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By Kristin Kjaero
November 19, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Our family was a “supercluster“ for an earlier airborne disease: tuberculosis. Seven caught it and three died, but that was the least of it.
Mom spent her first eight years in foster care because no one was left to care for her. An uncle survived, but he was hunchbacked and only reached 4’8” and 85 pounds from the lasting health effects. The family was financially ruined because no one could work.
The first photo is one of the few existing of Mom with her father, whom she didn’t get to know, because he died just months before the miracle of penicillin became available. (The second is him in a sanitarium near Altadena in the 1930s.)
So despite pandemic fatigue and a longing for holidays with family, we also get the full potential if we’re unlucky - changing the course of lives and relationships, financial devastation, and we don’t know what the long term health effects will be. In comparison, inconvenience now seems insignificant, especially with vaccinations on the horizon.
There’s a great meme going around that sums it up: “We isolate now so when we gather again, no one is missing.”
Whatever you celebrate, and however you choose to celebrate, we wish you a happy, healthy and meaningful holiday season.
Unsurprisingly, Mom become a nurse (and many healthcare workers have similar stories). We sincerely thank those in healthcare for the risk you and your families take to keep the rest of us safe.
The views in this editorial reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact

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