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Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida issued a stay-at-home order that will go into effect Friday night at midnight. Our roads and byways are already empty, except for grocery shoppers and local labor that is still on job sites (i.e., painters, carpenters, etc.). Restaurants are closed – take-out only if they can. So a few minutes ago, a solemn and serious message came over our landline from our local authorities stating the new order. They said our local sheriff’s office will be making more clarifications available and take questions and answers at a certain time tomorrow. We get messages like this when an impending hurricane is approaching, or other weather hazards like extreme heat, where we are asked to conserve energy. But nothing like this.
I watched on our local PBS station the story of the 1918 Flu — how it started, escalated, the tolls. It was appalling and I couldn’t finish watching it. I was trying to understand how worldwide epidemics begin and how they take the world by storm. It’s a different world since 1918. Even with SARS, Bird Flu, and Swine Flu, the swiftness of this terrible scourge across the world is nothing like we have ever experienced. I’m scared and still working. So is my husband.
I picked up some extra items at the store today – they were out of toilet paper at an early hour. I feel very fortunate and blessed – we have no debt and worked hard the last few years to get there. We have some savings and are frugal. I have a small garden. I can get through a measly 30 days. I am scared for those that can’t. I’m shocked by a text where our local church asks us to pray for a parishioner who is having a foot amputated and her husband cannot be there because of COVID-19 restrictions. Funerals are limited to only a few family members, so good-byes have to be done from a distance.