Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Somewhere In Heaven


Somewhere in Heaven . . .

It is with sadness in our hearts that my sister's dog Charlie went to sit on Grandpa's lap next to Skruffy.  Oh, it brings tears to all our eyes, and a smile on his face.

Unfortunately Bubba and Parker are probably not too far from being there too...but Dad's lap is certainly big enough for them all.  


This is the picture that I took Charlie out of and added him to Dad's lap.  This is a much happier, better day...Patti having her dogs over to Sandy and Arny's house, our dogs there because we were camping in their backyard with our motorhome.  I treasured these moments...I only wish I had more pictures of them.

Parker got sick about 2-3 weeks ago, and had minor surgery to remove a blockage in his abdomen.   He will be on special prescription food for the rest of his life, and NO MORE Arny Treats, much like Skruffy who got pork that I fried up so that she could at least have a modified Arny treat.

Bubba is the oldest at 17 years old this year.  He is showing his age, we have our fingers crossed that he makes it to California again to see his best bud Arny.

I hope dad can wait for another year of more before his lap gets taken over...

(yes, tears where shed writing this post)
  

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

This is Taxing on All of US

Ok, so...what is this blog about?  April 15th is upon us, so is this blog about Taxes?  


All 50 states are in a state of emergency, nearly all of us are in "lock down", going out for food and essentials for the most part, and some (like Marcia), not going out anywhere.  At least April 15th is not a Taxing day for us this year...that has been postponed to July 15th.  But I did ours and mailed it in yesterday...we owed a whole $5.  Of course, we paid way more than that in our quarterly tax payments.  Our quarterly tax payments have gone down for 2020 because one of us finally turns 65...while the other is already &@ years old (over 65).  Hey, I am not stupid enough to really post Marcia's age, but she is a little older than I am.  It use to bother me that I was the youngest in the family...until Sisters came along...now I brag about being so YOUNG!  By years end, I will be on Medicare, 16 months later I qualify for a full Social Security Benefit, and I already get most discounts for Senior Citizens.  I also paid our first quarterly tax payment too, even though it could have been delayed to July.  Had I left it in the bank, it would have earned us what, about another dollar with interest rates so low?  Figured it is best to pay now, instead of forgetting to pay it in July and having to pay an outrageous IRS penalty!

Covidvirus Spreads Out
Watching this VIRUS spread throughout the country...throughout the world is Taxing on the mind.  Just imagine "IF" we had the media resources we do today during the Spanish Flu of 1918-1920 when 500 Million were infected, and 50 Million died, 675,000 dying in the USA.  Heck, with news like that, and all the finger pointing and you should have done this, you need to do that attitudes, the news of the Spanish Flu would have killed another 675,000 due to heart attacks!

Overload
 
Most of us are tired of watching the news, news conferences, talking heads, Facebook news alerts, massive Tweets, numerous instant messaging from news feeds, etc., etc. etc.  It is TAXING to our brains, that is for sure.


Of course, the alternative is Taxing on your brain (and body) too.  Binge Watching episode after episode after episode will eventually catch up to you.  Last year Marcia and I found that we could watch all of Heartland via Amazon except the last (current) season.  Even that show, as gentle on the mind that it is (compared to shows that have lots of shoot-em-ups and bombs going off), it finally got to us.  Then we hit the end of the episodes that you could watch for free, which brings on addiction pains because you KNOW there is more out there, but you can't watch them without paying more $$$$ than you basic Amazon Prime price.  We never did give in to the temptation, and our addiction pains eventually vanished.



