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Carole Carson: Dancing in the rain during the coronavirus storm

Carole Carson
Columnist
Carole Carson
photo by Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

In an earlier column, I quoted Vivian Green, the British author, who said: “Storms happen. Learn to dance in the rain.” To help us keep perspective during the current tempest, I invited you to contribute uplifting vignettes — even a bad joke or two.

An employee at Weiss Brothers — where customers have swamped them with orders for seeds, even orchard trees — called to tell me about a delightful scene.

Two giggling women, who were having a riotous time picking out plants, caught her eye. One was wearing a pink kitty onesie; the other a white onesie with a gold rainbow and unicorn.

In case you didn’t know (and I didn’t), adult one-piece onesies are the latest fashion trend.

How ironic that quarantining brings us closer. I’ve met more neighbors in the past few weeks than I have in the past eight years.

The two turned heads as they wandered through the nursery. Faces first registered puzzlement, then broad grins. The two told the employee they had come from the grocery store where they’d triggered even more smiles. Now that’s an imaginative way to dance.

Martha Turner of Grass Valley asked for help on face mask production, hoping to get a sewing team organized among church members. Wendy Heaton, Nevada City, will also be sewing masks and wanted help finding micron 0.3 filter. I told her I was using vacuum sweeper bags purchased on Amazon that I took apart and reused for the masks. I’ve since discovered the filters won’t be available again until May. I think I’ve made 50 now.

If you want to sew masks for Dignity Health care providers, you can google “Dignity Health Masks.” That will take you to the site where you can get a pattern and instructions.

You may also want to sew masks for family and friends. The CDC has recommended that we wear cloth face coverings, not medical masks, in public. We still need to save medical masks for health care providers!

The quarantine poses extra hardships for caregivers who already feel isolated. A neighbor, who’s being supported by the team at One Source Empowering Caregivers, expressed her appreciation for their accessibility. “It means so much to feel connected to this wonderful group. To know that I can call, I can talk, I can breathe and relax, knowing that I am not alone. To know that you are watching over me.” Another person wrote, “It warms my heart to know you called, and I am part of something.”

Besides caregivers, this storm is particularly hard on special groups, like the intellectually disabled adults in the AIM program (Achieve Independent Milestones). The daily programs with valuable social interaction came to a screeching halt, and many clients can’t understand why. Daily calls from instructors can make sure basic needs are met, but can’t compensate for the loss.

Peg Vielbig has organized a neighborhood watch on Sparrow Circle. At 10 a.m. each day, neighbors are asked to come out on their porches to reassure each other they “are hanging in there.” Neighbors can open their garage doors, flash their porch lights, wave their arms from their porch, sing loudly, dance on the driveway or yell across the street. And they offer a prayer, too, that one day they’ll get together for handshakes and hugs.

How ironic that quarantining brings us closer. I’ve met more neighbors in the past few weeks than I have in the past eight years. And at the end of the day, when I am trying to figure out why I didn’t get more done, I have to remember the phone calls, emails, texts, videos, etc., scattered throughout the day. How odd that being isolated puts me in touch with neglected family and friends. I suspect this is true for many of us.

Mary Wood of Rough and Ready predicts that before this is over, “we are all going to be cats.” Our daily routine will be reduced to eating, take a nap, and then repeating. Mary occasionally interrupts her feline-like routine to watch Canadian geese nesting nearby. Evidently, she notes, they didn’t get the memo about the virus.

And for married couples struggling with the nonstop togetherness brought on by the quarantine, take heed of the letter my husband tried to send to family members (I intercepted it): “If I die during the quarantine,” he wrote, “it was not the virus that killed me.”

Whether you put on a costume when you get groceries, sew masks, or flash your porch light, keep dancing. And please send me your stories so I can share them.

Contact Carole Carson by text or call 530 263-4072, or email carolecarson41@gmail.com


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