I am sitting upstairs in our bedroom enjoying the cool air pouring out of our brand new air conditioner that Ray bought yesterday at Home Depot. Our old air conditioner ground to an unceremonious halt two nights ago after freezing up several times during the day. Naturally, this was on a day when it was 94 degrees here in LA. And for those of you who live in the South where that temperature seems mild, let me point out that 94 degrees in the middle of all this asphalt and cement feels a good deal hotter than 94 in a place where there’s a lot of open land and trees. Anyway, I am delighted with our new acquisition since the old air conditioner has been limping for a couple of years now. This new fellow is spewing cold air like a blue norther coming straight down from Canada. Of course, Ray had to risk his life to go in and buy it. He said that place was packed and only half the people were wearing masks.
That brings me to the next topic on my mind this Friday evening. California is opening up more businesses even though yesterday represented the biggest one day surge in coronavirus cases so far. Orange County has made mask wearing optional even though their top country health official believes masks are critical to curb the spread. We know a young man who is a gym manager and he returned to work today. He said that he was very worried about how they were going to maintain social distancing at the gym as well as keep the equipment properly sanitized between users. Plus, he was concerned with how long people were going to have to wait to do their workout since everything was going to go much slower with the current restrictions. Life has gotten significantly more complicated for him as of today. This return to “normal” brings with it added stress that includes not just the increase of work to try to minimize exposure, but also the fear that being out in the workforce creates higher risks for family. This young man has a pregnant wife and their baby is due in two months.
According to the LA Times today, California has 147,092 confirmed cases+3,692 on Friday and 4,987deaths+54 on Friday. The majority of new cases in the state (48%) are being recorded in LA County, which is home to only 1/4 of the population. Also, seniors (65 and older) account for 78% of the deaths. Of that group, at least 2,520 were living in nursing homes. In other words, we Angelinos (especially seniors) need to be especially careful since we have a surge of new cases. So, we have to accept we’re not out of the woods yet. We have to keep our distance, wear those masks and wash our hands frequently.
Yesterday, Ray and I drove along PCH coming back from the orange grove. The beaches were packed with people. Though we saw some masks, we didn’t see many. Ray did remark that people seemed to be making some effort to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between their family group and others. But that was a Thursday. I can’t even imagine what the beaches will look like on Saturday when more people are off work.
I have nothing wise to say on all of this. I am as tired as everyone else with all this bad news. I just want to remember that the virus doesn’t care if anyone of us is tired. I think relentless is a word that comes to mind.
On that happy note, I’ll close. I’m grateful for our new air conditioner. That is a big bright spot in my life right now. And for now, we are healthy. I am very grateful for that too. I hope you’re healthy as well.
Let’s just not get complacent. It’s easy to do and the consequences are potentially great.
We’ll get there. Just one baby step at a time.