April 29, 2020 COVID-19

What Are You Doing at Home?

Bonus points for finding our chair's name in the names of member & staff pets.

I hope this finds each of you safe and hunkered down.  As all the experts seem to agree, we are the most "at risk" group so my hope is for each of you good health and safety until the experts tell us we can move about.  I asked the other SLD officers, members of Council, and VOE Board members what each of them are doing during their stay at home.  I have enjoyed each of their responses and hope you do as well.

Best wishes to each of you and your families.

Jim Schwartz
VOE Board Chair 

Jeff Allen

What I Did Last Pandemic

The powers that be have asked for a brief summary of how we have kept busy during the effective house arrest we all live in during the pandemic. So, here goes:

  1. I have spent some time bemoaning the fact that I cannot go out. Realizing that would not accomplish much, I tried to keep going out to a minimum.
  2. I have put my Kindle to good use reading a number of books. Currently in process: The Existentialist Café.
  3. I have spent an inordinate amount of time streaming video to my TV and desktop. So far I have binge watched The Hunters and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Currently I am working on Luther and The Man in the High Castle.
  4. I have made good use of the telephone, text messaging, Facetime, and Zoom to keep in touch with my family and my friends. My littlest grandchild has figured out that she can get her mother to Facetime her grandparents and does so almost every day, to our delight. 
  5. I have spent more time working with my dogs, who are getting fatter since they cannot go to the dog park.
  6. I have done some writing to keep current in my columns for the SLD, GPSolo, and other publications.
  7. I have done some legal work and made some effort to keep in touch with my clients.
  8. I have done too much online shopping.
  9. Out of boredom I even started doing some exercises.

That about sums things up for me.

Louraine Arkfeld

I am very fortunate to live in Arizona where we are having our glorious spring weather - and to live in a house with a huge yard. So, I spend much of my time outside sometimes doing yard work but more often reading or chatting on the phone with family and friends. It is hard to be motivated to go inside and clean out closets - which is what I said I would do with this time! Even though I am retired so not "working" from home, I continue to have many Zoom meetings online both for my ABA work and my work with the Tempe Memory Cafe. And I have a list of caregivers from the Memory Cafe that I call every week just to check in on how they are doing. I also take French lessons online (hope springs eternal) as well as several adult education classes from our lifelong learning institute. I feel very fortunate to simply be staying home and not having to deal with the virus either myself or for anyone in my family. Quite frankly, I have yet to feel like I have too much time on my hands. And if I ever do, there are always those closets!

Leonard Gilbert

Best of Times

The COVID-19 situation has forced us to slow down and to notice the world around us as well as to learn to appreciate what we have and what we have heretofore probably taken for granted. This can either be the best of times or the worst of times for all of us.

With my office laptop and home printer, wireless of course, it didn’t take long to be back in business here in my home office; indeed it is almost like business as usual as if I were in my office downtown. Our firm is great in systems and our IT people are some of the very best and had us very well organized. I now know about and use daily systems like Zoom and Jabber to name a few. Daily bulletins keep us up to date.

While I truly miss the in-person meetings and the travel for business and conferences as well as breakfast and lunch groups where we would try to solve all the problems of the world except for this one, I have learned to conform to the situation that we are now in. Early morning daily walks through the neighborhood have been the substitute.

On the other hand, I have now found some time to check on my friends and cohorts in the law practice around the world. It has been really interesting to see that many of them have left their homes in the city to move to the mountains or other locations that are far away from city center crowds. Fortunately, all have been safe whether they are in Italy, Spain, England, Holland, Australia or elsewhere. That was a relief to learn that they were in good shape.

Stay safe and be well.

David Godfrey

Like nearly every ABA staff member, I am working from home. The ABA went from fewer than 5% telecommute to over 95% telecommuting staff in a couple of days. My commute went from about 45 minutes in each direction to about 4 1/2 seconds in each direction. I am able to access all of the files I need to do all of the work I would be doing if I was in the office. I am using video conferencing through Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts for meetings and to stay in touch with colleagues and collaborators. Both of my spring conferences were cancelled, so I am participating in more webinars than usual - the ABACLE free member benefit webinar series has been very helpful.

 I am producing content for the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, the ABA Senior Lawyers Division and the National Center on Law and Elder Rights on the impact of COVID-19 on older adults.

