Retro Farm Life

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All 3 cats have learned to share the cat tree.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, farmers used to leave cash in their mailbox. The mail person would leave stamps for the farmers. This was common practice in rural areas, as the only time that farm people would go into town was for church on Sundays.

My grandparents were like this. In addition to going into town for church on Sundays, which was the only time Grandpa was not in overalls, there would be one Saturday a month trip into town. On the once a month Saturday trip, Grandma would be dropped off at the grocery store to pick up that month’s supplies, while Grandpa took the truck to Agway to get feed for the animals and any other supplies needed on the farm.

My grandparents’ farm had chickens, cows, pigs, horses and geese. There may have been more animals, but those were the ones I remember. Due to my age, my farm chore whenever I visited would be to collect the eggs from the chickens. I hated this job. The chickens do not like having their eggs taken and would peck at me. More than once, I would be found running screaming through the yard being chased by a chicken with my egg basket dropped on the ground somewhere behind me.

Because I was small when my grandparents had the farm, I did not realize that they would buy stamps through the mailbox. Or, if I did know about it, I had forgotten. I was reminded about it this week when talking to my mother.

Earlier this week, I was super excited because an orange envelope appeared in my mailbox letting me know I could put a check inside it to purchase stamps and any other mail services I need. 

I told my mother how happy I was to have this service so that I do not have to go to the post office during the pandemic. That is when she reminded me – buying stamps through your mailbox used to be commonplace on farms.

My mother and I had a great conversation about how things used to be when I was growing up. We were able to talk about things that happened that totally went over my head as a child, like buying stamps through your mailbox. I told my mother that I am glad she is here because I still have a lot to learn from her.

I have said before that one of the best things about this pandemic is that people actually have time to connect with other people and have more meaningful interactions. As part of my minimalism journey through the years, my goal has always been more quality human interactions. However, I realize that other people are more busy than I am and have other priorities, so they do not prioritize human interaction as I do.

Talking to my mother, she said that quarantine wasn’t that big of a deal for her. Growing up on the farm, they did not go out much. As I said earlier, there was the once a month Saturday trip, and then church on Sundays. You only made your grocery trip once a month. Groceries were to supplement what food you had from the farm.

Growing up, we always had venison for meat. My grandfather and all my uncles were hunters. We never had ground beef because it was expensive. Many people who meet me think that I am a vegetarian because I do not eat beef. I am not a vegetarian. I do eat beef – if it’s cheap. As someone who grew up dirt poor, beef was always out of our price range, so it is something I am not used to having. It is not a necessity, it is a luxury item.

My mother and I had a great conversation about how things used to be and realized that things do not change all that much. Well, the world has changed, but when you are used to farm life where you did not go all that much, then quarantine is not all that different.

As we are in this quarantine situation, I have been seriously evaluating my wants and needs. I have also been thinking more about my routines.

Grocery shopping once a month sounds really good to me once this is all over. Previously, I had been grocery shopping twice a month due to my pay schedule. If I can switch to once a month, then that reduced my potential exposure for when the second and third wave of the coronavirus comes through. 

There was also a time in college when I was having a very hard time financially that I remember going grocery shopping once for three months. I would get my student loan money, get a bunch of food at the store, then when it ran out .. well, that was it until the next semester student loan payout.

There are some items I have ordered online as a result of the pandemic that are set up on an autoship basis that I am going to keep going once the pandemic is over. When you think about it, it is similar to the old buying stamps through the mailbox routine.

Another aspect of farm life we reminisced was that one Saturday per month was haircut day. My grandmother would put a sheet down on the kitchen floor. She would place a stool in the middle of the sheet. Donning an apron, she would stand there with a pair of clippers while one by one, my grandfather and then my uncles would sit on the stool without a shirt on to have their haircut. The girls would sit on the stool and my grandmother would take a pair of scissors to cut all our bangs straight across so they were out of our eyes. 

Right now I have a pair of hair cutting scissors that I have used on myself. I have not been able to get clippers because there are none to be had. I have already said numerous times how happier I am having short hair because it is easier for me to take care of. I am totally fine with using the scissors to cut my own hair for right now. 

When clippers are available from the manufacturer again, I do want a pair. My goal is to go back to farm life and start doing my own hair so that I do not have to pay to go back to a salon again. Yes, there is a very good possibility that I will just buzz all my hair off at some point. I think it will be easier this way.

These are trying times and we need to remember what is an essential need and what is a want. As much as I like my hairdresser, paying $50 for a haircut is not an essential need. I can do it myself, and probably will from here on out. 

