Good Afternoon Friends,
Yesterday was my first day out of the house in weeks. Five weeks, actually. My annual pap smear appointment had arrived and I didn’t want to miss it. Clad in an N-95 mask and surgical gloves, I walked into the sleek building that housed my OBGYN. While I was in there I felt safe. As someone who lives with anxiety on the daily, I have to confess that I had been stressing for several days before hand. Would there be idiots not wearing masks walking all around me there? Would someone who is asymptomatic be in the waiting room where I’m sitting? The familiar layer of fear, doubt, and anxiety crept over me and flooded my mind.
Yet still, I went. I was immediately greeted by an army of nurses who took our temperatures even before we set foot into the office. I grinned behind my mask with pride. The more measures put in place, the better off I feel. I’m one of those “you can never be too careful” types. The appointment came and went, and I was glad that I had gone. I felt reinvigorated to step outside the farm and venture into my community. “You know what?” I said to my husband, “Let’s get our groceries from the store ourselves this week!”. (We had been using Instacart up until now).
The Captain and I hopped into the car and off we went this morning. Now, I live in a beach town in California. Unlike the major cities here (L.A. and San Francisco), my county has been well below the average number of positive cases. For that, I’m deeply thankful. But still, COVID-19 has hit my county with a whopping 243 confirmed cases, so we all became extremely vigilant.
As I drove our car down the main road along the ocean I blinked in shock. People… travelers… were bustling around the hotel strip! My mouth fell open and I was stunned. The shelter-in-place order hasn’t been lifted. But some of the beaches have reopened. Thus, like a pack of germy zombies… people came here. And with a lot of bodies, so too comes a lot of germs. “Oh no…” I muttered, “they’re here!”. You see, I’ll give you a local tip when it comes to beaches. People who live on the beach know to not actually go to the beach in the summer. It’s hot. It’s packed. And you’re going to be surrounded by bickering families carrying way too much stuff onto the sand. Locals know to go to the beach in Spring, Fall, and Winter. So if you ever want to go to the beach, go in the off season. Trust me, it’s much better. 😉
Along we went past the booming hotels to the downtown district, and despite the restaurants being take-out only… queues lined with people waiting for food. Most of them weren’t wearing masks. Young 20-somethings zipped by on skateboards and bikes without a care in the world. I looked at my husband.
“They do know that the pandemic isn’t over…. right?” I asked. For a moment, everything felt surreal. The town looked the way it used to be. People were walking around with over-sized sunglasses and flip flops. Children played in the sun having the time of their life.
But this isn’t normal! The pandemic isn’t over!
I pulled into a parking lot to gather my thoughts. We can only control our actions and what we do. But if there’s one message I could put out to the world it would be this: I get it. You’re bored. I’m bored. And the sunshine is just begging you to come out and play. But y’all… it’s too soon. No amount of fun and beach walking is worth contracting this virus. You have the power to keep yourself, and everyone you come into contact with, safe so long as you stay home. And if you do go out… please wear a mask (and preferably gloves). Arm yourself with hand sanitizer, and wash your hands on the regular. It makes a difference!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be burrowing back down here on the farm. ❤ Stay safe and healthy everyone! Until next time!