64 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 10-20-20

  1. So this year they don’t want us celebrating Thanksgiving with family so I am assuming that goes for Christmas as well. Is this really living? I’ve been lucky but this isolation has to be horrible for others.
    I would not have been a good pioneer/settler on the open prairie or Wild West.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning! The header photo was taken at our local community garden.

    We are suppose to have another get out and enjoy the weather while you can kind of day.

    Kim, these certainly Mare days to count our blessings and not put so much focus on the losses (I just realized for many in my area that includes the Braves).

    Yes, it is difficult to continue forward in this weird 2020 world and realize that about half our nation if not more are about to enter into an even deeper slump according to local and national elections.

    But God . . . at least some people put more focus on Him when times are bad. It is easier to neglect Him during good times when there are so many distractions.

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  3. We were advised by our leaders not to gather with family outside our households for our Thanksgiving. We fully expect the same advisory for Christmas, and do not expect our family living in the US to be able to come then. As one of my elderly patients said to me about not being able to see family for Thanksgiving this year, “There will be other Thanksgivings.” I knew what they meant, as I spent an entire year’s worth of family holidays living on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, with no family to celebrate them with.

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  4. We are four hours from our closest children. We are not sure what is best about getting together. I know so many who have gathered regularly, shopped regularly, eat out regularly and none have gotten Covid. OTOH, we need to be wise. I haven’t seen my youngest grands for months. They grow fast when they are little. We are blessed to have technology, but it is not the same thing. We go through seasons. My oldest grand is off in the military. That is a season. Not seeing him does not seem like the same thing as not seeing the others. Not seeing him is expected and there is not choice for any of us. We have choice, but it is difficult to make the wisest choice, since so many want to use illness for political purposes. I wonder how many of those are going home to family or surrounded by family? Some of those are doctors.

    I would feel awful to give this disease to others. I know others in my family would feel awful to give it to us. Children can spread it and I sure wouldn’t want them to live with the knowledge they inadvertently gave it to a grandparent who died as a result. All is really in God’s hands, but the devil does use stuff like that to torment.

    All this just to say that there seems to be no easy answer about visiting on the holidays.

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  5. Kim, yes, this is really living. I am going to speculate that my household has been more socially isolated than anyone else on this blog or maybe even anyone that anyone on this blog personally knows. I have been out for daily walks since sometime in April, but have been in a building other than my own home exactly twice since March. Once I had an eye doctor appointment for a potential emergency (it turns out to be “normal aging,” which I actually thought likely, but as an editor and photographer, I don’t take care of my eyes lightly, and two people in my church have had serious eye issues that likely had similar symptoms initially), and once I had research t do for a project for church, and my husband and I made sure no one else would be in the building, put notes on all the doors asking people not to come in, etc. I have had one walk with someone other than my husband (both of us wearing masks), and have happened to see people I know a few times while I’m out and have stopped to chat with them from eight feet or so apart. Our daughter came down for Father’s Day, brought her own chair, and we sat on the patio eight feet or so apart.

    Others do our grocery shopping. My husband makes a detailed list every two weeks, including links to any items the buyer might not know and the whole list is written up with store aisle numbers (available online). We give the person a gift card to the store and our shoppers card, and when they bring the food, we wipe most things down before putting them away (eggs we transfer to another carton, and bread and other items we won’t be eating for a few days we set in a corner). Twice we have needed to have others come inside our family room (e.g., to move extra boxes of flooring into our attic), and for that my husband unlocks the door, closes the door into the room, locks the house door with a key after they have left and then comes in the other door, and we leave the door to that room closed for 24 hours.

    We have taken a few short sightseeing trips, such as to local state parks. For those, we stay within a close enough range that we can return home to our own bathroom rather than using a public one. We have not eaten fast food or restaurant food since our Valentine’s Day date–eight months ago–and our last in person church service was March 1, which will be eight months on Sunday November 1. We have not seen family since Christmas (and just now saw our first video of our granddaughter for many months–we’ve seen just two small sets of videos).

