Post Script: Thoughts on a virus


  by Frances Edstrom, columnist


Perhaps the prolonged staying-at-home period is ending soon. I’m an optimist, so I’ve been expecting it. And I have great faith that the American medical sector will soon find a treatment and a vaccine for COVID-19.

While I’ve been sequestered out here in Pleasant Valley, I’ve had a lot of time to think. I’ve also had a lot of time to clean closets and organize my life, but I’ve opted to read and do crossword puzzles instead. I did clean one or two closets, a little.

Here are some things I’ve pondered out here in the valley:

Voting by mail. Granted not everyone in the U.S. will have had the experience we here in Winona have had, so they don’t know that a postmaster is able to hide up to 3,000 pieces of mail in her office without anyone in P.O. administration being the wiser. That’s a lot of votes! I want to make my X in person.

Being at home. If social media is any indication, most of us have been eating our way through the sequestration. With grocery stores being about the only stores open, eating at home seems like a great idea. So we did a lot of it. The person on Facebook who suggested that instead of hanging around the house in our pajamas we walk around in our swimsuits hit the nail on the head. Now grocery store magazines will have headlines that read: Too Late for This Year? Get A Beach-Ready Body For 2021!

People really are good at heart. As we watched the number of cases of COVID-19 grow and grow, and sadly the deaths as well, it occurred to me that Sauer Health Care was doing an incredible job of containing the virus to its facility and personnel. Unlike the situation in the state of Washington, where the pandemic spread like wildfire, here it was mostly contained. Many people at Sauer, and their families, worked and suffered so that the rest of us were spared. Thank you!

Thank goodness for internet and automobiles. It’s no fun being away from family and friends, but thanks to the internet’s group meeting capabilities, I was able to visit with my children and grandchildren during all this. It’s not the same as in person, and I am looking forward to good long hugs when we are released. I have to admit, some days, I got in my car and took a book and a cup of coffee and sat looking at the lake. Just to see people was a big treat.

Cooking at home. I am a great lover of restaurants. I just like the whole vibe of people getting together to visit and have someone else cook something interesting. I tried to order from local restaurants as often as I could afford, because I want them to be here when the quarantine is over. I made coffee in my new Italian coffeemaker most days, until the day I was reading about golf courses opening and the marinas gearing up, and I forgot about my coffee on the stove. Then I heard a sound, like someone dropping something. I rushed to the kitchen. The pot had gotten so hot the handle blew off. The whole house smells like a pile of old tires burning, so I drove through Mugby for a nice big coffee on my way to the lake.

This has been a long siege. For the most part, people have been great. Sure, kids went on spring break, and others didn’t follow the rules. But most of us were pretty good citizens. I was disheartened, though, at how easy it is for some to gear up the political hate machine in a time of crisis. We’re getting through it, without nearly the loss of life that was predicted by some. Can’t we appreciate the hard work on behalf of our government officials without partisan jabs? Maybe not.

Here we are, waiting in the prison yard for the warden to open the gates. FREEDOM! I can feel that $20 bill in my pocket just waiting to be spent!


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