Day 7 COVID 19 PANDEMIC MARCH 19, 2020
1 ) Borders closing all around he world. American government said “Stay home” . If you decide
to travel after today then you cannot expect help to get back. Same message applies to us I imagine.
2) Italian deaths from COVID 19 now higher than deaths in China. Iran also in terrible shape asking
UN for help.
3) Some Cruise ships still cannot find ports to disembark passengers. Reminds me of descriptions
of Europe during the Balck Death Plague long ago.
4) Please take a close look at Trump. I feel he has lost control. Seems stunned.
Comments are hard to understand. Turns to VP Pence often (and VP Pence blathered in a cover up manner today).
This is hard for me to say BUT WHO IS IN CONTROL? I hope I am wrong.
5) Also The blame game has started…
China and USA…lies and counter lies. Obvious the virus
came from that wild foods market in Hunan…but whisper campaign
blames the US Army…imagine that…lies and counter lies. A terrible situation.
I only became aware of the virus when the Chinese gov’t began construction of those instant hospitals. Someone
must have known a disaster was unfolding.
6) THERE are only 2.8 hospital beds for every thousand people in the United States. Not nearly enough.
One solution that makes sense is the conversion of big hotels into temporary hospitals…that
idea may sound obvious but no doubt there are big problems. Then the big cruise ship owners offered
their ships as hospitals. Not a bad idea, providing there is a port city.
8) Did I really correctly read that Trump is placing responsibilities for recovery from COVID 19 on the American States? i.e. “I am not a clerk”
9) Apparently the federal government knew the USA could not handle a pandemic in a report received more
than a year ago. Did Trump eviscerate America?
10) Now,what you have been waiting for…
LOST in Paradise…Patricia and Dave
(for new recipients of this journal, Patricia and Dave are two Canadians currently stranded on tip of Florida…i.e.Lost in Paradise)
“Look at that Dave.”
“Yep, birds have wings but we do not.”
“Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.”
“That comment is pushing it a bit.”
(Patricia and Dave hope to catch the last flight to Canada at the end of March. Their backup plan
is to buy a wreck and drive it to Canada….a flight like was done in Grapes of Wrath.
(This is the new owner of their boat which will be left behind)
FLASHBACK: OTHER DARK TIMES
7) THE closest similar event that Marjorie and I faced was years ago
when the Soviet Union collapsed and our son Kevin was teaching in Slovakia at a teachers wage
of $125 per month and initially lodged in a jail cell in Bratislava. The Slovaks had been hit hard
with a double whammy…the fall of the Soviet Union…and the split of the Czechoslovak Republic.
Slovakia was in a state of near economic collapse which became apparent when Marjorie and I
paid a visit on our March break in Canada. Perhaps best described in first person.
Now Imagine it is dark, mid-March …no leaves, no grass…bleak….with an unmarked winery beyond the church…cobbled street…suspicious faces.
“Dad, we have arranged a party in a Slovak winery outside of town.”
“Who is ‘we’?”
“All of the American School volunteers.”
(Actually all were getting $125 per month to cover living expenses but nothing else…and even
that amount was tough on the Slovaks.)
“We have hired drivers to get us there.”
“No street signs…no bill boards…no street lights…night time…not many people
around. These villages seem deserted. Ancient villages with front doors right
at the roadways. Everything is rather gloomy, Marjorie. Dark”
“Here we are dad.”
“Nothing here…just a couple of barns and some houses.”
“The barn is the winery…you’ll see.”
“Pssst. Alan, this does not look good.”
“No sign…no light…a bit run down…scary.”
“Mom, I know what you are thinking, don’t worry, Slovakia has adjusted to communism. Their ways.”
( And we descended into a vaulted cellar lined with wine casks and people)
“Welcome, welcome, your dinner is ready…bottles of wine at each table…more if you want.”
“Dad, in your honour, they have brought in musicians in traditional dress.”
(Our group of about 12 or 13 young people and Marjorie and me were fed traditional food…meat,
potatoes, beets, bread…while the music played.)
THEN THE MUSIC STOPPED…THE WAITERS FACES HAD TURNED TO STONE…SOMETHING WAS WRONG.
“Kevin,Why suddenly so quiet…why are they so subdued suddenly?
“They do not think we can pay for all this…they think they have made a big mistake.”
“Kevin, tell the boss man that I will pay for it all…food, wine, music…everything.”
(that decision, I feared would wipe out all our cash…but I had to do it .. no alternative_
“How much, Kevin?”
“They want $140.”
“Is that all? Give them this…$150” (I had figured three or four times that price)
“And Kevin, pay them quietly…no big presentation…slip the money to the boss guy…now.”
THEN THINGS CHANGED AND THE BAND PLAYED ON
(The little band started to play with gusto and more wine was put on each table. Wine bottles
with no labels I noted, and desserts arrived. We sang and maybe danced the night away.
And when we got ready to leave we were all given a bottle of wine to take away with us. No one
really knew who had paid the bill. May have suspected. But I did not have to play the awful role of
the big spender.
That was an evening I will never forget.)
Why tell you this story? Because we are now at that stoney moment in our lives. A moment when something
big is wrong. A moment when we cannot pay for everything that is needed…a moment when many of us
fear for our jobs, most fear for their health. Many fear for America…
OR, put another way, We are standing in a small Slovak village with no lights and a pot holed road cobbling its way past houses
with dour faces. In front of us is a winery but we cannot see it. There are no signs. We hope that behind
those ancient doors there will be light, food, music and revelry.
There was another bright moment on that trip. Kevin asked me to teach a lesson in the high school where students
longed to learn English. I thought that would be difficult. Not so. The moment I entered the room everyone
stood up at attention and said “Welcome, Mr. Skeoch”. A sunny moment as Justin Trudeau would say. (Sunny Ways)
Let’s hope. ‘We can but hope that somehow good will be the final goal of ill,” as someone said in a book I read long ago.
(claustrophobic feeling tonight)