Saw this posted elsewhere with the following comment:
📌”These kids went around the barricades and posted signs. I recognize some of them. Parks are closed! I want to go back to work and this is not helping!!!”📌
Malvern Borough someplace, and these kids and their parents need some 411 spread their way. Keep your kids at home. They say they might die of terminal boredom, but they won’t. And neither will all of you.￼
We need to get real.
Three in Pennsylvania have died from Coronavirus . This is very sobering news. And we need to take this more seriously. People that are letting their kids go play contact sports even like pick up games of basketball need to think twice.
We’re either all in this together and we try and we’re inconvenienced for a short amount of time or this virus isn’t going to go away.
It occurred to me that a lot of the reasons some kids are having a hard time with this isn’t because they are super social or even anything other than they are normally so scheduled that they don’t know what to do with downtime. Same with the parents as someone else pointed out. And I’m not saying that to be insulting it’s reality.
I have friends with small businesses who are going to be hard-pressed to get through this because they are nonessential and have had to close. That is a perspective we need to keep in mind as well. There are literally so many worse off than each of us who might take the time to read this post we need to put it into perspective.
￼I have seen several conversations on the various social media platforms deteriorate into borderline nastiness and I think we all need to get it into perspective and check ourselves. Everyone is going to have a different opinion of this, these times, and this is hard on everyone. But we all have to be in this together to get through it.
From posts about people leaving nasty comments on people’s business pages on social media platforms, to some thread of comments about not letting outsiders into certain communities, we need to just pause.
I live an immunocompromised existence every day as a breast cancer survivor and patient still on cancer meds. Do you want to put it all into perspective people? I was at an event where the second victim in Chester County also was so I’m in self quarantine until the end of the week. I’m completely healthy thank the good Lord and so is everyone in my family. But I’m staying home because it’s what I’m supposed to do. That is what I can control. So I’m doing my part.
And after we’re off of self quarantine where are we all going to go? Probably nowhere unless we need gas in the car or food on the table. And why is that? Because the way to kick this thing is social distancing and self quarantine.￼
Everyone out there just needs to do their part. And use common sense. Check on elderly neighbors check on neighbors in general.
Be the community I know we are at heart. And let the crap go. Politics and vitriol will still be here when we’re through this but right now we don’t have the luxury of that. We all need to grow up. It’s kind of that “Dorothy we’re not in Kansas anymore” moment.
Sorry, but something needed to be said. And if you don’t like what I’ve just had to say, just move by this post resist the urge to leave a comment.
Thanks for stopping by virtually. Be safe and healthy.
Life is so quiet. It’s like snowstorm quiet without the snow. We naturally miss the little things, the simple things that we take for granted except now. It’s the freedom to move about and do what we want, when we want. But just like when there is a big snowstorm, we can’t. We have to think, we have to pause. And some people just can’t pause. They simply don’t know how.
There is also that underlying current of what is next? But not all the time. Only when I turn on the news. The media is so on overdrive I wonder when people will stop listening? It’s a balancing act for all of us and them and it can be information overload can’t it?
An amusing thing is apparently Facebook software wants people to stop listening. Yesterday they kept removing people’s posts saying they went against “community standards”. They did it with one of mine. I had shared an article from The Morning Call about a news conference Governor Tom Wolf had held. A friend of mine had a post removed she posted that was an obituary!
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) warned on Monday that more videos and other content could be erroneously removed for policy violations, as the companies empty offices and rely on automated takedown software during the coronavirus pandemic.
I think what bothers me the most about what’s going on with COVID19 or coronavirus are the people not taking it seriously. I have seen so many “group selfies” that makes me wonder what it is they don’t get about social distancing? And these people have been both young and those who could be categorized as senior citizens who should know better or people who just don’t think this will touch them for whatever reason.
And I know some people are having a hard time being home with their kids. It occurred to me the other day why it is so hard. It’s because a lot of these people have their kids so scheduled every day of the week, they (and the kids) don’t actually know what to do when they’re not scheduled.￼
Now more than ever it has true meaning to say you are blessed to have your family, friends, and your health is totally true.
And sorry not sorry, I don’t view it as a world crisis that the liquor stores are closed. People, your liver will thank you for the break.
