Here’s When 2021 OFFICIALLY Starts
I know our calendar has recorded the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 BUT
I am going to propose that we revisit the idea of New Year’s Day. We all probably agree that 2020 has been one of the worst (if not the worst) year of our collective lives. The pandemic has made life more than difficult and the election year sideshow only added to the horror of 2020. Suspending life as we know it and waiting for an undefined end point is one reason I’m not feeling like 2020 has ended. The recent Siege at the nation’s Capital has only added to that 2020 feeling. Let me explain exactly why I am proposing a new New Year’s Day.
Before 2020 even ended, sometime around Thanksgiving, my 93 year-old mother tested positive for Covid-19. She had no symptoms but had to be quarantined. We have not seen her since late February because she lives in an assisted-living facility which has been locked up tight since March. Okay, so that’s still a 2020 event but Mom came through living in the quarantine wing of Gluco Lodge (trying to break out a few times: “She’s a pistol” and “She’s a pain in the ass” was the staff’s assessment) and in 2021 was sent back to her room (which she loves). Still a seriously addicted smoker, early last week Mom went out for a Parliament Light and, upon re-entering the facility, managed to fall down (on her previously --- 2019 --- broken left hip). She got up, dusted herself off and headed back to her room. A doctor was called and, when the staff went up to check on her, she was bleeding out of/in her ear and her bed had a significant amount of blood staining her sheets. They rushed her to the Emergency Room where it was determined she had a lacerated ear --- which they glued back together and sent her home. This is the first 2021 Emergency Room story.
Shortly into the New Year, maybe on the 3rd or 4th, we learned that the newest member of our clan, the 9-month old Giant Baby Boy (already 30 pounds!) was rushed to the Stamford Hospital Emergency Room because of extreme respiratory difficulty. Not Covid but very, very scary! It took two days before he came home and it’s only in the last few days that he is bouncing back to his old, Giant self.
While the Giant Baby was in the hospital he was joined by his maternal grandmother (a friend of ours and a former colleague of the Lovely Carol Marie) who had a ruptured appendix and was in serious trouble! She ended up in the hospital for almost an entire week and is only now, a couple of weeks later, beginning to feel like her old self.
On top of all that, the Lovely Carol Marie has spent the last two weeks getting cataract surgery (complicated by one eye which is “frozen” as a result of a 2004 brain aneurysm!). She is fine but did spend a few days impersonating Helen Keller --- having all of that exacerbated by having also received gel-shots in her knees (which are not taking especially well). Needless to say, all of this (the Giant Baby, his maternal grandmother, his paternal grandmother – Carol Marie) has made it seem like 2020 has continued into this so-called “New Year.”
Adding to all this, one of my classmates, an old friend and fellow Skull and Bones members, passed away two days ago and an even dearer Yale friend just informed me he has been recovering form kidney cancer surgery (performed in December)!! Sounds very 2020 doesn’t it?
And then, of course, we had the events of January 6th --- something none of us thought we’d ever see --- an assault on the United States Congress by American citizens following the orders of their cult leader, and our current (seditious) President. This was, of course, an extension of the November 2020 election. The 45th President, breaking with more than two centuries of tradition, decided a “peaceful transition of power” did not apply to him and urged his supporters to attack the Congress as it was certifying the election of the winner of the 2020 Presidential election. As the current administration writhes in its death throes, while 4000 Americans are succumbing to Covid-19 each day (an act of depraved indifference by 45), we cannot really believe 2021 has begun, can we?
Here’s my proposal: it happens that January 21st is the Lovely Carol Marie’s birthday. Given that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in on January 20th, doesn’t it make perfect sense that January 21st be declared New Year’s Day 2021? Not only is it a lovely tribute to the LCM but it gives us all time to take a deep breath and look forward with some optimism. We will not be totally rid of the Orange Menace and his moronic cult (Jim Jordan and Moe Brooks are still in Congress, after all) but it will allow us to consider a future where we receive Covid-19 vaccinations and the world begins to re-form and resemble one we are familiar with. So, that’s it. January 21st is our New Year’s Day --- at least until January 1, 2022.
Stay safe. Wear a mask. Happy New Year next Thursday.