Last Friday, we headed to Springdale and Zion National Park. Despite the COVID-19 threat, we decided to go ahead with our mother’s 100th birthday party to be held at Zion’s lodge. Forty invitees indicated that they were still planning on attending.
The drive down was interesting; it rained off and on the whole way from Orem to Springdale. There my wife and I joined my brothers, spouses, and other relatives for dinner. It was great catching up on family news. One brother lives in Chicago, his son is getting a PhD at MIT. The other brother lives in Maryland, his children live close by.
The next morning, some family members went on an easy hike to the mouth of the Narrows. To get to the trail head, we had to take the shuttle. The Virgin River was running high, so we couldn’t go higher even if we wanted to. After the hike, we all took a break.
Meanwhile, according to the news, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was diagnosed with the virus. All NBA games were almost immediately suspended. As were MLB preseason and NHL games. When I went to a Sports Grill in Springdale, there were no sports to watch. But the chili was good.
The birthday party was catered by the lodge staff. Forty-three people attended. All three sons and spouses, all grandchildren (and spouses), except one, and 11 grandchildren (the 12th was on a Mormon mission in Chuuk, Micronesia). A sister-in-law, four nephews and nieces also attended, as did my mother’s caregivers. There was a humorous skit, tributes to our mother, etc. Photographs were taken. Mother posed with a wide variety of group permutations. It turned out to be a fun evening. (It was planned by my brother Ted.)
The next morning, my entire immediate family hiked up to the Upper Emerald Pool. It was a beautiful day and a fun hike. The grandchildren did well. After lunch at the lodge, we all split up. Some stayed in Saint George, some stayed in Cedar City and on Monday planned to ski at Brian Head, the rest returned to the Wasatch Front.
On Monday, all hell started to break loose. The shuttle at Zion NP was discontinued because of virus. On Tuesday, it was decided to close all restaurants in UT, takeout is still okay. Meetings of more than ten were to be discontinued. By Wednesday there were 63 confirmed cases of the virus.
On Tuesday, we found out that our grandson was being evacuated from Chuuk (a state in Micronesia). Once arriving in the US, he was to self-sequester for 2 weeks. And then who knows what?
On Wednesday, there was a 5.7 earthquake in Salt Lake County. The epicenter was near Magna. In Orem, it made hour hanging door rattle. And Brian Head closed for the season.
By Thursday, the virus victim numbers had risen to over 100. There is talk of the Last Days. But not by me. My wife and I are largely staying a home, and catching up on work. Mom is doing well. So far, so good.
This is the crazy week that was. The immediate future is a blur.