Wednesday, October 6, 2021

First Leaf


We were notified yesterday that mandatory masking is going to end at our school on Oct. 18, putting us in line with other British schools, which haven't been masking at all this autumn. Obviously I have mixed feelings about this, but the good news is that many of our eligible students (7th grade and above) have been vaccinated. Hopefully that will help keep things under control.

Masks will still be optional, so I could wear one if I wanted to. I think I probably will when when I'm around large numbers of kids (like in the lunchroom) or helping a class, but if it's just me at my desk I'll probably take it off. Not to sound whiny, because masks are a relatively small bother, but I am desperate to get that thing off my face for at least part of my workday.

Dave and I have been dithering about what to do over Christmas. We considered going back to Florida, but Covid numbers have been so high there recently and neither of us really wants to get on an airplane. We both feel like we just saw our families, having gone for long visits in the summer, and we don't want to have to board Olga or put her in a kennel. So I think we're going to stay put in London, or at least England. Maybe we'll travel domestically and take the dog with us.

I might then go back to Florida for February break. It's easier when we travel one at a time because of the dog. She rules our lives!


Found on my walk home yesterday -- perhaps my first truly autumnal leaf of the season!

(Top photo: St. John's Wood, yesterday morning.)

44 comments:

  1. Beautiful colours.
    We are wary of crowds. I understand you not wanting to wear a mask all day.
    Here there are days that normally on a walk we would go mask less, but they are very handy for keeping cold damp air off the chest!
    Staying put at Xmas is a good idea on many counts. It will be busy and cost more and what would the weather be like..better in February?

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    1. February in Florida is usually pretty amazing, though sometimes it can be cold!

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  2. It made our lives a lot easier when our last dog died, without the bother of usually having someone live in to look after him and other pets before him.

    Local holidays are great, but I am not sure during your Christmas period.

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    1. Pets are terrific but they are a lot of work. (Don't tell Olga I said that.)

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  3. Beautiful leaf.

    You may not want to travel on an airplane but how about an aeroplane?

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  4. Hope you can find somewhere good to go for the holidays. Olga will still expect her Christmas present (bone, ball, treat) regardless of where you end up. A lot more dog friendly over there, than here. Yesterday, I made online dinner reservations at a very nice restaurant in Scotland (for upcoming trip)--in addition to selecting the time, I was given the option of choosing to sit in a dog-friendly location. Definitely the first time I've ever seen that. Best of luck deciding where to visit.

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    1. Yes, some restaurants (and many pubs) are quite accommodating when it comes to canines!

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  5. I have read reports from reputable scientists that masks do little to protect from a virus as the virus is so miniscule that it can easily get through fabric masks, not sure if surgical masks would be the same.
    Anyway, good that you will be able to leave the thing off at last.
    Briony
    x

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    1. As I understand it, the virus by itself can penetrate cloth, but it's usually expelled in fluid droplets that are larger and often blocked by the cloth. So masks do some good by catching those droplets. But I think if we've been vaccinated there's a degree of acceptable risk in going without.

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  6. Luckily for us we have a very good friend who pet sits our animals when we travel. It makes me comfortable knowing that she's here taking good care of them,

    Our leaves are starting to change and I am loving the splashes of color.

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    1. I wish we had a regular pet-sitter. We haven't left Olga alone in a couple of years now and I think it might freak her out!

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  7. I love the colors of Autumn and it is always a treat to see them appearing around here (before the raking must begin!)
    How fun that you can plan anything you want during your Christmas holiday! Is there anywhere that you and Dave have always wanted to get to (and Olga too)? You can each make a list and see if you have any choices in common!! Good luck!

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    1. I can think of many places nearby I'd like to see. I just have to talk Dave into it. He's more of a homebody. :)

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  8. I don't blame you for not wanting to go to Florida right now! My dad & his wife are going to Orlando next week (she wants to go to Disney - her daughter is going to take her - dad's staying put in the hotel room). I think they're crazy, but they both got their boosters recently so fingers crossed!

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    1. I think if they got their boosters they'll probably be fine. Your poor Dad, just sitting in a hotel!

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  9. I think it's a good idea not to fly at Christmas. A plan for a February journey back to Florida, after any possible uptick In virus cases after the holidays has passed, sounds like a safe plan.
    Beautiful fallen leaf.

