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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Take Precautions, Stay Home, Stay Safe.


I had hoped this would be farther along than it is.

Yesterday morning was a tear-filled experience of gathering facts and making decisions that not only would affect me, but also many others who had waited for 2 years for my Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar workshops.

Do I go? (People are counting on me said the voice in my head)  They are telling us not to travel. (But so much money has been laid out and the venue is still open.) But you will come in contact with others through not just one but THREE airports coming and going. (I can just wash my hands – a lot?) But they are counseling us to stay away from group gatherings. (But it is only quilters!)

And the conversations went back and forth in my head all morning until a call from my dad came in and talked me through things in a sensible manner, allowing me to make my own decisions, for MYSELF - not based on what anyone else would be feeling.

I had found out they were housing evacuees from the stranded cruise ship AT ASILOMAR where our conference was being held.  People who had been exposed to those testing positive.  It made me feel uncomfortable. 

Email responses from the heads of Empty Spools Seminars stated that as long as Asilomar remained open, they were going to continue with the event.

I then found out that 3 TSA agents had tested positive at the San Jose airport (Where I would be flying in and out of) and they had sent 40 other employees who had come in contact with these agents home to quarantine themselves.

The spokesperson said that these 3 infected agents had come in contact with thousands of travelers over the past many days…..and the dominoes fell.


This may be tongue in cheek, but this is what we are facing.

Further fact finding had me contacting my friend Sue who works for the Arlington County Department of Health and she took my dilemma up the chain.  I was then counseled by the infection prevention and communicable disease chief for Arlington County Public Health to not travel. 

There was the voice of reason.  There was nothing else I could do.

It was gut wrenching but I sent an email to the heads of Empty Spools Seminars that I was canceling my trip. 

I could not in good faith go forward with this event during the communal health crisis that is the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as the World Health Organization has officially declared it a Global Pandemic.

I want to do my part to protect the health of not only myself, but of those I would come in contact with.

I stated that I could not in good conscience attend this event knowing that Santa Clara County has also canceled mass gatherings for the next 3 weeks. I have a family I can not put at risk. I have elderly parents and a husband and sons to care about.

No one knows how this thing could spread during the time I was to be in California for nearly 2 weeks. What if I ended up in quarantine and couldn't come home. What if I contracted something not on my way to California, but on my way home?

I didn’t make this decision lightly, but I must do what is right for myself, for my community and follow the head of reason and avoid gatherings of this sort.


A couple of hours later – another phone call came telling me that Asilomar had also decided to close, which in effect canceled the Empty Spools Seminars in turn.

I am so glad.

I just can’t see hundreds of “women beyond median age” (As we all are!) traveling from near and far to gather when we are told NOT TO GATHER.  

It’s time to take this seriously. Not in panic-mode, but with sensibility and care for not only ourselves, but for others we may come in contact with.


When it gets right down to it –

Stay calm and BIND!


The webbing assembly of the Shoo Fly Shoo quilt top will continue today,  I was so discombobulated that I found it hard to sit at the machine and sew. It sits at half-way-webbed.

By last evening I felt such a sense of relief that all I could do was sit back in my comfy chair and stitch while knowing the right decisions were made. 


Close up of quilting.

This is a little ditty made out of OLD early 2000s Orphan blocks.  I had thought that I wanted to do an entire quilt from these blocks, but you know what?  The nesting of seams from block to block was a headache.  You had to press the seams in the blocks in opposite directions – and to do that you needed to know block placement so that they ended up where you wanted them to end up and would play nice with each other.  Who has time to do all of that thinking? (Not me evidently! LOL!)

I plan on using this on a patio table on the back porch at Quiltville Inn.

Today the sunrise promised a beautiful spring day.  The songbirds are BACK!  I heard a woodpecker join the chorus – and I am happy to be up on my mountain, though sad to be missing those I was looking forward to spending time with at Asilomar.

