Sunday, September 27, 2020

COVID Holidays: Virtual drinks with the family

Latest articles

Amy Ryan Courser blasts do-nothing politicians for wildfire negligence

Heads should roll on Nov. 3 for slipshod forest policies that changed Oregon into a tinderbox waiting for a spark, declared a contender for Congress who is turning the U.S. 5th District into a hot seat. 

Lincoln County/A Galaxy of Stars

Behold the sinister orange glow that highlights the struggling red sun's attempt to melt the dense smoke.

Depoe Bay resident boosts Portland Police morale with gift bags

A Depoe Bay woman recently organized delivery of gift bags to an embattled Portland Police Bureau, who have been the target of attacks by rioters in the City of Roses.

Multi-agency Resource Center opening at Lincoln City Outlets

Lincoln County community services and FEMA are hosting a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) that will be available for those whose homes and businesses were affected by the Echo Mountain Complex Fire and accompanying wind event.

Lincoln City man shoots self in groin at checkout

Lincoln City Police responded to McKay's Market Sunday for a reported gunshot wound, discovering a man had accidentally shot himself in the groin.

Echo Mountain Complex: 293 homes destroyed, Zero fatalities

Officials with the Echo Mountain Complex have completed preliminary structural damage assessments in the fire area and 293 residential structures have been determined to be a total loss.

Echo Mountain Complex Fire 40 percent contained

A lack of expected rain hasn’t stopped firefighters from getting more control over the Echo Mountain Wildfire as 40 percent of the fire is contained and mopping up efforts are underway. 

New ‘dignified’ donation distribution center at Lincoln City Outlets

Lincoln County Public Health officials and members of the Lincoln City church community will be opening a centralized donation distribution center in Lincoln City, 2 p.m. Tuesday to get needed supplies in the hands of people affected by the wildfires.

Echo Mountain Complex Wildfire 33 percent contained

A milestone was reached for firefighters on the Echo Mountain Complex yesterday as 100 percent of the control line has been completed on both fires.

Garbage fire at North Lincoln Sanitary Service

North Lincoln Fire and Rescue responded to a fire inside a garbage truck behind the main office of North Lincoln Sanitary Service Monday evening.

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Evacuations in effect for Lincoln City

A level 3 evacuation is in effect for all of Lincoln City from 40th street north. Level 3 means go now.

Fire strikes historic Otis Cafe on Independence Day

North Lincoln Fire Rescue units swarmed the Otis Cafe shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday to combat a fully involved fire at the iconic restaurant.

Highway 101 hole prompts ODOT to call in geologists

Oregon Department of Transportation officials have called in geologists Thursday to take core samples of a hole on southbound Highway 101 in Otis.

Lincoln City wildfires update

Lincoln City government issued an update Thursday on wildfires north of the city, saying all evacuation orders are still in effect and residents are not allowed in the area.

An evacuated Lincoln City sits dark and intact

Lincoln City Police were active Wednesday night and were patrolling with spotlights in a town evacuated and once again without power.

Local men face drug, weapons charges following ATF search and arrest raid

Two Lincoln City men and a Cloverdale resident were charged Wednesday after Special Agents from the ATF Seattle Field Division executed multiple federal search and arrest warrants in Lincoln City.

It seems that everybody is doing it — connecting through technology. My wife, Diane has been conducting city council business and meetings virtually now for nearly a month.  Everyone is sending selfies and Face timing as we continue to social distance from each other and stay home. Yet, in this time of isolation I feel more connected to my family than ever!

A few weeks ago, I sent out a text to my siblings and their children across the U.S. that we should video conference one night soon and two days later we connected in a GoToMeeting set-up by my niece Gabriella’s husband Dan.  It had a feeling as if we had all gathered for dinner and drinks, even though we were in three different time zones coast to coast.  We teased and giggled as brothers and sisters do, and laughed when my nieces and nephews’ children popped in and out of the frame.

We decided to get virtually together again over the Easter weekend, and we did.  We shared stories of Easters past and of family’s current situation as we all deal with this virus.

