Diary
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Coffee Talk 05.30.21

Well, here are, at the end of another month. It’s hard to believe, but 2021 is almost half over. Are we having fun yet?

Haha… I suppose the answer to that question largely depends on where you live.

We are slowly getting back to normal around here. When the CDC came out with their latest recommendations, Pennsylvania jumped right on board. Over the past few weeks, most stores and restaurants have changed their signage to indicate that masks are now optional for the fully vaccinated, and some smaller “ma and pa shops” have removed all Covid-related signs completely.

At first, people seemed hesitant to get on-board, and I only saw one or two people in stores without masks. Keep in mind, I live in an area where the general population is largely compliant with mask-wearing. Until just the past few weeks, it was highly unusual to see a person inside a store without a mask on.

But over the past week or so, I’ve seen more and more people out and about without their masks, and it’s so nice to see smiling faces in public again. Not only that, but people are definitely getting out and about more. Traffic is picking up, and when Becca and I went to the mall yesterday, the parking lot was full. I haven’t seen a full parking lot since Christmas 2019! It was bustling inside as well.

All that to say, the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is getting brighter. A lot brighter. I really do feel like the end is finally in sight.

I have to admit, there was a time when I started to wonder if there would ever be a return to “normal.” I know, a few months back, I the one promising you all that this day would come, but as it started to drag on and on and on… I honestly started to wonder.

But I am definitely seeing progress now, and I do believe by this time next year, Covid will be fully in the rear window.

I know I have some loyal Canadian readers out there, and if you live in an area where Covid is still raging and you’re still in lockdown, stay the course. You’re in the home stretch, and it really will end.

In other news, it’s been a big week here in the Shane household. Caroline finished up her high school courses, and her graduation is this Thursday. It has been a long, winding road for this one. Schoolwork has never come easily to her, and she charted her own path.

Senior year was especially rough, as she took on some tough courses that really, in the grand scheme of life, she probably didn’t need, but that’s just what was next in her curriculum. She’s looking forward to some downtime this summer, but of course college is looming. I pray that she can find a niche there and flourish, but if I’ve learned anything from my parenting journey, it’s that there isn’t one path that is right fore everyone, and that’s okay.

Only time will tell how it all plays out, but for now, we’re just going to focus on enjoying this summer. We’re looking forward to pool parties and houseguests, our Maine vacation in July, and just generally having fewer commitments and a more relaxed schedule. Now, if the weather would just get warm and stay warm, we’d be all set! #dontgetmestarted

So yeah, that’s about it for me! I’m off to get ready for church, and I’m looking forward to a lazy afternoon reading my newest novel. It’s cold and rainy here, so the perfect day for hunkering down with a good book.

Have a blessed Sunday!

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27 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 05.30.21

  1. Things are the same in Massachusetts and I’m finding some uncertainty about giving up masks and doing everything, instantly. I guess I’ve become distrustful of media, opinions of both political sides, etc. Are you and your family going maskless? I need encouragement to get onboard and you’ve always done things well and smart.

    1. I think a lot of people share your reservations, and we all need to make our decisions based on our personal situations and comfort levels, and extend grace and kindness to those who choose differently.

      I recommend subscribing to Ginger Cameron’s updates. She cuts through the noise and gives the facts, always with a bit of encouragement at the end. https://gcameron5.wixsite.com/website

    2. Anne, we’re also in MA, and while my husband and I are fully vaccinated, our kids are 7 and 8, so I feel like a hypocrite taking my mask off in front of the kids since they’re not protected yet. Also, while I am thrilled masks aren’t required — I’m having a harder time than I anticipated NOT wearing them! My daughter and I just went to BJs last night to grocery shop, and it was a mixture of 60% no masks, 40% masks, and it just seemed WEIRD. Plus, then I felt self-conscious us both wearing our masks, but again, I feel like I need to walk the walk as an example for the kids, so I’ll suck it up.

      IDK. Everyone in my family is totally vaccinated, but until I can get the kids vaccinated, I think I’ll be a little nervous no matter what. I’m honestly not worried about them in summer camp (outside) and in school (windows open, lots of classes outside under tents, great sanitization and guidelines followed.).

