Cerebration: October 1, 2021

I cannot believe it is October already! Autumn is officially here, even in Florida. A few days ago when I left for work at 6:30 A.M., it was cool out, a nice surprise.

October is prime time for all those Christmas romances I love. And a Hanukkah one! So get ready for lots of holiday book reviews. I also just noticed that Hanukkah comes out early again this year. The first night is the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which is better than when it fell on Thanksgiving -but barely in time for Black Friday. Not to mention there are all sorts of warnings out there: “Logistical issues, including ongoing manufacturing and supply chain disruptions, may make the hottest toys and most popular gifts sell out fast or go on waiting lists. And they might not be available at all in the typical Thanksgiving-to-Christmas Day holiday shopping window this year.” So this is a good year to start your holiday shopping early.

The Time to Start Your Holiday Shopping Is Right Now

Retailers’ Latest Headache: Shutdowns at Their Vietnamese Suppliers: Factories in the country, a major apparel and footwear supplier to the U.S., have been forced by the pandemic to close or operate at reduced capacity, complicating the all-important holiday season.*

My husband and I flew to Chicago last week for a wedding, which was held in the Newberry Library. It was my first library wedding and it was beautiful! The library is old but renovated, and it is gorgeous. They posted a few pictures of the wedding on their Instagram, which I’m borrowing.

I was thrilled to get to hold my beautiful grandson during the ceremony. But when he started getting restless, I handed him off to my husband who took him for a walk around Washington Square Park, a registered historic landmark that is better known by its nickname, Bughouse Square. It was the most celebrated open air free-speech center in the country, and that was where the ceremony was held.

We made sure to have Chicago deep dish “pizza” at Lou Malnati’s, and my husband enjoyed the Italian Beef sub at Portillo’s. Luckily, both places had nice patios outside where we ate. We also hit the Museum of Contemporary Art, and my son brought the baby along. He seemed to enjoy his first museum visit!

Also have to give a shout-out to United Airlines. We had two completely uneventful flights, there and back. Everyone wore their masks. The planes were clean and they handed out wipes as we boarded. I never was much of a fan of flying and it is especially difficult during a pandemic. But we are all fully vaccinated and careful, and I’d lose my mind if I didn’t get to hold that baby now and then! Plus there’s this: United Airlines to Fire Workers Who Refused to Get a Vaccination. On the other hand, my son & his family had their Delta flight delayed and then cancelled, followed by a flight the next morning from NYC to Washington DC, an 8 hour layover, then off to Chicago. With a baby. Delta has done them dirty twice in the past couple of months. Last time was a trip to California (also with the baby) where they got to spend hours and hours sitting on the runway only to be let off late at night and told to come back the next morning. They are so lucky to have such a resilient baby who just goes with the flow.

Covid still in the news. Guess I changed the name of this journal too soon (it started out as the Coronavirus Diary.) I am feeling somewhat safe these days, even though I live in Florida with an anti-science moron running the state (and that’s the nicest thing I can say about him.) I’m fully vaccinated, as are most of my family and friends. I am working remotely two days a week (when possible) but that means three days of exposure to colleagues and college students who may or may not be vaccinated. I hide in my office 90% of the time. I wear a mask 90% of the time and 100% of the time when I’m not in my office. I don’t eat at work, I wait until I get home. I am saddened and confused by the vast numbers of unvaccinated people dying and taking up every hospital bed around here. I am even more confused about the shortage of ivermectin (horse dewormer) for the horses that need it because ignorant Covid patients are taking it. I don’t understand parents who insist on sending their children to school without masks. And worst of all, the unvaccinated health care workers giving their patients Covid. Check out this opinion piece by Christina Baker Kline (author of The Exiles, The Orphan Train, and many other books.)

Opinion: My father should be in surgery rehab. But with beds full of the unvaccinated, he died in covid quarantine*

As always, thanks for reading and stay safe!

*Thanks to the New York Times and Washington Post for allowing me to “gift” my readers with free access to these articles, a lovely perk for subscribers.

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