So here we are dear reader, at long last, Election Day. A national election in a wholly and completely divided country, wrapped in a pandemic. Voting is a privilege and one that has far to long been ignored by many folks in our country: too busy, my vote doesn’t matter, they’re all bad so who cares, and I forgot are the top reasons why people did not vote. But oh my do they cry out vociferously with rage and anguish when things go against their ideology and beliefs. I fear now though, that although we will likely see record numbers of voter turnouts, no one will be remotely content with the outcome. Regardless of your color, the losing side will likely explode with anger and lash out at anything in their path. For that matter, the some of the victors might do the same. This is not unlike the horrible trend first seen (I believe) in the ‘80’s and exploding in the ‘90’s, of rioting after a Super Bowl or World Series. I’ve seen news articles that stores and businesses in Providence are boarding their windows in anticipation of similar reactions as the votes began tallying tonight. I hope not.
Perhaps it is my memory or perhaps my perception or perhaps even my hearing; but I have been fairly certain for at least six or seven months now that I was “asked” to not leave my home and not see my kids or grandkids so that we could “flatten the curve”. The idea was to not overwhelm our health care resources. But, we were warned, numbers of cases would rise again in the Fall. So here we are in the Fall and case numbers are rising and….(predictably) the news media is in full-blown panic mode once again. Our governor is stubbornly insisting that schools are not the problem, the restaurants are not the problem, and the bars are not the problem – in fact a Hooters just opened up for business yesterday. She insists that the problem is families in the homes: they are the cause for the spike in cases. So we are expected to wear masks in our homes, but it perfectly OK to take them off in a bar or restaurant full of strangers, none of whom are wearing masks. Hhmmmm. Not so sure about her cockeyed logic. I know it is a tight rope but she needs to be honest and just tell it like it is; her rhetoric has descended into almost lunacy and leaves most folks laughing incredulously at her.
The next few months will be…” interesting” seems too diminutive; perhaps edge of your seat fits better? Between the election, post-election activities (whatever they may be), and the pandemic, all sandwiched into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season – it will be a sight to behold… from a distance though! I fully expect our governor to “cancel” Thanksgiving – I’ll be amazed if she does not. And if she does, what will we do? I don’t know. We “saw” the kids and grandkids at Easter, but through windows and doors. I am not sure I am willing to do that again. And Christmas? Put a gun to my head and I will still vow to hug my kids and grandkids on Christmas. I promise you that!
Hard to believe, but my COBRA insurance from work has now expired. It seemed like ana eternity when I first retired, but it has now been a full eighteen-months since that momentous day. And now I am mere months from Medicare!! I cannot believe that I am so old that I can collect Social Security and be on Medicare. I already have my card and am all set for February when I turn 65. I spent a number of hours yesterday looking at all the options and choices for Medicare and the assorted plans available. So right out of the gate, you get Medicare Part A, basically it’s automatic – I dd nothing to sign up and received my card in the mail. Part B is yours to have too, but there is a monthly cost to that, deducted from your Social Security. But then the fun begins; how sick might you become, how bad might your eyes or teeth become, how much can you tolerate for a year’s medical costs, deductibles, prescriptions, etc. The list is long and twisted. To offset your risk and costs, you can go obtain gap insurance or supplemental insurance. Some plans come at no cost while others have a monthly premium. I ended up with a supplemental plan with Blue Cross for around $100 per month, this on top of my monthly premium for Plan B of ~$150 per month. For comparison, I am currently paying ~$1500 per month for health insurance and that will drop to $250 per month – with better benefits and with no deductible at all for anything. But that is for me. My wife is still not of age for Medicare so we still need health insurance for her. Actually, for her and I for 3 months and then just for her once I switch over to Medicare. But to the plus, we applied for her Social Security and she begins collecting that in February, so overall our net income should settle out a little higher even with having to buy her health insurance for a couple of years.
Today had a ring of normalcy to it; Tuesdays are always pick up the online grocery order at the store, a task I always perform alone. But today, there were a couple of key items we either forgot or could not get, so we headed out and ended up shopping in three stores. It was like it used to be before this virus. Well, almost, except for the masks! But it was still kind of nice to get out and into a couple of stores again.
I will sign off now to go get ready for tonight’s election results to begin coming in. And I expect to go to bed not knowing who won given the preponderance of mail-in ballots yet to be counted. But one thing I will be sure of – no more political ads asking me to vote. At least not until the 2024 ads start popping up in a few days!!! Stay well dear reader…stay well and please get out and vote!