Category Archives: COVID -19

DAY 39: may day sees tensions rise in covid-19 quarantine

May Day pole tied with ribbons signifies love and spring.

As the quarantine in Michigan continues through May 15, tensions are rising among the public with May Day strikes around the globe. Curtailed by the quarantine, the strikes took on different forms from honking horns in cars to singing on the balconies.

This time the protestors are on both sides of the COVID-19 quarantine issue. One wave of protestors is comprised of health care and essential workers fearing for their safety, the other wave fears for their economic well-being.

In Michigan, protesters were early as they swarmed the Capitol in Lansing on Thursday scaring the legislators with their rifles and signs.

“Today was scary, I won’t mince words. But the signs the protestors carried reeked of misogyny, racism and anti-semitism. I cannot imagine what it was like to walk into the Capitol today as a female person of color.”

— State Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth), tweeting Thursday night about the loud, heavily armed conservative protest at the state Capitol that spilled into the building.

Millions of others defying the stay-at-home orders, opened their doors to business on this first day of May in a hurting economy.

May Day Kaleidoscope

May Day in former Czechoslovakia.

May Day aka former International Workers Day was also a national holiday in socialist Czechoslovakia.

For me, May Day remains a day of observance–a kaleidoscope of colorful bits and pieces encompassing the past and the present. It’s sort of like bringing a bouquet of fragrant lilacs to a monument; the lilacs have the same smell, but the monuments keep changing.

Just the words May Day still bring a smile to my face; even after more than 30 years of celebrating it on the Revolutionary Boulevard in then Gottwaldov, Czechoslovakia. We marched down the boulevard waving small flags and patriotic pompoms in the mandatory socialist parades.

If I close my eyes, I can still feel into the atmosphere of the parades, the tribunes and the socialist propaganda with the slogans and the banners on the backdrop of the blossoming lilacs. The socialist patriotic anthems were blasting from the loudspeakers including the Soviet anthem “Coyuz Nerusimij.”

We all had to Partake in the May Day parade.  Those who didn’t participate got later into trouble at work or in school like our English teacher who crumpled up a patriotic pompom. She got written up.

And I write about all this in my upcoming new book the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” Here is an excerpt:

Parades known as March of Thieves

During national holidays, the workers would steal anything and take it through the gates without being checked because there were so many of them leaving at once for the parades. So, the parades were known as the “March of Thieves.” Some parades actually started inside the factory. On the matter of overtime, one individual was selected to punch for all those, who waited somewhere outside the factory behind the gates.

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Day 38: COVID-19 quarantine virtual crop HUNGER walk

Walk virtually.   Give online.   Change the world.

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – The annual Crop Hunger Walk set for May 3 will alleviate the impact of COVID-19 related hunger due to hurting economy.

Sadly, the impact of COVID-19 is far reaching; from young people still battling the complications of the coronavirus after weeks of breathing difficulties to people impacted by the hurting economy with hunger roaming at large.

And reports have it that the food supply chain may have been broken due to COVID-19 infections at the U.S. meat processing plants.

But, hope is the light on the horizon just before the sun comes up.

I see hope in the COVID-19 survivor, who made it out of the Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC alive after 53 days. I see hope in the Ebola drug, Remdesivir.

I see hope in this year’s virtual crop walk set for May 3. To register or find a Cropwalk in your community go to:

https://www.crophungerwalk.org/lowellmi

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day-by-day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

May e-newsletters

I am working on May e-newsletters. You can subscribe below or contact me for your direct marketing needs for your business.

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

Day 37: COVID-19 Quarantine Highlights

“Please do not come to Holland to see the tulips this year.”

Holland city mayor Nathan Bocks

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- In the highlights posts, I will include curiosities and unbelievables as I come across them during the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

Holland city mayor Nathan Bocks made a request on Tuesday, April 28. He hopes he will never have to make that request again. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 91st Tulip Time Festival was cancelled for the first time in history.

“Please do not come to Holland to see the tulips this year.”

The only sign of normalcy on this Wednesday morning was the Red Creek trash pick up truck. Thank you dear essential worker.

The annual Lowell Area Crop Hunger Walk on Sunday May 3 will be conducted virtually with the line: Walk virtually. Give online. Change the world. Go to: https://crophungerwalk.org to donate.

On the other hand, normal became our Wednesday zoo room meetings.

