Like nearly every modern family, mine has spread out over several states. I guess I’m fortunate that most of them are still east of the Mississippi. The only exception is a granddaughter who took a job in California last year. However, my son, Alan, and our daughter-in-law, MaryAnn, live only about a hundred yards away, so we see them frequently.

Last weekend, several relatives gathered at Alan’s place. Not long ago, this would have not been worth mentioning, but since the pandemic virus, such gatherings have become rare, and, because of it, we did not greet one another with the usual handshakes, hugs and kisses. My daughter and family from the Louisville area were there, along with a granddaughter from Florida. Another granddaughter and her family had driven up from western Kentucky. Her husband, a professor of microbiology, insisted that everyone maintain social distance and was especially protective of their two pre-school children. He was also adamant that everyone wear masks when we were indoors – which was seldom. You can’t argue about virus precaution with a microbiologist.