This coming Thursday we were flying out to Fort Lauderdale in Florida to climb on a cruise ship that was going to take us through the Panama Canal. There were to be stops along the way in Costa Rica, Columbia, Nicaragua and Mexico. Peggy was super excited. She had lived in Panama in the late 70s BC. (The BC here stands for Before Curt. DC is During Curt. We are hoping to avoid the AC.) She wanted to see her old home at Fort Amador, to revisit where her daughter Tasha was born, and visit the Canal again.
I was equally excited. Just watching Peggy would have been enough. But Panama, Columbia and Nicaragua were new countries for me and I am always up for seeing new places. Cartagena has been on my bucket list for a long time. I figured I would get enough blog material to last up until summer! But it wasn’t to be.
We watched nervously as coronavirus made its way from China into other countries. Given the nature of the disease and its rapid spread, the President’s words that we had only 15 cases in the US that would soon number zero rang hollow. It seemed to us like it was time to gear up and get ready, not play down the danger. It was hardly rocket science, or so it seemed to us.
Nothing focused our concern more about the trip than people being stranded on cruise ships with a highly contagious disease. Countries were refusing to let them land. Reluctantly and sadly, we came to the conclusion that the trip wasn’t worth the risk and cancelled. A few days later Princess Cruise Lines cancelled all of its cruises. That’s how fast this pandemic has developed.
As my post goes up this morning, I expect that our Governor, Kate Brown, will issue the same stay-home order for Oregon that our neighbors in Washington to the north and California to the south have. Our trips into town will be limited to quick in and outs to buy groceries and other necessities. (And no, we aren’t hoarding toilet paper.) We will practice the same social/physical distancing and hand washing/use of sanitizers that people throughout the world now find themselves doing. And we will try ever so hard to avoid touching our faces. The mere thought of it makes my nose itch.
We are lucky in that we live on five acres out in the boonies with our property backed up to a million acres of national forest. Social/physical distancing doesn’t get any easier. Our property is excited that we are going to be around to give it more attention than in normally receives— and the star thistle is bummed that I will be around to yank it out by the roots. It’s a nasty plant that spreads rapidly like coronavirus, kills off native plants, and sucks up precious groundwater. I’ll probably do a blog on it. Woohoo. Also on my to-do list: go looking for Bigfoot. There’s a reason why the world’s only Bigfoot trap is located three miles from our house. And I may go searching for gold. Why not. An old gold mine is located a few hundred yards behind our house up in the forest. Maybe Bigfoot hangs out there. I’ll let you know.
And speaking of blogging, it is hard to imagine a more positive activity in these perilous times we are facing. For one, it is the ultimate in social/physical distancing. Two, it keeps me occupied. And three, most importantly, it allows for safe social interaction with a number of people I have come to consider as close, Internet friends over the past several years. So keep blogging, stay safe, and don’t scratch your nose.
NEXT POSTS: Still thinking about Wednesday. I may take you back to my journey down the Pacific Crest Trail, or off to Europe. Since travel is out, I have plenty of posts to remind me us of the how fun, interesting, and exciting travel there can be. Friday will be special. Peggy and I just made a trip up to Crater Lake National Park to see what it looks like in the winter. One word comes to mind: beautiful.
40 thoughts on “Blogging with WordPress in the Age of Coronavirus”
Know how you must be feeling about the cancelled cruise. Phew that it came later in the year. You are indeed very lucky indeed to have so much land and so many allowed visitors. Not sure you’d really like big foot to stop by for coffee 😉 We too have much to keep ourselves occupied with. 12 acres of land and way too many trees see our spare time mapped our rather well. Stay safe and we’ll await your distracting posts.
Coincidentally, I had just finished a draft of a post before opening my email and finding yours Curt.
We are in a more urban area and have self-quarantined. Read about other’s experiences and looking back at our own has been a good way to pass the time.
Does self-quarantined mean you have been exposed to the virus, Ray. Here’s hoping not, or if so, you have dodged the rather nasty bug. I am sure I read about it on your post. Do take care! –Curt
I love the “BC” and “DC”, Curt, and may “AC” be a long, long time off. “BF” and “DF” just doesn’t work as well for me. However, for Frances, “BJ” and “DJ” would work OK. (“BJ” is old cadet slang for a cadet plebe who was a bit too bold before the end of his first year at the academy, then early June. TMI, I know.) Meanwhile, we will be looking for our first fawns also.
