Day #8 ….of Shelter in Place

This morning I woke up as usual before dawn.  I have never gotten rid of that work mode in my internal clock.  When I was working, we had to be at work at 5:30 am.  If I don’t get by 5am, the cat is in my face and pawing my arm.  He knows what time it is.  After I got up, I feed him his first meal of the day.  Then I opened the interior door.  Its going to be another beautiful day.  It is in the low 70.s and will heat up to the mid to high 80.s.  The air is so fresh in the morning, and theirs a gentle breeze blowing in.  As the sun rises, the rays of light start shinning in and the birds start chirping.  They are starting their day as well.  Such a beautiful morning.  The birds have no idea,  all seems so calm and pristine, but theirs a health crisis looming and shutting down the world.  Nothing in our lifetime has ever happened like this before.  It is a Coronavirus Pandemic.  Then I turn on the TV and check the news on my phone…..Reality sets in…..

In the State of Texas, only essential business are open through the month of April.  Schools are closed till May 4.  Social Distancing protocols, will also stay in effect through April.  Our curfew is still in effect.  All of these things are so important to slow down the Virus.wp-15858549143722686363279323240655.jpgwp-1585854954721101216782641203866.jpgwp-15858548763953078875991208905843.jpgNew York is suffering the worst.  In the past 72 hours their death toll has doubled to over 1900 people.  New York City is running out of hospital beds and ventilators.  Some of the bodies are being loaded into refrigerated reefer vans.  The hospitals have no room nor do the funeral homes.  The news says that as soon as a person dies their is another person waiting for the ventilator.  In Central Park, they have set up a  68 bed field hospital to treat the overflow of patients.wp-15858558279184311807881984732883.jpg

Good Samaritan Purse is a Christian organization from North Carolina.  This hospital is composed of a Respiratory Care unit with ICU capabilities.  The whole world is shutting down and suffering with this virus.wp-15858622341711704446949918497497.jpg

This is a chart of the top 4 countries.  We are #1.  Almost a million people have been affected.  Over 50,000 deaths.  All of this has happened in such a short time.  Just several weeks ago, life was still normal…..How fast it has changed.  Here in the Rio Grande Valley, it is just starting.wp-15858426863556327225060947358458.jpg

As of last nite, we had 106 cases in the RGV, which is these 4 county’s.  We live in Cameron County…..Hidalgo is to the west of us.  Cameron County went from 26 to 37 overnite.  9 of those are in Harlingen.  So it is now here.  Here at the park, our Club Houses are now closed as well as the pool and spas.  Everyone stays home, but we still walk around the park and practice Social Distancing.wp-15858576016314529557232778584838.jpg

One of the couples in the park are making light of the situation.  They set up these chairs so Social distancing can be practiced when your walking…..lol….We also decided the other day to open the North Hall.  We have a nice Library and lots of puzzles that people can take home.  So now on Tue and Fri, 11am to 12noon, they can come in and exchange their books and puzzles, so they have something to take home to do.  They will be sanitized and set in quarantine for a week before being put back into circulation again.  They were pretty excited about that.  Many people still like having the book in their hands to read rather than a Kindle.

Last nite (April 1), we all joined the group “Let Their be Light”.wp-1585858527353512650935258282025.jpg

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Anyone who had a porch lite, turned it on.  Many lite a candle outside their door.  All for the support of our Medical personal working to help save the lives of those afflicted with COVID-19.…They are all putting their lives at risk.  This also includes my daughter Tammy.  She is a RN working in 2 different hospitals in Illinois.  Her youngest daughter, Carly is now staying with my other daughter Tina full time.  They decided since Tammy can be, and has already been exposed, you never know if she may come down with the virus or pass it on.  Tammy brought presents the other day and visited through the screen.wp-15858596841861096119929631148787.jpg

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She brought lots of different treats, matching pajamas for the girls and of course …..”TOILET PAPER”…..  Carly sure misses her momma, but she is also having fun with Miley and AustinShe is in the very good care of Aunt Tina. wp-15858596841861096119929631148787.jpgwp-15858597000025264867740975538780.jpg

This had to have been so hard on both of them.  I’m sure their were tears.  I know Carly wanted to run into Mamma arms…..But this is for the best for right now.

