ELDER MUSIC: Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig
A TGB READER STORY: Doggerel About COVID-19

THINKING OUT LOUD: Quarantine, Two Weeks In

It won't mean much to me, I thought, being quarantined at home. I'm old, I'm retired and I don't have the responsibilities or obligations of younger adults.

Many of my closest friends live far away so I am long accustomed to regular, lengthy telephone or Skype/Zoom calls. No big sacrifice with this quarantine, thought I. Little will change for me.

Wrong.

What I hadn't considered are the meetings and lunches and other social get-togethers with local friends that have stopped. Suddenly, I have a lot more free time than before quarantine. Enough for it to be abundantly noticeable now. Plenty of time now to think about things in a leisurely manner.

I picked up some more time for myself last week when I stopped watching the daily Trump team television show. There is never any trustworthy news and when there is anything worth knowing, it is widely reported elsewhere. So I don't subject myself to his petty self-aggrandizement anymore.

In one of last week's Trump TV shows, even Dr. Deborah Birx brought shame down on herself by elaborately kissing the presidential posterior in praise of his scientific acumen. So much for anything she says from now on.

On the other hand, there is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily report. The contrast to the president is stunning, leaving me to lament every day that Cuomo is not running the entire U.S. COVID-19 response. There are other governors and mayors, too, doing important work in their communities even while taking threats from the president.

Weeping comes easily to me now. I tear up reading stories about the shortages of protective gear for medical professionals who nevertheless keep risking their own lives going to work, doing everything possible to help the afflicted. Just a photo of an empty big-city street can set me off on a weeping binge.

Dreams have never stayed with me beyond wispy snapshots for a few seconds when I first awaken. During the past week or so, those wisps have been of me alone on a rainy, dark street, accompanied by an overwhelming sense of being alone.

I use up some of my new-found time wondering if others in lockdown are having similar dreams, and there is more of the time now to get back to reading books which I had recently neglected.

Oh, do I wish I had something more profound to tell you. Since my imagination is lacking in that regard, here are some small but not unimportant things related to the pandemic I think might be useful for you to know:

VIRUS-RELATED SOCIAL SECURITY SCAM
Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for Social Security, is warning “about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19.”

”Social Security will not suspend or discontinue benefits because their offices are closed,” reports IG Ennis.

“...Social Security beneficiaries have received letters through the U.S. Mail stating their payments will be suspended or discontinued unless they call a phone number referenced in the letter.

“Scammers may then mislead beneficiaries into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to maintain regular benefit payments during this period of COVID-19 office closures.”

Although Social Security offices are closed, employees are working and no beneficiary will lose benefits, have them decreased or suspended due to the virus. Any communication that says so is a scam.

Read more here.

SPECIAL SUPERMARKET HOURS FOR ELDERS
Supermarket chains and some other retailers have created special hours for elders to shop. Some designate these hours every day, others offer it for one or two days a week. What many have in common is that the hours are early in the morning - 7AM to 9AM or 8AM to 9AM, for example.

Some stores in my area are doing this but I wonder who decided that elders do not need fresh produce, fresh meat or cooked chicken which are not on shelves yet at that early hour.

Plus, my pharmacy is in my grocery story but does not open until 9AM making it difficult to do food and drug shopping in one go. Personally, I'm ignoring "senior hours" on my once-weekly trek away from home.

But if it works for you, AARP has done your homework for you with a long list of chain stores that are doing this and their hours. You will find that list here.

Be sure to check if your store participates.

YOUR EMAILS AND INTERESTING STUFF SUGGESTIONS
I always appreciate your emails with ideas for stories or Interesting Stuff items and rely on them for a lot of what you eventually see in these pages. But apparently now, I am not the only one with extra time on his or her hands.

Your missives have been arriving in great bundles into in my inbox, sometimes four or five or more emails in a day from the same person. Multiply that many videos and article suggestions (often several in one email) from two or three dozen of you can imagine that I can feel defeated at trying to get through them all.