May e-Newsletter

As we head into May, I am working on May e-newsletters. I will be highlighting Mother’s Day, Mayday and May as the month of love, according to the Czech literature.

I love the month of May from its Mayday to Memorial Day, and everything in between. It’s the month of summer promises, blossoming lilacs and cherry trees.

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the Coronavirus quarantine in Michigan.

Subscribe to Emma’s e-newsletter

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

Day 36: COVID-19 Quarantine Takeaways

Quarantine comes with the good and the bad

By Emma Palova

The U.S. has surpassed one million cases today, three months after the first case was detected.

The COVID-19 case numbers are mind-boggling. One million cases in the USA have claimed the lives of 55,000 people. In Michigan, there have been 37,778 cases and 3,315 deaths. The peak in Kent County is expected in mid May.

As 10 US states will re-open their economies on May 1, Michigan readies to re-open in waves known as the “MI Safe Start” program.

By now, many are experiencing a “quarantine fatigue,” which drives you outdoors after six months of cold and cloudy weather. We’re finally getting some sun and warmer weather in Michigan. Just about time to pick some morel mushrooms Up North in the Manistee area.

After completing a lot of home-improvement projects, Ludek is ready to go back to work. However, we have to wait until the automobile plants in Detroit start up the production.

Earlier in the day, we drove to the ACE hardware store in town; wow was it busy. I bet owner Charlie can’t keep up with the demand. It was also the first time I could walk around sleeveless, only in a muscle shirt. I watched people walk in and out of the ACE store, and most of them had masks.

On the foreign front, the news keeps coming in as well. Direct International flights to Prague have been cancelled. Czech Republic is expected to reopen by May 15.

On the work front, I am getting more comfortable with the Kindle Create formatting tool for my upcoming book the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” about our family immigration saga from former Czechoslovakia to the U.S.

I will be working on May newsletters. If you would like me to design yours email me via this website or my Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/emmablogsllc

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

Day 33: COVID-19 quarantine break

I am taking a break today from the daily routine of journaling the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan. We went to Caledonia to pick up some crushed stone and the trailer broke under the weight. It took us more than an hour driving 40mph to get home. Most of the landscaping companies are now open after Gov. Whitmer eased the restrictions on Friday. I made a fun GIF yesterday, that I will post too. I called it the “Unicorn Fun.”

We also supported Lowell businesses- Big Boiler Brewing- with takeouts on Friday and purchasing a gift certificate to Sneakers matched by Canfield Plumbing and Heating.

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Next post: pandemic dreams and empty spaces.

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

Day 32: Stay at home order extended until May 15

Ban lifted on boats & golf in Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer eased social distancing restrictions on motor boats, golfing and landscaping at 11 am today, while extending the stay-at-home order until May 15.

Landscaping and nursery workers can return to work, and gardening sections in box stores can reopen now.

However, the Governor was crystal clear on continuing social distancing as much as possible.

“The overarching message is still the same. We must all do our part by staying home and staying safe,” she said. “Social distancing is our best weapon to defeat the enemy.”

This easing of restrictions is a result of protests “Operation Gridlock” in Lansing two weeks ago. It comes on the heels of yesterday’s death tally of 50,000 Americans.

Featured photo: Fishermen at Murray Lake keep their distance.

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

Next: Pandemic dreams and empty spaces

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

day 31: poetry in the covid- 19 quarantine

Opening Michigan economy in waves

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – April is poetry month. The featured photo is a poem “Love’s Omnipresence” by Joshua Sylvester printed on an Almond Butter chocolate wrapper.

My hopes are high as we await Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s word on Friday about the possible extension of the stay-at-home order and mainly about the reopening of the Michigan economy.

Coronavirus isolation.

To the dismay of the most vulnerable people in the COVID-19 pandemic, protests have been sweeping the country to reopen the economies.

In the meantime, I moved ahead with the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” formatting on Kindle Create. The manuscript is now available for reviews. Please email Emma at emmapalova@yahoo.com for Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs).

Visit the page for reviewers:

https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/emmapalova.com/325962

Overall, it’s been a dark, cold and cloudy April in Michigan. We had an occassional frost in the morning. I managed only three walks to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, two walks on the trails, and a total of four zoo room meetings. But the main thing that I really feared is done until the next formatting comes up for the paperback.

