Saturday, November 13, 2021


 I decided that I needed to write about Covid 19 because in 20 years K will not remember all of the craziness that has gone on. Some thing are already starting to fade from my memory as hard as that is to believe. In January of 2020 my friend Suzanne and I went to Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Singapore. A few people asked if we were worried about the new Corona Virus in China but since were were not going to mainland China we were not worried. Our first stop was Vietnam and all was well, we went from there to Cambodia and returned back to Vietnam. When our driver picked us up he asked us to wear a mask. Suzanne flew home and I went on to Hong Kong. Things escalated quickly while I was in Hong Kong and there was a distinct fear in the air. When I arrived at the Peninsula Hotel they checked my temperature and everyone was wearing masks. During my stay the pool closed, the spa closed and all but 2 restaurants in the hotel closed. In Hong Kong everyone was wearing masks but there were none to be found in any stores. Luckily the hotel had some. From Hong Kong I went to Singapore where the situation was similar. The weather was warmer so it was possible to be outside which made things less stressful. My temperature was taken every morning at breakfast and I had room service or ate by the pool the rest of the time. The Singapore newspaper gave detailed information on every case of Covid including the age, sex and pre-existing conditions of the person with Covid. They also gave the outcome of each case. I continued to follow the Covid updates in the Singapore newspaper when I got home, it was like watching a train wreck. When I arrived in LA in February no questions were asked about when I had been and I was not asked to quarantine. 

Shortly after I got home, the fear of Corona Virus started to emerge in the US as a few cases were reported. A friend from CA advised me to buy water, wipes, paper towels, hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.  I went to Target and stocked up, feeling a little foolish. Little did I know that these items would not be available for over a year. Grocery shelves would soon became bare. Over the next year other items because difficult to find, butter, meat and other basic items. A year and half later the US experienced a supply chain crisis and many items were backordered. At this time it is unclear what the issue was. Supposedly ships from China were stuck in the harbors because there were no truck drivers to deliver the products. 

From February to March of 2020 cases of Covid continued to spread throughout the world. Italy became a hot spot, possibly because of workers from China. K came home for spring break in mid March. Some universities had already announced that they would be closed for the rest of the year and classes would go online via zoom.  SMU said that they would give the students an extra two weeks off and resume classes. This was not to be and they ended up closing for the rest of the school year and moving the student's belongings into storage. K and I drove to Palm Beach for spring break. Our plans were to spend time with her cousin, Harry, but on our way down he called and said he was heading home early. The beaches had just been closed. Our hotel was open but as were we there restaurants closed and were offering take out only. Our hotel restaurant was still open but the day we left breakfast was to go only. Stores started to close when were we there and there was an eerie quiet throughout Palm Beach. We had planned to stop in Gainsville on the way home but drove strait home. We were in our Tesla and no fast food restaurants were open so we went to the bathroom at gas stations. There was a restaurant with a table set up selling Bloody Mary's and other drinks. Curbside would become popular during Covid and we became very spoiled being able to pick up food at high end restaurants like Umi and Chops among other favorites.

When we got home everything had closed. Grocery stores were open and that was all. There was no traffic on the streets and I wandered around in my pajamas like a zombie all day. I finally decided I needed to get dressed and start organizing and cleaning my house. This was a common theme with everyone stuck at home. This continued through the summer. At the grocery store people were wearing masks, gloves and were instructed to stay 6 feet apart. Grocery aisles were supposed to be one way but people did not follow this directive. Most businesses remained closed for the remainder of 2020 and we remained in quarantine for the rest of the year. People worked remotely and classes were held remotely.  Zoom became a very popular word. 

K took several classes remotely over the summer since there was nothing going on and it put her in a good position to graduate on time. I took K back to school in August and it was the first time we had done anything since March. It was such an odd, scary feeling to be around people. Move in was so easy because the people who moved K's stuff out had moved it all back in and it was waiting for us when we arrived. Moving was socially distanced and allowed move in times were very spread out so there were not the typical crowds. It felt so strange and scary to eat in restaurants and go into stores. The hotel experience was very different. Room service was left outside of our door. There was no maid services. Towels and robes were frayed because of the huge financial hit that the hotel industry had taken. Although K was back on campus her classes were still taught via zoom. At Thanksgiving she came home and stayed home until January. She attended her last couple of weeks of class via zoom from her bedroom and took her exams from home. We did go to Cabo for Christmas since it was one of the few places open to Americans. K took a Jan term class from home and went back to campus in mid January. Most of her classes remained online.

In Jan of 2021 the vaccine became available. I spent a lot of time trying to find a vaccine and finally a friend told me about a hospital where they were available. I immediately signed up and planned a trip to Palm Beach. I did get horrible heart burn for four months after the vaccine and still don't know if it is related.  K got her vaccine in the spring. Many Americans are opposed to the vaccine and a large percentage of the population is not vaccinated. There was no spring break and school ended early. During the summer K took another online class and had an internship that she was able to do remotely. Italy opened up to Americans and we took a three week trip to Italy.

K went back to school in August and classes were in person. Are things back to normal? It is hard to tell. Supposedly the vaccine keeps people from getting so sick and being hospitalized but doesn't stop the spread. There is a new variant of Covid that is even more contagious.  Now a booster shot is required which I am on the fence about. I know a lot of people who have gotten Covid, some have been sicker than others. I don't know anyone personally who has died but there have been there have been over 5 million deaths. It is now November 2021 with almost two years in and currently there is no end in sight. I have had 6 Covid tests. Three were required for travel, one required by my dentist and two because I wasn't feeling well. Having a swab jammed up your nose is pretty uncomfortable! K and I still wear masks to be careful. So many Americans are opposed to masks. Wearing a mask when working out is rough! We can now easily buy now masks, gloves, wipes and all the things things that were previously unavailable.We are looking froward to celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with friends and family this year. 

One of the saddest things about Covid has been people in the hospital not being able to have visitors. I had a friend who died alone in the hospital. Another's friends mother had a stroke and my friend could not go visit her in the hospital. She was then moved to a rehab facility and was not allowed visitors. My friend could not even get anyone on the phone to find out how her mother was doing. So sad. 

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