So, Chinese New Year 2021 starts Friday, February 12. A week from now. (That is a bit late, BUT still well within the bounds).
The celebrations can last up to 16-days.
BUT, this year, ALAS, things are so different.
We went last year though COVID was beginning to make its presence felt. But, I noticed & commented that there were hardly any masks. I was, THEN, glad. Things are different. Can’t remember the last time, prior to this year, that we will NOT be going down to Chinatown. We couldn’t go, 6 or 7 years ago, because there was a BLIZZARD in Boston that Sunday. Other than that, we have NOT missed Chinese New Year in decades!
We ALSO, as we had been doing annually for 6- or 7-years, went to the UNH ‘Confucius Institute’ Chinese New Year Event — on January 28. Yes, we were slightly concerned about COVID (though it wasn’t called as such then), BUT we wanted to show our solidarity to our friends at the Institute.
And now this year. I am crushed.
Happy Chinese New Year 2021
(COVID be DAMNED).
2020 Christmas Revels (Cambridge, MA) Traditional ‘Thank You’ Video — To Help Us Look Forward To 2021.
I have already openly lamented, multiple times, that NOT going to ‘Christmas Revels‘, in Cambridge, was the WORST COVID-related DEPRIVATION I suffered in 2020! Think about it. Not going to restaurants, not going to Acadia, not going to Boston — missing ‘Revels’. Moreover, as my 14-year old daughter, another HUGE ‘Revels’ fan (who has been to at least 11 Revels) will attest, I was worrying about it getting cancelled way back in March! That was how early I was thinking about Christmas ‘Revels’ — & that from a man notorious for refusing to plan too far ahead. We, i.e., she & I, had even agreed that we would go to the LAST show — going to last shows something we like doing.
So, getting this video was a consolation.
Needless to say, it is VERY GOOD. Brilliant. Nice to see some familiar faces & hear some voices we know so well.
A BIT put out to see folks seated in MY SEAT in the balcony! That is supposed to be where I am. SMILE.
Watch. Enjoy. Plan for December 2021.
My results on the Portal.
First surgery was the day before Thanksgiving & ‘they’ were content with a 15-minute RAPID TEST. I was able to get that done, quite efficiently, with minimal wait, at my local ‘ClearChoiceMD‘ in Alton. I was happy — though they charged me $75 on the spot (though I have Medicare (Advantage) Insurance).
My second surgery, on my right eye, was this Monday — post the Thanksgiving SPIKE in infections. They wanted a ‘PCR Test’.
ClearChoiceMD only does the 15-minute rapid test. No PCR.
Called the ‘Huggins Hospital‘ COVID Hotline. They were OUTSTANDING.
They understood. They appreciated that it was for PRE-OP.
They PROMISED me results within ’24-hours’ & they delivered, albeit, in ’28-hours’ (rather than 24). But, that was still GOOD. Brilliant. I was so happy & relieved.
I called Thursday around mid-day. They gave me a 11am appointment, in Wolfeboro, the next day, i.e., Friday. My surgery in Boston was at 1:45pm on Monday.
They promised me the results on Saturday — via their Portal.
There was no line or waiting for the 11am TESTING. It was drive-through. Very slick. I was out & on my way by 11:08am. 8-minutes.
I had the test results around 1pm on Saturday (ahead of the BIG storm). I was so relieved. They even faxed it to OCB.
They delivered as they promised.
They knew — & MARKED THE TEST — PRE-OP.
So, now YOU know. IF you need a PCR Test, quickly, call Huggins.
This would have been I. I can relate.
But, you would have thought SOMEONE would have spotted it. Never mind.
Message still very VALID & appreciated.
This was in Boston.
MGH = Massachusetts General Hospital.
Talking about all the good folks that work at MGH.
Yes, they are all HEROES or even HEROS.
BONUS. I just discovered WHY it was not flagged by Spellcheck. ‘Heros’ is a ‘family of fish native to South America!
Check Category ‘Humor’.
Trying To Get A RAPID COVID-19 Test In New Hampshire Appears More Difficult That Trying To Castrate An Angry Bull Elephant.
