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We are on red alert up here in Parkdale! Dick and I are “sheltering in place,” which means that  we are not leaving our property, seeing anyone closer than six feet, and trying really hard not to get this virus.

We are even going to skip the grocery store as much as we can. We have enough food here to last a while, so why put ourselves at risk? I may have to pick up a prescription in a week or so, but will go into the store wearing rubber gloves — and sanitize everything when I get back to the car.

 We live in a fairly remote location, so (knock on wood) we may be less vulnerable than folks trapped in heavily populated areas. I think we are better prepared emotionally than some people. After all, we spent 10 entire summers at our remote mountain cabin in the Adirondack wilderness in Northern New York State, without running water, electricity, or phone. We often saw no one for days and days. We actually loved the solitude.

I don’t think there is any question but that the whole world is going to slide into an economic depression and a lot of people are going to be harmed financially, even if they don’t get sick. I feel especially badly for people who have been living beyond their means and are heavily in debt to credit cards, etc. It’s been a wild ride to Trump’s goal of a strong economy, and I don’t think people realized how high we had been sailing on the edge of a razor blade! I’ve been predicting a market crash for about six months, but I never imagined it would be this bad.

On the bright side, this may be salutary for Americans and many people worldwide. The specter of COVID-19 does make us realize what is important and what is not.  Dick and I walk the dogs every day in the Mount Hood wilderness five miles from our house. We’ve been doing it for years. We virtually never see anyone out there. Never.

 Yesterday, we saw a whole troupe of multiple adults, three cars, several dogs and numerous kids actually taking a walk on the gravel logging roads through beautiful woodlands! There are more people walking by our house on our remote road. The weather has been gorgeous, and our gardens have never been in such good shape. 

I think fragile marriages may crumble, but strong marriages and families will thrive as we all pull together and help one another throughout this crisis. We have been living in a house of cards, and it is in the process of collapsing, baring our foundations, which are strong and resilient. From them we can rebuild, hopefully on a stronger principle than before.

‘Oh, for a Clear Mind’

Ellen Wylde

“So I go to the food store armed with three different lists for three different people,” writes Ellen Wylde of Hood River. “I do pretty well finding things I don’t usually buy, but I got stumped on where Brew Dr. Kombucha was. So I ask a harried person working there where it was, and she walked me over to it.

“The shelf was in disarray so she asked me what kind I wanted. I looked at my shopping list, and raising my eyebrow at her, I asked for Love, Happiness, and a Clear Mind. We both start laughing, and as she was closer to my age than my 20-something daughter I was buying this for, it was a bright spot in the day.

“I was still chuckling as I walked out of the store. Though I had the bottles, I still wasn’t sure about the Clear Mind ...”

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