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Columnist Sharon Nesbit tackles the ups and downs of surviving a global pandemic.

NESBITWe were good, I think, for one pandemic.

When COVID-19 got away the first time, most of us, except for the cranky and disbelieving, sucked it up, isolated, masked and waited for it to pass.

Who knew it would have this second phase? Medical experts warned us that there might be a new version of the disease to try our souls. Just my luck that I got that, too. Though, the doctors said my chances of survival were better because I had been vaccinated.

So now we have to make awful decisions in hospitals about whom to treat. There is a demand for refrigerated morgue trucks on the Oregon Coast because funeral home facilities have maxed out. Does Oregon even have enough morgue trucks?

There are still silly arguments about masks for school children. Of course we protect our children, you morons.

None of us planned to be locked up again. Think of all the weddings pushed back to this summer, and still, we are in masks and at a distance. Family reunions have been delayed again. That might be a good thing, I don't know.

I watched this week as events toppled like dominos: Troutdale's fall festival of the arts pushed back to spring and my favorite bluegrass festival at Tygh Valley was canceled.

But then, I am at the end of a 50-foot oxygen line and was not apt to get far.

Now that that is out of way, let's look at some good things about the pandemic: Even in the heat of summer, See's Candies will deliver chocolates perfectly cool and unmelted in an insulated box. Of course, the box and packaging material is huge and fills the recycle bin, but it can be done. I have friends who know when nothing else works, a See's chocolate is always the right medicine.

There's also help. A friend came to wash my sheets and make my bed. Willow cleaned out my refrigerator, not without a lot of comment on the historic items it contained. And No. 1 Kid came to clean my house and do the grocery shopping.

And cooking still works. People make stuff when they've been locked up at home. Yesterday, it was a piece of homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a spectacular taco salad.

I am fortunate to know a lot of cooks. Many offerings come to my door. Banana bread. Cookies. Five slices of tender roast beef. Half a roast chicken. A Dairy Queen banana milkshake.

My kitchen counter has become an all-you-can-eat buffet.

And there are the emails, letters and messages. Readers have got in touch through Outlook email, even those who don't always agree with me. I now know someone else who has gone through a COVID-19 breakthrough illness, and his counsel has been useful.

It is much more difficult to be good friends and neighbors when we can't hug each other, but we are finding ways.

Columnist Sharon Nesbit is recovering from a COVID-19 delta variant breakthrough illness. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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