No, I don’t buy in to crazy panic-mongering. (I have enough toilet paper, thank you!) But I do listen to the voice of reason that tells me I am better off being overly cautious, than under prepared. 

I hope this may make others reexamine travel that they have put in motion even if it means losing money. (I am out 2 weeks income. It stings, but it is what it is.) 

It might mean that you don’t go visit your grandkids.  It might mean that you don’t take that cruise.

And it isn’t about YOU not getting sick – you may be perfectly fine.  But there are the more susceptible amongst us that you might come in contact with unawares.

It’s time to dig out those UFO projects and stay in and sew!



Quiltville Quote of the Day -

So true!

Make a difference today by being yourself!

Your decisions might not be the most popular ones, but listen to your heart. It knows.

Take things seriously. Stay home, take precautions, stay safe.


63 comments:

  1. Good for you Bonnie. I pray your heart is at peace with your decision.

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  2. I know figuring that out was a difficult time for you. I'm glad you feel peace now. Many of us are in the most vulnerable age group, but it's not even that, it's about conserving resources that will be needed. "Flattening the curve" is so very important to conserve our ability to treat victims of not just Covid 19, but everything else.

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  3. Thanks for having the courage to say no. You are correct in doing so and the leaders probably followed your lead. We all need to just settle in for a few weeks and let this run it’s course without infecting more. Good time to quilt!

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  4. Well said, Bonnie!

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  5. You are a Very Smart Woman and I commend you on your very wise desision......Sure there will be a lot of disappointed ladies out there, but Better Safe than Sorry.....Enjoy your mountain home & stay safe.....Dot M. In Pa.

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  6. Bonnie, I applaud you for "common sense" when dealing with crowds and places where other people might be infected. I know the decision wasn't easy, but know I'm behind your decision. Bless you and happy sewing.

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  7. The MAJOR quilt show in our city is still slated to begin tomorrow. Many are saying they are going to attend. Yet I'm not, as I think we need to look beyond ourselves, and think of those around us - our neighbors, our community. Staying away from large gatherings is prudent. I'm hoping the show here does get cancelled, because there are some that will throw caution to the wind, and someone may get sick because of it. And it may be someone who didn't even attend the quilt show! Bless you for looking at the bigger picture as well as your own wellbeing.

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  8. My friend and I were just consulting with our travel agent about a cruise to Alaska in June. Who knows what to do? The cruise lines seem to be extending some deadlines for decision-making though so that helps.
    I can't imagine dealing with all those seams! This one is NOT on my to-do list!

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  9. Time to practice "abundant caution"! Thank you for all you do for us.

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  10. So glad the decision has been made...your family needs you more than us quilters, at this point any large groups are best to be avoided, especially where close contact would be involved, there are still too many unknowns as to how this is being spread.
    Enjoy your time at home and don't feel guilty about it. I'm sure we would all rather have you around and healthy for a long time to come. You have much more to share with us through your blog and books.
    MaryAnn in OR

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  11. Such a tough decision, but the right one to make. I'm sure that this is only the beginning of what we'll see as far as cancellations of large events, quilts shows, classes, etc. Your health and those of others who would be attending should always be of first consideration when making these types of decisions and I'm glad that that was your concern. Just think of all the quilting everyone can be doing at home!

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  12. I was so looking forward to meeting you this week, and so disappointed with the CDC for picking Alsilomar to house the unfortunate people from the cruise ship. I can't understand how they even decided on picking which place to use. California is a big place, there a probably a thousand other places they could have used, in fact most of the people were sent to military camps and bases, where they are equipped to deal with isolating and quarantining. Why pick a small rustic resort on the coast that is surrounded by communities and people? I really was on the verge of canceling too, at my cost, when I got the email that the event had been canceled and I would get a full refund. Thankfully you were able to cancel too. I will miss meeting you and sewing up a storm, but staying well and not in risk of of becoming sick is a bigger concern.

