Health & Wellness

Everything is up in the air

As folks try to adjust to a new normal the goal posts keep moving. While it is frustrating not to have life as usual, there are things more important than being able to do exactly as you please. Such as life itself and those of the ones you hold dear.

School looks as if it will not be held physically for the rest of the year. What that means to many seniors, who had been looking forward to their crowning year of public education, I can only imagine. An announcement from CGHS to parents addressing these uncharted waters: 

“We expect information regarding graduation this week. We know you have many questions. We ourselves, have more questions than answers. We want to assure you all we are hoping to hold all traditional senior culminating activities, such as graduation. However, we recognize events these may not be possible given the governor’s executive orders and social distancing regulations. The health and safety of our staff, students and families, and community continue to be our top priority. That does not mean we cannot do something meaningful and we are considering various options as we move toward graduation. More information will come out shortly. Thank you for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented situation. Be well!”

There have been creative ideas floated by the community of how to make up for the seniors having their special year dinged. The one I liked most suggested that the seniors all line up in cars, have a parade, and receive their diploma in a drive-thru manner.

Starting this past Monday, Cottage Grove High School rolled out its distance learning program. And if the promo video is any indication it looks like the teachers are pretty stoked at the opportunity to reconnect with their students.  

Summer festivals that require months if not a whole year of planning are trying to figure out whether to take the chance to do the preparations and make the expenditures when it may not be possible to safely or even legally to have their events.

The Oregon Country Fair is in that boat. The OCF Board met last Monday. They heard a lot of input but did not make a definitive decision about whether to proceed or not. The board’s decision is in part guided by the nature of their event permit. If the event is not held annually due to the organization’s actions, the permit is forfeited. 

Now, if there is a legal order not to gather for public health concerns, that will be a matter for the lawyers to sort out.

Bohemia Mining Days is at a similar crossroads. How do you plan to build on shifting sands? The BMD board will meet this month to try to make the best decision possible for the safety of the community and the health of the organization. 

It seems that the tourist promotion organization Travel Lane County has jumped the gun and posted “Canceled” on its website for the event.

In an effort to bring services to those with needs safely, Food for Lane County has set up a mobile food pantry service. They have four locations: Eugene, Springfield, Oak Ridge and Cottage Grove. They plan to show up at each location one day a week (Wednesdays are Cottage Grove’s day). The plan is to serve patrons in a drive-through without having them leave their vehicle. It is meant to minimize contact and exposure for all parties. There is also an option for walk-ups for those without a conveyance.

On April 8, cars were lined up in all directions converging on the Community Center on Gibbs, and backed up for blocks. Local community volunteer Duane Taddei was there with his own set-up, providing toilet paper and homemade hand sanitizer, these necessary but scarce commodities, to those who were coming up short. He reported that there were over 150 food boxes distributed that day. The need was very apparent but there were some issues.  

“I am not criticizing, because the Food for Lane County are trying very hard to do something good and they are putting their staff and volunteers on the line. While they are doing all they can to keep everyone safe you still need to make the hand off of the food and that is closer than six feet. They are doing something new and they didn’t have a lot of time to work out details. When you do something like this you just have to try it and work out the kinks. Afterwards, the director invited everyone who helped to sit down and discuss the event and get input on problem-solving. They saw their flaws and want to be proactive about figuring out how to do it better,” Taddei said.

“Traffic flow and publicity were two obvious things that need to be worked on. While it was great and courageous for the City of Cottage Grove to offer the Community Center, it was perhaps not the best choice from a traffic logistics standpoint. There was some discussion of a better option such as Bohemia School, where there could be a more orderly flow and less obstruction, but no decision was made,” he said.

Food for Lane County is trying to serve those most in need. Please consider that before participating. If you know someone who really needs the help but isn’t mobile, there are forms on their website to give permission to pick up in their name. The pick up times are from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. while supplies last.

In all of my time in Cottage Grove there was one thing you could depend on sure as clockwork. The water (utility) bill arrived on or before the first of the month. Since my anniversary is April Fool’s Day, I was shocked to not receive my card from the City of Cottage Grove. In fact it didn’t arrive until Friday, April 10, a record to be sure. I saw an announcement from the city explaining that the delay was a COVID-19-mandated social distancing requirement with the printing contractor that caused this delay. Well, better late than never, lol!

One of the things I miss most in our town under current conditions is getting out into the warm gemuetlichkeit offered by our local restaurants and pubs. I feel for these businesses who try so hard to make a space where you can come, meet friends, and forget the daily grind. The owners of these establishments have become friends as well as the staff. I want these establishments to survive this situation and be there when it is safe to go out. My heart really goes out to the employees who are without a paycheck and trying to figure out how to make ends meet.

There are a couple of ways that you can support these places of business. One is through ordering takeout. In support of this are two efforts that I know of.  

One is a business itself, the local Grocery Outlet. It recognizes that restaurants often sponsor local events and help keep the juice flowing in our community. They are offering a 5% off your grocery bill with a local restaurant receipt. What you need to do is bring in your receipt within seven days of your patronizing the restaurant and show it to the cashier. They will keep the receipt and a copy of your purchases and 5% of that purchase will be donated to that restaurant that you supported. Offer good through April. Win/Win, you get a break and your restaurant gets a tip.

Well, in these strangest of times, keep safe, practice diligence and hygiene, do what you can to help those who need it and know we will emerge stronger than before. Salud!

Contact Dana at [email protected]



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