Someone asked me today what I’m doing. It’s pretty much my normal life. I am cooking, cleaning, reading, writing, working from home, sewing, and gardening. All the things I do normally as a not so closeted nester, things I like to do.￼ I am by nature a homebody. I like being home.
I do miss seeing my friends and doing things with them but like the rest of my family they’re all still out there just everyone’s in their own space right now￼.
One thing I miss is my friend Amy and I were due for a “Fran day”. Those are little outings we do named after her mother. We have lunch and we poke our heads in a couple of antique stores like Frazer Antiques and Brandywine View Antiques, or visit the Surrey Services for Seniors Thrift Shop in Berwyn. Sometimes depending on the season , we go to a thing at Life’s Patina. Her mother loved days like that. So it’s like keeping a piece of her with us.
We both used to be on the corporate hamster wheel and it’s something that we also both decided we wanted to do for ourselves now that we can sometimes.
That’s another thing I’ve been thinking about. In this country, we often don’t take time for ourselves and our families. It’s a cycle of work home sleep eat repeat. Busy busy busy. So now we have the time. Should we just try to see the positives in that? ￼
This virus is kind of beyond our control except for the things we can do with washing our hands, social distancing and just staying the hell home. (See staythefuckhome.com )
Someone has this website up NCOV19live it has a worldwide map.
So for the time being why NOT garden more? Or do something creative at home. Seriously. You’ll feel better. Especially gardening.
You don’t realize how quiet until the sounds of every day weeks start to go quiet. We heard the trash truck this morning, but not the school buses. The neighborhood and extended neighborhood in which I live is just still. It’s not like everyone is so noisy, but it sure gets quiet when the everyday sounds are less.
Life in general is just quieter, isn’t it? Except for the pandemonium of the grocery stores. And of course the liquor stores now. The whole liquor stores thing I don’t get, probably because I just don’t drink very much- it’s not so important to me.
Of course psychologically speaking it’s when we are told we have to be quiet and calm and stay in our homes that no one wants to. But we really have to. It’s the only way to beat this thing.
“God won’t help you avoid the virus….I assume faith is a form of mental illness.”
I found that sad and not the point. And I am not super-religious. It’s about faith more than religion. Faith that we can put aside our differences even for just a little while and handle this thing which poses a threat to us all.
I saw this posted this morning:
It’s a little airy fairy, but is it completely wrong? I don’t think so.
And then the practical in me discovered this blog post, actually a website :
Our governments are only slowly implementing measures to control the spread ofSARS-CoV-2and containing theCOVID-19 pandemic. Slow reactions, public appeasement policies, and their urge to stabilize the economy have kept them from taking the measures needed to protect millions from this disease. However, it is not only the government’s burden to bear. It is time for us, as citizens of this earth, to take action now and do our part in fighting COVID-19.
Let’s put it bluntly:Stay The Fuck Home!
The Self-Quarantine Manifesto
With no well-studied treatment and no viable vaccine available for at least another year, the only effective way to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay is to give the virus fewer chances of spreading. The following list of actions, ordered from easiest to implement to most effective in the fight against the pandemic, should serve as a set of loose guidelines for people who wish to join the movement and take action that can actually make a difference.
Don’t panic, but be alert.
Wash your hands often and practice good cough and sneeze etiquette.
Try to touch your face as little as possible, including your mouth, nose, and eyes.
Practice social distancing, no hugs and kisses, no handshakes, no high fives. If you must, use safer alternatives.
Do not attend concerts, stage plays, sporting events, or any other mass entertainment events.
Refrain from visiting museums, exhibitions, movie theaters, night clubs, and other entertainment venues.
Stay away from social gatherings and events, like club meetings, religious services, and private parties.
Reduce travel to a minimum. Don’t travel long distances if not absolutely necessary.
Do not use public transportation if not absolutely necessary.
If you can work from home, work from home. Urge your employer to allow remote work if needed.
Replace as many social interactions as possible with remote alternatives like phone calls or video chat.
Do not leave your home unless absolutely necessary.
Please keep in mind there is no right or wrong amount of actions to take. Only take the actions that you feel comfortable with and that do not endanger your livelihood.Do not quit your job over this!However, keep in mind that every action helps.
