ELDER MUSIC: Playing For Change
A TGB READER STORY: A Pandemic in the Time of Pay Phones

ON MY MIND: An Anniversary and the Virus

The anniversary in the headline is that of this blog. It was born on this date 16 years ago. In that first post, I answered a reader's question about the difference between being 40 and 62.

If you check it out, fotolog mentioned in the story was an early social media website although I don't think the phrase, “social media” had yet been coined. Way back when, I posted photographs there. As the captions got longer and I had read about a then-new platform called a weblog, I started Time Goes By.

If anyone had asked back then, I would never have believed it would still be going 16 years later.

It was Friday morning last week that the full impact of the Corona virus finally hit me. Before then, I thought I could wash my hands a lot, leave home as infrequently as possible and when I must go out, wear nitrile gloves while keeping a distance from others. Inconvenient, but not difficult.

Then an email arrived suspending my twice-monthly current affairs discussion group until further notice. Shortly after that, a friend canceled our upcoming lunch date and I read a news story online that grocery shelves are being emptied and not always restocked.

My freezer suddenly looked chillingly empty.

So I got serious about thinking through how the virus will affect me and by extension, those I come into contact with.

Here is an additional measure I have added to the list in Friday's post to help me try to avoid becoming infected.

On Saturday, I ordered a supply of four prescription drugs that are essential to my well-being. An unknown percentage of U.S. drugs and/or their ingredients are manufactured in China (and some other countries), much of which has been shut down for many weeks so I am concerned about a shortage.

Vox reported a week ago that due to the spread of the virus, manufacturing in China has been disrupted,

”...taking factories offline that are only now slowly ramping back up. That’s all increased fears of potential drug shortages in the United States.

“But how worried should we be? Experts say the answer largely depends on how long these disruptions continue in China and whether the outbreak becomes widespread in other countries critical to the drug supply chain, including India.

On the other hand, reports Vox, many drug companies have backups in place and the U.S. keeps a Strategic National Stockpile of some critical drugs and medical supplies.

I am not deeply worried (yet) but have ordered my drugs in an abundance of caution. Read the Vox story, which is excellently reported, to see what you think.

I made Saturday grocery day and, suited up in my nitrile gloves, went early hoping to avoid crowds. The first issue was missing carts – none in the usual storage area so I tracked down one in the parking lot. What was that about? Did someone tweet that the carts cure the virus?

Traffic inside the store was light. Still, it was hard to keep six feet of distance between me and other people. Repeatedly, other shoppers sidled up near me – within a foot or two – perusing the shelves. I moved on and if the item was important to me, I checked back when the aisle was empty.

Frozen vegetables were entirely sold out, freezer cases empty except for the veggies everybody hates like lima beans. I grabbed the last bag of broccoli and cauliflower and another of green beans.

The meat counter was empty. Nothing. There were no cooked chickens either. Fresh produce was hit and miss. Three cucumbers remained on the shelf but no blackberries and only four containers of raspberries. I checked four cartons of eggs before I found one without broken eggs.

Checking out, I used my new rule for payment: credit card only. I like to pay cash for most daily purchases because a quick glance at my wallet lets me know whether I'm on budget for the week. But now it's a card so I don't need to touch money which, even without a virus floating free, is one of the dirtiest things we handle.

There has been a lot of confusion about whether hand sanitizer is helpful against the virus with many false claims that it is not. The Centers for Disease Control says that if the sanitizer is at least 60 percent alcohol, it can be useful against contracting or spreading the virus.

You can read more about hand sanitizers at FactCheck.org.


Few of us have any experience at this and in the U.S., confusion and negligence within the federal government make it clear that we do not have a trustworthy leader.

The governors of individual states and mayors of cities seem to be stepping up well, however. Even so, to a large degree we are each on our own.

Oddly, at a time when we must separate ourselves from one another to help ensure the health of everyone as much as possible, we need one another more than ever. To protect ourselves is to help protect everyone and for the foreseeable future, we each have a moral duty to live by the recommended precautions while holding one another in our hearts.

Let us know in the comments how your community is coping and what you are thinking about this unnerving cataclysm.


Yesterday I went to the grocery right after it opened. It almost deserted except for some stockers. I forgot my list but managed to get most of what I wanted. We are a rural town and while we experienced an initial run on goods things are better now except for hand sanitizer of course. My family is well. I reordered all my RX also.

