By Steve White
contributing writer 

Life during the continued pandemic

Life with Pepe


March 27, 2021

Jack Sann

Steve White and Pepe.

Now that Spring 2021 is well on its way, there is "Spring in the Air." Other than the excitement of getting both COVID vaccinations, life is continuing pretty much very quiet and ho-hum for Pepe and me. Of course it will be a few weeks before the vaccination is fully effective. Then there's the possibility of my falling into the small percentage that is not protected by vaccination.

The high percentage of COVID-19 positives that still show up every day, combined with the variant changes of the original virus, is very much a concern. With somewhat compromised lungs, and my age, I am a target for serious complications if I am infected. There are no easy answers for any of us to beat the virus. The vaccine is just one more step toward beating the bug. SIP is how I'm living – with few exceptions. Of course, I'm still doubling the mask and practicing Personal and Social Separation when Pepe and I go out for doctor appointments or essential needs shopping. I have not had a haircut in over a year.

We make a trip to town about once a week for essentials. I don't really need anything, but an excuse to get out of the house is always welcome. And there's always stuff on my lists for resupply. I keep several lists on my dining room table adding items that I need or want as they come up: grocery, Rx, Dollar Store, Home Depot, Walmart, Costco are my usual "check the lists before leaving the house." I'm in-and-out of the stores with tunnel vision shopping from the list, avoiding contact with others as much as possible. I've even learned to use the dreaded self checkout sections and bag my own purchases. And there's often the PO or banking to take a detour. Pepe now gets a regular professional grooming. He seems to like Jessie, his grooming lady, so it is never a battle to leave him with her for his grooming appointment. On warm days we will usually stop at the Dog Park for a stretch - if it is not heavily occupied. There is still so much unknown about whether or not animals carry the virus.

I've no idea what goes through a dog's mind during a time like this lockdown. We've always been on the go since Pepe came into my life over four years ago. With the exception of our daily walks and short hikes in the local area, his usual "trip" is to wander the small garden and his personal lawn area a few times each day with an occasional trip to town.

I fall asleep really early most evenings, usually in a comfortable chair. After going to bed, I wake up around midnight - well rested. Forget going back to sleep! Good thing I am retired and can be up – or not – any time of the day/night. There are no normal routine meal hours for Pepe and I. Breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast is common in my life. I will often spend these early morning hours, while things are quiet and Pepe is still asleep writing my dairy and reviewing the news. My brain is well rested and fresh for writing some emails to family and friends.

I love to visit my son in Hawaii – especially during our colder winter months. Recent news articles often mention Hawaii with accounts of vacationers going to the islands for a winter break. I don't understand why many people are so blasé about the virus? To be sure, we've grown accustomed to living "like this." The desperate need for economic improvement has resulted in many parts of the country opening up despite the health experts advice against it. Winters can be miserable for many; spring weather for much of the mainland is still weeks away. However, January saw two-people in the United States die every minute from COVID-19. The vaccine, once you get it, takes a few weeks to be fully effective and a small percentage of the people vaccinated won't be protected.


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