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Ring the Bell


My assumption (and yes, I know what you get when you assume) is that many in the BAD Community have fared the COVID crisis and repercussions better or with more security than much of the country, even the world. I could certainly be wrong. But I think overall, despite COVID, as an American, we have much to be grateful for.

Today is all about being grateful, counting our blessings and sharing some really good food. I don’t know about you, but we have soaked every moment in. Church together in my parents’ living room, volleyball games in a rented gym (just our family), lots of shared meals, intense discussions, reminiscing and laughing about the crazy things my mom says now.

“Do you know him (referring to my dad, her primary caretaker)? Have known him very long?

I’ve seen my parents every couple of months since our visit here in July. They came to Georgia in September. And we are here now. So I see the decline in my mom from a different view and perspective then my dad and siblings who are all local.

But all of this just brings home how much I have to be grateful for.

Ringing to Bell as a Reminder

This visit will end tomorrow and we will give back just a little of our time before we return to Georgia. For our last two hours in Texas, we will ring the Salvation Army bell in hopes of raising some much needed support for an organization that does so much good. And when my kids and I leave for the airport, my siblings will take over ringing the bell for a couple more hours.

It’s something my parents and siblings have done every year on Black Friday for the last few years, but we have never gotten to participate as we typically leave at the crack of dawn to return home. But this Friday, we get to give back in this small way.

As we enter this last month of one of the most challenging years which has stripped all of us of the sense of normalcy we once knew, I encourage you to focus on your blessings and if you can, give back…I know I am.

Happy Thanksgiving, BAD Community! I pray you have a wonderful day however and wherever you have chosen to celebrate this most unusual year.



  • Reply Angie |

    I don’t think you’ve lived through COVID like the masses of American’s have. You seem to have lived through it like it is a hoax or a minor illness. You’ve seen your parents several times since July. I haven’t seen my parents since July 2019!!!

    Read the room lady. Seriously though, you need to check yourself. ICU’s are nearing capacity across many states in the country. And that is before Thanksgiving. I can’t even imagine the sad state the country will be in next week. If you feel the need to travel, go ahead, do it in your way, but do it silently. Don’t come brag about how you’re blatantly traveling around and visiting high risk family members and then the next breath about how thankful you are. This is a time when many people, myself including, are staring at the start of a very long, dark, and lonely winter. It is only getting worse due to selfish people who believe that they are the exception, and continuing the spread. I’m betting 95%+ of Americans have an elderly relative at any given time. By that logic nearly every single person could have made the rationalization that it may be someone’s last holiday so they must travel and celebrate together. Not really slowing the spread that way are you?

    I hope you continue to be ignorant on this issue, simply because that means no one close to you will be hit in a devastating way by this virus. But you are being fairly reckless right now and I can’t stand for you encouraging the same right now. I could understand if you hadn’t seen your family all year, but they were just up in Georgia for a week or two not that long ago. The numbers are so much worse now, highest they have ever been. If you do continue to “live your life” please stop being so patronizing to others that are following more strict guidelines. They’re the ones actually allowing you to be out and about, taking the hit of staying home for those who are too selfish to do the same for others.

  • Reply Hope |

    You are probably right. We live in a tiny town that has not been hit as hard as other places. And while we know several people who have tested positive for COVID, including one of my brothers, it ended up being just like a cold, over in a few days.

    But that doesn’t mean we aren’t taking it seriously, we are masked anytime we have been outside here, especially during travel. We’ve eaten all meals at home. And we go through sanitizer like it’s going out of style.

    When we are home, we rarely leave the house except for work or school, where the same precautions are taken. But yes, we as a family (my parents and siblings are I) have decided that the visits, with the precautions are worth it to us.

  • Reply Deb |

    My mom and step dad are 1400 miles from me. They live in Rhose Island and I am in Florida. I haven’t seen either of them in a year. We talk on the phone and thanks to social media we can do video calls. I work in a critical care ICU as a registered nurse and have seen devasting effects of this virus.

    Would I love to sit and chat with my mom in person? Yes. Would I love to make both of us a cup of decaf tea and watch television together? Yes. Are we missing each other painfully during the holidays? Yes.