It's pretty much a ghost town here now. I'm not sleeping well and keep having dreams about living in a house that is sliding down a cliff. I've been inside to long so I gassed up the car and drove around for awhile just outside of town where I can see the foothills covered in the recent snow, they were beautiful. If you can drive I highly recommend a little scenic tour relief if possible.

Our church is now broadcasting services on f-book along with most others here right now as they are mostly all closed now. When I got up this morning there was a happy birthday note from church. I turn 78 this week. That was a pleasant surprise. My friends and I are calling each other. . Hope you stay well too Ronni.

As of Friday, here at the A.L.F. , we are in "lockdown" mode. No visitors, no outside trips, no gatherings within the facility which means we are taking meals in our rooms. So far we are all okay. But I know it's just a matter of time before cabin fever sets in.

Praying for all of us.

This emergency is very much an aging experience for me. Last night Gov. Gavin Newsom issued some kind of advisory that people over 65 should stay hunkered down. Not that there is any enforcement, but it feels novel to be included in a protected class. I'm 72. Just last week I was driving my elder friends (91 and an old 79ish) around Sacramento so they could visit each other -- no more of that for awhile.

Have been doing meetings and church by zoom for awhile and hate it. My Erudite Partner (also in the restricted age group) has to teach college students over zoom and anticipates that the students (!) will have all the usual technical troubles. Just because they are "digital natives" doesn't mean they are agile in unfamiliar circumstances.

People here in San Francisco are organizing in all sorts of ways to take care of each other. Many meetings, but also setting up phone trees, ensuring kids get meals they would be missing from closed schools, housing some of the many homeless in rented RVs, raising money to help undocumented families whose breadwinners are laid off from their restaurant jobs, etc. We're even pressing the cities and counties for a moratorium on evictions -- so many of our low wage workers could be forced out with just a small disruption of our economic life.

Sigh. We get by as a community even as we are forced to live physically separately.

I thought everything was supposed to be closed here in eastern Pennsylvania. The movie theaters are closed, the university is closed, all group activities are shut down, and stores and restaurants are supposed to be closed. But I walked into town yesterday and saw only two or three closed signs. Starbucks was open and people were milling around. The ice cream shop was open, with customers sitting at tables. Most of the restaurants were open, and a lot of the stores too. Complacency?

Saturday Torah Study class was held on a dial-in Zoom platform, a little weird but very satisfying to be with a dozen of my usual mates. Followed by participating in the morning Shabbat service via live streaming. I've been banned from working outdoors in Central Park, not close to others, not sure why. My furniture & floors sparkle and I'm finally shredding ancient papers no longer needed. Can't find much of anything I need in stores. Nothing like this has happened before but, oddly, other moments in my life have felt much worse than all this. Good luck to Ronni and her Readers!

I live in southwestern Pa, a small community 10 minutes north of downtown Pittsburgh—and like Tom from Sightings, I’ve seen no real change. I walked to the pharmacy yesterday around 1pm to pick up my prescriptions, it was cold but sunny and our Main Street was bustling with its usual Sunday people. A small restaurant across from my drugstore, known for their giant omelets and Sunday brunch had the same crowd inside it’s glass windows.

But on my trip back home, I stopped at the supermarket and it looked like a tornado had been in there. The eggs case was empty (and it’s a sizeable one, a quarter of the aisle). The bread aisle—also bare shelves. Canned goods like soup & tuna were all gone and of course, not a roll of toilet paper or even paper towels to be seen. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 28 years, have never seen anything like it. :(

PS. To end this on a happier note, happy anniversary Ronni! This has become my second home on the internet :)

We live in a small town in CT. Dropped off a package this morning at post office and as I was leaving an older lady that I didn't know looked me in the eye with a big supporting smile and a thumbs up.
That little gesture really touched me and will stay with me.
Amazing how little acts of support and kindness go such a long way.

Yesterday was my final early morning market foray for a while. Whether in a week or two I gird up and go out again is unknown. One can live on beans and rice for a long time. As I read Ronni's words, I realized how much more complicated my situation would be were I in need of specific medicines from afar. My usual immune supports were sold out a week or more ago.

I watch the evening news, PBS, punto. The nature of the news is to show us and tell us the worst cases and the worst case scenario. Not good for the immune system. Even among elders, probably more of us will live than not. You might not think that from the news.

One elder friend won't ride in a car with anybody, have anybody in her home, or visit another's home. Then, a very sensible psychotherapist/rockin' keyboard/jazz-rock singer got together with her band yesterday. All very confusing. New boundaries.

