My First Foray From a Sheltered Life Back to a Normal One
Why I left home and ventured out
Yesterday I shopped for the first time since early March. At almost 80, I’m considered one of the most vulnerable during this coronavirus pandemic. Since Gavin Newsom told us Californians to stay home in mid-March, I have followed my county’s guidelines for activity and social distancing.
I was allowed to mail packages for my home mail order business and to walk to my mailbox or outdoors for exercise. I was also able to have outpatient surgery in a doctor’s office to remove cancer from my nose. But until yesterday, others have done my shopping for me and delivered groceries to my doorstep. Yesterday was my first foray on a journey back to normal. Here’s how it played out.
For a few weeks, my Toyota Venza had been flashing a message that I needed maintenance work done. I have avoided it since I don’t drive much while sheltering at home. But my husband, who is over 80, insisted it had to be done and he was going to take it in himself. He was diagnosed with a bladder infection four days ago and could not drive while on an antibiotic that makes him a bit dizzy. I decided to take the car to the dealer in San Luis Obispo, 30 miles away, myself. I took a mask in case it was required, but it wasn’t. If I had enough energy left afterward, I was planning to shop at Costco, a few blocks from the repair shop.
San Luis Obispo County has had only one death since the pandemic was recognized and monitored here. As of May 19, we had 247 confirmed cases of the virus and 213 people had fully recovered. Our total population is 283,000. At no time have we had more than five people with the virus in the hospital. Most recover at home. For this reason, I decided to take the risk. The numbers were on my side.
I prepared to stay safe. I armed myself with a small bottle of hand sanitizer for my purse, some disinfectant wipes in a plastic bag, a couple of disposable gloves, and a mask. I would never have taken these precautions before when getting a car serviced. I also took a protein drink in an insulated bag in case I got hungry. I took my phone to keep me busy.