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Abandoned

schmidt

As we were having lunch at the park in Kamiah I noticed the voicemail. “Your vehicle has been tagged as abandoned and will be towed at your expense in 48 hours if you don’t move it.”

The polite lady answered when I called back. “Jeez, I took three loads to the dump in her this week. She’s not abandoned.”

“Well, we received a complaint that it was abandoned so you’re going to have to move it.”

“She’s licensed, registered. I use her every couple a weeks.”

“It has to move.”

“So just pull it up a bit? Should I park it on the other side of the street?” Don’t get me started about all the traffic racing by our house this summer due to road construction. “And I won’t be back from the Selway ‘til Friday. I’m going fishing.”

She paused. “OK, we can give you until Monday, I’ll put that in the system.”
I love that old truck. I will admit I was a bit offended to hear her called abandoned. I found her abandoned in chest high grass next to a wheat field on Paradise Ridge. A bit of tinkering and she hauls tons to the dump. Dumps real nice too.

But this episode with our city government got me to thinking about our seniors in their assisted living or skilled care facilities in this Covid pandemic situation. I wonder if some of them feel abandoned. Lord knows the toll has been high on them, the sickness kills but so can the isolation.

I have heard many propose a strategy for dealing with this deadly infection that focuses on isolating the most vulnerable and turning the rest of us loose to save our economy, our freedoms. Of course, how we select the most vulnerable might be a problem, but heh, at least we’ll get back to full employment.

Covid death tolls are highest in the elderly. And we have all heard about how the disease has ripped through some facilities, even here in Idaho. While deaths and serious illness may affect the elderly residents, the staff is not immune; they get sick too.

A recent analysis showed 78% of Idaho’s 82 nursing homes have had either staff or residents test positive. Over half of Idaho’s Covid death toll can be attributed to folks in care facilities.

It took some doing to get the state to compile and release this information. There was data on the CDC website that suggested Idaho had outbreaks, but Idaho Department of Health and Welfare only agreed to release weekly reports under threat of lawsuit. Still, the state’s numbers and CDC don’t fully add up. I guess we all struggle to know what to count.

So please, think about it. When you pass that young mom in the grocery store, she may have a shift that night at a skilled facility. You might feel fine, but your cousin you went boating with at the lake might have had something. He was coughing; but he does smoke. How can you know? Now that young woman buying groceries will need to get to her low wage job taking care of folks who can’t go see their family, their friends, or their weekly shopping outing. She’s doing her best to make her charges not feel abandoned. We could do our best for her.

So, we got back from the Selway and I moved the truck off the street. She’s parked down at my work site. I’ve torn down an old garage that was about to fall over. Some things you do have to let go. But I saved every stick of lumber I could. I’ll use them to rebuild.
 

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