Monday, January 17, 2022

On Being Alive

"It is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.”
-Mary Oliver

Sometimes Mary Oliver speaks to the heart better than anyone. (No. Most of the time Mary Oliver speaks to the heart better than anyone.)


This has been quite a week and weekend. I'm still waiting for my meds to make it through the supply chain (apparently the lab in Texas is waiting for supplies). They hope it will be here by Friday. 

Last week, my cousin's husband got Covid. He and my cousin are the most careful people I know -- they even built a special Covid room in their house last year so they could see their kids and grandson. He has no idea how he got it; they don't go out. The good news is that he's doing well and improving.


My friend and former boss from work, Tim, had more of a struggle and says "It's definitely NOT like a common cold." Vaxed and boosted, like Howard, he got the monoclonal antibodies and while recovering well, still feels effects.


I don't check FB every day so I missed that my former office "right arm," Diane, has been in the hospital and on a ventilator since before Christmas. Diane and I have been through so many things together at work, including several reorganizations. After the last one, when she was laid off, I felt as though I had lost part of myself at the office. Since that time, she has thrived, even through a kidney transplant. This news shocked me to the core.


Diane is a fighter. She could take on anyone, anywhere and even if she didn't always win, you knew exactly where you stood with her on that topic! She is tireless when in pursuit. And she is in pursuit now, fighting through a cardiac arrest and revival and the ventilator. They are hoping she can soon be weaned from it.

They aren't the only people I've known with Covid. But they are three who hit closest to home. 

Rick was in Chicago area for several days and got home around midnight on Friday. I won't see him till probably Thursday, after he gets what I trust (hope) will be a negative Covid test. He said that in the office in which he worked for three days, no one wore a mask. Except him. It's funny -- when he was in Chicago, I missed him, of course, but it was fine. But now, knowing he's two blocks away, it's frustrating, not even being able to see each other safely. All I want is this:


I think most of the people who read this know that Covid is no joke. They understand the importance of masking, hygiene, distancing, vaccinations and boosting.  All three of these people have been extremely careful, doing all those things and rapid testing (when it was more available than they seem to be right now). 

You probably know that four free rapid tests (I believe they are two to a package, so four packages) are being mailed from the government to those who order them online. The ordering process begins on January 19, Americans will be able to order tests online at COVIDTests.gov. Tests will usually ship within 7-12 days of ordering. 

And yes, I know -- they aren't the most reliable thing in the world. But it's quite likely they are better than nothing. 

As Mary Oliver said in the poem above -- and repeated below...

"It is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.” 
 
 
Stay safe and well, my friends. Stay alive. Remember, it's not always "just like a bad cold." 

60 comments:

Anvilcloud said...

Wow! You sure know the cases. I don't know anyone, personally.

Although I don't particularly do poetry, Mary Oliver is special, and Sue has many of her books.

NanaDiana said...

It's hard to have him so close and still be separated.
I am so sorry to hear that the people you know and love are struggling. We lost 2 friends to Covid this past year. It's a scary thing. I hope they are able to wean your friend off the vent.

Mary Oliver is quite a special person with her slant on everything.

Happy New Week! xo Diana

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

You are so right. I know two people who had it before vaccines were available, and had long haul cases. One car club member died, again before vaccine availability. An anti-vaxxer now has it, and she went to the ER after 10 days, and was sent home as she didn't need a ventilator yet. She is still having a hard time now 3 weeks later. She now thinks she'll get the vaccine as it has been shown to help long haulers. Another friend's husband who had been vaccinated but did not have the booster died in December, although he had multiple health issues. This thing will be with us for a while, and as long as we have people against getting vaccinated, it will continue to mutate and threaten all of us.

Sandi said...

This world is certainly broken.

Sandi said...

Broken world...couldn't have said it better myself. I hope your friends get well soon, Jeanie. I'm sorry to hear they are sick.

My name is Erika. said...

