Author Topic: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections  (Read 38502 times)

Charles Austin

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Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« on: March 26, 2020, 12:19:47 PM »
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« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 06:40:40 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Dave Benke

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2020, 12:33:24 PM »
Thanks for this topic and your posts, Charles. 

One of my "most missed" categories is people and in that category, singing with people.  We have live-streaming services without a choir - weird. 

So I just spent two hours listening and watching on you tube various choirs - mostly Gospel.  Brooklyn Tabernacle, Mississippi Mass Choir (not that Mass, the other mass) - there's a senior citizen female soloist singing "I'm not Tired Yet" that will keep anyone moving.  She is seriously not tired - yet.  And my wife, for whom housecleaning has always been a chore, is cleaning everything not moving in the house - keeping busy. 

And as you say, the big positive option is keeping in touch with family, friends and parishioners. 

I think when you enter a community setting and then can't be in community, it's in its own way a bigger burden.  Our bigger burden in NY is that we are constantly packed in around people.  I have for years taken seminarians and other guests on a "grand tour" around the block at our neighborhood church.  It can take up to an hour, pending who we see or meet and what's going on in that one block square area.  Now the streets are empty, and it's highly disconcerting.

We're trying to view it as a "pause" but I think the change in basic behaviors from approach to avoidance is going to be with us far longer.  Hang in there "through it all."

Dave Benke

John_Hannah

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2020, 01:03:03 PM »
Thanks, Charles. Good reading; enjoyed but saddened.  Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

James_Gale

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2020, 01:09:56 PM »
Thanks so much for sharing your reflections.  This all sometimes feels as if it could last forever.  I need to keep reminding myself that it won't; that this too shall pass, even if not nearly soon enough.

Norman Teigen

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2020, 01:22:54 PM »
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  I have retired from sports  stadium ushering in the  past year. I have worked  a part-time shift at a nearby Target store but, on my son's advice,  I have taken a leave of absence.  To my surprise, Target will pay we older folks our wages during the COVID-19 period.  I have walked many miles in the past month.  A light rail system is being constructed in my town of Hopkins MN.  I have enjoyed walking along the construction areas.  Melting of the snow has allowed me to get close to the action for close-up photographs.  I will take my bicycle down any day now and go out and about.  I have been watching more You Tube videos than before,.   I enjoy the Bach Cantatas.   Our church, Normandale Lutheran in Edina, has been doing a superb job in keeping we pew sitters spiritually nourished.

Stay well,
Norman Teigen

DeHall1

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2020, 12:40:32 AM »
Chapter 4: Life in Quarantine-Friday
   ...Tonight Beloved Spouse watches ďBlacklist,Ē a favorite of hers, then we find a movie or offbeat show on Netflix...
   Our quarantine, too, will pass.
Chapter 5:
Iím pretty sure Carole killed her former husband, Don.

DeHall1

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2020, 09:09:38 AM »
Chapter 4: Life in Quarantine-Friday
   ...Tonight Beloved Spouse watches ďBlacklist,Ē a favorite of hers, then we find a movie or offbeat show on Netflix...
   Our quarantine, too, will pass.
Chapter 5:
Iím pretty sure Carole killed her former husband, Don.
Chapter 5.5:
...I just watched 3 men marry each other.  Iím sure Brian S. would LOVE this show.

Dave Benke

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2020, 12:49:20 PM »
I have been watching two things:
1) A History of Christianity, narrated by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Oxford professor, on public television.  Really pretty illuminating.  He goes to the basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome and asks what Christianity would be like if Paul would have been the primate instead of Peter.  And the priest indicates that Catholicism would not have been established out of a hierarchy of location or person, since that wasn't Paul.  Petrine Rockness being the founding principle led to centralization; Pauline mission would have gone differently.  Maybe so!  Alternate realities, good mind game when the present reality is grim.
2) The Best of NY Mets 2019 season, game by game.  The beauty and wonder of this tour de force is that every game broadcast is a Mets winning game.  When we're in a pandemic epicenter game in NY where we're 10 runs down in the third inning of what could be an endless game, it feels liberating to know that somehow, somehow, the Mets are going to pull out a victory every time.

On the actual soil, while doing morning shopping witnessed a really angry dispute between two women, one of whom accused the other of being inside the 6 foot space, deteriorate nearly to the point of violence - "I'm going to come into your space and knock you the f.. out."  This is in my home 'hood, so people who normally are very genteel.  Not so much this morning.  And this is week one and a half out of who knows how many, maybe ten. 

