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Saturday, March 14, 2020

We Are Self Quarantining

No, we haven't had any tests. At this time we don't think we have anything. But I've been having a pesky dry cough for the last few days. Steve is having sinus issues. So it's best we just hunker down and stay home!

With my previous lung damage, and propensity to catch every little bug that comes along... It's better to be safe then sorry.  I have had pneumonia far too many times to count. My resistance is low and I don't want to tempt fate.

Our two daughters have offered to help bring us anything that we might need. We are well stocked up and can easily exist for a month or more on the groceries and medicines we have on hand. We may run a little short on eggs or milk --- I might have to bake bread if need be. I do have powdered milk. There's enough frozen veggies so once the fresh ones run out we will still get our greens.

Our son-in-law Waylen just dropped off
 a "corona-virus care package"!

3 lb of Steve's favorite in the shell peanuts and 2 and 1/2 pounds of my favorite red licorice, courtesy of a run to Fleet Farm. I did wipe down the surfaces of the bags with a disinfectant wipe, just in case.  I think we are well-stocked in preparation.

Heaven knows I have enough fabric and yarn to keep me busy for a lifetime--- so being self quarantined at home is not an issue at all!

Steve has a couple of Our National Folk Farmhouse projects lined up of things he wants to do. He did make one quick last run to the hardware store yesterday for a few more electrical boxes and dropped off our water bill at City Hall.

He is now "in for the duration".

Right now as I type this, he is caulking up a little crack in the wood in the entryway of the she shed. As the wood is drying out, there was a little crack around a knothole that needed to be taken care of.

Now that he pretty much has the garage organized into what designated spaces are work areas, what spaces are storage areas, and what spaces are left open for movable things like lawn equipment snow blowers etc. He can now finish wiring up electrical outlets in sufficient numbers for what he wants where. He is considering how many battery chargers he needs for things like power tools, lawn equipment, and even running bigger power tools like the table saw and air compressor. He is planning out his diagrams and figuring out what outlets he needs where. He can get his electrical work finished out there, now that he has everything electrical done in the house.

Other projects include maybe removing the current patterned vinyl flooring in the bathroom, and replacing it with the roll of pretty creamy soothing vinyl we have waiting in the garage. We picked it up on clearance as discontinued stock a few weeks ago.  It means pulling up the claw foot tub, toilet and sink to do it.  Quite a project, but it will help keep Steve occupied and from going stir crazy.

I'm almost done with my big quilt... I've gotten all of the quilting stitching on, I just have to finish around the edges with the binding.

I was a tiny bit short on the blue flannel backing on one end. I looked online, and found the matching fabric at Joanns. Not only was it on sale but they had a discount on shipping too.

So I was able to order it online and have it delivered to my house. No need to go to the store and fight all those crazy old sewing grannies stocking up on quilting supplies for the upcoming weeks! Lol

Speaking of a crazy sewing granny, remember when I sewed through my finger last week? I'm happy to report that is healing well, but with the nail being cracked I have to keep a Band-Aid over it to keep the nail from snagging on things until it grows out.

Having the Band-Aid on causes me to be more clumsy and trying to do things with the middle finger instead of the pointer finger while quilting.

Sooooo while using my rotary cutter, my middle finger was a little longer than my pointer and got in the way! Yep, I sliced a little bit into my middle finger but stopped in time before I did too much damage. So now I have TWO band-aids adorning my left hand!

I am working on some pretty multi-patterned red hot pads to go in my newly redecorated farmhouse kitchen.  Working on these until the blue fabric gets here to finish the quilt.

It's supposed to warm up into the forties for the next couple days so that means while I am sewing, it's pleasant enough for Steve to work in the garage when the sun is shining.

Speaking of the sun shining, I read this really interesting article about the 1918 Flu and the results of sunshine and fresh air on soldiers in Boston. There wasn't enough room inside the over crowded hospital, so they had to make them temporary outside hospital rooms in tents. The doctors discovered that the soldiers got better a lot faster when given time out in the sunshine and fresh air.


Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Richard Hobday

Mar 10 · 6 min read
Fresh air, sunlight and improvised face masks seemed to work a century ago; and they might help us now.
by Richard Hobday
When new, virulent diseases emerge, such SARS and Covid-19, the race begins to find new vaccines and treatments for those affected. As the current crisis unfolds, governments are enforcing quarantine and isolation, and public gatherings are being discouraged. Health officials took the same approach 100 years ago, when influenza was spreading around the world. The results were mixed. But records from the 1918 pandemic suggest one technique for dealing with influenza — little-known today — was effective. Some hard-won experience from the greatest pandemic in recorded history could help us in the weeks and months ahead.

Influenza patients getting sunlight at the Camp Brooks emergency open-air hospital in Boston. Medical staff were not supposed to remove their masks. (National Archives)

Put simply, medics found that severely ill flu patients nursed outdoors recovered better than those treated indoors. A combination of fresh air and sunlight seems to have prevented deaths among patients; and infections among medical staff.[1] There is scientific support for this. Research shows that outdoor air is a natural disinfectant. Fresh air can kill the flu virus and other harmful germs. Equally, sunlight is germicidal and there is now evidence it can kill the flu virus.
`Open-Air’ Treatment in 1918
During the great pandemic, two of the worst places to be were military barracks and troop-ships. Overcrowding and bad ventilation put soldiers and sailors at high risk of catching influenza and the other infections that often followed it.[2,3] As with the current Covid-19 outbreak, most of the victims of so-called `Spanish flu’ did not die from influenza: they died of pneumonia and other complications.
When the influenza pandemic reached the East coast of the United States in 1918, the city of Boston was particularly badly hit. So the State Guard set up an emergency hospital. They took in the worst cases among sailors on ships in Boston harbour. The hospital’s medical officer had noticed the most seriously ill sailors had been in badly-ventilated spaces. So he gave them as much fresh air as possible by putting them in tents. And in good weather they were taken out of their tents and put in the sun. At this time, it was common practice to put sick soldiers outdoors. Open-air therapy, as it was known, was widely used on casualties from the Western Front. And it became the treatment of choice for another common and often deadly respiratory infection of the time; tuberculosis. Patients were put outside in their beds to breathe fresh outdoor air. Or they were nursed in cross-ventilated wards with the windows open day and night. The open-air regimen remained popular until antibiotics replaced it in the 1950s.
Doctors who had first-hand experience of open-air therapy at the hospital in Boston were convinced the regimen was effective. It was adopted elsewhere. If one report is correct, it reduced deaths among hospital patients from 40 per cent to about 13 per cent.[4] According to the Surgeon General of the Massachusetts State Guard:
`The efficacy of open air treatment has been absolutely proven, and one has only to try it to discover its value.’
Fresh Air is a Disinfectant
Patients treated outdoors were less likely to be exposed to the infectious germs that are often present in conventional hospital wards. They were breathing clean air in what must have been a largely sterile environment. We know this because, in the 1960s, Ministry of Defence scientists proved that fresh air is a natural disinfectant.[5] Something in it, which they called the Open Air Factor, is far more harmful to airborne bacteria — and the influenza virus — than indoor air. They couldn’t identify exactly what the Open Air Factor is. But they found it was effective both at night and during the daytime.
Their research also revealed that the Open Air Factor’s disinfecting powers can be preserved in enclosures — if ventilation rates are kept high enough. Significantly, the rates they identified are the same ones that cross-ventilated hospital wards, with high ceilings and big windows, were designed for.[6] But by the time the scientists made their discoveries, antibiotic therapy had replaced open-air treatment. Since then the germicidal effects of fresh air have not featured in infection control, or hospital design. Yet harmful bacteria have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
Sunlight and Influenza Infection
Putting infected patients out in the sun may have helped because it inactivates the influenza virus.[7] It also kills bacteria that cause lung and other infections in hospitals.[8] During the First World War, military surgeons routinely used sunlight to heal infected wounds.[9] They knew it was a disinfectant. What they didn’t know is that one advantage of placing patients outside in the sun is they can synthesise vitamin D in their skin if sunlight is strong enough. This was not discovered until the 1920s. Low vitamin D levels are now linked to respiratory infections and may increase susceptibility to influenza.[10] Also, our body’s biological rhythms appear to influence how we resist infections.[11] New research suggests they can alter our inflammatory response to the flu virus.[12] As with vitamin D, at the time of the 1918 pandemic, the important part played by sunlight in synchronizing these rhythms was not known.
Face Masks Coronavirus and Flu
Surgical masks are currently in short supply in China and elsewhere. They were worn 100 years ago, during the great pandemic, to try and stop the influenza virus spreading. While surgical masks may offer some protection from infection they do not seal around the face. So they don’t filter out small airborne particles. In 1918, anyone at the emergency hospital in Boston who had contact with patients had to wear an improvised face mask. This comprised five layers of gauze fitted to a wire frame which covered the nose and mouth. The frame was shaped to fit the face of the wearer and prevent the gauze filter touching the mouth and nostrils. The masks were replaced every two hours; properly sterilized and with fresh gauze put on. They were a forerunner of the N95 respirators in use in hospitals today to protect medical staff against airborne infection.
Temporary Hospitals
Staff at the hospital kept up high standards of personal and environmental hygiene. No doubt this played a big part in the relatively low rates of infection and deaths reported there. The speed with which their hospital and other temporary open-air facilities were erected to cope with the surge in pneumonia patients was another factor. Today, many countries are not prepared for a severe influenza pandemic.[13] Their health services will be overwhelmed if there is one. Vaccines and antiviral drugs might help. Antibiotics may be effective for pneumonia and other complications. But much of the world’s population will not have access to them. If another 1918 comes, or the Covid-19 crisis gets worse, history suggests it might be prudent to have tents and pre-fabricated wards ready to deal with large numbers of seriously ill cases. Plenty of fresh air and a little sunlight might help too.
Dr. Richard Hobday is an independent researcher working in the fields of infection control, public health and building design. He is the author of `The Healing Sun’.

