By Bette Blum
Covid came to South Florida, and there went my 10 year job.
My career fell apart, and soon my income had been robbed.
Companies shut right down in days, travel advertising put on hold,
Industry will be upside down, for quite a while I am told.
Off to my old laptop, unemployment filing time.
Took minutes, hours and several days. The setup was a crime.
Register and fill in blanks, and wait and wait and wait.
The message says it is “under maintenance”, come back a later date.
Finally applied online and benefits were quite low,
Not like NY or Jersey, where the money seemed to flow.
Toilet paper, sanitizer, gloves-oh, so hard to find.
Clean the surface of the world,-Be courteous, be kind.
Used Instacart for starters, afraid to go outside.
Wipe every bag and item down, until Covid can subside.
Birthday parties in the yard, the chairs were far apart.
Some had parades with sirens-the smiles would surely fill your heart.
Protesters on the streets with masks. Is this justice for one man?
Or like before, is it many more, why don’t you understand?
Sent resumes out often-up and down and left and right.
Not much feedback at this time, but finally got a bite.
Interviewed 3x, and it seemed to go quite well.
Then Covid became stronger and it all got pushed to hell.
I took a course from FAU, on Tourism or Travel.
Got my certificate by April, then all started to unravel.
Netflix totally consumed our lives, Schitt’s Creek, Outter Banks and more,
Hunters, Goliath, Ozark and Fauda -“Ew David – that’s my scarf you wore”
Covid cases increased each day and we were all given a task.
Do your part, six feet apart and cover with a mask.
Fauci or Cuomo or Donald, the news was hard to take.
Masks became political and some reports were fake.
Parents became teachers, and teachers became g-ds,
And medical staff all over the world would help to fight the odds.
At 7 or 8 we would clap and bang pots and pans so loud –
Telling doctors and nurses all over the world, we were thankful, grateful and proud.
Movie theaters shut their doors, symphonies silenced to this date,
Broadway’s dark, hope they open soon-“I just can wait-I just can’t wait”
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom an interview and a cocktail party or two,
Bingo night and Happy Hours, just to name a few.
The Bradley Beach Historical Society had a story hour in May.
I read the ” Virgil’s” story from my book, and Maryann had more to say.
History and Porch stories were also held on Zoom.
And one day in the future, may we all be in one room!
Killer hornets, where’d they go? I haven’t got a clue.
Another plague, we don’t need now, did Covid get them too?
Time flew by and nothing changed as Florida’s numbers grew.
It was late June in Deerfield Beach and I knew what I must do.
Bought a one way ticket to Jersey, my home away from home you see.
Bradley Beach, to be exact, my summer clothes and me.
A free wipe upon United to clean the tray and seat.
A young man was sitting center, WHAT HAPPENED TO 6 FEET?
All in all the flight was fine, masks on all the way.
The passengers were considerate; at least they were that day!
One night in Cranford with my sis, as the virus moved Southeast.
Safer in Jersey, Florida friends did say-when will we fight this beast?
Now down to Bradley, my heaven on earth, my bungalow awaits.
Greeted by Kevin (my nephew) and Sara (my niece) the time we shared was great!
Out to Klein’s and Back in Time, Kevin’s favorite spot,
and Pagano’s Uva, Darcy’s and Vic’s with tents upon their lot.
You know me and pizza, I think Jersey is #1.
Not too bad in Bradley Beach as summer’s just begun.
We all wear masks, ok by me-but so hot in July!
The alternative is worse, you see, unless you want to die.
I’m stylish with my masks, you know, my favorites that I wear,
Are Bradley Beach badges from the past and Vic’s, as locals stare.
Don’t get me wrong, Covid is horrid and took a Bradley friend of mine.
Andrea, may she be in my heart, until the end of time.
Kevin’s brother, Andrew is a teacher throughout the year
And plays guitar and sings in Asbury (by the Casino he appears).