So if you wouldn't mind, please try to edit yourselves. And please forgive me if I do not reply to your email - sometimes I'm just too worn out to do that.

And how is the quarantine going at your place?

Comments

I live in Raleigh NC. Many local supermarkets are dedicating early hours on a few days to elder and at-risk customers. I went this morning at 6:30. The store was busy but not mobbed... and the pharmacy, which usually doesn't open until 9am, was open. Even the Starbucks kiosk was open. The store was reasonably stocked including the meat and dairy departments. Not the best I've ever seen but far from the worst. They even had some tp! No, I didn't buy. Nobody was checking at the door but shoppers appeared to be in the over 60 cohort.

Perhaps your supermarket hasn't figured out that old folk need the pharmacy too. You could drop them a hint and point out that elsewhere during those special hours many pharmacies are open.

I really miss my regular activities and seeing my friends--and especially my granddaughter--in person, but being stuck at home has had one advantage: I'm reading books I had purchased but hadn't gotten around to reading.

What happens to me in normal times is that I begin reading a book I own, and then a book I've had on hold at the library comes in. Because the library book has a due date, I have to stop reading my book and read the library book instead. Then it's hard to get back to the book I own. Well, our libraries are now closed, and since I really prefer not to read a book in electronic form, I'm reading the ones I own. With any luck I'll catch up on my reading by the time the crisis passes.

I, being a misanthrope, enjoy the private time. I have over 2 acres and plenty of hobbies
to indulge in. I am retired now and finally have earned the freedom from my serfdom to participate in all the hobbies or projects I've put off. We only shop on base. Most military bases are like small towns. Everything is in one place, except for drugs (MTF's only).
Our greatest adjustment has been avoiding groups. No movies or restaurants. My wife is
opposite of me and has had to give up more of the social amenities. For her, the quarantine is a challenge and imposition. I do miss shopping on a whim, but I know it will be back,
changed perhaps, but our society will return. The only dreams I have now are about my rather convoluted past. B

I live in Montréal. I found an excellent local public health summary, with live updates and also info about other countries. Most days I read only that. I have not watched a single Trump briefing but never have.

I too miss the camaraderie of outings with friends; video calls are OK but like black and white when you crave colour. Mostly I miss seeing my adult children, from closer than 6 feet in a park.

re libraries, have not used one for years. I buy books for a few bucks at thrift stores because I like to keep them as long as I like. After reading, I redonate. Or I borrow from friends.

I thought the senior hours were dumb especially so early in the am. Who decided that we seniors did not want to sleep in.

Actually I’m spending the next 5 weeks in Japan with my family here. The area has very low infection rate so no lock down and life fairly normal here. I’ve said that if it were not for the news I would not know there was any problems. Stores open, etc. We mostly stay in to baby sit grandchild during school break as parents still working - which is why we are here anyway. Our risk is mostly from them. Better here than cooped up at home at least we are being useful.
Hope you all stay healthy and stay sane during this social distancing experience.

The senior hours at our local national grocer, Publix, have been a joke. Let's see--the parking lot is full, with as many oldsters as you can cram into the store--isn't that a petri dish for spreading what we may have?

From Covid-19 Central. Westchester County, New York

We are entering our third week here at the assisted living facility I call home. And, fortunately, none of our in-house residents (of which there are about 190) are ill with the virus. We have one staff member who tested positive and one resident who was already in the hospital. Our Temperatures are taken 3 times a day and each of us is visited regularly by staff members. We are in a complete, and very tight lockdown. No visitors, limited outside doctors visits and no activities . They are discouraging any one-on-one contact with other residents. All that, combined with being served the worst food you could imagine out of paper containers has made this experience difficult if not intolerable.

Right now, I would kill for Chinese food or pizza but, alas, food deliveries are also banned.
We are still permitted delivery from Amazon and Walmart's etc.

While I appreciate and understand the Draconian measures being taken to keep us safe, I don't know how we will fare if this goes into June or beyond. While the rest of the world is permitted to at least go food shopping, we are not allowed outside of facility's gates.

