What if

By Kim Lowman

Wellness Program Manager

On Monday, February 1, we were expecting a big Nor’easter with snow and winds and possible power outages. Monday morning, I put a snow shovel in my car, expecting I would need to shovel myself out later that afternoon to get back home. Schools and businesses were closed. Sunday January 31, I went to the grocery store with all the other storm procrastinators to buy food that I may or may not be able to cook, depending on power outages. Knowing that same food could also go to waste if we lost power, I shopped very carefully—I bought mostly chips. I also filled up my gas tank. Saturday, I did all my laundry and house chores. I had my phone charged with a back-up portable charger ready; flashlights with batteries at the ready, and wood for the fireplace. I made all the preparations for the big unknown… a storm in New England. And. It. Rained. That was it for me. No snow. Not windy. Power stayed on. I am not complaining… it was a nice surprise!

I grew up in a town that is often featured on the news during any storm predicted. The reporters go to the windiest part of town, which is a peninsula, so they can be blown around a bit while on camera. I was there in the Blizzard of ’78 and I walked along the seawalls, looking into the houses along the shore whose backs had been ripped off and left like big, huge dollhouses. I remember what a big storm looks, feels, and smells like, so I am not a fan of the pre-storm drama on the news; or on Facebook with all the “gloom and doomers.” I usually just roll my eyes when all the big meteorological words come out like bombogenesis which, by the way, is not yet in the dictionary. I scoff at the reporters standing in water up to their ankles as they talk about the storm surge, knowing that it floods there daily and has nothing to do with an incoming storm. I talk back to the meteorologists when they yell the weather at me, as if the louder they say it, the worse the storm will be. I am not a fan of the hype.

But “what if”? What if it had been a bad storm Monday and I was not prepared? If 2020 taught me nothing else, it taught me to be prepared for the “storm,” while being hopeful it would pass on by. Don’t listen to the hyped-up info, follow the facts. Have a plan. As we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel from the year 2020 and all its “storms,” I will continue to prepare. I will continue to wear my mask and wash my hands. I will not listen to the loud talkers who are yelling to scare me. I will not fall for the hype that is not backed up by facts. I will distance myself and follow guidance. And to avoid the big “what if,” I will get vaccinated. I will always remember February 6, 1978 as the day of the Blizzard of ’78, but this year I will also remember February 7, as the day I got my second Covid vaccination. Covid-19 is like a storm, it may or may not hit. It may or may not cause damage. But why take the risk of the “what if?” What if it is a Blizzard of ’78? For me, the vaccination is the shovel, the flashlight, the wood, the clean laundry, the full tank, the charged phone, the stocked kitchen and most importantly … the chips! I am very grateful! Just my opinion….