We are now in the year 2021 by the Gregorian calendar used for much of the world. The celebrations are done, with the scars left by fireworks in our street now fading. We look forward to another year after the the stressful and destructive times of the last twelve months, a year that will loom large in memory for the remainder of our lives.
While the calendar now reads 2021, somehow 2020 seems to drag on. I feel that the remnants of 2020 will not truly be gone until January 20th, and maybe not even then. Perhaps later in the spring when vaccination programs end the viral rampage through our communities.
As we rebuild our lives and try to recover some sense of normality we might look back and try to understand the lessons taught by the year 2020. These lessons are both small and personal or large enough to threaten the foundations of our civilization. We have seen into ourselves and into those around us, the true nature of so much revealed by stress and argument.
Will these lessons be learned? Will things change? While we might be able to change ourselves for the better more easily than we can change our country, both need to be done.
While we plan for the coming year and move forward we rely on experience, something that 2020 was rich in. May you live in interesting times… The old curse that seems so applicable to the moment.
All last week I was suffering mild respiratory symptoms… Sore throat, stuffy and hoarse, mild muscle aches. Of course one immediately considers the worst case, that somehow despite being careful I had contracted COVID-19.
Not out of the realm of possibility, after a long summer of almost no cases our island has had a rash of infections over the last few weeks including a few deaths. The virus is clearly here and in the community.
I got swabbed on Saturday, and after a weekend of wondering I finally got the results on Weds evening.
Oddly enough I found the result while on the phone with my parents. I had told them about the symptoms and testing a few days earlier and they were calling back to hear the results. While I had not gotten an email notifying me of results, I checked the lab web portal anyway while on the phone. Two simple words… Not Detected.
All clear… This time.
While that was a relief to me and my parents they passed on family news.. My brother has tested positive and is now quarantined for a few weeks. While he has shown no symptoms and is fine, I am glad to hear he is taking the diagnoses seriously.
Unfortunately I have had to destroy my banana patch.
The patch of plants in my backyard was a venerable Keck lineage, starts passed down from one employee to another over the decades. They were the treasured apple bananas so popular in the islands.
I long ago lost count of how many bunches this patch produced, so many small bananas eaten or shared. The little tart tasting apple bananas are an island delicacy. From fresh to dried, or in smoothies we enjoyed this tropical treat from our own yard.