Claire Yurdin, Burien, Washington
Polling for the ultra-important midterm elections is running close. I would like to remind everyone of the Vote Forward program of writing handwritten notes to infrequent voters in swing states. You simply say why you personally vote. You are not to recommend one candidate over another or be partisan. This program has a record of increasing turnout by up to 3.4%, which can make the difference in a close election. As a general rule, higher turnout favors Democrats. See https://votefwd.org/ for details.
I am writing notes for half an hour a day and saving them for their mailing date in late October. If I wait to write in October, it will be too hard to write as many. For myself, I find that writing letters daily helps greatly with the anxiety about our country that I and so many are feeling. At the end of each day, I know I did something positive to make a difference.
June Foster, Austin, Texas
Currently meals are not being served in Dining room or Bistro of my wonderful Senior Living Community, but we can order meals and pick them up. I also keep food in my apartment in case I do not choose to go out.
I wear a mask when I leave my apartment. When I go outside for a walk, I have the mask easily accessible in case I’m gettin close to other people. Better safe than sorry.
Sherry Schmode, Shoreline, Washington
During the Covid lockdown, although the fear of getting sick was very real and it was a very frightening time, I welcomed the change of pace to not have to go anywhere or do anything. I spent time with Vicki, who took the same precautions as I did. We took long walks in nature, stayed in touch with friends via Zoom, discovered Audubon again (on Zoom), as well as opportunities for other online classes. Other than not traveling for a year and a half, life was pretty good. It was good for the animals and birds that seemed to enjoy our absence and for the people that rediscovered being outside.
RV travel picked up and I seriously considered it. I could travel, have my own bathroom and avoid hotels. However, there is a lot that goes with the maintenance and expense of a home on wheels. I admire people who do it, but …..maybe it’s not for me?
Having avoided all family gatherings the past couple of years, I decided this past May to travel by car to Nebraska for my great-niece’s graduation from medical school. Nebraska acts as if there is no Covid but they did require masks at the graduation ceremony. Other times, no one was masked. I felt it was very important to share this time with Taylor as graduating from medical school is a big deal. So, I took what I felt was a risk. To my surprise, I survived without getting Covid or anything else.
A week later, neither of us wanting to fly, Vicki and I took a car trip to Iowa so she could attend her nephew’s graduation from high school, and I could pretend I was traveling the country and – well, not quite living in an RV. Again, no one wearing masks. We masked at the graduation ceremony. I counted five people wearing masks. Again, somehow we escaped contracting Covid.
Now that I am back home, I wear my mask everywhere. I eat only at restaurants that have outdoor seating and not very often. I do have a small group of people that are vaxxed and boosted that I am comfortable seeing.
I am very concerned about the climate. I don’t have any answers. We are dependent on trucks to bring the goods and groceries that we buy. Car manufacturers are producing electric vehicles, but the infrastructure is not there yet. Many people are in denial. And it will take a real change in lifestyle by all to make an impact.
There will be times when it will be necessary to fly, but I plan to avoid flying as much as possible – not only because of Covid but because of the large amount of pollution caused by airplanes.
Then there is gun violence and a great division in our country. Even though I vote Democratic, I have become a great admirer of Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. They have put a lot on the line to defend our way of governing. I can’t imagine the threats and abuse they are receiving for standing up for the oath they took over party.
There was almost a coup by the former president and his followers. The truth is coming out now and will be a part of history. I don’t know what will happen in the future. There are times I think we are headed for doom and realize Canada or one of the Scandinavian countries won’t take me in…. but there are still many good people in our government and our country, and I am hopeful we will come out of this for the better in time.