Well, the first two weeks of 2022 certainly have started off with lots of publicity! No matter where you look, there’s something exciting happening. Let’s start with the health of the world. COVID-19 is supposedly the worst of virus bugs. Then, when we thought it was under control, new variants have appeared! What I have heard from friends and family who have suffered from the “bug” it is the worst! My oldest son said the “brain fog” is what got to him the worst. He, being a thinker, found he couldn’t keep focused on too much of anything. My great niece, August, 10 months old, had the most terrible cough. Her Mom thought she wouldn’t be able to stop it. Finally, it did. Other victims have complained that the lethargic feeling that accompanies the “bug” takes quite awhile before it decides to leave the body it has wracked already! To top this off, then we hear of all the people that do want the vaccination, and those that don’t want it, and the medical experts who say we won’t get rid of it if we don’t close businesses and schools. Then the word “economy” enters the scenario, and everybody is unhappy about that! What is the total solution? Will we ever know? I have my doubts.

As if COVID-19 isn’t enough, there’s word going around that there’s now a Hepatitis bug entering the scene. And, of course, there’s a vaccination available for it. Once again, pros and cons have arisen about that! Well, in 1974, my husband came down with this horrendous sickness, and for a few days, not knowing what it was, I thought death was imminent, and so did he. On the 4th day, his eyes looked mustard color. I diagnosed it — Hepatitis, you belong in the hospital. Well, we convinced the doctor he could stay at home if I and the 5 children got the shots. That’s what took place, and seven weeks later he was able to return to work. If you haven’t gotten the shots, Hepatitis and shingles are two shots I highly recommend, and of course, the COVID-19 vaccine.

Speaking of shots, I am totally discouraged with the fact that Australia has changed their mind about allowing Novak Djokovic to stay in their country despite the fact he didn’t get his shots. A couple of years ago, at the beginning of the Pandemic, he held a fundraiser in Serbia and several people fell ill with the virus. He claimed to use poor judgement. The tennis players who obeyed the rules should boycott the tournament. Some people who become the best at something truly believe they should be above the law. That’s what causes problems on this big planet called earth.

Reid Helms, President of the Union County Crime Stoppers Annual BBQ, is preparing for the annual fundraiser, which will be held on Jan. 21 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Union County Agricultural Center (3230-D Presson Road, Monroe). Crime Stoppers is a nonprofit organization of citizens against crime in Union County. This event will honor the memory of Ray Cook. For $10, you can just drive up and get your meal, and proceeds go to a wonderful cause — fighting crime in Union County. Hope to see you there.

The Council on Aging in Union County does a lot to help senior citizens. The Council now has new office hours. Their office will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. They are located at 1301 Skyway Drive, in Monroe. Find them online at www.coaunion.org or call (704) 289-1797.

The Community Shelter of Union County offers a monthly commodity food box to Union County residents 60+, who meet the income guidelines. If you are in need of supplemental food, call 704-292-1797. This organization also offers “Drive-Thru Food Pantry Tuesdays,” which provides a food box to Union County residents twice a month. For dates, times, and other info, call (704) 289-5300.

Another organization that may help you, if needed, is Joseph’s Food Pantry, which provides emergency food boxes and monthly food boxes for the elderly. The boxes can be picked up monthly, and in some cases, delivered for homebound clients. To learn more, call (704) 289-4237.

Common Heart is another organization which helps all in need. They are so wonderful! They help to stabilize families living in poverty, and offer food to ensure that these people in need have what they need. Don’t be shy about inquiring. They’re happy to help. Call Common Heart at (704) 218-9060.

For those who are in need of hearing aids, an audiologist will be available to help you for free on Feb. 1, March 1 and April 5. Call for an appointment at Charlotte Speech & Hearing Center at (704) 523-8027.

To join the Council on Aging in Union County’s mailing list, call them at (704) 292-1797.

Hopefully you have enjoyed a marvelous “Reuben Sandwich” at Provisions on Main Street in Waxhaw. They are great! The proprietors, Lisa Vigil and Ken Posko, have sold the eatery to two of their cooks, Catherine and James. The duo will be serving the same great food that Lisa and Ken introduced during the last five years — very successfully, I might add. Good luck to Lisa and Ken, and Catherine and James. I’ll be in very soon.

I feel compelled to mention the passing of coach John Madden and actor Sidney Poitier, two men who were great at what they did. I remember Madden talking about football with such enthusiasm, you had to listen, and I hope we all heard Sidney say, “I think of myself as a man.” Those were two men who made a difference.

What about the meltdown of Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Brown? I don’t know if he was right or wrong to walk off the football field in the middle of a game like he did, but didn’t you ever get the feeling that “enough is enough?” And then, when you decided to put your foot down, you realized you put your foot down too hard, but by then it’s usually too late to amend. Maybe another team will take him. I learn more every Sunday that football is a strange animal.

North Carolina snowboarder Luke Winklemann, from Blowing Rock, is hoping for an Olympic spot. Let’s hope he gets it, as it would be nice to cheer for a North Carolinian.

Hey, wasn’t that some national championship game between Georgia & Alabama on Monday? Every couple of minutes something else exciting occurred! Georgia won its first national title in 41 years!

April 8 will bring a Bon Jovi concert to Charlotte. Watch for ticket sales to begin.

Have a good week, schedule your medical appointments, take time to smell the roses, but most important, remember how much “fina” it is to wake up in Carolina.

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