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Published: April 12th 2020
On Tuesday 17th March, San Fransisco city started the 'Shelter in Place" order. We were given the news the afternoon before and so Herve went to the local shop (very crowded) to buy some basic supplies. This shop has since been such a saving grace. It is small, open all day and restocks daily. The bigger supermarket chains are crowded, have many rules and regulations and also run out of everything.
The order, by SF mayor London Breed, was put into effect to slow the exponential increase in the COVID-19 cases. Case 1 was Feb 1 and this escalated to 872 cases (and 14 deaths) by today 12/04. It was the first in California but the state soon followed suit by ordering Shelter in place two days later.
Twitter was ahead of the game and one of the first to send its employees to work form home. Herve has been working from home since 11th March, 6 days before the Shelter at home order.
The world certainly moved into a state of panic and chaos and we had to navigate a new ways of doing things...but from a personal perspective, it has not been disruptive. Herve peacefully works
form home and connects via online video chats to colleagues. he has the same amount of meetings...they are just online. He continues to do his work and actually has moved into more interesting work. For me, I continue to paint as always. The tricky thing has been to continue to get exercise. Luckily we are able to go outside to shop and walk/exercise as much as we need. We only saw one group of police on quad bikes making sure people were not gathering in groups.
One noticeable difference is how peaceful everything is. With people inside the streets are mostly empty and quiet. You can hear the birds more and the bees are in bloom along with the flowers. I was unwell after my return from New York so the first few weeks of the order were easy to follow...I stayed in bed. Herve went to the local store and we remained still. After a couple of weeks Herve started cycling in the Golden Gate park and as I got better we started a new routine...
We had breakfast together, did our work separately, came together for morning and afternoon tea and lunch and dinner then watched
a movie or whatever in the evenings.
We are now in a much smaller apartment than our last rental and so it is cosier and we have learned to define the space a bit. We work at the dining room table and have coffee either on the terrace overlooking the garden or in the lounge room if too cold outside. The lounge doubles as our cinema room in the evenings 😊 We get take-out weekly and share a bootle of wine when we feel like it and I have been cooking delicious meals. We have a lovely garden and a jacuzzi for fun and relaxation. Ginger is super happy to have us home so much!
On the other side of the planet our girls and parents and family and friends are well. So close to the Australian fires has been a challenge! but Australians are a resilient bunch of people and after the initial panic (over toilet paper which ran out fast), they are (mostly) handling the situation. My parents are calm and relaxed and continue shopping. Mum is doing well. All visitors have stopped but phone calls continue. Dad played gold right up until the course closed
(even when the club house was already closed). I feel there period of isolation may be less than in the US.
This week we started to venture out together and go for walks in the Golden Gate Park. We have noticed more and more people doing this each day. There are signs of new life. One interesting this is every night at 7pm many people come outdoors to bang pots with wooden spoons. The first time I saw this I was very surprised...there were sirens and women standing on doorsteps or hanging out of windows banging and making a racket! I have since found out it is in honour of the many medical professionals who have continued to work. A kind of clapping and thanking. Nice!
we do not know when this shelter in place order will be finished. Maybe a couple of months. Nobody knows yet. The number of new cases of VOVID-19 are plateauing so the time may be reduced. We will see. I look forward to going back to restaurants, walking freely with others in the street without having to keep a 'social distance' and see people wearing a mask. I look forward to continuing my association with the local SF women's art gallery and exploring this city more.
For now, we are well, healthy and sane 😊
Lots of love to anyone reading, I hope you and your family and safe and well.
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