And finally, it is Taxing to the Brain to try and remember all the common sense stuff that you are suppose to do during this Coronavirus threat.  Well, for me, not so much...but for others, yes it is.  I will end this fun little Tax Day Blog with a few of the strange things I have observed over the past few weeks.
  • Lady riding a bike down the street near the condo wearing a mask.  Now mind you, there is NO ONE ELSE out on the street, but she insisted on wearing a mask...which does not bother me.  However, as she was headed toward me, I was able to observe her for perhaps a good tenth of a mile.  In that time period she touched her mask, and areas of her face, at least six times.  Mask for protection will not protect face from being touched by potential dirty hands.   Note:  Why is it that every time I put my gloves on to enter a store, that my nose or face itches but I can't touch it???
  • I was stopped at a stop light a few weeks ago and I looked in the rear view mirror.  There was a guy, about mid-30's, in his car, alone except for his dog which was in the back seat.  The guy had a mask on.  I can understand wearing masks in stores and stuff (although I choose not to), but in your own car with only your dog in the car???  You gotta wonder...   Note:  If the stores were full of people, which they are not here, I would consider wearing a mask.  Also, our county has a .02% infection rate, with 3 deaths.  When I go down an grocery aisle where someone has stopped looking for something, I will either wait for them, or stop breathing and quickly go by them before taking another breath.  Waited for this lady in the produce area just yesterday when I needed some diced garlic.  After about a minute she realizes I was there waiting for her back about 10 feet, and she apologized.  I told her, "I am in no hurry...there is no where to go but back home into isolation."  She laughed...
  • They closed the Dog Park!  Now they tell us to be sure to exercise the dogs, and then they close up the place where dogs can get exercise.  Up until a week ago, it was open, and everyone was keeping their distance.  They still have fishing beach and fishing pier open, but the playground is closed, as is the kids water park.  Poor Bubba...no more free wandering around on his own for awhile.
  • We get mail here at the Condo and also at a PO Box.  Went in to get mail, and I see this lady at the counter by the PO Boxes where many people open mail and toss out the junk.  Her safety gloves are off her hands, laying on the table, as she opens her mail, putting her hands on the counter top, on the garbage lid, and when she finished, she put her gloves back on and went out to her car.  I only hope that she washed her hands and dumped the gloves when she got home.  Note: When I get to the car while wearing gloves, I remove my left one partially exposing the inside of the glove, open the door with what was the inside of the glove, remove that glove and put in trash bag once inside, shut the door with my now bare hand, and I don't touch anything with my right hand until I take that glove off and put in trash bag.  I then take a Clorox wipe and wipe down my face, hands, arms, keys, steering wheel, and other places I touch in the car, all in that order, and put the now dirty wipe in the bag.  So the interior of the car should be as sanitized as it can be.
I could go into a bunch of stupid political things from every side of the aisle, or the stupid things politicians have said, or how the media has stuck its foot in mouth here and there..all of that is too TAXING on my brain.  As Marcia says, "Can't wipe stupid off of one's forehead."  Too many of these media and politicians are simply acting stupid, in my opinion, for whatever that is worth.

One very good thing I have noticed is just how clean everyone is keeping everything.  The stores use to have wipes to clean your own shopping cart ...now they have a cleaning person who wipes them down much more thoroughly than one can do with those little wipes.  Staff are wiping down freezer and refrigerator doors, vegetables in the produce area, grocery shelves, moping the floor, and especially keeping the check-out areas spotless, including the touch pad at the credit card machine.  They have put up sneeze/cough barriers between the staff member and those checking out.  If someone is bagging your groceries, you are asked to stay in your checkout area until they have everything in the cart.  And the lines are longer only because of the 6 foot rule they want everyone to keep...so a line with 3 people in it is 12+ feet long instead of everyone crunched up along the conveyor belt waiting for their turn to pay.  Good news, most people are shopping alone, few to no kids, and everyone is being polite and orderly...with about 50% of the people having masks on.  Gee...I wonder how long all this new found politeness will last after this epidemic is over????


Sunday, April 12, 2020

No Bunnies, No Eggs, No Guests, But HE STILL AROSE


Can you remember the days of being young at Easter time?  Typically started out with Palm Sunday, then having a week off from school (when the school district coordinated it correctly), then a church service for Good Friday, followed by decorating eggs on Saturday.


