RAMONA ON CORONA and…A Farewell to Vaccinated Arms

A humor series on navigating this difficult time

I’m sharing another installment of a humor series from my friend Pam Goldman, centering on a woman named Ramona, who tries to help… in her own way. If you’re new to this series: Here’s the previous installment.

The time has come dear followers of RAMONA, to take a pause from this series of essays that began when the words coronavirus, Covid-19 and pandemic became new, unwelcome inductees to the vernacular. Before the past horrific year, who ever thought about quarantines, sheltering at home, N95 masks, ventilators, Purell shortages and most importantly, not being able to hug your kids and grandkids? I certainly did not. And who knew Dr. Fauci would become our best friend?

Did I think that after spending over a year with K., stranded on what seemed like a desert island in our house, we would still remain married?!  I am pleased to announce we will celebrate our 30th anniversary this Fall unless one of us messes up before then. 

K. is truly my best friend, for better or worse, and I’m proud we made it through the worst year of our lives, intact. If, at times I seemed ungrateful for K.’s attempts to assist me with the plumbing, cooking, changing of lightbulbs, etc. it’s because I was ungrateful, at least at the time. It was difficult for many of us who were short on patience and gratitude during the daunting challenges of 2020 when much of life simply sucked.

Early talk of “flattening the curve” sounded like a cruel joke as we saw the numbers of infections, hospitalizations and deaths skyrocket with each passing month. Those of us who escaped becoming part of those dire statistics can only imagine the endless grief of families who lost loved ones to Covid.

We were in a dark tunnel for most of the year but light became visible once the miraculous vaccine made its way into our arms. Today, hope is on the rise, even as we face unknowns around errant variants and the efficacy of future booster shots. But we’ve come a long way from panic shopping for disinfectant, hoarding toilet paper and figuring out how Zoom works so we could see our grandchildren, albeit in one dimension. 

K. and I went to Manhattan last Saturday and met our dear FVFs (fully vaccinated friends), Judy and Steve, for lunch at an actual restaurant, outside, unmasked! We visited our friend Maggie inside her apartment, masked still, but a step toward normalcy. We took our daughter shopping inside a store, then outdoors for dinner in a makeshift space with heat lamps in front of our favorite Italian restaurant. It was a real and extraordinary day, walking 15,000 steps in this real and extraordinary world.

Oh! I almost forgot! We got the proofs back from the photographer of the family photos she took on my birthday and they are amazing! If K. gave me a zillion carat diamond ring from Tiffany and a zillion quarts of Coffee Haagen Dazs it would not come close to making me as happy as these pictures make me. 

I loved the young female photographer K. chose, not just because she said “Gaga, you’re granddaughters are exceptional” but because she had me backlit, always best for a WOACA (woman of a certain age). Before this column ends I just have to tell you I agree with the photographer and I say this objectively…my granddaughters are the most charming, smartest, funniest, most interesting, loving little people I’ve ever known. Period. Full stop. They are the priceless gems that make my heart full to bursting.

I am one lucky wife, mother, and Gaga. I thought for much of my life that I needed to accomplish something on my own, in addition to having a family, in order to be fully actualized,  to earn my place on the planet. Of course it took me far too long to realize I had already given myself exactly what I needed for a rich life…my own family.  

And now, I have added a new member to the family, RAMONA. And she brought all of you into my life. What a gift! Thank you, Ramona.

I am delighted to let you know the RAMONA essays will soon be compiled in a book titled “RAMONA ON CORONA and……”   Katie Couric has generously written the Foreword and the book will be available on her website with all proceeds going to Moms Demand Action to help support their tireless efforts for gun safety reform. 

A big thank you to my editors and to Katie for this unique opportunity. There are no words to adequately express my gratitude.  

It’s been my great pleasure to share my musings, advice, feelings, recipes, insights, complaints, funny bone and last but not least, my husband K. with you during the last unforgettable year.  Thank you for the many kind, encouraging words sent by email and text. 

I’ll keep you posted on where and when RAMONA will turn up next.

Until we meet again.

With love and gratitude,

Pam Goldman