Marion Owen

Courtesy of MARION OWEN

The author is spending quarantine reading, writing and enjoying the view. 

It began on Monday as a tingling, prickly sensation in my fingers and forearms, as if they were going to sleep.

“Wow, this is weird,” I thought.

And then my toes started tingling, too.

Early the next morning, I started sneezing. Not often, but since I don’t suffer from allergies, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Was there something in the air?”

There was.

At eight o’clock I made an appointment to get tested.

Thirty minutes later I went online to the “MyHealth” portal.

PCC COVID-19 Result: Positive.

Dear readers, I must have started this week’s column a dozen times. Part of me wanted to ignore last week’s test results and simply jump in and tell you all about golden-sweet tomatoes, “red butt” bumblebees, giant zucchini, towering gladiolas...

But no. 

I think it’s important right now that I share how I’ve been taking care of myself this past week. Because, as my osteopath says, “It’s not just a matter of if, but a matter of when.”

Before I go any further, though, I want to make two things clear:

1. I’m not a medical professional.

2. I was vaccinated in January.

As soon as I learned I’d tested positive for COVID, many things kicked into gear. First, I alerted our soon-to-arrive bed and breakfast guests, followed by Air B&B and VRBO so that guests were assured a refund. Then I canceled my in-town appointments and prepared to isolate.

Cathy, a public health nurse in Seldovia, called that afternoon to check in. Apparently I was now officially part of a special “club.”

She gave me the lowdown on what to expect, what symptoms to watch out for and details of my 10-day isolation period.

“Do you have support,” she asked, “For food, medications, or other things you might need?”

“Are you kidding!” I said, almost with alarm. “Kodiak is an awesome community!”

Later that day, I received a rather official email from the State of Alaska. Here’s how it started:

Dear Marion,

This letter serves as an official notification of the requirement to isolate yourself from work and other activities for a minimum of 10 days, as you have tested positive for COVID-19 infection. To protect the community’s health and to ensure your health and safety, you will need to isolate yourself at home for at least 10 days from your positive test date, or onset of symptoms.  

At times like these it’s easy to think, “Why me?” But I strongly believe that whatever happens in our lives — good or bad — is what we’ve attracted to ourselves. 

In other words, I am the sum total of everything I’ve said, thought and done leading up to this very moment.

What’s more, it’s not so important what happens to us as much as how we react to it because — and this is a BIG because — whatever occurs in our lives represents the next step in our spiritual unfoldment.

I launched into action. I notified all close contacts and, not knowing how, over the next 10 days, I was going to feel (brain fog, headaches, who knew?) I took care of as many deadlines and loose ends, and took stock of the kitchen and medicine kit.

I called my friend Diana, in Santa Rosa, California, who specializes in acupressure. (OK, so she works mostly on horses). She coached me on how to utilize (if that’s the right word) three acupressure points, Large Intestine 4, Large Intestine 11, and Conception Vessel 17.

But wait, there’s more!

Here are 12 things that I gathered together as my immune-boosting kit:

1.Drink a glass of water with 4 drops “Rescue Remedy” daily

2.Conduct Diana’s acupressure points

3.Rest, rest, rest

4.Be outside in the sun (when possible)

5.Take vitamins B, C, D

6.Pray, meditate, be still, be grateful

7.Stay connected (virtually) to friends and family

8.Avoid meat, dairy products, and alcohol; reduce sugar and salt

9.Monitor pulse oximeter readings, symptoms, and temperature

10. Add Amla (Indian gooseberry) and Matcha powder to smoothies

11. Stay hydrated!

12. Center diet around legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables

Speaking of vegetables (this is, after all, a gardening column), I was grateful for an abundant supply of fresh veggies: kale, cress, chard, lettuce, zucchini, one cucumber (not a good year for cukes), beans, parsley and fresh garlic. (Yes, fresh, raw garlic is better for you).

As I write this, my headaches and sniffles are gone, but so is my sense of taste. Two days after being tested, I sat down to a breakfast of whole grain pancakes and fresh berries. Halfway through my second pancake, I realized they... had...  no... flavor. Uh, oh. That’s tough to swallow (no pun intended) for someone who loves to cook. 

This morning, a friend of mine who’s aware of my olfactory issues, sent me a text, “Can you smell your garden yet?”

“No!” I shot back. “And I just made a berry cobbler and soup. Dang, I had to follow recipes! Confucius say, ‘Making soup when you can’t taste is like vacuuming in the dark.’ ”

Meanwhile, I can hardly wait to wander out into the garden and be able to smell a white rose, an Iceland poppy... even dirt.


Got a gardening question? Send it to: Curious to know where local gardeners hang out? Visit the Kodiak Growers Facebook page. Visit my blog at:

Got a gardening question? Send it to: Curious to know where local gardeners hang out? Visit the Kodiak Growers Facebook page. Visit my blog at:


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