I also filed for the Library of Congress cataloging number for the upcoming “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” If you wish to check that out go to:

https://www.loc.gov/

I have just found out that April is poetry month from the Library of Congress website. That’s good to know, since I love poetry, so I used Sylvester’s poem for the featured photo.

Hopefully, the economy will reopen to the satisfaction of everyone; I would be surprised if it did.

Introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir

I wrote this introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir during the unprecedented time of the coronavirus pandemic, as we celebrated the Easter Triduum in front of televised services in empty churches across the nation without audiences. 

More than half a billion people around the globe are under a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. This includes my homeland, the Czech Republic. The coronavirus did not discriminate or recognized borders between the states, the countries or the continents. Time will show if this was a modern apocalypse. 

Our immigration story from former socialist Czechoslovakia to the U.S. has come full circle; from one history milestone to another one. 

The milestone that offset our journey across three continents–Europe, Africa, USA– was the reformist movement known as the Prague Spring 1968 under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek.  

The epic story of love and desire for freedom spans 52 years at the date of publishing of this memoir. The major characters, Ella and Vaclav Konecny, are my parents, to whom I have dedicated this memoir. Mom Ella was a happy pharmacist in former Czechoslovakia, while Dad Vaclav was an unhappy mathematician in the old country. 

Dad’s quest for his career fulfillment has been a constant source of inspiration for me in good and in bad times. Recently, I found out that dad was afraid in the old country of persecution by the communists due to our religious beliefs. He thought that he wouldn’t be able to fully realize his teaching ambitions. 

From the humble hometowns of Vizovice and Stipa in the hilly Moravia, we traveled to exotic places such as Khartoum in Africa, to the ancient Byblos known for its papyrus and the “City of Jasmine” Damascus in Syria with the Roman Temple of Jupiter. 

We were no strangers to dangers connected to travel in the Third World Countries. My parents had a few close calls: the tourist boat on the Nile capsized with all the people on board either drowning or the crocodiles ate them in the murky waters, a week after we were aboard the cruise. 

Then a cable car to the second highest peak in the Alps, Matterhorn, crashed also a few days after my parents were on it. 

An interview with my parents in Venice, Florida in March of 2013 revealed that the hardest trial of all was the separation from the family back in Czechoslovakia. Nothing can bring back the lost time or not being able to say the last good-byes to the loved ones, as we have recently found out during the COVID-19 quarantine. 

My parents both surprised me with an answer to my question about immigration. 

“Would you do it again?” I asked seated in their pretty white dining room with mirrors in Venice. 

The unison answer from both was a definite no. They both added their own written accounts of the immigration experience to the memoir, which I am grateful for. 

I structured the memoir in a way that all three of us tell our stories. I lead off each chapter with the storyteller part, as I remember it. Then follows either my mom’s account titled “In her own words” or dad’s experiences. 

I put emphasis on the phrase, “As we remember it.” 

The accounts may wary in details, but together they bring forth a cohesive picture of immigration through the eyes of both adults and a growing up kid. The immigration experience has left its scars on all four of us, but it has also transformed us. 

We lived through the hardline communism and the rolling capitalism. In addition to that, we are Catholics, so we have had the religious experience that is often tied to different regimes. Religion gave another dimension to our story, since it stood at the roots of our immigration together with the Prague Spring movement. 

The immigration experience touched each one of us in a different way. Here is quote from my mom Ella: 

During my lifetime, I have met a lot of good people that I wouldn’t have met in Czech Republic, because of limited travel. USA has its pluses and minuses–the society is too materialistic. In Czech Republic, we didn’t make a lot of money, but we were all equal. We had basic rights: right to work, right to education and healthcare. USA does not have that. People are afraid of socialism, but they basically don’t know what it is. I lived in socialism and I will continue to live in capitalism; one must try both regimes to know what’s better. 

On the other hand, we most likely wouldn’t have houses, if we had stayed in Czech Republic. The majority of the population lives in apartments, that is if they are lucky waiting it out on long lists. I wouldn’t have realized my author’s dream in the old country. 

The Greenwich Meridian Memoir is by no means a treatise on either of the above- mentioned regimes, then or now.  

We each were free to return back to our homeland at any point in time during the 52 years. And we have. That is our story. Come along on a journey of a lifetime. 

April, 2020 

The latest COVID-19 tally in Michigan on April 22, 2020.

Total cases: 33,966

Total deaths: 2,813

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

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

Day 30: Earth Day in COVID-19 quarantine

Where is spring?

