As time marches on, many Californians may recall being stunned by the governor’s stay-at-home executive order that was signed and effective on March 19, 2020. Thereafter, interim breathers relaxed the stay-at-home order, which ended on January 25, 2021 subject to COVID-19 public health and safety restrictions.

For California’s academic institutions - schools, colleges, and universities - students, teachers, and parents have bravely endured remote learning at home via Internet technology while missing the social interaction of on-campus learning.

California’s “Safe Schools for All” plan to expand safe in-person learning in spring, 2021, was unveiled in December 2020. Various school districts are evaluating reopening schedules, but will be subject to CDC restrictions such as social distancing, sanitation, and of course, those handy dandy face masks that have become artistic conversation pieces for some wearers.

Some churches, stadiums, middle and high school educational facilities have recently been transformed into COVID-19 vaccination centers. After much contemplation and prayer, our family’s two young octogenarians (yours truly) and my 85-year old spouse went back to high school for shots in the arms. As vaccination appointments were not available at our local schools, we commuted an hour and arrived at a high school vaccination center in a distant city. A huge artistic caricature of a hawk, the school’s mascot, peered from one wall, and seemed to be supervising the RN’s who were pleasant and efficient.

In defiance of the Supreme Court’s ruling that kicked the bible and prayer out of public schools, I offered a prayer of thanksgiving to a loving God who has miraculously favored medical science with optional vaccines within a year of the world-wide pandemic that has claimed more than 54,000 lives in California as of March 7th. We have all been painfully impacted by pandemic grief, but are deeply comforted by the lovingkindness that has united people as we work together to recover. There is welcome news that the Dodgers and Angel’s teams expect to welcome fans back in April subject to CDC guidelines.

We live in an amazing world of telecommunications and satellites where we command a mobile phone to answer questions, but some answers herein may be subject to an amusing imagination. How many seats in the Dodgers Stadium? (56,000); what is the cancel culture craze? (a crazy movement to cancel culture); is there a group of moms who pray for students, teachers, and their school district’s curriculum? (Yes, the group has spun a web at https://momsinprayer.org); what is a good bible verse for thanksgiving? (Philippians 4.6-7); has congress approved a 1.9T COVID-19 relief bill that will include a 3rd round of federal economic stimulus checks? (yes, President Biden will sign the bill after a nap and a cup of tea); what tea does the president drink (amnesty); what is the U.S. to do with thousands of migrants at the borders? (Prioritize U.S. National Security humanely – some of the wall climbers, runners, and swimmers may have Olympics potential); did Pope Francis get a COVID-19 vaccination? (yes, before a first-ever historical penitential papal visit to Iraq); when did he make the journey? (from March 5-8, 2021); with whom did he meet? (Iraqi and Muslim civic and religious leaders); what did they talk about? (Peaceful co-existence); why does the pope wear a cap? (He’s getting bald); how do you clean a baldhead (don’t use a hairbrush); how do you revive an emaciated pet lizard? (Spray the lizard with holy water and feed crickets); how do I get holy water? (boil the hell out of a quart of water and let it cool before spraying).

Oh, I found “Amazing Grace” on the Internet - I believe that grace loves confirmation that God’s best tea for us is His healing Divine Majesty!

Joan Marie Patsky, Beaumont

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