You really are in the right place to endure the isolation. I look out in my subdivision and see walkers in the early morning and late evening, but very little else. We wanted to prepare a birthday cake for our daughter-in-law-to-be, but after going to 4 stores and finding no eggs, we’ve found another recipe that only calls for 2 eggs (that we had). Life is different. And maybe I’ll notice the little things in my backyard. I’ve already taken photos of a budding lilac bush and hosta sprouts pushing up the dirt. Not bad subject matter, of course, but I was scheduled to be in Amman, Jordan this week building a Habitat house. Good thing I didn’t go. They are REALLY quarantined! Wishing you and Peggy all the best. And all the eggs you can find to buy, for that matter.
I’ll start with the last, first, Rusha. (It almost sounds Biblical.) Tomorrow is Date Day for Peggy and I— it’s always Wednesday and has been for 30 years— and our date is to go to the grocery store and buy some eggs. 🙂 Plus other necessities for the week.
Back yards are good! There is a whole world out there. And I think you are right. Size doesn’t matter nearly as much as attention. It’s amazing what can be noted in a square foot. It sounds like a fun post. Or several.
Sorry you missed your trip to Jordan— for the good you were doing as well as for the journey itself. But like us on a cruise ship, it’s a good place not to be right now. Do take care. –Curt
I always love your responses. What fun to go to the store and buy eggs on Wednesdays! It’s a good marriage, Curt. Better hold on to that girl!
Thanks, Rusha. 🙂 I was ever so lucky when I climbed off my bike at the end of my 10,000 mile journey 30 years ago and there was Peggy! –Curt
It was meant to be!
Nice post Curt. Shame about the holiday. We have a cruise to Iceland booked in August but that seems very unlikely now.
Thanks, Andrew. And I expect our river trip this summer is out the door. Fortunately we have more than enough to keep us out of mischief. For example, we didn’t run out and buy a ton of toilet paper, but I did buy 40 pounds of sunflower seeds. It isn’t so much that I worry about our local birds feeding themselves, they are totally capable, it’s just that they are so amusing to watch, which is what I am doing right now. Take care, my friend. –Curt
I am setting off some seeds for the vegetable plot. Digging for Victory. All travel plans suspended!
Reminders of the old WWII victory gardens for sure. 🙂 Peggy’s the gardener here. And is actually excited that we will be around long enough for here to grow something.
We’ve cancelled four planned trips. Turning out to be the year to stay at home.
We are all pretty much in the same boat, Peggy, and damned glad it isn’t a cruise ship! We will miss traveling, obviously. Like you, it’s an important part of our life. But we are lucky that we self-entertain and play together well. 🙂 And, almost out our back door, we have a ton of backpacking country! Take care. –Curt
Sorry to hear you had your cruise cancelled, but best to have the option rather than be stuck on a ship like those poor folks this past month! I’d say you lucked out.
It’s great being in a place that offers so much space and entertainment. Isn’t it? Funny how going out for groceries gets to be an experience!
Hoping you and yours all stay safe and healthy!
Yes it is great, Gunta. We both lucked out with living in a beautiful, relatively isolated area. And you are absolutely right, we did luck out on the cruise ship.
Laughing about the grocery store. Peggy and I have our Date Day on Wednesdays and we were amused this morning about making our date for tomorrow a trip to the grocery store! Do take care. –Curt
I’m so sorry you had to cancel your travel plans. My husband and I have had to do the same thing, but we hope to go later in the year still. I’m also glad you have some room to roam during shelter in place orders too! Be well, friend, stay safe in these troubling times!
First, thanks so much MB. We are well aware that not being on a cruise ship right now is much better than being on one. We are lucky to live where we do and have a lot of beautiful country to explore out our back door. There is also our 3000 book library (including 80 US and world history) as well as over 400 movies.:) If that isn’t enough to keep us out of mischief, there’s the five acres. I spent four hours yesterday blowing leaves. Grin. You take care as well! –Cuer
Ooooh yes home libraries are valuable tools in times like these! I’m not sure how many books are in mine, I should take a count sometime! 🙂
We have enough to keep us going through a decade. And yet, we continue to buy new books. 🙂
Ha! It’s the typical book addicts problem.
