Moon as seen through bare tree branches

image: Moon as seen through bare tree branches Provence-sur-la-Prairie December 2020.

|| 31 December 2020

Thoughts On The Last Day of 2020

So we have come to the end of this annus horribilis. I cannot remember a worse year. I cannot remember a year when I accomplished less. What actually filled the days that left me exhausted at the end of the day — but showed so little accomplishment? Certainly not the new book I started early in the year and abandoned as the pandemic began to consume my daily life.

Like many of you have reported to me, I spent much time trying to acquire the basic food and household products. I did stock the suddenly-vanishing toilet tissue and paper towels before the shortage. Those were not a problem. But then came the difficult part: months and months of shopping for a supply of healthy food with minimal exposure to the virus.

My choice was ordering. But then came the problem of food unavailabilities. Remember when the only size package of powdered eggs I could order made 33 dozen? And I remember when the only size can of green beans available was the one-gallon size. I decided I should order. Next week there might not be any canned green beans. Believe me, a gallon is a LOT of green beans.

In hindsight, much of 2020 was spent doing things that ultimately turned out to be unnecessary. But all year we were coping with so much uncertainly. So much time was spent trying to get the correct information when the correct information kept evolving.

Gov. Abbott here in Texas almost drove us crazy issuing, revoking, reissuing various confusing Covid restrictions. A Dallas hair salon owner made national — even international — news when she revolted and opened, then refused to close, her salon. Shelley Luther went to jail for that defiance, but Sarah Palin came to show support. Senator Ted Cruz came for a haircut.

By the way, the salon owner, Shelley Luther almost became my Texas state senator in the recent election. She actually came in first in the primary, but in the runoff was barely defeated by her opponent.

My new US Congressman representing my district is also someone whose name even you outside the USA might recognize. Dr. Ronny Jackson was White House Physician for George W. Bush, was kept on through the two Barack Obama administrations, then served as Donald Trump’s White House Physician until Trump nominated Dr. Jackson to be head of Veteran’s Affairs. This nomination generated so much opposition that Dr. Jackson removed his name from consideration.

But when our long-serving Texas 13th district congressman Mac Thornberry announced retirement, Dr. Jackson ran for the office and won by a large majority. Various scandals have been associated with Dr. Jackson. He will likely make an interesting congressional representative. Additionally, Dr. Jackson’s speciality is Emergency Medicine. Given the advanced age of many in the US Congress, he surely will be a useful person to have around.

In the past few days I have been considering priorities for 2021. Age puts me into Phase 1b for the Covid vaccine. Once they vaccinate all the health care workers, then, police, prison guards, firefighters, teachers, grocery workers and those of us over 65 should be eligible. Vaccine liberation will make a huge difference for my daily life.

While many of us did not accomplish what we had planned on 1 January 2020, one thing we can say on 31 December 2020 is: We Are Still Here.

In 2020, that’s something !

Onward to 2021. Bonne Année — Anne Barone