Holy Week will, in New York Metro, NOT be done in person, which I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around.  We'll figure it out.  "My grace is sufficient," says the Lord.

Dave Benke

Pastor Ken Kimball

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2020, 12:57:07 PM »
Thank you Charles for this thread.  I appreciate and find a certain comfort in your personal sharing of your days and how you are weathering the situation in which you and Beloved Spouse find yourselves, despite our disagreements on a number of other topics (where I find more agreement with Pr. Speckhard, Mr. Garner, and Mr. Gale et al and also find their postings to be sufficient for the stating of my own positions, requiring no repetition by me).  I pray you and Beloved Spouse will continue to be well and safe.   Ken

peter_speckhard

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2020, 12:59:33 PM »
I have been watching two things:
1) A History of Christianity, narrated by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Oxford professor, on public television.  Really pretty illuminating.  He goes to the basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome and asks what Christianity would be like if Paul would have been the primate instead of Peter.  And the priest indicates that Catholicism would not have been established out of a hierarchy of location or person, since that wasn't Paul.  Petrine Rockness being the founding principle led to centralization; Pauline mission would have gone differently.  Maybe so!  Alternate realities, good mind game when the present reality is grim.
2) The Best of NY Mets 2019 season, game by game.  The beauty and wonder of this tour de force is that every game broadcast is a Mets winning game.  When we're in a pandemic epicenter game in NY where we're 10 runs down in the third inning of what could be an endless game, it feels liberating to know that somehow, somehow, the Mets are going to pull out a victory every time.

On the actual soil, while doing morning shopping witnessed a really angry dispute between two women, one of whom accused the other of being inside the 6 foot space, deteriorate nearly to the point of violence - "I'm going to come into your space and knock you the f.. out."  This is in my home 'hood, so people who normally are very genteel.  Not so much this morning.  And this is week one and a half out of who knows how many, maybe ten. 

Holy Week will, in New York Metro, NOT be done in person, which I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around.  We'll figure it out.  "My grace is sufficient," says the Lord.

Dave Benke
That's going to be key-- keeping calm over the long haul. Anyone can make it through a blizzard or hurricane that shuts things down for a bit. But it gets really old really fast. And if people actually adjust and adopt a new mindset, it will be disorienting to have everything go back to the way it was before.

RandyBosch

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2020, 01:06:35 PM »
I have been watching two things:
1) A History of Christianity, narrated by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Oxford professor, on public television.  Really pretty illuminating.  He goes to the basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome and asks what Christianity would be like if Paul would have been the primate instead of Peter.  And the priest indicates that Catholicism would not have been established out of a hierarchy of location or person, since that wasn't Paul.  Petrine Rockness being the founding principle led to centralization; Pauline mission would have gone differently.  Maybe so!  Alternate realities, good mind game when the present reality is grim.
2) The Best of NY Mets 2019 season, game by game.  The beauty and wonder of this tour de force is that every game broadcast is a Mets winning game.  When we're in a pandemic epicenter game in NY where we're 10 runs down in the third inning of what could be an endless game, it feels liberating to know that somehow, somehow, the Mets are going to pull out a victory every time.

On the actual soil, while doing morning shopping witnessed a really angry dispute between two women, one of whom accused the other of being inside the 6 foot space, deteriorate nearly to the point of violence - "I'm going to come into your space and knock you the f.. out."  This is in my home 'hood, so people who normally are very genteel.  Not so much this morning.  And this is week one and a half out of who knows how many, maybe ten. 

Holy Week will, in New York Metro, NOT be done in person, which I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around.  We'll figure it out.  "My grace is sufficient," says the Lord.

Dave Benke
That's going to be key-- keeping calm over the long haul. Anyone can make it through a blizzard or hurricane that shuts things down for a bit. But it gets really old really fast. And if people actually adjust and adopt a new mindset, it will be disorienting to have everything go back to the way it was before.

I advise against watching the Jack Nicholson movie "The Shining".

Dave Benke

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2020, 03:05:25 PM »
Walking around in light rain several hundred feet from one of the busiest highways in the country, I495 AKA the Long Island Expressway, AKA the world's longest parking lot, and what the? - could hear birds singing and chirping.  Where did they come from?  Maybe they've been there all along, but drowned out by the traffic. 

