April 17, 2021

Senior Moments: A New Year’s Message from our California Correspondent

John Guy LaPlante

Happy New Year, my Friends!

Yes, I’m late, I know. Good intentions sometimes go wrong.  But still I want to wish each and every one of you a happy and prosperous and satisfying New Year!

For more than 99 percent of you this is already 2021, though a tiny number of you are living in far-off lands on a different time clock.

As always, I’ve made my New Year’s resolutions and that’s always a great start.

Sadly 2020 has been an awful year, as we all know. The Covid-19 pandemic has been killing so many and making so many others so terribly ill.

And what a severe impact it has had on business, putting so many people out of work, making it difficult to buy food, pay the electric and water bill or put gas in the car, or make routine payments for the rent or the mortgage or insurance policies of various kinds and so, so many other things. 

And think of all the people who usually travel near and far to spend time with their loved ones. Very difficult this year. For some, impossible.

But my younger son, Mark, a professor of finance at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, made it here to Morro Bay [on the Californian coast] to spend a week with me. He managed that by flying first class, which he normally does not do. He thought there would be more empty seats up there. And he was right.

And think of the difficulty of students from grade school all the way up through graduate school continuing their education because of social distancing imperatives and so forth.

Plus so many other difficulties that do not come readily to mind.

So right now wishing somebody a Happy New Year is really a tough order.

But things are brightening up.

We will very soon have a new president and vice-president …

And out of the blue, so to say, we have had the incredibly good news that we have at least three new vaccines that have proven to be effective! And have been approved! And will begin helping people not many months from now but probably as soon as late spring or so!

Notice those three exclamation marks? They deserve to be there!

This afternoon I stopped by my neighborhood Rite Aid pharmacy and asked the head pharmacist, “When do you think we’ll be getting the vaccine?”

“We’ve been told by late March!”

I considered that very good news.

And soon our Treasury in Washington will be doling out more money to help people get by.   

All which will make the near future easier for life to get back to normal for just about all of us. All things really worth celebrating. I doubt anybody would deny that 

Speaking for myself, I have been most fortunate. Less than a year ago I was living in an assisted living community. A very nice one. But I definitely wanted out because I no longer needed that. 

I wanted  to live a normal life again on my own. And I was judged able to do that. Which  I yearned to do. What a happy day!

And as we know, the news has been full about how Covid-19 has severely affected the life of people in such facilities. So many residents have died as a result. 

And people still living there are going through hell because of new rules imposed to keep them safe. 

Now think about this. Just before moving into that nice place, I was hospitalized with a case of double pneumonia.

And that awful diagnosis plus my very old age made it a nearly sure thing that I would become infected.

But I have been tested and found to be negative. How about that?

Which is very ironic. Because my older son, Athur, age 63, a lawyer, came down with the virus and was hospitalized. As was his wife Marita, a super-duper intensive-care R.N., though more lightly.  

But it will be weeks before they will be able to get back to work.

So again the nasty question comes up.  Why did these two hard workers, whose calling is to help people, become infected, but I, so much older and 99 percent retired, was spared?  Well, anyway so far.

The further good news is that nobody else in my family, who span three generations, has been affected medically or economically. That’s really worth celebrating

In just a few months I will be starting my 93rd year on this earth. And I am still living by myself on my own. But with my loving daughter Monique and son-in-law David living nearby. How fortunate I am!

So let us hope that at the end of this brand-new year of 2021, life will be back to normal for New Year 2022! 

Oh, I want you to know that wherever you are, I’m thinking of you, cheering for you, and hoping that for New Year 2022 all kinds of good things will be coming your way.  And even sooner, I hope.

Editor’s Note: John Guy LaPlante is a veteran writer and journalist, who prior to his move to Morro Bay, Calif., lived in Deep River, Conn. His award-winning columns and articles were previously published in the ‘Main Street News’. He is the author of two books, “Around the World at 75. Alone! Dammit!” and “Asia in 80 Days. Oops, 83! Dammit!” He completed his service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine in early 2010 after a 27-month tour of duty. He was the oldest Peace Corps Volunteer ever to serve. John always welcomes comments on his articles. Email him at johnguylaplante@yahoo.com

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