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  13. I have been concerned for you traveling but knew it was your decision to make. Thank you for having the courage to say no. As a senior I am home for the future. Our family has canceled weekly dinners and a family get together. I have always has a pantry of food inspite of living within 3 miles of two large grocery stores.Experience with weather events taught me to be prepared over the years.

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  14. I understand your dilemma, and am dealing with my own...the voices yammering Loudly now. I live in Florida and have a sister in California who just went through brain surgery to remove a tumor. I was to fly out this week to care for her...that was put off due to her needing acute rehab care. Now I’m scheduled to go for a month..in 6 days. My family that I live with are counseling me not to go. My love for my sister says I’ll be ok...but what might I bring to her, she’s in her 60’s and weakened...going through 3 airports..and what might I bring home to my family. Common sense and emotional me are pushing and pulling right now.

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  15. Tough decision on travel, but you are using common sense. And your quilters will understand.

    We had just decided this morning not to attend an event this evening and then learned it was going to be "limited attendance" anyway.

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  16. I think you made a very wise decision. And you have given me a bit of courage to stick with what I think is right for me and my family too, even if others think I am being overreactive. I am in the vulnerable age group and my husband is too, with some underlying health problems. I would rather err on the side of caution.

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  17. I know that was a difficult decision to come to. Ad the wife of a lung transplant recipient, I thank you.
    It's such a difficult crazy time in our country right now.

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  18. I truly do realize how difficult this decision was for you. My husband is a translator volunteer for Flying Doctors which had planned a health clinic for this weekend here in Calif. and he agonized about whether to cancel his participation. He had cancer surgery last year, pneumonia four months ago and is over 70 and it was still a difficult choice for him because other people needed him. After a lot of reflection and discussion he did decide to stay home on Monday and just found out today,Thursday that the clinic and a future clinics have been canceled because it's not a good idea to have crowds of sick people waiting in long lines for free dental and vision services during a pandemic. We still worry about those who need our help but must consider our own and our family's welfare. Blessings to you and yours.

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  19. Good for you - and while I am so sad this is happening, i think we have to think beyond ourselves - which is just what you did. Thanks for sharing this with us, and making us more aware too! Go sew... Hugs!!!

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  20. I have a feeling there won't be that many ladies going to make the trip either, if any.

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  21. Maybe this means more opportunities for Quilt-Cam.

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    1. I love that idea! We can join together without risk and that's great!

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  22. Oh, Bonnie. I feel for you on the difficulty of this decision. I had wondered about your teaching in this crazy time we are in. I am so glad you are staying home in your beautiful mountain and staying safe. Putting you and your family first is absolutely the right thing to do. Stay safe and healthy friend.

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  23. Better be safe than sorry in this situation. I've spent the last week or so not sleeping well while considering whether I should go to the Las Vegas Sewtopia event the first week of April. I bought tickets for this last summer as a way to decompress from 3 1/2 years of caring for my husband as he slowly died. I figured that this would be a fantastic way to get out there. But then this happened. Also my 72 yr old mom (and smoker) was going to drive to Vegas to meet me for dinner and a show. I just couldn't do it. I couldn't bear the thought of putting her in danger. And for what? A sewing retreat? There's time for that in the future ... it's not critical to do now. So I canceled it. Alaska Airlines was fantastic and right away I got a certificate to use towards future travel. I'll lose the money spent on the retreat, but as an accountant friend once told me, that's sunk cost whether I went or not. And no, I don't think this is being in a tizzy or panic, it's called making sound decisions based on what we've been seeing in Italy which isn't a third world nation. Stay safe and quilt at home people! If we can afford it, maybe order one or two things from your favorite local quilt shop so that they don't lose too much in the next month or two.

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  24. Right decition Bonnie. It's going so fast.A week ago we had a couple of persons with the virus in Norway. Today the Government is closing all schools for at least two weeks.

