Monday, November 09, 2020

Monday morning hope

 For me, personally, the big news story that dropped this morning: the Pfizer vaccine (which I THINK is the RNA one, which is new tech) may be 90% effective and have few adverse effects.

I saw a hint of it early on Twitter, from the BBC. (I think I had dressed but not eaten yet?). I thought, "huh,potentially good news." As I checked more outlets I got more and more excited. They're saying "third week of November and we'll know for sure that there are few adverse effects" because apparently that's the two-month mark since people were vaccinated, and that's when most bad effects show up. That's next week...

(Also, not to give anything away I shouldn't, but we received a bit of news in my department last week that made me go "huh that is a weirdly optimistic thing to say" but would absolutely fit with this news now)

Dare I hope? Dare I be happy about this? Because 90% effective, if that's correct, is really, really, really good - it is as good as the Polio vaccine and we absolutely crushed polio once a vaccine became widespread. 

I admit it: I cried happy tears. And I put on the three happiest songs I could think of - Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now," and ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky," and the Jackson Five's "I Want You Back" and danced around the living room.

Ah yes, this is what being happy feels like, I remember this feeling.

I dreamed last night of traveling on a train, and I admit when I woke up I was sad because I wondered: will I ever do that again? or will this drag out so long that there will be no reason for me to travel again once it's over? But maybe not? Maybe next summer I can go see my mom without worrying about picking up the virus or taking it to her? Maybe in not so very many months I can go out shopping again without making it quick targeted trips where I am masked and use hand sanitizer and don't go in a store if it looks crowded or there are lots of unmasked people? 

I want to hope, but I'm also afraid to - so often in this I felt hope and then that hope got snatched away. 


Alex Trebek has died. This is sad and makes me sad, though it sounds like it was peaceful, and his family was around him, and I presume, knowing he had stage IV pancreatic cancer, he had a chance to make whatever kind of peace he needed. 

I never watched Jeopardy! much - not a fan of game shows though that was the one I would say I liked best if I were asked. Because of Trebek - he made being smart and curious cool, and he generally was pretty nice to the contestants, it seems. He also seems to have had a pretty quiet personal life (I did not know he had been married twice, for example) and sometimes it's just nice to hear about someone who lives their life without a lot of drama or messiness. 

I had also forgotten his involvement with the National Geography Bee, but they mentioned that. For years, my father was a local judge of the geography bees, he always enjoyed that. And you know? I like things like spelling bees and geography bees and math bowls and things like that - I feel like the little kids with a particular academic talent (or the time to develop knowledge in an area) should be celebrated too, just as much as the sports stars or the kids good at music or art. 


Didn't get the house as clean as I had hoped; I got the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, and hall as done as they could be, and picked up most of the living room and swept the floors there, but I ran out of steam. Maybe I can attack it a little more later this week, I don't know. Or next weekend. I am not going anywhere for a while because of the rise in cases locally. 

I knit a little bit on a simple sock and sewed a bit more of the binding down on one of the quilts. It seems hard to motivate myself to do things these days. But maybe with the news this morning, and the idea that eventually I can get a calendar and mark a day when vaccines should be available, and start crossing off days, maybe that will help. 

I will admit I'm slightly dreading the long empty stretch of Christmas break, especially if case loads here are so high that going out for anything seems inadvisable. I don't do well with isolation, that's one thing this time has taught me. I'm not the kind of person who can compose a symphony or invent a new way of doing mathematics or write plays. I suppose this means I have a very small mind compared to some, which is an unpleasant thing for someone once told they were a "'gifted kid" to learn.

(I think most of the "gifted kid" stuff is a lie; I think some of us were told that because we were unpopular kids who were compliant with what the teachers wanted, and they told us that either because they thought we were smart because we were obedient, or they told us that to keep us from despairing. I don't think I was particularly gifted other than maybe having a better memory than some people)


Slept badly last night - combination of reading unpleasant news before bed, going to bed too late, and then the jerks in my neighborhood driving their boom cars around shortly after 11 pm and again around 2 am, and there's no way, not even with ear plugs, to block out the bass, because I think it transmits through one's bones. 

I hope it gets cold here soon; that seems to cut down on boom car activity. It has been altogether too warm (nearly 80 many days lately) and that also adds to the feeling of "trapped in an eternity" that the pandemic has given me - not even the weather is changing.

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