It’s Day 14 of our lockdown in the Château Lake San Marcos retirement community. None of our 140 residents have been diagnosed with COVID 19.
Yesterday, according Public Health Services, there were 341 cases and two deaths reported in San Diego County, including 3 cases in San Marcos, 15 in Carlsbad, 12 in Encinitas, 8 in Oceanside, 7 in Escondido, and 5 in Vista.
We pass our time cocooning with the same daily schedule we had before the virus got here.
Awakening at 5 AM, we watch the morning news, beginning with BBC America, since our son lives in London with his wife and our 13-year-old granddaughter. Thanks to our weekly Skype video calls, we stay connected with them during their own lockdown.
BBC America has also become our favorite channel to maintain our mental health. Yesterday morning we watched the weekly meeting of the House of Commons, called Questions to the Prime Minister, when Boris Johnson was called upon by members of Parliament to answer questions about his government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The questions from members of Parliament were the same as those we hear in President Trump’s press briefings. Why are there shortages of personal protective equipment for hospital medical staff? What will be done to help low income families survive the hardship of unemployment? All questions accused the Prime Minister’s government of doing too little too late.
While the subject matter was the same as ours, the civility was not. Unlike press briefings, the questions to the Prime Minister are presided over by the Speaker of the House of Commons, who gives permission to a member to ask a question upon rising from their seat. The questions address the Prime Minister in the third person, not directly, as “Can the Prime Minister tell us why the government is not responding to the crisis quickly enough?” The PM’s reply is phrased accordingly. “The Honorable Member apparently doesn’t know about the many steps we’ve taken.”
Compare that to the response to a polite question NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander asked President Trump at his recent press briefing. “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” Trump’s response? “I say that you’re a terrible reporter.” Those press briefings have brought us more anger and anxiety than information, so we’ve stopped watching them.
After breakfast it’s on to our respective writing projects, Karen is working on another novel, as well as planning how she can transform an earlier one into a short musical play, suitable for production with a cast chosen from our retirement community neighbors.
At 11:30 we call the dining room with our lunch order. Within about 30 minutes, our server will arrive, pounding on the door before placing on our doorstep the bagful of disposable, recyclable containers carrying our food, fresh from the oven. The server doesn’t wait around for a thank you, but races off to maintain the social distancing required of employees.
Following lunch it’s time for a 30-minute nap, after which we reserve ten minutes to meditate, employing our virtual personal assistant, giving the command, “Alexa! Sound ocean waves.”
After meditation we take the first of our two 15-minute daily walks around the grounds, calling out, “Hi, how are you?” to others seeking fresh air and exercise, putting lots of distance between us.
After our walk we practice singing the songs we plan to perform in our 3:00 daily guitar-accompanied duet from our opened front door.
Late afternoons are reserved for sipping a glass of wine, while watching mourning doves and finches fight over the seeds in our platform feeders, as hummingbirds compete for the crimson nectar in their feeder, just a few feet away.
We can watch the avian action through the glass doors to our patio from the comfort of our couch, while we enjoy Netflix and Amazon Prime Video streaming films. A few days ago we treated ourselves to Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Seeing Tracy and Hepburn in action was comfort food for our spirits.
So, all is well with us, here in our COVID-19 cocoon. We appreciate the free room service, choosing from a splendidly varied daily menu. Yesterday we had chicken cordon bleu for lunch, our main meal each day. The day before, we enjoyed the blackened salmon. I'm not kidding. The food here is that good.