Spring has sprung in the D.C. area. The gyms are closed so I am going out for an afternoon walk or bike ride to stay active. I have watched the trees leaf out in a way I have never seen before. I have gone out of my way to buy essentials from local independent shops, small businesses that are at great risk during stressful times. I am reaching out to someone by email, phone, text message, or Facebook messenger nearly every day just to say, "Hi!" To let them know they are not alone. A couple of weeks ago I took part in a virtual happy hour; last evening it was a family team trivia contest by video connection. Visits and comments are way up on my personal travel blog, a sign that people are seeking connection and interaction in new ways. 

Dick Goodwin

Cleaning out the garage or attic - or - Revealing the family “Time Capsule”

My younger sister, Anne, and I are well into our 7th decade, bringing with us accumulations of ‘stuff’ we, our family and some friends gathered along the way.  Over time we became repositories for things others did not want or residuals after they passed away.  At some point we realized it was time to sort through things with a view to getting rid of some or all our accumulations.  Little did we know what we were in for or what we would learn.

Our parents met during summers in the mid-1930s working at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.  They were in separate colleges in Iowa but shared a love of the Colorado mountains.  After college our mother took a teaching position in Iowa before marrying our father and together they moving to Kansas, North Dakota, then Annapolis, Maryland, where they lived together for four decades, raising two children, before our father passed away.

Since leaving home, my sister has lived in five places and I have lived in over a dozen.  During all that time we both collected "stuff" which was important at the time and now cannot find, or if we can find wonder what our thought process was when we bought that ‘thing’.

From time to time my sister and I would come across items our parents accumulated early in their marriage, including two large trunks, one in the attic, another down in the basement.  Queries were responded to with "Oh, that’s stuff before we got married."  Then before we knew it our parents were gone.  My sister ended up in Eugene, OR, and I currently reside in Fresno, CA.  My sister and I have remained close if for no other reason than to insist the other take this item or that.

As the dust of time settled, my sister and I realized we needed to figure out what to do with all the "stuff" our parents and friends had bequeathed to us.  So, we started going through things.

Some of the first items my sister and I were confronted with were two very large trunks, one being 2’H x 3’L x 21” deep, with the words “R.A. GOODWIN, FARGO, NO DAK” painted on it in white letters.  Another of equal size with no markings.  We reflected that shortly after their marriage the entirety of our parents’ possessions fit into those two trunks.  A sharp contrast to ½ an 18-wheeler used to move our mother’s belongings from Annapolis to Fresno in her 7th decade.

So, we opened the trunk and family history unfolded before us in black and white negatives, yearbooks, college letter sweaters, diplomas, yearbooks and other memorabilia.

One discovery was a film mailer with a return address in Atlantic IA to our father in Ames IA, mailed for the exorbitant price of six (6) cents.  The envelope gave us our mother’s and father’s addresses while they were dating – information we were not aware prior to finding the envelope.  Inside the envelope was a trove of negatives, which we shortly realized were cut from a black and white negative roll which was 2 1/2” wide and who knows how long.  Inside were negatives of our parents on excursions along the “High Road” in Rocky Mountain National Park just above Estes Park with friends they knew and worked with at the Stanley Hotel. One negative showed our father catching a softball on the field in front of the hotel, where staff hung out during breaks. A another showed our dad and other staff on a ‘smoke break’ outside the kitchen. We could not identify individuals in several photos, so we contacted the Museum at the Stanley Hotel and donated several photos in honor of our parents to the hotel museum. We discovered our father had hair prior to 1925, and interesting way to date many of the negatives.

We opened another envelope and found negatives of our mother’s dorm room, roommate, and friends at the University of Iowa.  Other negatives showed several of mom’s college friends, people she dated prior to meeting our father, and other friends she hung out with prior to getting married. 

There had always been family pictures around the house, including pictures of my sister and I growing up.  But additional envelopes revealed negatives neither of us had ever seen, including negatives of the apartment our mother lived in prior to getting married, negatives of our parents dating, negatives of my sister’s first birthday celebration, and more negatives of both of us as we grew from days, weeks, months, and years for growth. 

Another envelope included pictures from the 1800s of relatives we both knew about but had never seen pictures of.

Putting the negatives into chronological order proved an adventure in itself.

In our early years our parents kept two albums (presumably one for our family and one for grandparents) of my sister and I as we grew up.  We knew they would be a great help getting the pictures in chronological order, until we realized one album had one set of dates, another album another set of dates – the differences were often months or a few years apart.

