Mary Beth Writes

Didn’t I announce back in March that my Quarantine Diary was done?

Argh. Never say never.

I assumed after two vaccines it was okay to meander the world as long as we are mindful of kids and people with fragile immune systems. So put on the mask in public places and don’t be overtly stupid.

Sigh. ‘Don’t be overtly stupid’ was apparently too high a bar. The illogic boggles my mind. People who wear seatbelts and take statins and buy a state license to go fishing and will only go to an accredited medical care provider for medical care – suddenly think THEY know the backstory on vaccines and who to trust? Like, the whole medical world was conspiring against them on this one thing?

We are in a culture war and so we are right back in the quarantine soup. Damn.

Thought One:

If scientific advice stays the same now and forever - it isn’t science. Science is observing and asking questions. When advice changes, that’s science working. My mom put mercurochrome on my cuts when I was a kid. Then they started asking if it made sense to put mercury on open wounds and next thing you know, science says “Try soap and water and antibacterial cream.” Like that.

About half the adults in our nation have been vaccinated for six months or less. Science was confident it would be safe, and it would protect us from the ravages of Covid. But how long will the vaccine remain effective in any one individual? How will it affect our ability to spread Covid to others?

Scientists watched and recorded what happened to and around mostly vaccinated people who were in the same crowds in Provincetown, Rhode Island over July 4th weekend. Their observations strongly indicate that vaccinated people CAN receive and pass along Covid-19. In that process SOME vaccinated people will show symptoms of the disease. They THINK this is less than 1% of vaccinated people, but they are studying now to figure out that particular piece of the ongoing coronavirus puzzle.

Science is advising all of us to now assume we can contract the disease. In some this will be somewhat serious and people might feel awful, but those individuals will not end up in a hospital on a ventilator.

We who are vaccinated CAN pass Covid to others although I just read this morning that statistics are showing that we have LESS covid virus to shed and we are LESS likely to spread it than unvaccinated people. This emerging science behooves us to wear masks again 1. in public places and 2. when in the presence of kids and people with compromised immune systems.

Okay. We can do this.

Thought Two:

Last week I was an Empress of Sociability. Over the past few weeks, I’d reached out to friends I’d not seen since quarantine hit. Plans were made for last week. Then a few other opportunities happened – and I’d not been this sociable since 2019. It was weird. We put over 500 miles on the car. I saw people every day. I got a bit tired of just sitting and talking.

We spent Saturday in Chicago with our kids. First, we went to our granddaughter’s T-ball game. Yes, I who avowed I would never watch another kid sports game was in there cheering when she ran from base to base with her little arms pumping. After the ball game we went to their house for lunch and to draw pictures of princess cats with ball gowns and tiaras, and also to chase after the hell-for-leather 2-year-old on his balance bike.

So. Len and I wore masks the whole time we were with them, inside and outside, because if you love a youngster you don’t breathe on them.

I was surprised that most of the tiny kids on the T-ball team and their parents were wearing masks. It was 80 degrees, humid, the park was sunny and hot. I commented on it to my daughter.

“Yep, this is new today. Last week barely any of us wore masks. Today, most of us are.”

So yes. This is Quarantine Diary # 507.

How are you doing in Covid-arama? Are you back to precautions? Are you worried sick about people you know who are dragging their heels? Are you angry? Worried? Scared? Nonchalant?





Priceless! So apt! I wore a mask to the grocery today… Vermont, the safest state in the Union. I wore one into the restaurant at lunch. I wore a mask from mid-March 2020 until July 1 of 2021. I got this mask thing! It ain’t rocket surgery ( brain science)
Mary Beth's picture

I'm so impressed by children who just put their masks on and live their lives. The 10year old I hang out with a bit - puts on her mask and completely forgets it. I told her at the beach she could take it off, so she did. But it was so easy for her either way.