On Sunday, after church, we would be given a basket, with green fake grass inside (but not as nice as this basket...many times it was just a plain looking basket).


And in the grass we would hope to find some Jelly Beans and one or two delicious (gag) Peeps.  Yes, as a kid they tasted great...now days, not so much so...


After church, and after Easter Dinner, the HUNT would begin.  We would look for the painted hard boiled eggs, and especially for the plastic eggs.  You never knew what would be inside the plastic egg...perhaps a note, perhaps a few little candies (ie: Jelly Beans), perhaps a few coins or a even a dollar bill.  Of course, the 'older kids' (all my brothers for instance) had to be told which area of the yard was theirs, and which was for us younger kids...otherwise, us younger kids would not come up with any plastic eggs.



Can you remember your first chocolate bunny?  I can..it tasted good, but I was disappointed that it was hollow, but it didn't take away from the taste.  I nibbled on it for a number of days.


And later in life I was introduced to the Cadbury Eggs. Oh WOW, those are to die for, especially certain flavors.  They have 25 different flavors!  Not even sure which ones are my 'favorite', because after all, how can you have a 'favorite' when they all taste so good.  Here is a list of eggs from over the years: Chocolate Creme Eggs, Orange Creme Eggs, 'Berry' Creme Eggs,  Mint Creme Eggs, Dairy Milk with Creme Egg bars, Creme Egg Fondant, Creme Egg ice, Holiday Ornament Creme Egg, Mad About Chocolate Egg (Australia and New Zealand), Creme Egg Pots Of Joy , Screme Egg Pots Of Joy, Creme Egg Layers Of Joy, Peppermint Egg (New Zealand), Giant Creme Eggs, Creme Egg Splats, Screme Egg - for Halloween, Screme Egg Minis, Fudgee-O Egg, Oreo Cream Egg (Canada). Introduced in 2016. Filled with a white cream centre containing Oreo cookie crumbs, Ghost Egg , White Chocolate Creme Egg.  What you DON'T see is a COCONUT Egg...just the more reason to like Cadbury.  COCONUT and Chocolate?  Hershey burned me more than once with their Almond Joy Bars and their Mounds Bars...it took me awhile (a number of Halloweens) to realize that they BOTH had Craponut in them.  Yes, CRAPONUT, that is how much I don't like Coconut!  Don't need to worry about that with Cadbury, as you do with See's, Mrs. Cavanaugh's, Chirardelli, Godiva, etc.


Hard to talk about Easter without talking about Miss Ann.  She was the Children's Librarian at the Pine Bluff Library for decades.  A few years after I arrived in Pine Bluff, Miss Ann told me to "expect a surprise" when I got home from church the Friday before Easter.  We got home, and Miss Ann and one of her Easter Bunny Helpers had hidden Easter Eggs for my three kids.  It has been  15 years since Miss Ann passed...I miss her to this day.





As one gets older, being raised in the faith, Easter becomes less and less about Chocolate Bunnies, Cadbury Eggs, and especially a lot less about Peeps.  It is a very special day, a day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  This year Easter, or Resurrection Day as it is known by many Christians, is a day where families were unable to gather, unable to celebrate together.  There were no community Easter Egg Hunts, and most could not attend church except through the Internet.  But it was still a memorable day for us believers.  I hope that you too have had a good day today.  As for us...our Boneless Leg of Lamb is still cooking, and we should be feasting around 5 pm.  Little did I know back then that Lamb was better than Chocolate...



Saturday, April 4, 2020

Mom Fell, Hit Head, Broke Foot

On Thursday I get the dreaded email from Sandy.  Mom fell!  Sandy got the call from the facility mom lives at around 4 am, they were loading mom up on an ambulance to take her to the hospital.  Four hours later Sandy sent out the email stating that she had a broken foot (fractured in three places), and a brain bleed, and that she was moving into ICU.  NO ONE could go to the hospital due to "THE VIRUS", so it was a waiting game at home for everyone.