There were several pictures of our mother alone and with her siblings as she grew up.  Not so many with our father.  My sister came across an album from our great aunt which provided us some context and chronology.

We knew our mother was born in Grand Rapids, but we had not seen the negatives of some of our grandparents and relatives who lived there, nor the snowstorms our mother experienced.  We knew our mother moved to Chicago on or about 1919-1921.  We were excited to find negatives of the old “Maxwell Street Market” where our mother lived in a warehouse near the Reading Railroad tracks – the picture of a rail caboose with “Reading Railroad” helped.  We also found negatives of the WWI Victory Parade in Chicago and “Market Day” at the Maxwell Street Market.

Reaching out to a cousin, we uncovered one relative’s discharge papers from the Civil War, news reports of a relative’s death in a train crash in 1902 as well as pictures of his funeral.

Coincidentally, my sister and I have been working on our family tree, so the negatives helped provide visual confirmation of some of the things we thought we knew.  Our paternal grandfather had done research in the mid 20th century on the Goodwins, using research available at Goodspeed Bookstore in Boston and the Princeton University Library. 

So, in order to preserve our family history, my sister and I did the only responsible thing, we bought more "stuff." Both of us invested in scanners so we could convert the many negatives into positives, scan boxes of slides and pictures, then upload everything into google albums so that our children – who are too busy raising their own families at the moment – will have a visual and documentary history of their ancestors.

Continuing to go through the trunks and boxes I came across a very old camera which was undoubtedly the camera our mother used in the 1930s to take pictures, the kind only seen in old movies.

AFTER going through everything we found, the real fun began – sorting it, categorizing it and then passing it on or disposing of it.

As we said, we donated some old photographs to the Museum at the Stanley Hotel. We also reached out to the Chicago History Museum to see if they might be interested in old photos of Chicago. Our uncle was a famous architect in Chicago and a reporter – doing a story on his life – was very interested in some of the negatives we had of his early work.

It was been an exciting adventure as we explore our family history and attempt to record our memories for our family.

One cautionary note.  When I opened one old camera, I found a roll of film inside. I plan to develop the film anyway to see what was of interest decades ago, but may have lost some pictures.

Our children have enjoyed seeing pictures of their distant relatives and places we all lived. My sister and I have time now to do what I am sure our parents intended to do when they put all the "stuff" into the trunks. The experience also made us realize the questions we should have asked our parents while they were still alive.

Al Harvey

Sheltering at home is a new and not necessarily enjoyable experience.  However, my wife and I have discovered a worthwhile activity.  Each afternoon before dinner, we take a walk around our neighbor and along the Mississippi River.  It provides good exercise and a real opportunity for communication.

Sheila Slocum Hollis

I’ve spent this Lockdown Zooming, calling, WebEx, email, church online, cooking, bird feeding, talking, complaining, reading old books and new books still unread, worrying, wine tasting, worrying, sending cartoons to friends, movie watching, going through papers, shelves, photo albums, driving family crazy with helpful suggestions, etc.

Michael Kirtland

We’re still working. Lawyers in Colorado have been declared "essential businesses." As an estate planner my workload has actually increased. People often put off doing their wills, powers of attorney and living wills. The threat presented by covid-19 has made many people face the reality they need to consider end of life issues and do their estate plans. We’re adjusting to telephone and video conferences, as wells as adapting to temporary remote witnessing and notarization rules. But, in jeans rather than “lawyer clothes.” We’re as busy as ever, if not more so. Our paralegals and investigators are working from home through computer access, coming into the office only about once a week.

David Lefton

I live in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Our Governor has been very aggressive in response to the pandemic. Ohio was one of the first states to impose restriction due to COVID-19.  As legal services have remained an essential service, my firm has remained open and has adopted the suggested guidelines to keep our office environment as safe and healthy as possible.  Over this timeframe, during the work week, I’ve worked 3 days a week in the office and at home 2 days a week.  During non-working hours, when weather permits, my wife and I are outside enjoying the Spring weather, taking long walks and hikes, working in the yard and sitting on our patio by our firepit with a glass of wine.  We have tried to get outside as much as possible for recreation purposes.  During bad weather, we’ve taken care of a few projects around the house, done some reading and have watched our share of television. While we are fine and healthy, we miss all the other things Spring brings with it, including, but not limited to March Madness, baseball and getting out with friends on weekends and the like.