    We have so many things our ancestors didn’t have in such a season, and that people around the world do not have: access to livestream church (we haven’t missed a week, though occasionally the feed is bad and we lost it entirely for one evening service), Zoom Bible studies and committee meetings, the ability to see store ads online, the ability to shop online (we get non-perishables that way to save our shoppers time and effort), telephone access at inexpensive prices, and so much more. We go out driving one day a week to keep the car in shape, I continue to work from home, and we stay in contact with people through email and telephone. My husband just got off the phone with his doctor, by the way, and she told him we are doing the right thing. Another of her patients with his same issue (I don’t say online what that is, but he has immune issues and probably something you never heard of) is now in the hospital with it, and no, people aren’t being put in the hospital lightly these days.

    For this year we are being careful so that we can have more years later. But God grants us many ways to enjoy this year in the meantime. (And I understand the disease has come back with a vengeance in parts of Europe, from something I read last night. We may soon get to a point that most Americans are starting to be careful again, though now it seems most are getting pretty lax about it.) It is really, really hard for those in nursing homes and who have to be hospitalized without visits of family, and my heart goes out to them. But this situation is a temporary one, and we can get through it.

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  6. Ontario is experiencing the second wave. The rural areas are less affected, as yet, but the case numbers are rising daily by the hundreds and deaths occuring each day. It was expected. I actually expected it long before I saw the experts saying it, as the autumn is a time of illness generally – as an elderly friend used to say (he was old enough that he lived through the 1918-1919 flu pandemic, which was at its worst in October 1918), “When the swamps are full, then the graveyards will be.” Swamps around here typically dry up in August and refill in cold wet weather in late October and November.

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  7. I know not what the future holds but I will go with gathering together. We gathered together with husband’s family a month ago due to the unknowing of what November holds. We had an early Thanksgiving. No one got sick and two families had traveled back…one from FL and us from CO. It was good to be with family and to hug and laugh together. We were careful with niece’s family…they stayed outside of the barn and we interacted in that manner due to higher risk to her babies. I visited with my 90yr old Mom…it was good to hug her and take her to my sister’s farm so that she could hold and inhale the scent of the 3wk old Aussie puppies. We lived life and thank our Lord for the gift of it all…..I’ve not seen my Mom happier than when she hugged and was hugged by puppies, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren…

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  8. That elderly friend, who had progressively worsening angina, passed away in hospital, during Ontario’s battle with SARS in 2002. Not being family, none of us could visit him – we were able to visit my maternal grandmother, who died from cancer during the same time. Although the outbreak of SARS was confined to Toronto all the hospitals in the area surrounding Toronto went into lockdown. Ontario’s experience with SARS did help us prepare for COVID-19. Every ER was fitted with isolation rooms, as it was a lack of isolation rooms in ERs that contributed to SARS spreading. Hand sanitizing stations for the general public were installed in hospitals, and that idea has been moved to all public buildings now. The use of preempotory protective gear, i.e. mask, when treating a patient with respiratory symptoms even before diagnosis of them having an infectious disease became habitual then, and that idea is what is behind the general use of masks now. Large gatherings were cautioned against then, as it was a large funeral for the first case of SARS that caused the first wave of the outbreak in 2002 in Toronto, as infected family members were surrounded by family and friends. That fatal funeral is behind the bans on large gatherings. SARS was a much more fatal disease than its cousin COVID-19 – out of 400 SARS cases in Ontario, over 40 died – but its lessons were learned.

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  9. My new Bible study leader’s mom now has Covid (with an underlying condition). My previous Bible study leader’s in-laws both had it not long ago. I wonder if just from voting in person if Art and I might have it in our systems. During these times I consider myself blessed to be an introvert so the toll from isolation is not as heavy as it is for some.

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  10. We are lucky, I guess, in not having to wrestle with the question of whether or not to have a gathering for Thanksgiving. We have been getting together with Chickadee – sans masks or social distancing – throughout this time, approximately once a month, so we will do so again for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, if any of us had any suspicious symptoms, we would not get together.

