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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder

Adios 2021

It's been one hell of a year--a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, ups and downs.

There was the utter fear of Covid 19 without any shots in arms. We hunkered down, ordered our groceries to be delivered (some of us), spent no time indoors with friends and family, except for those in our so-called "pod" with whom we'd quarantined from the onset.

And then there was the promise of a vaccine. I remember being in a sort of panic; all of us wanted the shot as soon as possible. I got my first one in late February and then the second shot at the end of March. That seems like a lifetime ago. Like most seniors, I celebrated. There was a feeling of freedom, of protection. We were "safe" and could get back to our "normal" lives--or something that resembled a "normal" life.

When good weather arrived, I bought two side tables for outside eating, a fire pit for chilly evenings, and one of those large, outdoor heaters that cost a mint and ultimately proved a bust. But that didn't stop us from enjoying the company of friends, many of whom we hadn't seen for months. We didn't feel invincible but close.

Then boosters entered the scene. Again, seniors were the first in line. Again, we felt triple protected and ready to get back to an exercise class or to the gym, or to a restaurant. (I never felt comfortable eating inside, but a lot of folks did.) Even as recently as Thanksgiving, my friend hosted her annual party with the caveat that everyone be boosted. It worked; no one got sick.

But hold on, just hold on. That was a mere month ago, and things have taken a major turn for the worse. This Omicron variant first reported in South Africa has devastated hundreds of thousands of Americans and people worldwide. Stores are closing because they don't have enough staff. Airline flights have been canceled. Everyone it seems knows someone who has tested positive. While most of the people I know of have said that they were down for a few days with severe cold-like or flu symptoms, who wants to get sick? Not me.

So here we are AGAIN. Back to masks indoors with close friends and family. Masks outside. Social distancing. Hand washing until our hands are red. Damn! If only the 36 million Americans who haven't been vaccinated would get their shots. This is not a matter of personal freedom; it's a matter of health and safety. But these anti-vaxxers don't see it that way. And they are the problem. I hear stories all the time about very sick people who end up in ICU. They are deathly ill. Many of them will die. And only then do they plead for the vaccine when it is too late. Only then do they beg everyone to get shots. Sorry.


Okay, enough of the doom and gloom.

  • My dance class has started up after over a year, maybe more. Dance is my lifeline and keeps me sane. To move across the floor, to dance a choreographed piece makes my heart and my body sing. Just to be prudent, there are only six of us in a big studio. We wear masks, social distance and take advantage of an air purifier and a service cleaning once a week. (BTW: That is not me.)

  • I finished the first short story of my writing career. What fun to be free to write whatever I please without having to stick to the truth--or something akin to the truth. I'm hoping that an online literary site might publish it.

  • I have been a devoted Noom dieter for a year now. Like any change in eating habits, the early months see the most progress. I lost enough weight to fit into old clothes and to buy a few new ones. Now the real work begins--trying to keep it off.

  • My son and husband are healthy, though my son had a brief hospital stay. All is well.

  • It didn't snow until this very moment. The first snow, and it's the end of December. The idea of shoveling sends tweaks down my spine. But the good news is that a young man across the street is on call for all major shoveling events.

  • My alma mater, the University of Michigan, will be playing Friday night in a bid to be national champions. Hey, it's New Year's Eve, and I'm not going anywhere. This gives me something to look forward to.

  • We are heading to Mexico -- that is, unless we are sick or the U.S. won't let us out of the country, Mexico won't let us in, or all flights are canceled due to staff shortages. Fingers crossed.

  • I am grateful for all of the films and TV series that we have watched during the Pandemic. While I can't remember the plots of some of them because we binged watched or because my memory is shot, I know that entertainment has kept us from jumping out of our skin--or out of the window.

Thank you to all of the subscribers to this blog. I will keep at it, though I'll have to change up the name sooner than later. Seventyandme is about six years too old. But a gal can dream

Happy and Healthy New Year


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