Hospital Room

They did another CT Scan and found that her brain bleed did not get any bigger.  They moved her into a regular hospital room sometime that night.  About 3 pm our time I called her, and she sounded real good.  They had taken a third CT Scan, and no change, which was good.  They planned to release her soon.  WOW!  What a change from just 24 hours earlier when we wondered if she was going to make it or not.  When you or anyone you know is not there to "see for yourself", you always think the worse...
Medical Shoe
So mom has a special shoe, I am thinking probably a bit like this one above.  Not sure even which foot she broke...all we know is that she is back in the facility, in her little apartment, and is doing surprisingly well.  She got a good nights sleep.  She can get up with her walker (which she always uses anyways) and make it around the apartment wearing her special shoe.  Due to "THE VIRUS" they are bringing all meals to her, so this is a perfect time to have a broken foot, if there is such a time.  She said that she keeps the shoe on all the time because when she takes it off, it hurts...with it on, doesn't hurt at all.

It sure gives one a time to pause, and think about ALL those other people who are in a hospital right now, due or not due to "THE VIRUS".  Think of a child who fell and hit their head real hard.  Off to the hospital they go,  and no contact with family.  Think of that mother and father, wondering how their child is doing.  (Reminds me of when I was a baby...so sick when I was born that mom went home without me.  I was so sad, sitting there in that little incubator ...)    Seriously, it is a hard time right now for many...we are just so lucky that mom is doing so well.  Now, as long as doesn't come down with "THE VIRUS" in the next 14 days, I would say she came out of this pretty lucky and very blessed.



Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Dad Would Have Been 92


Dad would have been celebrating his 92nd Birthday Today (April 1st).  The picture above was taken two years ago at Sandy and Arny's house.  It was a Sunday, Easter Sunday.  It was the last birthday I would have with him because last year my son graduated from a Chiropractic College in Missouri and we just could not make both.  I wrote this in the blog back then pertaining to his 90th Birthday:
Easter has fallen on Dad’s birthday only four times in his lifetime, 1934, 1945, 1956, and 2018…and will do so again in 2029, but dad says he does not want to be around ‘that’ long…which is understandable. 
Well, he did not even make two years...and I KNOW he does not mind, although many of us do because we miss him so much.


Dad was musically inclined with his voice, but playing any instrument just wasn't his thing...but he did enjoy fiddling with a Ukulele now and then.  I think it got put in, and taken out, of more than one yard sale...no telling what ever happened to it.


Dad had one brother, Leroy...we affectionately called him Uncle Red, even though his red hair turned white a long time ago.  Above is a picture of Leroy (right) and mom and dad before they got married.  Dad was in his navy uniform.  My guess, it was 1947, perhaps 1946.

Both dad and Leroy were very jovial, even to the point of being jokesters.  Leroy was the king of the two, older child and all...he dished out many a good joke...and was the receiver of many too.  Dad, well, being born on April 1st, had many a joke played on him just because he was born on April Fools Day.  As a young child I remember someone at church giving him a large, nicely wrapped box for his birthday.  By the time he got down to the sixth or seventh box (open the big box, a slightly smaller box is found, open it, and another slightly smaller box is found, etc) each nicely wrapped, he got down to the last one which was the size of a ring box...just to open it and find a piece of Bazooka Bubble Gum.


I couldn't wait for him to open it just so I could read the short little Bazooka Joe Comic found on the inside of the wrapper of each piece of gum. 


On June 5, 1948 mom and dad married in San Jose by candle light at 7 pm.  Grandpa Burdick performed the ceremony, and that is him standing behind mom and dad.   Uncle Red was at the far right.  Mom's sister Aunt Mary was next to mom, and on the far left is future Aunt Mary Lee, who later married mom's brother Kenny.  I 'think' everyone else in the picture has passed now except for mom and Mary.  Others in the picture were friends of mom and dad.


