The coronavirus pandemic brought normal to a screeching halt.
On March 13 I spent the day with a friend I’ve known since grade school ending with a beer at a bar in Tiffin. After that there has been no normal.
My personal timeline went like this:
March 7: Governor Reynolds activated the State Emergency Operations Center for COVID-19.
March 8: Iowa Hygienic Laboratory reported the first three positive test results for COVID-19 in Iowa.
March 9: Governor Reynolds issued a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency regarding COVID-19.
March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic.
March 24: First Iowa death attributed to COVID-19.
March 29: President Trump extends federal stay-at-home order until April 30.
April 2: My final shift at the home, farm and auto supply store.
April 6: Began 30-day COVID-19 leave of absence from the home, farm and auto supply store.
April 11: Purchased poetry books via email from local used bookstore to support them during the coronavirus pandemic.
April 14: Received CARES Act coronavirus pandemic payment from U.S. Treasury.
April 16: Interviewed by Andrew Keshner of MarketWatch about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on gardening.
April 21: Conducted first home owners association board meeting via conference call because of the coronavirus pandemic. Same with sewer district board of trustees.
April 28: Gave notice of retirement to the home, farm and auto supply store due to the coronavirus pandemic.
April 29: Statewide food policy council meeting on the CARES Act, via Zoom.
May 1: Iowa for Biden Round table on the Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Families Moderated by Tom Vilsack, via Zoom.
May 6: Webinar on UPS Supply Chain Challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, via Zoom.
May 6: Arms Control Association meeting about COVID-19 and Global Security, via Zoom.
May 27: First COVID-19 screening (negative).
June 1: Prescription for cholesterol medicine during followup at local clinic. Socially distanced.
June 2: Began exercising for 25-30 minutes daily for health reasons and due to shelter in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
June 15: Conference call with Vice President Mike Pence on COVID-19, other topics.
June 16: Second COVID-19 screening (negative).
June 18: Began bicycle riding for exercise.
June 28: Haircut at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.
July 13: 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings – Deconstructing the Myths and Promoting a Nuclear Weapons-Free & Just World, via Zoom.
July 23: First garden donation to local food rescue non-profit.
July 23: Rita Hart meeting on re-opening the schools, via Zoom.
July 29: Dental appointment in Cedar Rapids. Partial treatment because of COVID-19 restrictions.
August 2: Bicycle crash on Lake Macbride Trail.
August 9: Op-ed in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, 75 Years After Hiroshima.
August 10: Derecho, lost electricity.
August 13: Bicycle crash on Polk Avenue detour because of derecho damage on the trail.
August 14: Electricity restored.
August 15: Discussion with the orchard about return to work for the fall season. Declined due to the coronavirus pandemic and high number of infections in Johnson County.
August 20: Third COVID-19 screening (negative).
September 10: Followup appointment at local clinic. Socially distanced.
September 13: Op-ed in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Is Rural Iowa Different?
September 26: Pop-up event with Doug Emhoff (Kamala Harris’ husband). Drive through campaign sign pickup due to restrictions of coronavirus pandemic.
October 23: Washington Post reports, “America is poised to enter its worst stretch of the pandemic, with cases spiking and the country on the precipice of shattering its daily record for infections in the next few days.” In Iowa we have the eighth highest COVID-19 infection rate among the states. There have been 1,617 Iowa deaths linked to the coronavirus.