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January 2, 2021

Hello 2021! The lovely sunrise this morning welcomed the New Year.

Beautiful sunrise

Albeit bittersweet, 2020 couldn’t end fast enough. The excitement of a new decade came to a screeching halt when Covid-19 struck. By year’s end, administration of new vaccines began. Bittersweet yet again, high case numbers today are far beyond those of last March -- and with the recent surfacing of a faster-spreading variant, we must keep our masks on because we won’t be out of the woods for a long time. Even so, as we enter the dawn of a new era, I see people around me filled with hope.

Our New Year's Eve was pretty subdued. We bought take-out seafood dinner from our favorite fishmonger. As always, we celebrated breaking bread together, thankful to be in good health.

I wondered if, with our slow-moving evening, whether we could last until midnight. Louie was the first to fall asleep on the couch. He tried. I thought I would be right behind him, but as I cleaned up the table and watched Jennifer Lopez sing, dance, peel off layers of clothing -- and pay a heartfelt tribute to the world’s trials of 2020 that made me tear up, I simultaneously fantasized about going outside at midnight “rain or shine” to yell at the top of my lungs “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” Dare I make all that noise in my quiet neighborhood? But I had to express my relief that the year was finally over.

At five minutes to midnight, I woke Louie, the groggy reveler, for the countdown.

“I’m going outside. . .do you want to join me?” I didn’t hear a peep. So, I proceeded to grab a small copper pot and rubber ladle that would hopefully, make a “more soothing” clang.

Copper Pot and Plastic Ladle noise maker for New Years

I went outside alone in the dark. I heard fireworks going off in the not-too-far distance. Then I heard wonderful upbeat drumming a few houses away. One clang at a time, I started my own music with the pot and ladle, shouting, “Happy New Year…!” It felt great!

Soon after that I heard a pot clanging on the other side of my house. It was Louie, fully awake. I thought he was at the back door, but he was standing in the kitchen with the window open.

Then out of nowhere, I heard a male voice from a block away on the other side of the elementary school yell out “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!”

I loved it and yelled back in kind. One more time, he yelled back.

In a bittersweet way yet again, I never felt as inspired on New Year’s Eve than I did that night.

We need to tackle Covid better this year. We’ve “been there, done that,” and by now we should all know what we have to do to make it right.

In 2021, we have that chance.

This is your country, and it’s up to you to save it.” – English translation of a saying in Taiwan

Washing Hands + Wearing a Mask + Social Distancing = Saving Lives

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