The Winter of Our Discontent
With the arrival of December, we enter fully into what Shakespeare’s Richard III called “The winter of our discontent.” The last Plantagenet king expected his to be “made glorious summer by this son of York”— him. Our light comes from three vaccines that give us hope at the end of a nine-month tunnel.
Our mental and emotional ups and downs have been measured on the charts that show dips and surges in Covid-19, the state-by-state vote tallies in the Presidential election, and our own personal circumstances. The truly unfortunate—now over 270,000 Americans—have had only downs as the disease killed them slowly and painfully, whether they believed in it or not. Others will live with the physical problems the coronavirus causes for decades.
The holidays have made it more difficult to stay in and stay safe. American responded to that challenge with our usual ingenuity on Halloween, creating candy-delivery mechanisms to the trick or treaters. Thanksgiving proved more difficult, however. No turkey-delivery mechanism could make up for our inability to gather together with friends and loved ones to share a meal and lighten one another’s spirits.
Far too many people threw caution to the winds in November 2020 and traveled anyway. Now we are expecting a surge on top of the surge and wondering what will happen around the Christmas holiday.
We opted to stay home for Thanksgiving and will do the same for Christmas. That improves the odds we’ll still be around for the holidays in 2021. This year’s holiday was not a feast. I made a turkey breast and overcooked it because my thermometer broke and didn’t give the right temperature. The pumpkin pie was good, though.
Roundup of November 2020 Posts
Between the holiday and family issues, Susanne and I wrote fewer posts than usual in November. Still, here’s the monthly roundup of November 2020 posts for your perusal.
Boston and History
Food and Cooking
Friends and Family
Lifestyle and Culture
A 21st Century Plague Column
And on we go into December, a month that will not help our state of mind. The days will grow shorter; the nights will start earlier and last longer. In New England, cold weather will drive customers away from outdoor dining. Indoors will not be an option with the holiday surge of this plague keeping us in our homes.
In old Europe, cities celebrated deliverance from periodic waves of the Black Plague by building a plague column in the public square. Once the vaccines are administered and we can start building herd immunity, America should raise a national plague column to mark our own exit.
That would put a stake in the end of our own 21st century plague and our long national nightmare. Then we can start building again.