I wonder what other retro aspects of farm life will be making a comeback? Are you planting a victory garden? I have toyed with this idea, but since I do not do well in the heat and the initial monetary outlay are detriments to me right now. 

This is the perfect time to remember and evaluate what is important and what is not.

Welcome to My World

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Jolene likes to sit in the kitchen sink.

Every day I leave my house, I never know if I am going to come home. I could have an allergic reaction while in the community and end up in the hospital. Back in 2014 when I was still teaching, one of my students spilled milk in my lap. I have a severe dairy allergy and went into anaphylactic shock once the milk absorbed into my skin. I was intubated, and then spent several months in ICU on a ventilator along with kidney and liver failure.

This is how I live every day. If you think my dairy reaction is bad, my nut reaction is worse. It has now been over 10 years since I have had an allergic reaction due to something I have ate. All of my reactions have been from touch.

For example, if someone has been eating handfuls of almonds, then gets in an elevator and pushes a button, they have transferred nut oils to that elevator button. If the button is not properly cleaned, the nut oil will live on that button for up to 21 days before the protein breaks down.

If at some point in that 21 days, I get in the same elevator and push the button, I will have a nut reaction. How severe my reaction is depends on how much of the nut oil I absorb through my skin.

I always have what I call “allergy spots” on my skin from touch reactions. These are open wounds that sometimes bleed, sometimes leak clear fluid, and take several months to a year to heal. If I absorb enough of my allergen through my skin, I have the whole stop breathing and need an epi pen reaction that sends me to the hospital.

Every single day I leave my home, I don’t know if I’m going to touch something that is going to cause that reaction or not.

With current events, COVID-19 is operating on a similar basis. We have learned we can catch the coronavirus from surfaces. We can catch the coronavirus from asymptomatic carriers. Every day we leave our house, we don’t know if we are going to be exposed to the coronavirus or not because it is every where and it is invisible.

Welcome to my world with severe food allergies.

The world we are living in right now that involves masks, cleaning supplies and gloves is the world I live in every single day. Except instead of trying to kill coronavirus, I try to avoid nut oils and dairy that have the potential to kill me.

I was talking to one of my friends this week who made the comment to me that they can finally empathize with my disability of having several severe food allergies that react by touch. There is not much difference for me dealing between dealing with the coronavirus and my food allergies. Both are invisible things that yield the same result: intubation, a ventilator, and possibly death.

If my food allergies had an 80%+ chance of killing me before this started, I now have a 90%+ probability of death if I have a reaction during the coronavirus. 

While the coronavirus situation is not easy for anybody, I am hoping that the experience will give people a little bit of insight as to what life is like for people with severe food allergies every single day. 

This is a horrible way for people to empathize with what we live through, but here it is.

So the next time you complain about having to wear a mask and gloves when you go out, think of people who live with this concern every day. People with severe food allergies like mine go to work, school, and stores every day of our lives not knowing if today is the day we are going to touch something that causes a reaction that will send us to the hospital.

Hopefully the good hygiene habits of wiping down surfaces and washing hands will continue once the pandemic is over. It is not just COVID-19 that kills people, but things like nut oils too. You may enjoy that peanut butter sandwich, but to someone else it is lethal.

The First Rule of Minimalism

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Jude decided to sit in the fabric box.

One of the first rules of minimalism is to put like items together. By putting like items together, you can rid yourself of duplicates and make an accurate determination of just what you have and what you need.

Maybe it’s because I have a challenge doing stairs, but I do have duplicates in my house. There are items I have on the first floor that I also have on the second floor. For example, I have a vacuum cleaner on the first floor and I have a vacuum cleaner on the second floor. I have a hard enough time doing stairs without falling when it is just me on them, forget trying to carry a vacuum cleaner up and down steps. In this instance, having the duplicates makes sense for my level of functioning.

There are times when duplicates do not make sense and that is when we minimize. Early in my journey, I remember going through my kitchen cupboards and putting every single coffee mug on the kitchen counter. I happen to really enjoy glassware. 

When I put all of the like items together, I discovered I had something like 38 coffee mugs for one person! I could use a different mug every day of the month and not have to do dishes. That is entirely gross and also unnecessary. I paired down the coffee mugs so that now I have 8. 

This weekend I was working on the upstairs of my house. The goal is to make the upstairs as empty as possible. I spend 95% of my time downstairs, as stairs are a challenge for me. If I can reduce the amount of stuff on the second floor, then everything will be on the first floor where it is accessible to me. 

