It’s another Covid Christmas!

23 Dezember 2021

We have been back in the US now for about 5 days. We left our house at 7:00 AM on the 18th. By the clock we finally got to Indianapolis at about 10:00PM that same day. By the time we got to the hotel and checked in it was 12:30 on the 19th. So by the clock it was a long day, but if we had no time zones to worry about we would have spent 23 1/2 hours traveling. The extra long day did help with the jet lag, though. We both slept for about 8 hours, and really have not had any problems with jet lag this trip.

Julie and I intentionally stayed in Indianapolis the first night instead of driving another 75 miles to my parent’s house. We were able to spend a couple of hours doing some shopping for things we have hard time finding back home. I love going back home to Mitchell, but when down there your choice is Walmart and JcPenney; so staying in Indianapolis meant I did not have to drive back another time! EDIT: Well my mother informed me that JcPenney is closed; so your choices are Walmart and Lowes. 🙂

One of the most frustrating things, to me, about living during this pandemic, is how fast things change. Back home, in Switzerland, we really were not hearing much about the virus for a few weeks, and then WHAM! We get hit with the news the hospitals are full and the government is looking at implementing new Covid restrictions. As time is passing, the government seems more and more reluctant to put any strict mitigation efforts in place. We were prepared for restaurants to close, and quarantines be imposed for arriving travelers, which meant we would have to drastically change our plans for after Christmas. The restaurants are remaining open ( so far) as long as you are vaccinated, and they actually loosened the entry requirements; so as of now our kids will be returning with us. To enter Switzerland now you do have to be vaccinated; that has been the rule for a few months now. Where it became loosened is that instead of requiring a PCR test you can now come in with one of the rapid tests. I guess why I am saying that is loosening up is that the rapid tests are not as reliable, but they are a lot less expensive. Which kind of makes me happy as we have to pay for 5 people heading back after Christmas. We also have to take an additional test 4 days after returning.

Back in Indiana, we were getting ready to see everyone for the first time in two years, and then my youngest sister called, and she and her family are in quarantine at home, because her son’s best friend caught Covid, and due to contact rules her son has to quarantine for a few days. So it looks like we will not be seeing them this visit. I feel even worse for them, because most of Weston’s gifts are already here in Indiana, and very quickly after Christmas they were also supposed to attend a wedding.

There will be about 25 us still getting together, but we are trying to be safe. We have all been trying to limit our exposure the last two weeks, and another of my sisters has been scouring southern Indiana for at home covid tests; so we will all test ourselves before the big party.

Even though I was just back in the US a few weeks ago, I still am shocked by the almost universal lack of mitigation being enforced. Almost every store has signs up regarding wearing a mask, but maybe 1 out of 10 people is actually wearing a mask, and out of the people wearing masks maybe 50% are actually wearing a mask. My wife’s parents are staying at a hotel that claims they are mitigating for the virus. The website says that only registered guests are allowed in the hotel, it says they are checking for vaccination status, and enforcing mask wearing for anyone not vaccinated. Well, her parents arrived yesterday, so we went down to see them. It turned out that none of the rules the hotel has published are actually being enforced. We parked the car (after passing multiple signs stating that only registered guests are allowed in the hotel), walked right by the guard that was supposed to be checking for hotel guests, and met her father who had been given 5 of the “guest only passes” by someone at the checkin desk. No one ever asked about vaccination status, and no one ever checked the passes. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me that they are not doing the covid mitigation. What does make me angry is that they CLAIM they are doing covid mitigation.

cheese curds

When I was in the US a few weeks ago, I went out of my way to have some cheese curds. Those golden nuggets of goodness were one of the things I have really missed. We went to a restaurant in Bedford, Indiana, that claimed to have “Wisconsin Cheese Curds”; so we just had to try them. It turned out their idea of a cheese curd was to bring out a plate of mozzarella sticks. Needless to say we were sorely disappointed. I tell you this because last night we went to a restaurant in French Lick, Indiana that also claimed to have “Wisconsin Cheese Curds.” The family started chuckling and my son and I were debating if they would also be mozzarella sticks; so experimented and ordered the cheese curds AND the mozzarella sticks. We were pleasantly surprised to learn the Ohana Bar and Grill really did know the difference between the two. If you ever find your self in French Lick, Indiana give the restaurant a try. Great atmosphere combined with cheap prices and good food make a fun meal.

Not much else to report. I will try and write once more before we head back to Switzerland.

I hope you have a great Christmas!

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