Why it’s so Important
SARS-CoV-2 is a highly infectious and potentially deadly virus that causes a respiratory disease called COVID-19. You might know it under one of its many other names, including 2019-nCoV, novel coronavirus, Wuhan coronavirus, China or Wuhan flu, or just simply coronavirus. All of these refer to the same virus that this movement is trying to stop.
I suggest yougo visit their website for more. It’s not alarmist, it’s common sense.
And take the time to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. The world will not end if we have to slow down for a couple of weeks and mind our health.
Enjoy the life pause. And be grateful to be alive.
I saw a photo go by of a large group of people out to dinner. Like life right now was business as usual. All scrunched together for a group restaurant photo. Not exactly social distancing.
This is no joke. Schools are closed. Colleges and universities too. Government officials are begging us to practice social distancing. Why? Because COVID-19/Coronavirus is real. Chester County has a map now. A live interactive map of virus victims.
In the last 48 hours, my life changed. It started with this post I saw at dinner time on Friday:
It hit me like a thud. I was at this event. At Downingtown Friends Meeting. The Galanthus Gala. I went at the very, very end to visit a plant nursery I buy plants from and to buy the new book by local horticulture author, David Culp. I bought a book and a specimen Japanese Maple. I was maybe 25 minutes.
When I got there the event was fairly empty. I would say the majority of attendees were in the lecture in the building next door to where I was. I was not particularly close to anyone, went in by myself. Ironically, the majority of the time I was practicing “social distancing”. Not intentional, it was just the way it was.
This was more than a week ago now. Ironically I was pretty much self-quarantined last week because all of the COVID-19 news really gave me pause. One of my stepbrothers and his wife are medical professionals in the U.K. They have been concerned about this since the news about this virus began to pop. My stepbrother actually has been saying we should all self-quarantine and practice social distancing long before it was advised to do so.
So now just because quite literally due to fate, I am in self-quarantine until probably next Saturday, along with my family. I am not symptomatic, and neither is my family. And yes, I have been in contact with medical professionals in charge of my care. And I voluntarily contacted Chester County to report I had been at the event where the 2nd Chester County COVID-19 victim was also in attendance. I do not know who the person is, don’t even believe I saw anyone who appeared ill.
But after careful deliberation I felt I needed to say I was there and to be in self-quarantine. I also have decided to be open about this. There are people all over like me whom have had potential exposure and we need to pay it forward and do the right thing. Thus far the communication from the county has been self-quarantine all around. I am good with that, it beats the alternative.
As a breast cancer patient I am in an immunocompromised class already, how can I not be straight here? God is good and I am blessed to have survived breast cancer and to be non-symptomatic on self-quarantine with this. My only regret is that I am inconveniencing my family.
The ultimate point of this post is not to alarm, but to inform. We all need to be careful and vigilant. Look no further than my experience. All I did was attend a horticultural event in a historic Quaker Meeting House. It’s not like this poor person knew he was infected, he just was. But this is exactly why event are being canceled and schools and businesses are closing for the time being.
I suggest gardening and UK television to help pass the time. And books. Remember those? In this busy world it is unusual to slow down like this, but maybe we needed a real reminder of what is important. Also try to support local businesses throughout this ordeal. It has been suggested that buying gift certificates will help their bottom line. And a lot of the local restaurants you love will be offering delivery and store to curb service. And let’s talk grocery stores. Keep on posting when you see availability but leave some for the next shopper.
Please take this seriously. Calm heads will enable us to get through this. It’s no fun to feel isolated for sure, and this will be very hard on our kids, especially if they are social. But it’s not forever, it’s just for a while. Surely we can do this?
I am not Episcopalian by birth. I am Roman Catholic. I have never joined a Catholic Church since I came to Chester County because I have lost faith in the religion of my birth, sadly.
That is not to say I don’t have my faith and belief in a higher power because I do. I often think about maybe an Episcopalian church because among other things, my stepfather belongs to my first St. Peter’s, in Society Hill. (The Society Hill St. Peter’s will live streaming via Facebook live at 11 AM. ) I went to grade school at St. Peter’s at 3rd and Pine. It was founded in 1758.
