May 22 2022

Learning to Live in a Pandemic

by at 11:41 pm under Uncategorized

I’ve had a long weekend, so this week’s blog will be short. The University celebrated its graduates during commencement week. We are learning to live with COVID. Though its prevalence is increasing pretty much everywhere, immunized people seem to be able to avoid the most serious complications. I played golf on Monday at the Ruesch Center Classic Golf Tournament. I have never played worse, except for the last time I played.

My workweek was otherwise dominated by my pending R01 grant, which is due early next month. After a modest family celebration for my birthday on Friday at our home, Harriet and I decamped for New York City on Saturday to attend the Hackensack Meridian Health Gala.

We did so with some misgivings, given that any large gathering poses COVID risks. So, we drove to New York, got to our hotel in time to change into our formalwear (I do prefer that the Lombardi Gala is less formal now!), and grabbed a taxi to the Glass House, an event venue on 12th Avenue.

The event itself was fabulous. We pretty much kept our masks on for the whole time. There was lots of great food and drink, and the headline entertainer was Jon Batiste (the bandleader on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”). He might be the single coolest, most versatile entertainer on the planet. His 30-minute set was great. The gala celebrated the life of the medical school’s founding dean, the late Dr. Bonita Stanton, who tragically died suddenly about four months ago.

On a happier note, the event also celebrated the remarkable, enormous and new NIH grant to Dr. David Perlin from the Center for Discovery and Innovation to develop new drugs for emerging viral threats. As many of you know, he is also our deputy director for consortium integration. Congratulations, David! The folks at Hackensack know how to throw a great party!

The next morning we had breakfast, hopped into the car, and drove to the beach, where we’ll be staying through Memorial Day. I’ll be working from here, and there will be no shortage of important work to do, though I hope to keep afternoons free for a bit of R&R. With some luck, COVID will wait on us for at least this week. My batteries could use some recharging.

Stay safe and be well.




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