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  11. We didn’t get together with anyone for Thanksgiving, but it had nothing to do with Covid. Husband was working and then we helped daughter move the following week and celebrated with pizza 🙂

    Christmas will be different for us this year, but only because we will have the twins and I do NOT expect son and DIL to travel 5 hours with newborns. So we will figure out the best time and go and visit them. Daughter and her dog will still come to spend Christmas with us.

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  12. We have such a small family gathering for the holidays so we will probably get together with my brother and it will be about the same as usual except for still doing the vegan thing as much as possible.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. My cousins and I may try to pull off an outdoor, socially distanced picnic 🙂 Our sister church may have a morning outdoor service.

    Other than that, I no longer have the big traditional Thanksgiving event in my life anyway, it’s usually seeing friends at a restaurant, so this won’t be a big disruption for me.

    It is disheartening to have to go through this, I realize. But it is temporary, it’s just lasted longer than we all thought it would in the beginning. But we were probably naive, having not experienced anything quite like this in our lifetimes.

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  14. Given the visions we have of our nation from each party, it would be against my conscience to vote for the Dem vision, and I also consider who I would want for VP given the ages and status of each of the ones running for President. Biden is not very healthy and Trump has so many enemies who would be rid of him if they could. Are these not concerns to people?

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  15. Janice, I’d just say our nation is in a very precarious position right now — we are seriously divided and thus very weak politically. Enemies inside and out, of all political stripes, left and right, can and probably will try to take advantage of that.

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  16. There is no more “center.” The two sides are right now heavily weighted and pulling hard — in opposite directions. The harder they pull, the more likely the middle collapses.

    I’m not talking about a political or philosophical “center” here, but rather the nation’s ability for most of its history to find ways to “pull together” as one despite political disagreements and differences.

    That appears to be gone (at this stage) from what I can tell.

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  17. It is difficult, DJ, for us living in such radically blue areas to see otherwise, but there are probably more moderates than we can envision. It was amusing, but not in a good way, that my friend, Karen, said she believes young people in our area like Trump because of the individual independence toward mask wearing. Yet when we drive through the neighborhoods Art and I only see Biden signs in the yards of the younger people.

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  18. Good article.

    There also is this from a book by a Washington, D.C., pastor who found himself in a tough spot when the president and his men suddenly showed up one Sunday morning asking if they could come ‘onstage’ for public prayer. Afterward, the pastor, David Platt, found himself taking incoming fire from both sides inside and outside the church over his decision to pray for the president up front. (The book is “Before You Vote: Seven Questions Every Christian Should Ask”)

    From the introduction:

    ~ As I watched everything unfold, I couldn’t help but draw one conclusion about the church amidst the political climate in our country: we are sick. We are so quick to accuse, belittle, cancel, distrust, disparage, deride and divide from one another. And it’s not just people outside the church; it’s people inside the church, too. And it’s not just this or that side; it’s all of us, including me. We are swimming in toxic political waters that are poisoning the unity Jesus desires for his church, and we are polluting the glory Jesus deserves through us in the world. … I don’t want to see the church further divided or the name of Christ further defamed. Instead, I long to see a united church that exalts the name of Christ in this toxic political climate … ~

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  19. We have Republicans, Democrats and “none-of-the-above” folks in our particular church. Politics is not preached, though biblical positions on issues are expressed.

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  20. Roscuro, thank you for the article. I am not confusing politics or those running with Jesus and all He is. I do believe in God’s sovereignty. I have thought of putting signs in my yard for both Trump and Biden with a sign in between, “May God’s Will Be Done.” I also consider who I would vote for if Christianity had no influence on my vote. I still come to the same conclusion. I see accomplishments versus no accomplishments and as a taxpayer, I like to get accomplishments for the money paid. I also for all practical purposes lost my healthcare under eight years of Democrat lies about that. So I feel a tad bit bitter about that, too. I put off my cataract surgery until it would be covered by Medicare. It felt like a forced choice because of the ridiculous healthcare fiasco. When you view it from the sidelines it is easy to think someone is confusing religion and politics. I don’t think either Jo, I, or anyone else here is guilty of that. I do take that article with a grain of salt. It is good to consider to check ourselves, but I know of no one to whom it applies.