Your friend on the ventilator scares me the most. She would be immune suppressed, like my husband. I worry a lot about him, and I am super cautious as I don't want to be the one to give it to him and to have to live with that all my life. But like you, I know 6 people in just the last week with covid. (I wrote that in my T day post, so you might see that again.) Luckily they are all doing OK, but so many people are so blase about this virus. Until it is too late. Mary Oliver was a wonderful poet and her words speak volumes. Being and staying alive is the most important thing! Hope your time waiting to see Rick goes fast. Hugs-Erika

† Peaceful Catholic 02† said...

Love this photo :-)

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

It is scary how someone who doesn't go out gets sick. I know I am very lucky when I had a mild case last August. It could have been so much worse despite the shots. My prayers are with your friends and family. I hope Rick is home soon. Sending you my love.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's been such a terrible time for so many. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt thoughts. Sweet hugs, Diane

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Jeanie,
I am so sorry that these freinds of yours have caught CoVid...and I pray for their safe recoveries...So many people i know who were posting that they attended Christmas Parties and New Year's get togethers on FB are now coming down with Co Vid and all I want to say to them is "I told you so"!!!I do not go out especially now that the numbers are going through the roof here. Joe works now out in public but is required to wear a mask at all times and is now wearing an N95 mask at work. I went to get my booster shot last week and I was double masked as recommended before the N95 mandate. I feel much better that I am now boosted but am well aware that I can still contract it...Thanks so much for all your visits and kind words...My house keeps me busy and my mind active...Stay safe, healthy and happy, my friend!!
Hugs,
Deb

Linda Sue said...

This virus is not going to go away probably ever. But , when you study the history of humans on this planet, it is not the most devastating. Five family memebers , the young , have gotten covid after Shristmas and a skiing trip that nailed them all. So...perhaps they got lax in their masking, all have been vaccinated.

bobbie said...

I'll be keeping all my digits crossed for a negative test for Rick ~

NGS said...

I'm in the US, so I know a lot of people who have gotten it. My best friend's brother died from COVID and her parents STILL won't wear masks. It's all very frustrating. Stay safe and healthy and let's hope this broken world has time to fix some of its shortcomings soon enough.

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. I am hearing more friends that are testing positive,2 old school friends have passed away. It is important to be vaccinated, boostered and wear a mask. Hubby and I are keeping our distance too. I hope Rick is ok and your two are able to be together soon. Take care and stay safe. Have a great new week!

Anca said...

I hope they will all feel better soon. Diane's case sounds scary, I hope she will beat this. It's scary to think that even with everything, like masks and boosters, people are still catching it and end up ill or in hospital with this virus.
Sending virtual hugs xx

gigi-hawaii said...

Having the Covid can't be pleasant! We plan to order those free test kits, too. Perhaps, even the N95 masks.

Valerie-Jael said...

Mary Oliver's words are always precious. Here in the clinic I'm in a sort of safe zone, so I hope we all continue to be healthy, Covid is really no joke! Take care of yourself. hugs, Valerie
PS I have the Christmas card you sent on my shelf here, it came on the tag i was admitted!

Divers and Sundry said...

It's scary :( and we don't even know the long-term effects :( I hope your people recover quickly and completely. And I hope you get sweetie kisses soon. I can see how having him that close -but no closer- would be frustrating.

I love Mary Oliver, and this particular quote is perfect!

Rustic Pumpkin said...

Like you, I know far too many who had positive tests, and know 3 who sadly died in the early months of the pandemic. My tiny village is a hot spot, fourth highest in the county! That's a worrying statistic. Finger's crossed for a negative test with Rick!

Deb in Wales

anno said...

Here's hoping all your friends recover quickly.... and that you & Rick are soon reunited!

Thanks for the Mary Oliver poem. She sure does have a gift for finding just the right words and putting them in just the right order.
xoxo

David M. Gascoigne, said...

If only I could put words together like Mary Oliver.... I know of only two COVID cases in my personal set of friends and acquaintances, but that's two too many. Fortunately both have recovered, and perhaps in the process developed a degree of immunity. I know I am involved with the serious business of life today; we had the biggest snowfall of the year (around 30 cm - 1 ft) and I just shoveled my sidewalk and driveway. A guy two doors from me is almost ninety and still does it himself. A lifetime spent outdoors and walking nearly every day is perhaps not a bad thing!

