Though I knew it was possible, seeing the spike in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths has been demoralizing. More to the point, watching the numbers in some categories more than double from October to November in Albany County is acutely troubling.
Since my father-in-law died of a non-COVID-related disease on April 22 of this year, my wife had driven out to Oneonta, NY to help her mom with the cleaning and shopping. Right before Thanksgiving, our family was discussing plans. My daughter and I thought that making the 70-mile trek wasn’t that good an idea.
My wife said that maybe she’d go alone for a day or two. We believed that she was missing the concern. My daughter is going to school at home. I don’t go to many places. My wife, conversely, is going to work every day, teaching students face-to-face and dealing with colleagues whose protocols while not at school are unknown. It was my MIL who finally put the kibosh on the trip.
A friend of mine is a nurse at Albany Medical Center. On December 1, they had a strike action over many issues, most of which predated COVID. In a non-epidemic period, I would have joined the picket line. Not now.
My Grammarly account analyzed my writings from the second to the third week in November.
1. Neutral 15% +5%
2. Formal 14% +1%
3. Confident 13% -6% that’s about right
4. Friendly 8% -2%
5. Optimistic 8% -5% certainly accurate
6. Worried 8% +4% yup
7. Sad 6% +2% I’ll accept that
Even the places I’ve gone to in the past – CVS, grocery store, takeout restaurant food – I visit less often. In part, it’s because of the vaccines on the horizon. It seems that people are getting cocky about when we’ll get back to “normal.” There will be enough doses to treat about six percent of New Yorkers, primarily health care workers and the elderly in facilities, before the end of 2020.
As someone over 65, I expect/hope to get at least one of the two necessary doses by St. Patrick’s Day 2021. And, barring new information, I will take the injections when they are made available.
This article from FORBES is consistent with some other pieces I’ve read. When will we reach widespread immunization— roughly 70% of the population? In the spring? By July 4? In a year? Or will it take far longer? Will “the overwhelming majority of people” elect to be inoculated?
But the “surge upon a surge” that is happening now, I fear, will become worse during the December holidays and the weeks thereafter. I already know ours will be a low-key COVID Christmas and New Years. I’m hoping others can just hang on just a little while longer with social distancing, mask-wearing, and other precautions.