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  21. This from a friend that I knew long ago BEFORE he had a come to Jesus experience and turned his life and his family’s upside down.

    For almost 20 years now, I have been living in and out of what used to be called Third World countries. During this time of personal observation it became very obvious to me that what keeps these nations trapped in the “Third World” is corrupt politicians. Shady, backroom deals with multi-national corporations and those highest up in national leadership has enriched the political families of these countries beyond their wildest dreams. At the same time they have left the common people in a type of poverty so severe that is unimaginable in the U.S.
    Well, now I look at what the Biden family, and many other political families, have been doing in Ukraine and China and realize that our U.S. politicians have taken lessons right out of the corruption playbook of these impoverished nations. There is no doubt in my mind that Joe Biden has used his office for his and his family’s personal enrichment as a career politician. This has all been unintentionally funded by U.S. citizens and their tax dollars.
    I always try to focus my attention on non-political matters, believing that my nationality is not of this World, but our country is now in a perilous predicament. We either don’t know where to turn for credible fact based news or we are so inundated by the latest crisis focused “breaking news” that we simply give up out of exasperation. Suffering from a constant bombardment of traumatic stress indused attention deficit disorder, we don’t have the capacity to care anymore.
    The Biden scandal was exposed over a year ago and that alone should have put the final nail in the coffin of his campain. He should have lost any hopes that he would have even a chance of being elected. But then: the failed sham of an impeachment of the President, the COVID crisis that almost immediately followed, lockdowns and BLM protests and the American people have understandably become fatigued. We now live with the very credible threat that there will be violence in the streets if Biden is not elected. Where do we even begin to try to understand what is really happening?
    Welcome to the Third World!

    Liked by 5 people

  22. I ran out of peanut butter and had my first sunflower seed butter and banana sandwich. Think of trail mix with banana chips and sunflower seeds. Not as good as peanut butter and banana, but it is a fairly good substitute.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I like that Janice, “May God’s will be done” — as it all will be, for his purposes.

    I think we all understand the differences here between voting for our temporal leaders and knowing it is God whom we worship, regardless of who votes for whom — or not.

    This has been a very difficult and contentious season for those of us in the U.S. It affects so many things, as Janice said, from our health care to abortion policies to the overall direction of the nation.

    Hard times. But I do believe we all are trying to be faithful to the Lord who is over all.

    Good reminder, though. It’s something I need to remind myself of often. Those “high horses” can look so beautiful and righteous to mount!

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  24. And the political impacts are upon us and our neighbors. A lot can be at stake. But God knows that and his wisdom and providence are always perfect no matter how dire things seem.

    I like to think — and Scripture bears this out I believe — that these horribly difficult times (which, we should also remind ourselves, pale in comparison to other countries or to what has occurred before us in earlier times) are opportunities to be used for the spread of the gospel and for the strengthening of our own faith and understanding.

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  25. This from Streams in the Desert:

    There is what is called the “cushion of the sea.” Down beneath the surface that is agitated by storms, and driven about with winds, there is a part of the sea that is never stirred. When we dredge the bottom and bring up the remains of animal and vegetable life we find that they give evidence of not having been disturbed in the least, for hundreds and thousands of years.

    The peace of God is that eternal calm which, like the cushion of the sea, lies far too deep down to be reached by any external trouble and disturbance; and he who enters into the presence of God, becomes partaker of that undisturbed and undisturbable calm.

    –Dr. A. T. Pierson

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  26. From my perspective, God will either continue the US on with Trump or annihilate it with the Harris/ biden ticket. However, I know from God’s perspective He could be destroying us with Trump for our outrageous denial of Him, or saving us through Biden because He works in mysterious ways. But it is His to decide. And He expects me to do what He puts before me.

