Dear Journal: Call it what you will, but 2020’s crazy

Editor’s note: Karen Harris Tully is a writer who lives in Raymond and has agreed to keep a journal to share with Daily World readers during the odd and uncertain time we’re all navigating.

Dear Journal:

My daughter says “cray-cray.” We used to say “coo-coo for cocoa puffs.” However you say it, this year has been a stretch, an exercise in flexibility better than yoga. School is now back to fully virtual instruction here and we are rolling with the changes. At least my son is ecstatic about his newly refurbished chromebook from the school for Zooms and Class Dojo and Zearn, whatever that is (math games.) Now my daughter wants one too, of course.

It’s Thanksgiving soon, and we made the decision not to get together in person with family from around the state. Covid numbers are up everywhere, and we all agreed not to accidentally bring it to Thanksgiving dinner with my parents. They’re in their 70’s and in good health, but they agreed that zooming over pie would be safer and smarter. I’m not happy about it, but reality check, that’s how it is.

Covid has become a test of how smart the average American is, because people are infectious and spreading it before they show symptoms. The numbers across America have been spiking these past two weeks, and here locally too. And yet, some people still don’t believe this is serious. They spout fake statistics, like “99.99% survivability.” I asked someone yesterday where he got that number from. He seemed very pleased with himself, punching the numbers into a calculator: deaths divided by the entire human population on the planet. Wow. Yes, I see how he got his number, but it’s useless, because most people on the planet have NOT been infected. I see how we’ve been failing this test.

The good news is the death rate (from the CDC and our local Health Department) has been falling, and I’m so grateful to doctors and nurses who have worked their tails off to save lives. They’ve learned so much since March how to better treat this new illness, the novel coronavirus, and it continues to be a steep learning curve. But with people not believing it’s serious, giving the finger to doctors and nurses who are pleading for us to listen, and getting together in big unmasked groups, it is spreading like wildfire. How long can the deathrate stay low if our hospitals are maxed out? Which they are starting to be in several states! Our hospitals here are small and beds, PPE, ventilators, and most importantly staff to care for patients are all finite resources. We need to listen to the people on the frontlines. Our doctors and nurses are doing their best to save lives. They’re exhausted, and asking us to do our part to help stop the spread. That’s the only holiday gift I want.

Song of the day: Give a Little Bit, Supertramp

Karen Harris Tully is a novelist living in Raymond with her husband and two small children. She writes sci-fi/fantasy for teens and adults and can be found at