Sorry you’re going to miss Central America – for now. Just don’t think about your nose and the itch will solve itself. Looking forward to resumption of normal life!
Thanks. I’ll try not to scratch! 🙂 Normal life will return. In the meantime, I’ll continue to write and read blogs. –Curt
Sorry for your cruise Curt, but better safe than sorry😉 There is plenty of entertainment when the woods are coming back to life. We’ve had some snow this morning LOL, but the spring is on the way🙂
Staying safe is our number one priority now, Christie. Coronavirus seems to like senior citizens! Our spring has arrived but we still woke up this morning with fresh snow on the surrounding mountains. That hasn’t stopped the local skunk parading by our house every evening smelling like, um, a skunk. 🙂 You take care as well. And thank you. –Curt
Sorry you will miss that trip which sounds awesome, but good also that you will. The Holler is looking good these days too, 8 acres abutting the empty nature preserve works well for distancing and food deliveries are helping too. And yup, vegetables are in, sweet peas are planted, and new flower beds started. Along with the rains, The Holler is happy and this is the first spring I will be home for all of it Si Dios Quiere! Enjoy the solitude and stay well.
Sorry to hear you’re missing your cruise but so thankful you weren’t in the middle of it as this became an immediate threat for all of us. Looking forward to more posts from your part of the world, during the DC era! 🙂
We are ever so glad we weren’t stuck out there. I’ve really felt for those who have been. Not going was the only choice to make. I’ll keep the posts coming, Kelly. I certainly have no lack of material. And I look forward to continuing to read the posts of all of you I enjoy following! Stay safe. And thanks. –Curt
It sounds like your place is ideal for an ‘imposed’ retreat. May you and Peggy be well.
And you as well Arati. We are lucky. –Curt
Pingback: Blogging with WordPress in the Age of Coronavirus — Wandering through Time and Place – Omar media blogs
You’re in just the right place for social distancing; what a wonderland you live in. Having just returned from Malaysia 5 days ago we are in quarantine for another 9 days, and barely even going outside. Not quite driving me nuts yet, but I know we must all “stick together” (LOL) in doing all we can to keep ourselves and everyone else safe. I read about a group of 20something kids from Kentucky who were so sceptical/uncaring that they threw a big Corona Virus party and now one of them (at least) has Covid-19. SMH
We are glad to be right where we are, Alison! We will keep our trips into town quick and few and far between. I have around 20, juncos, a Western tanager, and a nuthatch entertaining me right now as I sit out on our porch. A jay is scolding me for my presence.
Ignorance about the disease has been rampant down here, starting at the very top. And the ignorance impacts all age groups. I went to get something notarized yesterday and the 70 something man told me, “Oh, it’s not nearly as bad as people claim.” And then there are those who claim older people will be willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the nation. I, for one, am certainly willing to sacrifice those making such claims. And I am pretty sure the nation would be better off. 🙂 Hope you come out of your quarantine with flying colors! –Curt
Thanks Curt. We’re doing fine so far. I agree re who should be sacrificed, chuckle.
I had a huge birthday camping/hiking trip planned for next week. Now just mentally planning future trips for when this pandemic finally winds down. I’m looking forward to your PCT post! Cheers!
Sorry about your missed trip. That seems like an ideal way to celebrate your birthday! But we can always dream about past and future trips. We are lucky to have some great backpacking areas within a few miles of us when the snow melts. Social isolation doesn’t get any better. 🙂 Thanks for commenting. –Curt
That sounds like it would have been a fun trip. Bummer. We were also scheduled to leave for Mexico in a couple of weeks, and that was going to be blogging grist for four or five months. Oh well. Around here they’re even shutting down the all the trail heads. That seems like overkill. I suppose we’ll find out how creative we really are now…
We’d be in Costa Rica now, Dave. I brewed up Costa Rica coffee and put it in a Costa Rica mug for Peggy this morning.
Sorry about the trailheads. Crater Lake National Park has now been shut down at the request of the state. Guess you might have to become a streetwalker, Dave. 🙂 Peggy and I are fortunate to have our million acres of National Forest out out back door. Kind of hard to shut that down and it is really hard to get more self-isolated! I saw where Powell’s has put on a bunch more staff to meet online demand. –Curt