St. Peter’s in the Great Valley pre-dates St. Peter’s in Society Hill by quite a few years. It was founded in 1704. It was originally I believe a missionary parish of the Church of England. It’s one of my favorite churches in Chester County, truthfully. Every time I have visited I have found it so peaceful.
Today St. Peter’s in The Great Valley had a lovely virtual service. Part of the reason I am writing this post is to say thank you to Rev. Abigail Crozier Nestlehutt. It was a nice, calming thing devoid of fire and brimstone. But it contained messages of community and hope. And an expression of faith that COVID-19 or coronavirus will not destroy us. I looked at her biography on the church’s website and she is a native New Englander. I think even I needed a nice calm dose of New England practicality this morning.
So Rev. Abigail, thank you. Also thank you because this was the first religious service that resonated with me in many years.
People it’s a beautiful day outside. Practice your social distancing and soak up some sun! Take good care and thanks for virtually stopping by.
I placed a grocery order the other day. Not a panic, I want to clear the shelves grocery order, but a normal one for normal groceries. Through Instacart.
Nothing had been canceled, I thought my order would go as planned.
NOPE. People have once again cleaned out the Wegmans in Malvern on 29 again of food and it is only 1 PM and supposedly they had just restocked.
This is crazy town. This is also food hoarding I think. Now I understand WHY during World War I and II there was food rationing.
Hell I did not even need toilet paper. Just ummm….regular groceries, a few spices and so on.
My poor shopper. I told her just to cancel the order. She couldn’t do it and couldn’t get through to Instacart as an employee. I finally just sat on the phone for close to an hour to get an order that basically couldn’t be filled, cancelled.
Sorry not sorry I think that’s crazy town. I got a nice guy in a totally offshore call center at Instacart to cancel. But I had to sit on the phone for just shy of an an hour. (55 minutes)
Look I am not going to apologize for getting groceries delivered. I live on the fringes of the immunocompromised as a breast cancer patient. Besides how many people do this on a regular basis? And in the present moment it seems to make sense…given coronavirus.
What doesn’t make sense however, are the people who are just panic buying everything in sight to the point where you can’t even get basic groceries. What the hell is wrong with those people? I have also heard tales of people in the grocery stores shopping and getting food ripped out of their hands like it’s the bridal sale at Kleinfelds in New York.
Here is what a friend of mine named Gwen said today:
One thing that this pandemic has driven home to me is how very lucky I am–how lucky most of us are. We’re upset that concerts, games and other events are being cancelled. Many folks don’t have access to those things ever. We’re upset that we have to wait a day to buy whatever we want. People in refugee settlements or living in poverty may always be hungry or without basic staples.
I worry about what will happen if our health care workers get sick and if our hospitals are overburdened. But I’m not the doctor, nurse or aide who has to leave my child or aging parent to take care of others who are sick. And many people rarely have access to or can afford care. I have a warm home in which I can shelter in place and food to eat. I have a job that lets me work from the comfort and safety of my home. I have people to help take care of me if I do get sick. I have access to care. In the most important ways, I am wealthy beyond measure.
Very true. And thank you for putting it into perspective.
Now let’s talk other things. This morning I wrote that we live in municipalities with small township buildings in a lot of cases. Even in larger township buildings there isn’t (in my humble opinion) enough room to even practice “social distancing” for meetings. Even for the boards and township employees who sit up front.
Municipalities should be voluntarily rescheduling ALL public meetings and hearings for the next month to six weeks. They don’t know even among the employee and elected officials ranks who would or might be immunocompromised or even who they might have been exposed to. Same with whichever attorney or individual who might have business before a municipality.
Coronavirus is real and if they are closing schools and sporting events as a precaution then township buildings should follow suit. No one is going to die if applications before boards and commissions are paused for 4 to 6 weeks, but if people are potentially exposed to sick people in boardrooms is that really a risk municipalities in Chester County want to take?
Oh my soooo many people were upset with me. Comments like:
It doesn’t help to bombard municipal workers with questions. They are getting advice from the County, the State and the CDC. It is rather overwhelming. Please resist the urge to make it worse.
