2020: Variations on Journal Entries

Spiritual Smart Aleck


It was impossible to get 2020 into 800 words. Get comfortable.

March 3, 2020 – Everyone is in a panic about the coronavirus now that there are deaths in the US. The first deaths are here in King County, at a nursing home in Kirkland.

Today is Super Tuesday, a day when several states have their primaries. Suddenly Joe Biden is considered a front runner.

March 4 – What with the coronavirus, the Trump virus, and the cowardice and hostility of both the Democrats and the Republicans, these are not happy times. I cannot understand why so many people are so happy to throw themselves off a cliff. So they can laugh at their perceived enemies on their way down?

March 13 – Self-isolating since Tuesday, and a boring business it is. The novel coronavirus has been declared a global pandemic.

March 14 – Jay Inslee is following China’s model. Lockdown. The state is closed.

March 19 – First day of Spring. Getting out of bed did not work for me today.

April 1 – Velvet called me about 10 a.m. to tell me that her eldest son, Troy, has died. It was sudden and unexpected.

Note: a few weeks later Velvet tells me the coroner reported that Troy tested positive for the coronavirus.

April 29 – Wednesday morning. Reading a lot. Dusted off my kindle because the library’s closed.

May 13 – Headline in today’s Seattle Times: “Health experts warn of resurgence.” What? I thought we were still in “surge.”

May 14 – My Joseph’s Coat rose is blooming in the middle of May. In case I doubted climate change, which I did not.

May 25 – An African American man named George Floyd was killed today, by a policeman named Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. The country is not taking this at all well.

Note: All of June and early July, and the rest of the summer, were taken up by a racial reckoning: Black Lives Matter protests, followed by police riots, vandalism, and arson. It is most of what we hear about these weeks. You can look it up.

July 19 – Drove down to Dockton Park last night at 10 o’clock to see the Neowise comet. Cloudy, but we hoped. After a while I saw what looked like a strange light in the clouds, and aiming my binoculars saw the comet. Way cool.

July 24 – News conference at 10 a.m. with Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan, and Seattle Chief of Police Carmen Best. Durkan said she spoke with the head of Homeland Security yesterday and was told they saw no need to send federal troops to Seattle, and that she and Police Chief Best would be notified if troops were going to be sent. Meanwhile, Federal troops were arriving in Seattle.

August 3 (Monday) – Becky called me a little after six this a.m. to say she was up all night with chest pains. She does not want to call 911. Should she have Roy drive her up to the fire station? Well, YEAH.

(pause) Heart attack. By eleven this morning she had a brand-new stent or two in her left anterior artery. Recovery will take a while, but she’s ALIVE, and she will recover. Whew.

August 6 – coronavirus test.

August 10 – coronavirus test came back negative.

August 12 – reheated yesterday’s coffee. Drank it all. It did not have a dead fly in the bottom because I covered the mug with a Kleenex overnight. Only takes one fly to learn that lesson.
The noise of the political campaigns is constant and unbearable.

August 29 – Second coronavirus test. Pre-admit test at Swedish. Having an angiogram on Monday (test came back negative).

September 2 – “You have the arteries of a 20-year-old!” my cardiologist enthused. I think he was exaggerating, but still, cool.

September 11 – The whole West Coast is on fire. The air is unbreathable. The pandemic rages on. The protests go on. With the internet, I feel like I am in a comfortable solitary confinement.

September 17 – Some people want everything to go back to the way it was after we have a vaccine. That will not happen. Some of the changes we have been forced to make have shown us that there are better ways than the way we have always done it. I am loving telemedicine. How much easier is it to have a phone call or a zoom session than driving into Seattle?

Then there are the terrible changes: people losing their jobs, and then their homes, and people getting sick and dying with Covid-19. Everyone is stressed out. There is talk of mental illness and the need for suicide prevention.

Here is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255. They are there 24/7. Write that down. You might need it.

As an introvert, I thought this isolation thing would be a snap. Not a snap. Sometimes I get squirrely, gasping for human contact and for singing harmony. I pick myself up and go on, and as crazy as the whole world and our country have become, I still have hope. But I will say that when Pier 58 on the Seattle waterfront collapsed, I thought, that’s it, this is the apocalypse.

September 18 – Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died.

October 4 – Trump is in the hospital with Covid 19.

October 6 – Trump was released from the hospital yesterday and said Covid-19 was no big deal. People are dying for his sins.

October 15 – Cousin Charlotte texted me at 4:30 a.m. to tell me to pray for Amy. Amy Coney Barrett, that is, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. The idea is to pack the Court with conservatives who will roll back Roe vs. Wade, and put an end to the Affordable Care Act, thus depriving millions of people of health insurance.

I’m praying, all right. Why are all my family members Trump supporters?

November 3 – Election day. I have been ignoring the news all day. Cannot bear the monkey chatter and meaningless speculations. Have a Hallmark movie on. Eating cereal and potato chips.

November 7 – Becky called at quarter to ten this morning and said, “Turn on the TV.” So I did.
The election has been called for Biden by the news networks, including Fox News. People are dancing in the streets.

Trump refuses to concede. Goes on TV to say he won. Big.

November 26 – Thanksgiving. Had a wonderful Zoom visit with my grandson, his dad, and his stepmom. A benefit of Zoom Thanksgiving: I did not have to wash every dish, bowl, and piece of silverware afterward.

December 3 – My older son called last night to tell me that one of his closest high school friends has died. Alcohol poisoning. This is a community sadness. Another island kid gone.

December 12 – Donald Trump is filing lawsuits to overturn the election, which does not seem to be working, but his followers are enjoying throwing their weight and automatic rifles around. We seem to have a cold civil war now, which is bad enough. If it becomes a shooting civil war, we will all learn firsthand what real tragedy is. As if the coronavirus is not killing people fast enough.

A vaccine has been approved and is coming this week, says the Seattle Times.

My microwave oven has died. Damned unsporting of it, in my opinion.

December 14 – Well, dear hearts, that is it for this year – so far. I close with the best wishes for however you do or do not observe the darkest days of the year and the return of the light as we roll around the Sun.

Special prayers for everyone dealing with cancer. I know so many of you.
Blessings, love, virtual hugs, grace, and peace be with you all. See you in the New Year, God willing.