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So Aunt Connie had to get into the act also.  She brought the kids Dirt and Worms...Yum…Everyone loves them…wp-1585859609552821834631707233100.jpg

Of course DeeDee had to see Aunt Connie also.  wp-15858596367927797351413898385405.jpg

These are the strangest times.  Some strange and bazzar  memories these kids will have.  Theirs been nothing like this in our life times.  In years to come when the kids read these blogs, they will remember these stories and how it felt.  Sad Sad times we live in.  But on the other hand, families are now spending much more time together.  They are doing homework, playing games, going out for walks and eating together.  So their is a lot of good also.  They world is on pause.  Maybe this will be a good thing and have lasting benefits for families.

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The unemployment claims have doubled in a week.  It is unheard of.  The families are going to have such a hard time.  Anyone in an non essential job is now laid off.  They are all staying home.  You can’t look for a job as their is none.  The government has passed a 2 trillion dollar stimulus plan, that will provide money for everyone according to their tax filling of 2018 or 2019.  A single will get $1200, couple $2400, and each child is $500.  The checks should be Direct Deposit with in 3 weeks.  That will help but not for long.  The stimulus will also be helping out the small business owner and the Airlines.  Their is much more that is being planned to help.  But its going to be a Looooong Road…..So here we sit….Watching tv….Rich worked on the She-Shed again today.  He put in some more shelving for my crafts.  Only 2 shelves left and I’ll finish painting inside.  But no sense doing it today…..Their is Tomorrow....Tonight, we will sit outside and enjoy a beautiful evening on the patiowp-15858617036986614637159220367896.jpg

It will be a Beautiful Evening…..Just like always….Tomorrow we will get up and do it over again….Thank God for ……RETIREMENT…..

Day 1 of 14…..Tomorrow…. Shelter In Place..Harlingen Tx.

The Cameron County officials has decided to put us in the “Shelter In Place” phase for 14 days. That means we are suppose to stay home. We can go outside but stay away from others. We can go to the Grocery Store, Pharmacy, Appointments, or any essential personal activity that is necessary for you. All bars, restaurants, schools churches and theaters are closed. Restaurants are doing carry outs only and the schools are going to do lessons online for the kids. So the world goes on. People are still binge shopping but it is getting better. Walmart and HEB (Howard E Butts), our Texas based grocery store, is now having a better supply of meat and other products. We still are having a problem with eggs, wipes, and antibacterial soap. I went to HEB the other day at 1pm and had to stand in line. They let in 50 people at a time, sprayed down the carts as they came into the store from the parking lot and handed each person a wipe. The purpose of this whole quarantine is to slow the spread of this disease.

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The curve needs to come down. The worry is that to many will get sick at one time and the hospitals are not equipped to handle a mass of sickness. We need ventilators, masks, as well as other medical equipment to fight this disease. New York is a mess right now. As of today their are about 23,230 total positive cases of COVID-19 and 188 deaths in New York State, with more than 13,000 of those cases and 125 deaths in New York City. They have such a shortage of respirators, masks, and the things the medical community need. The hospitals have no room. They are converting other areas into make shift medical facility’s. Last weekend, they closed the Mexican border for tourists. You can only go over for a medical or a work reason. It is open for all the Commercial trucks so as not to hurt commerce. Not shopping or visiting. So that is the purpose of all of this, To Slow Down the Spread of The Disease.

So here we are today. Our freezer is full. I managed to get a loaf of bread yesterday. I have several pkgs of toilet paper and paper towels. So we have it all. Our day now consists of getting up when we please. watch the Today Show, Dr. Phil and then Price is Right. During that time, I take a shower. Today we went out and worked on the She-Shed. I painted the back and Rich worked on the wooden sidewalk. That was about an hour or so and called it quits. It was over 90 already. Back in the house to watch tv. Later, supper and then sit outside in the evening when it cools down. News at 10 and go to bed. Wednesday, do it all over again. So what’s happening in Illinois.

Tammy of course, being a nurse is busy. She is expecting her hours to go up. Little Carly is staying at Tina’s when Tammy is working. I think they are all having fun.

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Carly wrote this cute poster. It is so AWESOME that that she knows her Mom is making a difference for other people. Miley, Austin and DeeDee of course are enjoying themselves also.

