I suppose we’re all adjusting to the reality that in-person connection with our overseas rellies is not going to happen anytime soon.

And while the separation itself is not happy-making, emotions are further stirred by the frightening recognition that wherever else on the planet our loved ones might be, they are living each day in far more dangerous, life-threatening circumstances than we are.

For myself and wife Brooks, our families are in the U.S. — the worst ‘first world’ place on the planet to live in the present Covid circumstances, worsened each day by an idiot president.

My eldest daughter Jessica, at mid-life, has just earned her nursing certification in Washington, DC. I’m proud as can be of her. And scared. That’s her ‘graduation’ photo above, where she’s working in an intensive care unit.

Brooks’ stepdad just celebrated his 95th birthday outside Boston. For all practical purposes quarantined in a retirement village, whereas this is a guy who has always lived life fully — his verve and activism still puts us ‘young ‘uns’ to shame.

I have no doubt that a masked Alvin will door-knock the entire village for Joe Biden in the weeks ahead, highly motivated to give Donald Trump whatever kick in the butt he can. I suspect that’s what he was saying when photo’d.

Probably just about everyone in Hawke’s Bay has situations like ours, with friends and relatives at risk … in some cases, very high risk. And it’s hard to know when we might safely touch them again.

Awhile back, we did a survey of BayBuzz readers and asked if they had friends or relatives living overseas. Not surprisingly, 24% said Yes, one or two, and another whopping 69% said three or more.

So I suspect there’s a significant level of anxiety we’re all carrying around out there in the community. And maybe even a bit of guilt about our own exceptionally fortunate circumstances.

And I’m not sure what we can do about it for each other, other than be mindful of the quiet stress being carried by many of the people each of us encounter daily.

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  1. Thanks Tom, this captured my own concerns for my Bazzard rellies in UK. I spoke to brother-in-law Roy Bazzard this morning and he asked how many had died in New Zealand – I said 22. He replied that 23 people had died in his ‘parish’ alone. He’s not visiting the pub in the village even though it is now deemed ‘safe’ to do so.
    p.s. Great family photos!

  2. Our daughter is an essential worker in Australia. The great unknown is when will we see her again.

  3. 3 Great grandsons in Victoria,Au.two more in Hong Kong and a couple of parents in each family also.Anxiety always at the back of one’s mind.One daughter nursing in Melbourne!

  4. Our family has lost an important person to COVID-19 in another country. Not being able to travel to support our family is very very hard. And the thoughtless isolation escapes make us very angry in light of our loss.

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