Mary Beth Writes


Yes, it’s been 979 days since Friday the 13th, March 2020, when everything changed.

Last Saturday one of our kids visited for several hours with their kids. It was fun though our kid looked tired. They said they’d taken a Covid test that morning and it was negative. They figured it was the wine and rich foods they’d shared the evening before with friends at the end of a very busy week.

Next morning, we were driving the sleepover grandchild back to their house when our kid called and said the Covid test that morning was positive and they were super sorry they had exposed us.

We cancelled things we had planned to do this week with friends. Three hours of close contact, several hugs, sitting two feet away at a chatty dinner – no way we would miss Covid this time around. I looked up the CDC site for quarantine guidelines. When exposed, quarantine for 10 days and/or wear a an N95 mask and don’t take it off.

We are on day #5. We don’t have Covid and I’m almost embarrassed because I ruined some really sweet plans for myself and others.

However, I do have a cold! My nose is so clogged it feels as if it’s been tuck-pointed and I have sneezes so profound they send cats flying. No fever though and I don’t feel run down or very sick. I just definitely have the cold Len had last week.

So even though I didn’t (apparently, there are days to go in this quarantining) save my friends from Covid, I did save them from this dumb cold.

I looked up “What happens when soldiers get sick right before a battle?” and discovered this interesting theory. It’s likely that General Robert E Lee was leading his army at Gettysburg while still affected by a heart attack he probably had that spring.

In March 1863, Lee suffered “a sudden onset pain in his chest, back, and arms. It affected his ability to ride a horse and he was known to have become anxious and depressed, both common conditions after heart attacks. It is proposed that “his heart disease may have affected his judgement which would explain some of the decisions he ordered that day, namely Pickett’s Charge. As the NIH diagnosis says, the loss at Gettysburg didn’t break Lee’s heart, it was broken when he got there.”  Read the article here. 

Do you find yourself casually referring to “before Covid” or “when Covid was new” or “I can’t remember how many vaccines and boosters I’ve had, I just know I got all of ‘em.”

It’s still weird, isn’t it? We KNOW this disease is everywhere yet we are going back out to shop and do activities. We know we can still get Covid, or get it again, though with precautions and shots it probably won’t kill us. Probably.

Also, if we are related to people with weakened immune systems (who isn’t?) then we need to think on their behalf as well as our own. Though from what one reads, there are plenty who think acting on behalf of others is a snowflake choice.

But – everyone is out and about. How bad can it be?

No clear answers.

What are you doing? Masking? Not thinking about it?





Went grocery shopping today.. No one has a mask on, including myself. All taking chances, even though I am boosted.

I am still masking and not exposing myself to people or situations where I could be in contact with someone who has Covid. Having ALL the vaccinations and boosters is good, but I’d like to be one of the people who does not get Covid. Can’t afford to be sick. Don’t want to be sick. It helps that I am a bit of a recluse.

Basically I try not to think about it. I am aware! We have all our boosters, we did get Covid last January and hubby was very sick. Me not so much. We wash our hands more often. Try to social distance. I think Covid is here to stay. We still need to go on living.

I don't wear a mask anymore but try hard to distance myself physically from others while in social situations. Honestly, I think I just got sick of wearing a mask. I do feel like I pay more attention to the possibility of catching an illness while casually socializing since Covid appeared. I didn't think too much about it "before Covid." Just last weekend my husband and I declined a dinner invitation because the wife disclosed she had tested negative for Covid but had a sore throat and was feeling punky. I don't need strep or even another cold, thank you. Likewise, if I'm not feeling well I stay home. Hope you feel better from your cold soon.

We always mask while shopping. I was at Aldi on Monday and saw more masked people than I have in a year. I am not complaining. My husband is immuno-compromised. A good friend has Covid Pneumonia and may be on oxygen for the rest of her life. It ain’t something to mess around with.
Mary Beth's picture

Yes, the long Covid, the serious damage to some peoples' health - its real. I hope your friend can heal. What a slog to get through.

