It’s week 42 of the COVID pandemic. Nothing much has changed except the number of cases and deaths. Those are increasing exponentially because, even with stay-at-home orders and a 10 pm to 5 am curfew, people are just doing whatever they feel like. Here in Fresno we have had shootings at a regional mall, fatal car crashes, murders at parties, drive-by shootings, hit and run accidents, and the list goes on.
The big problem, there is no room in the hospitals for these victims as every space is filled with COVID patients, and the funeral homes have run out of room for bodies, bringing in cold storage trucks. I have been told by a former student that the largest crematorium in the area is running 24/7 to keep up.
The COVID virus has mutated to be more contagious but that seems to effect few people’s behavior. They just keep going and going. I stayed in during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday weeks, knowing that there would be so many of these people who are determined to do as they please, continuing to spread the virus. I am hearing from more and more people who have the virus or have someone in their family with the virus. A few have lost loved ones. And yet, people won’t stay put.
This first week of the new year is the last week of winter break for our local schools. I have no obligations again this week, and I am grateful. I am hunkered down, here at home, with some good books I picked up at the library before Christmas. I will make plans for the storytelling that will resume in the second week of the year. I’ve been playing with my watercolor pencils again, trying to recharge the creative juices. Picture-taking and writing will still be in the mix, because even though it is a new year, those old habits are some of the best.