IT IS OKAY: A poem of validation for the year 2020

The year 2020 not easy. A difficult time.

Cleo Wade is a poet, best selling author, and artist.

She asked herself, “How do we reflect on a year like 2020? How do we even begin to wrap our heads around what we have lived through during this year that has not been like any other?”

Cleo’s response to her question: A long poem that in simple practical terms said it’s okay if your not okay.

The poem impressed me. No question, a reflection of 2020. I would like to share the entire poem with you. However, it is too long for that purpose. So I shall share a few sentences to provide a taste of her writing.

The entire poem was published in Vanity Fair 12/21/20.

Title: It Is Okay (a poem of validation for 2020).

“It is okay to leave this year behind / It is okay if you haven’t found a silver lining since February….. / It is okay if you didn’t become an expert chef and your banana bread never came out quite right / It is okay if you gained the weight you promised yourself you’d lose….. / It is okay to stop everything for five minutes, put on your favorite song, and dance with your family or by your damn self…..It is okay to rest / And it is okay if you are not okay at all / and what you really need to hear is….. / It will be okay / somehow, somehow, someday / It will be okay.”

My nurse friend Barbara in Oswego, N.Y. telephoned me today to say she was receiving her COVID-19 vaccine shot this morning. Moderna. She would be one of the first. An emergency room nurse. She also told me she had already been given her appointment for the second shot. January 19 at 11:30.

Such is organization.

Oswego has a population of 18,000. Key West 28,000. A small hospital in each community. Oswego’s coronavirus cases like Key West’s. Six or seven generally. The more serious cases shipped by Oswego to Syracuse. Key West’s to Miami.

Barbara deals with the virus patients on a daily basis. The vaccine became available yesterday.

Oswego is rural. Farm country. Fifty years behind the times. Its population steady. Does not have events as Key West does that can bring 50,000 in for a weekend or a season.

I share Barbara and Oswego with you for a particular reason.

In one of my doctor visits last week, I asked when the virus would be available in Key West. He said perhaps February or March. He further explained Key West was a small community and therein lie the reason.

Hell, Key West is a third bigger than Oswego. Why does Key West have to wait?

An interesting side story to Oswego.

Oswego sits on Lake Ontario. A 45 minute drive from Utica. Winter driving longer. The storms off the Lake make winter driving difficult.

It was in the early to mid 1980’s. I had not had much work in Oswego till then. I was much impressed with the office buildings and courtrooms. The outside of the buildings were Civil War era. Antiquated big time. Once inside, a different world. Everything modern and up to date. Even the bathrooms were magnificent!

There problem was a small case as environmental cases went those days. Don’t laugh. A mere $33 million. The EPA was chasing the County to pay for a landfill that had been misrepaired 30 years earlier and was know emitting all kinds of hazard substances into the water table, etc.

It was necessary to discuss money. The County Executive was called in. I told them the case would take 5 years to resolve and I thought I could get them out for 50 cents on the dollar. Like $15 million. Other responsible parties that I would sue would be made to pay the difference.

My fee next on the agenda. $5 million paid out over the 5 year period.

No one blinked an eye. I asked the County how it was going to pay the $15 million as well as my fee.

Recall, I earlier had mentioned how impressed I was with the  interior of the public buildings.

When I asked from whence the monies would come, the County Attorney walked me to a set of windows in his office which faced Lake Ontario. He said, “That’s how.”

The Lake 1/2 to 1 mile from the building I was in. On the lake shore stood 3 nuclear reactors. The County Attorney advised they paid for everything. The massive remodeling to the buildings, etc. Also, the rent cash flow from the reactors was so plentiful that no one paid real estate taxes.


The case resolved itself faster than anticipated. The County paid only $1.4 million. The companies I sued the rest. The case was over in 1.5 years because of the settlement. Rather than $5 million, my fee was $1.5 million.

Everyone was happy, except for the companies that had to pay the other $32 million.

Hopefully, the vaccine will be a world saving one.

We forget after a few years how many other vaccines have eliminated or cut back diseases dramatically. Smallpox, rabies, polio, and the flu.

Smallpox was a big time killer in Key West in much earlier days. Now eradicated throughout the world.

The flu still a problem. However, the number of cases dramatically reduced because of the flu vaccine.

The bully continues to screw around with government agencies. He has slowed the transition down dramatically. He threatens a 30 day reign of destruction. He is President till January 20 and will continue to have all the powers of a President.

CNN in a news report this morning described Trump as “vengeful, delusional.” CNN went on to add that Trump’s “wild anti-domestic instincts are being encouraged by fringe political opportunists.”

Woke in the middle of the night. Cold! Temperature had dropped to 64. The high today 73.

Th heat went on.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. Join me if you can. I rant and rave for a half our.

Enjoy your day!


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