      Hopefully my nerves will settle in the next week or two and I’ll get over my mask abandonment. I don’t like wearing them (hello foggy glasses and maskne,) but . . . again, how bad would I feel if my kids got sick? Ugh. Come on, Pfizer, get this going for the kiddos.

      1. Don’t fall for the “kids need the vaccine” rhetoric. Kids are already overvaccinated and do not need this one added to the already overloaded vaccine schedule.

        1. Heather ….I totally agree. The vaccines given to kids now is crazy. They are giving wayyy to many together at once at one apt. I know it’s not good for their little bodies. I could go on and on but I won’t as I know this is not the place.

  2. It is in the 50’s here this morning, but will get up in the 80’s, sunny, and beautiful. I am glad that overall the pandemic has eased up so much and that a lot of the mandates are being lifted. Around here, all medical facilities are still requiring masks. Some of our very close friends and family have chosen to not be vaccinated. While it is an individual choice, if they come into our home, they will have to keep a mask on since Larry is high risk. Because Larry is high risk, his cancer doctor told us that if we are inside a building with a lot of people, both of us need to mask up since there is no way of knowing who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t. I doubt that he and I will ever be completely free from wearing a mask, but protecting Larry is top priority, so I will do it. Have a great afternoon!

    1. Send your sunshine our way, please! 😊

      Masks are still required in our medical facilities as well. I have friends in yours and Larry’s situation, and I hope everyone can be considerate of those who continue to wear masks. It doesn’t have to divide us. 💕

  3. Glad to hear your getting back to normal 🙌🏻We had an update Friday and starting Wednesday we will enter phase 1 of reopening! There are 5 phases… phase 5 being living with covid by September! All our eligible population should be vaccinated by then if not by August pushing everything ahead. We are requiring 85% of the population to take into effect those not being vaccinated. Our retail stores will open at 25% and outdoor dining only ( up to 10 a table) indoors still family bubble and outdoor social gatherings max 10. Hair salons will open 🙌🏻And gyms for outdoors only… that’s phase 1 for us… if our data stays in trend then phase 2 will be on two weeks time! They are not going by dates but data! We had pretty much been back to the new normal with covid restrictions ( masks, social distance) but the third wave closed us down before we had chance to get the vaccine roll out!
    Here’s looking forward to better days.. this third wave was our worst… but things are finally starting to look up:)🙌🏻

  4. It’s a little scary when we drop our daughters off at university but we have to let them fly. I hope Carolyn thrives. My daughter had a fun time her first semester until I saw her marks. She smartened up her second term and went onto get Honours.

    I look forward to the day when we can put aside masks. I think initially I will continue to wear mine when in large crowds indoors. The variants are of concern. I hope everyone respects other people choices.

  5. We have hot days right now in Oregon. Suppose to be 90’s by Tuesday. I notice we have opposite weather always. Opposite coast lines. Glad Caroline has wrapped things up. I admire how you haven’t put your kids in a box and let them be who they are and school how they need to. She may or may not stay at college but that’s ok. She will find her niche. 🙂 Have a good day reading.

  6. I am so excited that we are heading to Wildwood next month. It was hard on the whole family to miss it. I still wear my mask all day when I am working(my entire family is now fully vaccinated), and when we go in the grocery stores. I probably will till at least August because we are traveling to St. Lucia, and you need that negative test. But who knows, there is probably a good chance next month that when I hit the Boardwalk, off it will come!

  7. I live in a very rural area of South Carolina people here have refused to wear masks. Even in the hight of the pandemic. When I go into a store I am one of few wearing a mask.

  8. I live in Florida so fully vaccinated and maskless. Even at the height of the pandemic I believed sunshine and fresh air are best so never wore masks outdoors.(I was never in any outdoor crowd situations) Glad to hear others are returning to some semblance of normalcy, We need to educate ourselves and make the best decisions for our families, Also, this weekend, thankful for those who gave gave all for our country.

