COVID-19 means the 19 pounds we’ve gained


Folks, it’s time to be hopeful. Both out here in Wyoming and across the world.

I am hopeful despite the fact that it is 2 degrees outside and our Lander Valley is covered in snow. The nights are very long. Hardly a light streak in the sky as I type away at 6:03 a.m. Brrrr. We are deep in the heart of Wyoming Winter.

My late dad dreaded these long nights, but this time of year he would remind me that in a few weeks, the shortest day of the year would be here (Dec. 21) and then tell me: “Guess what? The days will be getting longer. Now that’s good news.” I agree with him.

The big struggle at our house right now is my wife Nancy and I arguing about getting out all the Christmas decorations. Because of COVID-19, we will not have any of our kids or grandkids inside our house — probably will do a “drive-by” or, if the weather is nice, do something outside.

Last month for Thanksgiving, our daughter Shelli Johnson and her husband cooked up everything and brought it over and we ate it on our deck under sunny skies with 40-degree temps. Could we luck out on Christmas with similar weather?

At our ages, we are following the guidelines and trying to stay safe.

So normally at this time of year our grandkids haul all the different giant Santa Claus statues and big nutcrackers up from the basement to the main floor. It’s a big job and one that I do not want to do myself.

I grew a shaggy white beard during “no shave November” to recognize the battle against cancer but also because I am lazy. But instead of saying” Ho-Ho-Ho,” it appears my wife thinks I am saying “Humbug” when it comes to getting out all the decorations.

“But I do it for me. It makes me feel good. I want that Christmas feeling in the house, whether anyone else sees it or not,” she concludes. Any guess how this is going to turn out? Just hope I don’t fall down the stairs with a life-size nutcracker on my head.

Gaining weight during this pandemic has been a huge issue for most people. The explanation is that the “19” in COVID-19 really means the 19 pounds you have gained in the past 10 months. One of my brothers joked with me the other day that he is now eating ice cream right out of the box and using the scoop, rather than going to all the trouble of finding a spoon. Now that is giving in, bro!

Lately readers of this column have been chastising me for being gloomy. Really?

Yes, I worry about Wyoming’s economy. And there are hundreds of small business people in our state that are either gone or hanging by a thread. And they are going into the worst time of year economically. We all need to try to figure out a way to shop locally and to support our restaurants.

In the big picture, a great number of the state’s cities and towns seem to be pretty economically diversified. Let’s hope so.

After battling the ubiquitous scourge of the COVID-19 virus since March, folks are getting weary. But help is on the way. Vaccinations will be starting around Christmas and hopefully, by spring, a lot of danger from the virus will be in our rear-view mirror. I sure hope so.

Looking ahead to 2021, it appears the Legislature may postpone its two-month general session from January to later. Not sure, but that might be a good idea. I know it sounds like we are giving in to the virus, but it would just be a one-time change. With our crazy revenue picture, having an extra month or two to see how the year is coming along might be helpful.

State Sen. Hank Coe up in Cody just retired and is now sick with cancer. Keep him in your prayers. He is a great friend to all in Wyoming. Hang in there, Hank!

On a national level, President Donald Trump’s campaign has sure found some interesting examples of funny balloting. The idea of truckloads of phony mail-in ballots being hauled around the country does not seem too far-fetched to me. The total voting numbers are astonishing when you compare the Trump-Biden race to the Trump-Clinton race four years ago. Did almost 22 million more people really vote this time over 2016?

Meanwhile, where is that ice cream? And that scoop?

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