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I'm so relieved there's a COVID-19 vaccine. And in record time, no less! But now I have a thousand questions.


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You and millions of other people. And, probably many of the same questions. However, since neither one of us will be in line to get any of the first vaccinations, you will have plenty of time to get your questions answered.


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Yes, I know. It's only fair that healthcare workers and first responders get top priority, along with employees and residents of long-term care facilities, like nursing homes. But how will we know when it's our turn?


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Patience, grasshopper. It will be months before either one of us is eligible, which will give them time to figure out the notification system. And, I am guessing each state will have their own system.


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Well, that'll be confusing.


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Maybe for national record keeping, but why would you care about your eligibility in a state other than the one in which you are a resident? It is not like you own multiple homes.


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Fine. But knowing what's happening in other places is important. For example, we learned from the UK that people with severe allergies shouldn't take the vaccine. I'd be curious as to how they define "severe" allergies. I doubt it, but does sneezing and watery eyes count as "severe"? Since I have what I think are "normal" allergies, should I take a Claritin or other allergy relief drug in advance of getting the vaccine?


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Excellent questions and I am confident all of your questions will be answered. The drug companies will be keeping records as will state and national health organizations. Not to mention, all the hospitals, pharmacies, and doctor's offices that will be vaccinating people. By the time we can get vaccinated, there will be lots of data available.


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OK, but I wish there was a place to get all my questions answered. And answered honestly, without political bias or marketing angles.


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You can always go to the CDC's site. But there are other useful sites out there, and I am sure more will be developed, although some may limit your free visits. I recently joined Medium so I could continue to access Every COVID-19 vaccine question you'll ever have, answered. (Thank you, Bryan Walsh at Axios, for the heads-up on the resource.)


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Good to know. Does it mention whether the vaccine's really going to be free for everyone?


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I am sure it does, but I have not checked. Please tell me that you are not planning to send your thousands of questions to me.


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Hello. You still there?


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Yes. I just didn't know how to answer your question. Or, at least, not honestly.
Photo by ideeone on iStock


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I'm still shaking my head, in amazement and amusement, at you telling me how there are people claiming that birds aren't real – they're surveillance drones.


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At first, I thought it was a joke. But then, I found a Newsweek article on the "Birds Aren't Real" movement that claims the government killed all birds and replaced them with surveillance drones.


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Well, if you hadn't forwarded it, I'd have thought you were messing with me! Anyway, my absolute favorite part is the "logic" that when the birds or drones or whatever you want to call them sit on powerlines, they're recharging. That's hilarious.
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Photo by Joseph Sohm for Shutterstock


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When I read the "Breaking News" email about the passing of Colin Powell from complications from COVID-19, I realized that many of us didn't even know he was being treated for illnesses that weakened his immune system. To me, he always seemed to be one of those incredibly strong and resilient men that could overcome anything, as I knew he served as the country's first Black national security adviser (during the Reagan administration), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (under President George H. W. Bush) and secretary of state (under President George W. Bush).

I first became aware of Powell during Operation Desert Storm and was living in Hong Kong at the time (shortly after I married a Brit, Shell assigned him to the Far East). I can remember being halfway around the world from home while watching seemingly non-stop news briefings featuring "Storming Norman" Schwarzkopf, with his "larger than life" details about the extraordinary precision of the airstrikes. At the time, it almost seemed more like a computer game than an actual war.

However, Powell had a far greater impact on me as he exuded calm mixed with steely determination, projecting an air of confidence that you sensed came from experience and deep personal commitment. And at this time of war and conflict, he provided a comforting feeling of power and control.


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I will not pretend to be a history buff, nor will I reflect on Mr. Powell's greatness as a military figure, statesman, and trailblazer. I will leave that to others. But, several things stand out about Powell as a man. First, he put America ahead of political party, stating, "I'm just a citizen who has voted Republican, voted Democrat, throughout my entire career, and right now I'm just watching my country and not concerned with parties."

Thanks to Punchbowl News, I learned that as a young man, he worked in a toy store, and the owner, a Russian immigrant Jew, admired the young Powell so much that he impressed upon him the importance of getting an education. Powell was so touched by this that he stayed in contact with him for the next 50 years. (I loved the sprinkling of Yiddish phrases as Powell tells the story.)

Of course, I could not help but smile rewatching this video of Powell along with two other motorheads, Jay Leno and (at the time) Vice President Biden "racing" Corvettes. And, may explain why one of my many favorite Powell quotes is, "Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror." But in his passing, you cannot help but look back over all he did for our country.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. May he rest in peace.

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


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I can't believe that Halloween's almost here, and the house isn't already decorated. Can I use the fact this is the first year I'm an empty nester as an excuse?


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Does that mean that you are not going to decorate?


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No! But without Sawyer home asking about it or prodding me by pulling the decorations out of the garage, it's still just sitting on my "to do" list. But fall is my favorite time of year, and I love seeing the house with all the Halloween decorations, so it will happen.


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I would think you could just put out the inflatables and be done with it.
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