Coffee Corona Talk 03.15.20

Happy Sunday, friends. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Yes, despite all going on in the world around us, we are called to rejoice and give thanks, and that’s what I’m trying to do.

That said, I would be lying if I told you I’m in a joyful mood today. I woke up this morning with an ominous feeling that has started to become my new normal, wondering how things have changed overnight and what new restrictions and doomsday news the day will hold.

I’m not one to buy into media hype, and I rarely turn on the news. I’ve been getting my information from reliable publications written in a matter-of-fact tone, infectious disease experts, and qualified doctors; and I am telling you right now: This situation is serious, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

I do not say that to incite fear, but to plead with those who have not yet felt the affects of COVID-19 to prepare yourselves now. I wish I had started much earlier stocking up on food and necessities, changing travel plans before time ran out to get refunds, and rescheduling non-essential appointments that were important to me.

If you came here hoping to find a happy escape from the doom and gloom, I’m sorry to disappoint you, ha!

I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled fashion programming tomorrow, but today I want to share what’s going on in my neck of the woods.

It helps me to journal my thoughts and feelings, and more importantly, I’m hoping those of you who aren’t yet affected or think this is over-hyped will take heed.

As of this morning, my county here in southeastern Pennsylvania and 3 around us are on lockdown for 2 weeks, but probably much longer than that. The CDC is recommending 8 weeks, and I expect that’s a lot closer to reality.

What really stinks for those of us already in lockdown mode is, we’ll have to endure this for longer than the other areas of the country that are still going about their daily business like nothing is happening.

Eventually we’ll all be in the same boat, but I’m assuming we will have to maintain the restrictions for as long as the rest of the country because the virus will just get reintroduced if we let up too soon. Supposedly you can even get it twice.

All I know is, I watch my Insta Story with awe and wonder at people still traveling and treating their 2-week work-from-home assignment is an extended Spring Break. I guess reality will set in soon enough.

This is how quickly things changed in our area…

I was at the nail salon earlier this week getting my bi-weekly mani/pedi, and we were discussing the situation. The other ladies were talking like it was much ado about nothing. When I said things were about to get serious, they didn’t really believe me at first, but seemed to be taking it in.

We went on to chat about future plans, as if nothing was going to change. When I left, I  didn’t think twice about confirming my next appointment and saying cheerfully, “See you in a couple weeks!” as I walked out the door.

I did have the presence of mind to stop at the grocery store on my way home, but all was calm, and I felt silly stocking up, and I didn’t really know where to start, so I just bought enough for a couple of days. I so wish I’d had this resource that day, but perhaps it can help one of you.

That was Wednesday.

On Thursday afternoon, our school district announced they were closing for the next 2 days “to thoroughly disinfect our buildings.” I assumed they were just buying time to make more long-term decisions, and that they would not be reopening on Tuesday. (I was right.)

Also on Thursday, our neighboring county was put on lockdown due to 13 presumptive cases of COVID-19. That’s the county where my nail salon is located, and I got an email that evening that they will be closed until at least April 8.

So much for “See you in a couple weeks!”

That’s when our stores got nuts. The same grocery store that was so quiet and serene and well-stocked on Wednesday afternoon was a madhouse on Thursday evening.

Paul stopped in on his way home from work to do more “stocking up” and apparently everyone else in the county was doing the same. Friends reported that Costco had lines around the store. They were totally out of meat and other foodstuffs, to say nothing of paper goods and cleaning supplies, which have been scarce for days.

I won’t lie, it was a little scary.

I got up early Friday morning and braved a different grocery store, hoping the frenzy had died down, and thankfully it had. It wasn’t terribly crowded when I arrived around 9:30am, but by the time I left at 11am with my cart overflowing (thanks to Sarah’s list), it was very busy. People were polite and calm, but there was definitely tension in the air.

On Friday afternoon, Governor Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for at least 2 weeks, effective Monday, March 16. I’m surprised it took him that long, considering Ohio did this days ago, but I was glad it was finally official.

Then yesterday (Saturday), the Governor expanded the lockdown to 3 more counties in our area, including my own. So basically, 4 of the 67 counties in our state are in this situation, and I’m lucky enough to be living in one of them. Joy!

So what does lockdown mean?

You can read the full press report on the Governor’s website, but basically he has asked that gyms, salons and spas, casinos, concert venues, bars, and non-essential retail facilities such as shopping malls cease operations. Restaurants may stay open for carry-out and delivery only.

Child care centers and adult day care centers will be closed, and a strict no-visitor policy has been implemented for correctional facilities and nursing homes.

Beyond that, we have been asked to refrain from non-essential travel and are encouraged to suspend all large gatherings and events.

Supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations are to remain open, and of course essential services like police, fire, and emergency medical services will still be available.

Most of these mitigation efforts are strong recommendations, not law-enforceable dictates, but all of the businesses I have contact with are heeding this advice.

So yeah, it’s unsettling, to say the least. You really don’t realize the things you take for granted until they are taken away.

Speaking of such things, our Paris trip is less than two months away, and my wait-and-see approach turned out to bite me in the butt. Evidently, 60 days was our deadline to change our plans and get a partial refund, and it was about 5 days past that 60-day mark when I finally reached out to see what recourse we have if we have to cancel.

