Independence Day Edition
We are more than halfway through this year, and what a year it’s been. The video is of last year’s 4th of July fun in a neighboring town. This year, all of Palm Beach County, where I live, has canceled firework displays. Of course, my neighbors have been blowing up stuff since last weekend, but no big displays this year. It’s just as well. It hurts me to admit it, but I really haven’t been feeling all that patriotic lately. I may be a liberal, but I am the type of liberal who used to tear up when I heard “The Star-Spangled Banner” or “God Bless America” or “America the Beautiful.”
This? The way we are living now? This is not America to me. Huge unemployment numbers, the murders of Black men and women by police, Putin being given carte blanche to pay terrorists bounties on killing American soldiers, a president who thinks he can wish away a pandemic, it’s all too much. I will hang out my flag and hope for a better tomorrow. I will say that the Black Lives Matter movement is making me feel more hopeful than I have in a long time, so that would be worth celebrating – other than the fact that it is rising on the backs of Black people dying in the streets at the hands of police officers.
This 4th of July, I will mostly take the day off from cooking and let my husband grill burgers. Last time we had burgers, we had them on my homemade brioche buns, but now we have store-bought. I may make some potato salad though, it’s my husband’s favorite, but my potatoes are starting to sprout. I will have to check to see if they are still safe to eat! Maybe a peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
The number of Covid-19 cases in Florida, especially in South Florida, has been climbing. The Palm Beach Post reported, “The number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in Florida on Thursday with a record-shattering 10,109 new infections reported by the Florida Department of Health.”
Happy July, folks. Our idiot governor basically has said, “Drop dead, Floridians!” and refuses to do anything about it. Rather like his idol, the current occupant of the White House.
Luckily, the Palm Beach County Commissioners have done their bare minimum. They closed the bars after midnight or something, closed the beaches for the holiday weekend, and are requiring everyone to wear masks. Except if you don’t want to because of a medical condition or religious reason. I have been researching religious beliefs barring mask-wearing and have yet to find anything, but what do I know. On the other hand, Palm Beach Post writer Frank Cerabino wonders if this religion that forbids mask-wearing is “Hannitarian”?
Cerabino: Religious exemption in PBC mask order adds to virus prey
My friend works for the public library and had a family come into the library, a mom and three kids, none wearing masks, and the mom said they all have medical conditions. It’s hard to tell sometimes, I get that. But what are the odds that the entire family has hidden medical conditions that preclude them from wearing masks?
I have become such a cynic! This is so not like me, and I don’t especially like this version of myself. But this pandemic has really pushed all my buttons. Some people are just incredibly selfish and thoughtless. I am angry and frightened, and I’ve been frightened for months and all I want is to be safe and for my family to be safe.
More troubling Florida news: “DeSantis kills online learning program amid virus resurgence: With a stroke of his veto pen, Gov. Ron DeSantis wiped out the entire $29.4 million budget for a suite of online education services that have become critical to students and faculty during the Covid-19 outbreak…The cuts include a database of online courses and an online library service that provides 17 million books to 1.3 million students, faculty and staff.” https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2020/06/30/desantis-kills-online-learning-program-amid-virus-resurgence-1296178
Then this happened in Miami: Miami-Dade cop relieved of duty for hitting woman taunting him for ‘acting like you white’ And my first thought was, at least she lived. How insane is that???
On a happier note, let’s talk about baking! I finally was able to get my hands on the “4.2 Quart Artisan Bread Baking Crock and Dutch Oven” that has been out of stock with all the other bread baking stuff from King Arthur Flour. It arrived yesterday and is so pretty! It was definitely a splurge but worth it. Now I just have to hope that I don’t break it. And more exciting news: Larry went to Costco during senior hour and scored me a big bag – 25 pounds – of King Arthur flour!
Isn’t it amazing the things that make me so happy now?
We had a Zoom anniversary celebration for my son and daughter-in-law’s first wedding anniversary last weekend. We were joined by her parents, too, and it was so nice to be able to toast the happy couple, even remotely. What a first year they’ve had! I told them that spending all these months alone together just proves how right they are together. It may not have been the dream anniversary celebration, but I guarantee it is one they will never forget.
My beautiful Loki has been investigating this space under the TV for months. Every now and then he stands up and sticks his head in and looks around. Today, he took the plunge.
Finally, this was a proud moment for me. My son is now on the Games Team at the New York Times!
As always, thanks for reading and stay safe!
I feel if people say they can’t wear a cloth mask, they should at least wear a face shield.While the stats are
good in Massachusetts, there is a fear that some are becoming less careful. I worry about the fall and the return of college students.
Mary, I’m worried about college students for sure, especially as I work in a college library. News in Florida reported college students having Coronavirus parties with looks kicking in money and the first person to get it wins the pot. Scary!!!
Nice summation of events. Every time I see Florida’s governor on the news, I am struck by his Trump-wannabe attitude. It’s not even subtle. Like what you said about being liberal and patriotic since there seems to be a message that liberals are anti-American. And! I’m a huge fan of King Arthur flour and products. Also a book reviewer for Library Journal. Guess we have some things in common. Hang in there.
Thanks so much for writing. Stay safe!
There was a girl on the news (not sure where she was from) who has a breathing condition. She has that finger thing that measures oxygen intake. She measured her oxygen intake wearing 3 different types of masks. In all 3 cases she was receiving about 99% oxygen. There is no excuse not to where a mask she said.
So glad I am in Canada, even happier that I am in an area that has not been that badly affected. By I am still staying home and still wearing an N-95 mask when I go out. I have fibromyalgia and stage 3 stable kidney disease. I’m not taking my chances. I want to live to see grandchildren.
Thanks so much for writing, Patricia! I totally get that there are people who cannot wear masks for medical conditions. The woman you saw on TV is very lucky. My mom suffered from emphysema and COPD and for the last year or two of her life, she was on oxygen. Even though it went in through her nose, I don’t think she would have been able to wear a mask. I miss her terribly pretty much every day, but on the other hand, I also feel guilty for thinking it is probably a good thing she isn’t here for this, it would have been a nightmare.
My mother went into long term care in late March 2019. She passed away 10 days later. When this thing started my sister texted me and said 9 people had passed in that facility. She said she considered it a blessing Mom passed when she did otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to visit her and would have been stressed out with worry. She had dementia so she would have been a handful for the workers too. She was 94. My husband’s mother just went into long term care this week. His father is still in the residence. They have been separated and their visiting is limited. She has dementia and he is mourning terribly. I talked to my sister last night. She works in the elderly residence community and she said over and over again that it’s a “shitstorm”.
Oh, I am so sorry to hear that. My mother-in-law is in an assisted living facility, she’s 94. We were able to visit her a few times but behind glass doors using iPhones to talk. But as the numbers spiked again here, they stopped it. It’s very frustrating & scary for us, I know it’s probably worse for her. Stay safe!