By Scott Carlson
Does it seem as if there has been an unusually heavy surge of bad news this year?
Quite frankly, the whole world, and for me personally, feels like it’s been on a steady, precipitous slide since mid-March when the coronavirus started hitting our community and the rest of the world full force.
That’s the last time I saw my 90-year-old mother Joan, whose local nursing home went into a COVID-19 protective lockdown. My only way of staying in touch with Mom was, at the time, through daily telephone calls.
For the longest time, well into April, the nursing home beat back COVID from afflicting the residents.
But that good fortune at Lyngblomsten Care Center did not last forever.
In early May, several of the nursing home residents, including Mother, tested positive for the coronavirus. About 10 days after testing positive, Mother succumbed on May 18 to complications from COVID-19.
Sadly, Mom was not alone. More than 220,000 Americans (as of the Bugle’s deadline) have died of COVID-19. And at last report, the number of new infections and deaths were climbing upward again.
Then came more terrible news: About a week later, a Minneapolis police officer snuffed out the life of George Floyd, in an arrest stop, by planting his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. The incident sparked a wave of protests, civil unrest and some rioting in Minneapolis, St. Paul and other cities across the nation. It also sparked a new movement reexamining racial equality and provoking questions about systematic racism and white privilege.
More recently, a series of hurricanes have battered the southern coastal United States and scores of devastating wildfires have together consumed more 4 million acres of forests, brush and homes in California.
Yes, there are plenty of reasons to feel despondent.
Now, the big questions are: Will we let these setbacks overwhelm and define us? Or will we persevere and acknowledge that even in the midst of hardships, there still is a cornucopia of blessings?
In this month when we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is worth reflecting on what is good, beautiful and inspiring. Consider:
- Doctors, nurses, aides and a myriad of health care workers and staff in hospitals, clinics and care facilities courageously put their lives on the line to care for sick patients and, too often, comfort dying people. When the coronavirus prevented my family from going to see Mom in the hospital, it was two ICU nurses who were at her bedside to comfort her in her final moments.
- New uses of technology to stay connected with people in work, social and family settings. For example, virtual meetings enabled my brother and I to see mom in the hospital before she died.
- Grocery workers, delivery drivers, police officers, EMTs and other frontline workers carrying on the critical services of everyday life so the rest of society is able to function.
- A different appreciation of family and friends. With limitations on our ability to be out and about, we have all had to pull together at home to handle jobs, kids, schoolwork and other activities.
- Teachers going the extra mile to prepare lesson plans and other activities for students virtually and, in some cases, in the classroom.
- Coaches and students employing social safeguards to resume sports and other extracurricular activities.
This list only scratches the surface. Please remember there are many reasons to give thanks at this time of Thanksgiving.
See Voices, librarian columns online
Due to a lack of space, the Bugle was unable to run the Voices and Ask the Librarian features in our printed edition. Read it here on our Bugle website at www.parkbugle.org.
Sarah CR Clark’s Voices interview is with Jill Rode, pastor at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church. Judy Woodward’s librarian column is about the origins of a couple of curious figures of speech—“Holy Moly” and “Suffering Succotash.”
Upcoming Bugle deadlines
Here is a reminder of our Bugle deadlines for the next three issues. As always, we appreciate when writers and readers submit their articles early. Aside from breaking news, most articles can be submitted ahead of the scheduled deadlines.
And again, our publication dates represent when the newspapers go out for delivery. Mail distribution of the paper may take up to 10 business days because of recent problems with U.S. Postal Service deliveries. In addition, the mails are likely to be slower because of the holidays that are close our publication dates. Meanwhile, bulk drop-offs of the paper around town are completed in three to four days after publication.
Issue Copy and ad deadlines Publication
|Issue||Copy & Ad Deadlines||Publication|
|December 2020||November 11||November 24|
|January 2021||December 9||December 22|
|February 20201||January 13||January 26|