Post #31 - Dispatch From Portland; When a Parent Needs Help

Paul Ehrlich reports from Oregon:

The city moved early on social distancing and, with its relative low density compared to most cities, death and cases have not been a serious as elsewhere—eight deaths, 213 confirmed COVID-19 patients. Thus far. Because like elsewhere throughout the country testing shortages are a major problem, creating an undercount of people actually infected. Meanwhile, most people here taking the necessary precautions seriously, and stepping up to help and volunteer (errands, etc) for those who are self-isolated. And attempts to stay positive. In our condo building, for example, we have a weekly hallway happy hour (six feet apart) meeting with glasses of wine to socialize, keep in touch.

And during this outbreak, my 97-year-old mom decided she wanted to be closer to us in Portland despite invites since we moved here nearly three years ago after prowling and publishing in Asia since 1983. While tricky given her condition under the best of circumstances, my wife and I nonetheless moved her from her independent / assistant living facility (which was under lockdown) in Orange Country, California (also under lockdown). It took a lot of work, hurdles, challenges, delays etc—but then I wasn’t the easiest kid to raise, so figured a bit of payback. The one benefit was the airports and planes were practically empty. And the great news is she’s now in an apartment in our building topped up with caregivers, and seems happier, more comfortable and engaged in this new chapter of her life.

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