Bangor Library is looking for stories about the pandemic.  They can be a written story, a photo, artwork, and the collection will be viewed on line. Here’s the link with the info.

There are a lot of stories in the past year.

We all have endured a lot.  The constant masks.  The social distancing.  The hopefully temporary closings of restaurants. The number of workplaces that still aren’t normal. In case you haven’t seen a book that is proudly displayed on my coffee table at home, check out ‘Pandemic Strolls Bangor’ the photo book by Sean Faircloth.

We all miss the simple things.  Just the interaction with people. Restaurants and the social aspect of sharing a meal and stories.  Many stories.

But as of today, if I only told one pandemic story it would be that my father passed away in October. He lived in Canada. Due to Covid 19 the border is basically closed to travel. My youngest brother in Connecticut inquired with the Government of Canada and it was a very complicated process to get permission to travel, even for a funeral.  We had to get the death certificate and get it to the government for approval to travel.  They had a bunch of business days to approve or deny the waiver to travel.  Then when entering Canada there would have been a 14 day quarantine.  Same when returning to the U.S. Needless to say the funeral wasn’t going to wait, nor were either of us going to proceed with the red tape.

So my story is I have now participated in a Zoom meeting funeral. It was nice to hear the service, especially the beautiful words both of my sisters shared at the funeral.  It was hard to see a limited number of people allowed in the chapel.  And the few permitted to attend, socially distanced. One family per row. An empty row between occupied rows.  But it is a different time, and at least I got to ‘attend’.

My father is smiling knowing all of us at least got to pay our respects, in person or via Zoom.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.