January 20, 2021
In this Issue
  • Commentary: An Inauguration to Remember
  • Latest Updates on COVID-19
  • Bulletin Board
  • What Can I Do?
  • Check your Calendar
Commentary

An Inauguration to Remember
Like most people, I will not be attending any inaugural events this year because of the pandemic restrictions and threats of civil disturbances. The event today does bring back wonderful memories of the first and only inauguration I ever attended. It was on January 20, 1961. In 1960 I had graduated from high school and had not gone to college because of doubts as to whether I could be successful. Instead, I was attending a short-term vocational program in Washington, DC and living in a single room in a boarding house just a half dozen blocks from the White House. Even then I had an intense interest in politics and followed the Kennedy-Nixon campaigns and debates intensely. I loved candidate and then President-elect John F. Kennedy as did millions of others. I was not about to miss the opportunity to go to his inauguration when I was living so close by.

On the day before the inauguration, temperatures dropped to 20 degrees and eight inches of snow fell. I got up early Inauguration Day and literally put on all the clothing I owned and started a trek to the US Capitol on foot. Workers directed by the Army Corp of Engineers had been working throughout the night to haul away as much of the snow as possible from Capitol grounds and Pennsylvania Avenue. The military had brought in flame throwers to melt some of the snow and ice. More than a thousand cars that had been stranded in the area had to be removed.

At the Capitol I was able to position myself on the edge of a wall that allowed me to see the inauguration over those who had tickets and were seated at the Capitol. My plan to film the event with my brother’s 8 mm camera did not happen because the cold kept the camera from running a few minutes after I brought it out from under my coat. Certainly there was security, but nothing like we are seeing leading up to this inauguration. I felt free to move about except for the area that had been blocked off for special invited guests.

The speech given by our new president still brings tears to my eyes. His words, “ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country,” inspired me to public service.

We have been through four years that have been tragic for our democracy. I believe we are all better informed about threats to our system of government. The Biden-Harris team is well suited to restore hope and confidence in our government. Honesty and decency will become a new norm for the executive branch. Attention to the COVID-19 crisis will be focused, coordinated and intense. Respect for others will dominate our society except for a small minority that will slink away into the background. Equity will be the new standard by which we measure our economy. All this can happen if we truly believe it and dedicate ourselves to making it happen. We can have another inauguration to remember! 
Delegate Plum Seeks Your Input into Priorities for the
2021 General Assembly Session
Latest Updates on COVID-19

Fairfax County

1/19/2021 — Fairfax County Outlines Vaccine and Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions, Part 1. Read the release.

1/19/2021 — First FCPS employees eligible to receive vaccinations against COVID-19 were inoculated at the Inova Center for Personalized Medicine. Watch the video.


Virginia

1/19/2021 — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has launched a COVID-19 Outbreaks in Virginia Higher Education dashboard. Read the announcement.

1/19/2021 — VDH Expands Partnership with Walgreens To Offer Antigen Testing at No Cost. Read the release.


Nationwide

1/19/2021 — CDC Offers Guidance on Making Decisions about Children Attending In-person School During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Information for Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers.  Read the information.

1/19/2021 — CDC Talks COVID-19 and Animals. Read the findings.

Bulletin Board
Vaccination Expands to Those 65+ and Others with Serious Medical Conditions
Visit the registration page and read the announcement.
Staying Safe from Scams
The most discussed new scams are the ones related to the upcoming COVID-19 vaccines. According to businesswire.com, the top predicted scams for 2021 include fake contract tracing apps, fraudulent phone calls, phishing attempts and ransomware attacks. Read more.
Get creative with the Virginia Lottery's annual
Thank a Teacher Art Contest!
Encourage your child to share their art skills with all of Virginia! Submissions are now open for the 2021 Thank a Teacher Art Contest! Learn more at thankateacherva.com.
What can I do? Civic Involvement
Give Input to the 2021 General Assembly Session
Now Underway
There are several ways you can be involved:
Calendar of Events
Sunday, January 24, 3:00 p.m., Anna Deavere Smith Notes From the Field screening and Q&A, at The CenterStage at Reston Community Center. Playwright, actor and educator Anna Deavere Smith uses her singular brand of theatre to explore issues of community, character, and diversity in America. Learn more and purchase tickets at Notes From the Field.

Tuesday, January 26, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Foster Care and Adoption Virtual Event, with Dr. Patricia Aviles-Cubillos. Learn about how you can make a difference and help the most vulnerable children in our community by becoming a certified foster parent in Fairfax County. An invitation to join this online event will be sent to participants one day before the event. Adults. For more information, contact Dr. Cubillos at 703-324-7919. Call: 703-324-7919 or check out the county’s webpage. Register here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., George Mason Current Issues Discussion Group (Virtual). Discuss today's issues in a safe, moderated environment via Zoom. A short background article will be emailed to participants after registration; registration is open through 1/26/2021. This month discuss Domestic Terrorism, the Rule of Law, and the Future of Democracy. A Zoom invitation will be emailed to registrants one day before the program. Adults.

Thursday, January 28, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., Alexandria and the American Revolution. Historian Patrick O’Neill will discuss little-known local events in the War of Independence: a smallpox inoculation campaign at Jones Point, then a foray by British warships targeting Alexandria and Mount Vernon. Register here. This program is appropriate for ages 13 and older. An invitation to join this online event will be sent to participants after they register.

Sunday, January 31, 1:30 p.m., 8 Essential Tips for a Deer-Resistant Garden. Deer can turn a vibrant garden into a sea of chomped stems and damaged trees. Designer Karen Chapman offers 8 key solutions that go beyond pungent chemicals and unattractive fencing. This program will be offered virtually with an emailed link. Cost: $10.00. Registration: Register Online.