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  27. Michelle, I have been under the sea and been very seasick. Ok, I acknowledge that is not the cushion of the deep sea but I just thought I would mention it. Holding onto a rock did not help. The surge was awful for a motion sick inclined person. Kind of relevant to the discussion though.

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  28. Janice, the article speaks to a lot more than confounding politics with religion, and is an encouragement. Read it and you will see.

    Viewing from the sidelines, since not a day goes by but your upcoming election gets mentioned on here, I would caution all of you not to assume disaster will strike if the candidate you oppose gets in, nor to assume all will be well if the candidate you support does get in. When the Conservative majority government here was defeated in 2014, and replaced with a Liberal majority, I woke the morning after the election with a verse in my mind, one that I had not thought of before I fell asleep. The election had been called by the Conservatives after a Supreme Court ruling, made unanimously by a panel of judges of whom the majority had been appointed by the Conservatives, that ruled people had a right to die, opening the way for assisted dying. The Conservatives, although they had a majority in Parliament and thus could have invoked the notwithstanding clause, a tool that can overid the court’s decision in rare cases, did nothing and instead called an election. This meant that whoever won the election would be the party with the responsibility to redraft the law against assisting suicide. So, the election seemed very significant from a moral standpoint. But the verse that I woke with on that morning was Psalm 146:3-5: “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.”

    It was a reminder that politicians cannot accomplish the righteousness we Christians long for. The Conservatives had been held out all my life as the only viable political party a Christians could support, and yet they had not allowed the abortion debate to be reopened, quashing more than one private member’s bill on the subject, and failed to take any action on assisted dying. I see a parallel to this in the American Supreme Court, which now has a majority of conservative judges, even without the current vacancy being filled, and still has refused two different cases trying to place limits on abortion in recent months.

    The verse was also a reminder that the politicians I was taught to fear, due to their open opposition to Christian moral convictions, were limited in their power, that God had them on a lease and could pull them up short whenever he chose. That actually visibly happened earlier this year when the Liberal government’s bill to extend the loophole, again by Supreme Court order, for assisted dying was killed by Parliament having to shut down due to COVID-19. I am still concerned, of course, about the course my country is taking and still vote, but I never again see political leaders as having any power at all to save or destroy ultimately. As Jesus said to Pontius Pilate, the Procurator of the Roman Empire, “You could have no power at all over me, except it were given you from above.” Paul appealed to one of the most infamous Roman Emperors in history – for it was the emperor Nero who appointed Festus before whom Paul appeared. But it was really God who kept Paul safe, as Luke’s eyewitness account of the shipwreck during Paul’s journey to Rome attests. Even though the legalisation of assisted dying has open hideous moral pitfalls in my profession, God is still making a way for me through it all

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  29. I have shared with my friend Karen that God disciplines nations through bad leaders. I meant that as a reconcilment for us no matter who wins since she believes Trump to be a bad leader and I believe Biden would be a bad leader.

    On the life issue, I know some nurses have seen the worst situations and think people should have abortions to save from such suffering. I get that mindset. But it is the mindset of thinking one knows God’s plans for the baby in the womb. It is usurping God’s sovereignty and authority as Creator and Sustainer of life. Those who are authorities in any area are at times tempted into thinking they know the whole story but they can not possibly see the full picture as God does. My friend, Karen, who has as a nurse assisted in heart surgeries, has this opinion of knowing what’s best so we have discussed it. I know another who seems to hold this opinion of knowing best. When I read the Bible and feel informed by God’s word, I conclude that as Maker of life God does not want anyone to take life away, especially in the protective first home He made for babies. Therefore I will support life when it is an issue on the platforms.

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  30. 🙂

    Today at the grocery store. The young man cashier said to the bagger, as she finished with my groceries, have you sent in your ballot yet?

    The middle-aged woman growled. “No politics at work.”

    “It’s your civic duty to vote and save us from this chaotic situation.”

