An English Garden Party – with Soprano Charlotte Hoather

Wanted to share this beautiful, inspiring concert with you and bring joy to your day!

An English Garden Party

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Weekly Update of My Personal Experience of the Coronavirus Isolation

For any interested readers, I have been writing a weekly journal of my personal experience of the coronavirus isolation on my tinafriesenwriting blog.

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Not Alone on Easter Sunday

It is strange to think that churches are closed today and there will be no corporate Easter celebrations. I regret to admit, my husband and I have not been faithful attendees at church for some years. But I cherish memories of Easters past. As a little girl my mother would sew beautiful Easter dresses for me and my sisters for Easter Sunday. As adults we would gather after church at my grandmother’s home. She always had marshmallow Easter eggs for us and Easter Bread.

In my mind Easter is associated with spring flowers, freshly scented Spring air, birds, and robin eggs. I recall the special hymns of the season and my heart is stirred.

Yesterday I wrote a poem. It was Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter.

A Gray Day

An agonizing cry splits the skies,

As he hangs his head and dies.

Life lies suspended between

An empty cross

And a sealed tomb.

Doom hovers in a barren land that quakes beneath the weight.

The curtain is rent.

The sun is darkened.

While graves yield their dead.

A sunless day awaits.

Too quickly the bright rays burst,

And birds sing in chorus,

Resurrection songs of morning,

While blood-stained spikes

Lie on the ground,

A remnant of a gray day.

We move so quickly from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. Such stark contrasts. I was reminded, yesterday, of what a bleak day Saturday must have been for Christ’s followers. There is not even a hint that they looked forward to a resurrection. Although Jesus told them what would happen to him, they couldn’t grasp it. Saturday was a gray, sunless day indeed.

What gets me about the Easter story is not only that his disciples did not believe, but the fact that it was religious leaders that stirred up the mob to demand that Pilate crucify Christ. Religious leaders. Get that.

It wasn’t the prostitutes and sinners. It wasn’t the atheists. It wasn’t even the political leaders of the day, although they went after the disciples later, and had John the Baptist imprisoned earlier.

People can be cruel. We can be cruel. The other day someone said to me, “Compassion can be cruel.” I thought about that for awhile and decided he was right. In our obsession to defend one cause we can be totally blinded to another need. The religious leaders thought they were defending the faith. Their religion was being threatened. So, the correct thing to do was annihilate the perceived threat. This was completely contrary to the teaching of their faith, to love God and to love others…and not to kill. But they couldn’t handle a little bit of controversy in their midst.

We are told Pilate believed they delivered Christ to be crucified out of envy. That is an interesting thought to ponder. In the book of Proverbs we read, Wrath is cruel…but who can stand before envy…. Jealousy is more dangerous and cruel than anger.

My thinking is that the religious leaders felt they had something to lose and it was probably fairly wrapped up in their pride. As we have heard, Pride goeth before a fall.

My husband and I tried to continue to go to church but after a time we found we simply could no longer “keep up appearances.”

“Please come home,” someone begged us. That is the point. Church no longer feels like home. We no longer feel like we belong there. It shouldn’t be this way. But it is.

So, on this Easter Sunday, we are not alone. Strange thought.

Have you ever asked how this life was meant to be lived? Outside my window birds flit from branch to branch. They peck at the ground. They build nests. They lay eggs. They fly south for the winter. They return. Seems pretty simple.

The coronavirus isolation has made me see how we have complicated life. For some reason the high-rises I see grouped together, casting their long shadows, leaving streets in gloom all day, are halting my attention. I keep looking up at them. I keep thinking about them. I think about the elevators. About how complicated it is to get in and out of them now. It is as though they are symbolic of a bigger problem.

What Easter means to me is that every life is of infinite value. We must save lives. And life is worth living. Sins can be forgiven. We can have new life. And the question remains, How is this life meant to be lived?

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Maybe It’s Not an April Fool’s Joke

Yesterday I read an article about social media posts that caused alarm for a lot of people. Later the party concerned claimed this was only an April Fool’s joke, when confronted by RCMP. Here is the report:

The Osoyoos RCMP have addressed “alarming” social media posts that claim individuals will be canvassing door to door in the community seeking places for seasonal workers to stay.

Combine this with another article I saw this morning, and it does not seem so far-fetched, because if we don’t have farm workers in the fields in a timely manner, then our worst fears may come to pass–that the food supply chain breaks down.

This is urgent. And it’s not a joke. I hope those in decision making positions are paying attention.

It may be time for some of us who are out of work to learn farming skills. In my community, around this time of year, I begin to see busloads of mostly seniors of East Asian descent head to the blueberry fields. I seriously wonder how the blueberries will fare this growing season.

