COVID 19-20-21: A Year In Review – Dr. Plastic Picker

COVID 19-20-21: A Year In Review

| Posted in COVID-19

CDC said a hug is okay now.

March 11, 2021

by drplasticpicker

It’s been a hard year for the entire world. Initially at the beginning of the epidemic, I was giving mini-COVID updates and blogging more about COVID issues. But soon enough other MDs were writing about COVID. The number of voices in that sphere were more than adequate. So I stopped. I like to go where I am most helpful and needed, so I continued to keep up to date with what I needed to know as an outpatient pediatrician regarding COVID-19 issues and continue to work on environmental issues.

But it’s been a long long year. I don’t like to dwell on things that I can’t make a difference in. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost family, or sufferering any post-COVID sequelae. Mostly my heart is sad for all of the children who have suffered at home in isolation: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, anger, suicidal gestures. It has been all there and still is. I didn’t blog about this as much, because I’m living this with my patients in clinic most days. I sit there and listen to them, and refer to therapy and try to make helpful suggestions. Being quieter now, and really being able to listen to people really helps. Only if one is still, do the butterlies, birds and bees dare to come close. It took me a long time to learn that. Much of my nervous energy is gone.

After one year of lockdown, this is what happened to our country (from this morning’s New York Times).


US Cases 29.2 million TOTAL 58,530 TODAY down 16%

Deaths 528,82 down –30%

Hospitalized 43,151 down –30%

The death toll is staggering. The ripple effects we are all feeling, even if no one in our immediate families have died, we won’t fully realize for decades. There is still a long road. But after a year, in our own house the four adults are vaccinated. Mr. Plastic Picker and I are both physicians and vaccinated with the Moderna in January. His parents who live with us and near their 80s are vaccinated and past the 2-week post second vaccine dose and should have full immunity. Outside of our home, my parents are vaccinated with number 2 and making their own decisions about risks and I can’t control them. And someone else close in my family is at higher risk and has an appointment 2 hours away to get her first vaccine. I told her when it’s your turn, get your shot.

We’ve been careful, and heeded for the most part public health advice to the letter. Mr. Plastic Picker and I are both rule-oriented people. When the state of california said to travel within 200 miles, we won’t venture more than the 200 miles. That is how to the letter we are, which is funny that I became irreverent eco-avatar wannabe superhero. Maybe it is a reaction from being too rule-oriented?

We have been fortunate and continue to pray for this world and your families and our families. 528,829 have died in the United States of America. This is a staggering number. We were right to all be scared a year ago.

But the CDC released guidance that a fully vaccinated grandparent can hug their grandchild, especially one that lives in the same bubbled household. We have been rule oriented. We have eaten in the same room and eaten in the same kitchen (albeit different tables) this entire year – but the contact and touching has been limited. But yesterday we said it was okay for our daughter to hug her grandmother. And she did. And this morning I am remembered 528,829 Americans who have died from COVID. They have mostly been grandparents, and I am sad for their grandchildren.

I wrote this blog post almost a year ago urging everyone to stay at home. “But the best thing you can do is do nothing. Social distance and stay home. You will be saving lives by slowing the spread and #flattenthecurve. Think of the sound of your grandmother’s breath or the tap of an older friend’s cane. Tap tap tap. Whoosh whoosh whoosh.”

Going up to bed. Twelve should be carefree.
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