Is 65 Really the New Elderly and Other Thoughts: December 2020
|Sandhill Cranes with Mt. Diablo in the Background|
During a normal December we travel to celebrate Dan's birthday, we have family gatherings, and we look forward to the new year. This year nothing has been normal since March. Because of the November surge in Covid-19 positive cases and new travel restrictions, we mostly stayed home. Dan got a nice dinner at home with chocolate cake instead of traveling. Maybe next year ... No family gatherings either as we didn't want to spread or receive germs. We sent Christmas and New Year's cards and exchanged texts and had What's App video conversations.
More interesting was the ability to see the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter as well as the birth of the newest Clark member. Sophie Clark was born at 8:55 am on the winter solstice (12-21-20) to my nephew Johannes and Amber. Sophie wasn't due until January 21, 2021, but decided she'd rather be one of the few good events that happened in 2020. She was 6lbs 4oz and mom and Sophie went home in time for Christmas. Looking forward to meeting my second grand niece in 2021.
At the beginning of December we had a photographically wonderful evening in Lodi watching sandhill cranes at sunset. Our friend, Janette Vine offered to meet us so we could follow her to the Sandhill Crane Reserve. The evening was still warmish and the sunset stunning.
We had several nice local hikes to see the last of fall colors and practice photography skills. The first hike was the Gerle Loop/River Trail loop.
|Moonwalk at the American River|
|Chaz and Dan at Cronan Ranch's Down and Up Trail|
When not hiking or walking our neighborhood, we were with our cats. Syd's hyperesthesia is less pronounced. He still has twitching episodes, but he seems to be able to limit his reactions. When he begins to have an episode, we all end up in the laundry room where we groom Syd on the washing machine which now doubles as our grooming table.
Grooming immediately calms him. Never one to be left out, Pandora takes advantage of every opportunity to place herself next to Syd.
Two of the most obvious triggers are 1) not eating when he wants to eat, and 2) the great outdoors. The first one is a problem even though I feed him on a regular schedule. Unfortunately, both cats are on diets. In the 2 months they have been suffering through reduced rations, there has been no detectible weight loss. Both cats lobby for more food long before their normal feeding times. One day this month Syd tried to help himself to treats stored on a pantry shelf 4 feet up. The treats now have been relocated to a cupboard above the refrigerator. Suddenly, the refrigerator has become very interesting to them. Every time it opens, they are there.
Until Syd developed this condition, he loved going outside which he still wants to do. Unfortunately, each time we've taken him out, it proves to be a trigger. Neither cat is getting much exercise, and therefore, not losing weight.
A couple of years ago, some people (Baby boomers) said that 60 was the new 40 because many 60-year olds are in better shape than previous generations, blah, blah, blah. Age is supposed to be all in the mind. So imagine my despair when the New York Times published a calculator to determine where our place in the Covid-19 vaccine line would be in California. I entered my info: age 66 no risk factors and saw that I my place was "You with 868k other elderly." I don't object to my place in line but do object to the term "elderly." I could rage a lot more about the implication of the term, but I won't.
So, that brings me to the December stats for our County. The steep increase in positive cases began before Thanksgiving and has continued throughout December. In December positive cases more than doubled the number at the end of November. December brought 3,173 new positive cases bringing the total to 5,719 positive cases. At the end of November the total number of deaths was 4; at the end of December the total number of deaths is 24. Most of the deaths are in the 65+ (yes, elderly) category. On New Year's Eve there were 29 Covid patients hospitalized with 11 of those in the ICU. So much for the personal responsibility as practiced in El Dorado County.