Autumn is here. It is clear the season has changed. The leaves are turning color and dropping from the trees. Temperatures have dropped as well. And the rains have begun in earnest — our version of winter here in western Oregon. The season has changed.
The political season is changing, too. The election is over, more or less. Ballot counting continues in several states, and there will be some mandated recounts and runoffs, but it is clear we will have a new administration 73 days. We don’t know how much damage will be done in the interim, but there will be a new president and cabinet officers in January.
And Covid is changing. Infections are rising. In the past seven days new infections have increased more than 10% in Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Wyoming, both North and South Dakota, and others. (Infections in North Dakota and Wyoming increased more than 20% last week.) Even Oregon is increasing by more than 10% and is hitting new highs in daily infections. The U.S. is quickly approaching a quarter million deaths from the virus. It’s discouraging.
We’re all tired of the virus and the restrictions. We can relax a little now that the election frenzy has ebbed, but this isn’t the time to relax about the virus. Andrea and I talked about throwing caution to the wind and traveling a little. But we’re not willing to go inside a restaurant to eat. A road trip where all meals are either drive-through or takeout, eaten in our car or a motel room, doesn’t sound like a vacation to us. So we’ll stay home.
I do go into the Fred Meyer for groceries now and then. I noticed they were already offering Christmas cards and decorations in early October. They were probably on offer for several weeks by then. But the holidays will look different this year. I’ve spent enough Christmases alone to realize that gathering together isn’t mandatory or even possible sometimes, but I’m afraid many of us don’t want to learn that lesson. A sister-in-law in another state writes about people holding large parties and family gatherings despite the pandemic. I can only hope she manages to stay safe.
And I hope each of you manages to stay safe, too.