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Austin has been spending time with Ed on weekends in the camper. Tina has also tried to start a Scavenger Hunt Game with the kids in town.

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This is such a cool idea. Kids can go for a walk with their parents and start watching other peoples windows. A great idea to do to keep their interest and get exercise. Ed is still working also. He works for Air-Products, which is a supplier to Hospitals etc. Tina works at Putnam Co Court house, and she is still their several days a week. She must be Essential workforce.

Scott and Brandy are out of work. They had to close the bar, and Scotts season in the truck hasn’t started up yet. Staci, Brandy’s daughter is home from Chicago also. So they are having their fun in their big machine shed garage.

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Around 7 or 8 years ago or more, I bought this yard tent for Scott. He just now put it up. Looks like a good place for Brandy to keep safe and keep her distance….Brandy, where’s your cooler with refreshments.

Scott is having fun on his Hover Board. This was a video and they had the music cranked up and he was dancing. He also had a beer in his hand…..

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Scott and Staci took a ride up in the Scissor Lift. They both had their beer in hand, singing Karaoke. When your bored, I guess you can have fun anywhere. Today, the local Fire Departments have decided to help kids celebrate their birthdays. Tina posted one today. The little girl was out on her porch. The fire engine pulled up with their lights one. They sang Happy Birthday on the Speaker. How cool is that. They made it a Very Special Birthday.

Illinois is also on a Stay At Home order from the Governor. As of today the have had 16 deaths, and 1,535 cases. The streets of Chicago are empty.

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State Street

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Marina Towers by the Chicago River

It seems like most people are taking it seriously, and having fun with it. The kids are doing ok and their is so much more family time. This is really a blessing in disguise. Family’s are home schooling online and entertaining their kids. Its really so nice to see.

But not all are really taking it as serious as they should. Their was an incident in the park the other day. We had a number of people in the pool. A resident came in with a guest they never registered. Of course the people in the pool began questioning them. They got in the pool which put the number over 10. So several of our people got out so the number came back to below 10. They talked about the quarantine issue and said that some parks had closed their pool. The guest said yes, she came from a park that had closed their pool. Of course that stirred them up and I agree. If your park has closed their pool, why do you come over to ours. We are suppose to stay away from people. Stay home at your park. That’s where you belong. The person who brought her over said, But their are no cases in her park…..I said to her….You can be a carrier and not know it….Educate yourself. This is a 55 plus park. We are really the higher risk. It is stupid to bring in a guest when this serious health threat is happening. She never really got it. She called everyone rude. “No, many are worried and taking this seriously”…..Why can’t she. She was more concered about the rudness. We are really lucky to have our pool still open. People need to follow the rules set down for us. They are all for a reason. Do what the government officials want us to do.

So much stuff is going across FB, that is funny and trying to help make this go by easy. I need to share a couple with you.

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Do you need a Vacation????….Here are some choices of places to go…..And its Cheap…

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“Coronavirus”…The World is Going Crazy

Look back at 1 week ago today. What were you doing? Did you ever think we would be in the state of fear that seems to be possessing everyone? One week ago, I was planning for our Farewell Potato Bake. Ordering our potatoes, setting up the grocery shopping list, butter, sour cream, veggies and dip etc. We were excited for our final concert show of the season. It was Leslie Blassing from the Island. She has such fabulous vocals. A gifted singer, who makes it look so easy. She was singing a Sunday Matinee at 2pm. She sings at the Island mostly, but it is Spring Break for the month of March and she likes to leave. lol. Tens of thousands of the college kids come from around the country and party. Concerts are set up at different locations and bars. Different weeks bring different groups of kids according to their Spring Break from college.

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I was of course aware of the Coronavirus. I had watched it from the beginning in Wuhan China. I watched the news on the Princess Boat in the harbor with the passengers all quarantined. I have an airplane tracker App. on my phone, so I even watched as the first 2 planes that flew home with the Americans from China. One went to Alaska and the other California . Then they came to San Antonio. Soon the US was reporting the Coronavirus was breaking out in different states. Finally it hit Texas but it was only in the northern part, so what’s the worry?