At 75, I'm one of the "younger" residents here. I also have enough to keep me busy, but I fear for some of our older and frail residents who rely on the interaction with others as part of their well-being and sanity.

Hopefully, once they have determined that all of us are not infected, we can get back to at least some communal activities.

Here I thought I was being more snarky than Maxine about the stupid early hours for seniors at the food store, but I see I have plenty of company. First, I don't get out of PJ's till 9 am; 2nd who wants to be herded into a store with a lot of other fragile seniors?, and 3rd, the shelves are much better stocked at 11 am when I usually go. So much for rules..... I live in a cooperative community in Albuquerque, NM so I don't feel isolated even though I live alone. I can chat with neighbors at a distance, and a close friend and I visit each other's patios in the late afternoon to catch up with life at six feet apart. Her dog sits on my lap and I am ecstatic with the normalcy. One member even bought lots of TP from his employer and is selling it at cost from his porch @50Cents/roll with a 6-roll maximum. Now THAT is community at its best. After stocking up, I am now well prepared for the apocalypse. I've even downloaded Zoom. Who says oldsters are technologically incompetent?

I had the same reaction to Dr. Birx last week. My thought was - Ah, she's drinking the Kool-aid.

We walk an hour a day in various quiet places.

Write.

Ronni's blog.

Read library books for free with Kobo e reader.

Grocery shop and deliver mom's food.

Check in with family by phone and email.

Keep up to date with CV news.

Stream movies and old series. ("The Sopranos," "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.")

Check in with seniors in the ILR where I volunteer busing tables. (Only staff allowed in now.)

Talk to neighbours from a distance. "riiiiiiiiiiicolooooooooo."

Cook and freeze meals.

Observe Canada geese zooming over the lake - their melodic chorus a joyful sound.

Wonder for the millionth time what, who, why, when of the pandemic.

Try to find a sliver of humour somewhere- anywhere.

Check in with WW2 vets- remind each other again that whatever we are going through right now is a pimple on an elephant's ass compared to their wartime experiences.

Listening to VPR in car. (Vermont Public Radio)

Listening to CBC radio in the kitchen.

Staring out the kitchen window. Yesterday two pileated woodpeckers dropped by.

Washing and vacuuming cars.

Cleaning house.

Playing a couple favorite CD's - like the soundtrack from movie "Crazy Heart" in my car.

Van Morrison CD "Down the Road" in my car.

David Bowie "Heroes."

Etta James.

Motown.

Tweeting rogue hairs off my ageing face.

Those stubborn little ?€@!!!

Take care everyone,
Stay safe.


Here in New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus, many of my 65+ year old colleagues and I are "still" working. (How often people ask! How pronouced the emphasis on "still" when you - like I - am over 80!) We are now more likely to be part time than full, our responsibilities have lessened to keep pace with our diminished health and energy resources, but we are still out there. Being health care providers (medical and social services) we are finding ways to contribute using all the technological devices available to us. ( Zoom FaceTime, Skype) Being around for so long we are blessed in our contacts with those working full time on the job who have either found things we can do long distance or agreed to ideas of our own origin. (mostly the latter) . Each day I am blown away by the creative efforts of dear colleagues and friends to retool all they have known in the service of an unanticipated challenge. It is surely one of the oldest bromides that a remedy for depression is doing someting for someone else. With dearest family member 3000 miles away ,, with gripping fears of the outcome of this for myself, for them, for humanity, with overwhelming gratitude that there is somehing I Can do -- I have found it to be true.
Ann

Didn’t know Zoom existed... but do now! Zoom yoga classes with our regular instructor; Zoom with children and grandchildren once a week at scheduled time; initiated Zoom meeting with siblings. Also, FB live stream worship service and bible study conference call - technology at its best!!