    I refuse to travel to Rhode Island. My mother isn’t in the greatest health but she is not in any sort of immediate danger. My mom wants me to come visit. She has asked numerous times and I keep having to tell her that it’s not safe.

    I get it. I understand the desire to go and visit and share those moments. Please just be safe. The patients in a critical care unit are not well and don’t progress. It’s a long and loney journey that they are going through with poor outcomes.

    • Reply Hope |

      I can certainly appreciate your position especially as a front line worker with so much more exposure on a regular basis. I imagine I would make the same choice.

      My best friend’s husband is a doctor at a urgent care clinic and they have had to make similar decisions. But she and I did get together a couple of weeks ago at an outdoor cafe…we both seriously needed the mental health break. Their family (3 kids) has all had and recovered from COVID, surely brought home from his husband’s office. We made an informed decision and took all the precautions.

      But I guess I agree with Beks on COVID, I/we take the precautions, are very respectful of others and their perspectives, but we are not stopping living.

      • Reply Lisa |

        How nice for you. The rest of us haven’t “stopped living”, we are just thinking of the greater good. Overwhelmed healthcare system, vulnerable people catching the disease, etc. For some it’s just like a cold, like you said above, for some it’s long term health complications or death.

      • Reply Deb |

        Here’s a scenerio. A patient comes into the hospital and has difficulty breathing. They are getting swabbed for covid. Once the patient is even suspected of having covid they are admitted to a hospital room and not allowed any visitors due to the regulations of the hospital There are ZERO visitors while they are alone, scared, having problems breathing, terrified because the patient is feeling so sick that their lungs can’t support breathing.The covid test becomes positive. The patient is wokring so hard to breathe that they sitting at a 90 degree angle in bed and can’t even talk. The patient getting weaker an sicker. The doctor comes because the nurse called to report the changes in breathing. The doctor feels that it’s in the best interest to help the person breath by putting a breathing tube in the mouth, down the trachea, and connecting it to a ventilator. Remember the patient is all alone with only the hospital staff. The family is not allowed to visit becuase the virus is so contagious. The nursing staff and doc assist with the breathing tube. The patient is put to sleep with some medicine and then paralyzed so that the doc can get the breathing tube in. The hospital staff connect the breathing tube up to the ventilator and the ventilator begins breathing for the patient. The patient is taken to critical care and put on as many machines as you can imagine. You have more tubes and cables connected to you to monitor your heart, your urine, a tube to give you medicines, multiple iv sites, and then you become so sick that you can’t even manage your own blood pressure anymore so the nurses have to give medicines to keep your blood pressure from dropping to dangerous levels. The patient still continues to not do well on life suport.Their organs are starting to fail from the covid virus. The xrays are not improving. The most recent lab work is showing multi system organ failure. The patient’s family calls every day hoping to get a yes that they can come see you. The patient is unaware of what is happening but their body is trying to work overtime to get well and it’s failing. The patient’s heart stops beating. The staff begin CPR knowing how this scenerio is going to play out.

        This is why I can not go visit my aging mother and step father. There are no trips, no tea together, no tv watching, no making memories together, and no chances of a trip in the future until things are safe again.

        There are folks who wished that they would even have a social media face time video with their loved ones but they have passed from covid. I see it every day at work. I’m not trying to scare you. I am giving you the best of what covid does to folks. It’s not pretty.

        I am living life. I go to work. I come home. I take care of my family. I send masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer to my mother through the mail. I insta cart her groceries 1400 miles away so that she doesn’t have to leave the house unless it’s absolutely nessasary. my adult kids go to work and come home. They don’t venture out either. We do proper mask wearing, social distancing at grocery stores, and wash or hands frequently. We do not have any company. I spent our first thanksgiving in a long time with just the five of us. My mother begged me to get her a plane ticket to fly her here for the holidays. I absolutely can not under any circumstances risk her or my step father from getting covid. I have seen the devastating effects at my job. People are dying horrible deaths from covid.

        • Reply Hope |

          Yes, I have tried to get my parents to order their groceries or at least take advantage of curbside pick up. But they are not having it. My sister was able to convince them to let her do their grocery shopping for a first couple of months but they grew tired of that as well.

