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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau


When I was walking the other evening the clouds kept making the most amazing formations. These darker clouds reminded me of a flock of birds and their annual flights south. I am happy to have been able to make my almost annual trek to Maryland for Thanksgiving again this year especially. It will just be my older son and myself , but that is better than both of us being alone for Thanksgiving. Traffic yesterday was very light for the most part and the rest areas, which are usually pretty full, were not. It was nice to see that the majority of people at the stops were wearing masks, too. I have not been away from home for anything more than part of a day in nearly a year and it all felt a bit strange. I have traveled I-40 to I-81 many many times in the last fifteen years, and yesterday it often seemed like the first time. It was a bit like feeling the opposite of "deja vue," if there can be such a thing. And, there is. It is called "jamais vue," and it is described as a "sense of eeriness and the observer's impression of seeing the situation for the first time, despite rationally knowing that they have been in the situation before." The disturbing thing about this is that not only is it less common, but it is also more prevalent in people with neuropsychiatric conditions! Ha! Ha! I know this has been a strange year, but I really don't think it has brought on a case of semi-amnesia for me. As I was driving I was listening to "Fresh Air," an always interesting NPR show. Yesterday host Terry Gross was interviewing Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. He has been working particularly with covid viruses for years. Toward the end of the interview Terry asked Dr. Hortez about when we might expect to be able to go back to normal living given that viable vaccines now seem to be on the horizon. His response was that doing so was not going to be like a "light switch," but " no question, life will be so much better in the next few months than it is right now." Those are such encouraging words to hear after months of so much discouragement. Of course, as the doctor also emphasized, "Don't be lax with it (mask wearing, social distancing, etc) now, especially with the holidays.... It's especially tragic if one of your loved one loses their life or has permanent, long-lasting injury during this period because it's just a matter of staying disciplined for the next couple of months and getting them to the other side." I wouldn't have come to Maryland if this were going to be a big gathering and If I couldn't have driven up here with little contact with other people on the way. I won't be flying to California for Christmas because I have things to do and places to go when we do finally get "to the other side" and normal again. I hope each of you are being just as cautious, too. We have made it through nearly nine months of this pandemic, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, but there is a bit more tunnel to get through first. Let's get there together. By the way, I can highly recommend all of the interview with Dr. Hortez. It was a fascinating and informative one. You look it up and listen to it by going to this link:

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