Day 13: Holy Week in the time of COVID-19 quarantine

Reality sinks in

By Emma Palova

Today is Palm Sunday. Bishop David Walkowiak served the mass with palm branches in the empty St. Andrews Cathedral in Grand Rapids to the recorded Hosanna, commemorating Jerusalem greeting Jesus. This was the fourth Sunday broadcast without an audience, but with a 300 percent increase in TV spectators. The Pope served the Palm Sunday mass in an empty St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican. Queen Elizabeth gave a special address for the fourth time only in her 68-year long reign.

This will be a Holy Week filled with tragedy as the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths are expected to rise again. The clergy prayed for the deadly pandemic to end.

I also watched a Czech mass on Zoom from Velehrad, California, broadcast from the Czech missionary priest’s home. There were only 23 Czech and Slovak participants from the entire world.

The surgeon general warned that the upcoming week will be our “Pearl Harbor” moment and “9/11” moment.

“Do not leave your house unless you absolutely have to,” warnings rezonated all over the TV.

The year that Easter didn’t come

Eerie Woodland Mall on Sunday.

We’re only a week away from Easter Sunday. There will be no public egg hunts or girls wearing pretty spring dresses with laces and ribbons due to the Coronavirus quarantine. There will be no Easter specials as the malls are closed. More than half of the world’s population is under a stay-at-home order.

However, a glimmer of good news arrived from the pandemic epicenter NYC that the number of coronavirus deaths has dipped.

Exploring nature, finally

Walking the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail.

Earlier in the day we went for a walk on the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail that almost abuts to our front yard. Only a gravel road separates us from the trail that connects Lowell to Belding.

Chalk art on the trail: Be Brave.

For years, the trail group worked hard to convert the old railroad bed into trail for public use. Recently, the trail has been surfaced with crushed asphalt. It took the Coronavirus quarantine for people to discover this treasure.

As I delighted at the new trail bridges, I discovered a rock with chalk art. Someone left a message of encouragement: Be brave.

Since my husband Ludek had to pick up some groceries in Grand Rapids, we stopped at an eerie scene.

The usually year round busy Woodland Mall looked like a ghost town with vast empty parking lots stretching from nowhere to nowhere.

All this was happening under the deceiving April sun. My daffodils are ready to open their yellow beauty to the world, oblivious to the coronavirus horrors.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S.

Copyright (c) 2020. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.


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