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.

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The Lies We Live By


Aristotle wrote a lot of important stuff, very little of which I’ve read. But this Aristotelian idea is cool and I don’t know why we are not taught this in high school. It helps untangle the importance of what we read and watch.

Fat Tuesday & Valentines Day & Ash Wednesday (says it all)


I think today has to be a Three Things. You probably don’t even know I have Three Things scaffolding in my secret writing toolbox of organizational tools, but I do. Sometimes it’s how thoughts present themselves, you know? Things to say, but not for too long.

(Now that I've finished and read what I wrote, I guess this is five things but some days, in our expanding universe, the math just works this way,)

Successful & Failed Artists


Last week I finished reading Woodcutters by Thomas Bernhard. (I discovered this book via Librarian of Burgos Instagram because I am her fangirl now.)

If you like to read a book that has a recognizable plot of sympathetic characters moving forward through a problem to a solution– you will likely not enjoy this novel. Heck, I’m not sure if I ‘enjoyed’ it.

Animals of Winter


Last week I invited you to submit pictures of animals who are visiting your life these days.

The Republic of False Truths


I set a goal for this year to read one translated modern novel every month. I’ve been following ‘Librarian of Burgos’ on Instagram and this woman keeps hyping and explaining books I’ve never heard of, which intrigues me mightily. I think she might be a reader’s reader. Anyways, she is European, has transcendently luminous skin plus several master’s degrees and a doctorate in history. Sometimes she even recommends books that are not, sadly she says, not yet translated into English. Cracks me up.

Who's In Your Backyard?


It’s been a wowser of a wintery week. We had the deep and blowing snow last Friday which turned into the heavy-as-concrete snow on Saturday which turned into a deep and frozen crust on Sunday - and here we still are. Last week’s snow still limns the trees and branches. A foot of snow still covers every roof. When I walk (why yes, I’m still going out for strolls) it’s a matter of life and limb navigating the jagged piles between sidewalk and street. I do use my “Alpine” walking stick these days.

Change is coming but not today.

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