Tag Archives: COVID -19

Day 14: COVID-19 quarantine brings us back to home farming

Uncertain food supply raises need for self-sustainability

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- Since farmer’s markets and greenhouses may not open until the COVID-19 quarantine is lifted, many are turning back to home farming and small garden plots are popping up around the neighborhood.

Altough farmers like Visser Farms are getting creative selling online and packaged fruits and vegetables for a standard price of $5 a bag to prevent direct contact.

We’re lucky enough that we each own at least three acres in Vergennes Township. Coming from Europe, we’ve always had our own veggie gardens due to the constant shortage of fresh produce on the markets. See excerpt below from the “Greenwich Meridian Memoir.”

We’ve staked our small garden approximately 15 years ago. It started out first as as an herb garden, inspired by my friend herbalist Betty Dickinson of Ionia. Whenever I walk into the garden, especially after rain, the herbs smell of a thousand fragrances. Later, we added cherry tomatoes, peppers, squash and melons.

Last year, we planted cucumbers to can our own sweet and sour pickles aka “Znojemske okurky.” We take pride in this product that reminds us of our Czech homeland. I also love my ever bearing strawberries and currant bushes. I use the red and black currant to make pies.

But it is getting late to start growing plants from seeds. My favorite Snow Avenue Greenhouse usually opens around April 20 and sells decent size plants that can go directly into the garden.

COVID-19 quarantine brings us back to home farming.

Tips

If you live in an apartment, you can still do container gardening. Many seeds on the market are specifically good for containers.

Excerpt from Greenwich Meridian Memoir

Self-sustainability in Czech villages

Other homemade products included sausages and smoked meat. The butchering of the family pig usually took place in winter and before the holidays, so there was plenty of meat on the table. Socialism with its chronic lack of basic goods, drove the need for self-sufficiency specifically in the villages and craftsmanship as well. People were forced to be more creative in many different ways. They grew their own produce; everything from onions, carrots to cabbage and cucumbers. Then they made saurkraut from the cabbage, that went well with the pork and the sausages. Cucumbers were used to make the famous “Znojemsky pickles” aka “Znojemske okurky.”

Many households in villages and towns were self-sufficient with everything homemade or home grown. National artist Joseph Lada illustrated the traditional festivities: The Feast of St. Nicholas on Dec. 6, the butchering of the family pig in the yard with onlookers, Christmas by the tall tiled stoves, autumn campfires with fire-roasted potatoes and summer fun by the ponds with the willows.

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

Today the death toll reached a grim 10,000 milestone.

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

Day 9: COVID-19 as Catalyst

Coronavirus brings us closer together

“When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, what we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go from darkness into darkness.”

Maya Angelou

Lowell, MI- Together we can accomplish anything. We will get through this together. Each one of us has a part to play.

How many times do we get to chat simultaneously with people from Florida, Oklahoma , Minnesota and Michigan?

I did for the first time earlier in the day via video chat Zoo room app. I connected with familiar faces, and I am so grateful for technology with all its whims.

https://zooroom.chat/

Today marks the beginning of Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s a great platform to start or finish your writing projects.

https://nanowrimo.org/what-is-camp-nanowrimo

Coronavirus quarantine survival tips

How many times in the past have you complained, that you don’t have time for anything? Now you do.

Ludek Pala works on isolating and putting up drywall in the laundry room.

Find a home improvement project. Finish what you have started years ago.

Learn something new: cooking, baking, writing poetry, painting.

Go outside and take pictures of spring arriving.

Offer to help others with their struggles; it will ease your own.

Keep a journal.

Live, love and laugh.

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

Day 8: COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan

Glimmers of hope

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the social distancing measures appear to be working.

The daily increases in Coronavirus cases may be slowing down as a result of mitigation efforts on all fronts. However, the Coronavirus pandemic remains very serious as close to 300 people have died in Michigan.