I don’t see the remasking very much where I live. A few more in the grocery store today, including me. And we’re invited to a wedding on Friday. Yikes. It’s so confusing and worrisome. The scientists are working on our behalf - I do believe that!!!
Mary Beth's picture

Len has read that once again, when the threat is big, wear an N95 mask and keep it over your nose. Good Luck at the wedding. Let us know how it goes.

You sound pretty fed up, and so am I although it’s not as if we are starting over. It’s just that we thought we were through it and we are not. Love the cat drawings!
Mary Beth's picture

Drawing cats in princess outfits is my favorite thing lately. And yes you are right. We are further along but we are not done.

I just got my hair cut. To mask, or not to mask... The door sign said to mask, if not vaccinated. My hairdresser has significant skin reactions to masks. Has not been vaccinated, because she reacted to her flu shot. Her 2 doctors are giving her opposing advice on getting a Covid vaccine. A morning customer asked her to put on a mask. She did, was happy to. The customer berated her the whole visit. (Not smart to do, when someone has scissors to your hair...) The customer said, upon paying, that she would have tipped her, if she had been vaccinated. A liberal vaccine Karen?? Your Diary #507 was spot on. Thanks. And, food for thought: vaccinated folks may pass less active virus on to others, but the Delta variant carries a much more potent punch.. Mask-up. Protect those who can't get the vaccine. . Those who won't get vaccinated? Hope they don't impact the hospital system, or pass this on to others. I postponed my trip to FL. Again. What a mess.
Mary Beth's picture

Yes to this logic: "vaccinated folks may pass less active virus on to others, but the Delta variant carries a much more potent punch.. " I know people with issues from previous vaccines who have gone ahead and got them this time. Letting their medical person know ahead of time, so notes will be in their charts if they need some assistance. But to me (NOT a medical person) the logic is that if a person gets a strong reaction to a vaccine, then their response to that disease is going to be a wallop. So maybe go forward with a managed crisis, not a bigger one later. Says the woman who took three years to get around to getting the Shingrix shot (and now i need to get the #2 one).

Was at Moms Asst living facility today. They have been told when outside of their rooms , they must wear masks at all times regardless of vaccination status. If the positivity rate goes above 10% - indoors visitation will be altered. It’s scary and concerning. Your featured art is stunning.
Mary Beth's picture

The effects the resistance to getting vaccines has brought to so many others - it's pathetic. Individuals that will praise "our heroes and oldsters and precious children" from one end of the day to another - but then won't get a vaccine to protect them ... Empty words. though it sounds, from the news tonight, that many more are getting vaccines just this weekend. I'm glad.
Mary Beth's picture

PS: Those little crosses on the cat outfits are sparkles.

Mr. P and I spent three days in Milwaukee to see the Van Gogh interactive display... We wore mask in and out of the hotel, to and from restaurants and stores, around crowds and at the Van Gogh were mask wearing was at about 75%... Mask are still mandatory at The Milwaukee Art Museum, if you don't have one they will supply one for you... As a caretaker, in my mind I don't really have a choice in the matter, I'd rather be on the side of safety, especially with all the loose cannons out there...

I LOVE the princess cats. Are they a collaboration between you and Lily?
Mary Beth's picture

I drew the outlines - my little granddaughter colored them in. She was totally fascinated by my colored pens. I had two of most colors, so she picked a pink and purple to keep for herself. Then she picked up a turquoise one and looked up at me, "My mommy's favorite color is teal. Can I give her this one?" She could. I love the details kids know and see.

I Have continued to wear masks in indoor public areas, despite being fully vaccinated since April. And, I will continue to do so. It breaks my heart to say, I do not trust my fellow human beings. I live in Florida...enough said. Isn't it sad, how all is political? And it is. I have a medically complex grandson, my daughter lives in Pensacola, where wearing a Mask is an affront to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The struggle continues... Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

The same people who laud the sacrifices of people in WWII are the ones who now won't wear a mask or get the vaccine. I am so sorry that your worry is increased because your grandkid is extra vulnerable. This is complex, but we didn't have to be this divided.