Bindu said...

At my office, the second person is sick now. The first one recovered and started working.
Being an essential worker, I have to go to work. Tests are not available here in Canada easily. The government is not sending free tests by mail.
Keep safe! I Hope, your cousin's hubby and Diane get better soon.

Bill said...

Sorry to hear that your friends have Covid. Hopefully they will make a full recovery. It's amazing that there are people who just don't take this seriously, they must be really stupid, IMO. Stay safe!

Carol said...

I know several people that are currently ill as well. CoVid is no laughing matter and it is not made up. Cases are rising here greatly and I worry about the death rate climbing again.

Breathtaking said...

Hello,:=) Yes, it's a serious virus. Some of my friends husbands have lost their lives to Covid. I hope you can get together with your hubby soon, and get the hugs and kisses we all miss from friends, those of us who are being extra careful that is, wearing masks and keeping our distance.
All the best, Keep safe, and I hope your friend in hospital fully recovers.

Pamela said...

Omicron is just now catching on in Japan and the number of new cases are increasing rapidly. Everyone here wears masks and most are vaccinated, but third shots have only just started for medical people. Anyone who doubts how serious this is needs to read your post. Thank you and Mary Oliver for knowing just how to express this.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am hearing of more and more cases among the vaccinated. This is so transmissible! I ordered some KN95 masks for us after reading that cloth isn’t cutting it for omicron. I think it’s kind of a miracle we haven’t gotten it with our kids in daycare! I get my booster on Wednesday. My last dose was in august so I am not feeling very protected!

Of the people I know of who have had Covid, I only know of one person who has been seriously ill. It’s the husband of a woman at work. She was very vocal about not being vaccinated. She ended up having to in order to keep her job. She had one dose when they all got Covid over Christmas. Her husband ended up on a ventilator and it was very touch and go. She has a caring bridge page where she posts and the last one I read said they hadn’t decided if they would get their kids (all vaccine eligible) vaccinated! I couldn’t keep reading after that as it just drives me crazy. I can’t wait for my kids to be eligible but it’s probably a 2nd half of the year outlook unfortunately. :(

Stay safe friend. I hope that med comes in soon! Fingers crossed Rick is negative!

Lowcarb team member said...

I hope your friends get well soon and that you and Rick are soon reunited.
Stay safe and well.

All the best Jan

Prims By The Water said...

Hope your friends get better and hope you get to see Rick sooner than later. Janice

Red Rose Alley said...

Jeanie, I'm so sorry that some of your loved ones got the virus, that's terrible. I do hope Rick is Ok and that you can see him soon. This is a special picture of you two looking so much in love. That last photo of the snow is so pretty, as the color of the leaves show up brilliantly against the white snow. I hope your loved ones feel better soon and heal quickly.

~Sheri

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Sorry to hear about your friends. It's so frustrating because there doesn't seem to be an ending in site.

Pam Richardson said...

Like you, I know several people who are vaccinated, boosted, wear masks, and still have gotten Covid. I am so hopeful this will soon end. Wishing you a lovely week and that Rick is ok!

Sarah said...

I'm sad to read about your friends and family. It's serious for sure. I'm masking, and not getting out except when necessary. A younger friend was vaxed but not yet gotten a booster. She had to get an infusion to get better. Still, she is tired all the time.
Yes, stay well, sweet friend. Hope you are with your honey soon.

Carola Bartz said...

I hope all these people who are so close to you make a full recovery. COVID certainly is no joke. In the beginning we didn't know anybody who had got it, but now there are more and more people we know who did get COVID. We are super careful, but it seems you never know when it will hit you. We will certainly order those tests on Wednesday, that's for sure, since it is so difficult to find a test or you have to stand in line for hours - now they don't do even that without an appointment. It's crazy how unprepared the US still is - and I doubt that we will learn anyhting from it.
I hope Rick will test negative and you can finally hug and kiss him again.

Veronica Lee said...

So sorry that these friends of yours caught Covid.

Anyone who takes this lightly should read your post.

