haters gonna hate

Haters gonna hate COVID19 shaming style

Hey Taylor Swift you are so right, haters are gonna hate. And when I agreed to be interviewed by Bill Rettew for The Daily Local this was one of the things that I told him often happened to bloggers. No not mommy bloggers who write about Disney or who are compensated bloggers for pimping out products in exchange for compensation, or bloggers who stick to sharing about gardening, crafts, cooking, i.e. safe topics. I mean bloggers like me who tackle local issues, current events, and even politics.

As long as I color inside the lines, I am good. But the minute I am vocal about things that concern me, or even current events including the COVID-19/coronavirus, I am somehow a bad person, someone who must be targeted, disciplined, called out. According to these people who do these things you aren’t supposed to speak, you definitely aren’t supposed to care about your community or the greater good.

The reporter had wanted to talk to me because before Coronavirus full onset had happened and it was essentially a news topic because it was happening overseas, I went to a horticultural event that ended up having Chester County’s 2nd coronavirus victim also in attendance. Public health reports on this person, a man much younger than I came out a week after the event, just as we were all getting glimpses of what is now our new normal. The reports stated he had mild symptoms and was at home.

I stated all along and it’s true, that when I got to this event which had been going since early in the morning that Saturday it was close to their ending time. I went to see a specific plant vendor and to buy a book. There weren’t many people there in that part of the event. There were a lot of people in the actual meeting house across the way, but I did not have tickets for those talks and wasn’t in that building at all.

I was in and out in a short amount of time and went home. Yes, I was less than happy when I found out I was at an event with someone who tested positive. But I did and my family did exactly as we were told to do by my doctors at Penn Medicine AND the county. We took the most conservative approach. I was NON symptomatic. We all were. It meant NO symptoms. NO fever. NO cough. NON SYMPTOMATIC .

Today I am off self-quarantine. Yesterday after 5 PM my lovely husband went to the CVS drive thru to pick up my cancer and thyroid meds we could not get for days because of self-quarantine. Medicine that is not an option for me and I was running out. If I can’t pick up the meds, he is the only other person as my spouse who can get them.

After he got my meds, he stopped at a local business that was essentially empty to pick up beer. A friend’s business that was closing last night until the governor says businesses which are non-essential can re-open. Social distancing was observed and paying by card he and the clerk at the counter had zero contact.

My husband came home and literally wiped down the whole inside of the car, everything he bought home and washed his hands. We had dinner.

Then the comment appeared as captured above by a screenshot. Oh goody, a stalker. You will note the made up profile name. Before I blocked and reported them, I looked at the profile. Nothing real about it. Just someone looking for an A-Ha moment to get at me. And how creepy was it they were ummm seeming to follow my husband around? It makes you wonder if they drive up and down your street too and go through your trash, doesn’t it?

People sometimes disgust me and this is one of those moments. They would not target a traditional journalist or writer like this, just me as a blogger. The point of transparency and education since I decided to talk about this first on my blog and then to a reporter escapes them. They just wanted to get at me, shame me.

But what did this person do instead when they chose to do this? They actually discouraged other people from coming forward to report they had been around someone who was exposed.

Think about it, I know I did the right thing by reporting that I had been at an event where a COVID19 victim was. The event did the right thing by telling us that poor person was in attendance, but if you hadn’t bought lecture tickets, they had no way of knowing specifically who was there. So how many people do you think who may have stopped at this event actually reported they were there like I did?

People are scared about this virus . I am scared about this virus. My one and only sister and one of my step-siblings live in New York City which was described as a virus epicenter with among the most victims in the US I think.

So shame on whomever this person is for rolling up with personal animus and misinformation. I will note they should be more concerned about the groups of kids and people still out there going around barriers to closed playgrounds and basketball courts because those groups of people in close contact like THAT? They are the ones who are going to spread the virus.

I am doing my part and so is my family. Instead of trying to stalk, harass, call out your friendly neighborhood blogger, why don’t you do your part and take care of your family?

I will note that the comments have since disappeared. I don’t know why or how or who. It’s just discouraging that even at times like this as people are trying to pull together and do the right thing, some people just suck.

living the covid19 life: sleepless nights

Vintage pillowcase purchased at a store now part of a mandated non-essential closure , Magnolia Cottage Shop in Malvern/Frazer.