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    1. Yeah, that's my thinking too. If there's a winter surge it should be ending by that time. (And I can always wait until Spring Break in April if need be.)

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  10. I think you are wise on many levels not to travel to the states over the holidays.

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    1. I feel a little guilty about it but we really WERE just there!

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  11. Hi Steve, Olga and Dave. It is very smart of you not to travel during the holidays. And although mask are being taken off your school agenda, but continue to wear yours. It'sad to say that someone like me with underlying health problems, has been vaccinated have to deal with people without mask blowing covid when I go out to get grocery. They are maskless and still won't keep their mouth closed. It seem like most of the maskless people are doing it for someone to approach them to wear one. I seldom go anywhere that I don't have to go. When I go grocery shopping I try to buy enough to last for a month or so. That virus is airborne. We didn't know at first because our no good leader (Trump) hid information from us for as long as he could.

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    1. I think in circumstances where I feel like there's a chance I could pose a risk I would certainly continue to wear one.

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  12. Can you and Dave do a Christmas Day video chat session with your family and friends here in the States? That way you could still have some family time without the cost of airfare!
    You wear a mask where you know you should!

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    1. Yeah, we could definitely do that! We've done it in years past. My mom always gets a kick out of it but we need to schedule it with her senior center because she can't use a computer by herself anymore.

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  13. Yep, I’ve put my trip to the States on the back burner until at least February. (That was today’s decision.) Things are going well re covid here and I hope they continue. I’d be the same as you at school when it comes to wearing a mask.

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    1. I was SO ready to fly last summer, and now I'm just not excited about it at all. The surge in cases has definitely dampened my enthusiasm, even though I think they're declining in many parts of the states. (For now!)

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  14. I'd do the same as you at the school. I still wear a mask inside any store or other building and when I go into the office, I wear it in hallways and public spaces but take it off at my desk. We've gotten emails from theaters and restaurants in NY reminding us that we will need proof of vaccines to enter.
    Here in Phoenix, the symphony announced yesterday that they will require proof of vaccines or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of a performance.
    Did I mention that I got a booster shot two weeks ago? I wanted to make sure I was protected for the upcoming trip.

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    1. Excellent! We're still waiting for our boosters. I think we'll get notified by the doctor's office when we're eligible.

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  15. I wouldn't want to come here. The place is crashing and burning. and of course Olga rules your lives.

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    1. Well, as I've always said, England is struggling too. I'm not sure we're crashing and burning but we're supposedly going to have a pretty crazy winter with possible fuel shortages.

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  16. I'm not ready to give up my mask yet and I've had three jabs.

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    1. Yeah, I think everyone has to do what feels right for them. I know plenty of people who plant to stay masked.

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  17. Olga SHOULD rule your life, especially at her age! We rarely travel anywhere overnight at the same time.

    Beautiful leaf!

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    1. Exactly -- as she gets older she consumes more of our "bandwidth"! LOL!

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  18. A long time ago we went to London for Christmas. We were both very annoyed with our parents so we left the country. We landed in an ice fog, I have never been that cold in my life. But it was fun, the British Museum was an unbelievable experience with all of their artifacts. I've read that Portugal is well vaccinated.

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    1. I think many of the European countries are doing pretty well in terms of vaccination rates. London is beautiful at Christmas!

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  19. Covid makes decisions difficult.

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    1. It's definitely a hugely complicating factor!

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  20. I don't think schools should let go of masking yet but what do I know? Our provincial government stopped masking and everything was to go back to normal, including schools and no contact tracing for covid in schools. Needless to say, it has spread like wildfired, masks are back on, contact tracing is back on and our hospitals have surpassed their breaking point.

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    1. That's basically what's happening here -- state schools are no longer masking and people who get sick aren't even required to notify the school. We're a private school so we've kept the masks so far. I think I'll be able to remove it safely when the library isn't busy, but I'll keep it on when people are around.

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  21. February is the best time of the year in Florida.

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  22. I think you should stay in England and keep Olga with you wherever you go. I think she'd agree with this. I agree about the mask. Where it when it makes you more comfortable. And take it off when you can safely. Be well, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. LOL -- she would DEFINITELY agree! And to be honest I think she'd prefer to stay home rather than travel. She likes her routines.

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