Respectfully, I disagree. There is so much information that is out there that is conflicting or as clear as mud. Last time I checked government still works for us, and to whom are we to direct concerns if we have them? Shelter in place and pose questions to the cat and dog perhaps? It doesn’t hurt to ask politely if you are wondering about something. You don’t have to call, you can e-mail.
Plenty of municipalities are postponing and rescheduling events and meetings. Plenty are not. A lot of municipalities broadcast live, and Tredyffrin for example, has offered residents an email address to mail public comment questions and statements to so they get on the record. But then there are the municipalities who record NOTHING and offer the barest of bare bones meeting minutes, or who record audio only and release after a meeting is over, or record meeting but only post after a meeting is over. Not naming names they know who they are.
What is happening now is why municipalities need to catch up with the times and modernize. You all have access to PEG channels or YouTube technology and you can indeed broadcast a meeting live on YouTube. East Goshen does it. And East Goshen has gone the extra step to say how many people can fit in their small boardroom with proper social distancing.
Then there were the people annoyed with me for mentioning the Spanish Influenza outbreak in conjunction with the coronavirus. People, that is historical FACT. There was quite literally a parade for World War I in Philadelphia that was NOT canceled and it caused the Spanish Influenza to go pandemic in the area because the crowds were not broken up.
Chester County PA has just announced they are moving to only essential services. No prison visitors or visitors to long term care facilities. Closing the libraries, courts, and parks and trails for 14 days. There is more but they are speaking faster than I can type. The are declaring an emergency county-wide. This is no joke. This is hunker down and ride it out as best we can.
It would be nice if people would stop hoarding groceries or accumulating things people need everyday so they can price gouge and make a buck off of the troubles of others.
Covid-19 is nothing we have seen before. Life has to be somewhat draconian until it’s figured out. This thing is going to affect us.
I agree with the Chester County Health Officials who urge us not to look at this as a punishment but an opportunity to be together. Life throws us curve balls. Maybe we could rise to the occasion here? I am confused and worried just like everyone else. But the ONLY thing we can control right now is how we react. We need to be calm and hunker down.
We are all being introduced to coronavirus. Our pandemic for modern times. A reminder that while we have come so far in many aspects in society, we as humans are still vulnerable to disease and pestilence. Hunker down, it’s a global pandemic. Literally.
Now we know why things like the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Philadelphia is cancelled. In Philadelphia pretty much all big events are being cancelled. All colleges and universities seem to be going to virtual/online learning modes and emptying schools. Some school districts are closing schools. This is also why annual traditions to us in Chester County like the Chester County Antiques Show which was to open tomorrow with a special preview party.
I received notice of other things being cancelled that I was attending. My friend Andy King had a show scheduled at The Living Room in Ardmore. He’s been postponed until June, and the venue is closed until May 1st . A pop-up dinner by Peachtree Catering we were going to at the end of this month is also postponed indefinitely.
Last night it was announced flights from Europe weren’t coming to the U.S. for 30 days – a 30 day ban starting Friday I think it is. Ban thus far doesn’t extend to the U.K. as of now. Unless passengers were U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents. Residents returning to the U.S. will be expected to self-quarantine upon return for about two weeks. It’s all very confusing, even to CNN.
Our financial markets are having big time issues. The U.S. markets have always been driven in part on emotion, and it’s 2020 but starting to feel like 2008. And people can weather that, what we don’t want is 1918.
I was doing a little gardening event and that is being postponed too. I can’t help it. I am still a cancer patient, which means I am in that lovely class of the immunocompromised. We are all supposed to practice social distancing – AKA minimizing close contact with people. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Those precautions involve “social distancing,” meaning minimizing close contact (defined as within 6 feet) with other people. While big gatherings increase the risk that lots of people could be exposed to infection — especially events where cheering could mean saliva flying — there may be no safety in small numbers.
“There’s no threshold. This is a time when if you’re invited to a dinner party with five people, you should say, ‘No thanks,’ ” said Carolyn C. Cannuscio, a social epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine….Cannuscio at Penn was dismayed by city officials’ implication that gatherings of fewer than 5,000 are low risk.