In light of the present circumstances, we were offered a Future Stay Credit of 75% of the booking cost if we postpone our trip and make a reservation for the same apartment within one year of our current departure date. We have until Tuesday to make a decision on that. It seems like our best bet at the moment, but everything is so up in the air, I can’t begin to think about rescheduling the trip right now.

At least I was able to get a refund on the excursions we booked, but evidently our plane tickets are non-refundable. I’m not sure why I bought non-refundable plane tickets, but I guess I did. I spoke with a rep at American Airlines yesterday, and they said things are changing quickly, and we will get a refund if they end up canceling our flight, so I’m holding out hope for that. Right now it seems likely, based on the latest update in their Newsroom.

The trip insurance we purchased doesn’t cover pandemics, so that’s even more money down the drain.

It’s depressing, but at the end of the day, it’s just money. And yes, I realize what a place of privilege I come from to be able to say that. It’s not that I don’t feel sick about it; I’m just trying to keep things in perspective. Because at the end of the day, these are all just minor inconveniences.

In the grand scheme of things, we are in good shape. I’m grateful that we have the resources to stock up on food and other essentials, that we don’t fall into any of the high risk health categories, and that both Paul and I can work from home. While my job will likely take a big hit from this, his is secure. We will be fine.

I am concerned about those who rely on small “non-essential” businesses for their livelihood, the older population who may see significant losses in their retirement accounts, kids who rely on public school lunches for food and other services, and the working parents who rely on public schools for childcare.

I’m concerned for our parents and grandparents, who are a higher risk of having severe complications from this virus due to their age. And as the disease spreads more quickly across our country, I’m worried that we may end up like Spain and Italy — with not enough beds or ventilators, or healthcare workers to care for the sick.

I keep thinking about the grocery store situation on Thursday night, and imagining that happening to our hospitals. This is why we must heed the warnings of our government officials and the CDC, and take all possible precautions in an effort to slow this thing down, so our medical facilities can have a fighting chance of keeping up with it.

There are so many unknowns right now, and valid reasons to be concerned, but I do know this:

God is not surprised by this, and He is on his throne through good times and bad.

(Updated to add: I just read Cyndi’s post from today, and I had to laugh at her title. I did not see that before I wrote this post.)

While there may be some hard days ahead, there will also be blessings and silver linings along the way. I’m going to do my best to take my lead from the apostle James and count it all joy.

Right now, we are experiencing an early spring in Pennsylvania, along with our lockdown. It’s a bit incongruous, and it occurred to me that dark clouds would feel more appropriate, and yet God has blessed us with an abundance of sunshine. My Instagram feed is full of pictures of people enjoying the great outdoors. (Note to self: Spend more time on Instagram and less on Facebook.)

I went for a walk in my neighborhood yesterday afternoon, and I saw a few other families doing the same. Evidently the parks and walking trails were full of people practicing #socialdistancing. Hopefully those don’t get shut down as well. Maybe they will have to at some point, but for now, I take comfort in knowing that people are spending quality time together outside.

I was also happy to hear some of those who are having snow say they find it peaceful and comforting, and they’re enjoying being indoors by the fire. It sounds like whichever end of the weather spectrum we are on, we’re making the best of it.

In more personal news, my kitchen is pretty much finished — and just in time! I’m not sure how much longer we will be allowed to have service people into our homes. The vent hood was installed yesterday… although it had a broken part and can’t be used yet.

Can you believe that? After the oven saga… I just had to laugh. At least it’s in place so it finishes the look of the kitchen.

He will come back (Lord willing) on Wednesday to replace the part, and the cabinet painters are supposed to come back at the end of the week to touch up a few spots that got messed up during the backsplash installation… but of course, that could change as well.

Whenever it gets finished, I’ll post a full kitchen reveal here on the blog.

I spent some time yesterday clearing out my closet and getting rid of most of my winter clothes and boots, and organizing the spring clothing I have so far. I need to go downstairs and bring up what I have in storage from last year and take inventory. Maybe I’ll do that this afternoon.

Church was canceled for today, so we are just hanging out here and doing our part to #flattenthecurve.

Meanwhile, I have plenty of work to keep me busy, and I’m grateful for that. I don’t know that people will be doing much shopping, but hopefully I can provide a fun distraction from your ominous Facebook feed.

I also want to encourage you to check in on your friends and people who might be experiencing more than the average worry and anxiety during this uncertain time, offer to bring food or other supplies to those in high risk groups so they don’t have to go out, and try to support the small businesses in your area as much as you can. This is an opportunity to band together and care for one another.

With that, I’m off to take a walk and soak up some vitamin D. I hope you can do the same at some point today.

I’ll leave you with a comforting word from Psalm 46: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.

Join the Conversation

103 thoughts on “Coffee Corona Talk 03.15.20

  1. I’m thinking I should skip aqua fit and walk instead. It’s much easier to distance one’s self.
     At the moment, it hasn’t reached us and for the most part we are complacent, excepting the grocery haul. Reading your post this morning has made me realize it can get real, really fast. 
    Stay well! 

    1. I forget where you are located. I would just follow the advisories of the area you are in. Exercise is important too. And you probably don’t get too close to people at aqua fit. 🙂 But a walk is a good idea too! And vitamin D is especially good for all of us right now.

      1. I’m on Vancouver Island, off the coast of British Columbia. We might load our boat and cruise the waters until the worse is over. 