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  25. I know it was a tough decision, Bonnie, but you made the right choice. I'm sure it helped having your decision validated by all the information you gathered. I live in Northeast Florida and I'm in the high risk age group. I am very uneasy even going to the supermarket. If people are unhappy about your choice, then they are in denial of the severity of the situation. Stay well!

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  26. Hi, I was scheduled to be in one of your Asilomar classes. I, too, was very ambivalent about attending—not so much about the actual class but congregating at the meal hall and other events. Though I am so sorry I won’t be able to meet and learn from you, I am relieved that the decision was made to cancel. I am an RN who has worked through previous epidemics. Taking a step back for a month or two is the right thing to do to protect ourselves and communities at large. Now with my free time next week, I think I’ll sew!

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  27. Knowing that this decision was extremely hard to make, you definitely did made the right decision. Better to be safe than sorry. I have a compromised immune system from chemotherapy in the past, so I am staying in as much as possible. Instead of going everyday to pick up mail (we do not have mail delivery in our rural area) I am only going twice a week. Have paper towel in the car and use a sheet to open the doors at the post office, etc. As you said we all just need to be cautious. Being home and sewing will be a great way to spent this time off.

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  28. Happy you are home safe and sound! I am reading Pale Rider, a non-fiction book about the 1918 flu. It is scary stuff. Always better to be safe than sorry as my dad would say.

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  29. I too am an RN who was taking your class at Asilomar this month. This was a dream event and opportunity, and while I am sad to have to miss, I am also very relieved by the cancellation. Relieved of the worry for you, for the 'Quilters Above A Median Age" and for those we love and care for at home. If we can mitigate the spread and slow the progression and distribute the numbers of infected people over a wider base of time, we will be better able to manage this illness. My friend and I will meet together and work on this quilt and hope to be able to quilt with Bonnie someday(a bucket list item but no need to nudge the bucket!!)

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  30. Glad that you are comfortable with your decision, which I think is the correct one with the circumstances that we are aware of. Relax and take some time to enjoy your craft, without deadlines or worries.
    I have added one more package of toilet paper to my closet and stocked up on the cat food and kitty litter (just a normal two week supply). In other words, a little extra supplies but not crazy!
    I have fabric, patterns, and more projects than I could finish in 2 years, let alone 2-3 weeks!

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  31. We support you wholeheartedly, Bonnie! I'm sorry that this is happening and trusting the experts with the hope it will all work out. Meantime, we sew!

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  32. Glad that you are comfortable with your decision, which I think is the correct one with the circumstances that we are aware of. Relax and take some time to enjoy your craft, without deadlines or worries.
    I have added one more package of toilet paper to my closet and stocked up on the cat food and kitty litter (just a normal two week supply). In other words, a little extra supplies but not crazy!
    I have fabric, patterns, and more projects than I could finish in 2 years, let alone 2-3 weeks!

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  33. Better safe than sorry, Bonnie!! I applaud your sense of caution.

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  34. suppose to fly to Virginia next weekend to my grandsons wedding but I am 78 so don't think so!

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  35. You have a wide variety of sewing machines, that I just adore! But, I need some information, and can't find it anywhere else. I have a beautiful 401a, Singer sewing machine. I had never tried the fancy stitches and decided to try. The stitch changer thing, looked like it needed oiled. So I took it off, 2 screws. Ooops, one fell into the cold air return,found the black hole never to be seen again. Where would you find such a tiny screw for a Singer 401a?

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    Replies
    1. sewingpartsonline.com
      I have found all sorts of parts for my Singers....quick & priced well

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  36. You made absolutely the correct decision, it’s a dreadful disease and it’s only through everyone being careful that it will be beaten. No one can fault you for your dedication to doing the right thing.
    Take care everyone
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

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  37. Hi Bonnie, I was so looking forward to Asilomar with you next week but was also concerned about the health risk, especially for you. This is a stressful time for us all and our health takes priority over a quilting retreat.