My brother Bob sent me this picture the other day.  It is the wedding of our cousin Marlene, around 1950.  That is mom standing to the left of the bride (Marlene), and Bob's first mother-in-law, Anne, is standing next to mom.  The interesting thing is...the wedding dress that Marlene is wearing is mom's wedding dress...and the dress mom is wearing is one of the dresses her bride's maids wore...most likely the one Aunt Mary wore.


This is, I think, the last picture that all of us were in together.  It was taken December 2017.  Look at that smile on both mom and dad's face!  A very precious moment.  FYI: Back Row L to R - Jim, Roger, Dave (me);  Middle Row: Patti, Sandy, Bob; and Mom and Dad in front.


Four years ago, on dad's 88th birthday, Mom decided to give up drinking, and was handing her Bud Light to Arny.  It was about time, we were all getting worried about her!  (Honestly, neither mom nor dad drank or smoked...she was teasing Arny who had left his beer sitting around and she grabbed it while he was not looking...I just happened to have the camera ready to get the shot.)

I am so thankful for the many times over the past ten years that Marcia and I were able to celebrate things like Birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving,  Christmas and of course, Wedding Anniversary days with both Mom and Dad, let alone other times that we gathered at Sandy and Arny's for a meal or just a good get-together.  For a few years mom and dad lived right next door to Sandy and Arny, so when we were 'Backyard Camping' it was very easy to visit them.  

The irony is, had dad been alive now, there is no way we could have made his birthday this year.  CoronaVirus prevents "group gatherings", and right now mom (and dad had he survived) is in total facility lock-down.  "IF" a resident leaves the facility grounds for any reason, even a doctor's appointment, they will be under strict 14 day quarantine in their apartments to be sure that they don't spread the virus if they caught it.  So far, the entire facility is virus free...thank the Lord!  Of course, we wouldn't even attempt to drive to California right now...with our luck, we would get in the middle of west Texas and have some State Trooper make us park and sit it out.  (Actually, have not heard stories of RVers being stopped, but many state and federal parks are closed, as are some commercially owned parks.)

So today (April 1st) I will miss my annual phone call, won't be able to visit, can't celebrate a wonderful day with dad...so we will just have to celebrate it without dad.  In a way, he will be there, in the hearts of each child, each grandchild, each relative, and especially a spouse who loves him so very much.  Happy Birthday Dad...this one you get to celebrate with your mom and dad and brother and countless friends and relatives who we also miss so very much.  Have a nice Heavenly Birthday!




Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Virus Life


Those who KNOW Bubba KNOW that Bubba is NOT a Lap Dog.  So 'IF' Bubba is on a lap, it is either he is scared, or was forced...I mean...coerced into sitting on a lap.  Here is Bubba sitting on my lap, so 'either' the virus has scared him...or I forced...I mean...coerced him to sit on my lap.  YOU DECIDE!  (OK, I coerced him...told him I would give him an extra treat when we got home if he let me hold him like I would hold Skruffy.  Unfortunately, he is so tense, his tummy has an obstruction that Skruffy did not have [think boy vs girl], and all he wanted to do was get down while all Skruffy ever wanted was more love.  Oh how much do we miss that little squirt...)


Old Bubba is a creature of habit.   During certain times each day...once or twice in the morning, once or twice in the afternoon, and two or three times in the evening he waits near the kitchen.  What does he want?  His morning treat, morning breakfast, afternoon treat(s), evening treats and dinner, and finally, his ice cream.  THANK GOODNESS for Rebel Ice Cream!  A 'PINT' of Ice Cream is only 4 to 6 carbs.  It cost around $5 per pint, but I only have 1/3 of a pint each day, Marcia typically relies on Atkins Candy Bars for her treat each day.  Of my 1/3 of a pint, Bubba gets a couple of tablespoons.  I love it, and Bubba LOVES it (thanks Arny and Sandy for spoiling him with ice cream all these years!)