          For Thanksgiving, I placed the order like I do here at home and then did curbside pick up at Walmart. I didn’t give them a choice while I was there.

          I wish we had the delivery option, but we don’t even really have any food places that deliver. Nor do we have Ubereats or any of those services.

          • Hope |

            Not at all. I get it. I’ve experienced it with family medical emergencies (not COVID related) during this pandemic. And it scary especially for a mom whose daughter goes in unable to breathe, having seizures and is there for 3 days…I get it. But more importantly I have 100% faith that God has a plan for all this and is in control.

            In addition, like another commentor pointed out…they are strictly quarantining, following all the rules, didn’t see family for the holiday and they still got sick.

            This same thing happens with many other illnesses especially with those that are high risk. And I am one of those high risk people. I have educated myself, my siblings and parents have educated themselves and then made a decision for ourselves. We honor, respect and support those who want to quarantine strictly. In doing so, we follow all recommended protocols, but we have chosen to still see each other and thus accept the risk.

            We could get it from the mail delivered to our home, from the person who picks out our groceries when we do curbside pick up, from the kids being in school, from Amazon packages. There is absolutely no way to live in a bubble with no exposure. We have chosen to minimize our risk, follow the safety guidelines but continue to live life. And I respect those who want to choose otherwise, I get it.

  • Reply Cheryl |

    I live in Pennsylvania and it was strongly suggested that you stay home, do not travel, and celebrate with only family who live in your home. If you decided to leave PA you must have a covid test within 72 hours of returning and can be fined and quarantined for 14 days. My granddaughter school sent an email out saying if you leave town don’t bother with a doctor’s note or test, you must quarantine for 14 days. Does Georgia have any rules or regulations. You seem to travel a lot during the pandemic.

    • Reply Hope |

      We were watching those travel restrictions up until the day of the trip in case we needed to make adjustments.
      But no, neither the state of Georgia or our tiny town has any travel restrictions or requirements for quarantine or testing.
      We have gone to Texas twice, once in July and then this month.

      There are actually talks in this area, and these are just rumors, that the schools are going to require all students to return to in person schooling. Currently, families have the choice of in person or online. But if the rumors are true, they are getting ready to require all students to return to in person…again, just rumor.

      We are planning to hunker down for the winter, like we do every year. And with Christmas shopping done. The only reason I have to leave the house is a weekly or bi-weekly trip to the grocery store.

  • Reply Janie B. |

    I, too, have to take issue with your “blowing off” this particular virus as “just a cold.”

    While it may, indeed, be “just a cold” for you and yours, you need to be mindful of the fact that this virus can be a death sentence for many, many (260,000 and counting–in this country alone!!) others.

    My DH and I have had “just a very slight cold” this past week. Where and how did we get it?!! We are empty nesters; we go to the grocery store during “old geezer hours;” and we **always** wear our masks. It was just the two of us here at home for Thanksgiving–and it’s not like we don’t have family and friends we otherwise would be visiting!

    Now, I have been and am quarantining myself for –at least–14 days.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, we are being super careful as well if anyone shows the slightest sign of illness. Which may be overboard since Princess has severe allergies and asthma and the next 4 months are always the worst for her but any cough, excessive tiredness or other, I keep the kids home and monitor closely. This has resulted in more missed school this year then every other year combined but we do want to be careful. But the schools are being great about it.

      My notes always says “erring on the side of caution”…but thus far, nothing that has lasted more than a day. We only have one more week of in person schooling then they are all going virtual for finals week and they are bringing in groups of kids at a time for testing. It’s an interesting way they are doing it, but again, erring on the side of caution.

  • Reply Anon Lawyer |

    You don’t get it and you clearly don’t want too. Incredibly selfish. And you’re justifying your selfish decision making with bad logic and bad science. Shocking that you homeschooled your kids all these years.

  • Reply Angie |

    No Hope, you definitely don’t get it. You’re being selfish.

    Humans are particularly poor at assessing risk when the consequence isn’t directly laid out in front of them. Even more so when the consequence is severely delayed or hidden, such as long term effects of COVID. Humans also have a poor grasp of probability, mainly because of confirmation bias. This is especially prevalent with COVID, as lots of people are like “my friend got it and its only a cold” or “I mask so I’m fine”. Probability is a matter of time, so just because nothing bad happened to you the first 6 months of COVID does not mean that it is harmless or the probability is low. It just means it hasn’t happened yet.