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  38. You made the best decision. We really need to stay home if possible to protect everyone. There are loads of plans made that are being altered and many people disappointed...better to be disappointed and inconvenienced then infected. Patty McDonald

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  39. I had to burst into laughter at the chiropractors office this morning. The girls and patients were discussing the dilemma of no toilet paper. They turned and asked me what I would do if we couldn’t get any...I got a huge smile on my face and said I had been hoarding old phone books for quilting..they used sears catalogs in the outhouses...I could surely use my phone books if push came to shove. 😂😂😂

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    1. Oh, Tammie, you made me laugh!!! We also had a Sear catalog in the outhouse at our cabin in the woods. Use it for reading material whilst sitting, rip out the pages that really aren't of interest to you and use those! It's not like we didn't have toilet paper, but the mice really liked it to make their nests with so we didn't keep TP out there!

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  40. Our quilt guild cancelled our quilt show for this weekend, earlier this morning. I'll be sewing at home instead. I'm supposed to fly to a wedding the end of this month. Not sure if we'll cancel or not. I still have 2 weeks to decide. Who knows what will be going on then? Stay healthy. I've already had the flu and pneumonia in February (flu probably caught from a grocery cart).

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  41. Wise decision on your part. The quilters will thank you. It probably would have been cancelled anyway. We must be smart with our health.
    I am having to cancel some meetings as I want everyone to stay safe,

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  42. As an immunocompromised person, I appreciate you taking this seriously. I have listened to people say, "Well, healthy people will be just fine" and shrug--both in person and on the news, and find that attitude almost incomprehensible. If people thought about it, surely everyone has an older person they love, or someone with an autoimmune disease, or who is being treated for cancer. It will take care on everyone's part to reduce the danger to the most vulnerable. That is part of being in a community. The alternative is too awful for some of us to consider--Italy is experiencing that now, and it's horrific.

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  43. I know what a difficult decision it was for you, Bonnie. I'm near Sacramento and my quilt guild's show is THIS WEEKEND! I made the decision not to put my quilts in the show and not to attend. I informed the president and quilt show chair yesterday. Frankly, they seemed not to know what I was talking about. (Some of us read the papers and watch the news, some don't). It was only this afternoon that the Chair of the show wrote to tell us that 'the decision was make for us by the Governor and the fairgrounds' CEO to cancel the show". Way to take charge, ladies. . . Our own personal safety is paramount. Now, just think of all the extra time you'll have to quilt or design or spend time with your family that you didn't have yesterday :-)

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  44. You made the right decision!!! There will be other Asilomar conferences other years. You needed to play it safe and protect yourself and your family!! Good job!! Hugs, H

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  45. Common sense prevails. Such a torture though as I am due to go on retreat in a week's time, it is only 10 of us but in a conference centre with people from all over - I think it should be cancelled, but not heard anything yet. The ladies I meet up with are also not spring chickens and some are fitter than others - crazy to expose ourselves - and to bring an unwelcome hitch hiker back with us to pass on to others. I know you are right and I just think it needs someone to start the ball rolling in the way of do what is right for you! We will probably all get it, but the longer it is delayed, the better chance of a vaccine! Then we can all party.

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  46. I’m sure your decision was gut wrenching, but we must approach this situation with common sense..... which is not happening with this hoarding, especially the toilet paper. I just keep shaking my head on this one! The issue is people who are sick not staying home. That puts everyone else at risk. We are women, and we tend to put everyone and everything else first. Glad you’re taking care of yourself and ultimately your family. Quiltville people, be safe!

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  47. Wisdom is a gift. Thankful for the wisdom you share here. Blessings!

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  48. Absolutely the right decision, Bonnie. I live in MS. Our first confirmed case of corona virus was diagnosed at the ER in the local hospital in my county. My friend (60) was there at the time with her dad. I honestly don't know how the decision was made to send her home telling her to wash her clothes and take a shower. Today my friend is driving our niece to Birmingham for a medical appointment. I'm very concerned. Was that the right protocol? Stay safe.