I try to get him to the doggie park each week...either on Saturday or Sunday, although I took him this past Monday.  As we pulled up, Bubba looks out, then looks at me.  "Where the 'HECK' is everyone???   I tried to explain to him about the fears of the CoronaVirus, and he just gives me that look like, "Just let me out of this car!"  Sure enough, no other doggies in site during our 30 minute visit.  Dogs REALLY have a sense of where they are...as soon as I get within 1/4 mile of the dog park, he perks up, sits up, and by the time I stop he can't wait to get out of the car.


Not another dog anywhere in site.  HEY FOLKS...THERE IS PLENTY OF ROOM TO SPREAD OUT AT THE DOGGIE PARK, AND YOU DOGS STILL NEED EXERCISE!  


The new cell tower at the RV Storage Lot is taking shape.  It does seem to be active, and they decided to decorate it as a pine tree instead of a palm tree.  I guess they thought they were in the mountains somewhere and not in Florida!  I was really hoping for a nice big Palm Tree at the end of the Storage Area.


Last week I saw how low gas prices had gotten, and decided to fill up the motorhome while it was so cheap.  WOW, $1.159 per gallon???  Well, that is only with the 80 cents discount I got from my Winn Dixie points.  Still, $1.959 is pretty cheap!  Can't think of how long it has been since I put 20 gallons of gas in for $23.00!  Wow, that was nice.


On the way back from filling the motorhome, I then filled up the car.  Over 10 gallons for $21.00, even that is not bad...but I put twice as much in the motorhome nearly the same money with that 80 cent discount!


This is the largest parking lot in the Docks Area of Tarpon Springs.  Normally this lot is full of cars and sometimes a few RVs this time of year...lately this is the norm...hardly any cars, no RVs.

Tarpon Springs Docks is like a Ghost TownTarpon Springs Docks is like a Ghost Town



These pictures along the docks was taken around 1 pm...it looks like it is 9 am.  Businesses are hurting, hurting, hurting.  Restaurants can only serve "To Go" orders.  Bars that sell food can also sell bottles of beer and wine (but it is hard to beat the price of liquor stores or grocery stores).  This view can be seen all across America, with different rules in different locals. It is like Christmas Day, except it has been a few weeks, and it is going to be a number of weeks more. At first they allowed restaurants to seat every other table...but that did not work out especially where Spring Breaks kids congregate.  Beaches are mostly closed, but it is left up to the individual counties to make that decision.  Some cities and counties are in full lock down, but most of Florida is not under a lock down.


Just in case you had not heard, the Salt Lake City had a major earthquake, just 15-20 miles west downtown...which means just 15-20 miles away from my daughter Stephanie lives.  No one really hurt, only minor damage for an earthquake of that size, but WOW, I am sure we did not have to live through it, and how Stephanie managed to get through it is beyond me.  There were many aftershocks in the high 2's to 4.5 range, and those were not easy to deal with either.  It looks like the last aftershock was just 4 hours ago today, so this is something they are still dealing with.

CoronaVirus as of 3/25/2020 at 7:06 pm ET 
World Meter Link     |     By Country Meter Link     |     USA Meter Link

Update on family in regards to "THE VIRUS".  As far as we can tell, no family member has been infected.  Ryan and Kaelyn's wedding has been postponed until late July..which means we will be here in Florida at least through May, perhaps through June.  Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim gave up on Assisted Living life and moved back to their safe haven in the Modesto California area.  Mom's facility is pretty much on total lock-down.  In fact, sister Patti went by over the weekend and mom through her laundry over the outside balcony down to Patti.  (Of course, Patti could have walked in and got and left real quick, or mom could have handed out the back exit door which is close to her, but hey, tossing it down over a balcony down to the ground some 30' below is more fun!)  