Sleepless nights in coronavirus land. I think we all are having them. Last night into this morning was mine. A wise friend once said to me nothing good happens if you worry late into the night. So I laid there and listened to the patter of rain on the roof, and eventually drifted off.

3 AM was just when this got to me. But now here we are, it’s Friday and everyone I know and their families survived the week in the COVID19 world, so I think that is good. Think of COVID19 as the ultimate 12 step program. No, I am not and never have been in recovery. Someone I know who is suggested this parallel because this current world we live in can only be handled one day at a time.

Overnight we learned that California had issued a state wide shelter in place. Translation? #staythefuckhome. So why can’t people just do that without being told? Why are people so bent out of shape that WaWa for example stopped self-serve coffee? I mean come on, are people really that obtuse or selfish? Someone I know who had to be out briefly yesterday had remarked when they were out they noticed how people in some places seemed to act like it was business as usual. They wondered how a car detailing place they passed by was an essential business.

Things I think about include what happens to residential and retail/commercial renters? Are their landlords being kind? What are they doing for tenants? I get that a lot of these property owners have mortgages and bills to pay, but not all do and some probably have mortgages that are low enough that they could maybe offer some rent abatements? Are they?

I have a lot of friends and acquaintances with small businesses. I say a prayer for them every day. Some we can support remotely, some we can’t. It’s a horrible Sophie’s Choice situation, isn’t it?

I can’t think of anyone not affected by this global pandemic. I have friends that live overseas and a stepbrother too. This is no joke. Yet you have to wonder what some people and organizations are thinking.

My alma mater The Shipley School has canceled the entire reunion weekend in May. I think it’s the right thing to do. Yet on one thread talking about it someone said “Damn this panic over nothing!” With those people you can only shake your head and walk away.

Other events are being or have been canceled. A Philadelphia tradition, the Dad Vail Regatta has been cancelled. The Penn Relays have been canceled for the first time in 126 years. I met the famous Olympian Jesse Owens there when I was a child.

Other cancellations include Radnor Hunt events like the balance of the fox hunting season. That’s good and here’s hoping some of their membership stops gathering at the club for events and cocktails now. I saw a photo recently of a bunch of folks at an event there and the event selfies were reminiscent of “let them eat cake” a la Marie Antoinette. Not trying to be mean. But people in clubs aren’t immortal.

Organizations Philadelphians have not heard from include the Orpheus Club. We belong and did not attend the March event because of coronavirus, and they have a spring concert at the Kimmel Center which I am somewhat surprised has not been postponed or canceled. Their events are quite popular and well, how do you practice social distancing at a large, crowded event? The short answer is you can’t. Orpheus we will still love you if you have to postpone the spring concert.

Now another organization which has NOT canceled which people are talking about is the Devon Horse Show. So many other equine spring events like Winterthur’s Point to Point has been canceled. Even the Grand National in England has been cancelled. But Devon Horse Show remains silent. Devon is a HUGE event, which makes it exactly a big kind of risk, doesn’t it? What are the show organizers thinking?

Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all non life-sustaining businesses to shut down. So it’s going to get more quiet. And yes this virus is going to cause and is causing an economic hit. I have thought a lot of the supposed bubbling economy was smoke and mirrors for a couple of years, so hopefully we will come out of this battered and not broken.

But the thing is this: we are exactly and precisely in a situation beyond our control. As in we can only control ourselves. So we need to step up. We can be selfish or we can be smart and compassionate. Now is the time to pay it forward. Even little things like just calling a friend to say hi. Checking in on neighbors.

To get through this we need to keep the home fires burning and just stay the hell home. And we need to keep our kids home and the older ones need to learn about social distancing. I think the idiots who had to go on spring break need to be quarantined somewhere and sent home if healthy.

Now it’s not all horrible. Some beautiful things have happened. Music floating over rooftops in Italy and other European countries, musicians playing from home via social media platforms, and more. And we have to give a shout out to our grocery stores who are really stepping up their games. Now if people would just buy what they need and resist the urge to hoard.

Locally there are random acts of kindness abounding which makes my heart happy and gives us all hope. From people who keep chickens sharing eggs and more. Neighbors helping neighbors.

