Tag: Coronavirus

Sweet Lorane Community News, March 26, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 26, 2020
By Pat Edwards

We are in the midst of “Week Two” of the pandemic self-isolation and, for Jim and I, it is “so far, so good.” I’ve found plenty of projects to keep me busy and our yard and home are the beneficiaries. Last week, two of our neighbors and I took advantage of the beautiful sunny days, and were able to complete the much-improved flower garden at the entrance to our neighborhood along Territorial Road. We kept a distance between us and since we are all seniors, we drug ourselves home each day to soak in a hot bath or allow our aches and pains to abate as we could, but along with the aches was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

When the rains began, I chose one major spring cleaning job to do each day that I don’t do on a daily basis. One day I cleaned my refrigerator; another, I took down the shades and window valances from our bedroom windows and cleaned them as well as the windows and sills. Another day, I decluttered one whole room, deciding what things I would keep. The things I had no use for at the moment went into the St. Vincent de Paul box and the rest was tossed. I still have a lot more to do, but staying busy helps to keep my mind off of the pandemic and the isolation.

I’ve also been thinking about more long-term projects that will allow me to focus on what could be this year’s 2020 Groundwaters anthology. I recently wrote an email to our previous contributors and other writers in my mailing list with this proposition:

It occurred to me that this might be a perfect time for all of us to begin writing in earnest to help take our minds off of health issues and fears. During this time, we would like to set up a section in the next issue of the Groundwaters anthology where we can include our experiences, thoughts, hopes for the future and anything else we wish to express at this time. Our writing might include love letters to our family and friends or advice to future generations. Because our world has so vastly changed in the last few weeks and months and we are surrounded by so much doom and gloom, we’d like our stories and essays to be as positive, thoughtful and upbeat as possible… but we also want them to be honest. Knowing that we are filled with so many emotions, we realize that political and religious opinion may enter into our writings—they are definitely a part of this experience—but we ask you to keep these things respectful, knowing that not everyone shares the same beliefs and ideologies…

For those of you who enjoy writing, I encourage each of you to keep a journal during this time. Record the things described above and even if you don’t want to submit them for publication, keep them for your family and your descendants to read. We are living in unprecedented times in our modern history and what we are learning and experiencing now may impact our lives and that of our family later on.

Each of us must find ways of being productive and/or finding satisfying means of living our lives during these days of confinement. Some generous and talented people are making masks and gowns for local hospitals; others, as one of our writers offered, “are staying balanced in our self-confinement, having slow, quiet days punctuated with nature walks and creative dinners.

family timeThese people are honing their sewing and cooking skills, playing family games with their children, working in their flower beds, cleaning house, taking walks… and at the end of the day, there is still time to sit back and quietly read, listen to music or watch movies or stream favorite TV shows. Take advantage of this much-needed time to reflect on how important these things can be in your life if you take time to do them… and remember them when we finally enter the “post-pandemic” days, however far down the road they may be.

Sweet Lorane Community News, March 19, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 19, 2020
By Pat Edwards

This past week, as seniors, Jim and I began our self-imposed isolation. Jim is 80 years of age, a diabetic, and had back surgery a month ago today, so our focus has been on protecting him. Up until a few days ago, I was cautiously helping our daughters run errands for our little country store by picking up groceries and making deposits. Keeping the shelves stocked with necessities that would allow Lorane residents to make fewer trips to town was becoming more and more difficult. I took disinfectant wipes with me to use on everything I touched while “out and about,” as well as hand sanitizer.

But all of that came to a screeching halt when our youngest, who lives in Arizona, pointed out to me fairly strongly that I, too, needed to stay home. Her reasoning hit home—by possibly exposing myself to the virus, I could not only get sick myself, but I could bring it home to Jim. So, we will be staying home, as each of us should, until it is safe to socialize again.

This concept of staying home must seem very strange to our younger generations, but it is familiar to me. When we were raising our family of four kids, I made one trip to town a week to get groceries, and the kids and I celebrated by having lunch at Bob’s 19-cent Hamburgers or Arctic Circle before heading back home. Our kids played with each other and with “the Talley kids” who lived across the street, building forts in the woods, riding horses, or jumping from the hayloft in the barn into broken bales of hay. There were a lot of chores to do, inside and out, but few sleepovers or playdates in those days of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Today, even that one trip to town will be sacrificed for the safety of not only ourselves but for others. We will all have a dark cloud hanging over us, worrying about our friends and family members who are needed to serve the public in the medical field, public safety or other needed professions or those who must try to keep their businesses afloat somehow if the predictions hold true.

Creative suggestions have been offered on how we can help the small business owners from a distance. We can order takeout meals from our local restaurants or buy gift certificates from our locally-owned businesses that will provide needed income now that can be cashed in later. We can spend our time at home caring for our own yards, lawns and gardens and offer help to our elderly neighbors, especially, who are unable to get out to mow or do the same for their own homes.

