For the first time in three years, we’re planning to get together with Al’s cousins for Thanksgiving. While we can never, ever, dismiss Covid as a wily adversary, it does feel as if the pandemic is finally morphing into an endemic, and that we’ll cope with it like the annual flu, with updated vaccines each year.
Now that Al and I are fully vaxxed for Covid and the flu, we’ve been getting out more. This past weekend we attended a wonderful concert of piano and cello compositions by J.S. Bach. We’re no longer worried about eating inside restaurants. I always carry a mask, but have stopped using it unless I’m on mass transit or am in a crowded, enclosed space. Of course, however, I follow rules for masking in health care settings.
So far, so good, thank goodness. I also feel like I need to risk exposure to whatever else is floating about, just so my body produces antibodies on its own. (Though I am not looking for trouble, either. If someone is sneezing or coughing nearby, out comes the mask.)
It is a relief. I am incredibly grateful for all the effective vaccines and anti-viral medications, for free access to same, for health care professionals who have worked so hard under such heavy pressure during the worst of the pandemic, for all those who showed up and solved problems and kept things running.
There is more to be grateful for this holiday. Our election system worked this November, despite so many threats and strains. Our democracy remains under tremendous pressure, and the risks of irreparable harm remain huge. But I am more hopeful than I have been this past year that people of good will, and especially young folks, will rise to the challenges before us.
On a more personal note, I’m grateful for my husband, the happiest man on Earth since he retired a few weeks ago, my two amazing daughters, loving family and good friends, a warm home in this chilly season, excellent physicians, a caring community, and you, Dear Reader, for joining me on my journey with scleroderma and all its twists and turns.