Meanwhile, doses of sky and trees and birds, pulling weeds, listening again to yesterday's Elder Music, meditation, writing in my book of gratitudes every day, talking on the phone, there's still a lot of joy.
"Go slow, said the tortoise," " Run, hop hop," said the rabbit. "Pace yourself," said the cheetah, "it's going to be a long run."

I just returned from 11 days in Seattle where I took care of my friend after knee replacement surgery. We basically were holed up in her apartment and saw only her neighbor who kindly brought us a bag of ice each day for the icing machine she used on her knee.

The airport was like a ghost town except right at the gates. Highways are empty and traffic sparse and smooth, even through the central corridor.

Only 97 people on my flight back to Arizona and we all spread out. A few masks but not a cough or sneeze that I heard!

Staying close to home here at our golf resort in Mesa, all activities canceled, many Canadians leaving early because their insurance won’t cover them for Covid-19 if they don’t return to Canada in ten days! Northwest folks are considering staying here longer.

I am able to continue my obituary-writing remotely and doing trainings and mentoring for my gun violence prevention work via Zoom and phone.

One sad thing I read: a friend told her 10 yo girl that suspending school was so unusual that her generation would be remembered as the first ones to experience such a drastic move. Two minutes later the girl exclaimed,” Yay! Three whole weeks where I don’t need to worry about getting shot at school!”

What have we become?

A friend passed along a post from Facebook, showing how a woman who has a Little Library outside of her home had filled it, not with books, but with food. Food for the taking! It was mostly protein items like peanut butter and tuna. How thoughtful. How kind.

But . . . some unknown person commented that there was no toilet paper in there, so the person filling the Little Library must be a hoarder! Ruined my morning, so I responded. Assuring the kind person that most would not agree with that comment, I opined that the person accusing her of being a hoarder could not have meant it. Stopped short of saying what I really thought of her.

One good result of this chaos that we're all going thru may be the absence of Trump in our lives, come the election.

As crazy as it sounds we are off to Japan on Wednesday. We have to go to cover babysitting for our 4 yr old granddaughter. Things are much better there and my son and SIL still have to be at work. Most of Japan has low outbreak rate and it is not rising very much. We will not be near crowds and do not have to take trains so we can be about as isolated there as here in Central Indiana. We have actually and sort of accidentally been fairly self-isolated for the past 2 weeks. Not many cases here yet either.

We are 70 and the biggest worry is the plane ride but we have N95 masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and anti-virus wipes so we will do the best we can to avoid the virus. Also the planes are mostly empty so passengers are spread out as well.

Stores here are also have lots of empty shelves. At least gas is cheap(er).

What I am noticing, in the very little I go out, is that people are either not really paying attention or just not understanding what the safety direction imply.

Not having a meeting over 50 means that you need to go to a place that will hold 200 people and SPREAD OUT.

Standing 6 feet away means you need to have conversations in a louder voice - not get closer to hear.

Wash your hands a lot means you need to either wash or use hand sanitizer after every customer interaction where you handle money or take or give something with a customer. HANDS PASS GERMS.

Stop thinking "oh this won't happen to me" - yes it will - and you, regardless of age can get very sick, or if not you become a carrier. STOP IT.

Why are we not getting this?

To quote Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us”. Fear is an extremely potent emotion, driving us to behave in ways we would never dream of in ordinary times.
So pleased to hear of folks out and about, enjoying the fresh air which has to be healthier than rebreathing the stale indoor stuff. A little caution like social distancing, hand washing and breaking face touching habits will see us through. And I’m also warmed by stories of wonderful people sharing what they have with others.
We may come out the other side of this with more of our humanity on show for all to see.

Normally I only go out to the grocery store once a week and am inside the rest of the time. So in theory nothing has changed. And yet now, because I'm being urged to isolate myself, it feels ... confining and boring. TV is a no-go, with the constant talk about the virus, although the Weather Channel is pretty good.

Here in Colorado our governor stepped up, declared an emergency, and started issuing orders and suggestions long before Trump decided maybe he should do the same. I think we were the first state to institute drive-thru testing for the virus. All the schools are being shut down for several weeks, although it was about time for spring break anyway. My son is working from home for 3 weeks. Gatherings of more than 250 people have been strongly discouraged.

I went through a week of trying to get a refill on my Femara (post-cancer drug), mostly due to miscommunication, but was down to my last pill when I finally got it. I really got spun up over that.

