From Laura – January/February 2021

For the last few months we at Nola Boomers have been on a hiatus, waiting and watching, like the rest of the world, to see what path COVID-19 would take. In the early days of the pandemic, I thought we would be back to normal – or a new normal – by the end of the summer.  But here we are in the first few months of 2021, back to a modified Level One quarantine, hoping for an end to this worldwide nightmare. 

Philip and I got our first glimmer of hope when we got Dose One of the Pfizer vaccine the first week of January. That we could be part of the early inoculations gave us a feeling of taking control of this deadly virus. Our hope is that soon the vaccine will be available to all, and we can begin our way back to normalcy. 

During this time of quarantine, we have searched for ways to experience the beauty in the world around us. One such way is music. We listen to music every evening, and we have participated in the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s virtual fundraiser. I am especially pleased to welcome Carlos Miguel Prieto to the cover of Boomers. Mr. Prieto is the music director of the LPO, the country’s oldest musician-governed and collaboratively operated symphony, and a treasure in our city. 

One day last fall, Philip and I got antsy and drove to Laurel, Mississippi, a lovely town of 17,000 people, a two-hour drive away from New Orleans. Laurel has received well deserved attention for the beautiful restoration of its downtown and for reviving the old lumber town and its elegant and funky homes. Of course, having HGTV’s hit show “Home Town,” starring Ben and Erin Napier, has added immeasurably to the town’s appeal. 

Even though Mardi Gras is another COVID casualty, some clever New Orleanians are celebrating the season by lavishly decorating porches and stoops in Mardi Gras décor. The Krewe of House Floats has become an industry of its own, and will give New Orleans and visitors a socially distant manner in which to celebrate. Learn how you can be part of this new project in this issue. 

As of this writing in mid-January, there are 4000 COVID deaths each day in the United States. Orleans Parish reports 22,000 cases with 650 deaths. Jefferson Parish reports 33,000 cases with 650 deaths. The virus has hit boomers hard, making our demographic especially vulnerable to the ravages of the virus. 

If we have learned anything these last 11 months, it’s that our family and friends are our most precious gifts, that our spirits are a little bent but not broken, and, in the end, science will conquer this beast. 

So, take a deep breath. Look around and listen to the beauty that surrounds you. Mask up and get vaccinated.  Your life and the lives of those you love depend on all of this. 

Fearlessly yours, 

Laura Claverie 

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