Covid 19 Holiday message 12-21-20

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2020 has been a most unusual year and tonight in the sky there will be another once in a centuries event when the planets Jupiter and Saturn will appear at their closest separation in the sky since 1623. The best time to see this conjunction will be between 5 and 7 PM tonight so I strongly recommend trying to view it immediately after hearing this message. You should look to the Southwest. Jupiter will be very bright and slightly above and to the left of Saturn. No telescope is needed yet binoculars will help. You may also see it online if you are on the internet.

Similarly, we are now witnessing one of the most rapid developments of a therapy for an infectious disease in human history. The deployment of a vaccine for Covid19 just one year after the virus was first identified is borderline miraculous, yet the groundwork needed for this event to occur started a decade ago when the mRNA idea began to be studied for other diseases.

This fortuitous conjunction of events is now giving hope that the end of the Pandemic may be in sight. If enough people can be immunized then the spread of the virus will be diminished and, if lucky, stopped almost completely. Life as we like to experience it could resume, and we would once again be able to enjoy events such as eating in a restaurant, going to a concert, or attending a game without worry.

Unfortunately, the unpredictability which has characterized 2020 will not just disappear in 2021. Mutations in viruses are common events, and there is now a new variant of Covid19 in the United Kingdom and South Africa which appears to be much more infectious than other strains. Scientists do not yet know whether this new strain will spread to other countries, yet they do believe the emergence of this strain is due to people not staying masked and/or socially distanced from each other. Resistance of this or other mutations to the Covid19 vaccines does not appear evident yet further study is ongoing.

I again implore everyone to continue wearing a face mask while out in public. Even with vaccines, the need for face masks will not go away for many months. Also, if you are having family or other gatherings for the holidays this year (which I again do not recommend), you should stay masked around family and should either eat outside or in separate rooms. As I mentioned before many new cases are developing from these types of small get togethers. A better way to celebrate would be a Zoom or similar type of virtual get together.

I am giving the office staff two paid four-day weekends so the office will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and New Years Eve and New Years Day. If you should need anything, please contact me on my cell phone or through the answering service.

Finally, I read an uplifting article over the weekend from a Naturopathic doctor who advised focusing on what you CAN do during these trying times rather than what you CAN’T do. I think this is a wonderful message and I encourage everyone to find the “Silver Lining in this disaster” as the African proverb goes. Take care and have a peaceful holiday season, and I will be back with another message next year.