Decided to try home delivery of groceries for the first time, rather than going to the store myself. We'll see how that goes when they deliver tomorrow. No toilet paper, of course. Canceled a haircut appointment for this week, just to be safe for now. And am wondering if I should postpone my annual physical coming up in two weeks. I'm in good health but not thrilled about going to a doctor's office right now.

I should go for a drive, just to prove to my psyche that I can still go out if I want to. Besides, the sun is shining, birds are singing, things are starting to grow again. It's the season of hope and renewal, after all.

In France, it is panic today as Macron will announce this evening containment measures like Spain or Italy.
As I am 73, I stay at home, reading, cleaning, I havent been shopping till last friday Today there were long queues at supermarkets and people were fighting for noodles or toilet paper !! I miss my children and grand children a lot.
Chantal, Paris, France

I've seen some empty shelves in the last week, but I stocked up on non-perishables weeks ago, afraid all this would happen, so it didn't affect me much. I'm going to do a grocery run today, gloves etc. in hand.

I'm afraid the libraries will close! I don't have a TV, so reading is my entertainment, or maybe I should say my addiction, and I dread being cut off.

I was very touched this morning when a younger woman I barely know called and asked me what I might need from Costco. Salon Pas pain patches was my answer. And the people on nextdoor.com are organizing help for elders like me.

How all this will end, I don't know, but I'm glad I live in this small city that still values community. Bless you all, and stay healthy.

Our little community is following guidelines, at least half the time...most events and gathering places are canceled/closed. There are a lot of folks wanting to help others obtain meals...especially for kids who are home from the school lunch programs. But there's also less of a scientific awareness and preventative measures, and it's more "let's come together and show we care about each other." I think the conservatives in charge of a lot of government agencies have bowed to the inevitable, and can at least say, don't spread this to your grandparents. But there are still limited testing sites, and waits of days to get the results. We are behind in actual pandemic crisis measures. I hope that doesn't come back with problems in a few weeks. One known case has been in our area...but didn't get tested till he/she was in another county. I am wearing my mask when I have to go out (this morning to pick up a prescription.) So far I'm the only one I have seen wearing one. This is not good news. From Western North Carolina. And Happy Anniversary, Ronni!

Congrats on the Anniversary, Ronni! Your blog is a true resource.

I live a few blocks from Times Square. Haven't been out of the apartment since Saturday morning, when I went to the Post Office to ship a care package to my child at college in the Midwest. Her college is extending spring break by a week in order to work out logistics for classes to be online for the rest of the year. As a senior, she — along with thousands of college students across the nation — is sad that all the senior events, and maybe graduation ceremonies, will not happen.

Lots of people are working from home. At some point today, all restaurants will close except for takeout/delivery in NY, CT and NJ. Libraries are closed (but so far borrowing books online still works). NYC public schools closed. Certain schools will be open for children to get grab-and-go meals — so many schoolchildren rely on school for meals. Movie theaters, nightclubs, gyms, all to close at 8 pm today for the foreseeable future. Zoos and museums are closed. Broadway is dark. I was last in a grocery store on Friday morning — many bare shelves.

Governor Cuomo is imploring Trump to authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to increase hospital capabilities. Like him or not, Cuomo ever day is acting presidential, stepping up and trying to get ahead of this. Meanwhile the Orange Buffoon is tweeting that Cuomo must “do more”. Heinous. I am stomach sick.

We live north of San Diego, Calif. We have received a directory from Gov. Newsom to self quarantine if we're over 65, so everyone I know is complying.

I just returned Thursday from a trip to Mexico City. Went grocery shopping Friday and had to wait in line to get into the supermarket, and once in, all the shelves were bare. Got a few needed items but veggies, fruit, pasta, eggs, milk etc. all gone. Thankfully we have enough food to last at least 2 weeks.

Later that afternoon I received a call from my husband's doctor telling me he needed to stay home because if he gets the virus it will not be good because of his underlying conditions. Also, because I had been out of the country, I needed to self isolate as well. We can't care for our grandchildren either because even though they are at low risk to get the virus, they can nonetheless be carriers.

I needed to refill a medication for my husband and am hopeful there won't be a problem; it's a "specialty" drug and I have no idea where it comes from, but it's the only thing keeping him alive.

Today is our 46th wedding anniversary (Happy Anni to you too, Ronni!) and I'll make us a nice dinner rather than go out.