Dick Leslie

Luckily, our weather in Florida has been very nice, sunny and warm, so we have been outdoors a lot and walking every day. Inside, I am trying to get my taxes done to send to the CPA. We are watching more television than ever. Our children are checking in with us often by phone and being very supportive. All in all, we are healthy and thankful. We wish you all well.

Orlando Lucero

Orlando Lucero

Orlando Lucero

Orlando Lucero

I’ve been busy making face masks. It’s a nice break from the routine. The first mask I made took me forever and had to unstitch it three times, but once I got the hang of it, it goes pretty fast. This is a more complex project since it involves quite a bit of sewing plus the pleats. Even though it took some time to get together, It’s a nice way to relax during the lockdown. Anyone who knows me knows, I’ll want my face masks to go with my future work clothes, so I’m making them in many different colors and luckily, I have a near endless supply of old dress shirts to rely on. Make the best of all this you can!

Bill Mock

The coronavirus pandemic has upended my life by making it busier than ever. As a law professor, I have been fortunate to find myself still gainfully employed, but in a very different and busier way than ever before. My law school—the University of Illinois at Chicago’s John Marshall Law School—has moved all classes online, giving faculty members models from which to choose. I have opted to teach asynchronously, which means that I prepare and post videos of each class from home, assign and comment upon short weekly writing assignments, maintain chat rooms on our course website, and respond to individual questions and emails from each of my eighty students. I have also had to redesign my final exams because my students will now be taking them at home instead of in proctored settings. Between all of this, my wife adapting her practice as a clinical psychologist to current remote-access conditions, online shopping to stock our pantry, video-chatting with family and friends, and daily walks in a nearby forest preserve where it is easy to maintain social distancing, life is busy but filled with purpose. Some of those we love and care about have lost jobs or fallen ill, so we are not immune to the effects of the pandemic, but we have been fortunate thus far.

H.T. Moore

We have no "stay at home" declaration in Arkansas, so I have been going to the office every day. My personal office is a mezzanine in an old bank building, so I'm a loooong way from my assistants. We have limited any in-office meetings, and have placed appropriate signage on our front doors to discourage people from coming in. We've put a table and "basket" in the entry so that we can exchange documents with limited contact. The quietness, and lack of phone calls, have meant that I have music playing more than I used to.

Our courts are closed, but I've had an unusual new source of business. Several clients have contacted me to update their corporate records or acquire copies of filings from our Secretary of State's office so that they can make application for the SBA's new PPP loan program.

I don't spend as much time in the office, so at home, we've finished watching the third season of The Crown, and several old episodes of Frasier. At least the weather has been fairly nice, so we're enjoying our backporch (at a safe social distance).

Tracey Moore

Stay at Home, Save (Cat) Lives

This ABA SLD staffer has made a few changes since my last in-person day in ABA offices on March 12.

I am an avid cook, urban cyclist, nature lover, walker and devoted cat staff. Just as the pandemic news was ramping up, a blind friend living in an over-55 building asked if I would be interested in adopting his cat, who likes to sneak out and visit other residents in violatation of building rules. Saying yes in a New York minute, I rented a Zip Car and drove to my friend’s to pick up a scrawny orange cat named Harvey.

Harvey’s looks reveal a heritage that could only come from a long line of alley cat ancestors. He’s a senior sweetheart with a taste for the finer things, like people food, so I have dubbed him the house mâitre’d. Harvey joins my pure-bred ragdoll cat, Beau (short for Beauregard Jackson Winn-Dixie Pork Chop III), the indisputable beauty queen of the household. After a few bumps, and a yowling and hissing détente, they are taking their first tentative steps to friendship.  While Harvey may not have too many years ahead of him, we are happy that he will have a warm and comfortable home for the rest of his days.

In between settling kitty squabbles, I am learning what it takes to feed myself breakfast, lunch and dinner at home. Since I love to cook, figuring out what to cook has been pure fun and a great distraction from pandemic anxiety.  For those who like food (and who doesn’t?), here is what I made the last few weeks: Grandma’s Irish soda bread, Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese sauce, mashup of family friend Graziella’s & Kevin Dundon’s meat lasagna, roasted tuna-stuffed peppers (my own), apricot scones, Martha Stewart panko breaded chicken cutlets, sweet potato sausage soup, Thai beef, turkey taco meat, whole roast chicken with lemon & herbs, rosemary lemon chicken breasts (very old go-to recipe), middle-eastern lamb patties (my own), Jamie Oliver’s Moroccan lamb chops, and the very best granola. Finding and stashing all the goodies in my limited freezer space has become my daily puzzle challenge.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and well-fed shelter in place and don’t forget to get fresh air and sunshine with a daily walk.