The only members missing on the video meeting was our son Casey in Portland, who was at work still and our niece Jenny, she was at work as well, finishing an extra-long shift.

Jenny is an ER Nurse in Chicago and hasn’t kissed or hugged her husband or two children in nearly three weeks.  When she gets off shift, she goes to their home on the northwest side and into self-quarantine.  She has an area in the basement with a separate entrance, her father, my brother John helped make this “clean room”.  That is what the hospitals in Chicago are doing and have been recommending to their frontline personnel.

A few days ago, I spoke over the phone with Jenny, who has seen many people die of gunshot wounds, heart failure and virtually everything else in her twelve years in the ER.  She said this is so different, that all focus is on this virus and it seems it has no end. She is a strong individual and have had many staff lean on her.  She feels their frustration with lack of proper PPE, the long hours, the lack of services like staff long-term childcare and of course fear that they may infect family or they themselves may die.

These are frightening times and strange, not knowing if things will get back to “normal” anytime soon.  My feeling is that things will not ever get back to what we knew prior to this pandemic as normal.  The world has had a wake-up call, and just as we’ve seen after 9/11 there will be changes in travel, medical response and social interaction.

This has happened in our civilization before, after the Great Depression era, world wars and natural disasters to one degree or another cultural change come after a catastrophe.  Events on this scale will dictate what are future will do to avoid the economic pain and prevent lives lost by this virus.

“Business as usual” may be anything but usual for a long time to come. COVID-19 will leave its mark on society and perhaps even how we will celebrate our holidays, birthdays and attend public events in the future.

No matter what happens, this pandemic has showed that people are creative, caring individuals helping their community, or sharing humor to brighten up the gloom.  We’ve seen how artists will reach their audiences, singing and performing over the internet, we seen how churches, synagogues, temples and mosques will reach the faithful, and we’re experiencing how family’s will gather together and support each other, even if is through a laptop!

Be safe, stay informed and stay home!

Painted rocks was the idea of Diane and Jim’s daughter Deena who lives in Lincoln City

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Jim Kusz
Jim Kusz
Oregon Coast Community College, Disaster Preparedness Educator

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1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jim. Georgia and I had a similar ZOOM Easter get-together with our family members in Eugene and Salem (including a lively litter of 8 golden retriever puppies!). Loved your signature picture!

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Trending

Amy Ryan Courser blasts do-nothing politicians for wildfire negligence

Heads should roll on Nov. 3 for slipshod forest policies that changed Oregon into a tinderbox waiting for a spark, declared a contender for Congress who is turning the U.S. 5th District into a hot seat. 

Lincoln City man shoots self in groin at checkout

Lincoln City Police responded to McKay's Market Sunday for a reported gunshot wound, discovering a man had accidentally shot himself in the groin.

Depoe Bay resident boosts Portland Police morale with gift bags

A Depoe Bay woman recently organized delivery of gift bags to an embattled Portland Police Bureau, who have been the target of attacks by rioters in the City of Roses.

Echo Mountain Complex: 293 homes destroyed, Zero fatalities

Officials with the Echo Mountain Complex have completed preliminary structural damage assessments in the fire area and 293 residential structures have been determined to be a total loss.

Lincoln City wildfires update

Lincoln City government issued an update Thursday on wildfires north of the city, saying all evacuation orders are still in effect and residents are not allowed in the area.

Lincoln County burn ban to remain in effect

Lincoln County's seasonal burn ban will remain in effect until weather conditions improve dramatically the Fire Defense Board and Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) announced Monday.

An evacuated Lincoln City sits dark and intact

Lincoln City Police were active Wednesday night and were patrolling with spotlights in a town evacuated and once again without power.

Evacuations in effect for Lincoln City

A level 3 evacuation is in effect for all of Lincoln City from 40th street north. Level 3 means go now.
00:06:42

Echo Mountain Wildfire: As it happened

The following footage, filmed as the Echo Mountain Complex Wildfire was just getting started, shows Otis, Oregon residents displaced from their homes and culminates in the evacuation of NE East Devils Lake Road.