I don’t have to supervise Biden

Photo of the Madrone courtyard at the University Retirement Community showing flowers, the building in the background, and picnic tables
Madrone Courtyard

THIS IS WHY I HAVEN’T BLOGGED

No, not the picture. That is just a photo of part of our lovely campus at the University Retirement Community.

If it’s warm enough, this is where we have our ‘younger women (<= 75)’ First Wednesday lunch every month, a way for the youngest members of URC to meet each other and connect. Since people move here at all ages, it isn’t the newcomers, per se.

But one of our residents decided to start this group, and it has been nice to have lunch with my contemporaries, some of whom have just moved here.

Most people at URC are older than we are.

Which brings me to my first topic: the coronavirus and the vaccine.

Because we live in a community where most residents, from independent living to skilled nursing, are over 75, when it came time for Yolo County to offer residents in Independent Living the coronavirus vaccine, they decided to include those of us under 75, but living here, the vaccine at the same time they vaccinated older residents and offered the vaccine to the whole staff.

We found out and signed up, along with most of the residents, a few days ago.

So, on Jan. 7, the day after the Capitol riots in DC (more about that later), husband and I got the first shot of the Moderna vaccine. We had very minor side effects, and I got an odd one (but so did others): a slightly red, slightly itchy upper arm around the injection site – but over a week after the shot! It went away before I reported it, only lasting a couple of days, but that was unexpected. Which is why I mention it.

We are scheduled for the second shot Feb. 4, four weeks after the first, and, if all goes as expected (management reassured us yesterday, but that means nothing as they have no official notice, no vaccine on hand, and no control – BUT have not been informed of any problems), two weeks after that, or from about Feb. 18, 2021, we will be as protected as this vaccine can make us.

Almost a year since we went into virtual hibernation, we may be able to move about in the world. No one knows how long it will be before our kids qualify – they are late 20s, early 30s – so this place will be more like a bubble or relative safety, and we may be able to socialize more with our peers. But it’s a big first step.

The stress has been hard to take, especially since some people don’t seem capable of keeping their mask over their nose.

The said Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots in OUR capital city

Along with most people, we watched horror as the day when a simple procedural count of electoral votes, certified already by each state, were supposed to simply be read into the record!

Now that 45 has been gone, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have pledged to uphold the US Constitution (as their predecessor promised, and then failed to do), it is hard to remember the enormous stress it has been to watch and read about the waning days of a wannabe dictator who attempted to reverse a legal election, and tried to get his sycophants to keep him in power via an attempted coup.

It will be a long time before that is all sorted out, but the days from Jan. 6 through Jan. 20, 2021, will not easily be forgotten, as the authorities slowly regained control over a situation that never should have been allowed to happen, and scared the heck out of the rest of us in the process.

The stress, predictably, made it difficult to write fiction – and made it impossible to blog. Anything I wrote might have been proved false within minutes.

I couldn’t.

I couldn’t make myself find some relatively stable and harmless topic, and I couldn’t write about what I was seeing and reading second hand.

Too volatile.

A real rollercoaster ride of ‘this has never happened in my lifetime.’ And my lifetime has included the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the moon landings.

I’ll slowly recover – because of the title of this post.

The grownups are back in charge of the country.

Not that I could do anything about anything while they were not, except express outrage on FB, forward liberal posts there, and end up blocking or unfriending people who used hate language.

But, like many of us, I could not take my eyes off the trainwreck, even if I managed to limit it to a quick look several times a day into the headlines, and watching the coronavirus death toll.

Biden and Harris have, as the cliche goes, ‘their work cut out for them.’

I think that means that now they have to sew it into something resembling a garment. Or a shroud.

The sympathy for the victims and their families that was not expressed in the past year was given attention before the grownups even took office, in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The choices for people in charge have, some of them been a bit surprising, but I don’t have a reservation about the selections that I know anything about. If Ben Carson, who doesn’t seem to care about anything, could head HHS, the Biden appointees can learn whatever they need to learn, and at least are people of integrity – and not all white men, by a huge margin over 45’s.

Nothing will be perfect, and not soon.

As there is incredible damage to stem, and then reverse, it won’t be fast.

I want accountability. Silly me. I hope we get some.

But even then, I leave that to the politicians, to the grownups.

I can’t help, and my opinions are not based on knowing enough to offer solutions.

I will sign petitions, such as the one to provide more funding for ME/CFS research, which, had it been done in a timely manner over the last four decades, would have been ready to help the long-covid survivors who end up with a raging post-viral syndrome.

I will vote, and urge people to take seriously both voter registration and voter intimidation before the midterm elections.

I HAVE NO FEAR OF VOTERS.

But removing post boxes so people can’t vote by mail, removing polling sites so they have to wait in line at the few remaining ones for HOURS, and the rampant intimidation of AMERICANS by domestic terrorists so they dare not cast their votes, is WRONG, makes any elections ‘won’ that way illegitimate, and is a nightmare to leave our children.

Anyone scared of legitimate votes is a FASCIST. There seem to be a lot of them.

We have a long way to go on so many fronts that were made so much worse by 45 and his minions.

But I don’t feel I have to be aware of every action any more: legitimate authorities will tackle the problems one by one.

I never was in charge, but now I’m getting out of the fray as much as possible.

I have NETHERWORLD to finish THIS YEAR. If God gives me life and brain.

*****

How have you been affected?

Will you now be able to move on?