At 2pm TODAY they called to say I need a negative COVID test BEFORE they will schedule the bloody surgery. They basically give me 24-hours.
We (i.e., two of us) start checking on the Web & calling around. Some folks were VERY NICE BUT there was NO WAY they could get me test results that quickly.
I got in the car & drove to a facility.
They told me to come back at 8am tomorrow & they will SEE what they can do. I also have a 1pm appointment in Wolfeboro, at Huggins Hospitals, BUT it is not certain they can get me the results ahead of bloody Wednesday.
I am far from bloody amused.
This has become a frigging bloody joke. Well, I will keep you posted. It will be bloody FUNNY if I test positive.
So, what gives?
Yes, we visited Boston Chinatown on February 2, 2020, for Chinese New Year, & were concerned that we might have been too cavalier. Well, that was nearly 4-months ago. Much water has flown under the bridges in Boston.
It started in China, as far as we know, & plenty of Chinese got it China — though I think they got their death rate under control (or lied about the numbers).
But, what about the U.S.?
Were the Asians TOO SCARED to go to hospital or get tested. Suffered/died at home (in shame)?
I might spent some time looking into this.
‘Amtrak Downeaster’ From Dover, N.H. To Boston, North Station: Not Bad At All, BUT Slow & Expensive!
Click to ENLARGE.
We are not strangers to Amtrak. We have taken Amtrak — and even the Acela — from Boston to New York (and back, and even once from Philadelphia) many, many times. But, the ‘Downeaster’ was a mystery — a service that I had never previously considered. Plus, it is strange, it is not something that readily comes to mind because I rarely see ‘Downeaster’ trains in action.
But, this last Sunday, heading to Boston Chinatown for the Lunar New Year celebrations I decided to give the ‘Downeaster’ a spin. It came up as an option when I was Googling bus services. Yes, I normally drive to Boston. I have no problems driving to Boston, though parking can be slightly infuriating. But, I had done a lot of driving in the past month — which had included trips to Boston, Rockland (Maine) and a number of trips to the Portsmouth area. I wanted to sit back and let someone else drive.
Given that there are three of us taking the bus, either from Dover or Concord, would have been cheaper. With the 50% discount I can get as a senior the $28 return-trip fare is definitely fair. But, when you are talking of a family of 3 or 4, even if you can get 50% off on all the tickets, it is expensive. Cheaper to drive, especially on a Sunday when you can park in Boston for ~$11.
But, I wanted to go by train. We haven’t had a proper train trip in 4-years. It was time. It was relaxing. It was nice.
It was not fast. I clocked it using GPS. Was doing around 55mph. 98 minutes from Dover to North Station. In a good day I can drive from home to Downtown Boston in 90 minutes. So, faster speed definitely is not factor.
Nice scenic route. Through tons of undeveloped land. Much more scenic than taking I-93 or I-95. That was a plus.
Good trip. Enjoyed it. I will do it again — mainly just for the love of traveling by train.
Lunar (Chinese) New Year 2020, Boston Chinatown — February 2 (Defying Coronavirus): In 36-Pictures & Few Words.
Click pictures to ENLARGE.
Attribution WILL be enforced.
Yes, of course, we were concerned about exposure to the Coronavirus. We had already been to a Chinese New Year event, on Tuesday, at UNH. So, this would be our second flirtation with exposure. We thought about it long & hard. It was not something I was going to be cavalier about — especially with my 13-year old daughter. The day before the first case in Massachusetts was reported. Tufts Medical Center, the designated treatment hospital for the virus, is in Chinatown!
But, we live by the belief that life must go on and that you can’t live in a bubble and that you can’t let everything that is happening constrict your life. So we went.
It was noticeably more subdued compared to prior years and we have been going, yearly, for two decades. Definitely not as crowded. In a way that was nice.
I was surprised by the lack of masks. Very few and NONE among the staff at China Pearl. I was happy about that! I had not looked forward to being served by ladies wearing masks.
All in all, it was GOOD. Glad we went THOUGH I will be honest. I will be marking off the next two weeks!