Reflections on a New Not-Quite- Normal LA with Covid-19

Life in a city that is afraid is a bit challenging. Today, Ray and I went to two stores and found no paper products at all, no bleach, no hand sanitizer, no flour, pasta, dried beans, and almost zero frozen food. We did find lots of other food that we bought, including dairy products, meat, bread, fresh fruit, and vegetables. We arrived home with more than we could carry between the two of us so we did okay. But we might have to start pacing ourselves on that toilet paper!

People were nice when we went out this morning. Everyone was polite to one another in the stores although the parking lots offered a few tense moments. Still, given that we’re all a bit worried, I was pleased with the overall attitudes. The Smart & Final checkers said they were already tired (the store was full at 10 am), but smiled and were pleasant. Trader Joe’s staff were all smiles and a fellow right inside the door was cleaning every shopping cart handle with hand sanitizer before giving it to someone to use. Trader Joe’s was limiting the number of people in the store to 50. In the long line outside, one woman asked out loud, “Isn’t this considered congregating?” Those of us near her nodded, then shrugged. We do, after all, need food. We did try to give each other a few feet of extra space.

Daughter Rachael is still sick, but since we know it’s “only” the flu, we’re calm about it. She has a slight temperature still and has a wet cough but is otherwise feeling pretty well. She is hoping that by Wednesday she’s back to her old healthy self. Fingers are crossed. The bad news is that little grandson Nico is now also sick with Rachael’s same symptoms. Of course, they did exchange “about 100 kisses” according to Rachael the last time she saw him a few days back. No surprise there might be a shared flu bug now.

I am having to keep myself from worrying too much about daughters Sarah and Liz. Sarah is on the front lines, working at a women’s health clinic in Hollywood. She promised she is wearing gloves and a mask when seeing her patients. I know she’ll be careful but she is up close and personal with many patients daily. Liz works directly with medical residents at a local hospital and those residents are working directly with patients. She and Sarah were discussing just yesterday the need for a better protection protocol for residents who are overworked and tired and might be tempted to ease up on those masks. I’m sure the medical director in charge – someone with whom Sarah and Liz work daily – has, at their urging, already put something into place. Those two are very capable, after all, and will do everything they can to keep themselves (and those residents) healthy.

Back here at home, it’s quiet outside with very little traffic. This is exceedingly odd for 9:45 on a Monday night since we live between Sunset and Santa Monica Blvds on one of the larger connecting streets. I am not complaining, please understand. It’s nice for it to be so quiet. Still, it is a reflection that our city is taking this hunkering down seriously.

I will say good night for now. I hope you all are faring well and taking good care. It sounds like we may be in this for the long haul. I can see that we’ll all need to help each other keep our spirits up. We certainly can do that. After all, we’re in this together.

I’ll be checking back in with you tomorrow. Until then, be well.

Trader Joe’s refrigerated cases this morning.

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