Tag Archives: Friends

The Covid Effect – Vaccinated or Unvaccinated

The US President Biden announced on Thursday, July 29, 2021, that people will get $100 in payment to get vaccinated! Here’s the story leading up to the current news.

The IMF and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The Covid-19 Devastation

The first announcement of pandemic and lockdown in California was March 2020. In the following nine months, Covid cases and deaths throughout the nation spread like a plague. The entire world was in a helpless and desperate state as the scientist wasted in no time to find a solution. I developed a spreadsheet to track the numbers and paid attention to the cities, states, and countries where I have family and friends.

I canceled my trip in March 2020 to be with my daughter for the birth of my younger granddaughter, Nora. My husband and I didn’t go to my niece’s wedding in October 2020 in Hong Kong. We didn’t go to my husband’s niece’s wedding in November 2020 in New York.

We watched the news and waited. Then Pfizer and BioNTech announced on December 11, 2020, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency use of the mRNA vaccine against Covid-19. The authorizations of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson were issued early in 2021. The news highlighted President Biden and Vice-president Harris received the vaccines.

Source: Pfizer

The Hope

People lined up for miles waiting to get the vaccination. Some even drove from New York to Florida to get their shots. In the months to come, individuals and organizations volunteered to make appointments for the folks who couldn’t get through the busy phone lines. Again, individuals and car rentals stepped up to give rides for many to the vaccination sites. Mobile clinics delivered vaccines to some hard-to-reach neighborhoods.

The Relief

After the spring break for schools in 2021, the cases and deaths declined steadily, showing a sign of recovery in the society. There was such a relief of hope that life will become normal again. President Biden promised that there would be a July 4th Independent Day celebration. There was!

We watched the Washington D.C. spectacular fireworks with such excitement. I made up the lost time in visiting my daughter’s family. We have visited them and enjoyed the granddaughters in March, May, and June 2021, and have scheduled at least the next trips in August and September. Our church met in person on June 20. The adult fellowship and women’s groups scheduled different small group gatherings. I’ve attended almost two meetings a week. I also attended my chorale rehearsal held in a member’s backyard.

 Déjà Vu

The month of July has seen Covid-19 cases in the United States increase at the fastest pace since last winter, marking the start of the latest wave of infections to afflict the nation. A new STAT analysis of Covid-19 case data reveals this new wave is already outpacing the spring and summer waves of 2020.

Source: Statnews July 26, 2021

“The current COVID-19 surge in the U.S. – fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant – will steadily accelerate through the summer and fall, peaking in mid-October, with daily deaths more than triple what they are now.

“In that scenario, at the peak in mid-October, there would be around 60,000 cases and around 850 deaths each day. Each scenario also includes a range of how bad things could get – the very worst end of the range for the most likely scenario shows about 240,000 people getting infected and 4,000 people dying each day at the October peak, which would be almost as bad as last winter,” says Justin Lessler, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina.

Lessler notes that there’s a lot of uncertainty in these projections and that how things play out depends on lots of factors.

Source: NPR July 22, 2021

The Skepticism of Vaccination

Rochelle P. Walensky, Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out that the new surge became a pandemic of the unvaccinated. The outbreaks of cases in parts of the country are higher because of the high percentage of unvaccinated people who are at risk. And the communities that are fully vaccinated are generally doing well. The news reports showing that those being hospitalized or dying of covid-19 are overwhelmingly unvaccinated.

NPR reported that the vaccine rollout reached a critical stage in which most adults who wanted the vaccine have gotten it, but many others were holding out. There were 12 influential social media users have impacted the outcome. These 12 individuals are well known to both researchers and the social networks. They include anti-vaccine activists, alternative health entrepreneurs and physicians. Some of them run multiple accounts across the different platforms.

Source: NPR May 13, 2021

Vaccine Incentive Programs

As of July 28, 2021, at least 189,494,180 people or 58% of the population have received at least one dose. Overall, 163,588,042 people or 50% of the population have been fully vaccinated.

On Thursday, July 29, President Biden called on state and local governments to use funds from his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to offer $100 payment to individuals as incentive to get vaccinated. The payments would be offered to newly vaccinated Americans.

Source: ABC News

Do incentives work? Yes… and no. Some people are motivated by cash incentive but some are not.

On May 27, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom launched the $116.5 million vaccine incentive program – the biggest in the nation – to boost vaccinations as California prepares to fully reopen the economy June 15, $100 million in $50 prepaid or grocery cards for the next two million newly vaccinated people, and $16.5 million in cash prizes for all vaccinated Californians.

