I remember seeing news reports of the coronavirus in China earlier in the year. It seemed far away and similar to SARS and MERS – both of which had very little impact to my life here in Northern California. As this virus continued to spread my attention quickly changed once outbreaks popped up within Italy and in Spain it became clear at that point that this virus was not going away and it was likely going to make the jump across the pond and affect life in the United States.
I remember seeing the news reports of lockdowns in Italy and thinking “will that type of control come to us here in the United States?” For sure it couldn’t. The health departments around the bay area were issuing varying levels of guidance only around large events. As time went on the maximum capacity of any given event went down. First it was 100, then 50, then 25, then 10. A buddy of mine who was throwing a party let everyone know he’d understand if people stayed home due to the virus.
The San Francisco Bay Area was one of the first places to announce a lockdown on March 17. What was seen far off on the horizon in Italy was now here in the Bay Area. Six of the nine counties in the Bay Area issued an order to close down all nonessential businesses as well as limit travel to essential businesses only. We had a small provision that we were able to leave our houses temporarily to exercise.
Stay at home. Do your laundry. Sweep the garage. Keep everyone safe.
The state of California issued similar guidance across California on March 19. The state has been effectively shut down for all nonessential travel. Vacations are on hold. School districts closed. Corporate America was now working from home. A lot of the other states looked at the aggressive action of California mocking us for being so aggressive. I do think our quick action has served us well on tempering the virus’ impact. So far, the SF Bay is growing at a slower rate than other places.
President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau closed the Canadian border to all nonessential travel on March 20. That closure hit me the hardest. I could no longer just hop on a plane to go see my boyfriend. We were planning on celebrating my birthday up in Canada a few days later. Part of the blessing and challenges of seeing someone long distance is that you don’t get to celebrate each moment in person together. The ones you do however, are all that much sweeter. I’m bummed to have missed that moment with him, but I know it’s the right thing.
We still keep in touch via FaceTime each night like we always do but it’s hard not knowing when we will be able to see each other again. During these times I often think about what it’s like to be partnered to somebody who’s in the military. The one who stays at home often has to wonder if their partner is safe, coming home, and what life is like for them on a day-to-day basis. I know the situation that I’m in is far better than many of those who have partners overseas on military deployments but thinking about it that way somehow grounds me. Maybe it was watching too much of the series Army Wives on Netflix many years ago.
Every two weeks another round of people recover from this virus.-Randy
I recently found out a friend of mine has been hospitalized due to contracting Covid-19. Another friend and former coworker of mine has passed away from the same virus. That’s three high resolution touches in my life. It seems like with each passing day there’s a bit more unwelcome resolution to the story known as Covid-19.
The virus touches my life with higher fidelity each day. With more cases diagnosed in the county each day going outside gets more daunting. After a week in the house part of me took pause before going “out there” to go to the grocery store. This simple, mundane everyday task suddenly became daunting.
I know that I’m younger and healthy but men and those with pre-existing conditions have a tougher time should things get rough. We’re finding out that it’s not just the elderly that have issues with Covid-19. It can hit younger people very hard too.
My partner, Randy, often reminds me throughout this that every two weeks another round of people recover from this virus. For anyone reading I ask you to take the social distancing peace seriously. Covid-19 will affect your life in some way. With each day you will see more virus resolution in your story. Remember though, the story isn’t about you it’s about us and making sure that we get through this and that means stopping the virus in its tracks Social distancing reduces the virus footprint.
Stay at home. Do your laundry. Sweep the garage. Keep everyone safe. Do what you can to reduce transmission. The faster we fight the virus the sooner we can find our new normal.