News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Welcome to the new abnormal

A friend and colleague pointed out that ”Social Distancing” is much more difficult for extroverts than introverts. Makes sense. Sisters is a community of huggers. We don’t do the Euro thing of the double cheek buss (which always seems to be a little phony and unmeaningful); we hug. A lot. At first it sort of bothered me at social events, all of that hugging. I joined Kiwanis in 2011 and WOW! Talk about huggers! We’re great.

So, now here we are, social distancing. I dislike the term, “the new normal.” It’s more like the new “abnormal.”

I sort of agree with the guy who posted a letter to the editor in the April 1 edition of The Nugget. It troubled him to see the streets of downtown Sisters crowded with people. He says 75 to 100 people wandering around on Saturday, March 28. I don’t drive slow enough to count but in my journal that day I had written, “Sisters looks like a ghost town.” I didn’t see anywhere near 100 people, even at Sisters Bakery where everyone queues up for their daily


I do agree that many folks are taking the COVID-19 scare too lightly. We do need to limit contact and be mindful of how rapidly this virus is spread once it invades a community.

My best friend just returned from three weeks in Hawaii and I long to see her, hear her news, share a bottle of wine, hug her. But, I won’t. At least not for 14 to 18 days and even then probably keep our distance and/or wear a mask. The CDC has now decided that we should be wearing masks in public. A small barrier, but better than nothing. As a retired nurse I have an N95 mask and have considered volunteering in hard hit areas but at my age I’m probably past my pull date on that.

This virus WILL make its way here. Guaranteed. People are mobile, traveling from Portland, Eugene, Seattle. We can all do our part in keeping our families and ourselves safe and healthy.

I still just do not get it about people hoarding toilet paper! I come from an era of cloth diapers and other sanitary methods of being…clean and sanitary. I once resorted to wrapping a dishtowel around my son’s bottom sort of like a loin cloth. It was never used as a dishtowel again, it remained a diaper (just in case you went “ewww!”

We have neighbors with a pallet of toilet paper on their porch, with a sign saying, “Help yourself if you have a need.” (No, you can’t have the address.) It’s strange how times of crisis bring out the best in some people and the worst in others.

Oh, one final word on last week’s Nugget: I really enjoyed the commentary by Mitchell Luftig titled, “Emotional survival tools for a pandemic.” It was a serious article but I found a bit of humor there as well in the first paragraph. I was reading it to my husband and it went like this: “Our minds are like Velcro for negative experiences. This started with our ancestors, whose survival depended upon paying close attention to the things going on around them (was that the snarl of a saber-toothed tiger?).”

My husband says it was most likely his wife snoring! Now that’s funny.

So, we laugh, read The Nugget, don’t take this pandemic lightly, and yet don’t quit finding the humor in our everyday lives.


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