Archives for posts with tag: Covid-19

In any other year, we’d make the drive north to visit my mum and sister for the holidays. But, because of Covid, we skipped Thanksgiving and now we’re skipping Christmas/New Years. Next Year we can be together, without endangering one another. Better to ensure that we’ll all be here for it.

Which only left one troublesome little detail. What to do about Sadie?

Last January, my Mum’s old dog passed away. She was really old, so this was not unexpected. Adjusting to a new life, sans canine companion, was tough for Mum, doubly so in a pandemic. She was lonely.

In May, her good friend Joe celebrated his 95th birthday. It got Mum thinking…and she called me up, with an announcement. “I’m getting a dog. You and Kelly have to help me select one.” The search was on.

The reason for this shift was the realization that, if Joe could see 95 trips around the sun…so could she. And she just couldn’t see how that would be enjoyable for the next dozen-plus years, without a dog. She’s not undertaking it lightly. She has back-up dog-god-parents lined up. But if a dog would make her happy, a dog it is.

For a change, Mum wanted a non-allergic dog. I am the only one in the family with a dog allergy. For the past two dogs, about 25 years, visiting has been problematic. I either dose myself with anti-histamines for the duration, or I suffer. She wanted to change that–but it meant she couldn’t just pick up a shelter puppy. It meant a pure-bred dog. Sigh. We searched for rescue dogs. No luck. My sisters and I determined that we should all kick in for this pricey puppy. The search was turning into a plan.

Kelly and I went to work, researching dogs. We looked at poodles and whoodles and cockapoos. We looked at golden doodles, corgipoos, and poogies. Mum was not impressed. She wanted a DOG, not a lap-mop. She’s accustomed to a quarter of a century of german shorthair pointers. Bigger. We looked at Spanish and Portuguese Water Dogs. Closer, but no cigar.

Then, within half a day of each other, Kelly and I both happened upon the Lagotta Romagnolo. The Roman Water Dog. Precurser to the other water dogs and the poodle, the Lagotta in an ancient species, dating back almost a thousand years. Big enough to have real dog heft (about 27 pounds) but not too big for a senior to lift, the Lagotta is smart and loyal. And loves water. (Mum wants to throw sticks in the lake for fetching.)

Kelly found a couple of breeders and selected one living near me. The deposit was paid. And the wait for Sadie began. We thought it would be spring before a puppy was ready.

An email in early November revealed that the puppies had been born! They would be ready near Christmas. (Merry Christmas Mum–and Happy Birthday, too.) But having decided to forego Holiday travel, we were now faced with a puppy delivery conundrum. My mum lives 450 miles away from me. (500 miles from the breeder.) That’s nearly 9 hours–in good weather. How to safely transfer a December puppy in the time of Covid?

We met part way. I picked up the puppy and drove her to Marquette, where my sister and Mum met me in a parking lot. Observing proper social distancing, I transferred said puppy to their car–whilst they stood clear. We exchanged holiday packages and distance greetings–got back in our respective vehicles, and drove home.

It made for a very, very long day. But the weather held and my mother is now the proud Mum of Sadie, the Wonder Dog. I expect puppy tales, for months to come. My Mum is so excited with her new critter. It couldn’t have wound up any better, in these otherwise challenging holidays. What we’re not giving each other for Christmas is Covid.

I hope you all find ways to make your season shine. Happy Holidays.

One of the things I’ve wondered about is the big picture regarding Covid-19. Somewhere out there, people are calculating the “savings.” But I’ve seen nothing of it in the press. It must have occurred to others that the target population for Covid mortality is largely the Social Security crowd. Retirees. I ran some numbers–it’s easy. You can do it in just a couple of minutes.

Assuming that we’re probably at 200,000 deaths now (the official numbers are a bit lower, but there’s a nodding acceptance that we’re not including all the Covid deaths.) Figure about three quarters of them are seniors…with complications and co-morbidities. Those folks are collecting Social Security and they’re on Medicare.

If they average $1,000 per month in SS benefits (again, I’m picking a lower number, intentionally), then it’s 150,000 times $1,000, times 12 (for an annual number.) Do the math. It’s staggering. That number doesn’t address the savings in Medicare (which must be amortised to first cover the averaged $46,000 expense per Covid case.) And that’s for immediate deaths, so far. Estimates on senior Covid fatalities indicate that, on average, they’d have lived another 9 years, but for the pandemic.

Experts are saying our mortality numbers could easily double if we don’t take social distancing and hygeine protection (masks and hand-washing) seriously. Honestly, I don’t see evidence that the general population is taking adequate precautions. Many others will survive the actual illness, but ultimately die earlier, because of the damage done to lungs and hearts. One wonders if the government has dragged it’s feet, not out of incompetence (though there’s plenty enough of that) but leveraging the savings and relief from the burdens of supporting an aging population.

I’m not a conspiracy kind of gal, but I read a lot about Covid-19, and I am curious that no publication has noted the potential budget-balancing “upside” of the pandemic. Not one. Is this the Social Security solution?

What’s up with that?