On a sad note, the guy who came out from Missouri to do Dad's Memorial Service has been diagnosed with the Virus.  From what mom said yesterday, Kevin is feeling fine, but due to recent travel and contact with a son who was showing signs of the illness, he decided to get tested, and he "won the CoronaVirus Lotto".  We sure hope that he has a mild case, and perhaps he is one of the real lucky who has it, and never shows any symptoms.  I have read a number accounts of people who have gone through the illness.  In its bad, evil form, it is something that no one wants to go through.  One man, in his early 30's, thought for sure he was going to die, and asked the doctor to give him the "Malaria Drug" that a relative told him about.  They consented and gave him Hydroxychloroquine and he tells about how painful it was for about six hours, and suddenly he wakes up and wonders what was wrong with him.  He credits the drug with saving his life, but he said that he went through hell getting there.  My prayer and hope is that none of my family, none of my readers, none of my friends have to go through this...

Finally, I went to Sam's Club yesterday, just two weeks from my previous visit.  WOW, what a change.  The meat area was pretty much bare of beef, but they had pork, chicken, fish, and lots of hamburger and lots of beef briskets...but no normal steaks, no roasts, and the cuts of chicken and pork were numerous, but the fish was limited.  Want Lamb?  Sorry...  Want a good steak?  Well, if you want to pay $30+ for one of those huge Ribeye with the bone which are 2-3" thick, well you are in luck.  Want a good roast?  Nada...  I was able to get everything else I needed...but I forgot the coffee.  Well, I'll get a container from Winn Dixie down the street later...I don't plan to go into Sams for another two weeks.  As for the crowd, there was not a huge crowd.  I did notice the Deli as you leave was closed down, as was the tire shop that I typically park near.



Friday, March 13, 2020

Coronavirus Affects (Not Infects) Family, and Community


This 2015 picture is of mom and dad (left), Aunt Rosie (now deceased picture front right), Marcia and Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary (far right end).  Mary and mom are sisters, Mary being two years older than mom.  Rosie is the wife of their older brother Kenny, who was three years older than Mary.  Of the eleven children of Grandma Cline, Mary, Mom and the youngest of the family, Paul, are the only ones left.
 
Mary and Jim moved into an Assisted Living Center in Elk Grove California (southern suburb of Sacramento) this past Saturday.  On Monday, that Center went into a quarantine situation due to one of the residents being diagnosed with the COVID-19 Coronavirus...that person, a 97 year old female, passed away on Tuesday.  According to a news report today, none of the facility's other 143 patients are yet suspected of being infected.

The quarantine consists of trying to keep the residents in their apartments, having meals delivered to each apartment, and no group gatherings or activities.  Visitors are not allowed in the building, but residents can leave if they want or need to (such as doctor's appointments, or wishing to go live with a relative for a few weeks.)

Mom, who lives in an Assisted Living facility in Roseville (northern suburb of Sacramento) has not reported any cases at her place, but they too are taking some precautions. They still gather for meals in the dining room, but other group activities are canceled for now, and visitors need to stay within the residents apartment.

In the state of Washington, as of Thursday evening, 22 deaths are associated with the Life Care Center of Kirkland near Seattle. It’s been 13 days since this Life Care Center went on quarantine. Sixty-three residents have been infected...I could not find out how many of the 41 remaining infected residents are at the facility, in hospitals, or what.  Just because you are old and catch the virus does not mean you are going to die...but chances are higher for the elderly especially because many have underlying illnesses which has weakened their immune system.


Coronavirus has been around for a long time...but this new Coronavirus, COVID-19, is new.  Dad, pictured above in the ER the day before he passed away, was diagnosed with Coronavirus OC43, which is one of the viruses which causes the common cold.  His immune system was so shot that his lungs and heart could not handle this virus, leading to complications, which quickly took him away from us.  


