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2021: A senior’s point of view

With the arrival of 2021 came relief and the possibility of a return to normal. A new year, moving on from what seemed to be endless bad news and worldwide stress. We have started the new year with covid vaccinations rolling out. The USA has a new president and the news feed is less confrontational.  Twitter, Facebook & Amazon have blocked some false news and negative attacks providing a calmer ambiance.  Maybe we can put 2020 in the rearview mirror and return to living life, but it appears covid is not finished with us yet.  

What have we learned from 2020?  Fake news is real, and it’s everywhere.  Don’t believe everything you hear and read, do some research, check various reliable sources. I have heard conflicting views regarding the coronavirus regularly, all the way from there was a coverup to there is no such thing as a pandemic and it is just another run-of-the-mill virus. Researchers have now found that the coronavirus likely started in August or September of 2019. The first Chinese doctor to find the virus and speak out, unfortunately, was silenced and also came down with the virus and died as a result. The contagious disease could have been controlled much earlier if steps were taken right away. So yes there was a coverup, but it is not your average virus.

2020 has been a year where life seemed to slow down. We have had to change our lifestyle and learn to enjoy the simple things. Home-cooked meals have increased as eating in restaurants as a pass-time is no longer acceptable and even considered “risky” behaviour. Activities such as cleaning, recycling, painting and repairing those long-forgotten little tasks have come to the forefront as well as going for walks or individual exercises to maintain health within a single household.  Reading and homeschooling have been a regular renewed activity for many people. Learning new activities and crafts at home has taken the place of travelling and socializing.

Just when a plan for vaccinations is set, shipments are stopped as companies stop production in order to revamp their facilities and produce the vaccine more efficiently. Mother Nature had to get in on the action by throwing in a storm large enough to delay the vaccines further.  With 3 vaccines to be arriving at various times, rules have been put in place as to who will receive which vaccine. Some people were willing to wait for the vaccine they preferred, causing more delays. Meanwhile, the country cannot move towards normal again until at least half of the population has been vaccinated. The more people that become sick with covid, the greater the number of variants created. New covid variations can be more deadly, as well as easier to be transmitted, and vaccines may not be effective against the new variants. Getting vaccinated means your body will fight the infection better. It does not mean you are immune to getting the disease, rather you will not be as sick if you have been vaccinated. You can still get and transmit it. The only way to get rid of Covid 19 it seems, is to prevent transmission. That means social distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands, staying home if you have any symptoms, and testing and notifying everyone when there has been an infection.   

In the meantime, be kind, and be patient with others around you, you don’t know what they may be going through.  Whether it is cutting into the vaccination line or hoarding the toilet paper be tolerant.  We are all in this together. Be calm. Continue to keep in touch with family and friends.  Socializing has been moved to online activities, texting, messaging and zoom meetings.  For our mental health, it is important to stay in touch with family and friends. Be safe, wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands frequently and stay home if you do not feel well.  

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