  2. I work for a non profit the helps women who have left abusive homes resettle into apartments and learn to live, often with young children in tow, again. We have been trying to figure out how to best prepare for the needs of these at risk people in the weeks to come. Many will not have work and most will not qualify for the current sick leave extensions being discussed in the news. They will have no income and they most definitely do not have savings to draw from. Like you, my family is in a position to stock up on food and goods. We’ve even begun discussing spring yard work and projects to do with the extra “free” time. It’s hard – the disparity. One thing I know – God is never taken by surprise and He cares for each and every person – those with money and those without. May I please encourage everyone to faithfully pray for our country, our leaders, and every person from every background. Please, ladies, won’t you consider how you might help out in your community. If you have extra, please consider donating to those – well-screened – agencies that provide in times like these. If you do not have money to share – your ability to pray is as valuable as any denomination of funds! May we come together as a country to help one another as we did in generations past. In the darkest times – our faithful GOD, through His people, shines extra BRIGHT!

    I’d also like to thank you Jo-Lynne for sharing your heart. Yes – clothing and fashion seem petty in times like this – but there is nothing healthy about dwelling on fear and sickness all day, everyday. A little light-hearted normalcy is a very, very good thing!

  3. Despite the topic of your coffee talk today, it is very uplifting. For me, it helps to hear that others are experiencing the same things and that together and with the help of God, we will make it through this time of uncertainty. Where I live in Canada, we are experiencing much of what you described. Our province is not in lock-down mode, so to speak, but many places are closed and events cancelled. There is no church service this weekend and I am guessing that the diocese will extend the cancellation for the coming weeks. Schools have been closed for three weeks. (Spring Break is this week and classes won’t resume until April 6th.) Some daycares have been closed as well as other non-essential places like my gym. Steps have been taken to protect adults in nursing homes. The government has told all Canadians abroad to get home as soon as possible before flights are cancelled. I can’t imagine being in that situation. It is one thing to experience this situation at home; I can’t imagine how this would be if I were in another country. Stores shelves are empty of certain foods/products. I’m lucky in that I decided a week ago to start stocking up. I’m lucky in that I could afford to go and buy what my husband and pets need. Even though I thought that I would ever experience a situation like this, I do take comfort in my faith. Take care, Jo-Lynne, and I thank you for all that you do.

    1. Thanks, Bev. I meant to add that to my worry list (lol) – people trying to get home from overseas. I know of a few stuck like that, and some are students. It must be frightening.

      Yes, we are in this together, and we will get through it.

  4. I appreciate your post today. I am a healthcare worker in Louisiana (New Orleans) where we have just reported our second death. We too are coming close to complete lockdown. Our schools are closed until April 13. And all universities are on line for the rest of the semester. You are correct to be concerned about overwhelming the hospitals. It could happen quickly. Flattening the curve is a must. This is a great platform for spreading that message. I follow everyday and I’m wishing you the best. Stay well! 
    😊 Courtney 

  5. Our way of life is changing and it is very worrying. Seeing whats happening in Europe is troubling. I am in a state of shock that our Canadian government is doing absolutely no medical screening of travellers arriving into Canada over borders or at airports! The majority of our 249 cases are from travel. Our Prime Minister is in self isolation himself because his wife was confirmed having COVD 19. He stated that they are “monitoring the situation”!! What negligence.
    Our Rec centers are closing. Some people are still in denial that this is all “overblown”. Its unfortunate that our travel plans are disrupted however the alternative is far worse. We need to take this one day at a time. Stay calm and carry on. I’m praying for our politicians to have wisdom and for our health care professionals’ well being while they take care of us.

    1. I’m surprised Canada is taking that approach. I’m also praying for wisdom for our leaders, and for people to follow the rules. It’s easy to feel like it’s overblown when it hasn’t touched you yet, but the numbers are staggering.

  6. Thanks for your message to take this seriously.  I consider you a very level-headed and reasoned person, so I am taking heed.  I’ll still be enjoying your blog while wiping down everything repeatedly with the ONE container of antibacterial wipes I found in the back of my closet.  No sanitizer anywhere but soap and water will do.  God is our ever-present anchor and his watchcare is sure and trustworthy.

  7. I live in Washington state, just a few miles away from the Life Care Center where 19 people have lost their lives. I visited a friend there last year.  I think of the  healthcare providers and patients I met and don’t know which ones survived.   
    I pray for the families who have lost loved ones or  are not able to see the surviving patients .   It’s very real here.   I am leaning on the Lord and praying for safety for all.  

    1. That is so sad. Thanks for sharing and letting people know how serious this really is. I have heard that it’s very chaotic at the local nursing homes b/c they can no longer receive guests, and they are confused why their family members aren’t visiting. Ugh. Hopefully this passes sooner than expected.

  8. Here in the San Diego area I am fortunate to live right at the beach. I can breath that ocean air and Thank God every day. Our grocery stores get restocked and I fill up my freezer with bags of frozen spinach,broccoli etc. So just get out there in your back yard, read the Bible ,exercise at home, and Adore Your Wardrobe Ha Ha! You have helped me so much with your Blog and all your friends. You will make it Jo-Lynne.