And then reality set in………Friday morning one of the lady’s from the park came in. She just left Dollar General. They were buying toilet paper, paper towels and water like crazy. She said the line was all the way to the back of the store. Wow….I had no idea they were hoarding. So I decided to immediately go out and join the band wagon…lol...My excuse was….”The Cat Needed Food”….I went to Dollar General, the parking lot was full. They were grabbing the carts from the people who were done shopping and loading in the car. So I grabbed a cart from some guy and went on in. I headed straight to the back. Went around the corner and a bunch of people were grabbing 24 pks of water off the rolling cart. By the time I got to it, the half of cart of water was almost gone. I got the last 2 pks. They had plenty of toilet paper and paper towels, but they were picked over. So I picked up 2 big double pks of toilet paper and a large pack of paper towels. Wow, couldn’t believe how people were shopping. That night I went to a Concert at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium.

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Cici and I seen Burlap to Cashmere. 3 guys, 2 guitars, and a keyboard. Very talented. I suspected that their would be some empty seats, and their was, but not to bad. Saturday was when I realized what hoarding was going on. A friend was at Walmart and took a bunch of pictures….

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No Water

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No Dish Soap, cleaning products, Wipes, Diapers, and Anti-bacterial Soap

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No Beans….Really, even the Pinto and Navy Bagged Beans were gone.

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Even the Flour was picked over….The sugar was worse

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Bic Lighters……Why…Oh Why….

The people are panicking. Even all the Cooking oil, Canola and Wesson Oil was totally gone. Hand Sanitizers and Baby Wipes are gone everywhere.….Everyone wonders WHY all the Paper products…..But I seemed to join them to an extent. I’ve made sure I have doubles of all paper products and Laundry detergent. I figure if I have to be quarantined for 14 days, we should be fine. Rich and I have both been shopping at different times to load on a few things, even for the cat. He is set with his treats and regular foods. Rich even went to Progresso and loaded up on Meds for couple of months.

On Monday the CDC had started addressing the area with limitations on restaurants and social gatherings. We can not have over 50 in a group, and later it became 10. The upper management made the decision to close all Park functions. So the St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef and Cabbage was canceled. All activities, Bingo, Dances, Cards, Exercise classes and the Farewell Potato Bake have been canceled. So the season is now Officially Over. All the Parks in the Valley have now official canceled all activities. The Canadians have received letters from their insurance company’s. They have been given 10 days to get back home from the time Canada declared a National Emergency, or their insurance will be no good. Many of them are leaving this week. The Valley is emptying out. The Winter Texans are heading north towards home. Some stay because they say we are safer. Some are bored because nothing to do. Some have their family’s calling them to get home NOW…..Today many restaurants are closing dining rooms, only offering drive through and carry outs. All schools are closed.

Down at South Padre Island, all beaches, beach access points, and community buildings are closed. All Concerts canceled. They have 24 hours to move out their equipment. The kids are their already for Spring Break so now what…..Do they party in their rooms??? I really don’t agree with closing the beaches. At least on the beach, they are out in the open. They are not congregating together. They would be safer as far as passing the virus. But that is only my thoughts.

Now the Country is in panic. The Stock Market is Crashing, Canadian Border is Closing. Mexico has talked about it, but so far its open. The Hospital ships are moving to large cities to help. Their is a huge shortage of masks, ventilators, and other medical equipment. They can’t even keep food in the stores. Schools, restaurants, social functions, and many business are shut down. Even churches are holding services online. Unemployment is on the rise. The Cruise ship industry is in shambles, and the Airlines are flying with half empty planes…..

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So

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So now here we are. Our frig is full, we are practicing Social Distancing in public. We are told to wash our hands at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Do not shake hands or touch your face. We are in good shape. But we are on Social Security. Our check will still come. I feel bad for the young parents. They are trying to maintain a living and pay bills and feed their children. Many of them have jobs in the food industry, so now they are done for 14 days. Many are still working but now their children are home and they need child care.

So where and when will this end. At this time the Government is seriously talking about sending out relief checks to help. Right now they say this is 14 days, but the president makes comments that we really don’t know. It could last till July or August. It is going to destroy many business and lives.

In one week, we went from….Normal”…. to ….PANDEMIC”…. Definition….A disease Epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or world wide.

Who Would Have Ever Thought This Would Happen …. One Week Ago