So here we are commonly using phrases and terms that perhaps we’d never even heard before 10 days ago. Social distancing. Asymptomatic. Fatality rates. Zoonotic. Viral load. Pandemic. Flu of 1918. Distance-learning. Ventilators. Intubation. ZOOM. Shelter-in-place. Indefinite school and park closures. Flatten the curve. #STFH
One of the mental and physical health benefits to living in Glen Ellen is the easy access to the gorgeous open spaces of Jack London State Park, Sugarloaf State Park, the former SDC lands, and Sonoma Valley Regional Park. It is heartbreaking to have them “off the table” at this time of stress and cabin fever. But, this too shall pass.
The sense around town is that while this “pandemic pause” is going to be very difficult for some (financially, logistically, medically), our community is flexing its resiliency. We’ve been through fire and flood and power outages… You want us stay at home and isolate? Ok, we got this. And we have each other.
Remember the importance of physical distancing but staying socially connected. Video or voice call with your friends and family – reach out to at least one person every day – it makes all of us feel better to connect. Check in with your neighbors – leave a note to see how they are doing. Do they need anything? Be a helper if you can, and if you need help, reach out and find a helper.
And speaking of ways to help, the Sustainable Sonoma wing of Sonoma Ecology Center connected with a generous valley donor to create and launch a new volunteer needs and opportunity clearing house website. It is really slick and I encourage everyone to check it out at www.sonomavalleyvolunteers.org
Many villagers I’ve chatted with have mentioned filling their time with cleaning, art, reading, gardening, and writing. It seems like a great time to start a journal. We are living through an historic event and although you might not think you have anything to contribute, historians 100 years from now could be reading through your “daily life during the pandemic of 2020” with great interest. I’m sure the Glen Ellen Historical Society would be game to curate some of this, in time. Journaling can be very healing for us, an important source of understanding for life as it is now to pass along to our descendants who may read those archives, not to mention a great historic record for the future.
Of course I don’t often follow my own advice, as I’ve been ruminating on generational differences and labels and jotting down more ideas about that than the shelter-in-place over the past week. I guess it’s sort of related to the pandemic because my preoccupation was brought on by some headlines I saw regarding my own Gen X status and how “we” apparently respond to crises. While I don’t think it’s particularly meaningful to stick blame or labels or qualities to different generations, I have been reflecting on how much each of us are shaped by the events of our time and how we are shaped by specifically when those events happen in the trajectory of our personal time. For example, we Gen Xers were coming into being either during or in the aftermath of Vietnam. As very young folk we witnessed as our families lived through high interest rates and the even and odd gas days. We felt real fear of global nuclear war. We watched the Berlin Wall come down and the collapse of the USSR. We were coming of sexual age during the emergence of HIV/AIDS – yeah, how fun for us. We were in our teens through late 20s for the economic crash of October 1987 and for the first Gulf War. We remember fondly when 1999 was just a song and that date sounded so far away. We were young and impressionable and flexible as we witnessed the rise of personal computers and cell phones (yeah, the old ones, even before flip phones) and the Internet and email and Y2K. Together with our young families and partners we watched the horror of 911 unfold and saw “war: the sequel” manifest. We were the first to really learn and understand the science behind and consequences of global climate change – and feel the frustration when power and money get in the way of sound, long-view decision-making in our culture. And now here we are, old enough to be higher risk for this virus but young enough to still have parents and aunts and uncles that are really at risk AND have kids that are now “homeschooling” as we try to simultaneously work from home as well. Living through history. As we all do all the time. I challenge you to take stock of where you’ve personally been. How has it shaped you? Your generation? How will these momentous events of “now” impact each of our generations?
The buzz from around the bendSad news late in announcing. Our long-time beloved postmaster here in Glen Ellen, Kip Fogarty, passed away suddenly on Jan. 7, while out walking his dog, Toby. He served as postmaster for the Glen Ellen Post Office for more than 20 years. Rest in peace, Kip.
Reminder that the Redwood Empire Food Bank continues to serve our community every 1st and 3rd Friday in the Jack London Village parking lot, 9-11 a.m. If you are food insecure please don’t hesitate to reach out for the help that is offered.
The Glen Ellen Forum will be holding both its monthly town meeting (Monday, April 6) and its Board of Directors’ meeting (Thursday, April 16) via ZOOM. Please sign up to be on the email list (send request to email@example.com), go to the website (www.glenellen.org) and/or follow the Facebook page so that you have access to the proper ZOOM log-in directions. The Forum website has a Coronavirus info and resources page that is being updated regularly.
The Glen Ellen Village Fair Association and other volunteers will be holding their monthly planning meeting on Monday, April 13. This will likely also be happening via ZOOM. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the Facebook page for log-in information and for updates. Save the date for fair 2020: Sunday Oct. 11, noon-5 p.m.
Do you have any Glen Ellen stories to share? Milestones? Celebrations? Email email@example.com, or call 996-3352.