Karren Pope-Onwukwe

Praying in Place

Adjusting to social distancing has been difficult for me because of the nature of my practice. I am an elder law/disability rights attorney and as such I spend quite a bit of my time in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and interacting with my clients. Many of my clients are considered vulnerable. The month of March found me not simply sheltering in place, I was praying in place.

The first two weeks I was very anxious because on the morning of Tuesday, March 3rd , I attended Adult Public Guardianship Review Board hearings with wards, social workers and attorneys at our local Department of Social Services. That afternoon I met with two guardianship clients in their rooms at their nursing homes. Additionally, on March 4, I met with one of my clients and his aide in his condo. By Thursday March 12th  I had self-quarantined myself at home fearful that I may have contracted the Coronavirus!

As the calendar turned to April, I felt relieved and believed that my guardian angels had surrounded me and protected me during the initial period of uncertainty. I have no plans to leave my house anytime in the near future!

Savannah Potter-Miller

During the COVID-19  epidemic in America, I have written letters as a pro bono advocate for workers and vulnerable  populations.

A disproportionate number of the vulnerable populations that have died or been infected are African-Americans, Latinos, elderly and/or disabled public transit riders who have been denied access to the ramps. My advocacy has also included promoting access to meaningful and free COVID-19 testing programs for persons 50 and older, lack prescription medications and affordable healthcare for displaced and low income workers, lack of safe working conditions for poultry and meat plant workers,  lack of meaningful health care for veterans, and lack of free broadband for seniors.

Emily Roschek

I recently married my French-Canadian boyfriend who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and am planning to move there next year after my immigration goes through. When the ABA relaxed our telecommuting policies, effectively closing its office doors in mid-March, I flew to Halifax to be with my new husband and wait this out as long as we could. A bad cold and ear infection had kept me out of the ABA offices ten days prior to the shutdown, and I was worried about traveling with a slight cough and congestion.

My new husband is in the Royal Canadian Navy, working on a submarine and living in a house with another submariner and his girlfriend  and her 9-year-old. When I arrived, the public health recommendation was advising travelers to self-isolate for 14 days. Three days later, my husband and his roommate’s captain ordered them to stay at home until my self-isolation ended. Fortunately, we were finally healthy after day 14, but by then the entire province went into a state of emergency, and the whole dockyard was shut down indefinitely.

Currently, the entire household is healthy, but I am the only one who is working. It’s been nice to still feel connected to my ABA colleagues, using Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams for video chats and Slack to instant message throughout the day. I am able to conduct all the same work I normally do except for the canceled in-person events: The SLD Spring Meeting and the U.S. Supreme Court Trip. The two-hour time difference means that I’m usually finishing up work after one of my housemates (all are amazing cooks) has made dinner. I’ve been treated to a smoked whole turkey, pork roast, moose meat, heavenly mashed potatoes, chicken fajitas, farm fresh eggs, bagel sandwiches, roasted ham and pineapple, and more. Even on the few frozen pizza nights, fresh ingredients are added. Besides cooking and eating (and drinking wine), we’ll sometimes go for walks, ATV rides, have a fire in the fire pit in the backyard, create an outdoor Easter egg hunt complete with a map and riddle, play Nintendo, setup virtual happy hours with friends and family, and watch Netflix. The silver lining in this pandemic is the extra time my husband and I have to get to know each other and virtually meet more of each other’s family and friends.

jennifer rose

Dies Irae in Colonial Mexico

Voluntary quarantine, overlapping with the three-week Easter vacation, bathes the provincial capital city in a quiet calm, and we act more casual about COVID-19 than we really are. It’s our way of coping. With each passing day, more are donning masks, but the rates are still less than 20%.

