California has been in “shelter in place” mode since last Thursday and Edgewood High School graduate Ben Wickstrom, and his wife Emily, are adjusting well to the new reality in Sacramento as the city had ordered an edict even earlier.

A coronavirus case connected to a local school district shut the schools down even earlier, Wickstrom said. He said the initial local and state reaction was negative, but cases quickly accelerated and people began to understand the need for change.

“It was just when there was a few cases,” Wickstrom said of the city and state decisions.

The Wickstroms are both pastors at an Evangelical Covenant Church in Sacramento and have had to shift gears slightly.

“It has changed the way we do business,” Wickstrom said.”We do a lot of recordings and video chat.”

He said there was a lot of panic buying during the start of the shelter-in-place but things have changed significantly.

“We went to the grocery store and now they get restocked quickly,” he said.

Wickstrom said there have been more people coming to a food pantry the church operates, but there are also positive aspects. He said many families are spending time together going for walks and a lot of neighbors are reaching out to their surrounding community.

He said some hotels that aren’t operating are now being used to house the homeless.

“There is fear and confusion, but not desperation,” Wickstrom said.

In South Carolina, former Ashtabula residents Kathleen and John Pearson, (who presently reside in suburban Chicago) are in the midst of making a difficult decision regarding the next several weeks.

The couple are nearing the end of a month-long stay in Hilton Head, S.C., and trying to decide whether to head home or stay longer. She said they are staying away from other people, but are able to walk and ride bikes in warm weather.

“We are essentially on lockdown here,” she said.

Which is exactly what they will be facing in the Chicago area if they go home.

“Part of us want to be back in our own place, with our own doctors, but it is lot more pleasant here,” she said.

Dean McQuaid and his wife, are presently spending time with their son in Sierra Vista but keeping in contact with family back in Ohio.

“I talked to my brothers yesterday and we agreed that things are about the same here [in Arizona] and there,” he said in a text.

“Not a lot of activity but it is warmer here,” McQuaid said. He said he is running and reading books and his wife is playing games on her phone.

McQuaid said they are both walking their son’s dogs and sitting by the pool getting some sun.

Dave Dewey, a retired Edgewood High School teacher, is presently living in Cookeville, Tenn., where he walks, hikes, reads and tends to his garden.

“Won’t forget the spring of 2020,” Dewey said in text.






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