Tuesday, March 23, 2021 will forever be remembered as a true milestone for me. It was exactly two weeks earlier that I took my second COVID-19 shot, and from all the news I could get, it would take two weeks for it to reach maximum effect.
So what's changed? My brother lives in a 3-generation house, so I still can't visit. I've scheduled a couple of things that have been off my list for some time. I'll be singing and playing guitars with a friend (which I'd done earlier but found way too cumbersome to do safely) and scheduled my first massage in over a year (Karin will have had 2 weeks since her second shot by the time I have it.)
I keep looking at the website for the Benbow Inn, my favorite getaway which is about three hours north of me. Though they've opened, they're not offering a full breakfast yet.
So what was the first noticeable change? One of the things I never had to give up was walks. Walking has been a part of my routine for some time now, but two things changed during the pandemic. First, I wore a mask, or at least had one ready in case I crossed paths with anyone. I still do, though mostly to give others a sense of security and to send the message that they're still needed for the unvaccinated.
The other change I made to my walking routine was that I gave up picking up litter along my route. I tried wearing gloves but quickly found it to be uncomfortable to wear them for the entire two-mile route, and unworkable to continually put them on and take them off. Rather than risk picking up the virus from a piece of trash, I simply gave up the effort entirely.
But now the risk looks insignificant. Two days ago I broke out one of the plastic bags I keep for the purpose and set out on my journey. I was pleasantly surprised to find the route to be quite clean. I found only two cigarette butts which, given that walking seems to have been a major means of people getting out of their houses during this ordeal, was a pleasant surprise. Perhaps a bigger surprise was finding no dog poop. Having forgotten to bring my special bag for such things, I was especially happy about this!
The Physical Shin
Trash Is Back
Last update: April 1, 2021
The John Shinnick Website
I keep this basket of mostly gardening tools on my doorstep, but I also have my a litter bag on top. Underneath the litter bag is a smaller dog poop bag.
Yeah, I'm guessing that within a month I'll be done with my mask on these walks. Perhaps by June, we'll be pretty much done with masks entirely. Restaurants will be open again, and traveling will again be worthwhile. Hopefully we'll keep some of the good habits going. In my case, I'm much more conscious about how I wash my hands and about disinfecting frequently used surfaces on a regular basis.
I've been very much impressed with the Biden administration's work on getting the vaccines out after it stalled under the previous watch. And the way the previous watch seemed to simply "watch" as the situation got worse in the beginning was horrible to see. Yet I'm one to give the devil his due. Somewhere in all the mess, we had "Operation Warp Speed" which somehow allowed the development and approval of vaccines far quicker than most informed observers predicted.
Warp Speed originated during the prior administration. My question is this: Were some of Trump's appointees deeply involved in the process, or did they simply not get in the way of the changes to the development process?
Heaven forbid, could this be something Trump got right?