December 2022 – End of the Year & Beginning of a New Journey

December 1, 2022

So begins the month of December 2022, the excitement leading to the Christmas holidays coupled by the apprehension experienced at the upcoming approach of 2023. How will 2022 close out the year? With a quiet, peaceful, and joyous passage into the new year, I’m hoping. Each year has that potential, but the passing of time since 2019 has educated us to the potential uncertainty to be anticipated in each succeeding day.

Ah, 2019! I remember it well, and 2020 held so much promise in its beginning. That is, until the first confirmed Covid case in the United States, announced in January 2020. Even then, it was no cause for alarm. After all, it was just one, clear across the country in the state of Washington. I recall returning to work that month at the college, not at all concerned about the state of the virus in the rest of the world because we were clear over here across the ocean.

I remember reading the news on the college computer and feeling relieved that it was in Europe and not increasing here. How foolish, how naive! That solace did not last. Spring break came around in the beginning of March 2020, by which time we were all ready, students and staff, for the brief respite from reviewing papers. The week of spring break was temporarily extended for an extra precautionary week, due to an increasing rise in cases of the virus. No need for concern, it was just a week. By the close of that week, we knew. It was just the beginning, and on March 16, 2020, the state of Pennsylvania was shut down, followed by a shutdown of all “non-life sustaining businesses” on March 21, 2020.

That was only the beginning, and things only worsened from that point onward. Today’s news is comforting, as the virus is predicted to be much more mild now (even with the never-ending variants that cannot be fully predicted as to severity) and illness less serious–mostly. Of course, diseases this year are vying for their place in the grand scheme of infection. Will it be the flu? Will it be another respiratory illness? Will it be a new, potentially disastrous variant of the coronavirus?

Stay tuned to your local health department for further updates, because one never knows what is around the corner.