The town said he draws a crowd, which, in fact, is not quite true.
People passing by the boards just hear a tune or two.
Though he had a permit, they made him stop-oh what a unjust bummer.
This crazy Covid virus killed Asbury’s vibe this summer!
The beach badges became a hot commodity, like toilet paper was.
Limited but glad to say I had one for my cuz!
Badges were sometimes sold online but they ran out every day
Beach Police would find those without and make them go away.
Off with my mask as I must partake in a Del Ponte’s bakery delight.
And now I wonder why my pants are getting waaaaaaay too tight!
No fireworks on 4th of July, no parades, no camp, no school.
No graduation or Olympic Games, no local swimming pool.
To the Kastons for dinner quite often, always so gourmet,
Scrumptious fare from around the world, though they’re just 12 blocks away.
To Klein’s again for dinner, always tasty and delish,
Sitting apart, but coming together for every yummy, seafood dish!
Italian specialties made by Chef Sal with the Galassetti “Quaren-Team”
Then watching Hamilton on Disney Plus, yes, theatre is my dream.
Marlins like to party and baseball season is in doubt,
MLB uncertain now, 3 strikes and you’re OUT!
Went to mail a letter, the box was out of sight-
More suspicious every day, something isn’t right!
Kamala and Biden wearing masks, the fight can now begin
Will the virus last into the fall? Depends on who will win.
Mr. “My Pillow” just told the whole world he had a cure.
The scientists say it is poison, so now I’m not quite sure.
My phone is dying, what will I do? My banking is done online.
I’ll soak it in hydroxychloroquine and hope it will be fine!
Back to Florida, looking for a job and making contacts from the past.
One day I’ll land back on my feet, back to work at last!
The battle for president, heating up, as time to vote is near.
Many lost to Covid, less folks alive to vote this year.
But now our hero, Ruth, has died. She certainly answered the call.
Rights granted for many across this land, wishing liberty and justice for all.
Presidential debate-get ready for drama-and now, here it goes,
Who will win this crazy race this year, G-d only knows.
What happened at the Rose Garden, Trump’s now at Walter Reed.
If the election doesn’t go his way will he be able to concede?
Ride around the hospital, are others put at risk?
Wave and look strong and powerful, to you I say, tisk-tisk!
Kamala and Mike will battle for your very precious vote.
Plexiglass much needed now, as there’s no room for a moat.
Black Flies Matter to all since the boring debate last night –
I’m speaking” was the catch phrase – Harris said with all her might.
Governor Whitmer could have been abducted and her office overrun,
So, Gretchen, go where the “proud boys” go and buy yourself a gun!
The Lakers played the final NBA games in a bubble in Orlando, F-L-A
They took the Heat in game 6 fast, as LeBron would have his way.
Q-anon, what the heck is that? Savannah had the facts.
And here we are, between truth believers and Q-anon kind-a quacks!
I voted early in Parkland, Florida today with my Vic’s mask on my face.
It was raining cats and dogs but the line had a quick and steady pace.
The final debate is Thursday, long answers may be muted.
Time should be equal for each candidate. This cannot be disputed.
Still on unemployment, watching CNN…
Red state, blue state, blue state, red state, when will this ever end?
Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed, how super nifty –
Health care, gay and reproduction rights will go back to1950.
So today is Election Day as Covid cases rise.
I’ll be hoping for a peaceful end, so tired of the lies.
Stores across America all boarded up in fear –
Results about the presidency may bring out too many tears.
And now it is Nov. 7th and Wolf came out to say…
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the Electoral College vote today.
Cheers all across America, but still Trump’s base is sad.
It is time to say good-bye and pack, Ivanka told her dad.
Covid cases have been over 120,000 the past few days.
But someone is still on the golf course, instead of parting ways.
When will we ever know who will be the mayor of Bradley Beach?
So now it is Nov 9th and still a winner can’t be reached.