    1. Yeah, I have never worn my mask outdoors unless it is absolutely required. I’ve never understood that, but I guess some areas are more crowded than others. It really is interesting how every state has handled this so differently.

  9. Where I live in Canada, we are still in stay-at-home orders. In two weeks (if the data says yes), we will enter Phase 1 of reopening. That means there will be outdoor dining (4 people to a table), outdoor gatherings of 10, and nonessential stores can open at 15% capacity. Phase 2 won’t happen until July sometime, again dependent upon the data. That means churches and personal care places are still closed. Today I asked my husband to do something that I never EVER thought I would do. I asked him to cut the back part of my hair! The thought of going another month and a half without a haircut was beyond me. Jo-Lynne, I am so glad that your state is at the point where you truly can celebrate Caroline’s graduation and her departure for college. Your blog is a beacon of light, thank you.

  10. Thank you so much for acknowledging your Canadian readers and our neverending lockdown. TOronto has been in lockdown since November with no breaks. Where I live we had a long one starting Dec 26 that eventually ended only to start another one April 2 that is still ongoing.
    WHile you say it is still raging here and to be assured it will end – just a point that we are at the moment basically in the same position as Pennsylvania for covid daily numbers and 7 day rolling average it is just that your government officials have decided to move forward with lessening restrictions while ours has not. Our population is 2 million more than Pennsylvania and May 29 numbers were 710 for you, 1033 for us….so not so different overall. This is why we are so struggling while we watch our American neighbours open up and start to live again while we are still stuck at home and our sitution is similar with regards to Covid. Here – no church, no salon services, no patio or indoor dining, no gatherin indoors, only 5 outdoors, 10 at a funeral or wedding. Its gotten ridiculous…we watch hockey and see fans in American arenas while our Canadian teams are still playing in empty arenas. I know this isn’t what your blog is about Jo-lynne but I just wanted to put this out there ….you are very fortunate. Its a mixture of jealousy and anger from us up here in the north. We truly hope you guys do ok and your methods don’t come back and bite you in the butt – and also hopeful that our very cautious governments will see that success and let us live.

    1. Sharon, I feel your pain, your weariness about it all and eagerness to resume some normalcy. Ontario and Quebec have had the most draconiaN lockdowns especially with the curfews. I live in Alberta and scratch my head watching 12K fans in American hockey arenas or 25K at Superbowl while we have zero fans at hockey arenas and our entire Canadian football LeaGue was cancelled. Why the huge discrepency?? That could be a good discussion. I did some research and it may partly come down to our much lower hospital beds. Canada has 2.5 hospital beds per 1K people whereas Europe has 4.9 hospital beds per 1K people. Our hospitals Are easily overwhelmed and over run apparently. We also have no politicians here who took a stand for freedom like the Governors of Texas or Florida or S. Dakota. Alberta is re-opening in 3 stages starting on June 1st. Yay!! 🎊🎉. If 70% are vaccinated with the first dose and hospItalizations are on the decline, we could be fully open with all restrictions (including no indoor masking in busineses but still required in health care faciIties) lifted by mid July. Our vaccinations are 16 weeks apart to vaccinate as many as possible. Hang in there! There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    2. I hear you. I would be extremely frustrated if I was in your shoes. I didn’t know your numbers were as close as ours, but I have wondered why your restrictions are so severe. Even before our vaccines rolled out, we were open since last summer, with masks and social distancing. And now, with the vaccines being so readily available, it really does seem like things are getting back to normal quickly. I hope the same is true for you, hang in there.

  11. Congratulations to Caroline on her graduation! Thats such an exciting milestone. Hope you have a great time doing a pArty for her. We will send you our sunshine and warmth. Someone flipped the switch and its summer mode: 79F today. Its such a nice change from the rain but glad we had the moisture.

  12. What is the book you’re reading now? Love reading!!

    My husband and I both work in health care (doctor and nurse) so we have to wear masks at work. But otherwise we are no longer wearing them. We’ve both had Covid and are both vaccinated.

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