Stay safe, Jeanie!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I'm so sorry so many near and dear to you have been suffering with Covid. We have relatives in India who also got the early version and recovered, but they say their health still isn't the same. (They get inordinately tired easily, etc.) I hope Rick is okay after his experience with the unvaxxed and unmasked. I loved your Mary Oliver quote. So pertinent at this time. Take care and stay well.

shoreacres said...

I still don't know anyone personally who's had the disease, apart from a cousin in another state who was diagnosed with it and then over it within a week. And, of course, there are the reports from people like you. I hope you and Rick are able to be together again soon -- that has to be hard.

Lynne said...

It isn’t just like a bad cold.
Not that I know that personally but
I have heard the stories and about the stress and worry.
So frustrating for me to hear the “no vaccine” stories.
Even having the vaccine, not a guarantee . . .
Thank you for your message, recap, post.
Hoping Rick is negative.
Loved the picture!

Anonymous said...

That's a very beautiful pic of you and Rick.
I'm finding the news here is getting too much about covid and like you I have underlying conditions. Tests are very hard to obtain now which is causing supply issues leading to many empty supermarket shelves.

I'm just trying to distract myself with other things. Stay safe and be back in Rick's arms soon .
Lots of love from Australia
Cath xo

La Table De Nana said...

Definitely not fun at all for anyone..I know of people but no one in my immediate family.Take care....

R's Rue said...

Beautiful

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

I do hope they all get better. I’m crossing my fingers that the vaccine at least help them not get it worse than they did. So far I only know of one that got it and he did die from it, wasn’t vaccinated. Boy we’ve come a long way from the initial outbreak of covid to where we can do in home tests now. I hope you and Rick can get together soon, that was a sweet picture!

Pam said...

COVID sucks....We are on our third version of it. Each time it is different yet the same as before. This last one is supposed to be hitting kids more but with the adults its supposed to be milder. Well, is that milder cause of the shots or is it just that way. Or is it really. I have had my shots and my booster, which I needed in Oct and did not get till Jan. I did that cause several folks I know got really sick after the booster. I did not want that. But I am pretty sure what I had at Christmas was it and I got the booster after that.....It made me sick, just not feeling like I was dying sick. Its a guessing game....do you get or do you not. Hoping your friends the best.

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Oh, Jeanie - how I thank you for this great post. I no longer feel alone in my thoughts. Someone once said something that goes like this: "The only thing necessary for evil to win is when good men do nothing." And, this virus is evil. When we don't speak out we do not help the situation. I so hope the world will read this post - is there a way I can share it to my FB page, with your permission of course.

Yes, I am a great fan of Mary Oliver and she does speak to the heart. All we have is each other, Jeanie and that is becoming more evident each day.
Stay well, my friend!

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Hi, Jeanie. I just saw where I can share your post. But do let me know if it is ok with you.

Barb said...

Oh my goodness, Jeanie - you know a lot of people struggling with Covid. Bob and I are boosted and STILL isolating. It's become the new normal for us. Our county was listed as the highest in the nation for Covid around Christmas. I think our numbers have gone down slightly. We are having difficulty staffing even the grocery stores because so many people are sick. Stay well!

Joanne Huffman said...

We can only do our best to stay safe.

William Kendall said...

My niece is getting through omicron.

Two years and I still haven't gotten it, I'm double vaxxed and masked, but every time I go into work and do a rapid test I wonder if this is the time the test comes back positive.

The French Hutch said...

It was this kind of day here, beautiful and wonderful to be alive to give thanks! I'm sorry so many you know have been ill with Covid. One of our best friends shocked us, testing positive. Like us, they are boosted and so careful. Hoping Rick gets a negative result, I know you miss him. I gave up waiting for the promised test and orderd mine. Hoping we won't need them! Take care, praying things are better soon.......

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Sorry to read this post about your friends being so ill and do hope that all recover and stay well. We have all our shots and try to be as careful as possible in social situations. We're thankful that only one couple we know (in another state) reported being ill after they too were vaccinated. It seems this will be an ongoing and continual process to be well. Hope that you and Rick can get together soon and stay safe.

Carol @ The Red Painted Cottage said...