It’s life as usual for me, harvesting blackberries, tomatoes and lettuce, picking roses, discussing garden routines and household chores with my handyman, and hanging out with Morgen the Doberman. Freshly baked bolillos still arrive at the corner store, and later in the morning I’ll walk the two blocks over to Fruteria Alcantar for produce. A few times a week the camotero, selling freshly steamed sweet potatoes, and another lady selling paletas, will pass by. Agua Ciel still delivers 20-liter bottles of water twice a week, the postman rings at the gate to hand over the New Yorker and other magazines, Amazon and Costco still deliver. Decades of working at home and a history as a prepper make self-isolation nothing out of the ordinary.

Boredom never enters my mind, although dashed plans for travel to Mexico City, to San Miguel de Allende, and to Peru and Colombia have. I make a list of promises to myself after The Late Unpleasantness: another tattoo, more trips. But for now, I’m basking in gratitude that I’ve got a small plot of land, trees, mountains, and palm trees. I’m happy I have water, electricity, fresh air, sight, mobility, and my health. And, of course, Internet.

My only regret: I don’t have any chickens.

    Ed Schoenbaum

    Now that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Museum is closed, I cannot volunteer there, and Memorial Hospital is not allowing Red Coats my age to come in, and the YMCA is closed, so I cannot do my daily workouts. I have too much time on my hands and I need exercise to burn calories. At 77 years 7 months I have been walking around the neighborhood in Springfield, Illinois. For those of you familiar with our State Capital, we live about 1.1 miles southwest of the Capitol Building and a block southeast of Washington Park. When I started, I thought I would do 15-minute walk four times a day, then 30 minutes a couple of times a day, now I am a doing two one-hour walks daily. I’ll pass a lot of people at a safe distance, see a variety of houses, apartments and condominiums, a lake, a creek and gardens.

     That is what I do when I am not using my time volunteering for the ABA Senior Lawyer Division, VOE, and other committees like the one reaching out to state and local bars encouraging Senior lawyers to be more involved. I am also active in The Illinois State Bar Association  Senior Lawyer Section, where we recently were successful in having the state bar offer free membership in this Section once an attorney is over 55, and I am also involved in its newsletter and CLE.

    I am also very involved in the Illinois Bar Foundation where I am a Platinum Fellow, serving on the Lawyers Care Committee which decides when an attorney is having or has had serious problems and is in need of financial assistance.

    In my spare time, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Central Illinois District, and my local congregation keep me busy. 

    Jim Schwartz

    During this past month at home, I have had the opportunity to spend some extra time with friends in the Division and learn some neat things about many of them which I did not know previously. For example, I learned about one Council member’s strong interest in jazz and her attending concerts in Chicago when she is here for conferences. I learned that another Council member became a grandmother during the pandemic and looks forward to seeing her new grandchild. I learned all about another’s cats and how many fun things her cats do. I could go on. But, in  short, I feel I have been very fortunate to have this opportunity to get to know many new things about the men and women in SLD Leadership positions.

    As for other things in my life this  past month,  I “found” my bicycle.  Since spring weather showed up in Chicago for a few days, I decided to take a bike ride. Within one block, I realized that my bike needed a tune-up. But, more to the point, I also realized that I needed a personal tune up more than my bike. So, daily exercise has begun and oh, is it painful.

    Lastly, my grandson’s bar mitzvah party had to be rescheduled. But, the bar mitzvah service will take place on May 2 as planned - I will attend via zoom. What a wonderful opportunity to be part of this experience.

    Catherine Seal

    As a trust and estates and elder law litigator, things have slowed down quite a bit. We’re not currently seeing new clients come in to discuss their family situations. The courts in Colorado are still taking emergency guardianship and conservatorship cases, but all routine legal hearings have been put on hold. But, as the Public Administrator for our judicial district, I’ve been quite busy, working with the County Coroner and local hospitals and nursing homes, preparing for the legal implications of practicing in a pandemic world. I’ve drafted and had approved temporary regulations and orders, permitting us to deal with the disposition of covid-19 deceased individuals, and orders, now statewide adopted, to declare the Public Administrator offices as "essential public services." In my personal life, I continue to run in the beautiful forests of Colorado, away from other people, with my Labrador retriever for company to stay in shape and clear my mind of what’s going on in the world. 

    Dawn Tabler and Albert

    Dawn Tabler and Albert

    Norm Tabler

    Norm Tabler

    Sheltering in Place on Millridge Drive

    I’ve been sheltering in place (what a funny phrase) at my Carmel, Indiana, home since March 23, when my law firm declared all its offices closed until the end of the COVID-19 threat. I rushed to my office on Sunday, March 22, to retrieve my laptop and the recording equipment I use for a monthly podcast.

