Thursday, December 17, 2020

last night of Hanukkah

It's the last night of Hanukkah tonight, and I've cleaned out all the leftover wax from the previous night and loaded the candles. This is, I think, the first year that B. and I have been together that I've been home and thus lighting candles for all 8 nights, instead of being out at a concert or somewhere, and thus used up an entire box of 44 candles (1+2...+8, +8 shamas=44).

With the infection rate continuing to rise, we're still holed up as much as possible. B. is coping by having as much holiday celebration as possible: she's decorated the (artificial) tree and has ordered and watched as many seasonal tv specials as possible, including the latest broadcast of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and we're planning a big Christmas dinner, for just the two of us, on the lines of our Thanksgiving dinner, to be preceded by the family Zoom call. And last night we went out by car to look at the displays of yard lights around the city.

Me, I've got work to do, and plenty of reading, and cooking that dinner to plan, and the task of doing the driving on the light-watching expedition. Figuring out where to go, and remembering how to get there, is my idea of fun. My main source is this catalog of light displays. Its listings are a little thin on the ground this year, but I figure where there's one spectacular enough to be listed, there will be others interesting to see, and that was generally the case. Often the less spectacular ones are the more tasteful and give more aesthetic pleasure to observe.

With the high-infection season of winter coming, it looks as if we'll be in this tight quarantine, no food except what we can pick up from drive-ups and drive-throughs, for another two or three months, or however long it takes until the vaccine is distributed. But then I read that we'll have to continue wearing masks and social-distancing even after getting the vaccine, so I must ask, in a puzzled tone, what then is the vaccine protecting us from? At what point - I'm not asking for a date, but a stage of progress - does this stop?

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