    “No politics at work. Or religion either.”

    “Thank you,” I broke in. “I appreciate that. It’s the same reason I’m off social media until after the election.”

    Young clueless, man: “Avoiding social media? Then you didn’t hear about the Navy SEALS who were in the wrong place and were killed?”

    “Well, I hope you’re wrong. I’m a Navy wife.”

    I grabbed my cart to leave. But the bagger stopped me. “Thank you.”

    Perhaps I don’t speak English well enough? 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  31. Roscuro, when I read to the end of the article I found the more positive points. Most everyone one I know sees some flaws in Trump, but some people on the other side do seem to think if only people would do things their way they could save the world. They fail to acknowledge the fall of mankind and that no matter who is elected leader that things just won’t be right this side of heaven.

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  32. Just an observation. I wrote a blog post several years ago titled, “What is an Intercessor?”

    I finally got into my Google analytics today after years of absence and discovered, as anticipated, that many, many people are searching for the answer to that question.

    Let’s keep praying for our country.

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  33. Janice, I mentioned your name when I posted the article because you had asked if anyone else cared about the things you were concerned about. I thought it helped provide an answer.

    I know I am not a fellow American. But I am a fellow Christian. Christianity has no borders, and so when I hear the questions of fellow Christians regarding what is right to do in voting or not voting, I see them as questions not only pertaining to one time and one country. I stay away from discussing the relative merits of the Republican and Democratic party, because those are the politics of one country. But, the overarching question of whether there are moral obligations to voting is a question that all Christians who live in countries where one can vote have to find the answer to. So it is an area of common ground that Christians from different countries can share their ideas and experience on. In sharing my experience, I was not providing answers to what candidate any of you should vote for, but participating in sharing as a Christian.

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  34. Janice, it matters less to me as a Canadian what happens in the US election, than it matters to me as a Christian that my fellow believers who happen to be the US be able to find rest, even through outward turmoil, in the peace that Christ brings.

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  35. Cheryl – You and your husband have isolated yourself, but I doubt you’ve done more than Chas and Elvera, or my 94 year old father and 80 year old stepmother. My parents have not left the house except for medical reasons or to take the dog for its twice daily potty break. And at that, they don’t leave the gated community they live in. One of her sisters brings groceries but leaves them on the front porch. The only person who has entered their house since February is the Hospice nurse.

    But you have definitely isolated your self more than Mrs L and I have. But then, we don’t have any health issues that make us high risk.

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  36. We don’t think much of the idea, but the college student who lives with us thinks it’s the answer to . . . way too much.

    It’s the whole problem with sustainability. Wonderful in theory. Absolutely impractical with a basic knowledge of science and finance.

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  37. Janice, if I didn’t say so, that’s a lovely flower.

    DJ, are you watching the game? (My husband just said to tell you that you can come out from under the bed. It’s safe to watch this one.)

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  38. Peter, 6:45, Chas has been to the grocery store more often than we have. (March 10 was my last visit to a store.) And I think their son and some grandchildren have been inside their home. But point taken that since I go out for walks, Chas and Elvera are about as “isolated” as we are, but with a different look to it. Most of the time we hear that people are being super careful, they start telling us details and we realize that by our standards they aren’t really being that careful. (For example, my mother-in-law has recently had an 89-year-old houseguest for a week. She told us that in the week or two before her friend’s visit, these are the only people who have been in her [Mom’s] house . . . and she named five people. We have had three people in our house in the last eight months, two people to get stuff up into the attic and one for a termite inspection, and all were only in the family room and we shut the door behind them and didn’t open it for twenty-four hours. So five people in a week or two, plus a house guest, doesn’t sound like a small number to us. It’s twice as many just this month as we have had in eight months.)

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  39. AJ, your 8:49 a.m., that health warnings will disappear after the election: I wouldn’t count on it. We’re heading into a season that could be quite a bit worse for the virus. It seems to me some level of caution is still in order, and many people aren’t showing any. It could be a hard winter for many.

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