I've had the hermit's life perfected for years (I'll be 77 next week). Funny how it only bothers me now that I've been told I HAVE to do it. I miss seeing my son and grandkids who live just a mile away, but my daughter-in-law is a nursing student and EMT ambulance driver, so we're all being hyper-cautious. She's working extra shifts because a lot of the drivers quit rather than risk Covid exposure.

I'm rarely up before 9 am, so the 7 am senior hours are not appealing. I assume they chose that hour to give seniors first shot at what was restocked overnight. But I've seen pictures of long lines of seniors waiting to get in, and I've zero interest in doing that. I've been home for three weeks now and have gotten along with a few things being delivered. Sadly, the one thing I may be forced to go out for is toilet paper. Angers me that I may have to risk exposure to get something because so many others are hoarding it.

I go in fits and starts (or stits and farts) with the washing up, dusting, sweeping, all that house stuff. My jigsaw puzzle is 3/4 complete with just the hard bits to find. The cardigan I'm knitting is ready to be put together (I'd rather knit than put together) and I placed the collage pieces back in their box yesterday, perhaps next week.

A big plus has been getting in touch once again with very old friends, one in Naples, Italy, another in Wales, and then France and England. And the best, is being able to "see" them. I hope to keep that up once this is over and done with. Now I'm off to take my temperature as I'm feeling a little warm. Keep your fingers crossed.
o/

I don't give the stores as much credit as other commenters have done. They did not normally have very many people come during the early hours, so why not get the old people to come in and shop? I went, early, once last week and found the store as crowded (only, mostly, by old people now) as usual and the bare shelves still bare.

Our county (Sedgwick) issued a stay-at-home declaration a couple of weeks ago, our governor (Laura Kelly of Kansas) issued a stay-at-home declaration that took effect at 12:01am, today; but, getting out of the house far less has been my motto for at least one month. In mid-February, we even called off a plan to see our daughter, granddaughter, and great-grandsons one day. Who knows when we'll get to see them, again?

Good luck to you, Ronni - and - to all of us. Not only did Dr Birx destroy her own credibility; but, I noticed that on his first turn at the microphone, our VP just could not resist kissing ass. Otherwise, his briefing had made it sound almost as if he knew what he was talking about. I did notice something else: In the briefings from the White House that I've heard, they only talk about what will happen in the future. I'm used to having briefings (from having worked with FEMA as a Red Cross volunteer) that emphasize two things: 1) What has been accomplished in the past reporting period (usually 24 hours) and 2) What is supposed to be accomplished in the next reporting period (also 24 hours). The WH briefings made it glaringly obvious that no accomplishments had been made no matter how long ago they were supposed to have taken place.

We live in rural Ontario Canada, hubby is immune compromised so we have been staying home. I did go into town last week to grocery store, but no more, as we recently learned community transfer is active in the town. A 60 yr old male who was shopping all over town last week is now in ICU in hospital. Stay home. This week. Our lives depend on everyone co operating.
On the bright side. We FaceTime our family, read, garden, watch Netflix.
Doing more baking than normal. Going to have to make that eggless,milkless cake soon.LOL.
Enjoyed reading everyone’s comments.

What an interesting point about no news from White House briefings about past accomplishments and expected accomplishments in the next 24 hours. Thank you.

When I heard the blatant lies from a White House press conference two weeks ago, I knew we were in serious trouble. It was only then, hearing the president pontificate and sound so stupid that I knew we had to take this pandemic very seriously because the country was not prepared, would not be prepared, and disaster after disaster would follow. Listening to anything he said would NOT be helpful, so I don't listen.

I have, since retiring 10 years ago, grocery shopped on Tuesday mornings. It's quiet. The shelves have been restocked from the weekend and there are a few people in the store. All that has changed now. Who are all these people flocking to the local grocer (not a big box store) and who are the people who are acting like locusts, cleaning everything off of the shelves? Where have you been all these years? How did you shop before?

