"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."


Everything Has Changed

by  Phyllis Zeck

Our world has turned upside down due to the Covid-19 Virus. I never thought I’d live through a pandemic.  I am social distancing but I miss my family and friends. I just want to hold my grandbabies. My heart goes out to Italy where so many have lost their lives.

We watched the virus wreak havoc in China and we were not prepared for our outbreak. We should have listened more closely to our doctors and scientists. We have a shortage of tests. The tests we do have can take up to 7 days to get results. There is no vaccine. On March 16th our schools closed and will remain closed for the rest of the school year. Parents are in charge of making sure their children’s school work gets done. On March 23rd Oregon’s Governor issued a stay home order and all non-essential businesses were closed. There is so much wrong with closing and roping off our parks. We have been in lock down for over 4 weeks.

The United States has a shortage of masks, caps, face shields, and latex gloves for our health care providers. New York hospitals are in crisis with patients over flowing into the halls. They don’t have enough ventilators for patients in Intensive Care. Oregon has loaned New York 140 ventilators. Hoarders have scooped up hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes making it hard for even hospitals to secure these items. People are panicking.

Unemployment claims topped 4.4 million last week. Lines of cars waiting for assistance from food banks snake on for miles. Many food banks are unable to keep up with the demand. Women aren’t allowed to have their husbands in some delivery rooms when they give birth so we’re seeing more mid wives assisting with home births. Animal shelters are being emptied by families who recognize that pets need help now also.

1918 Seattle, WA Streetcar

While I feel challenged and uncertain of the future, I savor the encouraging stories I see and read about. I’m thankful for our courageous first responders and for restaurants who provide free meals to our homeless population. I’m thankful we can order our groceries online and have them delivered. I’m thankful to be able to face time with my family members and watch my grandchildren laugh and play. These thoughts lead me to wonder how our ancestors survived the Spanish Flu.  I have no stories that I can retell of this health disaster. If any of you have a story that’s been passed down in your family, please drop me a note. I’d love to share it. 

1918 Spanish Flu  Detroit, MI   Red Cross



3 Responses to Everything Has Changed

  1. 4 years ago by Holly Hicks

    My son Jared Hicks, works in the ED at OHSU and has been on the front lines. He has told me how he has to follow decontamination procedures when he gets home from work, before he can enter his home and possible expose his wife Karen, his two year old son Xander, and his new baby Zeke. Scary times! As his mother, I’m filled with both pride for his dedication and support he provides, and fear for his health and even his life. Because I’m a sewer, I’ve dived deeply into the arena with others who are stitching face masks and scrub caps for the essential workers in our community. This passion has become an obsession that helps me keep my worries and anxiety down. Every stitch is filled with love.

  2. 4 years ago by Val Ciolli Stockmar

    Holly Hicks, you are a proud and understandably
    worried Mother. Thank you for stitching face masks and scrub caps for those who need it most. Blessings to you and Jared.

  3. 4 years ago by Phyllis

    I worry about my nephew all the time and am so appreciative of him and all our care providers.


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