Red, like many people, is concerned that between coronavirus fatigue, the desire to open things up, and the emergency approval of vaccines, people are becoming less diligent and more careless. Too many people are acting as if the worst is behind us although the experts are telling us that the worst is still to come. It reminds her of the children's story, "The Tortoise and the Hare." The idea that slow and steady wins the race.

Black, who in her corporate life used to crunch numbers to prove a point, recognizes that having good data is critical. Yes, everyone's excited about the new vaccines, but that's not an overnight solution. And testing remains critical. Until a large portion of the population has been vaccinated, Increases in the number of cases due to increased testing may continue. As long as the percentage of people who test positive is decreasing, then we're making progress, but that you still need to watch the hospitalization rates. It's also important to note where the increases occur. If they're in places where social distancing is extremely difficult (such as nursing homes, food-processing plants, and correctional facilities) then that skews the numbers, but stresses the ongoing need to test-trace-isolate.

Knowing that Red's eyes tend to glaze over when Black starts talking numbers, ratios, and statistics, she points out to Red that the decision-makers need to have "circuit breakers" in place. That way, if the numbers go in the "wrong" direction, appropriate action, and restrictions, are automatically implemented.

Red doesn't disagree, but points out the obvious …

Black's the pragmatic one and the data geek, not me.I'm a mom and concerned about my family, and all I want to know is how long we'll be on the COVID-19 roller coaster – we're opening up, then shutting down again, never knowing what's around the next curve.
Photo by enviromantic for iStock

red head

I know I shouldn’t say this, but I can’t stand N95 masks! They make me feel like a duck.


That quacks me up. Regardless, they are much more effective than cloth masks. And, FYI, they do come in different shapes.

I just wish they were more comfortable.
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Photo by bhofack2 for iStock

Popcorn. Just the thought of popcorn makes me smile, makes me want to indulge, makes me happy. And I’m guessing my popcorn obsession makes Black roll her eyes (although she might admit it can be a healthy snack). However, plenty of people must love popcorn as much as I do. Why else would there be a National Popcorn Day?!

Over the past few years, the pandemic posed challenges that none of us could’ve foreseen (and I’ll never forget the dedication of the front-line workers or make light of the sacrifices so many had to make). But part of me has to laugh at the irony because it ended my seemingly easy “escape” from the stresses of life – going to the movies and enjoying the largest bucket of popcorn – when I needed it the most.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

red head

Well, it’s our first column of the year. A new beginning. Any “new” ideas for topics? Something other than New Year’s resolutions.


Is there a reason you do not want to talk about resolutions?

Obviously, yours was not to ask fewer questions.

Black (use0

That will never happen, but you are avoiding the question. Why?


Because every year, I have a long list of things I want to do, and I start strong, but within a few months, I fall back into old habits. Sometimes it only takes weeks. It’s frustrating and disappointing.

Black (use)

Next question. What is the opposite of “old?"
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