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Papa, What Did You Do During The War?

December 18, 2020

Pandemic. . .I mean, “What did you do during the COVID pandemic?

My oldest grandchild is six years old. She calls me Papa. For nearly 20% of her life, and for most of the life she can remember, she’s been living under the pandemic restrictions. My youngest grandchild is a little over a day old. His entire life has been lived under the pandemic. But, in fairness, his entire live has also been lived on a Friday. His parents are both COVID+. And he was born premature, so he’s hanging out in the NICU. Utah has several Level 3 NICUs and 1 Level 4 NICU. He’s in a Level 3 on a ventilator and using a feeding tube.

Tomorrow, is my anniversary. My lovely wife and I have been married for more than three decades. Today we did anniversary stuff. We went to a couple movies. We went to dinner. We drove through a Christmas light show.

During this pandemic, our family has had marriages, deaths and births. We have seen kids gain and lose jobs. We’ve built projects, planted and harvested gardens. We’ve had children go on missions.

Christmas is coming up soon. Last year, I made some footlockers, wooden names and letters and handmade wooden gifts. This year, I’m making some footlockers, wooden names and letters and handmade wooden gifts.

The vaccines have finally arrived. They are being given to the politicians and the healthcare workers. Eventually there will be enough for all of us. At least all of us that want to get vaccinated.

The point is that eventually, the virus will be contained and controlled. Life will return to normal. Or, More accurately it will return to an equilibrium that will become our new normal. I would imagine that masks will become more acceptable in general population. Asian countries have been using them for years.

We will probably also, at least those of us who are decision making age, will always be slightly leery of crowds. Terms like “social distancing” will stay in our lexicon although we may eventually turn it into a punch line.

With the new addition we have a total of 10 grandkids. Nine are living. I expect to be telling them stories for many, many years. And they will remember this time. Or, the history books will tell them about this time. And they will ask, “Papa, what did you do during the pandemic?”

The answer will be simple, really. We worked. We got married. We had babies. We found and lost jobs. We went on missions. We celebrated holidays. In short, we lived.

And we tried to stay safe.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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