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Good-Bye 2020; Hello 2021


As many people know, I have been an outspoken skeptic on the coronavirus lockdown of the country. It’s long past time for folks to go back to work, for restaurants and bars to reopen, and for factories, and farms to once again start supplying the basic needs.

At the same time, Carmela and I have been very careful how we live and how we relate to other people – mostly because of my age and health. And that has been our attitude. High-risk people – whether because of age or other factors – should take whatever steps they needed to protect themselves. Everybody else should get back to work.

And some people have. Grocery workers, whether cashiers or truck drivers, have been showing up every day, wearing masks, and making sure people can get the food they need to survive. Doctors and nurses have been manning the front lines at hospitals; many construction workers have also been on the job, and so have other blue-collar folks, such as longshore and warehouse workers.

Lots white collar workers have been able to perform their duties from home, avoiding the long commutes and the need for a downtown office – an idea that may gain new credence after the coronavirus lockdown has past.

Most teachers and other unionized government workers have continued to draw a paycheck even if they have not been doing any work.

Carmela and I are retired, so earning a living is not an issue. But other things are. In my age group and with my pre-existing medical conditions, the coronavirus would be a death sentence – or so we thought. Then in December – 12 days after my 80th Birthday – I went to an oral surgeon for a root canal.

Without getting into details, this guy was clearly frazzled, not tracking very well, and inserting all kinds of tools into my mouth and a probe into my gums. We left there and vowed never to return.

Two days later, I developed a sore throat, a cold, and severe body aches. Two days after that, so did Carmela. The final diagnosis, we both had the dreaded coronavirus. And guess what. We are both still here, although I still have the sniffles and Carmela has temporarily lost her sense of smell – which is a tough thing for a woman who loves to cook.

But we overcame the coronavirus and that’s something for which to be very thankful. And we are.

2020 may have been a terrible year, but we survived it. So here is to 2021. It’s got to be better than the year just past.

Or is that just wishful thinking?

George Lee Cunningham

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