Going into the eighth day of the COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan, the news of a possible slowdown of the spread of the virus comes at the right time. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to announce whether the schools will reopen on Thursday.

I have only 30 more pages to correct in the Greenwich Meridian Memoir manuscript.

My parents should have arrived back in Michigan this evening.

My husband will be putting up the drywall in the laundry tomorrow.

I have a virtual meeting scheduled for Wednesday. I am signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow.

From my Taurus horoscope:

Keep your cool as you put one foot in front of the other, taking small but impactful steps that move the needle forward.

Things are looking up. Spread hope around you.

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

Day 6: COVID-19 quarantine in Michigan

Stay at home, save lives

By Emma Palova

On the fifth Sunday of Lent, I watched the mass broadcast on TV from the empty St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Grand Rapids due to the Coronavirus quarantine.

Televised mass without an audience from St. Andrew’s Cathedral Cathedral in Grand Rapids.

I do my daily Lenten readings from The Little Black Book 6-minute meditations and in shock I came across this reading for March 28, that I somehow missed.

The bubonic plague in Oberammergau

When an outbreak of the bubonic plague began to spread in the 17th century, the people of Oberammergau prayed to be spared. They vowed that the whole community would, every 10 years, stage a massive production presenting the story of Christ’s death and resurrection to the world. The town was spared from the plague, and the tradition of the Oberammergau Passion Play was born. It’s first performance was in 1634.

The Passion Play is scheduled for this year from May 16 to Oct. 4. It is performed on an open stage with seating for nearly 5,000 spectators. Members of the 1,700 cast must be Oberammergau natives, or have lived there for 10 years. The play lasts a whole day, with a three-hour break for lunch. The play is performed five times a week for several months.

But, on Thursday, the organizers of the play- which has a cast of some 2,500 and can feature 900 people on stage at once- announced they were canceling this years edition, because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The first of the 103 daylong performances had been scheduled for May 16.

Historically, the human kind has been plagued by diseases from the bubonic plague, tuberculosis, Spanish influenza to Coronavirus, to name just a few.

The least we can do is to quarantine ourselves to protect others from the spread of the virus.

Tips:

Learn something new. It’s Sunday, cook up a storm.

Join a video chat room at:

Zoo room

You can also participate in #StayHomeWrimo creative initiative by the National Novel Writing Month organizers.

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

Day 3: COVID-19 shutdown

By Emma Palova

Weighing in on the positives of the coronavirus pandemic: in search of humanity

In spite of the state shutdown, and shows like the Lowell Expo not happening this weekend, I see positives of the coronavirus shutdown in Michigan.

I pay more attention to the good things around me: my flowering orchids and amaryllis. My husband Ludek can get caught up on stuff rather than wining that he never has time to do anything around the house.

Our son Jake is homeschooling the grandkids and loving it.

I talk more to my daughter Dr. Emma, who is on the frontlines of fighting  COVID-19 in France. Before the outbreak, I never heard from her. My brother calls me more nowadays and I return his phone calls.

I finished the FallasburgToday newsletter at https://mailchi.mp/065459a763c2/springtime-in-fallasburg. Check it out and visit Fallasburg during this shutdown. We are allowed to go outside for walks and visit parks.

There is goodness coming out of this pandemic. The pandemic too shall pass and we’re in it all together. 

I think in this isolation we find a common bond- humanity and we recognize the need for each other.

I spoke with Dr, Emma Palova- Chavent about the Coronavirus pandemic this morning.

Dr. Emma Palova-Chavent on the frontlines of fighting COVID-19.

“We’re treating COVID-19 as triage,” she said.

She stressed that the social isolation is the most important and effective tool in the battle against the COVID-19 spread due to the resilience of the virus. It can live on surfaces up to seven days outside of the human body unlike the HIV virus. It has yet to be determined if the Coronavirus can be airborne.