While working upstairs, I happened to remember that the first rule of minimalism is putting like items together. This is helpful in identifying duplicates and being able to rid yourself of too many items.  I also discovered that putting like items together is helpful in this time of pandemic to remind us of how much we have and to be grateful for it.

Everyone is having meltdown right now about not having enough supplies. Some people are hoarding. Last week, I was down to two rolls of toilet paper when I received a shipment of 12 rolls, bringing my total up to 14. 

When I started to put like items together upstairs last weekend, I suddenly remembered that there was also a roll of toilet paper in with my camping gear. I got it out and put it in the pile of 14. Then, I discovered that way in the back of the bathroom cupboard was 4 individually wrapped rolls of emergency toilet paper. 

First, I would not have been able to access those 4 rolls if I was having a bad balance day because I had to stand on a chair to reach them. Second, I took the 4 forgotten rolls and added them to the pile of toilet paper and I now have a grand total of 19 rolls! I officially have enough toilet paper to last at least until the end of the year, if not longer. I also relocated the toilet paper to a place that is easier for me to reach so I do not have to stand on a chair and am fully aware of exactly how much I have.

Because this house is so large, I kind of have things spread out everywhere. Going back to the first tenet of minimalism has been helpful in getting me to identify and reduce clutter. When you put everything together and see how much you have, it is easier to get rid of. I am going to continue to work on reducing the items upstairs by either boxing them to leave or rehoming them someplace downstairs where I can use it. 

Remember when looking to reduce the clutter that is in your home – start with just one item. Make sure that item has a place. Only keep however much of it you need.

Are your items spread out all over your house too? They probably are! Houses are meant to be lived in and life is messy! Take an hour during quarantine and identify an item you want to minimize – whether that is coffee mugs, sweatshirts or something else. Gather all of that item in one place and reduce. You will be glad you did! 

 

Isolation Log: Covid Date 6.a.20

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Simon jumped into the recycling bucket after he threw one of his toys in there. I helped him to get it out.

When this is all over, I want pizza. 

It sounds like a simple request. Restaurants are open for take-out and delivery right now. The challenge is that I have multiple food allergies, so I can’t just eat any pizza. It has to be allergy friendly pizza. The nearest restaurant that makes allergy friendly pizza is over an hour away. They can’t even get the ingredients to make the allergy friendly pizza.

Normally, I would be able to get a frozen daiya (allergy friendly) pizza. However, with the food shortages, they are not currently available. With the food shortages, I cannot even obtain the ingredients to be able to make one at home. I do cook almost all my food from scratch, but I like to treat myself to a daiya pizza about once a month or so. 

The “specialty” items that people with food allergies require for everyday life are not considered to be “essential” items. Unfortunately, the food allergy community is hard hit in this pandemic right now. 

When the only thing left on the grocery store shelf is a jar of peanut butter and you have a nut allergy … no one should have to make the choice about whether they want to die of starvation or die from eating something that will kill them. However, that is the situation that some people are experiencing in our community right now.

I realize that everyone is making sacrifices right now. I am very happy that I do have food to eat. I guess it’s just hard when there are certain comfort items you want and cannot have because they are not available. So, yes, I am whining that I don’t have pizza. It’s a first world problem. I will eat my lentil loaf for dinner tonight. I am making vegetable soup in my crock pot tomorrow. 

As soon as allergy friendly pizzas are available again, I want one. I think that everything I “want” right now is a food item that is unavailable due to the food shortage.

Food shortages are real, folks.

I am very fortunate that I have people helping me with supplies. I have food and everything else that I need.

Right now, we are sitting tight waiting for anti-body testing so that things can reopen. The world will not be the same after this. We all have to try to find a new normal. Anti-body testing is probably a pipe dream, since there is no covid testing of any time in my county. We just have to hope that we can ride out the second and third waves of this virus.

What foods are you looking forward to having when they are available again? Hopefully the food shortages will end soon and not get worse.

Stay strong out there. #NYTough

Isolation Log: Covid Date 5.b.20

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Snow in my backyard on April 16, 2020

Ending the shutdown and going back to work right now is a terrifying thought. No job is worth your life. In the past 7 days, three people I know have died from COVID- 19. I know 2 right now who have it, but are not hospitalized. This is not getting better. It is getting worse.