    1. Beach air sounds lovely right about now! I keep thinking, our pool will be open soon. They actually come on Tuesday to open it… crossing fingers nothing happens to prevent that. I can’t imagine why, it’s all outside. I know we can’t use it for a while, but at least I can look at it. 🙂

  9. Ugh, I feel like we’ve entered the Twilight Zone. It’s so surreal. My college kids are home and we are all just trying to figure out the new normal. Here in Northern VA I’d say we are a few days behind you all in the Philly area, our schools are closed but they haven’t said anything about essential/non-essential businesses yet. I expect that will change. It’s actually helpful to read the full description of what you have going on in your area to see where we are likely headed regarding business closures. And I’m just vain enough to hope the my hair salon, where I work part time, will open on Tuesday so I can get my dang roots colored. 🙂

    1. Twilight Zone is about right! And speaking of your hair salon, I had an appt on Tues to get my microblading touchup, and she canceled it late yesterday. To top it off, I had the opportunity to get it done yesterday morning, and I turned it down b/c I have a photo shoot on Monday and didn’t want to be in that stage of recovery for my eyebrows. I so wish I had done that now! Who knows when they will open again. I knew the situation was going to get worse, but I had no idea they’d be closing businesses this soon. Oh well. Vanity, that’s all it is. This will all be a distant memory at some point. Hopefully we’ll all be none the worse for the wear.

  10. Dear Jolynne 

    Please just breathe …
    it’s getting manic here but remember for the young and fit it’s not serious- of course you are worried for your family parents and grandparents.  We are all worried not for ourselves but our loved ones.  Your faith will keep you strong- remember that worry and panic lowers our immunity too.  The continuing news bulletins will depress you further so just make sure you are aware of the latest then turn off – play your best upbeat music, watch a feel good movie – tend your garden and sort out your cupboards!! 
    All will be well.
    With love, thoughts and prayers to you all 

    1. Thanks, Jane. I am not worried about myself. I am worried for those who will need medical care, and the healthcare professionals, etc. And I never listen to the news. But definitely, less FB time would probably be good. 🤪

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your message today, my husband and I own a family style restaurant in the dfw area of Texas. And right now we are watching and waiting to see what happens. At this point our schools have been closed for 3 weeks and college classes are online I believe. we are taking extra measures to clean and sanitize as much as possible. They have asked that we not hold gatherings of 250+. A few nurses did come in yesterday and tell us that the hospital where they work for has a special team and there are like 10 to 15 unconfirmed cases being quarantined there….so i am thinking it may only be a matter of time before we follow suit in what PA is doing…thank you for sharing. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe. God Bless

    1. I hope you can stay in business as long as possible. Will you be able to offer take-out? That may help pay the bills… I feel so bad for restaurants and small businesses.

  12. Our Governor just closed Minnesota schools for two weeks. With a possibility of online learning after that. There is no toilet paper to be bought. I’m glad I picked up the jumbo pack last week. So far we are blessed to still be healthy. Continued prayers for all. Take care. 

    1. Yes, I have TP on auto order from Amazon, so we are set for a while. We had a bit of a backlog, so I’m happy for that. I have to believe things will get restocked at some point… I mean, people won’t be using it any faster than normal, right? It’s baffling to me that it can’t be found.

  13. Thank you for your perspective on the corona virus.  It is greatly appreciated to those of us who feel as if we are just in “ waiting” mode. Our schools in Illinois are closed but businesses are not.  Our grocery stores shelves are getting low. Churches closed as well as any organized mass events.  I was able to stock up on food and my heart goes out to the retail workers.  They are working so hard. I was at the drugstore and my clerk said he hadn’t eaten all day. All of the customers told him he needs to stay healthy and to please take a break. People will understand. Please  keep those workers in our prayers.  Medical professionals too! I myself am still working with the public as I work for a bank.  Our staff is washing hands, social distancing when possible.  We are taking every precaution we can.  Be kind to each other, listen to medical professionals, assist and help those at risk.  Keep the faith😍

    1. Yes, the cashier at the grocery store on Friday looked very tense. She was nice, but I could just see the tension in her body and she was working so fast. I’m sure her day only got harder from there on out, and who knows what she endured the night before. I hope she wasn’t working then too! This is definitely the time to extend grace to all, but especially those serving us in some capacity.

  14. Thank you for that post. I wasn’t in a fashion mood anyway. Our church cancelled but got to watch on live Stream. It was comforting. I have nail appt tomorrow. What do you think. Should I cancel. I get the dip?? In GA we are on partial lock down. My grandkids who are in college are doing online classes after spring break. God is in control.

  15. I’m just across the border from in central NJ and we are not where you are but should be. I am frankly, scared about my daughter in DC and her boyfriend who is a volunteer EMT. They are both 20 and healthy but that is no guarantee especially for overworked healthcare workers. I’m worried about losing those I love and hold dear. I’m worried about a supply chain breakdown. I’m breathing deep and going forward but for all of you a little behind us, for goodness sake, stay home whenever possible. Assume you are a carrier and act accordingly. Your neighbors lives may very well depend on it. 

    1. Try not to worry, they are young and healthy. And we need those EMTs to keep working. But yes, your last statement is the nail on the head. Those who can should stay home, it’s not about those of us who are young and healthy, it’s about carrying it to those who aren’t, and overtaxing the medical system. /rant

  16. Thank you for the reminder that God is in charge. School has been cancelled and moved online for me. At this time work is still requiring all of us to come in but that may change in the next week or so. Grocery stores are changing their hours so that they can stock up during the night. I’m thankful that my family is still healthy and we have the essentials. Have a great day and maybe I’ll go for a walk as well.

