As the devastating Glass fire raged through California’s scenic wine country in late September, Thomas Senander, 63, initially ignored the evacuation orders, But then a few days later, he and his family watched 100-foot flames rush straight in the direction of their Santa Rosa, CA, compound. When the fire began to lick the edges of a field leading onto their property, the retired engineer, his wife, and their grown son sprang into action.
Like many of their neighbors, they’d been through this hell before. Just three years ago Senander and his family lost their previous home—about 6 miles away in the same town—to the Tubbs fire. They were determined not to experience that anguish again.… Read More
“It’s too much,” my friend Beth told me, when we talked not long ago. “First corona and now the fires. Many of us were barely holding on before. We don’t know how to deal with this as well.”
Beth lives in Northern California, where I have spent much of my adult life. Niko, my Finnish husband, and I, the trailing spouse, have been in Helsinki since early April. This separation from America is working a profound change in how I understand my native country, on how I see life in California.
In Finland, COVID-19 has been largely contained since May. The people trust their government politicians and believe in science.