By Linda Cicoira
Saying “Happy New Year” is a compassionate way to interact with others during and after the holidays. We tend to pass along these well wishes for several weeks in December and January.
But know this, getting a “bug” will be real in 2024. So, maybe a hug or a handshake with your positive thoughts is still not the way to go.
People on the Eastern Shore of Virginia have been suffering lately from COVID-19, influenza, colds, stomach and intestinal woes, and other contagious icky ailments.
Connie Burford of Chincoteague has a warning. “I was pretty fortunate to have not gotten COVID through the entire pandemic,” she said. “However, this recent adjustment to the (school) attendance policy, which practically forces parents to send their children to school when they’re ill, had my entire household on lockdown/quarantine through the entire holiday season.”
She urges parents “to use their commonsense” when their children are ill. “Be considerate of others” when you decide on whether to send “your children to school when they’ve had a fever, sore throat, (have) thrown up, or had diarrhea, etc.”
“For 2024, I’m looking most forward to the changes to the (Accomack) school board seats,” Burford said. “The whole demeanor in the meetings should be able to change. That change has been long overdue. I’m not planning on making a resolution this year,” she continued. “I’m going in with eyes wide open, the same way as usual, and pray that we all make it to the other side safely.”
Michael Stephano, of Cashville, said he has taken all the vaccines and has limited public contact to stay healthy. But he got sick anyway. “I did get some sort of nasty bug,” he said. “After two and a half weeks, I’m feeling okay again. My New Year’s resolution is to last another year.” The year “2023 has been odd in so many ways. Hopefully, 2024 will begin to normalize.”
Angie Huether Crutchley, of Exmore, said: “I try to keep up with my boosters. However, I am a big hugger, so I know I take a chance” of catching something. “For the first time in about 17 years, I lost a little weight this year. So, I’m just going to amp that up a little bit and move a little more and eat a little less sugar. That’s my resolution.” As for 2024, “A fresh start is always a beautiful concept. Whether realistic or not, I hope for the best.”
Candee Justis-Reid, of Onancock, said her routine for good health is to “stay home as much as possible, use garlic on all my food, and make sure I take Vitamin C two times a day … I am looking forward to my sweet little grandson making his entrance into this world,” in 2024.
Kelly Hill Bulin, of Onancock, said she protects herself from illness with “hand sanitizer, handwashing, social distancing, and keeping current with available vaccinations.” She resolves to “keep it simple and practical with an eye toward improved well-being and life satisfaction.” She’s looking forward to “more quality time with loved ones and new adventures ranging from expanding my garden and reading list, and travel,” Bulin said.
Elizabeth Taylor, of Assawoman, said she stays home if she feels unwell, takes vitamins to boost her immune system, and rests when she is overly tired. “I resolve to try to be happy and find joy this coming year” and to have new experiences and adventures.
Denise Bowden, of Chincoteague, said: “I wore a mask when I was flying and during the holiday season, I tried to avoid large gatherings.” That was hard “because I love being with people.” Bowden makes the same resolution every year. “I will continue to put time and energy into people who put time and energy into me.” She is looking forward, in 2024, to “unleashing some creative juices and taking more time for myself on my boat.”
Tana Allen, of Accomac, practices “handwashing” and more “handwashing.” She resolved to take more time for herself and spend more quality time with her family and grandkids. In 2024, Allen is looking forward to working on the house that she and her husband recently bought.
Diana Davis, of Concord Wharf, “wears a mask when I feel it is necessary, takes Vitamin C and D, and drinks extra water.” She said resolutions don’t work for her. She’s looking forward to seeing flowers blooming in her yard in 2024.
Anthony Lofaso, of Onancock, said: “I am doing nothing to protect from COVID. I also will no longer get a shot for any new strain that comes around. I will take Ivermectin if I do catch it.”
The Food & Drug Administration has a warning about that drug. “There seems to be a growing interest in a drug called Ivermectin for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in humans,” the agency wrote. “Certain animal formulations of Ivermectin such as pour-on, injectable, paste, and drench, are approved in the U.S. to treat or prevent parasites in animals. For humans, Ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses to treat some parasitic worms, and there are topical formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea. The FDA has received multiple reports of patients who have required medical attention, including hospitalization, after self-medicating with Ivermectin intended for livestock.”
Wikipedia describes Ivermectin as an “antiparasitic. After its discovery in 1975, its first uses were in veterinary medicine to prevent and treat heartworm and acariasis. Approved for human use in 1987, it is used to treat infestations including head lice, scabies, river blindness,” and other parasitic disorders.
Lofaso said he would make resolutions. “My goal is to finally get serious about losing weight and exercising. I’m tired of being tired.”
Will Forte, of Exmore, said “Being aware, taking safety precautions, and ensuring that you and the ones around you are practicing cleanliness,” is a way to avoid contracting viruses. He plans on being more relaxed and having more fun in 2024 and says he will grow and continue to work hard for success.
Andrea Giddens-Bolden, of Chesapeake, is from Painter. She said she wears “a mask 90% of the time.” About three days after being in a gathering with strangers, Giddens-Bolden always takes an at-home COVID test. She doesn’t make resolutions and looks forward to health, peace, wealth, and wisdom in 2024.
Bobby Doughty, of Chesconessex, said: “I practice good hygiene at all times. He regularly washes his hands and refrains “from being in crowded places if at all possible. In my opinion, New Year’s resolutions are for the weak. I practice my resolutions on a daily basis. At my ripe old age of 75 years, I hope to maintain my good health and posture for the coming calendar year 2024.”