    1. I think I’m going to start taking 2 walks a day. I feel so much better afterwards! So grateful for an early spring. Of course, watch… we will get snow in April. Haha! #ithashappened

  17. Very informative and ‘real’ post Jo-Lynne!  I really appreciate all of the specifics that you shared since we have not reached the same level yet.  Like you, I do think that it is going to get worse before it gets better.  We are definitely relying on our faith to keep us from getting so worried.  Back in 2017 after Larry had the stem cell transplant, he was quarantined for quite a while, and we survived.  However, I was still able to get out to buy groceries, etc., and everything was open.  That will be the major difference this time.  We are blessed in that we have a freezer full of meat and we stocked the pantry on Friday, so we won’t go hungry.  I hope that you had a great walk!

  18. Thank you Jo-Lynne. I live in Washington DC but I am from near you and my 88yo dad is an a nursing home in Bryn Mawr. Things have gotten very scary, very quickly. Thinking of everyone up in PA.

  19. Thank you for sharing this post and it was very well written. In San Antonio we have 2 known cases so far but one of our military bases is caring for evacuees so I think that does put us at greater risk. I listen to our pastor on a live steam today and he did a great job putting it all into prospective and also gave us a few suggestions we can do to help in the meantime, like give blood and give to our local Food Bank as they are collecting $5.00 to put kits together for the homeless and those who can not get out and buy the essentials they may need to protect themselves. In the meantime I am on the fence as to weather to get out today or not but since we are not on lockdown (yet) and it may be best to get out while we can so we’re going to a movie for a few hours of distraction. 

    1. It’s good to have practical things we can do to help. I don’t think movie theaters get very crowded these days – I’d go if not on lockdown and just wash my hands well and all that jazz.

  20. I think that the media has sensationalized this story like none other. While I think the virus is dangerous to those who are elderly or to those whose health is compromised by other diseases are at risk, I don’t understand why this is any worse than a cold.  The media isn’t reporting that the majority of the people who have died are elderly and were at risk anyway due to existing health issues.  I trust in God as my Lord and my Savior. I have prayed and am at peace about the coronavirus. Thank goodness the people in my area are not going crazy. Schools are open, and everything is operating normally. And yes, there have been confirmed cases in my state of Georgia. Other counties have closed schools here. Again, I think the media has created overwhelming reactions to this. Maybe something will happen in politics soon to distract them from this virus.  I am praying that people use common sense in how they react to reports they hear concerning it. 

  21. Really nice post! Very balanced and true that God knew about this and will make good come out of it. Appreciate you!

  22. Thanks so much for your words of caution and hope this morning. You are right, this is serious. I have several health care providers in my family and this is not “just another flu” . It is another virus, with flu like symptoms, limited research and no vaccine. As Believers we always have Hope. Fear doesn’t change or help anything. There are many things we can do that are helpful and positive and we should.

  23. Stay safe Jo-Lynne. I am in NYC and stocked up on everything March 1. Even back then stores here were already beginning to run out of pasta, rice etc. my boyfriend thought I was being silly at the time, but now I’m so infinitely glad we don’t have to join the hordes and panic buy. That list you posted is wonderful and I’m going to use it to fill in as needed moving forward.

  24. Thank you sharing your situation. I hope it will encourage those who aren’t taking this seriously to be more cautious. I do believe there will be blessings and silver linings to come. God is good ALL the time❤️

  25. Thank you for your posts and your faith. We live in NC and yes it is a little scary here too. But I love taking my mind off of it for a bit and reading blogs like yours and thinking of fashion as a “getaway” from all this. Thank you for what you do and ya mayum, God is still on the throne and always will be! Take care and be safe. May the good Lord bless you and your family and community. 

  26. Thank you JoLynn  for your timely message this morning. I live in Colorado where we now have 100 plus cases of the virus. Everything here is shut down and the schools and universities are all closed as well as the performing arts, libraries, churches. Yesterday our governor shut down all the ski areas in the state for at least a week. They have been especially hard hit with the virus. Families and people arriving here yesterday from all over for their spring break vacations got word that they would not be skiing. My husband and I are staying close to home, and just came in from a walk. Luckily the weather is beautiful and the sun is shining. I think it is only a matter of time before stores and malls are closed here. I have never experienced anything like this in my lifetime. Stay safe everyone! 

  27. This is a great post Jo-Lynne! Thank for sharing your thoughts. I had the same experience with grocery stores this week – very calm at the beginning of the week but chaotic later. But I have found so many kind, respectful people among the chaos too. Our Governor (in Maryland) hasn’t put any areas in lockdown, thankfully, but we are in a state of emergency. But the sun is shining, trees are blossoming, the birds are active at our feeders and God’s glory is evident!

    1. Yes, such a blessing in these stressful times. Where in Maryland are you? We are supposed to go to the eastern shore over Easter…. I guess that will end up getting canceled too. I was so looking forward to it. #ohwell

  28. Thank you for this morning’s post. We are all in this together.  Let us not forget the health care providers who are working in the front lines of this pandemic and keep them in our prayers.  God Bless them. This too will pass. 

  29. Thank-you!

    I am so great full an influencer is standing up and keeping it real.
    I am currently about to board a plane home. I have been reading so much on my vacation , sadly mostly foreign news to get accurate portrayal of what we are about to experience.
    I have come across stories of people who have been told to self Quarantine and they decided to act as if it was a 2 week vacation and go to Hawaii. It enrages me that people can be so stupid and naïve.

