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Hello and warm greetings from Vanha Talo Suomi!

We are currently social distancing ourselves and working from home in compliance with local and State Finnish government recommendations. We are well supplied; our local grocery providers have maintained sufficient stocks of sundries and essentials and the pharmacies, hospitals and other agencies are diligently working to keep abreast of the virus situation. I have full confidence in the Finnish approach to health & safety of the citizenry-at-large.

As of this moment, (20/03/2020 13:08 GMT+2) Finland has 400 cases and zero deaths while the USA has 14,000 and 217 deaths. I’m glad I’m in Finland. My heart breaks for my beloved friends in Italy who have suffered tremendous losses; 41,000 cases with 3,400 deaths.

Since late last year we had planned on a trip to the US to visit friends and family during the 2020 Easter holiday period. Those plans were dashed once the airlines suspended our flights March 2nd.  Not sure why it took the USA so long to make announcements and offer strategies to the American people – lag time on a situation of this urgency has surely put the US behind the 8-ball at a time when progress and advanced preparedness could have been a game-changer.

Spring weather has been the only positive in a sea of concern and sorrow.  With the warmest winter in 100 years, most of Finland was above-average in temperature and snowless, except in Lapland where snow totals were huge. Read it here.  We also had copious amounts of rainfall throughout the entire winter season right into spring.

We’ve been outdoors working in the garden a month early in conditions we would normally see a month or 1.5 months from now. It’s crazy!  My previous concerns about how we would manage to get all our yard projects and pruning done before our trip were for naught, once the trip was forcibly canceled. Which just goes to show ya, don’t over worry about stuff until you really have to!

So, I’m a bit relieved to be able to have ample time to get things tidied up, pruned and properly put back into order for the gardening season. Hopefully, there won’t be further restrictions on rights to go outside for walks, etc. Although our yard is so large I doubt we would be affected by that sort of mandate as we would be isolated on our own parcel of paradise.

I understand that not everyone has it as good as we do here in Finland.  It is of course our wish and hope that everyone, everywhere come through this global health crisis intact, and at least emerges stronger and more thankful for having gone through it.

To everyone who has fallen and currently suffering due to the coronavirus we offer you our sincere good wishes and sympathies. We are holding you close in our thoughts and hoping you are doing OK.

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Now and as always ❤ Vanha Talo Suomi