There is much hype going on in the world over COVID-19.  I think over time history will show that COVID-19 is just another form of cold or flu that the world will need to deal with.  There is a huge probability that a vaccine will be created quickly which will keep this virus in check for the next flu and cold season next winter.  Countries of the world have decided that the best way to keep this virus in check for now is to keep its spread as small as possible.  Here in the US/Canada the NBA, NHL, NCAA have canceled their seasons.  Golf and NASCAR are still happening, but with no crowds.  Baseball's Spring Training has been suspended, and opening day has been moved back by two weeks.  Disney is shutting down all of its parks here in the states starting Sunday, and stopping new cruises from starting up until further notice.  The list goes on and on....

What all this means is that businesses and jobs will take a huge hit.  Next week the PGA's Valspar Championship takes place in Palm Harbor, just yards away from where we store our motorhome.  Restaurants, Hotels, Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Bars, Tourist Sites are all geared up for around 150,000+ visitors.  The Valspar Championship raises lots of money for charity, around $2.5 million last year.  This year, as of today's announcement, will be a BUST!

Today on my way to do more work at the motorhome, I stopped by a McDonalds for a Diet Coke (all drinks are just $1).  It was exactly noon...I was the only car in the two lanes to give orders, but when I drove up to the window to pay there were two cars which has already paid awaiting their orders.  The parking lot had many empty parking places.  I typically avoid going to this McDonalds after 11:30 and before 2:00 due to the lunch rush...today there was no lunch rush.  I noticed fewer cars in the large Walmart shopping center and the Publix Shopping Center across the street.  Yesterday we met Marcia's brother Dean and wife Caryl at Mama Maria's for lunch.  We arrived at 11:30, left around 2:00.  They had about 1/4 of their tables in use at the most.  Many people are not going out to eat, not visiting tourist sites, stocking up on hand sanitizers, TP, Kleenex, and food.  Hunkering down at home is the thing to do right now for many.  Our church sent out a Facebook reminder about the Internet Live Stream of our services for those who understandably don't want to get out into the public.

It is going to be a tough 2-6 weeks.  Eventually people will get fed up with staying home.  The economy will pick back up.  Many experts are saying that by Summer, COVID-19, like the flu and cold, will slow way down until the next flu season.  Baseball, Golf and NASCAR will again have people in their stands.  The NBA, NCAA, NHL will have asterisk in their books showing why they did not complete the 2019-2020 Season.  Mickey Mouse will again have visitors, and cruise ships will come and go each week from the many ports.  Local businesses will again see normal use, those businesses which are able to survive this slow down.

As for Marcia and I...we are doing just fine.  We take the same precautions as we do with the flu each year because neither of us get the flu shot.  The last time I got a flu shot, back in the '70's, I ended up with the flu.  In my lifetime I have lived through the following pandemics (defined : prevalent over the world)---
Asian Flu (1957–1958) outbreak of avian influenza that originated in China with estimates of worldwide deaths ranging from 1 million to 4 million depending on source, and it is estimated that 70,000 died in the US.

Hong Kong Flu (1968–1969) which killed an estimated one million people worldwide.  People over 65 had the greatest death rates with US deaths of around 33,800.

Russian Flu (1977–1978) primarily affected people born after 1950, because the older generation had protective immunity resulting from prior experience with this strain. The 1977 virus was similar to other A/H1N1 viruses that had circulated prior to 1957. The virus was included in the 1978–79 vaccine.  Few deaths occured since this was primarily in young people.

Swine Flu (2009–2010) CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases, and WHO stated that "199 countries and overseas territories/communities have officially reported a total of over 482,300 laboratory confirmed cases...that included 6,071 deaths", but later increased the estimated number of deaths to 284,500 people, about 15 times the number of deaths in the initial death toll, with 12,469 deaths in the US. 
I survived those pandemics, and I expect to survive this one.  Our thoughts are prayers are with my Aunt and Uncle, Mom, Euleda (Arny's mom), and other friends and relatives who are at that age where this COVID-19 is so deadly.  

NOTE: The local golf tournament has now been canceled.