    I am here visiting family and left weeks before all this crazy broke out.

    I am appalled that people I think so little of their fellow man to not only not heed the recommendation of a two week Quarantine; but then get on a plane and potential affect every person on that plane. And then all those  people that are on that plane then could affect anybody else they come in contact with.

    This is wrong and they should be federally  prosecuted.

    I will now be self distancing myself from my family to protect them instead of having my 50th birthday party tomorrow as planned.

    I urge everyone to practice self distancing that have traveled as you have no idea what you may be brining home.

  30. Thank you for this calm, nuanced post about this unprecedented situation. Also, I had no idea that you were living in one of the counties on lockdown. Please keep us posted.

    My church cancelled all in-person services and meetings for two weeks, so the pastors and a few musicians held a service in an empty sanctuary that was live-streamed for all of us to watch at home. One of the pastors urged us to turn every hug that we cannot give to someone right now into a phone call. Check in with the people you know who are vulnerable, and ask how you can help. Or even just ask how they’re doing. Remind them and yourself that we are all still connected.

  31. Jokynn, I want to thank you for telling us what it is like where you are. With only 3 or 4 confirmed cases here in Maine, I had been feeling quite relaxed. Your blog prompted me to contact family in MA who said essentially the same thing that you did. And family in the Seattle area says a months worth of supplies would be prudent. Hubs and I went after church and stocked up while there is still stock to be had, Thank you again! 

    1. Hi Polly. Where in Maine are you? Did you know I was born in Bangor? I have a lot of family in that area. I am so glad my post helped someone get ahead of the frenzy.

  32. Such a good post. I wish everyone would understand, like you do, that we are all in this. If you are not 60+, you need to do your part to protect those who are! I was driving around this morning trying to find toilet paper for my elderly parents, and a local radio station actually was discussing how we should “take advantage” of this opportunity to take a vacation!!! Even though  the top US health official is urging everyone to stay home !! How irresponsible is that?  I’m glad you and your readers are informed and acting responsibly. 

    1. Yes, it’s not just about us. I can’t believe a radio announcer would say that in the current climate. I agree that it’s very irresponsible. I hope he was kidding, but I’ve heard other say similar things. I just shake my head. I would much rather stay put than risk not being able to get back home. I have some friends who are traveling, unaware this was going to happen so fast, and I’m praying for their safe return home.

  33. Thank you, Jo-Lynne, for sharing your experiences with us. I also appreciate reading what others are experiencing firsthand, too.

    I live in a rural area, in the Midwest of the US, and while no one in our county has tested positive yet, there were some bare shelf areas in our local Walmart when I shopped there around 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning. I purposely went at that time, thinking the shelves would likely be restocked and that there would be less people shopping at that time of day. I was able to get every item on my list, including two bottles of hand sanitizer. 

    One of the guys who was stocking shelves said, “Welcome to our empty shelves!”  He asked if I was finding what I wanted, and as I shopped about 5-6 additional employees asked the same thing. One employee told me they had come in at 8:00 p.m, which he said was two hours earlier than normal to start their work. Employees were chatting among themselves in a friendly manner and seemed to be working together well. An employee told me the store had been busy “all night,” which isn’t typical. There were a few people in the store shopping while I was there.  Only one checkout was open, and I did not have to wait in line. 

    Later yesterday, a case was confirmed in a neighboring county, so our daily lives here will likely be changing soon. 

    A pastor Tweeted this message, which I’ve found helpful:
    “The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional”- Max Lucado

    1. I’m so glad you were able to find what you needed, and to see everyone being kind and helpful. It is reassuring, isn’t it? Max Lucado’s quote is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Jo-Lynne,  I appreciated this message today.  God IS in control!  Panic doesn’t do anyone any good and I hope we focus on helpfulness instead.  In the meantime, you asked for ideas for your blog – I am fascinated and would love to see you do a 10×10 capsule wardrobe edition or a Project 333-type post with clothes you already have in your closet.  I am on a spending freeze for anything non-essential for Lent and it’s really opened my eyes to how tempted I am to buy excess clothing and accessories that I really don’t need.  With 10×10 or Project 333, it helps me find creative ways to expand my current wardrobe!  Thank you, and take care of you and your family!

  35. Today has been designated as a national day of prayer, and, truly, that’s one of the best things we can do. We have to be realistic, and practical, and effective, and try to prepare to be more shut in as the worst of this thing passes through, and so I think we need to pray not only for everyone’s health and safety, but for wisdom and clarity in the choices everyone will make as we go through it. It seems like I’m seeing a lot of people who, faced with the unprecedented, suddenly can’t really think straight, can’t figure out what to buy at the grocery, can’t figure out what’s a good idea to do and where’s a bad idea to go. And you’re right that part of what we must do is to have the discipline to also keep a focus on the immediate blessings all around us–our families, beautiful weather, and all of that. We will probably all be locked down at some point, but this, too, shall pass, and I believe we will eventually see God bring great good out of this presently awful thing. Blessings to you and your family and your readers.