“They need to walk back that number,” she said. “That number will be talked about in public health classes for decades to come. Everybody is vulnerable to making mistakes in communications, but I want our leaders to recognize that we need to reduce social contacts. I know I might sound hysterical, but I recognize the public doesn’t understand the importance of social distancing.”
People, for the time being, it’s time to practice our nesting instincts and just stay home and enjoy each other’s company. Even Broadway, yes as in New York City, is going dark for a couple of weeks:
This is actually no joke, yet on social media I see otherwise intelligent people saying that coronavirus is a “liberal conspiracy”. Seriously.
I am not in the mode of panic, but honestly? I am concerned. It’s taking people down in Europe and elsewhere and there seems to be no solution. It seems like pandemics before it, it must run it’s course?
But what really gets me other than the mass confusion is how will this affect small businesses and hourly workers? Our economy is not as dandy as everyone would like to play make believe about. A friend of mine with a small business recently posted the following:
Governor Tom Wolf…now that you have taken our kids out of school, how are you going to help all the parents who work full time and have to work full time but have kids in school? How are you going to help small businesses who have moms or dads as employees and now they can’t come to work? What are you doing for the 1,000,000 small businesses in PA that are losing work but still have to pay mortgages, bills, employees?
What’s your game plan? You wanted to be our leader and I respect your position…I just need answers on what your are proactively doing for us.
For a lot of us if we don’t work, we don’t get paid. Those in the millionaire category will grumble about their various inconveniences… and survive.
A Philadelphia School District teacher gave the grim news this week: A relative had tested positive for the coronavirus, and he had been in close contact with the family member recently.
The Randolph High School teacher informed his students on Wednesday, then the principal sent the teacher home to isolate for two weeks.
What followed was panic: Staff had questions, students had questions, but it seemed no one could provide answers. Students panicked, some donning rubber gloves, many asking if school should be closed. Eventually, most of the student body walked out. But parents were never notified about the close contact the Randolph teacher had with the coronavirus patient.
I am so at sixes and sevens about this. I don’t know what to think. As far as society progresses, we can’t escape the natural correction caused by disease is what keeps floating through my brain. I know, I am being repetitive.
MARCH 10, 2020 Yascha Mounk Contributing writer at The Atlantic
We don’t yet know the full ramifications of the novel coronavirus. But three crucial facts have become clear in the first months of this extraordinary global event. And what they add up to is not an invocation to stay calm, as so many politicians around the globe are incessantly suggesting; it is, on the contrary, the case for changing our behavior in radical ways—right now.
The first fact is that, at least in the initial stages, documented cases of COVID-19 seem to increase in exponential fashion. On the 23rd of January, China’s Hubei province, which contains the city of Wuhan, had 444 confirmed COVID-19 cases. A week later, by the 30th of January, it had 4,903 cases. Another week later, by the 6th of February, it had 22,112.
The same story is now playing out in other countries around the world. Italy had 62 identified cases of COVID-19 on the 22nd of February. It had 888 cases by the 29th of February, and 4,636 by the 6th of March.
Because the United States has been extremely sluggish in testing patients for the coronavirus, the official tally of 604 likely represents a fraction of the real caseload. But even if we take this number at face value, it suggests that we should prepare to have up to 10 times as many cases a week from today, and up to 100 times as many cases two weeks from today…..
The coronavirus could spread with frightening rapidity, overburdening our health-care system and claiming lives, until we adopt serious forms of social distancing.
This suggests that anyone in a position of power or authority, instead of downplaying the dangers of the coronavirus, should ask people to stay away from public places, cancel big gatherings, and restrict most forms of nonessential travel.
Well it’s a good thing I like being home I suppose. But then there is the other thing: you can’t even get food/pantry basics in some places because people are just wiping out stores. Some hoarding and I am sure the people who will re-sell at astronomical levels will surface more and more (Just look at trying to get supplies on Amazon.)
My mother just called me. She lives in Philadelphia. My stepfather had just gone to Trader Joe’s for some basics. Their shelves are literally bare, and not just for toilet paper.
One of my friends has a husband who is very immunocompromised – she’s been buying cases of rubbing alcohol.