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – As days flow by, nice reminders like the Earth Day tell us that everything has its place in time and space, even in the quarantine. I often miss this very important day because of other stuff on my calendar. This year all events, like planting trees around the community, have been cancelled. The Wege Wittenbach Nature Center cancelled maple syrup community breakfast among other events.

Not only, did we miss Easter in April of 2020, but spring doesn’t want to come either to Michigan. We’ve been waking up to 30-degree temperatures and frost on the cars. Light snow was flying in the morning. Even the furnace sounded tired of the cold. The birds disappeared from the patio.

Silver linings aka good news

My seeds in the mini professional greenhouses have sprouted including the much -coveted cucumbers for our future sweet and sour dills Znojmo style.

Zoo room

The meeting went well today except for a few glitches when I disappeared from the screen and someone else didn’t appear at all, only with lines like a blind. However, a friend informed us of a close Coronavirus death.

Take-outs

We got take-outs from Mynt Fusion- a delicious red curry dish with three way protein and a gyro from Arby’s.

Kindle Create

I am learning a new formatting tool kindle create for publishing. Once I reach the apex on the learning curve, it should be easier to format both kindle ebooks and paperbacks. Kindle Create converts files to a reflowable eBook, which allows the reader to resize text and is available on all kindle devices and free kindle reading applications. Kindle Create works with several word processing applications.

Stay tuned for more info about the newest in formatting.

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the Coronavirus quarantine.

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

DAy 29: Working in the COVID -19 quarantine

“Hope…is the companion of power and the mother of success, for who so hopes, has within him the gift of miracles.”

– Samuel Smiles

Greenwich Meridian Memoir project update

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI -Following the quote above, I am hoping to launch my new book the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” at the Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon on July 3 &4. At this point in time, there are no further details available about reopening the economy in waves in Michigan beyond May 1.

Coronavirus distancing.

I am moving ahead with the formatting of the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” on the Kindle Create platform by Amazon. I finished the front and the back matters for the book: these include the acknowledgment, dedication and intro to the book and the biography on the back.

I am including the full introduction to the book here:

Introduction to the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir”

I wrote this introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir during the unprecedented time of the coronavirus pandemic, as we celebrated the Easter Triduum in front of televised services in empty churches across the nation without audiences. 

Greenwich Meridian Memoir cover designed by Jeanne Boss.

More than half a billion people around the globe are under a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. This includes my homeland, the Czech Republic. The coronavirus did not discriminate or recognized borders between the states, the countries or the continents. Time will show if this was a modern apocalypse. 

Our immigration story from former socialist Czechoslovakia to the U.S. has come full circle; from one history milestone to another one. 

The milestone that offset our journey across three continents–Europe, Africa, USA– was the reformist movement known as the Prague Spring 1968 under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek.  

The epic story of love and desire for freedom spans 52 years at the date of publishing of this memoir. The major characters, Ella and Vaclav Konecny, are my parents, to whom I have dedicated this memoir. Mom Ella was a happy pharmacist in former Czechoslovakia, while Dad Vaclav was an unhappy mathematician in the old country. 

Dad’s quest for his career fulfillment has been a constant source of inspiration for me in good and in bad times. Recently, I found out that dad was afraid in the old country of persecution by the communists due to our religious beliefs. He thought that he wouldn’t be able to fully realize his teaching ambitions. 

From the humble hometowns of Vizovice and Stipa in the hilly Moravia, we traveled to exotic places such as Khartoum in Africa, to the ancient Byblos known for its papyrus and the “City of Jasmine” Damascus in Syria with the Roman Temple of Jupiter. 

We were no strangers to dangers connected to travel in the Third World Countries. My parents had a few close calls: the tourist boat on the Nile capsized with all the people on board either drowning or the crocodiles ate them in the murky waters, a week after we were aboard the cruise. 

Then a cable car to the second highest peak in the Alps, Matterhorn, crashed also a few days after my parents were on it. 

An interview with my parents in Venice, Florida in March of 2013 revealed that the hardest trial of all was the separation from the family back in Czechoslovakia. Nothing can bring back the lost time or not being able to say the last good-byes to the loved ones, as we have recently found out during the COVID-19 quarantine. 

My parents both surprised me with an answer to my question about immigration. 

“Would you do it again?” I asked seated in their pretty white dining room with mirrors in Venice. 