  36. Well said Jo-Lynne. It has been quite the week, here in my part of Canada ( NS) . Everything seemed to be the norm with the exception of the shortage on toilet paper, Lysol wipes, and cleaner, and of course hand sanitizer. Even bath and body was completely sold out!! I am so thankful for my large pump bottle I keep in my SUV door year round. I did start over the past few weeks to pick up extras without over stocking, although my fridge and cupboards may show differently. ( many places should have placed a limit on how many items were being purchased) I think that is happening now although most stuff is sold out….Who would ever think living here in Canada small things we take for granted would become so valuable overnight, and literally it was overnight that things changed. With travel advisories, and restrictions, as well as a firm” we should not be travelling outside Canada, at this time!!!! plus a 14 day isolation recommendation upon your return.” not to mention the closure of places around the globe. With one case then two reported in a neighbouring province things got serious here with the schools staying closed for now 2 weeks following our March break which is this week. Our son’s university here was originally closed for next week, but has since been notified of no face to face classes for the remainder of his semester which ends on April 7th so that is now up in the air as to how they will be finishing up work, tests, and finals….Our daughters work is having a meeting this week as they deal with the public and our daughter has patients that require bracing at the clinic as well as the hospital. It was just announced short time ago we now have 3 presumptive cases here in the province 2 being in our HRM area. We seem to be the last on the list to have this virus hit, and I hope we all take our precautions. My husband and I were out today and people are still smiling and laughing, as a true maritimer’s would do… I think people are starting to take this very seriously and so we should so our hospitals are not overrun and depleted more than they are now. I feel like we are learning from the other countries that have been dealing with this for months. Places are closing, hours are being cut back, and people being asked to work from home if they can, large gatherings are cancelled and all events…. It sad but seems to be the only way to stop this from spreading. My prayers are for all those to stay healthy and look after each other, especially checking on the elderly and high risk. My husband has told his parents to stay home and we will get whatever they need and take it to them. We must remember that through this storm God is still in control….

    1. Yes, absolutely. And I’m so glad those precautions are being taken. I just hope it isn’t too little, too late. Thanks for filling us in on the happenings in your region.

  37. Great post, Jo-Lynn. I am one of those who did not think all the hype was necessary. I still think common sense is important, as in not hoarding 10 giant packs of tp, or bottle of bleach, or 20 jars of spaghetti sauce. Honestly, what in the world are some people thinkin?
    Anywho – our cruise and flights were cancelled and the cruise line and airline are working with everyone to use the money for another vacation. Even the travel insurance company said we could use the money towards another trip. I go to a very small church so we did have services today, no touching or offering plate passed through the pews. Felt strange. One of our members bought 400 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies from some girls who were not allowed to sell their cookies in of front of stores. So I came home with cookies we don’t need haha. Please keep up the fashion blog as much as possible. Even if we are home bound, we eventually will want to dress and look good.
    There is so much power in our nation of praying people. Stay safe.

    1. I’m giggling about the girl scout cookies. Good for you for helping her out. And I am right there with you with common sense… why are people hoarding? Did you see the article about the guy with all the hand sanitizer and nowhere to sell it b/c Amazon shut him down for price gouging? What a jerk. I am glad you got to go to church today. Hang in there.

  38. Beautifully written…”preach it sister!”  It is comforting to know that God is still on His throne, and NONE of this is a surprise to Him.  I feel so bad for you having to cancel your trip to Paris to celebrate 25 years of marriage.  That’s a beautiful milestone in today’s world.  On a lighter note, I live in California, small town an hour north of Santa Barbara.  I am a confessed butter lover and connoisseur.  I’m almost out,and I can’t find any decent butter In the stores 😱.  But tomorrow’s a new day, and I’ll be out looking.  Keep your thoughts and fashion coming to us all.  They’re so appreciated!

  39. I am sorry you are lock down. In south Florida schools will be closed for two weeks. I have the same worries about kids and parents. I hope everything get better for you and your travel cancellations. But first of all please take care you and your family.

  40. Thank you for the update from your area. I live in Oklahoma and we have several confirmed cases. We were scheduled for a trip to Charleston and Savannah at the end of the month but we cancelled it yesterday. The hardest part for me is not being able to visit my mom in a long term care facility. The have stopped all visitation. I know this is necessary but it is very difficult for our elderly parents who suffer with dementia and really don’t understand what is going on. I pray this situation passes as quickly as possible.

  41. When I was little, we often sang “God of our Fathers” in church. From its third verse,”From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence, be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense…” Thanks for your words of encouragement and realism. And we should all have some family time that we may have not otherwise taken the time to enjoy.

    Expect a lot more Christmas and New Years babies! 🙂

  42. Thanks for your post today, Jo-Lynne. It feels rather ominous around here as well. I, too, experienced the same grocery store situation last week. We don’t eat at home that much since it’s just me and my husband now, so we don’t have that much food in our house normally, just fruit, snacks, and breakfast items. We’ve gone out a couple of times since my small grocery run on Wednesday, to get enough food to hopefully last a month if necessary.

    We live south of Dayton, Ohio, and as you know our governor was proactive in shutting things down and encouraging social distancing. I’m not sure of the current confirmed cases, but we did have at least four in the last few days. I’m 62, a retired stay at home mom, and in good health (husband 60, good health, will be working from home), but worry about my mom and her husband who are in their 80s. Luckily they are hunkered down at home and are taking this seriously. I also worry about my kids because they live in other states. I have a 23-year-old daughter living in San Diego, going to college, and working at a Walmart part time. I’d like her to come home for a while but I don’t think that will be happening. My 25-year-old son works in DC and rides the metro every day. Fortunately he will be working at home starting tomorrow. Both kids have roommates so they won’t be alone as this thing gets worse. You’re lucky to be able to have your kids at home with you. I know that my husband and I are fortunate though to have a nice home with plenty of food and supplies so we should be fine in that respect. We live in a nice suburb so we can easily get out and walk, run, hike, and ride bikes as the weather warms up, as long as we do not get sick.