Testing in my area does not exist. Only the rich and privileged who have access to a vehicle and can drive can be tested. The nearest testing site is an hour away. I know someone who drove to the testing site and was tested. They passed out after the test and almost got into an auto accident on top of everything else. Many testing sites are drive-thru style, yet the test makes some people pass out.

With lack of testing, the numbers reported in my county are very low. There is also inaccuracy in reporting. One of the people I know who has died was a nurse and has lived in her house for 20 years. Instead of her death being reported in the county in which she owned her home, her death was counted in the county in which she was born. It doesn’t make sense to me.

I guess it doesn’t need to make sense to me. The point is, the virus is everywhere. 

Opening the economy is not worth all this death right now. Public health officials need to get a handle on this before we all go back to work. Hell, if you look at my street and the area in which I live, we are not under any restrictions whatsoever. People are still out doing whatever they want in large groups and driving all over the place. From where I sit, people in my community are going about their everyday lives as if people we know and love are not dying right now.

Maybe I’m just special in that I know 3 people who have died. I guess I have a different perspective.

The COVID response is not going to end with some sort of economic stimulus plan or some big go-back-to-work package. The only way this is going to end is through widespread societal structural changes that the US will never do. So I expect that we will see the death toll to continue to rise and be large.

In happier news, many people in isolation think this is all fun and games and have been sharing stupid things they are doing. 

My stupid purchase right now is that I ordered another set of World Series DVDs. This particular World Series has been on my wish list for a long time. However, the DVD set has always been in the $300 range. With everything going on, the price of the DVD set is down to $50, so I ordered it. 

Yes, it was a non-essential purchase. Yes, I feel bad for having something stupid like that shipped to me. The way I was thinking about it is that if I’m going to die, then I want to see that particular World Series before I die. I’m considering it both my birthday and my Christmas present this year since I did not get anything for my birthday and who knows who will still be alive come Christmas.

Of course, there is a delay in shipping for non-essential items. I probably will not receive the DVD set until next month at the earliest. Everyone else has cable and internet to watch things. I just have a DVD player. I already viewed all of the DVDs I had checked out of the library and am now reading through my stash of books.

What non-essential or wacky purchases have you made in isolation? 

Stay strong out there. #NYTough

The Toilet Paper Chronicles, Part 3

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Daffodils finally came up that I planted last year

Ok, ok. I am starting to have melt down over toilet paper. Can you blame me? Do you know how I grew up? (homeless and without toilet paper – read the Toilet Paper Chronicles, Part 1). 

I think I held up pretty well under the circumstances. I typically have one open package of toilet paper and one unopened package of toilet paper for back-up. When the doctor told me I am no longer allowed to go to a grocery store or pharmacy last month, I had one open package of toilet paper that was about halfway gone with no back-up.

When the toilet paper that I had ordered online 4 weeks ago arrived today, I was down to 2 rolls. 

Granted, I did have back-up. I have a box of kleenex. I have been saving my newspapers instead of recycling them. I also took one of our fleece blankets and cut it up into squares. I even went so far as to order cloth baby wipes off of Etsy last week. They arrived way quicker than my toilet paper and feel like heaven.

Yes, I have gone to the dark side of using cloth toilet paper for pee.

Yes, it sounds gross. But my mother, and many other mothers out there, cloth diapered their babies. If you can use a cloth wipe on a baby, why can’t you use one on an adult? I was reserving the rolls of toilet paper I had left for # 2. That’s what toilet paper was used for when I was homeless as a child. It was the only way to make one roll last a whole month (or for as long as you could). 

The toilet paper that I had ordered online was actually commercial toilet paper. All household toilet paper is out of stock both in stores and online and has been out of stock for the past 4 weeks. So when I was on the internet a few weeks ago, I ordered the large 9-inch commercial rolls from a website that services places like restaurants and gyms. It was the only toilet paper I could find.

I don’t care that the large 9-inch rolls will not fit on my little dispenser. Toilet paper is toilet paper. It works no matter what size the roll. 

I am still going to be conservative with my toilet paper and ration it for # 2, just like how we used to do when homeless. I am going to use my cloth baby wipes for # 1. It’s just like camping, really. I mean, have you ever peed outside? What do you do then? 

My goal is to make the 12 rolls of toilet paper I have last for  6 months or more. Or, at least until the world stops losing its collective mind over toilet paper. I get it. I really do. There is not much we can control right now. We can control the numbers of toilet paper squares we use. 