We are reading, watching movies on Netflix, playing dominoes and not feeling stressed at all (yet!!). Of course, as cannabis users, it helps to keep us relaxed and focused.

We live in a 55+ community and I'm in touch by phone and text with our best friends and neighbors and we'll help each other out regarding groceries etc and just checking in with each other to make sure we're still alive.

This too shall pass. Take a deep breath! And if you're compromised by a health condition, stay home!!!!!

Maryland governor--a Repulbican, who is no fan of the Twit-in-Chief--was pretty quick to react last week. Schools, libraries, museums, entertainment complexes (including casinos) were closed; restaurants and bars closed today. State employees on telework as much as feasible.

In an area with significant number of folks working for the Fed government, many of the agencies have done a poor job of telling folks whether they should telework or not--some agencies saying nothing at all. After previous administration built up federal telework opportunities, the current idiot administration has been systematically rolling them back the last couple of years. So, as usual, nothing but confusion.

Grocery delivery is overbooked in my area (next delivery slot not until sometime next week), so I went on my usual early morning trip this morning...took photos of the same kind of things you saw: empty meat cases, hardly any milk, no frozen veggies and, of course, completely empty paper aisle. I sent the photos to a friend in Venice, Italy who was shocked when she saw them. Said her granddaughter was out doing their shopping this morning and the shelves were full. No shortages of anything. Complete cooperation of the community.
Sadly, not expecting that here anytime soon.

Washington state, Kitsap County. PSNS and Bangor, Navy priorities are open for national defense. No meetings or public functions. Most all else is closed. Many denials by friends who were going to have parties at local restaurants and bars. All closed as of tonight.
My wife is checking out many books at the library before it closes for the duration. Kinda like WWII? We overstock anyway, so local stores aren't important. Gate checks at the bases are non-touching----one holds the ID for scanning. Commissaries are still well stocked, except for many paper goods. Handshakes are out and just as well. Remember before you shake hands that the person next to you may be out of toilet paper! B

Ventured to the grocery store this morning and it was much improved from Saturday morning. Plenty of fresh produce and i was able to find the other things on my list. No tp or paper towels, though. I have plenty of non-perishables at home but will buy fresh food while i can.

Spent most of Saturday in the house and got a surprisingly intense case of cabin fever. Worked in the yard Sunday and felt much better mentally, but stiff and sore today. But it was worth it.

Continuing to take care of one grandchild. Spent plenty of time outside with her today and talked with neighbors who are usually working during the week. We kept our distance.

It's all very strange and unsettling, but not difficult. So far.

Congratulations, Ronni, on your blog anniversary!

Keep on rocking in the USA!

We drove home from Florida two weeks ago.

Passenger side pocket stocked with wipes, PURELL and more PURELL. Never touched anything at truck stops

Our Montreal activities are closed, including volunteer jobs with seniors. Anyone over 70 was asked to stay home, unless buying groceries or meds.

Crazy nut house at food stores- politicians promise no food shortages. But some people are buying boatloads of toilet paper, food.

Montrealers are walking, keeping distance between each other.

People scrambling to stock food banks.

So far, everyone seems calm and polite.

But nobody knows how long this will last, or when a vaccine will be available.

Costco is a zoo. Lineups out the door last week, maybe calmer now.

I think about the nurses, doctors, anyone on the front lines of this pandemic.

Schools, rec centres, are closed, bars closed, some restos only allowing a few customers into dining area.

Families are circling the wagons, helping each other.

I keep reminding myself that "The Greatest Generation"
survived WW2, the depression, diseases.

They did that and we can do this if we work together, follow medical protocol and keep calm.

One day at a time.

Virtual elbow greeting to you, Ronni, and all my virtual friends at Ronni's Place.

Happy anniversary Ronni. You've given us so much information and enjoyment.

I had a blood draw, this morning, then stepped next door to the pharmacy to receive my second Shingrix shot. The guy who gave it to me (30-something?) said something about, "Did you ever think you'd live to see the day when we would have such a scare?" My answer: I heard my parents talk about (and had a friend who was disabled as a result of) the diptheria outbreak. I lived through (although, my younger sister did not survive them) outbreaks of measles, mumps, scarlet fever, whooping cough, and polio. I'm not as concerned about the COVID-19 as we were, back in the day, about the older diseases, because I'm confident that there will be an effective vaccination within a couple of years. There are several billion more people to be exposed with COVID-19 than were there in previous outbreaks, though.

