Well, of course, we’re anxious… but thankful

by admin | November 27, 2020 8:12 am

According to a recent poll released (recently) by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), 62% of Americans feel more anxious than they did at this time last year. That marks a sizable increase over APA polls of the past three years, in which the number has ranged between 32% and 39%.

When asked what made them extremely or somewhat anxious, Americans said the top issues were: keeping themselves and their family safe (80%), COVID-19 (75%), their health (73%), gun violence (73%) and the upcoming presidential election (72%).

— American Psychiatric Association


When I read the above piece, my first thought was: What in tarnation is wrong with the 38 percent who aren’t more anxious this year? Are they hiding out in caverns and desert islands with no access to the media? (That would not be a bad idea.) We are in the midst of the worst pandemic since the 1918 flu pandemic; have concluded a presidential election after which it appeared the present occupant would have to be hauled out in a strait jacket (still might happen); and millions of people have lost their jobs and their health insurance. Really. What is there to be anxious about?

Today is Black Friday, an excellent time to avoid stores, something I have been largely successful at doing for nearly nine months. But Monday morning, I dashed into Sam’s to get some tomatoes. Big mistake. It was packed. What confounds me is that the worker at the entry required everyone to show their membership card, which I have never understood. You can’t check out and pay without a Sam’s card, so why not just let folks inside? If they don’t have a Sam’s card at checkout, they won’t be able to complete their purchase. But what further mystifies — and  infuriates — me is that folks not wearing masks still are allowed inside. They are a minority, thankfully. But here we are, with daily COVID-19 cases nearing 200,000, and total deaths approaching 300,000 — and still selfish, science-denying, careless — and maskless — cretins walk the aisles of Sam’s. And pretty much anywhere else one goes.

What might be more off-putting are the folks who wear the mask around their chins. Protecting one’s Adam’s apple with a cloth covering is not going to prevent one from either spreading or contracting the ’Rona.

OK, I’m off the soapbox. Please stay safe and use common sense, just like your mama told you to do.


While we all have plenty to be anxious about, I also have much for which to be thankful. I am blessed with good health, a loving family and dear friends — few of which I can see in person right now. My love for writing, researching and reading fills the days. During this two-month holiday break from working virtually at the university library, I am embarking on a host of home-improvement projects. There is never a shortage of projects in this rambling older home — re-caulking a shower, painting a bathroom, clearing out brush out back. I can easily occupy myself without leaving the property.

I am rarely bored, even when voluntarily locked down for many months. It would be nice to take a road trip, but I’m willing to be safe and wait. At least three vaccines are nearing distribution, likely in the first quarter of next year. There is reason for optimism, but until large swaths of the population receive a COVID-19 vaccine, we must remain diligent in doing everything we can to keep ourselves and others safe.


One recreational activity I have abandoned this year is following sports. I am not exactly a sports fanatic but always watched the World Series, would catch a Longhorns game on a rainy Saturday, or tune in to watch the Patriots on a Sunday night. Not this year. I decided to mark 2020 off my sports calendar early on, when baseball was postponed until summer, and NBA basketball ended up resuming in a single arena. This is strictly a personal choice. I’m not judging. In fact, I vaguely hope that by next summer I will feel safe enough to board a plane to Boston and catch a game at Fenway Park.

But if not, I will be fine, always grateful for the blessings and the beauty of this world.

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