This week, a close relative who is caretaking both her husband and brother—one in the hospital, needing to come home, and one who is in hospice care who she could not leave—was in desperate need of our help. I offered to pick up her husband from the hospital and bring him home. While I did that, our daughters and son took their riding lawnmowers to their home and mowed their acre of lawn and the sides of their quarter-mile-long driveway that were beginning to get out of hand. The next day, the girls brought their lawnmowers over to our house and did the same. Rob would have been there, too, but he had to be at his job.

I can attest to how much their efforts meant to not only Jim and me, but to our family member, as well. With all of the stress and worry of the pandemic and its possible consequences to our age group, the lightening of our load by getting a jump-start on our yardwork was a precious, precious gift. Just looking out over our freshly mown lawns has given us a huge lift. Thank you, Gloria, Rob, Michele… and perhaps, most of all, Kelly, who read me the “riot act” from Arizona… for caring, and being there for our family.

For those of you who have put yourselves in self-imposed isolation and are looking for something to do that will uplift your day as well as someone else’s, pick up a meal at the Lorane Deli for your neighbor who can’t do it himself; or take your lawnmower over to another neighbor’s house and brighten her day… and then reward yourself by binge-watching your favorite show, if you want.

We can all get through this together if we remain caring and respect the limitations that have been put on us in this “new reality” that we are living right now.

Stay safe and caring everyone!

Sweet Lorane Community News, March 12, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 12, 2020
By Pat Edwards

hand-WASHING-healthcare_5859234Well, I’m a bit late in getting my column turned in this week, but it’s not for a lack of things to write about… It’s more about how to say the things I want to say and make it helpful, interesting and non-repetitive.

Obviously, I need to address the elephant in the room—the Coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting us in our part of the world. Whether we live in urban areas, in small towns or rural areas, our lifestyles and daily routines are being turned upside down. Up until this past week, we have been trying to figure out how all of the dire predictions about this new flu virus will affect us. We haven’t truly known what to believe or think, and some began hoarding vital necessities that we all need. Others scoffed about how there was no need to panic… that surely it was no worse than the regular flu that we try to avoid each year.

This past week, however, it’s been made very clear to us that our lives are going to have to be put on hold for an indeterminate amount of time if we are to avoid what could possibly be tragic consequences. Many of us are very vulnerable to the effects of this new virus—senior citizens; those who have medical issues and weakened immune systems, especially. Jim and I are both in the first category, and Jim, as a diabetic and a recent surgical patient, puts him in the other one. It’s now very apparent that we need to stay out of crowds and places where we could be exposed to the virus. But we also have a store to run—a responsibility to our community to try and keep as much on hand as possible so the people of Lorane don’t have to make trips to town for needed items.

We’ll order as much from vendors who deliver as possible, but much of our merchandise has always come from Winco, SmartFoods, Costco and Walmart. Our family is working out a plan on keeping a list of things the store and each of us needs and when one of us goes in, we will buy for our whole group.

I understand that other groups in our area are doing the same type of thing… organizing phone trees and other communication set-ups so that they can help each other and save trips to town by sharing and joining together on needs. One of those groups, in particular, is on Simonsen Road. They are working out a plan together to figure out how to help each other. Good stuff!

We haven’t been faced with this type of a world-wide epidemic since the Spanish flu epidemics of 1918 and 1922. While researching my history of Lorane, I ran across how we lost our own people in that epidemic. Here is what I wrote about it in From Sawdust and Cider to Wine

“In 1918 and 1922, the Lorane community experienced a flu epidemic along with the rest of the country. Many were taken sick and several, including Edith Counts” (Lloyd Counts’ mother), “and two Thompson children, died. During the time when homes were quarantined, food was brought to the homes by volunteers and placed on the porches for those inside.

“A popular means of warding off cold and flu germs during the early 20th century was the practice of both children and adults wearing asafetida bags on a cord around their necks. These cloth bags contained asafetida, a foul smelling substance obtained from a plant related to the carrot family. It was believed that it protected humans from not only cold germs, but spasms, too. And, I imagine, it protected against other people and animals getting too close, as well…”

Asafetida bags are no longer in use, thank goodness, so we all need to do what we can to protect ourselves from the virus in today’s world. Stay home and out of crowds as much as possible; wash hands often and use hand sanitizers and when in town, wipe surfaces you touch, such as shopping cart handles and restroom door handles, whenever possible with disinfectant towels. If you begin to have symptoms of the flu, get help if needed, but isolate yourself from others.

Above all, don’t hoard! Have products you need on hand, but don’t buy more than you think you’ll need for a couple of weeks at a time. Others need these products, too, and if we can’t all be protected, we will all be more vulnerable.

Let’s join together and help each other work out a system that will allow all of us to be as safe as possible. We can do this!