Thursday, March 26, 2020

Hello From Omaha
Hello Dearhearts and Gentlepeople,

Things here in Omaha have been quiet- you could almost literally hear a pin drop. We’ve been asked to only make necessary trips for food, medicine, and  the like for the past couple weeks, and much to my pleasant surprise, people are doing what’s asked. Today I needed to venture out for a few items and it was like emerging from hibernation.

Scenes of grocery store panic and crowds that are taking place across the country just haven’t happened in Omaha. We’re not stripping the shelves clean, and people are respectful of keeping distance . I bought enough that I won’t need to shop for several weeks, and I limited myself to one store figuring it would lessen my contacts with people and get me home quickly. I opted for the Fresh Thyme- an organic grocery with excellent prices on produce. There were signs asking people to limit their purchases of staples like potatoes, onions, and meat to two each. Otherwise there were no restrictions or shortages. 

There were perhaps a dozen people there, and everyone was behaving nicely. I am SO proud of my fellow Omahans. We were asked to do something, and we are doing it. Most stores have closed, and many people are working from home. So far, we’ve been lucky, and I can’t help but think that has a lot to do with Nebraskans doing what we do best- avoiding each other! 

We have been getting regular briefings from our governor, mayor, and head of the Douglas County Health Department. The head of the health department is very no- nonsense so when she issued the order to close bars and restaurants it was understood that this is serious. I believe she also warned people that we are “not special” which is the  sort of thing we all need to hear. I frequently joke that we’ll know how bad the outbreak is by whether Dr. Pour shows up for the briefing wearing a housecoat and no makeup . She’s easily the best dressed person in Nebraska, and if I’m honest I tune into the briefing as much for information as to check out Dr. Pour’s outfit. If she arrives in a housecoat, you know it is time to panic! Fortunately today she was immaculately turned out as usual. I noted the accessories, breathed a sigh of relief and put my trust in the Dr. Adi Pour Index of Doom as evidenced by wardrobe. I noted scarf, earrings, lipstick and nail varnish so we’re probably doing ok here in Douglas county. In all seriousness though, she’s always run that department extraordinarily well, and the pandemic hasn’t changed that. Trust in the people telling you what to do matters, and she’s demonstrated being worthy of that trust over and over. 

Mayor Stothert has also been doing an outstanding job of running the city at an extremely difficult time. She’s made a point of getting officials to update the public and hasn’t hid away in her office. Again, having someone trustworthy telling you what to do makes all the difference. 

I’m even going to say something nice about governor Ricketts. I didn’t vote for him, and in most cases would be opposed to everything he stands for, but in this situation, he’s been doing a fine job. I don’t know if the body snatchers got him, or he suddenly had a moment of enlightenment but whatever happened, he’s doing the job you expect a governor to do in an emergency without making it political. I never suspected there’d be a decent person in there, but I’m impressed by his performance so far. Unfortunately the governor has zero fashion sense so I don’t have a good index for reading him other than by what he says. 

We started social distancing early in Nebraska, and so far thst seems to be paying off. We will have a better idea over the next few weeks. It helps that we live in flyover country- no one comes to Nebraska unless they absolutely must.  That might just be what saves us.

I hope wherever you are you are safe and well. Hang in there everyone 💕

Saturday, March 14, 2020

It’s Such a Sad Sad Song Mother Nature Ain’t Never Wrong
Me and my severely compromised immune system are blocking people on Instagram who say things like, “It only impacts the old or sick.” Thanks for letting the old and sick know how much value you put on our lives. Anyway, touch wood I am doing ok.
Is everyone keeping up on their first aid preparedness? If you’re stuck at home, it isn’t a bad idea. Most serious accidents happen in the home.
I’ve been cooking! This was puy lentils with greens, yellow peppers, and preserved lemon. Quick, easy, and inexpensive.
This was chicken thighs for the meat eaters, with orzo, white wine, capers, and garlic. One pan meal.
That’s hard cooked eggs in a curry with fried onions.
Spinach rice.
Whole meal loaves.
Apricot filled pastry for Purim ( Hamentaschen).
And even a spinach soufflé. So no one is going hungry and I haven’t need to touch the tinned food or emergency rations. I shopped pre-panic.
I’m getting dressed anyway, at least for the presents. School is out and no reason to leave the house but it still feels like I ought to be getting dressed. Maybe I didn’t need to be quite THIS dressed 😁.
Why do things halfway?
I can’t tell you I know what’s ahead, but I do know that spring is coming soon. For whatever that’s worth,  as we had 4 inches of snow this morning. Hang in there, stay safe, and maybe don’t panic over toilet paper. The trees will be leafing out soon enough and you can wipe your arse with that.

Check in on your old, sick neighbours.