*****


16 thoughts on “I don’t have to supervise Biden

  1. joey

    I share your horror at the January 6 insurrection, the relief of seeing the orange-face ******** out of power, and your hope for the future.
    What haven’t I done? Read for long stretches. I read, of course I read, but not voraciously as before, almost like I can’t concentrate. Who can with all that’s been going on? I envy those who can. Best my hands are busy, as I need the zen.
    I experienced so many emotions on inauguration day. I was overwhelmed with emotions. I had never cried at an inauguration before.
    I am disturbed by the events of the last four years, so much so I question how naive I may have been, may still be, or how well wolves hide in sheeps’ clothing. Regardless, I sure have learned a lot, as one does in struggle.
    I am so glad you’ve had the vaccine and glad your reaction was not too bad. I continue to delight at the idea that you live in the bubble. I am very hopeful this year will reunite families and friends and bubbles will merge without incident. ❤

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      We all learned what we should have known: lots of wolves out there.

      I don’t think I will be taking friends back who expressed themselves so hatefully; my family, fortunately, are all very liberal, and have been appalled by the part five years, too. But a couple of people I may try, against all hope, to convert – or at least get to the we don’t talk about it stage with. They have deliberately cut themselves off from mainstream media and believed lies, so it’s not likely. Good luck with yours. But don’t believe they intend to let bygones be bygones unless it is necessary to keep themselves out of jail.

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  2. acflory

    I’m so glad you and your husband have received your first vaccination shot, Alicia. I worry whenever one of my overseas friends goes quiet for a few days. I guess ‘I worry’ is the phrase that best describes me this last year.
    Like Widds, I waited until the inauguration was well and truly over before checking the news. That is the kind of year it’s been. All I can say as a non-believer is…thank god the vicious Toddler has gone. -hugs-

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  3. Widdershins

    The inauguration was telecast live up here but I couldn’t watch. I knew part of me would be watching in case ‘something’ should happen. I watched it later than evening and enjoyed it for the spectacle it was, without a knot of fear in my stomach. It could’ve so easily gone the other way.
    I’m so glad to hear you are able to get back to your writing now. 😀 … and vaccinated to boot!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      I HAD to watch. It was the biggest even of a long time, either way. If they hadn’t managed to keep Biden safe after all that happened before, I would have known SOMETHING was dead in this democracy.

      I’m having trouble getting back to just letting the government do its thing, but I’m making progress. Slowly – it happened to coincide with a time in which I have to create another roadmap – make sure all the dates and sequences in an important section are checked as a block, and not scene by scene – so I was waffling around anyway.

      I’ve printed out so many calendars and lists that need to be brought into agreement (if they are not already) and synced with both what went before and what is coming that I’m going to spend a little extra time on it, hoping to save time during the execution of the actual writing part.

      Nothing unexpected, a little bit of the ‘here be Dragons’ mindset, knowing everything around it, but not making final decisions of where the stepping stones will be placed for the reader…

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      You have had a very tough year. I think you should be very kind to yourself, and write whatever you feel like writing whenever you do.

      Expectations should go out the window, except for what helps you get from day to day.

      I’ve lived that way for a long time; you will probably emerge when you are ready. I’m glad everyone is not permanently stuck!

      Know that you have so many friends.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. marianallen

        Thank you so much, dear friend. I am wounded, for sure. The brother of my late friend, Jane, the one I’ve been meeting for Janie Day once a month in her memory, just passed from multiple tumors and, ultimately, kidney failure. So I thank you for the joy your posts and writing infuse into my life. ❤

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        1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

          I am so sorry. I know a bit of what you mean. The main downside to URC is that most of the people here are older than we are. Today is the annual Celebration of Life for those who have died in the previous year – and I knew a good half of the people on the list we got, and many were becoming friends we had dinner with (pre-pandemic) on a regular basis. It is still a shock.

          The other side of that is the joy of meeting such a wonderfully talented and warm group of people we’d never have known otherwise, and sharing their lives and ours.

          I think on balance we win by a landslide, but it doesn’t make it easier.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. marianallen

          Yes, you’re right: The pain we feel is directly proportional to the value we saw in our friendships. So, as you say, on balance, we’re very fortunate people. 🙂

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  4. lgould171784

    I’ve been blogging for some time about Trump’s ongoing attempts to install himself as permanent dictator. Even so, I never expected anything as blatant as January 6 to happen. After that, I swore off blogging about politics until after the inauguration. Now we can at least breathe a sigh of relief, but only temporarily. There are still so many nut jobs out there, some of them in high places.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Will Once

    Lovely blog! Enjoyed it very much and agreed with just about every word.

    Like you, I watched the events of 6 Jan with a sense of incredulity and sadness. Everyone has a right to express their opinions and to protest, but there has to be a respect for democracy. What happened on 6 Jan went way beyond legitimate protest. After that, Joe Biden’s inauguration was a breath of fresh air. I loved his message that we won’t always agree with each other but we’ve got to learn to listen.

    Also like you I’m finding it hard to write fiction. When the world is this weird it seems incongruous to step back into the world of fiction.

    Stay safe

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    1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Post author

      Thanks, Will. I never expected any of the past five years, with its increasing sense of outrage at unbelievable lies and actions, in my lifetime. I’m so naive!

      Now I’m trying to work out some plotting twists and wondering if I’m ever going to feel ‘normal’ again – and by that I mean ONLY chronically ill.

      What we learned is that there are MANY people who think those who listen are suckers and losers. It’s like negotiating with the Soviets.

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  6. Lloyd Lofthouse

    This morning I’d had it with seeing Fox News headlines added on my newsfeed from Microsoft or Google, so I blocked Fox.

    I’m looking forward to not seeing its alternative facts, Conspiracy Theory, hate spreading racist fake news every morning when I log on. I did see one headline from another new’s source this morning that told me I’m not alone. It seems Fox is hemorrhaging viewers. And, I’m not one of them because I was never a Fox braindead follower.

    I never clicked on any of the links for Fox News but just seeing the headlines was enough to trigger my PTSD.

    Liked by 1 person

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