The Struggles and Perils of a New Year

Hello 2021

It’s been far too long since the last post. January of the new year has come and gone, and February has reached its middle age. Punxsutawney Phil, the little scoundrel whose den is located in Punxsutawney, PA, opted to foretell the continuation of winter on Groundhog Day. Whether fair or not to blame him, the cold season shows no sign of disappearing for good anytime soon. Just ask Texas.

December of 2020 ended with the headache, fever, cough, and aches of the COVID-19 virus–oh, and the lack of being able to taste or smell the traditional pork and sauerkraut of New Year’s Day, the definitive telltale sign of the viral infection. Thankfully, our experience with the virus was a relatively mild one, and if we hadn’t lost our ability to smell literally everything, we might have suspected we had contracted a seasonal flu. My positive test result basically sealed the deal, too. After a few weeks, we felt more or less normal again, or as normal as we ever do. Those of you who know us will understand; others, it doesn’t matter whether you get it or not. Finally, my sense of taste and ability to smell all manner of odors, both good and bad, has returned, for the most part.

We didn’t make it out of January unscathed even after defeating the virus. My mother-in-law, who has resided in a nursing facility for the past few years, was diagnosed with the COVID-19. She was moved from her usual room, along with her roommate who also tested positive. That lasted a few days until the staff decided there was little point in keeping the separation since she showed no symptoms. They also were not sure the positive result might just be due to the vaccine she received. That reprieve lasted all too briefly, as she soon had a devastating stroke and was transferred to the local hospital where there was doubt she would survive. She did live and then was taken back to the home within a few days, unable to speak and barely able to swallow. For a time, Mom started to show signs of recovery, but she only lived about ten days altogether before passing away on January 30, 2021. She is already missed so much.

While there is cause for sadness, there is also relief. Those of us who had the virus in our immediate circle have recovered; some other family members have even been able to get or schedule their first dose of the new vaccine. We can all rest a bit easier knowing that, while it hasn’t totally given up, winter is getting closer to leaving and spring to arriving. The snow will melt, the grass will grow, and the birds will return from the south.

And–we have a new president!!!!

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