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BARBWIRE: End-of-year ‘best-laid plans’ often go astray

guest columnist

There is a saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray”. And so it has been for so many of us as we attempted to make our plans for ending December 2021 and beginning Jan. 1, 2022. There was the need to take down Christmas decorations and store them away, drag out the Christmas tree and clean up the mess, retire unused Christmas cards until next year, and the need to prepare to get back to work and send kids back to school.

With the end of the year comes financial planning and planning for taxes. This is a very important time for farmers and business people, as decisions need to be made on last minute purchases that can affect taxes. Being able to think and make wise decisions at this time is very important. There is a need to reorganize for the coming year.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 and the Omicron variant brought the best laid plans of people all over this country to a complete stop. Suddenly being able to breathe and survive became the only plan of importance! The majority of us followed the rules and did all the things we were encouraged to do to stay safe and well. However for many of us those practices just didn’t help! We still became very sick.

I have been staying home for months. Only six people have been in my house in months and never all at the same time. They bring me groceries and prescriptions and any other needs. I have not been in a grocery store in months. Doctor appointments and other appointments have been cancelled or changed. I didn’t attend the family breakfast on Christmas morning. Only one family member stopped in, others had to go to work or to visit other family members.

Surely, I was being as safe as I could be!

Evidently not, as I started with the COVID-19 or variant on Dec. 26 and I am still fighting it.

The rest of the family all caught it except for just one. Every friend, relative or stranger I talk to has it or knows someone who does!

On my 10th day, unable to breathe properly, the EMTS and a trip to the emergency room became necessary. What a difficult ride! What a relief it was being wheeled into the hospital knowing that someone was going to help me! How sad it was to see so many empty rooms and so few people available to help with the patients coming in! A hospital Emergency Room is usually filled with people and activity! Where was everyone? I had to presume that many were home sick also, some were refusing to work because of mandates, and that others were taking life easier while drawing unemployment benefits. So sad the quietness of this beautiful hospital when so many are in need!

I was treated with kindness, courtesy and respect by those who took care of me. Tests were done and they did their best to keep things moving along. It is not their fault that so many people necessary to keep a hospital working efficiently are missing! A very nice doctor discussed my case thoroughly with me and the others on duty, explaining their decisions. I received treatments to help with my breathing. I was given prescriptions that would help my situation, they were sent directly to my drugstore and I was allowed to return home. The doctors, nurses and all the people in health care are as frustrated as we are. They are doing the best they can under the current circumstances.

I am just one of millions of people all over this country currently fighting COVID-19 and its variants. All we can do is keep fighting and hope our research people can find more medications to better help us get through this and hopefully end it. In the meantime try to stay safe and keep fighting. Keep all those who are ill in your prayers, as well as all those health workers doing their best to care for us. Thank God we have them! Let us all pray that this will end soon!

Barb Lumley is a retired dairy farmer and Holstein breeder living in the hills of Carroll County near Carrollton, Ohio. She has been active in the Ohio Holstein Association in Wooster for many years and has been writing for the Ohio Holstein News for 20 years. She also writes a weekly column that she submits to numerous papers and a collection of her early columns has been printed in a book,  “Black & White And Read All Over,” which is available from or by contacting Lumley. 

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