    Hopefully, we can slow this thing down and flatten the curve by practicing extreme social distancing. Covid-19 is going to increase exponentially in the next few weeks or months. Sorry this is so long but it helps to vent. Stay safe everyone and take care of yourselves and others. ❤️

  43. Im just one state over from you in Delaware. All of our schools are closed for 2 weeks and church was cancelled as well as some larger church activities. Hopefully I  will still have CBS (community bible study)  this week.Im glad that our governor is being proactive. Im waiting  to see what other Closures are coming. Im thinking of unfinished crafting projects I can do once I cant  go to work.  I work for the boys and girls club  and we are taking all of our afternoon kids for the whole day.  work should be interesting.   I Pray got will see us through this challenging situation.  

  44. Hi Jo-Lynne
    I really appreciated your blog post today. I think if everyone would take this crisis seriously we would be able to flatten the curve. I live in central PA, close to Penn State. There are no positive cases here (that we know about) yet, but I know it just a matter of time. My Dad is 91 with issues and in Assisted Living, I am 64 and pretty healthy. I worry about him and myself and husband. I have been following your blog for a few years and have really enjoyed it. Even though you are much younger than me, I get lots of style ideas from you and my favorite store is Nordstrom 🙂 Thank you and stay healthy.

  45. Hi Jo-Lynne,
    Thank you so much for this post. I’m in Michigan, we have closed schools as of Thursday, and many people including my husband working from home for awhile. I so appreciate you sharing what is happening in your community as it will probably be here soon. I am going to take care of a few things tomorrow to be ready. I do have a modest amount of preparedness as far as food and household items, but I hadn’t thought about appointments in the future being impacted. I help my parents out too, (they are 89 and 90 and still live in their own home) So, I am thinking in terms of how to help them as well. Like someone else previously commented, I truly value and respect your opinion, and this really helps me prepare. Praying for you and everyone as we move forward, I believe we are going to get through this and prevail. 

  46. Such a good message.  Thanks for Sharing. It is so comforting to know God is in charge and very mindful of us all.  I appreciate you reminding us to focus on joy and look for the blessings! Sorry about your trip and hoping for things to work out. 

  47. I share all you are feeling and experiencing, in general.  All our kiddos are home with us, feeling like they’re under house arrest, but adjusting as they begin working and studying from home.   
    Our county announced 7 cases today, one in our town.  
    We have enough supplies to stay in place for a bit, and have stocked my parents’ home as well. They are at high risk, so we are trying to keep up their spirits.   So yes, a trying day.
    My daughter found a novena to St. Bernardine, patron of respiratory ailments…so we began that as a family.  I’m grateful that we could all pray together.  

    For those unaffected as yet, it’s coming…and all play a part.  Thank you for sharing your heart today, Jo-Lynne.

  48. Praying for you,your family and your entire state. As you posted God is not surprised by this. I I truly believe in the verse you have used.That is one of my favorite bible verses and one that I think about everyday!!We will all get through this because of our strong faith in God!! He has a plan and He will help us out of this scary situation. 🙏❤️
    (With God all things are possible! Having a faith can move mountains!!!)

  49. Thank you Jo-Lynne. I hope everyone will follow your lead.  Not everyone has the ability to stay at home. But I feel that everyone who can stay at home, should do so. It is as much to protect yourself as it is to protect every one around us. Most people will recover, but what if you unknowingly have the virus and infect others? What if some of those you infect are elderly, immune-compromised, or otherwise vulnerable? Do you want to be responsible for causing someone to hospitalized – or worse? Please consider your own family and your community before you leave home for any unnecessary reason. 

  50. Thank you for the list of things to stock up on!! I am thankful the stairs have stepped in and have limits on things now! It was getting ridiculous!! I am thankful we renewed our Sam’s Club membership because about a month back we were able to get a case of paper towels, a case of toilet paper.. we didn’t know then it would be so useful to have at this time.. We actually did find toilet paper at the dollar store and we gave that to our elderly friends who don’t drive or get out very easily or very often!! We can use this to prepare and also reflect on God promises!!

    God has not given us the spirit of fear but of Power, love, and a sound mind!!
    2 Timothy 1-7


  51. We all need light in the darkness, and your post sheds light on this important issue.  Because you are taking this seriously, others will also.  We must protect each other and those most vulnerable, but we can still keep communities together with technology — including this blog!  One thing I love about your blog is “what I wore . . .”  You are out and about, caring for your children, meeting up with friends, going on date nights with your husband, attending worship, celebrating special occasions with family.  Your blog is about more than clothes — it is about connecting to the world.  Even now, while so many of us who can are working from home (and I pray for those who are not able to work now), you are keeping us connected.  Thank you for bringing some light.

  52. Thanks for the great message. I agree with your philosophy on following the directives yet keeping a positive attitude. My problem is my 22-year-old and my 81-year-old mother aren’t taking things as seriously! I could bean them both! All I can do is continue to express my wishes to them to social distance.
    Also, can’t wait for your kitchen makeover post. I’m so curious to see the final result. What a shame you’ve had those hiccups with certain things. One would think new items would work from the get-go. I remember similar things happening when we built our home.

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