Ohio’s Vax-a-Million lottery program, which offered $1-million prizes and full-ride four-year college scholarships to vaccinated people. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests lottery incentive programs do not increase the likelihood that individuals will become vaccinated.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California and winners of the “Vax for the Win” lottery in Los Angeles last month.

Vaccination Mandate from Employers

President Biden announced Thursday a strict new vaccine requirement for US federal workers, the nation’s largest workforce with some two million people. The order requires employees to show proof of vaccination or be subjected to mandatory testing and masking. “This is an American tragedy. People are dying, and will die, who don’t have to die,” Biden said in the East Room of the White House.

After months of encouraging employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19, companies are beginning to roll out mandates – a dramatic escalation of Corporate America’s approach to halting the spread of the virus.

On Wednesday, Google and Facebook became the first two Silicon Valley giants to issue mandates of their own.

Here are the companies that have announced Covid-19 vaccine requirements for at least some of their employees:

Google, Facebook, Twitter (TWTR), Netflix, BlackRock (BAAPX), Morgan Stanley (MS), Delta, Disney, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Washington Post, Ascension Health, Lyft, and Uber. The list is growing.

~ ~ ~

What do you think about vaccination?

Do I enjoy being poked by the needles? No, I don’t. I’m allergic to some unknown medications to me and my doctors. The allergic reaction caused inflammation to my entire body and I ended up in the hospital in March 2018 and November 2019. Yet, I signed up on three scheduling sites to line up for vaccination. I only got a sore arm from the first shot and a mild rash from the second shot.

My son-in-law is one who fears needles since a kid. My daughter and he signed up to fill the spots when individuals failed to show up for the vaccine. At the time they signed up, only the folks 65 and above were eligible. They received notification for the availability and went from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington to receive the vaccine. I was there visiting them when they had the second shot. My son-in-law rode his bike for more than an hour from his home to the clinic to take his mind off the fear of the needle.

During the sixteen months lockdown, the one frequently asked question was, “When can I go see my grandchildren?” I asked the same question many times. I only visited my granddaughters twice during the first twelve months of pandemic. My daughter and I had several discussions on this matter. We had the same understanding that I might be at risk of virus and could pass it on to the babies. For the benefit and well-being of everyone in the family, it was not wise for me to go.

Going to visit my granddaughters became my motivation to get vaccinated. I was so excited to receive the second vaccine several days before my trip to Nora’s first birthday. I had an allergic reaction after the second shot, but my daughter said one of her friends also had rash. After taking ibuprofen for several days, my rash went away.

Some people do not take the vaccine for medical reasons. A long-time friend suffered from the collapse of both lungs. One lung is nonfunctioning, and the other lung has 22% breathing capacity. The doctor didn’t recommend him to take the vaccine in case he had an allergic reaction which might worsen his breathing.

The vaccine incentive may not motivate all the unvaccinated people to take the vaccines. I hope that when large companies step up to require their employees to prove the vaccination status to return to work. This mandate plays a heavier weight on motivating people to take the vaccines even though it’s not their preference.

In the meantime, I wear the mask when going out to protect myself and others. Stay safe, my friends!

.

.

Lens – Artists Challenge #135: Glimpse into your world

This week, the theme from Sheetalbravon is ‘A Glimpse into your world’She invited us to show the things we love that make our world spin or things about our world that make us delirious with joy.

The immediate world that fills me with inspiration and amazement is my garden. My morning routine, especially in the summer, is to visit the garden while I drink my coffee. After coffee, with the gardening tools in hand, I check the flower bushes, trim the dead branches, or dig up weeds.

I started feeding birds from 2014 and the regular visitors are Ruby Throat Hummingbirds, mourning doves, American Finch, American God Finch, Scrub Jay, Song Sparrow, White-Crowned Sparrow, and a few I couldn’t quite identify. Over the years, there were baby Mourning Dove, baby House Finches, and One baby Hummingbird born in my garden.

There are other animals such as squirrels, stray cats, and lizards roaming during the day or at night.

I have many hobbies, more than I have time to fully enjoy each of them. Not included in the images here is photography, which I started as a teenager when the photos were black and white. Another hobby is ceramic. I did the whale free hand with clay. I made it into a nightlight for my baby daughter. When my daughter was nine years old, we took a ceramic painting class together in the summer. It’s something we continue doing separately until these days.

I learned to draw and watercolor painting as a young adult. After retirement, I took classes on both and used some watercolor painting to illustrate the poems in my book.

My immediate community of 35 years is a church fellowship and the group of ladies. They are a part of my world for fun, for friendship and support. Some of these friends’ kids and my daughter grew up together. The ladies gave a bridal shower to Mercy for her wedding. Some friends still send gifts to my granddaughters as their own.

