Bob Buckley for The Examiner: Life in the Pandemic: Adapt, Take Precautions, Keep Moving

November 9, 2021

Bob Buckley, partner at White, Graham, Buckley & Carr, is a regular columnist for The Examiner of East Jackson County. In his latest column, Buckley reflects on how the pandemic has played an ongoing role in the division amongst our country and his personal experiences along the way.

The article, Life in the Pandemic: Adapt, Take Precautions, Keep Moving, was published in the October 30 edition of The Examiner. An excerpt from the article is below.

I have four brothers and three sisters. My dad wanted a big family and my mother obviously consented. I think they had eight, so they had one for each day of the week when they got older. That plan worked well with my mother before her death, as each of us took a turn fixing dinner for her each night of the week. Those dinners were precious times for all of us.

It was important to our parents that we enjoy each other and gather for important occasions. Our parents’ home was a gathering place for birthdays and holidays, and it was large enough to accommodate us and our growing families. My wife and I decided to buy my mother’s house after she died in large part so we could keep the grand old house on Waldo Avenue in the family and continue to have a place to come together as a family.

COVID put the brakes on those celebrations to a large extent. My wife and I sat at the large table in our dining room last Thanksgiving and shared a meal by ourselves. We hope to gather as a family this year. Two Christmases ago we had 45 in our family room, which included nephews and nieces and their children.

We have political diversity in our family. I purposefully try to avoid such discussions as I have found that this only leads to angry exchanges. They are not going to change my mind, and I know I have no chance of changing theirs, so we just agree to disagree.

We also don’t agree on masks and vaccinations. Most of us are vaccinated and wear masks in public places, but a few do not. The positions on masks and vaccinations do not follow political lines either, for which I am grateful.

I just received my third booster shot last Saturday at Hy-Vee without any side effects other than a sore arm. It gives me comfort to know that I am as protected as can be, but I still wear a mask into public places, even in Independence, which has no mask requirement.