Do you suppose Dr. Birx is manipulating the Resident? I've wondered. Kiss? Eeeeyew!
Oh, Etta James, YES!
My meditation group, just a few, will come at 6 to sit in the middle of my front field. I visited a friend yesterday, we took a windy walk on a farm road. Saw 2 killdeer.
This morning I mowed, mowed, mowed. No mice in the tractor mower motor, good!
Have had 2 corona virus nightmares, what you'd expect.
Sometimes, each day, it hits me, the suffering of the world, and my eyes well up and I pray for all beings. I pray a lot. To whom is between me and the Divine Mind, ha ha.
Phone calls and e-mails are more important to me now.
OH! The night sky......the last two nights the crescent moon and Venus, a thrill. And I fall asleep looking at the stars out my southern window.............they make me feel like an innocent child again.
This life is real, sometimes, almost too good to be true, it is not on a screen, all this natural beauty is real. The madness of the world is also true, I think, but it is not my experience, and what I truly love most deeply is that.

Re: senior hours. That’s when the stores are mobbed!, especially the bigger chains. I go to a local small health food store, which has delicious , fresh local produce. I found out they get their shipments on Sunday. First thing Monday (today) morning, I was in the store when they unlocked the door. Anything not bagged (apples, greens) had to be selected and put into your cart by an employee. I bought apples, Brussels sprouts, celery, Swiss chard, broccoli , zucchini, fresh garlic,potatoes, red peppers , kimchee, yogurt, lactose free milk, and as a special treat, kettle chip potato chips. There was one other customer ahead of us in line. We stood back 6 feet at a line taped on the floor. We were in and out in 15 minutes.
It took me longer to unload the groceries and wash everything but the Swiss chard and kale in soap and water. My grocery bags are outside on the balcony, where they will remain for 3 days. This is the new normal!
We have a small butcher shop where we go for chicken. I have another grocery store that delivers. I haven’t used that service yet, but I am from now on if I need anything other than produce. I have stocked up on paper goods, soap and detergent. I found a liquor store that delivers.
I miss wandering up and down the aisles, finding new ingredients (I live in an ethnic foodie area) or looking at what is on sale. We will be eating simply, but I hope healthily for awhile, if the virus gets worse in my area, (which it will) we can subsist on rice and beans and soup for a couple weeks. I’m trying not to get into that until we really need to.
By the way, I used a buff (lightweight neck warmers) pulled up over my nose as a mask. I’m trying to start a trend, since no one here except Asians are using masks. I’ve read several articles by scientists who cite evidence that masks, even home made ones, ARE effective at keeping you healthy. Since I’m living in a foreign country and have no faith (or $$) for health care here, I can’t be too careful.

I finally got it together and tried Costco's 8 am for seniors time slot...huge pk lot was full when I got in line at 8:20. Commenced a slow 10 K pushing shopping carts with about 300 other seniors around the entire perimeter of the store. Even line monitors who told the young man in front of me pushing the cart for his grandma "only those over 60 are allowed in the store" and "we have staff who can help her shop". At the entrance a staff member was checking ID's (!)...sigh

At least is wasn't crowded as we all raced to the T.P. aisle...hallelujah - well stocked. When I left at 9:25 the pk lot was half empty !! Next time I will go at 10 am.

I agree with many who said early 7 am hours are NOT for them...Husband and I take turns shopping for grub and next time, it'll be his turn.

I agree with others about the shopping hours for seniors. Might have been a good idea in some respects, but I'm not getting up at 5 to get there as early as I would need to. And, as others have noted, some items are not on the shelves that early in the morning, and some in-store services are not available at that time. I'm sticking with my regular routine.

I don't know what to think about Dr. Birx. I cannot imagine having to share the stage with the president, and really could not imagine playing the sycophant that he seems to demand, but I feel sorry for her. She looked terrible yesterday and I would not be at all surprised to learn she has succumbed to the virus herself, or does soon. She looks ill to me.

Life in the first week was somewhat novel, but it's getting old and I perceive increasing strain and stress beginning to show up in people's voices and even their printed words. The president was horrible yesterday in his answer to a reporter's question about mental health concerns in light of the continued restrictions. Forecasting suicides and drug addiction rates as he did off the top of his ignorant orange head was incredibly irresponsible. But then he knows everything, so I guess we're really in trouble.

