ago. Nearly 1 million have appointments scheduled to get their third dose. Keep in mind that as of right now, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for its booster. Those who received the Moderna series or the Johnson & Johnson single shot are still having to wait for government approval of boosters.

With so many people in the U.S. refusing to be vaccinated at all, despite the rising numbers of deaths in unvaccinated people, all we can do is take the steps to protect ourselves. Hopefully the third shot will help keep our defenses in place so that, in addition to good hygiene and mask wearing, we can remain virus-free.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

May the Mask be with You

As we roll into the last week of September I find myself busy once again making new face masks. My neighbors were looking for a mask with a filter holder to give them an additional layer of protection, so I volunteered to make them each one. While I was at it, I made myself one with a filter holder as well. We may be going on a flight in November (though who really knows with the way the Covid numbers are still rising), and I decided having a third layer would be a good idea for me as well. Then, since I was on a roll, I made a few other new ones for myself to change things up. If I need to wear a mask, it might as well be cute, right?

Looking back at my blog posts from last year, it was at the beginning of April, 2020 that I sewed my first pandemic face masks. I had no idea that I would still be making them nearly 18 months later. It's just crazy!

This morning we were awake early (as usual) so we decided to walk down to Sunflowers Point to watch the sun rise. It is a short distance from our house, which is nice, so we can take a towel to wipe the dew off the chairs and bring our tea/coffee along. It was a beautiful day, and we were joined by a blue heron in the cove. I cannot say enough times how blessed we are to live here! It was such a great decision to make our retirement move when we did. I can't imagine a better spot in which to weather a pandemic.

sunrise at Mountain Island Lake

Saturday, September 18, 2021


view of Grandfather Mountain from the condo

With the Covid-19 numbers still so grim, it is hard to decide if one should travel or not. We decided to take a three day trip to Banner Elk, NC to stay with some friends in their condo. It is only 2.5 hours from us, so there was no need to stop for gas or a meal. Located in Beech Mountain, the setting is beautiful, and the air is cooler and drier than here in the Charlotte area.

We had a wonderful time playing pickleball at the Beech Mountain Club, hiking in Roan Mountain, taking a walking tour of the town of Banner Elk, and enjoying the diverse landscape of the area. We made all but one of our meals in the condo, and the last night together we ate in town but dined outdoors. We were as safe as we could possibly be, and it was fun to catch up with our friends, play cards on the balcony and just enjoy the fabulous views. It was definitely a respite from the heat we have been having here at home.

Banner Elk area

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Labor Coviday

This past weekend we celebrated Labor Day weekend in the United States. Typically marking the end of summer in the eyes of many people, the weekend is normally packed with activities. Due to Covid, those activities were outdoors again this year. 

The weekend was pretty full with pickleball Friday morning followed by a street fest in downtown Mount Holly, complete with a live band and food trucks. It was a beautiful evening to sit in our chairs on Main Street. Saturday morning Jim and I put our kayaks in on Mountain Island Lake at 7:00. We wanted to catch the sunrise as well as the steam rising up off the water. We captured both, and had the lake pretty much to ourselves at that hour. It was my first time kayaking since my shoulder surgery, and it went well.

sunrise on Mountain Island Lake

Saturday night was the monthly game night with two other neighbors, and the weather was so nice that we were able to play outdoors on a patio. Sunday night was mixed doubles pickleball here on the community courts, and Monday night we attended an outdoor concert here.

The down side of the weekend was that we learned over a dozen members of our community currently have Covid. It appears to have come from a large indoor gathering held here last weekend, at which no one was masked. While our county does not have a mask mandate for indoor activities, the CDC has said people should wear a mask indoors if they are not able to socially distance. We do not attend any large events indoors, and even with small ones I always wear my mask. Because of a delay in relaying information about the outbreak, many more people have been exposed. It is unfortunate that no one was warned before the holiday weekend. It's too soon to tell how many residents will be impacted by this.

Speaking of Covid, things continue to get worse here and around the world. It seems like new variants pop up each week, and it sounds like the latest - MU - may be resistant to our vaccinations. The government is very close to recommending a booster shot beginning September 20th. I won't hesitate to get it. 

Here are the latest coronavirus numbers: North Carolina has had 1.26 million cases and 14,848 deaths. In the United States there have been 40.2 million cases and 650,000 deaths. Worldwide there have been 219 million cases and 4.5 million deaths. The numbers are grim, there are still too many unvaccinated people in the US, and false information continues to be spread on social media. I'm not sure what it will take to get us to the goal of a 70% vaccination rate.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Welcome September

Today is the first of September, and we are on the downhill slide into Labor Day weekend. We finally had some much needed rain yesterday, but could certainly use some more. The better news is that the upper 90s is out of the forecast for awhile. It has been so hot and humid here, and while we had the same weather in the summer when we lived in St. Louis, this has been an unusually long stretch of uncomfortable temperatures and humidity.

Our weekend is pretty full with pickleball on Friday, game night with two other neighbors on Saturday, more pickleball Sunday night, and a concert in the community Monday evening. It should be a great weekend!

Today was my 12th physical therapy session. Andrew keeps pushing me with additional exercises, and it has really made a difference. My range of motion in the left arm is nearly as good as my right arm in a couple of raised positions, and all positions are much better than prior to surgery. I continue to do my own therapy at home once on the days I see the PT and twice on days when I don't. Beginning next week I will cut down to two times a week with Andrew, and his suggestion is just two weeks of that. As we might go visit friends the middle of September, the schedule may need to be juggled a bit. My shoulder is still achy, so I hope after a couple more weeks of therapy that will go away.

Mountain Island Lake sunrise