    All that is to say, I’m not surprised that a high percentage of American’s can’t see past flawed one-step only logic. They’re just not versed enough in risk assessment, and have extremely poor judgement. Unfortunately, based on the actions and attitudes in entitlement America, we’re in for a rough ride.

    As an aside…. If Princess can have asthma attacks that put her in the hospital how do you not believe in real health insurance?!?!

    • Reply Hope |

      I’ve never said I don’t believe in health insurance. I just think that our health care system is over-priced and as a result so is our health insurance. So I’m all about alternate health care and health insurance. And have been forever.

      Unfortunately, our litigious society and how acceptable and encouraged it’s become continues to drive up costs. I was floored when I learned, depending on their specialty, doctors must pay for and carry large amounts of liability insurance AFTER they stop working because of the statue of limitations and liability. We lose the services of good doctors too early because of this. And it inflates our costs enormously. I realize this is a very simplistic view of it, but I have found that the alternate insurance options and medical options are just as, if not more effective and certainly more affordable.

  • Reply Ellen |

    I have 3 family members in the hospital right now fighting this virus. THREE. Chest x-rays going bad, blood in the lungs, things just steadily getting worse for each of them. I am mentally preparing myself to have to virtually attend my grandmother’s, and 2 aunts’ funerals. I check on them several times a day to see if by the grace of God, there has been any change.
    You say that seeing your parents is worth the risk? For who? For your own selfish memories? How will you feel if you were responsible for your Parents’ death? Would it have been worth the risk? Is it really worth the risk to put strangers in danger for your own personal selfish gain? You have no idea how disgusting you sound.

    • Reply Hope |

      I am so sorry to hear that. We have had family in the same situation and thank God, they are all on their way to recovery. One is being weaned off the ventilator and it should be removed today if all goes as planned. I will pray for your family, for health and peace that passes all understanding.

      As for my parents, yes, we decided as a family that was a risk we were willing to take and by family, I mean, my parents, my siblings. I would certainly never put them at that kind of risk of my own volition.

  • Reply Lou |

    5 million people in my state stayed inside for 110 days in order to keep our community healthy. We succeeded and are free of the virus now, and we all get to go back to our lives knowing no one is going to die who shouldn’t die, and no one else is going to be crippled by long-Covid either. It’s not really stopping living to stay home for a few months. It’s not easy to make such a huge change, and it’s harder for some than others, but it’s easier than all the death and illness is, once you think on a community scale. However the failure to think of yourselves as a community seems common in the US. Here we had fortnightly payments to employers to keep people employed, and unemployment benefits for those who lost their jobs, and rent assistance for renters & landlords, and paid leave for anyone who tested positive or had to isolate as a contact of someone positive. We also have free universal healthcare. All things that made it possible for our huge and diverse community to do this thing together. I am very proud of what we did, and sad that it’s so different for you, and that so many suffer because their community fails them by being unwilling to face short term discomfort and their own fear of change. America shows the rest of us over and over that you cannot look after your own.

  • Reply jj |

    You’re not doing anything different than millions of other Americans, and that is why America is in the state that it is in. And Canada is getting up there, unfortunately.

    Funnily enough, you say your mom and dad have assessed the risk – but your mom has dementia, so she cannot really comprehend what is currently going on. So ya’ll are making the decision for her. We won’t see an end until everyone stops doing the small harmful things that prolong the pandemic.

  • Reply Janie B . |

    I’m concerned that my previous post may be misconstrued by some.

    I was *NOT* saying, “Well, we took all of these precautions, and we still got sick; so, don’t bother with them.

    NO! NO! NO!! Quite the opposite!!

    What I am saying is that since, in spite of all the precautions that we have taken, my DH and I still got a “touch” of “something or other” last week, just think how much more vulnerable are those people who refuse to take any precautions at all!! It is if they are “asking for it!!”

    People need to understand that **this** particular virus is much more **INFECTIOUS** and much more **CONTAGIOUS** than any virus that has existed heretofore in our lifetimes.

    We need to take it very, very seriously!

So, what do you think ?