Hello and welcome to the blog! First, my heart goes out to those affected by the Coronavirus. It sounds like the most populous areas are the heaviest hit. In rural Iowa we’re in pretty good shape – we have about 1/100th of the population density of the larger cities. There are no Coronavirus cases in Jones County… but there have been some changes to day-to-day life.
On Friday Iowa Governor Reynolds gave an order to close all non-essential businesses (i.e. nail parlors, hair salons, book stores, clothing stores, etc.) Restaurants are restricted to carry-out or drive-thru service only. The local library, courthouse, community center, churches, etc. are empty. Grocery stores, discount stores, etc. are all still open. Anamosa is like a ghost town… with the exception of a few stores.
During all this, Facebook has been somewhat annoying. Local friends are circulating the same media releases over and over. Many “stay at home” rant messages are being forwarded by the very customers I see out and about every day! (I can’t blame them for that!) But with all the information being distributed from all directions, I recommend the “30 day snooze” option on Facebook. The Android “do-not-disturb” option is also a good way to keep people from bombarding your Messenger with panicky videos or chain messages.
It looks like camping is going to be a little trickier right now. Though the Iowa state campgrounds are still at the $11 winter rate, all pit toilets are closed as well as the modern facilities. To camp, a person must now use a self-contained means of going to the bathroom. It doesn’t bother me with the van – I can carry the Luggable Loo plastic toilet seat and use a bucket… as well as a cat litter jug for #1. If out fishing and there’s no toidy… well, we know about the Charmin Bears and what bears do in the woods…. 🙂
As far as panic buying, I’m not a hoarder but year ’round try to keep a reasonable amount of supplies stocked at the home base. Some of the young people I know are freaking out because they don’t have tissue or food on hand. Some joke about the zombie apocalypse and how people are just going to have to rob each other. Frankly, that worries me a bit. For that reason, until emotions calm a bit and the economy recovers some, the van and I are going to be home every night. There are still plans to do some local day fishing and picnics at scenic places… but I feel the best burglary deterrent is a locked vehicle in the driveway.
So much for the doom and gloom! I’m blessed to still have a job. Our store hours have been cut and I’ll have plenty of time off this week. Heck, it’s a great time for spring cleaning! The plan is to rent a small dumpster and clean out the storage shed and get rid of some things around home. In fact, for fun I made up a list of tasks and the approximate times it takes to do them. We do that at work – giving people “five minute” (usually longer than that) cleaning jobs. Staying busy is also good medicine for the mind.
One last thought about something that might help during this stressful period. Over the many years of living with anxiety and depression issues, cognitive behavioral therapy has helped me deal with stressful times. It’s almost like “Vulcan logic”… Even now cognitive therapy helps with the “what if …” thinking that many of us are experiencing. This book changed my life in 1994 and I felt compelled to share this.
That’s about all that’s new right now. I hope the many camping friends stay safe and healthy in the coming weeks. Take care and thanks for visiting! Watch for some cool fishing pictures coming soon!
Brad and Jenny and Duke
Jones County, Iowa
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