Music has been my world since I was a kid. I didn’t have a family background to nurture my love of classical music. It seems to be a natural favorite. The first time I performed Handel’s Messiah was when I was still in Hong Kong.

Most of my family except for one sister are in Hong Kong. Lynton’s family is my extended family, and we see each other regularly.

The biggest world to me is my daughter’s family. My granddaughters lighten my heart and give joy every day. My daughter has a TinyBeans.com account where she posts multiple photos and videos daily to chronicle the kids’ growth and family activities. There was not one day I go without checking on what they do. Nora’s birthday on March 22, and I wish to visit them.  

.

Thank you for reading. I hope to hear what the things you love that make your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.

Lens – Artists Challenge #135: Glimpse into your world

.

.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #127: Precious Moments

This week, as we are approaching the end of 2020, Amy invited us to share some of the precious moments we have had, before or during the pandemic.

I love travel. I know I won’t return to many places I had been and always treasure the experiences of being there and seeing those places. Yet if I must choose between travel and spend time with family and friends, I choose the latter. It is the relationship that makes the moments precious.

We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” – Paulo Coelho

Our family photo which was taken in 2006. One young girl on the left got married a few years ago and now has a baby daughter. The other one on the left just got married last month. The three little ones are in college. Lynton’s dad, second from the right, died 12 years ago.

Every moment of life is precious and can never happen again and therefore is a reason to appreciate, be grateful for and celebrate the fact that you are alive.” – Zelig Pliskin

Eight years ago, we took our family trip to China and stopped by Hong Kong to see my family. Seven of us were in the middle of this photo, with my siblings and their families on the left and right sides. Will’s mom (behind Will, in green) died three years after the trip. My sister, third from right, died last year when we were in Hong Kong for my nephew’s wedding.

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.” – Thomas Jefferson

This is a group of my lovely lady friends celebrating Christmas in 2019. We missed each other tremendously.

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” — Elisabeth Foley

Many of my friends and I were in this chorale last year singing in the annual performance of Messiah. The past weekend would have been the usual schedule for the performance. It didn’t happen this year.

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” – George Moore

This precious photo was taken with my daughter Mercy and granddaughter Autumn last year. We cancelled our trip this year because the Covid cases were worse than when it started.

Precious moments are small elements of time, we show and share love and kindness, with those we care about.” – Tom Baker

The family of four – from left, Autumn (3 years old), Mercy, Nora (8 months), and Will. Our hearts are together even when we’re apart. We’ll keep in touch with them and will see them very soon.

Thank you for reading!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #127: Precious Moments

.

.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #88 – Joyful moments in Chaos

The theme of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge from Ann-Christine correctly depicted the state of the world at the moment, “Chaos.”

According to Wikipedia, Chaos Theory is defined as “the field of study in mathematics that studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions – a response popularly referred to as the butterfly effect.” In other words, Chaos Theory refers to how meaningful and profound even the most seemingly insignificant things are and teaches us that nothing is trivial.

As of today, Schools in eighteen states in the USA are closed, affecting 20 million students. It does not include some states such as California, because districts closed schools voluntarily so far. Los Angeles Unified School District which is the second largest school district in the US with 734,640 students just announced closing of schools as off Monday, March 16, 2020. I went shopping the last few days. Within a few days, two major stores ran out of paper products, water, cold and flu medicines, can goods, bread and a lot more except some perishable items so far.

The California Governor announced on Thursday, March 12 to stop any gathering over 250 people. Disneyland is closed. Our church with several thousand members stopped all Sunday services and group meetings. Sunday services will continue with online streaming viewing.

My friend Debbie and I signed up to host a Spring Brunch on March 14 as a fundraising activity for the missionaries. After the church announcement, Debbie and I continued with the brunch for the fourteen ladies who purchased the event. Our logic was the gathering had sixteen people and some of them were in a meeting together less than a week ago. None of these ladies had any symptoms of illnesses.

It turned out to be a joyful gathering at Debbie’s beautiful home. We teased each other by giving elbow hugs. The ladies appreciated us for keeping the brunch. They lingered for a long time to chat and enjoy the cozy social time together.

Ann-Christine reminded us that, “Let us focus on the possibilities, staying on the right track. Maybe nothing will be quite the same again – but let’s hope this chaos is the beginning of something new and positive.”

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #88 – Joyful Moments in Chaos

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

It has been a challenging time for me since the beginning of November. I have an allergic reaction toward something, possibly medications. After having gone to the Urgent Care twice, Emergency Room twice, hospitalized for five days and seeing eight doctors, no doctor could pinpoint what happened to the constant inflammation of my skin. All they could say was to ask me to discontinue this and that medication. I will discontinue ALL my medications in less than a month. What a motivation for me to get rid of all the medications I have been taking. They gave me some treatments such steroids and antibiotics. I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital and was hoping not to miss all the celebrations in Christmas.