    Sheltering means that on weekday mornings I do at home exactly what I used to do in my office. I spend the morning skimming dozens of legal periodicals, looking for ideas for my monthly columns and podcast, as well as occasional articles. When I come across an idea, I start writing. The only difference is that I don’t wear a suit and tie, which makes me feel somewhat less important than I’m accustomed to feeling.

    Afternoons and evenings are somewhat different from my pre-sheltering life because of the Governor’s shelter-in-place order and the closing of most businesess. I find myself reading more and watching more Netflix and Amazon Prime than before, which I wouldn’t have thought possible.

    I’m very fortunate to be sheltering with my beautiful wife, Dawn, and my lively 18-month-old English bulldog, Albert. (Albert spells Tabler sideways.)  Dawn continues to make gourmet dinners each day despite the limitations on shopping. Albert and I walk a little farther each day, scrupulously documented by the Heart Health app on my smart phone. As the weather gets warmer, our brisk walks sometimes make me feel like I’m sweltering in place.

    All in all, sheltering in place on Millridge Drive is a pretty good life, although I do miss dressing up like a lawyer each morning.

    Michael Van Zandt

    Everyday life Zooms by as I reach out to friends, colleagues and associates. Sometimes just for fun; sometimes just for entertainment; sometimes just to keep the ball moving forward. My wife is a preschool teacher and I have been helping her with projects to post on her school’s Facebook page. She also is Zooming with her four-year-old children and their parents and her fellow teachers. I am also preparing for next year with the Senior Lawyers Division, having calls with potential Committee Chairs, planning with Carole Worthington and Jim Schwartz and working on our multi-year strategic plan with Louraine Arkfeld and Jack Young. Between walking my two Labrador Retrievers and throwing the balls, I am engaged with one of my social clubs with providing entertainment and engagement. This requires assigning tasks to musicians and actors to create new performances and reviewing recent shows to clip content for showing by Eblasts and on our web site. I have also created two new entertainment projects myself and posted them. Meanwhile, I am still practicing law, mediating cases and preparing for the three trials I have upcoming. Looking forward to normalcy. Hoping all our SLD members are staying safe and healthy. 

    Joshua Wolff

    Compassion not Fear, Gratitude not Selfishness

    As staff editor, it’s rare that our readers hear from me, however all of us at the Voice of Experience team want you all to know that we’re here for you, and we’re all going through this together. I’d like to share what I’ve been doing during this lockdown.

    I’m privileged to work during the pandemic safely from home, and I thank the ABA for making such a transition possible. One thing I’ve tried to do from the start of this pandemic is offer my gratitude for what I have and remember those who haven’t been so lucky to work from home, or who’ve had to worry about the health of a family member or lost employment. I’ve enjoyed time facetiming my family during this time, giving gratitude for their continued health and offering compassion for those who’ve had to suffer through health and economic struggle.

    I’ve spent a lot of time not listening to the news and podcasts and not going to the gym, as I usually do, and instead taking time to clean up my garden and go for long evening and lunch walks with my boyfriend through forest preserves and our neighborhood. During times like these, when the news seems repetitive, taking some time to unplug from things that are out of our control creates more time to focus on the present moment with those around you and with yourself. My neglected to-do items accomplished, I’ve also found time to spend with my senior mini German Shepard, to enjoy the simple pleasure of chopping some wood and making a fire, and to remember all the little ways life is so beautiful, even while it’s so plagued with fear and suffering.

    I like to think this pandemic has given me time to reflect on how much we all depend upon each other. Our takeaway from this time of suffering for many, when our own health is dependent on those around us, is to be aware of the way we’re all connected. We are all dependent on one another for our health, our wellness and even our economic and personal success. For the rest of this lockdown, I’m going to continue to maintain this mindset and offer others gratitude, compassion, and support where I can! 

    Jack Young

    During Delaware’s sheltering order, things are still fairly normal, although dinner out means picking up something  for carry out, meetings by Zoom and trips to the grocery store require maneuvering through social distancing.

    One thing that has picked up is the number of webinars and special programming via the computer, including a series on voting with the Section State & Local Government, census ads for the Delaware League of Women Voters, and working from home with Zoom meetings.