It's a veritable heatwave! Temps have leapt from the Fahrenheit teens to the mid-thirties. Sidewalks are clear, drips are falling (and some icicles are forming) from the snow melting on the roof.
It's been a heck of a year. Pretty low-key, but with a continuing hover of gloom with the pandemic and the not-yet normal new-normal. Various agencies have said the pandemic is over, and now it's an endemic that we'll live with forever, akin to the various influenza and other coronaviruses we deal with regularly.
Still, China is in the midst of their pandemic uprising. I've always rolled my eyes to their claims of containment and lack of impact since this thing began. They did have some serious lock-downs, not letting people leave their buildings or even apartments in some places. I'm sure there were still people infected, just maybe not detected or reported.
For the US, it's been pretty steady for the last six months, with thousands of cases reported each day, and hundreds of deaths. Of course, we've got huge gaps in reporting. We had COVID go through our house in April, but only two of us were tested at clinics, the others finding out with home tests. So, only two of our cases made any records.
The chart shows what's reported. This year looks nothing like last year, thankfully. I'm taking that as vaccines and boosters are working. And there's probably been a bit of change in the way people act, or things going on. Last fall was election time, a lot of passionate gatherings, and a lot of "I'm over this" diving into the holidays, all coming with probably a little less care than the pandemic deserves.
Changes in the economy or weather might have had influence, too. Things seem more expensive and less available than they seemed last year. I peeked back at last year's last day blog post, and there were a lot more "didn't do" comments in there than I should probably say this year.
We have kind of returned to restaurants. It isn't always as awesome as we remember. The kids misbehave too much. The food is less than we hope for more often than it should be. Sometimes it's reduced or new staff (are we really supposed to be going to restaurants?), sometimes it's supply chain or other changes made to menus, or whatever. Always it seems way more expensive than before.
The kids have been in school all the days this year. No outbreaks have happened. They don't wear masks. Well, some do, and they ask people to wear them if they've got a cough or sniffle. We haven't gotten any "COVID in your classroom" e-mails, although we have heard from parents about COVID in their homes (and they tend to keep their kiddos home for any symptomatic periods).
We're still working mostly from home. Both the wife and I have occasional days we go into the office to meet with our co-workers. Generally, it's Slack and Zoom and e-mail, though.
Home is still here. A little more cluttered than we'd like sometimes. We've got big plans for the spring, with gardens and minor repairs or changes in mind. I want to rearrange my office. The wife wants to rebuild the garage and remodel the kitchen. Little things.
That's all stuff for next year. Which is tomorrow. Well, tomorrow here. it's already been the new year for most of the world for a while now.
Everyone is healthy.