Tag: COVID-19

Sweet Lorane Community News, March 18, 2021

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 18, 2021
By Pat Edwards

As a weekly columnist for two local newspapers, I have found it difficult in the last year to come up with something to write about each week. Oh… there have been plenty of national and world-wide things to write about, but trying to write about what’s been happening locally in our community of Lorane has not been easy. The war on COVID-19 that has necessitated the shutdown of so much in our lives, has taken its toll on all of us, but with the arrival and beginning of the distribution of the vaccines, the skies seem a bit bluer as we look to the future.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, without much locally to write about, I have tried to use my columns as a way of journaling these truly historic, remarkable and tragic times we have been living through that have affected our lives in so many ways. Many of us have lost people who have personally touched our lives—family members, friends, acquaintances and even celebrities—to COVID-19. They are among the 538,000 deaths caused by this horrible disease in the U.S. to date.

The pandemic has been bad enough, but we have also had to endure a close-up and personal view of the tragedy Mother Nature can wreak upon our neighbors and friends living in the path of this past summer’s wildfires throughout Oregon, destroying homes and entire towns and leaving devastation in their wake.

Political tensions that began throughout the nation over the response to the coronovirus protocols calling for the wearing of masks and social distancing became more pronounced when the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd, an African-American who died at the knee of a Minnesota police officer, came to the forefront in June.
These same political tensions grew and accelerated through the summer and fall and by the time that the November 3rd Presidential election came around in the midst of a pandemic, we were a nation divided and our world exploded on January 6, 2021 when insurgents stormed our nation’s beautiful Capitol Building to try to nullify the outcome of the election.

I wrote about each of these events in my columns, but those weeks in between were a challenge. Because of COVID, local events, activities and in-person school throughout Oregon were cancelled, businesses closed, travel has become rare and dangerous and the economy has declined. Working, studying and staying at home has been the norm for almost everyone whose situation will allow it. Most meetings and family and social contacts have been done via Zoom, face-timing or other electronic means. We women have forgotten what we looked like with makeup—especially lipstick— and many men have grown beards.

Those blue skies that I mentioned at the beginning of this column are a sign that maybe—just maybe—there will soon be family gatherings, vacations, summer festivals, camping, barbeques and other social activities that I can write about once again.

Jim and I got our second Pfizer COVID vaccine last Sunday. I felt a little “unwell” for a couple of hours on Monday, and by Tuesday and Wednesday, with the sun shining, my energy level was back. Fortunately, Jim had no adverse reactions to the vaccine.

With the renewal of spring 2021, hope and happiness are on the horizon and, quite frankly, I’m ready to smile again.

Sweet Lorane Community News, October 22, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 22, 2020
By Pat Edwards

Our ballots arrived in the mail last week and we marked them right away and dropped them into the big white ballot box in the Walmart parking lot in Eugene on Monday when we went to town. It felt good knowing that we have done our parts in such an important responsibility in the democratic process. A few days later, we went to the website set up by the Oregon Secretary of State (google “My Vote Oregon“), and checked the status of our ballots to make sure they had been received. Sure enough, after filling out my info, a screen popped up with the notation, “Your ballot was received on October 20, 2020.” Our votes will be counted.

I suggest that anyone who is nervous about whether or not yours are received through either mail-in or drop-off voting do the same thing to put your mind at ease. Most important of all, if you haven’t voted yet, please do so right away. Don’t take a chance by voting at the last minute as many tend to do. Get your vote in now so that you know for sure that your voice has been heard in this election.

Jim and I are registered in different parties, but we seldom vote a party line. There have been years when we have canceled out each other’s vote, but not this one. Now that we have officially voted, we are bracing ourselves for the final week of incessant campaign ads geared to try and change minds at the last minute. I don’t think this is going to happen this year in the presidential race as everyone seems to be pretty deeply entrenched in their own beliefs and loyalties. My hope is that after the final tally is in, we can move on and work towards coming together instead of pushing further and further apart. We all have so much more in common than many of us realize. We all love our country, warts and all. I don’t know of anyone who plans to give up their citizenship. Most of us have friends and family who are opposite politically but, despite their differences, we respect them, enjoy their company, and consider them “good people.” Let’s all accentuate those qualities that we respect in each other instead of digging down to try and find things about them that we don’t agree with.

Once this pandemic is reined in, my prayer is that we can all once again get together and put, not only the pandemic, behind us, but the decisiveness we are feeling among each other.

Jim and I are hoping that we still will have some years to enjoy our retirement down the road as we have always dreamed of doing, but the spikes in the new cases of coronavirus have risen again and it continues to be a major problem for not only those of us in our purported “golden years,” but for the younger generations who are having problems moving forward with their own lives because of the obstacles to their education, careers and businesses presented by the pandemic.

This week, I fervently ask two things—Vote and follow the CDC guidelines for the coronavirus—so that we can all get back on track as soon as possible… for all of our sakes.

Sweet Lorane Community News, October 15, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 15, 2020
By Pat Edwards

The increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Lane County and all over the country necessitates that we continue protecting ourselves and our loved ones as best we can. Wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing, and not seeing our loved ones as often as we would like are taking their toll on many of us, but we cannot let up our vigilance. The first three things have been easy for Jim and I to assimilate. They are simple inconveniences that seem almost natural to us when we are out and about these days. The hard part is not being able to spend more time with our son and daughters; our grandchildren and great-grands. We still get together—outdoors—maybe once a month or so for special events, and Jim and I get to hold and cuddle our babies and ration ourselves to quick “hello” and “goodbye” hugs from the other “littles” while maintaining distance from the adults. Jim and I know that each of our family members are as careful as we are around others and if they have any doubt about possible exposure to the virus or have symptoms, they would not expose us or the rest of the family. Now that we are getting into the fall season, however, we need to be even more careful… even around each other.

The groups in Lorane that hold events have made hard decisions about whether or not to try to proceed during this pandemic and a couple have come up with ways to hold them while still staying within the CDC guidelines.

The Lorane Christian Church continues to meet each Sunday. The members have the options of coming inside the church for services as long as they wear masks and social distance. They are also given the option of participating in the service in their cars, parked in the parking lot outside, while listening to it on the car radio on FM 89.1. Before the service, Pastor Dave Langstraat and his wife Heidi, spend time circulating among the cars while masked and welcome attendees and take any prayer requests from them.

The church’s membership is planning to host its annual Trunk ‘n Treat event on Halloween night between 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the church’s parking lot. For those attending, masks are required and candy and goodies that will be handed out to trick or treaters from the trunks of cars must be sealed in individual ziploc bags. Hand sanitizer and/or disposable gloves will also be used.

Another annual fall series, the Rural Art Center’s Lorane Movie Night may or may not happen. The RAC board of directors canceled its initial October movie and is currently discussing whether or not they will try to offer future ones in the 2020-2021 season under CDC guidelines.

Last week, I provided an update on the plans for the Territorial Highway Road Project at Stony Point. As of this writing, truck travel between Hamm Road and Cottage Grove-Lorane Road will be restricted with the exception of those making local deliveries to the Lorane area. This past weekend, traffic lights were set up, covering 600 feet of roadway, to regulate one-way traffic through the most hazardous part of the construction. We ask everyone who is driving through that area to use caution and respect the other drivers who are also having to share this very difficult portion of the road.

We’ll soon be only 2 weeks away from a very important Election Day. Please! Remember to VOTE!… and send in your ballots early.