November 2021 is behind us and we have reached the last month of the year. Sometimes it feels like both an achievement and a capitulation. Our society has opened up somewhat, although it seems that for every two steps forward, Covid-19 develops a new variant that takes us a step backward. It’s discouraging—as are the stubborn and misguided people who refuse to get vaccinated. Some of them belong to my family.
The more bodies the virus can use to mutate, the more variants will emerge and the longer this pandemic will drag on. The trend may just continue until everyone is either vaccinated, recovering, or dead. Not a happy thought.
We have done a little traveling to visit family and had no problems. In some places people wear masks, while in others they choose not to. It always surprises me how many people just act as if the world hasn’t changed. Although we’re fully vaccinated and boosted, we still wear masks in what Dr. Fauci calls “congregate settings.” Why he can’t he just say crowded places? Who needs more jargon?
Our fingers are crossed that the world will be more normal by April of 2022 when we have scheduled our now twice-delayed Viking River Cruise. As the meme says, I have no desire to learn the entire Greek alphabet. Nor do I want to watch Europe closing up around us because Variant Zeta has been discovered in some remote and largely unvaccinated part of the world.
Turning to Science
More and more I turn to science news for information that educates without depressing or enraging. The news media do a really bad job of reporting developments and discoveries in geology, astronomy, archaeology, biology, and other scientific disciplines. “If it bleeds, it leads” doesn’t leave much room for topics that are interesting but not shocking.
That explains why I started writing about asteroids, bolides, comets, and other astronomical visitors. Things happen up there and we should know about them, even if we can’t always see them. I hope you enjoy reading those posts.
Christmas approaches far too rapidly. I’m not ready. Taking Suze’s advice, I’m thinking less of shopping and more of gift cards. They’re fast, easy, and can be mailed without bulky boxes. Let the recipients buy what they like.
We ditched the big Christmas tree when we downsized. Now I have a small pre-decorated tabletop version. I set it up and plug it in and I’m done. I’ll probably add a swag on the mantle, a balsam candle for that piney scent, and maybe a spray of greens outside the front door.
Some of my friends do the whole-house, Martha Stewart decorating thing, complete with Christmas dishes, wreaths, and candles in the windows. I love to visit and look at these beautiful homes but it exhausts me just to think about the effort of setting them all up and then taking them down again. I particularly like those light-up Christmas villages but wouldn’t have room for one even if I owned it. Instead, I continue to simplify.
Roundup of November 2021 Posts
Because November was a busy month, we produced fewer blog posts than usual. But the short days and holidays ahead give you a chance to catch up on any that you missed.
Boston and History
Business and Technology
- Attention Theft; Are You a Victim? – Susanne
- Where Have All the Workers Gone? – Susanne
- Things Change — Susanne
- Sky News for November 2021 — Aline
Health and Safety
- Spotting a Dangerous Spot — Aline
Lifestyle and Culture
Movies and Television
- 2021: The Year That Wasn’t There – Susanne
The Year Dwindles
As the year dwindles toward its end, we can look back over the past eleven months and find both achievements and failures. Some are personal, some are national, and some are global. There are too many to list here—plus, I don’t have a research staff—but the media will create their own lists for your perusal. Just wait for the inevitable arrival of all those New Year “Best of” articles.