I carry a pencil with an eraser on its end when I go out. I use it if I make a credit card purchase that exceeds the limit and I have to enter my PIN.
It’s also useful at the library where there’s a touch screen for borrowing and returning books.
I’m sure I’ll find other uses.

I'm just trying to figure out how to get any toilet tissue and baby wipes. At 80 I'm supposed to stay out of the store. Might as well so many empty shelves.

A vote of thanks for the strong Governors.

After I retired I started blogging, so being at home alone all the time is almost normal to me. My daughter is shopping for me.

The people I worry about the most are the younger people I support: my hair stylist, who just bought his first house; the man who loads my groceries in my car on Sundays, and has 5 kids under 10 years old; the cooks and servers at my favorite restaurants who live on tips; the men who wash my car and put air in the tires. Add your own people to the list.

These are people who can least afford to be out of work, even temporarily. Even if they don't get sick, the worst may be yet to come for them.

Living in the northeast, Maine, I ramp up for winter in case snow. and ice interrupt travel. So, my freezer is full, canned goods, non. perishables are on hand for quite awhile. I received calls from folks in my town offering to grocery shop or provide a ride. Some stores I use now have curb service. My area has similar closings as the rest of the country. Thank goodness for living in a very community minded town. I'm in good health take daily walks. In touch with friends etc via texting, phone calls. For now I can ride this out and just live in the present. I'll deal with future events when they happen, no sense fretting about it, I can't control that. Happy anniversary Ronnie. Be well, be safe all!

Cincinnati, OH here. Our stores have restocked & my husband and i were able to get several gallons of milk, more specific brand puppy food than the baby needs, eggs, & bread but still no bottled water or to (we had a little extra in the basement though)

Bars & restaurants are closed except for carry out & all of my CPR & BLS classes were cancelled, but I replaced my teaching hours with more hours at the Assisted Living facility... thankful to still have some usefulness in this apocalypse.

Someone told me that San Francisco had gone on lockdown me that San Francisco had gone on lockdown & we would, too inevitably. right now I'm sitting in a group home for people with dementia related illnesses ...people who can't change their diaper or feed themselves; I'd like to see who would try to restrain me from coming here and taking care of them.

On a lighter note happy anniversary to the teepee

Happy Anniversary Ronni!

I am grateful to live in a city and state with a responsible, articulate, decisive mayor and govetnor. We have not had a death yet from C19 altho the number of cases rose from 7 a week ago to 105 today.

I was initially just going to take precautions like more hand washing but everything in my life has been cancelled as the number of cases grew: volunteering, classes, lectures and other events. I can't eat out anymore. Movie theaters have started to close. I'm really going to miss my exercise classes.

I went to 5 different stores last week. As the week progressed, toilet paper, most meats, frozen foods and produce were sold out. Bare shelves were at all stores. I spent 15 minutes trying to get a parking space yesterday and gave up. I will try again tomorrow morning.

I have given up on finding more hand sanitizer. Once I run out, I will carry a washcloth wet with alcohol.

I had a lovely hour long walk in a forest preserve with a friend today. The sun is out. It's a beautiful day.

to Mary Symmes or any other person that dreads the loss of their reading material if their library closes. I highly recommend purchasing a Fire 7 Tablet, from Amazon for $49. It has an excellent reading program. Then go to bookbub.com and join. You choose the type of books you like to read, history, mystery, romance etc.
Each day, 7 days a week you will be e-mailed a list of books at a really low price to choose from and each day you will have one or two free on the list. I joined 3 yrs ago and have never been sent any e-mail from them other than the list. Amazon also sells books for the tablet.
I traveled for a living and always packed books to read in my downtime. I sure wish this tablet was available at that time. It only took me a couple of days to get use to not holding an actual book. Now I wonder how i ever did without it because I remember trying to hold a book that was 1,000 pages and my arms becoming really fatigued!

First, Ronni - Congratulations! What would we have done without you?? Thank you for all you do!

As far as C-19 is concerned, we're self-isolating as recommended by both our Federal and Provincial Governments. Practically everything has been closed here, including libraries, schools, parks, and all recreation facilities. Restaurants can offer take-out or delivery service, but dining room service requires that diners be seated at least six feet apart and that no more than 50 people or half the facility's fire permit are seated at any one time, whichever is the smaller number.