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  49. I was so happy to see that you cancelled your travel plans. I got a knot in my stomach after reading the post where you were still intending to travel. YOU need to stay safe just as well as the rest of us! Just a thought....do you think a group of quilters could pull it together fast enough to possibly come to Quiltville Inn for a retreat during this time to help offset the loss of income you would experience from cancelling your trip?

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  50. You made the wise and correct decision. thanks for the reminder that it isn't just about me or us, but about our families, communities, and the greater world. We will get through this with calm and wise reactions, such as your thought process about Asilomar. Time for all of us to stay close to home and garden and sew!!

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  51. What amazes me is that of this writing the AQS shows are still on. The demographics of a quilter a the person at risk are very similiar. Are they trying to spread it?

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  52. I was thinking this morning on my way to work (I work at a hospital in the cancer institute) that we as a nation need to work to help one another and support each other during times like these. I know people may be disappointed with cancelled events and getting frustrated that they can't find toilet paper, but let us show what an awesome nation we can be by thinking of the other. Bonnie, you have done this and I for one and glad. Let's take this time to connect with our families and friends in ways that don't require us to congregate in large crowds. Play a game, bake some homemade bread, enjoy the sounds of nature and of course, do some quilting.

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  53. I know there is a lot of panic as I was to ALDI this morning with more people than I have ever seen at that time of the morning.
    However, I think you have made a good decision knowing what we know about that area of the county.
    I have a meeting to attend this afternoon but there only a few of us so I trust we will all stay healthy as a result. I then intend to come home and sew for the rest of the weekend. I have plenty to get done. Have a great weekend sewing.

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  54. You made the right choice, Bonnie. Stay home and stay safe.

    Always in pieces,
    alice

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  55. Bonnie, I'm glad your dad was able to shoo away the voices in your head and help you think logically. You took all the right steps to reassure yourself the decision was not arrived at by emotion and or fear, nor was it self-centered. Many have had plans made months ago be changed. My husband will miss his first granddaughter's wedding. He has found the airlines, hotels and rental car company understanding and quickly refunded any payments he had made - even for the non-refundable airline ticket! We quilters need to stay healthy if we intend to use up our stash, right? LOL!

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  56. I am so glad that you make a good decision, regarding the seminar. My best friend cancelled reservations to fly to Texas, on St. Patrick's Day. I was shocked when she (with COPD) was told by her doctor that flying was safe because so many others were not!

    We are waiting to here is our quilt, scheduled for April 1-3, will happen. If not, she and I will get together at her place and have our own retreat!!

    Stay healthy!

    Carol N.

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  57. Good choice. My group today cancelled our 2 week sewing trip to JAPAN. We don't know yet if we lose any money but it is safer to astray home and do the trip another time.
    TAKE CARE EVERYONE.

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  58. I am on the board for our local quilt guild, and I definitely understand your angst about deciding whether to go or stay. We had a guild meeting scheduled for this coming Monday, and a retreat scheduled for Wednesday through Sunday. Do we hold them, do we cancel? There aren't any cases in our immediate area, so we're OK, right? What ultimately swayed us to make the difficult decision to cancel is the fact that people can be infected and not show any symptoms for up to 14 days. So while we didn't think anyone in our group could have been infected, there is no way to know. And, let's face it, most of our members are in the targeted demographic (hehehe - what a diplomatic way to say we're old!). So yes, you made the right decision! Stay home, stay healthy and take care of that new puppy!

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  59. I understand your dilemma but you made the right decision. We just had to make a similar decision and cancelled a trip to see our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Son had just returned from business trip to Germany and though he didn't get COVID-19 he did come home with bronchitis and missed several days of work. When he told me, I told him he wasn't convincing me to come. We agreed it was the right decision to postpone the trip. They had a cruise planned which was just cancelled also. All agree, STAY HOME AND BE SAFE. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND THOSE YOU LOVE.

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