A Slightly Merry and Very Wet Christmas

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It is shortly after midnight December 25, 2020. After a record snowstorm here of 24.7 inches last week on Wednesday into Thursday, central Pennsylvania is now experiencing warmer temperatures and day long rain, leading to mild to moderate flooding in the area. Of course, it is only mild or moderate if you are not in the path of the water. The other factor pending is the temperature. Right now, it is 47 degrees, a relatively warm start to Christmas day. However, in true 2020 fashion, the high is to be 37 degrees today and the low 19, and Saturday will be even chillier.

Here’s hoping for a stellar 2021! A year where the COVID-19 pandemic becomes relegated to history even as we remembe and mourn those who were its victims, where Donald J. Trump is resigned to the garbage heap he deserves along with his complicit family, friends, and the weak Republicans who allowed him to run roughshod over the United States and ruin its reputation across the world, and where compassion, empathy, and peace become the new watchwords and behaviors the world so desperately needs.

Blessings to all and fervent wishes for a wonderful life ahead.

Such a Year!

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It is now December, the start of the Christmas season, and the last month of an incredibly long and difficult year. A year full of more trials than successes, more pain than joy, and so much fear and anxiety, 2020 has been a year that no one could have imagined outside of a novel or a horror movie. Every day, some of us worry that we will hear a loved family member or a dear friend has tested positive for COVID-19, aka a novel coronavirus. An off day becomes a day of terror, full of fear that one will suddenly lose the senses of smell and taste followed by a slight difficulty in breathing. A cough is no longer an allergy but a harbinger of worse to come. Every day, more cases are registered, more people are hospitalized, and more deaths are reported.

One very frustrating point is that many people still slough off the warnings as a complete and utter hoax. “It’s no big deal, no worse than the flu.” “I only had a little cough and a slight headache.” “I tested positive but never had any symptoms.” Yes, it’s all a little inconvenience until one can’t breath, goes to the hospital, is admitted into the ICU, and needs a ventilator, a machine that breathes for the patient who is struggling to take in air through COVID-damaged lungs and allows the body to rest and heal. Some need the help for a few days, others perhaps for weeks. However long the process, it won’t be pleasant, and the patient is sedated and alone, leaving family members to worry whether they will ever see their loved one alive again. Most do, but many have not.

Fathers, mothers, siblings, aunts, uncles, husbands, wives, so many have succumbed to the virus, with loved ones left behind to grieve for the rest of their years. Some families have lost multiple members, some both mothers and fathers, leaving younger orphaned children behind to mourn. Most people have at least heard of someone who has tested positive or has gotten somewhat ill. Others know of friends that tell about family who have been admitted to the hospital, and some weep for those who have passed alone in nursing homes.

Today, December 3, 2020, there were 210,161 new cases reported and 2,706 deaths, with over 100,000 patients currently hospitalized in the United States. Each one of those numbers is someone’s mother, father, spouse, or child, and according to Johns Hopkins University, “the U.S. death toll currently stands at 275,550.”*

Don’t become one of the statistics. Follow the CDC guidelines and do your best to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Distance and isolate this holiday season so you can celebrate together in the future.

*Stats from https://abcnews.go.com/Health/live-updates/coronavirus/?id=74456908