COVID-19 Dignity

PRE-NOTE March 30: This is the 8th blog on COVID-19 in March, 2020.  Yesterday was the 11th birthday of this blog, and this is the 1,540th – 140 a year.  I plan to continue.  Chances are I’ll be at this address.  Easiest access to past items is to go to the archives box at right on this page, and select the month you wish to search.   All posts for that month will come up.  Beginning in April, I hope to introduce more variety, though COVID-19 will be central to all our lives for a long while..

POSTNOTE Sunday night Mar. 29: Brene Brown on Vulnerability on 60 Minutes this evening. A must watch/listen is her TED Talk, Here.  This is an earlier talk by Brene, a TEDx talk in Houston TX that’s been watched 46,000,000 times.  They both are relevant to all of us, especially today, and always.


Sign at Woodbury MN McDonalds drive-thru, March 28, 2020.

March, 2020, is near an end.  In some future day in history, this month, and the four preceding months, will be remembered as the month the influenza struck the Globe – all countries.  We – all of us – are living within this history.  The end of this chapter is somewhere way down the road.  Be safe.


Friday evening, March 28, Pope Francis addressed the World Crisis with COVID-19.  You don’t need to be Catholic or Christian to find meaning in his remarks, which can be read and viewed here.  As I interpret the essence of his homily, which is based on the Gospel of Mark 4:35: ‘we’re all in the same boat, being battered by the same storm – we’re in this together’.

Behind me in a bookshelf is Grandma Bernards old Bible, Imprimatur 1911.  The verse used by Pope Francis, 35, says this “And he saith to them that day, when evening was come: Let us pass over to the other side.” 


Yesterday was the first day of “Stay at Home” in our state.

I think we followed the rules which were quite simple.

Later in the morning I took our neighbor, Don, 90, to the local superstore so he could get a couple of prescriptions and some groceries.  Normally, a long-time friend is his shopping chauffeur and friend, but this day was unable to help.  Clearly, Don enjoyed getting out.

Truth be told, I felt hesitant about taking him out for this less-than-an-hour jaunt.  One of us could easily have done this for him.  But shopping has been his way out of his own box – it is his own weekly habit, followed by lunch at a restaurant (not possible this day because no restaurants were open).  He doesn’t have a car.

It turned out to be simple to keep the appropriate distance, the store was near empty, and all tasks were accomplished.


I got to thinking back to the single most powerful homily I had ever heard, from then-Mgsr. Jerome Boxleitner at the Annual Meeting of Twin Cities Catholic Charities on May 5, 1982.  You can read it here: Mgsr Boxleitner May 1982001.  (click on the image to enlarge).  The talk is short and succinct, and in particularly relevant part, the Monsignor said this: “I don’t think we want to accept that human needs reach beyond mere survival to include respect, a feeling of self-worth and personal dignity – not just being the object of our sometimes whimsical generosity.  We need to restore the conscience of this country.”

Have a good day.

POSTNOTE: Basilica of St. Mary 9:30 Sunday Mass once again can be accessed live here.

from Chuck in MD:  I trust Chuck as a reliable source.  Nonetheless, I am asking for independent validation of the  generalizations.

From my sister Mary in New York State, retired Nurse Practitioner: [The graphic] is useful!  I appreciate that so many folks are really paying attention to contagion.  Always has been hard to explain ‘droplet and contact’ and unfortunately this sticky little “Novel Corona’ virus zooms through the air and sticks to surfaces for many days!  Also fortunate that so many infections are mild – in all age groups.  We will still lose a lot to this difficult to treat pneumonia. 

I can understand  [my Down syndrome daughters] difficulty in deviation from her comfortable routine and will send her a note (recognizing that my note could be considered a fomite or carrier if I or someone along the handling chain of snail mail was contagious) but we are seeing that difficulty of  acceptance of externally motivated decision making manifest in all ages and walks of life as person’s try to rationalize their reasons to ‘test the directives’.  Never mind that Charlie Brown continues to surround himself with reluctant minions as he espouses words of whatever!
I do continue to work some supervisory shifts in a couple of local nursing homes – yes, there is virus there; yes, folks are dying – but many are not; yes, there is an appalling shortage of masks; yes, I am comfortable with my decision to continue to support residents in need.  Our most serious shortage is staff.   I am, however, glad I am a gig worker and can decide whether or not I want to be at work.  I have no doubt I am equally or more significantly exposed when I use the ATM, pump gas, or pick up eggs at the grocery store.  Looking forward to having scientists and researchers unlock the therapeutics needed to treat…not as optimistic about politicians figuring out how to unsnarl the crippled public health system in our ‘first world’ country.  NY is running to catch up and  Cuomo is doing a great job – hopefully Minnesota will keep ahead of the curve.  We should peak in another 30-45 days.
So, today I made delicious beef barley soup and will make a chocolate cake a little later!
And, as we have been saying in infection prevention for many years “Handwashing is the single most important action in preventing the transmission of disease”.  Lavez vos mains!!!

A solitary walker on “my” path near Carver Lake, Woodbury, March 30, 2020. This day I saw 3 other walkers in my two miles.

1 reply
  1. John Bernard
    John Bernard says:

    Been living with stay at home in California for two weeks now and – the rules are also quite simple: Stay at home unless you need to go out for essential activities like exercise or groceries. So far I’ve done the non-exercise portion three times – but unfortunately the exercise “out” has people thinking they can go anywhere and do anything. Mine has been limited to picking up an older friend and going to bike ride in more isolated areas – yesterday we saw probably three or four people, and other days have been about the same.
    California has now closed all state parks ( the national parks are already closed) – simply because people were parking and congregating virtually everywhere at the lots and roads.
    Used Walmart grocery pick up yesterday for the first time – worked really well. Used the application on the phone (also apparently available via web browser) , made out a short list, and they gave me a time (about a day in advance) when I can actually come by and pick it up.
    Parked in the parking lot, guy came out with a cart with the bags, and I put them in the trunk myself and went home.
    Social interaction has been primarily by phone and computer. The various small groups and clubs that I am associated with out here have virtually all converted to the video chat option, and so far everything is working well. Church – Church Small Group / clubs / virtually anything – now I have to do is hope that the Internet stays on!


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