From the Back Nine: On the brink

I can feel a ground swell of old folks who have their COVID shots and are on the brink of “making plans.” We are like a horde of graying groundhogs sticking our masked noses out to determine whether it is true that the sun will come out tomorrow.

Some of us have tales to tell about the difficulties of getting our shots. Others have had wacky reactions; I know one woman whose chills were so bad she vibrated like a tuning fork for two days.

Another friend’s intelligent, trustworthy husband had such a case of brain fog following the injection, he didn’t recognize what was on his plate that first night:

“What’s that?”

“A potato.”

Both Potato Man and Chill Woman have recovered successfully, each with a war story to tell.

Mostly, old people are eager to travel again. Maybe not by cruise ship yet, but we’re scrubbing up the RVs and booking flights to Way the Heck Out There. I feel the lure to hit the road myself.

My travel, however, is limited by restrooms. No longer is it the distance between towns that I calculate but the distance between latrines. When state parks and rest stations open again, then world, here I come.

I will keep one of the good habits I’ve established this past year. I always have hand sanitizer with me now, and buy the ones with a little oil in them … they don’t shred your nails and dissolve your skin after zealous usage. I keep in mind there are surfaces potentially more dangerous than that toilet bowl … those benign-looking stair railings and door handles and faucets.

Why did it take a pandemic for me to figure this out? Using hand sanitizer when I get into the car has become as habitual as locking it when I get out.

Depression is letting up a little. My dog is about to find out about long walks again. I don’t feel so much need for that second bag of Pecan Sandies. I write for fun again, not for desperation.

We go on, we old soldiers. We mourn those who could not, the 500,000 souls who will never again hear a grandchild laugh or dance a boogie or walk beside us. We honor the medical workers and first responders who gave their lives for us to continue ours.

I’d like to think that when we unbar our doors to gather together again, we’ll come out different. Skin color, sexual orientation, religious choices won’t matter so much. Education, community and civility will matter more. That may be my wacky reaction to the second COVID shot.

One can only hope.

Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors. Her newest historical novel, “Dr. Emma’s Improbable Happenings,” is available at Port Book and News, One of a Kind Gallery and Contact her at