Featured, Human Interest, Phyllis Merriam, The Buzz

By Phyllis Merriam — The Buzz

It is hard to believe I’ve been writing these Random Notes now for 90 weeks. The prolonged virus, its power and variants, homegrown conspiracies, fake news about vaccines, transmissions, masks, social distancing, political divides about all of these topics and Americans’ inabilities to come together as families, political bodies and as a nation to protect one another and find the stamina to sustain the courage to outlast Covid and its variants makes me very anxious. Instead of finding their inner super hero to manage this pandemic, too many Americans cannot even find compassion toward themselves and their fellow citizens to get vaccinated. This all seems so un-American.

Thanksgiving turned out to be a beautiful 50 degrees sunny day to gather over a shared bountiful homemade meal with vaccinated and boostered family members.

I give thanks this holiday for Covid vaccines and all those who chose to protect others.

Meanwhile, a new highly contagious variant has been discovered in Botswana and around Johannesburg, South Africa. Just a number: B.1.1.529. Now it has a Greek letter designation: O for Omnicron which has spread to South Africa and seven other southern African countries and Great Britain. Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong have cases and there are suspected cases in Germany and the Czech Republic. Travel to USA from these seven African locales is banned. It’s in Canada, so it looks likely to reach our shores, if it hasn’t already. Word from the virologist’s, “Don’t panic, yet.” (The “yet” is not confidence-inducing…) Maine’s health care system is already overwhelmed with the highest spike in cases since the onset of the pandemic. With less available testing and Maine counties with low vaccination rates, Mainers are spreading the virus. The deniers and anti-vaxers continue to feed the virus. It’s reported that now Omnicron has been detected in 16 countries. As I write this, a case has been discovered in California.

I discovered Mango’s favorite toy is loose catnip inside a knotted sock. He leaps way into the air with it, turning somersaults and chasing it around the house. Toys I bought at Petco turned out to be uselessly boring. The catnip sock and a large aluminum foil ball are his best homemade amusements. Mango’s morning energy levels can be challenging. He loves to have me play with him, then like a toddler, takes a nap. His high energy levels return at bedtime. Since we’re asleep, we have to be careful not to leave things around he’d play with. Recently, I awoke to a noise in the kitchen only to discover Mango found my husband’s partials the best thing for middle of the night floor hockey. Luckily no damage was done.

Local Color:

Over 90% of the crowd at the Rockland Elks Club Christmas Fair wore masks.

Twenty customers lined up outside at Wasses were all masked. People are hoarding canned cat food if Hannaford’s bare shelves are any measure.

Thank you to the South End Grocery that always has cat food.

A young man sporting a mullet was spotted at Hannaford’s checkout. (I thought mullets went out with the ‘80’s but are now one of the most popular hairstyles of 2021. Who would have predicted a covid coiffure?)

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