Hang in there everyone.

I also have stopped watching the "briefings" which are not brief, and mostly Trump telling everyone what a great job he's doing, how his approval ratings have gone up, and playing favorites with the Governors who kiss his ass! I watch Gov. Cuomo now, or our own Gov. Newsom. How much longer will Dr. Fauci put up with the Idiot-In-Chief?

Our life hasn't changed much. My husband in his art studio; me with my books and household chores. Our son who lives with us working from home while he still has a business (yikes!), and going out for groceries for us. FaceTiming with our daughter who works at Trader Joe's and whom I worry about getting the virus, and our grandkids. A whole different life, but who knew?

I'm sure we all have videos that friends and family have sent us on how to protect ourselves from the virus, but the essentials are to use hand sanitizer everytime you touch something outside your home (handles, elevator buttons, ATM machines etc.), wash your hands as soon as you get home (and often), and DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE!

Be safe and healthy all.

Staying home like (almost) everyone else, except for occasional trips to the grocery store pickup station and daily solo walks outdoors. Since I'm totally not a morning person, early-A.M. shopping hours aren't a lot of use to me. Also, as another commenter noted, mixing together a bunch of untested higher-risk people might not be the best idea.

IMO, it would be immensely helpful in slowing the spread to have adequate testing. WA State, where I live and the original U.S. epicenter for C-19, diagnosed Patient #1 over a month ago, but testing STILL is not widely available. I won't even get started on the tRumpian "response" to this health crisis! It's interesting, although ultimately depressing, that medical experts and others feel compelled to praise tRump before delivering the daily bad news. Too bad he wasn't listening to them 6 weeks ago! He doesn't much like our governor so won't return his calls--this from the president of the U.S., not a junior high school "mean girl".

I'm somewhat reluctant to start major cleaning projects--even if my creaky back and neck decided to cooperate--because (again like almost everyone else) I have limited cleaning supplies. I don't want to run out since they're hard to come by these days even via Amazon Prime. I was able to get an additional package of paper towels on Amazon the other day but disinfectant wipes, bleach, spray disinfectant and even laundry detergent pods are "out of stock" with the notation that Amazon does not know when/IF they will be available.

Just a couple of "lighter side" comments for us today. Made me happy at least! 

The NPR station in Seattle reported last week they will no longer air the updates on Covid-19 coming from the White House "live".  The reason being they now need time in order to "Fact-check" everything they are stating.  Good thinking up there in Seattle !

And best is here in Portland,OR.  My son called early to tell me our iconic and beloved world class book store, "Powell's Books" that had to close as it was considered non essential services, has now brought back 100 employees just to handle the skyrocketing mail-order business they are getting, that grows each day. Yes, readers and book lovers are still a big part of our world and well enough to use a keyboard or phone.
 
Why I find this a comfort I do not know, but I take each bit when and wherever it comes my way....like the Oregon Juncos looking for seeds in my tiny yard even though it is raining at 'this' moment.

You wrote, "I wonder who decided that elders do not need fresh produce, fresh meat or cooked chicken which are not on shelves yet at that early hour."

I'm pretty sure no one "decided" that elders don't need fresh produce or meat, and I have been very impressed with how the supermarkets have adapted to the new normal.

In the Bay Area, I've been arriving just as my local supermarkets, Safeway and Lucky, are opening for the day. Both the produce and the meat have always been fully stocked. Clearly, supermarkets are using the overnight hours for deliveries and shelf-stocking.

The produce, especially, is piled high and it's obvious that shoppers have yet to pick-up and put back stuff with their hands which is an additional, important advantage to early bird shopping.

I have also shopped in the afternoon. That is when I've seen the most empty shelves and found produce less neatly arranged due to customer handling.

I'm in love with Cuomo.

I knew I'd had enough of the garden back slapping party when I had two dreams with "him that shall not be named" in the starring roles: one as the voice of a robocall and the other as a window peeper!