What is the right answer? Everything in the US is a study in confusion. To me it feels like a somewhat rudderless ship. (See CNN)
Vox has this interesting chart and notes the following:
The Spanish flu of 1918-’19, the most horrific pandemic in modern times, focused mainly on the young. It had biological similarities to a flu pandemic in the 1830s that gave some older people in the 1910s limited immunity.
So PhillyVoice had this amazing article in 2018 about the Spanish Flu in Philadelphia:
September 28, 1918 was to go down as a great day in Philadelphia.
Some 10,000 people were expected to watch the latest Liberty Loan parade – a patriotic spectacle designed to boost public financing for World War I.
But amid growing excitement that the war was nearing an end, 200,000 people flooded Center City, loudly cheering as thousands of military personnel, industry workers, relief workers, scouts and veterans marched down Broad Street.
That so many people came out astounded the local press, which did not hold back any praise in its coverage. The Philadelphia Inquirer lauded the parade for its pageantry and the enthusiasm of its onlookers, often in flowery prose.
“The energies of the city – its wealth, its brawn, its intellect, its patience, its skill in the works of brain or of hand – these were seen, as they never had been seen before in such a time and under such stress,” The Inquirer wrote in a front-page story. “Yet in every stride and in every voice there was to be seen and heard the first premonition of – victory.”
The Evening Bulletin, published later that afternoon, was more succinct but no less laudatory in its parade coverage. “This is a great day in Philadelphia,” its front page story began.
But tucked deep inside the newspaper was a story about Thomas Harlacker, a 30-year-old city policeman who was one of influenza’s latest local victims. The account, which noted 118 new cases of the disease in the city in the last day, carried a warning that, 100 years later, reads prescient.
“The epidemic is assuming more serious proportions,” the story cautioned, citing a warning by the city’s health director, Dr. Wilmer Krusen. “If the people are careless thousands of cases may develop and the epidemic may get beyond control.”
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” Charles Dickens wrote in 1859.
Nearly 60 years later it was an apt description of life in Philadelphia.
World War I was winding down, victory in sight. The city had proudly and vigorously raised millions of dollars to support the local soldiers on the battlefield. The patriotism and excitement was palpable: the boys would be coming home soon.
But in late summer 1918, the city was in “the grippe” of a second wave of a Spanish influenza epidemic sweeping the United States. The city was quickly plunged into misery. Illness and death and decay was everywhere. Dread and despair tormented the living. Unspeakable indignities visited the dead and alive.
For two weeks in September and October, from the start of the epidemic through some of its darkest days, the city’s newspapers chronicled the misery in the streets of Philadelphia. But they also shared tales of heroism, hope, frustration and evil.
Here’s how the epidemic played out – day by day – for days immediately after the Liberty Loan Parade that many experts say led to the explosion of influenza in Philadelphia. They were some of the darkest days this city and surrounding towns have ever seen.
We need to learn from the past. But it would help if information wasn’t conflicting or seemed to omit things wouldn’t it?
Government does not want full scale panic.
Hell, no one does. It won’t kill us to practice “social distancing” but we need to live our lives.
And I don’t think individual people should be able to clean stores out of cleaning supplies and more, do you?
I guess there is a reason we didn’t have any snow days with schools this year other than global warming, right? Because snow days are becoming coronavirus days but what of the parents of all these kids being told to stay home? Are we all supposed to stay home?
I was told this afternoon all of the schools and colleges/universities in Ireland had closed down.
So our ultimate takeaway? Hunker down I guess.
But I still do not know how I feel about this. Other than don’t hug, don’t spit, and PLEASE wash your hands.
This is a post to probably won’t interest a lot of my readers because it’s personal. It’s about memories to come floating forward in the quiet of morning twilight, that time between dawn and sunrise. Have you ever had those?
I have had a bunch of those memories surface recently. This morning I remembered clearly what it was like looking outside my first bedroom window as a really little girl. My parents’ house was a construction site for much of the time we lived in Society Hill because it was such a wreck when they bought it. I used to look out the window which was in the rear of what today you would call the “master suite”.
