Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Snow Day

snow day
We are in our third winter at our new home in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. We experienced our first snow on Sunday. Or maybe I should say our first snice storm. It began as snow and then turned into freezing rain and sleet. I was hoping we had left this weather behind in St. Louis, but apparently not. I would rather have a bunch of snow than ice, that's for sure. We didn't have anywhere to go and our freezer and pantry were well-stocked, so we just prayed that the ice wouldn't cause a limb to fall on a transformer.

We dodged a bullet this time, but more rain followed by snow are on tap for Thursday and Friday. Yippee!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

A Cold January

I have been sick for the past week. It began with a slight sore throat, which went into a runny nose and coughing. With Covid on everyone's mind, of course that is where my mind went. But I didn't have any other Covid symptoms - no headache, body aches, loss of taste and/or smell, or fever. It has been pretty much classic cold symptoms. But the weird thing is that I have not been around anyone besides the people in my house since December 28th. (With the exception of being with five neighbors in the back yard socially distanced on New Year's Eve.) And none of them are sick. It didn't seem possible that I could have caught a cold much less Covid. 

Despite that fact I tried to schedule a Covid test as our daughter was flying back home today and obviously had been exposed if I was positive. Home tests are pretty much unavailable, though I have some on order through Amazon. But none of the testing sites had appointments available for the next four days. One of my neighbors offered me a test this morning, so I gladly took it. As expected, I am negative for Covid. That was a relief to all of us.

But we are in a bad situation in this country when people who have some symptoms cannot get a Covid test so they don't expose others around them. Across the country people are waiting in lines for 5 hours or more to do the drive-thru testing. It's ridiculous! The government has had over two years to get this figured out. No wonder the virus is still spreading at an unparalleled rate. We are in for another rough winter in more ways than one.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

What Will 2022 Bring?

We rang in 2022 with a drink in the back yard with five neighbors, followed by the three of us in our household working on a jigsaw puzzle. We haven't celebrated New Year's Eve in a big way since long before the pandemic arrived, but with Covid-19 our options were quite limited. We are choosing to try and remain safe from the virus.

Covid continues to be the story of the day. Omicron is now the most prevalent variant being seen among the new cases in the US. Omicron seems to be affecting the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated, though vaccinated people tend to have milder symptoms and usually don't end up in the hospital unless they have underlying health conditions.

On December 31, 2021 North Carolina had its largest recording of new cases in one day reported - 19,174. It is difficult to find a place where you can get tested, and even harder to find the at-home tests that can be taken. Our state is not alone in seeing skyrocketing numbers. Here is where things stand: North Carolina has had 1.69 million cases and 19,436 deaths. In the United States there have been 54.9 million cases and 824,000 deaths. Worldwide there have been over 289 million cases and 5.4 million deaths. 

North Carolina has only achieved a 57% full vaccination rate, close to the the United States rate of 58.3%. Worldwide that number is only 48%. Despite the huge rise in cases, governments seem reluctant to reimpose restrictions to limit exposure, such as banning large events, limiting indoor numbers in restaurants and other public spaces, and reinstating mask mandates. 

Normally as we begin a new year we sit down and plan out what activities we want to do in the upcoming year. Covid has been around for over two years now, and there is no end in sight. We are not making plans, and instead are taking a wait and see attitude. It's a delicate balance in trying to live our lives while being safe and still having a life to live.

blue heron on Mountain Island Lake December 31, 2021