Garfield Farm Heading

Garfield Farm home page | News Index

News from Garfield Farm

Garfield Farm Museum to Remain Closed through May

A message from Jerry Johnson, Executive Director

April 30, 2020

Of course with the full on advance of Spring and the challenges of the corona epidemic, everything here is up in the air as far as scheduling. The museum will not be having any events in May as here in Illinois we have had over 50,000 cases and over 2100 deaths - this would be much higher if it weren’t for the incredible medical advances over the last 100 years since the last pandemic.

In addition, the incredible sense of duty our doctors, nurses, health care givers who daily risk their lives for others is amazing and it is critical that if want the best of care if any one of us gets corona, we must not over tax, infect the very people who are giving so much to save so many.

Again we must understand our perspective. For over the last 40 years, we have become spoiled by the conquering of so many life threatening diseases and conditions. Although we do not have any cures at this point for corona, imagine anytime before 1940, no antibiotics, a minimum of immunizations, that essentially if you had to go to the hospital, you were going there as last resort.

In my own circle of acquaintances and associates, I know of 5 people who have had the virus. Three were in the hospital and one was there on ventilation for over 20 days. Thankfully, our cautious approach here at the museum prevented at least one potential case of exposure.

So it is out there, we need to take precautions, and give time for our science and knowledge of pandemic history to be our guide if we want to come out of all of this sooner than later. The problem is we as a culture are not known for patience and we certainly embrace immediate gratification. Yet just like in 2008, we all had heard the stories from the depression and World War II generation of how important it is to have savings and not be in debt. Those lessons learned are so hard to pass on to generations that have never had such experiences. Unfortunately, the era of emphasizing the individual has not prepared us for pulling together for the sake of the whole. Thus some of the most extreme statements and positions are taken that reflect so poorly on us, the generations who benefited so much from the sacrifice of those who stood up for this country in its darkest hours.

This is why understanding the past, teaching it, and preserving it is so important to future generations, as lessons learned can offer hope and inspiration for solutions yet unimagined. So stay well from all of us down here on the farm. Thank you - Jerry Johnson