I feel that one of the problems people have in coping with the changes Covid has imposed on us, is thinking it's going to "go away" - that we will be free to "get back to normal". Covid is another challenge in a world that is changing at a rate of speed that leaves us out of control. Facing the reality of pandemics, climate change and any number of other things we have no control over (or brought upon ourselves), is accepting that we must react, adapt and live our lives in a way that may not be comfortable or easy; but preserves and improves things for the future, outside of our own narrow, immediate desires. We can evolve, or not. 35 years ago after receiving a Tetanus vaccine, I was chatting with the Doctor, when I blacked out, fell over and had, what the Doctor described as "a seizure-like event". I wasn't awake for that, but took her word for it. I wasn't an Anti-Vaxxer, but a "nervous vaxxer". Valuing vaccines, but a little wary. I really wanted the Covid vaccine. My health care provider told me to get my vaccine at the hospital, and I had to wait a bit longer afterward before heading home. Like being in vaccine reaction detention. It all went fine. Relieved, and grateful.
Mary Beth's picture

You are right. We have to think in terms of what next, not how to get back to before. Because it wasn't working. I also have a vaccine story though mine, at least to me, has a tinge of humor. I was a kid - 3rd grade - and my mom took me for regular vaccine booster shots. I lived through the event, we walked back out to the waiting room, whereupon I fainted dead away. Pure kid nerves. I came to with my doctor kneeling on the floor over me Dr. Boone was a big man who wore Hawaiian shirts. I remember to this day that weird image of palm trees right over me.

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Happy Birthday to Len


Today is Len’s birthday. I told him this morning I might write about him but I would let him read whatever I said first. He said not to run it past him, he’d like the surprise of reading it when you all do. Let’s see what I come up with.

1. This is cute. Len was born in Chicago’s Passavant Memorial Hospital which was the grandparent hospital to Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital - where two of our grandkids were born.

Stories, Q Club, Us

The photo is not by Len or me, its from I Love Canada on FB. I've seen a sky like that just once. 


Last week I read two books about young people who left their homes. They experienced some good and too many rough experiences and they couldn’t go back until they figured out how to not be who they used to be. Both novels knocked my socks off.

The People You Keep by Allison Larkin

Covid Diary #979 - Still Paying Attention?


Yes, it’s been 979 days since Friday the 13th, March 2020, when everything changed.

Last Saturday one of our kids visited for several hours with their kids. It was fun though our kid looked tired. They said they’d taken a Covid test that morning and it was negative. They figured it was the wine and rich foods they’d shared the evening before with friends at the end of a very busy week.

Next Day - What Are You Seeing?


It was a late night last night, wasn’t it? Len worked at a polling place 6:30 AM until 10:30 PM. He said the actual experience is a lot like working retail (which he has not done since he was 22). Stand up most of the time, pleasantly say the same thing over and over. Wonder if lunch is soon.  

Professional reporters and pundits are talking a lot about “what just happened”, but heck, we are noticing interesting things, too.  Let’s talk about what We The People saw and heard and are watching now.

Here are some things catching my attention.

Election Day


So many times I’ve thought things were going to be okay, and then they weren’t. My dad had that heart attack and the kid who was MB back then told herself to not overthink the drama because things always turn out more or less okay. Then the next day he died.

We lost a pregnancy far enough along that we had a name picked out and a crib in which to put that child. For a week I had all the misery and cramps that go with miscarrying and I still thought somehow it was going to work out okay.

That Beep-Beep-Beeping Moment.

In spring Len got a $100 traffic ticket when he turned right at a corner we’ve been turning right at for seven years. However, construction had started and there were orange barrels and cones everywhere – plus a small sign NOT facing the street Len was on, telling drivers to not turn there.

Len went back later that day and took photos. Len called the city to mention that if they posted a sign that actually faced the traffic, the city could save the cost of the cop parked there ticketing drivers.

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