The unison answer from both was a definite no. They both added their own written accounts of the immigration experience to the memoir, which I am grateful for. 

I structured the memoir in a way that all three of us tell our stories. I lead off each chapter with the storyteller part, as I remember it. Then follows either my mom’s account titled “In her own words” or dad’s experiences. 

I put emphasis on the phrase, “As we remember it.” 

The accounts may wary in details, but together they bring forth a cohesive picture of immigration through the eyes of both adults and a growing up kid. The immigration experience has left its scars on all four of us, but it has also transformed us. 

We lived through the hardline communism and the rolling capitalism. In addition to that, we are Catholics, so we have had the religious experience that is often tied to different regimes. Religion gave another dimension to our story, since it stood at the roots of our immigration together with the Prague Spring movement. 

The immigration experience touched each one of us in a different way. Here is quote from my mom Ella: 

During my lifetime, I have met a lot of good people that I wouldn’t have met in Czech Republic, because of limited travel. USA has its pluses and minuses–the society is too materialistic. In Czech Republic, we didn’t make a lot of money, but we were all equal. We had basic rights: right to work, right to education and healthcare. USA does not have that. People are afraid of socialism, but they basically don’t know what it is. I lived in socialism and I will continue to live in capitalism; one must try both regimes to know what’s better. 

On the other hand, we most likely wouldn’t have houses, if we had stayed in Czech Republic. The majority of the population lives in apartments, that is if they are lucky waiting it out on long lists. I wouldn’t have realized my author’s dream in the old country. 

The Greenwich Meridian Memoir is by no means a treatise on either of the above- mentioned regimes, then or now.  

We each were free to return back to our homeland at any point in time during the 52 years. And we have. That is our story. Come along on a journey of a lifetime. 

April, 2020 

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

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

Day 28: Friendships in COVID-19 quarantine

Contagion cannot stifle relationships

Contagion: coronavirus

By Emma Palova

Among a multitude of other things COVID-19 has impacted how people meet due to social distancing. Since there are no coffee shops or restaurants open, a meeting alternative is nature. Even some parks are closed in Michigan.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, we sat on the shore of Murray Lake with a friend. I will call her Lilian. She is a pretty blonde, who usually dresses up for the smallest of occasions. Lilian arrived all disheveled, wearing her black tights and a skirt with a flashy pink sweater. Her mask has slid down her chin to the neck. She drove 18 miles so we could talk about life’s troubles outside of the contagion realm.

We didn’t hug. She rolled out her sleeping bag on the green grass. I pulled out a folding chair from the trunk, that I didn’t know I had, and set it not quite six feet apart in order to hear her in the wind.

We watched the wind whip the waves on the lake from west to northeast as a blue heron glided above the water, swiftly navigating the wind. The water in the lake had a soothing feeling on the emotions that were riding high. Even though cars and bikes kept flying on the road behind us in spite of the quarantine restrictions, we felt a sense unity in the Coronavirus isolation.

Of course, we could have talked on the phone or texted. However, some things don’t convey well via media, and this was one of them. Just the fact that we could get together helped us both relieve the tension and anxiety of the last few weeks.

“Sorry, that I look like thrash,” I apologized for my Up North orange sweatpants and a black jacket with a ripped zipper. My hair was a mess too, due to the wind and the lack of a proper haicut.

“That’s ok, I had the same clothes on yesterday,” Lilian said looking at me.

“We finally meet under these circumstances,” I said. “It took Coronavirus for us to meet.”

During normal times before the virus, we had ample opportunities to meet in the eclectic cafes or restaurants in the Grand Rapids area. Seldom, we took the advantage of our freedom to meet, until yesterday.

What will the next meeting look like?

Work front in the quarantine

On the work front, I continued with my front and back matters for the upcoming book, the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” I will include the introduction in one of the upcoming daily posts.

Since the COVID-19 quarantine has impacted everything around us including book marketing, I was happy to find out that May is the National Novel Promoting Month brought to us by the goodwill of the NaNoWriMo organizers.

Join us in May.

Michigan may re-open on May 1

Below is a link to a warning from Dr. Fauci about premature opening of the economy.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/493647-fauci-warns-protests-against-against-stay-at-home-orders-will

Check out also the newest post on our partner site “Fallasburg Today” at

Thank you health care heroes and essential workers for keeping us alive and fed.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan.

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