Category Archives: quarantine

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 24: Hastings woman implores people to stay quarantined at home

Hundley: Don’t be selfish

By Emma Palova

Hastings, MI – As the curve of the COVID-19 cases nationally continues to flatten out, people are still suffering, despite yesterday’s protests in Lansing against Gov. Whitmer’s strengthened quarantine restrictions.

For Tori Ann Hundley, 27, of Hastings, the sickness started with a tickle in the throat, followed by a cough and a fever, almost a month ago. But mild body aches grew into difficulty in breathing and resulted in four hospital stays between Hastings and Grand Rapids for a total of 10 days. The most recent one at the Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids on April 13, 2020.

COVID-19 patient, Tori Ann Hundley of Hastings

Spectrum Hospital staff in full PPE gear.

The diagnosis: COVID -19 with pneumonia complications.

“I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “I felt like I had 100 pounds of bricks on my chest. My vitals and labs were all over the place. I have a lot of other health issues that lower my immune system.”

At the hospital, Hundley was taking chloraquine and steroids through IV, but since she was breathing on her own, she wasn’t on a ventilator. She had to be taken off the chloraquine due to complications.

“I am always released after three days and then my lungs start to get bad again,” she said. “I have a partially collapsed lung.”

The Spectrum staff, according to Hundley, all were wearing the PPE gear and came only into the room to administer medications and pain control, and to help when she had to use the rest room.

“They are very precautionery with every step,” she said. “They are treating me the best they can under the circumstances they don’t really know how to handle this virus.”

Taking all the precautions, Hundley thought she wouldn’t be the one to get the coronavirus. She has a four year old daughter, Avery and a partner Tony Amelia.

“The only thing that is helping me get through this is my Lord and Savior,” she said. “I’m exhausted and want to give up, but I don’t because I have a daughter who’s waiting for me to overcome this.”

Hundley has difficulty getting up to use the rest room, and basically to function normally by herself on a daily basis.

“I am scared, worried and anxious,” said Amelia who has been taking care of Hundley and Avery.

Amelia has mild symptoms of COVID-19 that include body aches and a headache. The neighbors are shopping for them.

“It’s like the flu, only a hundred times worse,” said Amelia. “The body aches and headaches, it’s the worse I’ve ever had.”

Even though, the pain goes away for two or three days, it comes back, according to Amelia.

“It’s like a phase,” he said. “It’s scary. It’s a serious matter.”

The worst part for Amelia is seeing Tori going through the pneumonia complications.

“Her right lung has collapsed,” he said.

The right lung on the xray is collapsed.

And Hundley is exhausted from going back and forth between the hospitals.

“I am hoping for healing and for people to open their eyes before someone they love or themselves gets this awful virus,” Hundley said. “It’s a horrible way to spend this quarantine.

“It’s taken me too long to get better, because my immune system is weakened.”

Both Hundley and Amelia stressed the need to take the coronavirus disease seriously, in the wake of Gov. Whitmer’s extended executive order through April 30.

“This virus is no freaking joke and it has dragged me down to where I am exhausted and I want to give up, but I don’t because I have a daughter who’s waiting for me to overcome this.

I am staying as strong as I can but you guys just need to take this more serious and realize people aren’t as lucky as I am to fight this and it’s been a roller coaster ride. STOP COMPLAINING BECAUSE THIS COULD BE YOU!!!! ” 

Even though Amelia doesn’t like the governor’s order, he admitted that it is necessary for people to stay at home.

“You don’t want to spread this or get it,” he said.

Hundley, emotionally drained and physically exhausted, said that people should stay at home, stop being selfish and complaining when others are dying and struggling with the disease.

“I am not doing well, I’m tired, exhausted and I feel awful,” she said. “I’m just praying for some relief soon. This is the worst I’ve every felt.”

Featured photo: Pixabay, coronavirus distance.

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

Thanks to essential workers for keeping us alive.

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

Day 21: Easter Monday in the COVID-19 quarantine

Czech and Slovak Easter Monday traditions

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Celebrate Easter responsibly with a six foot long whip.

Those were the guidelines for Easter Monday from the Czech officials. Social distancing restrictions have also impacted some beloved Easter customs in Czech Republic known as the whipping of the women called “schmigrust” on Easter Monday.”

“How?” you asked.

“The whips just got longer to satisfy the six-foot social distancing requirement.“

On the night before Easter Monday, the men braided the whips from willow branches. The whip consists of eight, twelve or even 24 withies (willow rods.) They headed out early on Monday morning either individually or as a team. Even before social distancing, the leader of the team carried the biggest whip with the most ribbons. The team members had their personal whips and rattles. The noisy procession went from house to house seeking out the loveliest females, who had the prettiest ribbons. This custom is known as “pomlazka.”

Easter Monday whipping before the COVID-19 quarantine.

According to some accounts, (including my own) the purpose of whipping is for males to exhibit their attraction to females; unvisited females can even feel offended. I wrote about this Easter Monday whipping tradition in my upcoming book the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.” Watch for excerpts coming up during the COVID-19 quarantine.

The lashing would take place at the doorstep to the famous Easter rhyme:

“Hody, hody, doprovody, give me a colored egg, if you don’t have a colored egg, give me at least a white one, the hen will lay another one.”

Depending on the household, the lady of the house, tied a ribbon to the whip, handed out eggs and poured shots of the famous plum brandy known as sliwowitz.

Festive Easter deviled eggs-casino style

The whipping custom dates back to the pagan times. It was meant to chase away bad spirits, sickness and bring health and youth to everyone for the rest of the year. In our Moravian region, we were told that it symbolized the whipping of Christ.

If the women of the household were popular and the Easter team arrived late, there would be no ribbons or shots left for them.

On the other hand, you could see drunken teams in the afternoon out on the streets.