 

1.IMG_5770 (3)

Messiah Performance

3.IMG_5776 (2)

Messiah Performance

With great effort and determination, I gathered my energy and ensured a pleasant appearance; I managed to sing in one of the two performances of Messiah. I couldn’t sing in the first one because I was still miserable. Laying in my bed, I could hear the choir singing. My disappointment was no greater than my motivation. I quietly plead for good health the next day so that I could sing. Oh, what a miracle! I woke up feeling the coolness of my body. It was a great joy for me to spend hours to prepare myself. The photos showed my red face (with no make-up) from the inflammation. My friends in the audience were happy to see me.

 

3.IMG_5784

Retirees singing to the retirees

I also got to sing in one of the two chorale concerts. I missed the first one when the group sang in a retirement home. The second one was as fun when we sang to the fellow retirees.

 

4.Bible study2

Precious group of ladies at the Christmas dinner

5

Joy to the World celebration

There were two Christmas parties I was delighted to go and had fun seeing my friends of thirty years. One was the ladies Christmas dinner, and the other was the adult fellowship Christmas party.

I haven’t seen the end of the tunnel yet. I’ll still must take a blogging break until my health is fully recovered. Until then, I wish you all

A Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #69 – Seeing Double

Tina for Lens-Artists Challenge #69 said, “Double trouble, double-time, two’s company, take two ….  the world is filled with references to twosomes. This week, let’s double our pleasure and focus on things that come in twos.”

~ ~

The following photos are from our trip to Hong Kong and Japan in January this year.

IMG_2021a

There are more than 300 kinds of gold fish, Ocean Park, Hong Kong

IMG_1998

These two pups enjoyed each other, Ocean Park, Hong Kong

IMG_1631

Flamingos – amazing animals at Kowloon Park, Hong Kong

IMG_2340

Decoration at the entrance of the hotel, Kyoto, Japan

IMG_2395

Monkey Park at the top of Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

IMG_2562

These reindeer were waiting for food from the visitors in the Reindeer Park, Nara, Japan

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #69 – Seeing Double

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #67 – Candid

Ann-Christine has a fun theme for us this week for the Lens-Artists Challenge. We get to look at the candid photo.

Ann-Christine said, “Taking photos of people or animals when they have no idea that you’re doing it is called candid photography. One of the beautiful things with photography is being able to catch someone in the act. It adds natural life to your pictures.” 

 

1.You did what Took my donut photo

“You did what? You took that doughnut photo? Now everyone knows about it.”

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty

 

2.Is that how I look when I don't pose

“I looked funny when I laughed, but thanks for the photo anyway.”

“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.” Andy Warhol

 

3.Ahhh, I can go from here to there without touching the ground

“Ahhh, I wasn’t that scared of the crowd!”

“Photography is the story I fail to put into words.” – Destin Sparks

 

4.What do mom and grandma put in their purses

“Hmmm, let me see what Mommy and Grandma put in their purses.”

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” ― Joan Miró

 

5.You need help.Nope I'm the flower girl

“Do you need help?”  “Nooo, I’m the flower girl!”

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”
Alfred Stieglitz

 

6.Come on I got plenty of seeds for all of you

“Don’t worry! I have plenty for all of you.”

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” – Aaron Siskind

 

7.Be quiet, he's taking a nap.

“Shhhh……”

“Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.” Diane Arbus

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #67 – Candid

 

 

 

Spring Brunch

Our church fellowship has an annual auction fundraising event for the missionaries. There are open auction and the silent auction. Members of the group donate goods or activities for auction. We then bid on the items and all proceeds go to the missionaries.

My husband and I donated a steak dinner event, and the bid went up to $400 from two couples. A friend and I sponsored a silent auction of brunch for 12 ladies with $25 each. There were more ladies who wanted to sign up, but it quickly filled all the spots.

We signed up for five silent auction events and bid for two open auctions. One of the silent auction I got was a Spring Brunch held last Saturday. The hostess decorated her home with Paris theme. The co-hostesses did a fabulous job to make the event memorable. The food was delicious and beautiful. Being with this almost 30 years of long-time friends is always a delight and enjoyable.

 

1.2.IMG_3340 Read more

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #23: Celebrations

Amy’s theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week is Celebration.

December is a month of celebration for me and my family. We observe the advent which is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for Christmas–the birth of Christ. It begins four weeks and Sundays before Christmas and continues until Christmas. The preparation includes lighting an Advent wreath, setting up a Christmas tree and decorations.

Read more

« Older Entries