We had a pleasant Thanksgiving with our daughter Polly and friend Mary Anne. As we did last year, we ordered our turkey and trimmings, the whole package minus pie, from Whole Foods. The pie, pumpkin of course, came from Costco. Takeout Thanksgiving is just as big a mess to clean up afterward as home-cooked Thanksgiving, but at least the prep is easy.

No, I didn’t take photos of the food, but I did take one of Lulu, Fritzi, and Mister B seeking sanctuary in my lap after Mary Anne’s dog Anthony wore them out playing.


Christmas is officially on now, but since Donna started watching Hallmark Christmas movies in September, Halloween, Veterans’ Day, and Thanksgiving are all part of one big Santa Clausian blob at Casa Woodford. We’re going to spend Christmas weekend at our son and daughter in law’s house in Las Vegas. Our grandson and granddaughter will be there. Polly’s driving up with us, so all three generations of our nuclear family will be together, and I’m looking forward to taking photos of what has become a rare event.

I visit news sites every day, sometimes twice a day. Never heard of the COVID Nu/Omicron variant until 48 hours ago. In that short period it’s come to dominate the headlines, as you can see from the Google News screen grab I took this morning, below left. But check out the Twitter screenshot on the right — Moderna knew about the variant at least two months ago and already has a vaccine in testing.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.18.24 AM Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.17.40 AM

Maybe it’s good the media didn’t launch its New Variant Freakout™ weeks ago. But they’re sure freaking out now, even though no one yet knows whether a freakout is justified. All I can say is I’m glad I’m vaccinated and boosted, and if we have to get another booster to protect us from this new variant, I’ll happily line up for another poke.

Speaking of giving thanks, I’m thankful to be an American, a citizen of a country where getting the vaccine is free and easy. South Africa, where the new variant comes from, is well stocked with COVID vaccines, but only 35% of its citizens are fully vaccinated. Other African nations are way behind — only 4.4% of Africa’s overall population is fully vaccinated (this contrasted with the UK at 66%, Europe at 62%, and the USA at 55%). Until the world catches up, new variants are going to keep cropping up, every one creating a media freakout.

What am I trying to say? Don’t freak out. Not yet, anyway.

© 2021, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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