Judy Clements – COVID-19 Journal

Hello All,

Thanks for sharing all the news articles on the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. I’ve always been fascinated by it. My great-grandmother, age 42, her youngest daughter, age nine and my grandparent’s first child age ten months all died between November 11, 1918 and November 14, 1918, of the flu. I don’t know if it was from curiosity or boredom, but I thought it would be interesting to see the number of deaths the flu took in the small community in Hopkins County where they died. With the help of Find A Grave and Family Search, I was able to get an idea of how the flu affected that one small area. Now that I have plenty of time, I might have to pick out some of Denton County’s cemeteries and see what I come up with.

It was a hard decision for my husband to take early retirement in January, but now we are thankful he did. As long as the Stock Market doesn’t crash, we should be alright. The stay at home mandate doesn’t seem to bother him at all. I think he could be a hermit for the rest of his life and enjoy it. I have learned to be very careful about saying, “I want, or I need” around him. He’s become Amazon’s best customer. I promise he is practicing safe online shopping. He sanitizes every package he gets. He reminds me of one of those old ladies that used the Home Shopping Network on television late at night. We all seem to have our way of coping through this and shopping seems to be his. It was almost comical to watch him surf the internet for toilet paper deals during the hoarding of it.

For me, I’m utilizing the online ordering and curbside pick up for my weekly grocery orders to Kroger and Sam’s. It’s finally getting better after the first stage of panic subsided. The first Kroger order I did was short 28 items, but I was able to fill it in with the order from Sam’s. As more and more people are using this option, I have noticed what use to take one day now takes five days to get a time shot to pick your groceries up, but that’s alright as long as I don’t have to go in the store.

It still amazes me to see the types of shortages I’m seeing. Never in my life would I have ever thought there would be a shortage of elastic. With the shortage of face masks, people have started making them from colorful material that can be machine washed. Speaking with my oldest daughter, who is an ER nurse in Idaho, I couldn’t believe it when she told me they were only allowed one mask a night. Fearing for her safety, I tried to make her some but could not find elastic anywhere. I was so thankful to one of our Girl Scout volunteers who made her 20 of them and sent them out this week. It’s a daily struggle for me to see the cases increase each day and know she is on the front line, but it’s what does. My only hope for the future is that no hospital staff will have to go through what this generation is dealing with. None of us ever dreamed of seeing a pandemic of this size worldwide.

I guess the saddest part for us is having a Senior of 2020. Elise came into this world two months before 9-11 and now she is dealing with the COVID-19 virus nine weeks before graduation. One week she was going non-stop at school, preparing for the fourth quarter before graduating and volunteering 50 hours a month for her internship at the animal shelter to have everything come to a standstill. Everything she was looking forward to has been postponed or canceled. With all the closures she still can’t get her cap and gown to do pictures, her graduation invitations have been printed with the wrong date and location, her dreams of High School Prom, Orchestra Banquet, FFA Banquet, Council Wide Girl Scout Gold Award Ceremony, Senior Walk, and Graduation are all on hold. The current question we have is, if this continues will they graduate as long as they passed the third quarter? The school is trying to maintain some type of normality with online school, but what about the kids without access to computers? The school is trying to provide Chromebooks to them, but I’m still hearing that some don’t have them yet. She is being told to do the work, but no grades are being taken. We try our best to let her know that this will pass in time, but just don’t know when. It may not be the traditional way, but her generation can break the mold and start a new tradition.

The one suffering the most during this pandemic is our 150 pound Great Pyrenees dog named Max. All these changes have thrown his life into turmoil. With Elise not going to school each day, he no longer has full access to her bed to take his daily 6-hour nap. We’re spending more time enjoying the fresh air in our backyard, but the neighborhood squirrel insists on driving him nuts by running on the roof of the house chatting to him while he eats the peanuts I buy him. It’s the small things in life we have taken for granted that bring laughter and joy to us now. Perhaps when this is all over, we’ll take things we learned from it to make our lives better.

For most of us, our biggest fear is not knowing. Thank you Judge Eads for providing updated information on COVID-19 so we know where Denton County stands during this trying time.

Shelter at Home and Stay Safe
Judy Clements

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