Stay in place – Day 1

This is not our first day of partial voluntary confinement. Sunday my wife reluctantly went to our church service as one of the indispensable bell ringers in the bell choir. Even so our church was only one of three Duluth Churches holding services that Sunday. On Monday we went out to buy some groceries. Tuesday there was a church meeting and Claudia participated by phone. She’s staying home now while I’ll run errands and wash my hands with lye when I come home. Well, soap. No need to overreact.

I’ve got a couple French citizens I’ve been pen pals with on my cell phone. All are in government imposed confinement. Police are at the intersections giving transients 130 euro fines. One has relatives that are physicians who are overwhelmed with sick people and beginning to withhold intubation for those who are too far gone – an effective death sentence. I asked if the sick are being sent to hospitals elsewhere that still have free beds. Apparently that is happening…..as long as remote hospitals still have beds available. My new friends are in a state of controlled shock.

Another has a nine-year-old niece who has a bad case of it. And its no longer just an overseas problem. Claudia’s nephew has been hospitalized in Bismarck, North Dakota, with a severe case that is not the flu. He should know by later today if he has corona virus. His wife came back ill from a Rhode Island sporting event with 24 young women two weeks ago. All the kids went to school the next day. That was two weeks ago and points to one of the fearsome aspects of Corona virus. It has up to a 14-day incubation period unlike our typical flues which incubate for two or three days. That’s fourteen days of walking around passing on the virus compared to 2 or 3. Here is a short story explaining the facts.

and a chart:

Today I decided to lend a hand keeping my grandson’s education from withering away. I sent them two challenges to answer questions from Sherlock Homes. One required translating a couple hundred word message in french. As they discover the answers more challenges will be sent to them via an envelope in their porch. My older grandson just called and told them that contrary to the message it was his dog that was not the best not his grandpere. He earned fifty cents. His younger brother is about to look for a translator as well. I’ve got to come up with a new challenge but I have one in mind.

I’m still working on French. I’m puttering with the books I’ve been threatening to write. I’m also thinking about how I might challenge Pete Stauber in a campaign where neither of us can gather together with crowds for fear of spreading the pandemic. I’ll have more time. No more snow sculptures for a while.

I’ll be donating blood tomorrow. I got a call from Memorial Blood bank. They are still up and running and cleaning off surfaces like mad. Folks in our church are sending messages back and fourth about how they can help. I suggested that those of us who might get a thousand dollar check we don’t need from the government make sure it gets into the hands of those who need it.