I guess I have now officially switched almost all of my paper products to cloth. First it was cloth handkerchiefs, then cloth napkins, then cloth cleaning rags. Now it’s cloth baby wipes. Anyone else have experience using cloth toilet paper / cloth baby wipes for pee? 

 

Isolation Log: Covid Date 5.a.20

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Hair I cut off my head this past weekend

Oh, yes, I did.

The special hair cutting scissors I ordered arrived last week and on Saturday morning I cut my own hair.

It was difficult.

I have never cut my own hair before. I have never cut anyone else’s hair. I have never even cut the hair on a Barbie doll before for fear of getting beat as a child. Even when I started to cut, I was looking around expecting my grandmother or some other adult to jump around the door frame and start screaming at me. 

So actually taking a pair of scissors to my own head was a pretty big deal. 

I also love the pixie cut that my stylist gave me. However, my appointment was scheduled for the day after the shutdown began, so I have gone 9 weeks without a haircut, when it is usually done every 5 weeks (and by week 5, I am totally annoyed – it should probably be done every 4 weeks).

My goal was to only cut the pieces that annoy me.

Apparently, there were a lot of pieces of hair annoying me. I cut enough hair off to fill the dust pan. It looks horrible. My stylist usually buzzes around my ears and the back of my neck. I can’t handle either of those two areas. Do you know how hard it is to cut your own hair on the back of your head?

I feel great! 

My hair may not look good, but it feels good. I am much happier washing it in the shower since I have cut it. It is no longer hanging down in my face. It does not stick up as much when I wake up in the morning.

When this is all over, I will go back to my stylist to fix it. I am not sure if I want it to be “fixed” or if I want it to be all buzzed off. 

I love my pixie because it is so low maintenance to have short hair. It is way easier for me in the shower, it is the perfect hairstyle for running, and saves me money on allergy-friendly shampoo (which runs at about $5 for a single ounce). 

If I buzz my hair, then maybe I can also cut down on salon visits. I am thinking about it. Right now, I just got these special hair cutting scissors that I can use to trim it myself. I am still waiting to receive the pair of clippers I ordered online – they are on backorder. We will see what I think about buzzing all my hair off when the clippers arrive or the isolation breaks – whichever comes first.

Right now, I am really happy with my self haircut, even if it doesn’t look great. Now I know why so many 4 year olds would cut their own hair when I was teaching preschool. And it completely makes sense when their response was “Because that piece of hair was annoying me.” 

Stay strong out there. #NYTough

 

Isolation Log: Covid Date 4.b.20

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Jude playing in a box

Well I got friends

In isolation

Where quarantine

Jump starts

Their memories

 

Haven’t heard from

Them in ages

Now they’re texting me

With “hi”s and updates

 

Just checking

To see whose

Alive and kicking

 

Oh, I’ve got friends

In isolation

 

Yeah, yeah, the song “Friends in Low Places” was going through my mind yesterday.

In the past week, I have had six people reach out to me from whom I have not heard in years. Some of these people have been incommunicato for so long that they did not even know I bought a house 20 months ago. 

I am very happy to hear from them and that I have had the same cell number for about 20 years so people can reach me. It’s nice to know that in the heart of this pandemic, people are thinking of me. They must be too busy in everyday life to reach out, but now that everything is on PAUSE, we have nothing but time. 

The most positive thing for me with this crisis is that I get to be home with my cats. The second most positive thing for me with this crisis is the amount of people who are reaching out to me. I am hearing from people who I thought had dropped off the planet.

I regularly write people. Some of them I have sent a text message and received no response. I try not to be annoying. So I am pleasantly surprised to be hearing from people now. Most of these people are from out of state and are not local, so I blame the whole “out of sight, out of mind” concept.

It’s nice to know that coronavirus is bringing people together. 

 

 

Isolation Log: Covid Date 4.a.20

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Medal # 18 from the Shamrock Run.

My spring race was canceled in the middle of all this mess. My entire 2020 race season has been canceled. With my spring race gone, I ended up doing it virtually.

I was about a minute slow for a 5K, but I did get it done and received medal # 18 for my efforts. This medal is anti-climatic. It lacked the excitement of being awarded right after the race. I typically wear the medal for a week after the race for everyone to see. This medal came in the mail after I posted my results from the Garmin for the 5K.

My cats have seen the medal, so everyone has seen it. They are not impressed.

I am pretty much sticking to 3 miles a few times per week while we are being isolated. Every day I am on the road and able to run is a good day.