Woke up this morning with a strong feeling of doom, and yet I could hear the joy of birdsong outside. Second day of overcast skies. What a difference a little bit of sunshine would make in my mood — maybe we'll get some on Wednesday. Surely there is a special place in Hell reserved for those social security scammers who would take advantage of people at a time like this.

Got a little teary watching a video of the USS Comfort steaming up the Hudson to dock at Pier 90, just a few blocks from me. I watch Cuomo's daily briefings and read the daily updates to faculty and staff written by the chair of surgery at Columbia University (which manage to be simultaneously hair-raising and inspiring), which is affiliated with the NYPresbyterian hospital system. (These are published online for anyone interested. Google “Columbia surgery dr Smith updates”.)

Field hospital tents going up in Central Park. Jazz on the radio, my silky-soft cats to pet. Refrigerator trucks arriving in Queens to serve as temporary morgues. I played a board game online with my best friend in Florida today. Full pages of obituaries, Covid-19 over and over. The most interesting people are dying these days — each one had a story, a life. I wonder about the poets who will be writing about these days a year or two or three from now. Will I be around to open the New Yorker, read a poem and think back?

Apologies for the random thoughts.

Patty-in-New-York...

If ever there were a time for "random thoughts" I think this would be it. They are just about the only kind I'm having these days.

Well, Here in Florida, we are told to stay at home except for necessities like groceries, prescription drugs, doctor visits and such. However, I have a chronic moderate tooth ache and my dentist has shut down until May. I hope to tough it out with the help of over-the counter pain relievers. Going a tad stir crazy being home here, but with my wonderful wife, so all is well. It is unclear whether or not I'll be going to Spain and Italy in July, but have not cancelled any reservations, or vice a versa, yet. My wife and I are healthy 70's type so we thing we will make it--famous last words, but we are strong and have a good attitude (key for immune system robustness). Florida is approaching hot spot status, As for President Donald J. Trump. We love the man. We think he is doing tremendously and we hesitate to think how it would be with the likes of Joe Biden. 60K Americans died in the 2017-18 flu season, most over a several month span. Corona will be somewhere south of this number or not much more, and nobody thought twice about it. Corona is worse, it is pneumonia, basically, so worse, but we are handling it. Thankfully, the President, at least recognizes that we have to be thinking about restarting the economy, at best chance. Not too early, but when it is sensible. Progressives would send us into depression for one life--so they seem to say. If blog posts often include politics than comments can too.

Dear Ronni, I just want to say "thank you" for keeping us informed and encouraged in these difficult times. What a wonderful community you have here. Your strength and willingness to keep going with this blog is so much appreciated. Take care.

Thank you to Patty-in-New York...

.... for sharing the Dr. Smith  Update information. It is new to me. 
His intelligent and informed style make even the bad news less threatening, thus a comfort.

In my experience as an RN in ER, schools, and consulting situations, I believe that people move to FEAR when they feel they are being lied to, manipulated, and cannot trust the speakers, in  ANY circumstance.  Tell the us truth and we can, and will, handle it the best way we can.  
Just more ''random thoughts'' here in Portland !

Colleague and I recently discussed recalling a seminar we attended a few years ago for health care professionals from multi-disciplines — how to work with difficult people. One such type was the narcissist. Never confront a narcissist if you want their cooperation. Always be sure to praise them in some manner.
We find interesting how well our Calif. Gov Newsom and L.A. Mayor do this. Likewise, we see others doing the same as we try to sort them out from the ones who are simply ass-kissers; plus noting those legislators failing to do their job representing the American people to hold this President accountable.

The Presidential press conferences don’t offer news. The lengthy monologues ramble about on a variety of topics, digressing frequently, much like those of dictators bloviating to a captive audience I’ve heard in other autocratically ruled countries. Their speeches often go on much too long, even for hours and hours. As usual any press questions that demand a direct response that might require the truth serve to create defensive anger in our President so he lashes out, often blaming others for what he is most guilty of himself.