We get daily updates from each of the Provinces' Premiers and Health Ministers, stating how many new cases, what regions they are in, and if they are travelers returning to Canada or community transmissions. So far there have been very few cases of community transmission in the entire country. Most people with the virus have come back from outside the country, or have been in close contact with a traveler, usually a family member. As of 8:00 tonight we had 700 cases and 8 deaths, all seniors who were in nursing homes. Alberta has tested over 15,000 people so far, a ratio of one person tested for every 260 residents.

Our governments together have stepped up and asked the banks to defer mortgage payments for up to six months, told landlords they may not evict tenants, will defer student loan and lines of credit loan payments, have extended unemployment benefits to self-employed and part-time workers who don't pay into the government unemployment benefit plan, will add a top-up amount to the quarterly benefit paid to those who fall under the government threshold of $26,000 annually per single or $44,000 per couple income, and top up the childcare benefit. They are extending the same kinds of financial help to businesses.

They have mobilized with such speed over the past week it's really quite breathtaking. They have been planning , on the health-care side, since the news began coming out of China about the virus being so very contagious and deadly, but what we've seen from them, without any of the usual political wrangling and sniping has been *impressive*.

Our son picked up my grocery order - I shopped online - and brought it into the kitchen this afternoon. He wore an N-95 mask and medical gloves, which we always keep on hand because of husband's health problems. I stayed in the living room and my husband stayed in the bedroom with a closed door. He's in a very fragile state of health and if he catches this virus I'd hate to think what the consequences might be. But since it is still quite cold (it was -24 C just a couple of days ago) and we have 18" of snow on the ground we're not tempted to want to run around outside that much anyway!

We both read a lot, I'm building a website with C-19 medical information for my non-profit, I have lots to do in the new house, and though we've been told this "social isolation" phase may well last for eight weeks we'll manage just fine. I hope everyone else stays healthy!

Happy Sweet Sixteen to Time Goes By. I am fairly new to the site but at age 75 I wish I’d seen it sooner. It is the gold standard for our peers in terms of thoughtful, informative, connected, welcoming and caring community. It has been a remarkably positive experience for me. I thank all of you and especially Ronni who has maintained and grown the site to its teen years (meant to be funny but not so sure!)

Now to today and the unprecedented conditions that have upended our expectations of elder life.

I have just one point to make, as many have covered the new territory in their comments. A dear friend recently made an appointment with her hairdresser. Keep in mind that my husband, now gone, had his own salon, which I managed.

I told my friend that it did not seem safe. There is no way to follow the six foot social distancing rule, and the personal contact from shampoo sink to the hydraulic chair is intimately close, bodies touching bodies. She said the operator promised to clean all areas and equipment and even wear a mask. Nevertheless I told my friend, if so much careful preparation has to be done, it tells me that it is an inherently risky situation.

Why do we have to look good to go to the supermarket, the pharmacy, and the gas pump? We are called upon to review and think differently about most everything, for ourselves and our community.

Best wishes and blessings to all . . . .

Am catching up on missed blog posts. My internet and landline phone went out and only today could I get service to correct the problem. Happy Anniversary to you and TGB — has impacted many lives! Community takes on a whole new meaning and value.

I must confess I pretty much anticipated what would happen knowing humankind, so had pretty much picked up what I needed the previous week to add to my existing Earthquake Preparedness Kit. I also figured this would be a long drawn out — weeks, months experience. Haven’t been in a store since but TV news in Los Angeles area — I live in northeastern L.A. County — showed empty shelves, long lines.

Two neighbors unexpectedly showed up at my door with containers of delicious homemade soups — chicken tortilla, and minestrone. Just finished last serving today. They offer to help any way they can and gals across the street call when they go to store to see if I need anything. I only go occasionally to select drive thru restaurants. Know I may need to go to store a few weeks from now, but several nearby will deliver. Discovered I had only small bottle Tylenol though have other pain inflammation remedies, so ordered some from my pharmacy to have on hand, just in case, when I discovered none available on net to order except at rip-off price. Pharm delivered free — also have another close Pharm that has a Drive thru. I feel as comfortable as possible given all the unknowns, but will just have to adjust and adapt to whatever arises in future.

I think of you, RB, and do hope you are able to take good care of yourself, avail yourself of any assistance offered or available. Is a funny feeling for me being the recipient of accepting the solicitations I’ve received as keep thinking of what I could be doing, but my reality is what it is. First L.A. County death was at my local hospital where also worked several years.

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