Today is another busy day. Soon, we’ll be off to see our granddaughters, Maisie and Madighan, at their home about 20 minutes from here. This afternoon, we’ll again meet up with Tom’s sisters and family at Billy’s Bar in Anoka, a 40-minute drive.
The time in Minnesota is moving quickly. We can hardly believe we’ll be leaving for Milwaukee a week from today to see Tom’s sister, Beth. Next Thursday, the 14-day waiting period will have passed, and we’ll be free to visit the nursing home. At least by then, we’ll meet the criteria of having had our vaccine two weeks earlier.
As mentioned earlier, Tom intends to visit a few cemeteries to do further research for his Ancestry.com files, for family members who passed in various cities near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I will take photos on my phone of the specific findings to enable him to upload them to his files on the app.
Yesterday afternoon, we headed back to Andover for a 4:00 pm barbecue at Tom’s sister Mary’s (and husband Eugene’s) home. We had an opportunity to see a few other family members we hadn’t seen since we arrived on July 1st. His niece Kari, a big fan of our site and wildlife, was there as well.
Kari often writes to us, and it was delightful to interact with her in person. She loves animals, and we giggled over many of our sightings and photos posted on our website, videos on YouTube, and Facebook. We could easily call Kari a “superfan,” which makes us blush in the sheer wonder of having a family member, or anyone for that matter, so enthralled with our site and photos.
Along with us, Kari is particularly concerned that our favorite warthogs, Little and Tiny, will still be there when we return, along with all of our other wildlife favorites. Almost a month is a long time to be away, and it may take a while for them to realize we have returned and to come to visit us again.
Returning, of course, hinges on our ability to return to South Africa in 16 days based on the increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases escalating by the hour. It appears that the new lockdown measures are having little impact on the reduction of cases, including the pointless alcohol ban. People will still find ways to consume alcohol and gather in groups which is obviously still happening.
I can’t say how relieved we are to be vaccinated (Tom, less so than me). In Minnesota, with low numbers of cases right now, few, if any, are wearing face masks and social distancing. It’s easy for a population to become lax when their cases are low, but it only takes a handful of infected individuals to set the pace for more cases and subsequent deaths. It’s not time to lighten up in the US as yet.
As for Marloth Park, we keep reading of increasing cases in the park, and this is concerning for sure. Of course, we’ll exercise caution when we return, that is, if we can return. Only time will tell.
Everyone talks about their struggles during the lockdowns over the past 18 months. Each individual has their own special story to tell, often interspersed with interesting anecdotes and challenges. Many are left traumatized by the experience and, in some cases, losing loved ones and possibly having had the virus themselves. Some are even left with Covid “long-haul” symptoms making a full recovery far down the road.
There’s still a long way to go until life returns to that which we knew two years ago if it ever does. Will our new world include ongoing precautions, including less hugging, less touching, fewer gatherings, and fewer public interactions? Here again, it’s a “wait and see” scenario over which few of us have little control.
With all the negative scuttlebutt about getting the vaccine, it appears, at this time, to be our best option. Sure, many have had serious consequences from receiving the vaccines, and there’s no easy answer as to how to avoid those risks. But, we have little choice but to prevail.
May you and your loved one be safe and healthy.
Photo from one year ago today, July 9, 2020:
|Horses and a peacock in the front garden of a home in Trinity Beach, Australia, in 2016. For more photos, please click here.|