When I returned home earlier this week after my weekly super-exciting grocery trip (aka, what is missing from my order this week?) I was startled to hear a bird call I’d never heard before. This bird meant business with his ear-splitting song. I bustled inside singing the song over and over so I could immediately google possible suspects. I couldn’t find it and I have since forgotten it. But because he was so aggressively marking his territory with sound, I bet I’ll hear him again (and this time I’ll make sure I have my binoculars with me).
I got my first Covid vaccine shot yesterday, a year after the World Health Organization declared the Covid outbreak to be a pandemic. I freaked out a little the night before because I didn’t know how the vaccination site was structured, and I said so on social media. Reassurance was immediately forthcoming: 2 friends who had been vaccinated there reached out. One let me know that the site was very well-organized and efficient, and the other let me know it was staffed with people who understood we are all freaking out. (Well, she actually said, “The true welcoming, friendly, helpful, down home spirit of West Virginians really shines here,” but those are the same things, right?) And when I got there, I found I had worried for nothing as there were volunteers everywhere so you didn’t have to worry about where to go next.
There was a buzz in the building (grandly known as the town’s civic center, but just a gigantic metal building), and there was also something I haven’t see a lot of over the last year—a lot of smiling. Even the people like me, who are always anxious, were smiling. One of the volunteers was telling us she was now fully-vaccinated and that she just could not believe it yet. She said she’d been living in so much fear and now she wasn’t. “We’re not just giving people vaccines here,” she said. “We’re also giving hope.”
Last night Joe Biden went on TV and once again delivered a pitch perfect address to the American people—to us. He reassured people that there would be enough vaccine, that there was a plan to make sure everyone who wanted a vaccine could have one in the tangible future, and told us that if we just held on a little longer, we could have our summer back with a real Independence Day (hey, I’m from New England—it’s not warm enough to swim in any natural body of water until then, so that’s when summer begins). He was giving hope, too.
I watched the address with my life-long Republican, anti-trump spouse. He had been on the Biden bandwagon from the very beginning (me? Warren all the way). And once again I had to say that even though Joe Biden wasn’t my first choice (or second, or third), he was the right person for the job. Good job, America. Now let’s start planning that birthday party.