A pandemic Christmas for 2020 in Redding

Hello readers.

I see it’s been more than a year since I last posted at this blog. There are a couple of reasons for that. Our real estate brokerage, The Address Realty has been very busy. We are considered “Essential Workers.” Good for business, bad for blogging. Then too, much of what was formerly blog content has moved over to social media. Online life is very different today than it was when I began this blog more than a decade ago. Lots of changes, and not all of them for the good. So here we are.

Art installation

Art installation in downtown Redding with our Christmas tree visible in the background.

I thought it might be important to post about life in the “Purple Tier” in Redding during a murderous Pandemic. I once posted about a tour we took of the Redding Cemetery. We saw so many of the tombstones were from 1918, when a prior pandemic christened the Spanish Flu swept through our town. It seemed evident that everyone in our small town of 1918 must have known somebody who perished from that flu. Now, I myself have lost 2 dear friends to Covid-19. In life, they were surrounded by a network of friends and family. In death, they died alone gasping for one last breath surrounded by beeping medical equipment. Ugh. Unlike 1918, we are promised a vaccine next year. Meanwhile, the virus rages, and we are all trying not to become victims. But it seems likely that before it is over, all of us remaining may very well know a victim or victims.

Covid 19 rates 12-24-2020

Covid 19 rates 12-24-2020

And many are very concerned. Others not so much. There is a facemask mandate that just makes seems to make sense. Such a minor inconvenience as a tradeoff for the safety of yourself and the others around you. Most stores have signs out front demanding that entrants be masked. But we see plenty of people out and about, defiantly not wearing masks. Even videos were posted of fairly large unmasked religious gatherings, which later became responsible for a local spike in the number of cases.

Chart
No question the lockdown has been hard on our small town’s economy. So much formerly local commerce shifted to online purchases. So many restaurants closed. I haven’t gone to a restaurant since early Spring, although we try to order takeout as much as possible. The federal government did some good things with stimulus checks at the beginning of the pandemic, but then seemed to lose interest. It’s easy to imagine many restaurants and small stores are going under for good. Lots of them are small family businesses with their entire life savings invested. Some are defying the orders to shut their doors, and one can sympathize. And pandemic fatigue has set in. People are eager to get back to normal life, even though that relaxing of pandemic discipline may well cost lives. 

Clearie’s closed early in the pandemic, hoping to reanimate in some other location later. We hope so too!

Also very hard on kids. School has been on again/off again. Rough for education and staff. Difficult for parents needing childcare arrangements and/or unable to help with schooling. Anyone whose tried to assist with “distance learning” knows how frustrating that can be. Worrisome too, for the long term damage to educational and socialization efforts. 

Distance learning

We are fortunate to have a credentialed retired schoolteacher to help with distance learning.

Mental health seems in short supply too. All the uneasy tension or downright hostility between the masked and unmasked. The loneliness of isolation during lockdown certainly takes a toll. We are not hardwired to live like this. Society is frayed. People are too.

Garden of lights

Scene from Redding’s Garden of Lights art installation currently running in the McConnell Arboretum

But hey, it’s Christmas! My grandkids will be opening gifts here at grandma’s house in the morning, and I will be of good cheer. 

Sundial lit

Redding’s Sundial Bridge is lit for Christmas in 2020

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