Reflecting while walking on this phrase, "Avoid them like the plague."  Hey - that's us!  New Yorkers' new identiity - we are the contaminated.  Plague-ridden.  Carriers. 

 In Rhode Island, if you drive up on I95 and your car is seen, they'll stop you and send you back, or impound your car, or if you're in a house go door to door until they find you and put you and the house under a 14 day quarantine.  Same if you're flying anywhere and your license shows up NYC.  And, I think, soon to be the case with any driving outside the tri-state.  Even in New Jersey, of all places, they were saying that proximity to NYC is the reason for their epicentered-ness.  That's not on us, though.  Because we don't go to New Jersey unless absolutely necessary.  They came to us and took it back.  That's on them.

The question is what to do with that identity.  Wear it proudly?  Not really a thing.  Wear it knowingly.  That's OK - I/we don't want to be plague-spreaders, nor are we personally interested in having the plague.  We'll weather it out, steering clear, washing every trace of sin-ly contamination off our hands and arms, above all praying for the hand of God to bless.

As to The Shining, definitely one of my top ten all-time flicks.  Danny-boy!!

Dave Benke


Richard Johnson

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2020, 04:16:12 PM »
I have been feeling lucky (my wife says "guilty") that we really are not suffering much here right now. We are mostly staying home, venturing out only to the grocery store or for occasional works of mercy. My wife went to the fabric store yesterday to get materials to make masks for the local hospital, phone order and curbside delivery. Last Monday we worked at the food ministry, and will do so again this week, providing groceries to those in need (and in whose faces I see a lot more sheer terror than anyone else I interact with). The ministry has done a fabulous job turning on a dime and revising procedures so that clients don't leave their cars, and there are no "order slips" that go through multiple hands. It's tough right now because the overwhelming majority of volunteers are seniors (and more senior than I), and about half of them do not feel they can come in. But a good cadre of younger folks have stepped up--boy scouts, college students, etc. My wife felt a little nervous about us continuing to go, but somebody needs to do it.

We're doing Bible studies and Lenten studies via Zoom, and having a weekly clergy staff meeting in the same way, so that takes up most of Thursday. We are at this point doing services on video with only four people in the church--the rector, the musician, a tech person and one other. I was up today, so went to church for the production which will be posted tomorrow. We maintained the required distance throughout.

On the home front, I finished a writing project for the Lutheran Historical Conference Journal, cleaned up my office (still working on the study), and we're getting ready to do some possession pruning (if we can just find somewhere to store the stuff until the thrift stores reopen!). We talk to one or the other of our kids almost every day; had a Zoom get together with my wife's four siblings and all the spouses the other day, with people checking in from London, New York, Minnesota and California.

We live in a beautiful place and can safely walk in the neighborhood, seeing and chatting with neighbors (again with the requisite social distance).

I do OK being home alone, but after I retired, when my wife was still working, I realized after a few weeks that I needed to be deliberate about social interaction. Church was my primary opportunity. Having that interaction now so limited is somewhat difficult, but we're managing.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2020, 08:14:22 PM »
Yup, they're coming up here from the Twin Cities, bringing it along. Is there something about stay-at-home and no unnecessary travel that they don't understand?! Thanks a lot!  :(

https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2020/03/26/coronavirus-in-minnesota-state-health-officials-warn-against-cabin-quarantine/

BTW, Charles. Have you tested positive or been with someone who did? If not, why are you "in quarantine"?

On a lighter note, we're making videos of the Sunday and midweek Lenten services due to the stay-at-home and sending the posted links to the members. MJ and I just watched the online video of tomorrow's service. I said, "Okay, you've been to church." Her response: "We should do this more often. I like gin and tonics during church!"

The little pagan ... ;)
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 08:50:28 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Life in Quarantine: One man's reflections
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2020, 10:17:13 PM »
My parents are in senior living in Mendota Heights. My sister offered to go grocery shopping for them, leave it outside the facility, etc. Nope, Dad was going to shop for his own groceries! He's 95, and no one is going to tell him what to do!

Ah, so you aren't being "in quarantine." You were being hyperbolic. Kinda like the one you so hate.

Or, since you deem the one you so hate to be lying in his hyperbole, does that mean you are lying in the title to this thread?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 10:22:12 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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