We did hang the main bird feeder up higher now to keep those pesky deer from knocking it down with their front hooves. We've had a sudden influx of red-winged blackbirds! The dogs were very excited to watch them this morning...

It's so nice to see them back and hear their distintive calls. Also some pairs of mourning doves are hanging around again too, back for the summer.  The dogs are keeping a close eye on them, as well as the squirrels and the big black crows hogging the birdseed.

Well, it's time to settle in for an afternoon nap. Now that we are quarantined, I think we can take things easy and not rush around on a Saturday doing stuff.  This might be a nice little vacation?


  1. Well, I think you are both amazing.....I envy you a man that can do all that he can do.....and that quilt! oh, my. You've outdone yourself......
    So yes, stay home, stay safe. This too shall pass.

  2. Stay well. Lungs seem to be the issue with this virus so hope things for you will go well. I do not have the lung damage you have, but with asthma I am susceptable to bronchitis and while I have had both pneumonia vaccines, I am a bit worried too. Will be isolating as much as I can.

  3. Yes it's time to isolate myself too. I have COPD so I need to be very careful. Want to clean up my porch so I can at least sit out and read. Thinking maybe I should buy some yard and try out my hands and wrists I can alway put it way for a bit and go back.
    Love your red hot pads so bright and cheary

  4. Girl, be careful with cutting tools! I can look at them sometimes and get cuts all over my fingers!
    I'm self-isolating now with my puppy, and it's going to be a long boring time I'm afraid. I got out a new 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and find that my eyes aren't really good enough to do well with a puzzle that large. The only positive thing is that I don't have to be as serious about cleaning as no one is coming in to see me or my house! When this is all over I will probably be lazy beyond rehabilitation!

  5. Glad you have enough projects to keep yourselves busy so you don't go "Stir Crazy".
    It seems we all go through times when we can't keep our fingers out of danger. Hope yours ends soon.
    Watching the News and seeing governments restricting their residents from being outside had us thinking. We've both been saying that when we were growing up after being sick our parents would force us outside for the Fresh Air. Sometimes the simple methods are the best but then the big Pharmaceutical Companies wouldn't make high profits.
    Another thing happened in our growing years was that not everything around us was Sterile so our bodies developed its own resistance to bacterias. You didn't have so many cases of Asthma back then.
    Steve will actually benefit working outside in the open garage more then you will staying in the house.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your Staycation.

    It's about time.

  6. Enjoy your staycation! I think it is a smart thing to do when one can. Being retired gives me that option.

    Love the puppy television!


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