I am very happy to be home and am doing well in isolation. In fact, this experience has me seriously re-thinking my routines in everyday life. I am enjoying not having to go out a whole lot. I am pretty sure that when this is all over, I am going to continue many of the things I am doing now and limit my social interactions with other people. 

My greatest challenge is when I do have to go out. After the discussion the primary doctor had with me a few weeks ago about not going to the grocery or pharmacy, I am terrified to go any place where there are other people. 

Jolene had an appointment this past Saturday to have her mouth looked at again from her January dental surgery. She has healed from the surgery. The challenge is that when the shelter did the surgery in January, they did not do the best job. There are roots and bone left in her mouth that should not be there and have caused infection.

Jolene had an antibiotic shot on Saturday to help and will be going in for another dental surgery tomorrow to correct the surgery from January. This one I will have to pay for. Hopefully when it is done tomorrow, her mouth will be fine from here on out. We have been with this vet office for about 15 years now and they are excellent. 

The staff at the vet clinic was great. Only one pet owner is allowed inside the clinic at a time. We all wore masks. They came out and took her in her carrier for her appointment. I spoke with the technicians and the vet on the phone. They had Jolene in there for the exam and I stayed in the car. Then they brought her back out to me. I did not even go outside. My only “interaction” with a human was transferring her carrier. 

Tomorrow Jolene will be at the vet office for the day for her dental surgery. I drop her off in the morning and pick her up in the late afternoon. I just hope that everything goes well so that her mouth is no longer in pain for her. She is the sweetest cat. Everyone loved her Saturday. They said she was so playful for her appointment. Honestly, this dental surgery is the last thing I need right now with everything else going on, but I have to keep her safe. She needs to have her mouth fixed.

The biggest take-away I am getting from isolation right now is a change in routine. I do have a daily routine. How is my routine going to change when we are no longer isolated? Will I go back to the way things were? I doubt it. What aspects of my isolation routine will I keep? I am thinking a lot of them. Time will tell.

The best news is that isolation is great for my food allergies. All of my allergy spots from skin reactions I have from coming into contact with allergens in the environment, like almond oil, are healing. If all of these allergy spots heal, it will be the first time in almost a decade that I am not having an active allergic reaction. Nut oils are the bane of my existence.  

People have said they are worried about me right now and I do not understand why. I am fine in my house with my cats. This is where I want to be. My greatest challenge right now is when I have to leave the house to do something like taking the cat to the vet. That is a necessity and I have to do it. If my cats need medical care, I have to take them.

The county in which I live does not have the ability to test people for the coronavirus. Therefore, our numbers are really low. The numbers are deceiving. In order to get tested, people have to go to one of two neighboring counties, which is about an hour drive away. Transportation is non-existent in my rural county. There are many people here who have coronavirus and it is not reflected in the numbers because there is no testing in my county.

Only those who are very fortunate and have access to a vehicle and the ability to drive an hour away can be tested. People in this area have a false sense of security when the reported numbers are so low.

This is one of the challenges of living in a rural area that lacks transportation. I just hope they will figure this out and test in our county before they lift the stay at home ban. Otherwise, we are going to have a very large outbreak here. However, I do not think that people in my area are taking this virus seriously.

This is going to get worse before it gets better. We have not yet seen the worst of it.

Stay strong out there. #NYTough

 

Respect Our Coolers

If you see a cooler outside of someone’s house or on the side of the road, please do not steal it.

Those coolers are supply drop off points to help people through this crisis.

Schools are delivering meals to homes and putting food in the coolers for children. For adults under Matilda’s Law, local heroes are checking on us to see what we need and delivering supplies.

It is really hard to ask for help. I am very fortunate in that I have many local heroes who are checking on me. 

I do not want to ask anyone to go to the store for me because I do not want to put that person at risk. However, if a person is already going to a store for themselves, then I will ask for them to add my list of items to their own.

Today I put my cooler out for supply drop off for the very first time. I am scared for the people who are helping me. They are putting themselves out there to keep me safe.

There have been a few reports in my county of some coolers being stolen. I am going to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that the person who “stole” the cooler thought it was on the side of the road as an item free to take. Maybe that wayward soul was mistaken regarding the cooler’s purpose.

I am telling everyone right now that those coolers are there to help children and vulnerable adults. Please do not steal our coolers. If you need help, ask for help. Someone will help you. Do not steal a cooler that is providing help to someone else who is in need. 

If you see a cooler “on the side of the road” or in front of a house, it is not there as a free item. It is there as a supply drop off for that house.

Respect our coolers.

#NYTough