France has reserved up to 50 percent of hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients after observing outbreaks in Italy and China. The remaining 50 percent is reserved for cardiac emergencies, chemotherapies and births.

“We’re behind them like two weeks,” she said.

According to Chavent, the USA and France, as well as other countries have taken late confinement measures.

The isolation must last at least two to three weeks to be able to assess the drop in new cases.

However, not every patient gets tested and most are not hospitalized. Patients with risk factors such as diabetes are more likely to get tested. Any low number of cases is an indicator, that infected people have not been tested, such as the Russians.

Ultimately, the death caused by the coronavirus results in respiratory failure.

“We’re not able to untubate people,” she said.

The outbreak should definitely not to be underestimated.

“It’s a highly infectious illness.

Hang in there. Stay at home. Stay well.

Featured photo: Melinda Cosgrove of Snow Avenue Greenhouse at last year’s expo in Lowell.

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

Day 2: Fighting COVID – 19 on all fronts

Dr. Emma Palova- Chavent in full protective gear against the COVID-19 virus fighting on the front line in ER in France.

The battle against the Coronavirus at home in the USA continues with more than 40 percent of population under the Stay-at-Home order as the number of cases rises. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the USA  could become the new epicenter of the pandemic.

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

Stay-at-home order issued by Michigan Governor Whitmer

Governor Whitmer Signs “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order 

Governor directs all non-critical businesses to temporarily close, all Michiganders to stay home or six feet away from others during COVID-19 crisis .

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

LANSING, Mich. —  Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO 2020-21), directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.  

Effective at 12:01 am on March 24, 2020, for at least the next three weeks, individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they do so, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances. 

“In just 13 days, we’ve gone from 0 to over 1,000 COVID-19 cases,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities. The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.” 

“Taking aggressive action to protect our communities is the most important thing we can do to mitigate further spread of COVID-19,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “If we do this now, we can make sure our hospitals and healthcare workers are prepared to take care of the sickest people. It is crucial that people do the right thing by staying home and staying safe.” 

Executive Order 2020-21 prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses and operations are to designate the workers that meet those criteria, and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that necessary in-person work. 

Workers that are necessary to sustain or protect life include those in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery store workers, and more. For a full list of these critical infrastructure workers, click the link to Executive Order 2020-21 at the bottom of this page. 

Additionally, under Executive Order 2020-21, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons outside a single household are temporarily prohibited. People may leave the house to perform for limited, necessary purposes, and may engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside a person’s household and with other restrictions imposed by prior executive orders. 

Michigan is currently in the top five states in the nation in number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Several governors across the country have taken similar steps to protect their communities from the spread of COVID-19, including governors Mike DeWine (R-OH), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), J.B. Pritzker (D-IL), Tom Wolf (D-PA), Gavin Newsom (D-CA), John Bel Edwards (D-LA), Phil Murphy (D-NJ), and Ned Lamont (D-CT). 

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:    

  • Fever       
  • Cough       
  • Shortness of breath       

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is:  

  • If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.       
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.         
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.         
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.         
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.         
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.        
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.       

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus   

For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8AM – 5PM daily.   

Michiganders can apply for unemployment benefits if they have left work or taken a leave of absence because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive. Those temporarily laid off from work should apply for unemployment benefits online at www.michigan.gov/UIA or 1-866-500-0017.  

Governor Whitmer is working to ensure that children who rely on the food provided by schools will have the resources they need. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has developed an online map for families to find meals. Families can access the map at: https://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/schoolnutrition/

On March 19, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved the governor’s request for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration, opening the opportunity to small businesses to access low-interest loans from the SBA. The application for disaster loan assistance is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. For businesses looking for more information on how to apply for an SBA EIDL loan or whether it is something they should consider, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19. 

To view executive order 2020-21, click the link below:   

Executive Order 2020-21This press release will be translated and made available in Arabic and Spanish at www.michigan.gov/whitmer 

Source: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s press release on March 23, 2020