My sister was still in her crib, and I was in this little room off the bathroom that would eventually become something like a dressing room. I remember clearly looking out the window at night and even in the morning. I would see the roofs of Bell’s Court and into St. Joseph’s Way and beyond. I also remember looking out that window at night at all the twinkling lights in the house is behind us. I remember wondering what all the people in those houses were like, what they were doing.
I had a memory not too long ago of singing songs from the Beatles’ Songbook on the front steps with a babysitter. It was fun. Only my mother didn’t approve. I remember her telling my babysitter not to do that because she didn’t want to have a kid sitting on the front stoop. She didn’t care if we did something like that out in the backyard but she never wanted us sitting on the front steps for some reason.
Another random memory is getting pushed off a high bar of the jungle gym in the St. Peter’s playground. The girl who did it said it was “an accident“ but it wasn’t. She was sort of a frenemy back then. I remember hitting the ground and the wind got knocked out of me. I never much liked the jungle gym after that.
I also remember what it was that made my parents and a friend’s parents want to leave the city. My friend and I were riding bikes in Bingham Court which was some thing we used to do often. If we weren’t riding bikes we were rollerskating. What made the parents decide on suburbia was the day we got mugged riding bikes. We didn’t really have anything worth stealing so what they did was smash my friend’s glasses into her face.
But that was like a defining moment in the lives of two families. Up until that point we often used to roam around and ride bikes by ourselves. We were like 10 or 11.
Other memories that have come back in these weird in between hours was like the memory of discovering an old quarry with a friend. It was in Gladwyne. I’m sure it’s still there unless someone filled it in, and could they even do that? It was down this sort of a dirt road off of a kind of a gravel driveway that was long and windy.
When you came upon the quarry it was cool and quiet except for the sound of birds. There were woods and scrub trees growing up top on the far side of the quarry and around the other sides of the quarry. We never went swimming or anything in the quarry, we just hung out. It was was a cool place.
Other memories from that year in Gladwyne was the was the clop, clop, clop of horses’ hooves on the road. A lot of people still kept horses in Gladwyne back then. It’s where I learned to ride. That sound is still sort of magical to me. Sometimes I would even wake up to that sound because Mr. Gwinn’s was across the road and other people kept horses down the road￼. The sound of horse is going by like that is very soothing.￼
I don’t know what the point of these memories floating free but it’s so different then the way we are today, isn’t it? Kids just wandered. Everyone was ok. Essentially when we could be outside, we were outside. We weren’t inside watching TV or playing video games or doing stuff on our tablets or phones.
When I fully wake up, the former child I once was is gone and the adult is back. I am in our bedroom in our house. I get up and I look out the window into the woods. Yes, I still like looking out the window even at almost 56. I really love the view we are blessed to have. It’s just beautiful. And every day I hear birds.
Appreciate your day. And your life. Thanks for stopping by.
Lincoln Motor Court, Ichabod’s, William Deluxe Cabins. I have been curious about them forever and been taking their pictures since 2013 if not earlier.
I wrote my first post in 2014 (click HERE) and another post in 2019 (click HERE) which prompted this comment from a reader this past September:
Sorry this is a few months late, but some additional information:
This property was known as Williams De Luxe Cabins, built in 1934, closed in the 80s or 90s (I’m not sure exactly) and was all but abandoned until very recently (2015 or so). The property is zoned C-30, but appears to be mostly residential. I drive past at least several times a day. At present, the only “business” there is a “psychic,” which is unfortunate. There is nothing about the property on Giunta’s website (which has a copyright date of 2013…).
There was a house for the owner of Williams Cabins at the back of the property abutting the Chester Valley Railroad (now Trail) that was demolished at some point in the 2000s, likely due to advanced deterioration.
This is a Giunta project and is adjacent to the Exton Hotel. The Exton Hotel is now apartments, but actually started life as the Exton train station and ticket office on the Reading Railroad’s Chester Valley Branch. It was also known as Ship Station. Presently, it is owned by the same holding company (Exton Commercial LLC) that owns the adjacent former Williams motor lodge.
I have no idea how people are moving in there, considering when I tried calling the number on the sign out front, I got a voice mailbox and never received a call back. Construction is progressing slowly, but faithful to the original Tudor Revival style. I imagine this is at least partially because the property is listed on the NHRP.