We live in a time where the biggest positive to come out of this is people are starting to remember what is important in this life. That’s a good thing. Look I’m not Pollyanna, I can be really negative and I had a sleepless night. Just like when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 I am choosing to do my best to remain positive. We have to choose hope. We have to not let the boogie men who appear in the middle of the night when we are sleepless not get the better of us.

Look, it won’t kill us if we stay home for a while. It might kill us if we don’t. Choose life. #staythefuckhome

Happy Friday. Be well.

speed humps and traffic calming concerning summit road and carol lane vicinity in east whiteland

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I was sent this by Kevin in East Whiteland. It is for residents in the vicinity of Carol Lane, Summit Road, etc. Given the COVID19 world in which we live, he asked me to put up a blog post so residents can see and offer input. DO NOT GIVE ME THE INPUT. EAST WHITELAND NEEDS THE INPUT so please contact your neighborhood coordinator Kevin (zeek747@yahoo.com)

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The documents came with this message:

Today, we received in the mail, another round of voting for traffic calming measures in our neighborhood. The document we presented to the township last labor day finally sparked a concern and McMahon put together a plan for our streets. Unfortunately, they picked the worse day to send it out. We can’t go door to door to get support due to the lock down caused by this virus. We wanted them to wait and give us time to gather support but of course it’s our township.

It has been a battle and to be honest we are frustrated and tired, but at least we got something.

Our issues can be fixed with basic traffic calming measures and most of my neighbors impacted the most by this speeding traffic, don’t support any major or drastic changes to the intersection.

It’s important for everyone to understand that these are not harsh speed humps. These are speed humps that are similar to Sidley Ave or Monument Ave in the Borough. The neighborhood traffic calming committee, McMahon and the township followed the PennDot Traffic calming Handbook so everything is legal.

SummitCarolTrafficCalming_v3C

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let’s get covid19 real, shall we?

Altered photo so people are not identifiable

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.

When we hear reports of police having to use their valuable time to chase kids (and parents) off of playgrounds that are supposed to be closed, and people driving by and seeing teenagers congregated in clumps on basketball courts or just out, to the moronic college students we have all seen on TV who insist they are immortal and are going to stay on spring break anyway I’m so over it.

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.

#StayTheFuckHome

the simple things we take for granted

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!

Reuters: Social media giants warn of AI moderation errors as coronavirus empties offices


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.

Me? I am going to finish a pillow.

Happy hump day #COVID19 style.

We can do this.

not like every other monday

Wow. #CoronaMonday indeed. It’s so quiet.

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.

Late yesterday, Chester County offered a mapping tool for tracking the spread of the virus. They also have an entire page up about Covid19/coronavirus. But it is what it is, and we need to calm down and live our lives essentially in self-quarantine.

Look I know first hand it is all a bit overwhelming and perhaps scary. How do you think I feel after finding out I attended an event where a confirmed Covid19 victim was? My whole house is in self-quarantine now, but you know what ? It’s not forever and NO ONE is sick. THAT is what is important.

Yesterday I shared the Facebook Live feed from the service Rev. Abigail gave at St. Peter’s in The Great Valley on a community page. I am more spiritual than religious, but yesterday that service and sermon spoke to me. And it was calming. Sadly, this one person had this to say about that:

“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 :

#StayTheFuckHome

A Movement to Stop the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our governments are only slowly implementing measures to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and containing the COVID-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.

  1. Don’t panic, but be alert.

  2. Wash your hands often and practice good cough and sneeze etiquette.

  3. Try to touch your face as little as possible, including your mouth, nose, and eyes.

  4. Practice social distancing, no hugs and kisses, no handshakes, no high fives. If you must, use safer alternatives.

  5. Do not attend concerts, stage plays, sporting events, or any other mass entertainment events.

  6. Refrain from visiting museums, exhibitions, movie theaters, night clubs, and other entertainment venues.

  7. Stay away from social gatherings and events, like club meetings, religious services, and private parties.

  8. Reduce travel to a minimum. Don’t travel long distances if not absolutely necessary.

  9. Do not use public transportation if not absolutely necessary.

  10. If you can work from home, work from home. Urge your employer to allow remote work if needed.

  11. Replace as many social interactions as possible with remote alternatives like phone calls or video chat.

  12. 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 you go 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.

people need to take covid19/coronavirus seriously

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

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.

Chester County’s COVID-19 map at 7:30 PM 3/15/2020

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?