Jeanie, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend Diane. It sure doesn’t sound good, but hopefully she’ll surprise everyone and pull through Covid just fine. I hope Rick does well, too. Our youngest son, his wife and our grandson all tested positive. They’ve finally returned back to work and school this week, but little 2 year old Vivienne has to remain in quarantine until this Monday. I pray she doesn’t get it. Our Texas family also tested positive for it around Christmas. Sophia, our granddaughter, was the only one who was fine and never got sick. Unfortunately, our sweet neighbor passed away from Covid just before Christmas 2020. He was in his 80’s and dating a younger woman. They kept going out to eat and I don’t think he liked wearing a mask. I just ordered our free testing kits today. Hopefully we won’t need them!

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

I hope those people close to you recover fully and quickly. So true, what you've said, Jeanie. A few people I know who got Covid (all boosted) were sicker than just a cold, but thankfully no hospital stays. Here in Florida, on the one hand, things are better because we can be outside. On the other hand, I'm in a condo, and I am getting SO WORN OUT having to deal with people in the building who won't follow the rules. Although the governor of Florida has ruled that masked mandates can't be enforced, according to the condo board, there is an exception for Condo associations to require masks in public places. My building does require it, and also said only two people per elevator unless it's a family. I'm tired of telling people why I won't get on the elevator with them if they're maskless, or asking them not to get on if there's already two of us. They're so obnoxious about it - today, one woman who is a nurse, said we don't need masks because they're proven not to work. ARGGHHH. Rant over.
I hope Rick is negative, and that you are reunited on Thursday!

Sandi Magle said...

I hope everyone does well! Sorry to hear about your poor friend on the ventilator. For all those people who ignore---and deny the reality of this thing, your post is a real reminder that this is real, and dangerous. Hugs, Sandi

Lynda said...

Hi Jeannie,

Yes, it is scary times for sure. We know of 2 people personally in the last 6 weeks and also a friend of my sister's who were all fully vaccinated, boosted and careful who had contracted COVID and died. All 3 were between 65 and 75 with some underlying health issues but not serious health issues. My sister's friend didn't even leave the house so you wonder how she got it. Mail or food deliveries? You just don't know. We did order our tests and I still have one leftover from a month or so ago when we were still able to get home tests in our area.
Hope you and Rick stay safe and healthy and that 2022 will be a better year.
Lynda

Marilyn Miller said...

Hoping you and Rick can get together today.
I love Mary Oliver. Thanks for sharing her, but also thanks for sharing your thoughts on covid not being like the common flu or cold. It is scary. I just returned home from three days with my sister-in-law and we self isolated before going more than usual just so we could visit her. It was amazing when stopping at the gas station how few wore masks. Thankfully we could keep our distance.
I do hope all of your friends,including the one in the hospital recuperate soon and have no long lasting effects.

Sandra Cox said...

I'm sorry you've had close friends that have contacted Covid.
Did Tim have omicron?
I have a relative that wants to catch it for the antibodies since it's no more than a cold. Cough. Cough. Hack. Hack. Their words not mine. I know. I know. I just shake my head in disbelief.

Victoria Zigler said...

I'm hearing of more and more people getting sick. People who are careful and fully vaccinated too. It makes me even more reluctant than I already was to go out there, especially with those people who aren't being careful wandering around, and my vulnerability status. Stay safe, and I hope everyone you know who has gotten sick recovers.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I am so sorry to read about your friends with COVID. I don't know anyone who has or had it, so I guess I'm lucky. I don't even go outside unless I wear disposable gloves, so I am hoping I won't catch it. I feel for you and your friends and I am sorry you can't spend time with Rick.

Lowcarb team member said...

I am sorry to read about your friends who have Covid.
I do hope that they will make a full recovery.
Also fingers crossed that Rick tests negative.

Keep safe and well.

All the best Jan

Sule said...

Hello
I liked Mary s poem.It s reminds me much Nazim Hikmet s poem "On living" According him "living sould'ndt be taken lightly,you must take it seriously,Like a squirrel for instance..."You can read the rest if you would on "hülyaswritings" blogspot.

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