Finally, Larry Fox has won and will be our new Bradley Beach Mayor.
I offer him a Mazel Tov, abundant badges and a prayer!
Cancelled my flight to New Jersey this year for a family Thanksgiving.
Will miss everyone there but, you know, I want to keep on living!
Small business Saturday and I will not be down the shore.
But got gift cards for UVA Paganos, Vic’s Tomato Pies and more.
Hanukkah and Christmas cards, shopping done online –
Next year we all hope to gather when everything will be fine.
The vaccine for Covid-19 was approved in the USA today,
Just in time for Hanukkah, light is finally on the way!
The Electoral College seals Biden’s win on 12/14, again!
The vaccine is now out in the US today, when will this virus end?
Pfizer, Moderna and maybe a shot from our friends at Johnson & Johnson-
But no stimulus bill signed to this date, what is this crazy nonsense?
Now it is finally 2021, be optimistic and please pray,
That life will be better for everyone, in every single way.
Big time election in Georgia, vote your Ossoff for the Reverend and Jon,
The Senate depends on all the votes to disappoint the Don.
Georgia is now Blue, Stacey Abrams led the pack.
But today the Capitol was invaded, our democracy under attack.
Another “Super Spreader” in a dangerous and violent way,
We will never forget 1/6/21, a sad and shocking day!
The majority of votes move to IMPEACH!
What does it say for US, and what does it teach?
Inauguration day, 1-20-21, had dignity, style and grace.
The Biden grandchildren, and Emhoff kids had class, and masks on their face.
How wonderful the day has been, with Garth, Amanda, JLo and Gaga.
Nice there were no red hats there that had the saying “Maga”
And now the White House has a brand new resident.
Joseph R Biden, our 46th President!
But Bernie was cold with his mittens it seems,
Now he’s all over the net in 1,000 memes.
Still no vaccine or job for me this year,
I really need to stay healthy and continue my career.
More applications and resumes sent every day-
After 10 months of looking, is there a better way?
Groundhog Day and a whole lot of snow-
Social distancing is easy as there is nowhere to go!
Raskin shows proof of a planned insurrection.
A time to dig deep and a time for reflection.
Rand Paul on the Senate floor, without any face covering,
Does he think he is smart with Covid still hovering?
Acquitted again, so what else is new?
Some people get away with whatever they do!
Texas is now frozen and the pipes are all broken,
So Ted Cruz goes to Mexico, I wish I was jok’in!
Bradley Beach had a snowstorm with icicles and sleet,
The plow is coming-move your car to the south side of the street!
Americans lie that they’re older and sicker,
Just to get the Covid vaccine a bit quicker!
Got my Pfizer vaccine 3/2 and I’m feeling great,
It went so well, I have a second date!
My 2nd dose at Lockhart Stadium all went pretty well,
But David Beckham wasn’t there, well, with the masks, I couldn’t tell!
Helped friends get appointments and now they are protected
If I run for Governor of Florida, ya think I will be elected?
Passover again? Wow a year has already passed.
This year, “Did you get the vaccine?” is the only question that is asked!
Cicadas invading in a neighborhood near you-
Do will kill them or eat them or put masks on them too?
India explodes with Covid, so sad, I confess,
The Middle East is exploding, always a mess!
And now there’s talk of UFO’s. Are aliens coming for vaccines?
Or is this part of 2020-21’s unrealistic schemes?
Wearing a mask in congress, some say, “NEVER AGAIN” – not me!
Don’t compare masks to the Holocaust; Yellow Stars won’t set you free!
Masks save lives and keep us all well,
Wear “Jude” on stars and die in hell.
A growing experience or truly a sin,
What a long, strange trip this year has been!
Covid life a little better, still no job in reach,
Another year gone, what will I do? Go back to Bradley Beach!
Now life is getting back to normal, during this unimaginable time…
Enough of this Covid Pandemic we suffered, enough of this long damn rhyme!