Through the Dark

Well, the virus is surging again.  I’ve kept track of Covid infections and deaths since March, and some days it is really hard to look at the latest numbers. So far, 14 million people have come down with Covid in this country. The country with the second most — India — has suffered 9 million cases. Here, 43 of every 1,000 of us have contracted the virus; in India 7 of every 1,000 have contracted it.  Currently, one person dies of Covid in this country every 47 seconds.  I am disgusted that this nation, which claims to be so advanced, has done so poorly responding to the virus.

Oregon is struggling but doing better than other states.  Infections in Iowa are 74 per 1,000, while North Dakota has 105 per 1,000.  In Oregon, less than 18 per 1,000 have contracted the virus, but two large hospitals in the Portland area are building field hospitals in their parking lots.  We’re not doing great by India standards, but Oregon is doing comparatively well for this country.

The effort to develop a vaccine has been remarkable.  Various contenders are nearing the market here and in Europe.  There were reports that Russia already has one, although I haven’t read anything about it lately.  We tend to look only inward here in the States, so it has dropped out of the news cycle.  But even once a vaccine is approved, it will be a while before there have been enough vaccinations to tamp down the spread.  We’ll be wearing masks for a while — those of us who wear them — probably until the summer, although even that might be optimistic.

When this started, we began ordering our groceries online and then waiting in the parking lot for them to be brought to our car.  As things eased, we started going in the store again because what was brought to the car was not always what we would have selected.  But lately we’ve gone back to online and parking-lot pickup and putting up with the limitations of that.

We went to Andrea’s brother’s house for Thanksgiving.  We’d been planning to gather at our son’s house, but with the latest surge we scaled it back, unwilling to expose ourselves beyond the little bubble of the three of us.  Maybe next Thanksgiving we will all be able to gather, but I wouldn’t yet make any reservations that can’t be cancelled.

I served in the military for 24 years.  I had two overseas assignments and five years of sea duty.  Some assignments seemed like they could make or break a marriage.  I’m beginning to feel like this time is like that.  Andrea and I are very comfortable with each other, and this period of stress and semi-isolation seems to be cementing us together even more.  It’s nice.  I feel very fortunate.

We are putting up our usual holiday decorations.  I imagine we’ll stay home over Christmas, bingeing on old movies.  I wish you all well as we pass through this dark time.  Things do change, and eventually we will return to brighter times.  Stay well.  Stay safe.

– Kate

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