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Month: April 2020

April 2020

Birthday Bygones

I woke up with a jump-start.  I showered, shaved, and slathered on my favorite smelling lotion.  Despite day 41 of sheltering in place, I was determined.  It was my birthday.  I LOVE birthdays!  I was going to make this day feel as pre-pandemic as possible – and the next day.  My newly minted sixteen-year-old and I share back-to-back birthdays. For her milestone day with no driving to be done – I was on a magic making mission. The day started with a sweet delivery from my dear friend – literally a box full of treats from the best bakery in
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No Breaks: Domestic Violence in the Age of Covid-19 Part 1 of a 3-Part Series

“Social Distancing,” “6-feet apart,” “remote learning.” By now, after barely a month since the world we came to know changed, such terms have become so widely used that they need no further explanation. And, in practicing them, we’ve all become a little more familiar with the concept of a “break.” A break for employees having to dress appropriately and go to the office every day. A break for students having to sit through another boring social studies class right after lunch period. A break for all of us having to fight a large crowd just to get into our favorite
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We’re Here

The speed with which it lodged in my throat took me by surprise. What had begun with the sharing of a lighthearted meme ended with me feeling like I might cry over two tiny words from Brian. Brothers can do that to you.  I grew up with five brothers, three older, two younger. I was six years old when my sixth brother, Howard, joined the family, marrying my older sister Diane.  All save one always lived within a half hour drive of me.  I lost my brother Tim at 35 and my brother-in-law Howard after 46 years of marriage to my sis.   When Kevin and I started dating, I
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Finding a Friend in Fauci

Anthony Fauci and I go way back. His name became a household word to me not from his recent appearances as the expert at the daily briefings of the White House Corona Virus. We go back decades.    In the 1980s my brother Tim and his partner John bought a beautiful a two-story Victorian home in Atlanta. Together they ran a small café on Peach Street called Neon Peach. It was the start of the AIDS epidemic, and John was struck with the mysterious virus.  AIDS was a full-blown crisis when the first clinical trials for a vaccine started in 1987 at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland began in 1987.  With no cure available, John agreed to participate. Anthony Fauci, who
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Real, Raw, and Restless

I broke down in front of my girls.  Now it was my turn to cry under the stress of it all.  It was Easter.  No family gathering.  A pre-made rather than homemade meal was planned.  The girls’ Easter baskets were empty for the first time in history because the gift I planned to give was on back-order due to high demand under the pandemic (it wasn’t toilet paper – it was a gaming system). Then my girls were being playful and reciting what Easter would “normally” be like.  Their grandparents and uncle would be over for dinner.  Their aunt and
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CARES Act Stimulus Checks Update: April 14, 2020

Timing of Stimulus Checks The IRS has just announced that a significant disbursement of CARES Act stimulus checks will be paid starting the week of April 12, 2020. This round of payments will include over 80 million Americans, including nearly all 2018 and 2019 tax filers who utilized direct deposit for refunds from the IRS. The online banking software for many financial institutions will reflect pending deposits for these stimulus checks starting a few days before they are deposited. Other individuals entitled to stimulus payments should receive physical checks within the next six to eight weeks. IRS Portal Update The
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It’s Not the Same

“It’s not the same.” The Passover Seder. The Easter egg hunt. The annual spring garden tour. Missing is the uncle sitting beside us at the table, the pairs of little legs racing for the same egg hidden in the dewy grass, sharing the sweet smell of spring’s first hyacinth bloom. Virtual can be beautiful. And it’s not the same. My heart is sore from the small stabs of sorrows from the phrase I utter at every turn.  Meeting with teammates: Not the same. Graduation celebration: Not the same. Fundraisers for my favorite causes: Not the same. Despite gratitude that I
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Divorce and Co-Parenting During COVID-19: Answers to Five Common Questions Concerning Stimulus Checks and the CARES Act.

Co-parenting and divorce are difficult issues for families to navigate, and they haven’t become any easier during the current economic times and COVID-19 pandemic. On March 27th, 2020, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It is an immense law (247 pages in length) that provides financial help for parents and families by authorizing “stimulus” payments from the IRS. For co-parents and divorcing spouses, a number of questions can arise regarding the implementation of stimulus checks. Here are answers to five of those frequently asked questions: Do I qualify for
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April But Not Fooling

It was January 21 when I made my first joke about the Covid-19.  A follower of global news, so I’d heard the news from overseas.  My buddy Tom’s go-to drink is a bottle of Corona with lime. I texted him: Reports of a deadly coronavirus from China. Be careful out there. I ended it with a beer emoji. For years Tom and I shared a friendship with Mary, a friendship with Mary, a tiny woman in her 80s who lived alone.  Tom was her surrogate son of sorts. It was vodka for Mary, cabernet for me, and Corona for Tom
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Seeking Sense Part 3: A COVID-19 Co-Parenting Series

Backpack-bound and smiling, my girls pierced the silent serenity of my car talking over each other and fussing over who would sit shotgun as we pulled away from their dad’s house.  They were instantly chattering about the topic of the day – the topic now of every day – coronavirus.  We hit the highlights:  How was Susan’s son who lives in New York City?  Are grandma and grandpa being safe when they go to the grocery store?  Did I hear the annual Okoboji soccer tournament was canceled and Sophia would miss her last year?  Has Traci (our ER nurse friend
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