I, too, find early morning grocery shopping not desirable but haven’t tried it yet. In fact, I haven’t set foot in a store for several weeks since the madness began. I anticipated humankind being what it is, shopped gradually the preceding few weeks during my usual visits for what I would need. I figured the recommended two week duration would likely be much longer. Did benefit from neighbors picking up bananas and yogurt for me last week. May try going to store this week or next but not sure whether at special senior hour or later.

FWIW older family friend years ago used powdered milk since they often traveled a motor home about the country with infrequent access to a store. I hesitantly sampled the milk offered, expecting to be repulsed. I was surprisingly pleased with the taste — she had mixed the night before and refrigerated. Might be worth a try now for some.

Family member just received notice of hours cutback, no overtime, salary decrease, maybe more to come — applies to Sept. So far company trying to preserve benefits. At least person can work at home and company is considered essential.

Meanwhile, I stay indoors mostly, follow news TV, radio, computer; reading, writing weekly blog post, visiting blogger buddies. Remote contact with few family and friends still living or able to communicate around country. Good news: a family member free of CA after surgery, chemo, radiation. May all here stay healthy — this, too, will pass.

At first I quite enjoyed the unlimited time I had with no outside commitments-
kept busy garden/ other tasks etc but then I started to notice I wasn't getting around to things I had planned to do and I think what has happened is that I have lost focus - without a clear timeline to my day my organisation just slips away. So obviously I shall have to set myself timeline.It will be interesting to see how that works out

After fracturing my left femur in October 2018, I have been either in a wheelchair or using a walker for almost 18 months. I have relied on delivery services for virtually everything. When fresh, then frozen food runs out in about two weeks, I will be consuming riceit and oatmeal, and a stash of protein powder that is mostly beyond its expiration date. Thank God only water is needed to blend it up! In the last 10 days I have been unable to secure any orders, from anyone. Now, employees -- shoppers and drivers -- of the delivery services (mostly Instacart, for me) are on strike. Their main concern is not necessarily money; it's the lack of masks and gloves. I don't blame them. My last desperate attempt to place a grocery order ended when the price of a 7 oz. piece of nice cheddar from Whole Foods DOUBLED in price within a few hours. Screw Amazon. Jeff Bezos should go straight to hell. NOW, before he can occupy the $164 million monstrosity of a "house" he recently bought in California.

On another note, no one even seems to want to have a phone chat. I think this is because there is only one topic of conversation (two, if you include politics; hahaha, I LOVE the new moniker for T-Rump! Perfection.) Physically, I will survive, somehow. Emotionally, I feel even more isolated than usual. I have family in the area, but they have never been very supportive. A text message once in a while; a brief phone call from time to time. VERY rare visits, even in the best of times. My favorite friends live thousands of miles away. This is the time to stay on touch with them. I guess. I feel as if I'm imposing on them...

Ok I hv a 6 yr old granddaughter that comes to my house , her father (my son) lives here, him and his wife divorced last year n hv shared custody, my issue right now is the Covid 19 , my gd is being exposed double by going Bk n forth to each home , I’m considered a high risk patient n I do my part I stay at home plus help my gd on the computer to do her schoolwork,is there an option that I can change here to keep her n me safer mainly her , her mother works at Publix n in manajorial position works 50-60 hrs a wk , so being Publix you know there’s tons of people coming n going all day long , my sons job he’s a dispatcher n maybe a group of 10 n there in a large area to comply with the social distancing, soon as he gets home he takes his clothes off n gets a shower before he hugs his little girl , when it’s her Mother’s Day to hv her her mother waits inside at the front door n allows my granddaughter hug all over her n that’s her mother just coming from work being exposed to possible covid 19 , she mainly has her 2-3 hrs before bed time n when waking a 1-2 hrs before leaving n dropping her off here at my house where I can help her with her school work , since school is closed at this time , again I’m high risk n it really concerns me mainly my gd n me as well .

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