Each year I pray for rain in season and good harvests. This past year blockades, market closures and livestock epidemics have affected food supplies. The coronavirus is a significant threat, but we could be facing something even more devastating if we don’t have a harvest.

Right now Europeans are in urgent need of migrant workers normally arriving from Eastern Europe to harvest ripened crops (see article). “Send forth laborers” is taking on new meaning and urgency.

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What Canada Isn’t Doing that South Korea Has Done re COVID-19

Seeing that South Korea is logging a notable success rate in controlling the coronavirus, I’ve tried to investigate what they are doing and to compare the actions taken to what is happening in Canada.

Several things stood out for me in the article, Coronavirus cases have dropped sharply in South Korea. What’s the secret to its success? written by Dennis Normile on Mar. 17, 2020.

Note the following quote from the article and read each sentence carefully. (Underlines are mine.)

High-risk patients with underlying illnesses get priority for hospitalization, says Chun Byung-Chul, an epidemiologist at Korea University. Those with moderate symptoms are sent to repurposed corporate training facilities and spaces provided by public institutions, where they get basic medical support and observation. Those who recover and test negative twice are released. Close contacts and those with minimal symptoms whose family members are free of chronic diseases and who can measure their own temperatures are ordered to self-quarantine for 2 weeks. A local monitoring team calls twice daily to make sure the quarantined stay put and to ask about symptoms. Quarantine violators face up to 3 million won ($2500) fines. If a recent bill becomes law, the fine will go up to 10 million won and as much as a year in jail.

In addition I read the following:

Legislation enacted since then gave the government authority to collect mobile phone, credit card, and other data from those who test positive to reconstruct their recent whereabouts. That information, stripped of personal identifiers, is shared on social media apps that allow others to determine whether they may have crossed paths with an infected person.

Note that people who test positive leave a trail of possible places where the people they have encountered may have been infected. For instance, if an infected person goes to the bank, then buys groceries, then goes to a physiotherapist, then gets their hair cut, all of those people who served them are at high risk. This kind of information is not being shared publicly in Canada.

I was reminded of this image.

Related image

Paradigm InfoStream: INTERVIEW – Cat Tracker Researcher, Brandon …
petlynxinfostream.blogspot.com

 

Today Canada is at approximately 1000 infections. If we follow the trajectory of other countries, we could be at 10,000 in seven days, and who knows what happens from there.

Last week I published an article which I have now removed. In it I spoke of minimum, to moderate, to maximum caution and protective measures. I believe it is now critical to practice maximum caution and protection to prevent the spread of the virus, as we have been instructed. But if we want to be as effective as South Korea in stemming the spread of the virus then we may need to be willing to implement similar measures.

Insurance companies are refusing to cover travelers who do not return to Canada during this epidemic, by categorizing it as an Act of God. If this is the case, then the following may be a good meditation:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sins, and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

 

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Coronavirus in Canada- The Time to Act is Yesterday

We are assured by our Canadian government that the coronavirus situation is being monitored, however this is not the time for empty platitudes. I fear our leaders do not know the critical importance of acting in a timely manner but would rather collect information and discuss it on Friday.

Here is the latest serious admonition by health authorities regarding the coronavirus:

  1. The Canadian Health System has no give because hospital beds are at full capacity.
  2. It takes 20-37 days to shed the virus so it may still spread during that time.
  3. Hospitals are experiencing a shortage of protective equipment for staff.
  4. Laboratory tests are taking too long and increasing risk. Testing capacity is too limited.
  5. Infected patients must be kept separate from other patients in hospitals so they cannot use regular beds. Isolated spaces must be created with dedicated staff.
  6. Ventilators are critical for serious cases. Hospital stays for serious cases are approximately four weeks, with two weeks on a ventilator.

It doesn’t take much to imagine how quickly the situation could become unmanageable. This is the advice we are being given on what to do NOW:

With virtually zero spare bed capacity, Fisman, of the U of Toronto, said planners should prepare now for makeshift hospitals. There should be designated hospitals for coronavirus patients and registries of healthcare workers who have had the virus and recovered who can now work safely with patients.

Right now is the time to act on improving testing, creating isolated spaces, and procuring medical supplies and equipment for patients and staff.

We will need to determine when it is time to move from modest public health control efforts such as testing and isolating to more aggressive measures including social distancing or quarantine. In B.C. two schools have been exposed to persons with the coronavirus. We must take first measures and provide a place where infected persons can be treated without risk to others.

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Coupon for Free Book

I am offering a free copy of my short story, Wilhelmina, for one month, on the one year anniversary of its publication. Check out Wilhelmina

Share the coupon, JS22Z, with friends. It expires on March 27, 2020. While you are there you may want to check out my other selections. I love to hear from my readers. Especially let me know if you would like to see more of my short stories.

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