I continue to mask when out in public places, and do not attend big social events. Neither, does the rest of my immediate family. My oldest daughter lives daily with the effects of having had mono as a teenager. Her immune system never recovered. My youngest has a heart condition, and my grandson is medical complex. We are careful, and vigilant. All vaccinated and boosted. I hope you are fully recovered from your cold soon. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

I salute how much caring and being cautious you need to do in your family. We did go to a college concert a few weeks ago, but the good thing about college-level concerts is that they are generally good ... and usually under-attended. Wore a mask, sat in a huge space with not too many people. It was amazing to hear live music again.

I got COVID at the end of October. Never had it before, and was thinking maybe my immune system was "strong like bull", and I was going to be able to evade it. Nope. Despite vaccinations and boostering, I got a doozy of a case when one of my co-workers came in to work sick ("I think it's just a cold"). Despite wearing a mask at work,(my sick co-worker did not) three days later I started with symptoms and two days after that tested positive. I found out that the incubation period for the new variants is less than 3 days. Boy - I wouldn't wish it on anyone. It layed me flat for over a week. I also have continued to wear a mask in public places. It feels like the right thing to do.

Add new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

A-Z Cats

This is Lil Girl hanging out while I wrote this. 




 “Every family needs a cat so there is someone to blame everything on who won’t actually care.” Quote attributed to Len. 

I was 21 when I got my first cat through the fraught circumstance of someone dropping him off on a highway. He made his way to the backstep of my brother’s house where Sebastian the dog began to bark his head off. Paul went to the door to discover a kitten hanging by its wee claws to the screen door.

A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska


I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z


I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?


Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

Len Explains Fusion Energy

The photo is of Lisa Meitner. The BFF of one of our kids is (quite likely) a great grand niece of this amazing woman. 


MB: Len occasionally explains very complicated science things to me or our kids in such a way that we actually understand it. One of our kids asked him what the big deal was about fusion. Len wrote this and I thought some of you might like to read it.

Long live curious people and long live nerds. 


Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words A-Z AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent aging Alaska anniversary antibiotics antlers apples appointments Arrows art Ashland August Augustine baby Badlands balance Baldwin Barbara Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM BookReport books boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cabeza de Vaca Cahokia calendars Canada canoe cat romance cats cello Chicago China Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense community consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote CrimeShows DarkRiver death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering democracy dentist depression Destination Today Detroit Didion disasterprep dogs dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Eclipse election EmilyDickinson eschatology Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade family farmer Fata Morgana firealarm Fitness Five Flatbread Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal FrugalHacks Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga fusion Galena Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd gerrymandering ghosts gifts girls gorgons GovernorThompsonStatePark Graduation grandkids granola groceries Guatemala gum guns happiness HaveYouEver? hawks healthcare Healthinsurance hearings heart HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope hurricane impeachment Innkeeper Instincts integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin Jan 6 Janus JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Loki loneliness LouisArmstrong Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Marsden Hartley masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories men Middlemarch MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens Mistakes MLK moon Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves Mustapha Nancy Drew New Mexico New York City Nomadland OBUUC Ocotillo OnaJudge ordinary OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter Parade mayhem PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon photos Pi Pies pineapples poetry Preaching privacy Protest QE2 Quern quest Questions Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes recommendations Remember RepresentationMatters Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb Ricky rime RitesofPassage Rosemary Ruether Roses Roti Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraKurtz SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory shoulder sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito solstice South Dakota SpaceShuttle spirituality spring square feet staining stele Stereotypes stories StoryStarts stress Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge TheMaid ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards Three Thing ThreeThings Three Things TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone Ukraine Ulysses Grant UnrelatedObservations Up North urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam vision VivianWokeUpDrowning vole volunteer WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving Webs wedding whines WhyAttendChurch Wiley Willa WillaCather Wisteria
Ad Promotion