We have always adhered to this “schmigrust” custom wherever we lived in the world, except for this year due to the Coronavirus quarantine. We still have the personal braided whips from Czech and the giant rattle.

As a renaissance tradition, I made deviled eggs or eggs casino style from the dyed Easter eggs.

You just scoop out the yolks into a bowl, mix it with butter and mustard, you can add chopped up ham.

Below is a video of the Czech prime minister Andrej Babis lashing his wife.

Thank you health care workers.

Stay tuned for day by day coverag of the COVID-19 quarantine.

Tomorrow: Hastings woman infected with Coronavirus struggles to get better.

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

Day 20: Easter SUNDAY in the COVID-19 quarantine

Happy Easter

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, it casts the shadow of our burdens behind us.” – Samuel Smiles

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- Every Sunday is a little Easter and this Easter Sunday wishes kept pouring in from far and near.

We spent Easter alone with Ludek, but not completely. For the fourth Sunday in a row, we watched the televised mass from the empty Saint Andrew’s Cathedral in Grand Rapids. The beautiful mass celebrating the risen Christ lost none of its pomp. The altar was decorated with bold white Easter lilies, mums and orchids. And Alleluia echoed through the empty cathedral.

Easter Sunday rosary walk at the Franciscans

While the sun was still out, I went for my second walk of the season to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist around noon. During the entire 1.8 mile walk on gravel Downes Road, I saw one Amazon Prime van only, but no human beings. However, the birds could not be discouraged or fined for chirping their Easter Sunday songs.

At the St. Mary’s Plaza, I sat on the concrete bench to make note of my observations in my blue walking diary with this title, “Write your Story.”

Then, the phone got the best of me as the Easter wishes kept coming in. Walking by the center, I still noticed the yellow forsythias .

“Happy Easter,” our son Jake wished me. “I made the whips for the Easter Monday whipping. We couldn’t find any willows.”

“Did you color eggs for Easter?” I asked.

Oh, yes, the coloring of Easter eggs is just as big of a deal as braiding of the whips from the willow branches.

“What are you cooking?” I asked.

On a normal Easter Sunday, we would have a leg of lamb, red sauerkraut and dumplings and mom’s famous cake roll. We would fill the dining room by the sunroom with laughter and Easter joy.

“I am grilling ribs tonight,” Jake said.

And yes, mom announced their Easter meal on FaceTime in Big Rapids. My brother Vas was present.

“We had schnitzel from chicken tenderloin,” she said. “I grabbed that at Aldi’s.”

Vas suggested that Ludek should be working in our gardens during the quarantine.

Somewhere in between the above mentioned calls, daughter Doc Em called from Morzine in France.

“Mom, I am in the mountains, but the kids couldn’t come with me because of the lockdown,” she said. “I am fine because I am a doctor, we can go anywhere.”

Doc Em said she’s getting tired of the uncertainty.

“France could be on a lockdown until the end of May and the European Union could seal off the borders until September,” she said.

Speaking about having a different Easter, friend Sheryl from Iowa asked me about our Governor.

“What is going on with your governor? Can’t buy seeds or flags and can’t go to neighbor’s house?” Sheryl asked.

“We can do takeouts, auto service, buy food and medication, but that’s about it,” I responded.

Thank you medical workers, truckers and grocery workers for all your hard work.

Stay tuned for day by day coverage of the Coronavirus shutdown in Michigan including a special report about Easter Monday traditions in Czech & Slovak republics with excerpts.

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

DAY 18: Good Friday in the COVID-19 qarantine

Easter Triduum

By Emma Palova

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”

                                                                                -Vaclav Havel

Lowell, MI – In early March before the official outbreak of the coronavirus in Michigan, we had a discussion with Ludek about the kissing of the cross on Good Friday. We we were wondering how are we going to handle that, since COVID-19 was already in the U.S.

During the catholic liturgies, there is a lot to come into contact whether it’s during a Paschal service or a regular mass. What seems to be like ages ago, we decided we will not go to Good Friday services protect our health .

Well, now we know that we’re not going, because all masses have been cancelled due to the stay-at-home order in Michigan. We will wath the service on WMXI Fox https://www.fox17online.com/ at 3 p.m. today.

From the Easter Triduum, the Good Friday liturgy is my favorite one because of the reading of “The Passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ, according to John.

The passion reading has inspired Mel Gibson’s 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ” and countless other works of art. Rightfully so, following is an excerpt from the Passion:

EXCERPT: The Passion of the Christ

The Passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ, according to John.

Narrator: Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. Judas his betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them,

Christ: “Whom are you looking for?”

Narrator: They answered him,

Crowd: ” Jesus, the Nazorean.”

The above passage is very close to how you write a screenplay.

The reading of the Passion from the empty St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Grand Rapids gave a very powerful message of suffering of the Christ.

Earlier in the day I worked on the intro to my upcoming book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.”

Introduction to the Greenwich Meridian Memoir

Here is what I have so far:

I am writing this introduction during the unprecedented time of the coronavirus shutdown, as we celebrate the Easter Triduum in front of televised services in empty churches across the nation without audiences.

Greenwich Meridian Memoir cover designed by Jeanne Boss.

 In Michigan, we are on our 18th day of the COVID-19 quarantine that has been extended through April 30, 2020. Coronavirus is now the leading cause of death in the U.S. It has caused 1,970 deaths across the country per day. As of early Friday, the U.S. had more than 465,750 coronavirus cases, according to data from John Hopkins University. More than 1.4 million cases have been reported globally.

More than half a billion people around the globe are under a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the deadly virus. This includes my homeland, the Czech Republic. The coronavirus does not discriminate or recognize borders between the states, the countries or the continents. Some are calling it an 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 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 on 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.

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

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