Knowing most cancelled their Summer vacation request due to Coronavirus outbreak, my boss actually asked me, “Just to confirm, are you still taking a vacation request?” My answer was a 100% sure, “Yes, I am.”
Like most Californian’s, I simply want to keep living. Is it wrong to still dream and spend quality time with your family while the pandemic is increasing? Is it wrong to request a week of Summer to focus on self and family when doomsday seems upon us? Is it wrong to try being happy while the mood is sadness, anger, fear and isolation? Is it wrong to be hopeful when everything looks messed up? Is it wrong to feel certain of something when everything else feels uncertain?
All I’m certain of is today. All I’m sure of is this year’s Summer moments I’m celebrating in the now. Distant bucket plans are just it, distant.
I don’t believe in creating a list I don’t have control from happening, but I do believe in creating what’s possible in the present, the minutes, maybe days and weeks.
No one knew last Summer was their last.
John Hopkin’s University COVID-19 data shows 9,400 Californians didn’t get to experience their Summer this year with their families. Love ones they left behind are grieving instead of making new happy Summer memories. Love ones they left behind are worried of where to get money for food and shelter instead of feeling safe and well provided for.
California is the first and only state so far to surpass the half a million Coronavirus confirmed infection. Today, it exceeds 512,000.
Many of us are wearing mask. Many of us are doing social distancing and avoiding social gatherings. We use sanitizer every place we’d been. Some of us haven’t been in physical contact with our elderly family members since the lockdown in March. Many of us are following safety Coronavirus preventative measures. Some are still defiant. However we’re responding, the new infections and new deaths from Coronavirus continues.
Why is Coronavirus soaring wild in California again? Why previous epicenters are back to being ground zero and why new ones are sprouting in places there never was before? The answer is really simple, we love our freedom and dreams too much. California Dreaming is not a cool caption someone made up, it’s an actual lifestyle choice many choose to live by.
The other why is Essentials since the Stay-at-Home Lockdown mandate needed to work at least 40 hours a week. That’s 40 hours of risk of contact every week from Coronavirus infected droplets. But we are not complaining. We are actually very grateful because having a job is a blessing during the pandemic days of unemployment and business closures. Just stating, Essentials have to be there so people can continue to buy food, clothes, things and services we want or need including healthcare. Getting sick no matter careful is a risk and possibility we are willing to take. We accepted our new world of COVID-19 infection. Warned or not, we rolled the dice and gambled.
Saturday was my last Summer vacation request. I couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate freedom and life with family than San Francisco. We’re aware many are thinking and feeling the same thing. It’s predictable, many Californians loves hiking, nature and outdoors. It’s inevitable, many Californians are drawn to the surf, sand and sunshine.
We’re tempted to stay in the car and just enjoy the ocean and the view of the Golden Gate from afar after seeing flocks of people walking towards the best scenic spots but instead we ventured to the least crowded part of Lands End, the Sutro Park.
While eating our picnic food, a mother in her 70’s and her daughter in her 40’s sat on a bench overlooking Ocean Beach. Sometimes, I saw them talking and laughing, other times just quietly enjoying the view. Like them, we’re just trying to enjoy this year’s Summer with family because with the deadly Coronavirus around next Summer may not happen at all. This Summer may all we’ve got. Gloomy and negative? From my side of the view, it sounds very real, sensible, practical.
Here in California, living in the moment are not words to remind ourselves to make the most of time. It is a way of life to spend wisely precious, fleeting, borrowed time.
I don’t judge because I don’t want to be judged. I don’t blame, cause I don’t want to be blamed. I try to understand as much as I want to be understood. I don’t want anyone to experience guilt that tear and break hearts and spirits. Don’t we have enough of that already?
Californians are no different from anyone else, we are trying to survive and live. Is that really wrong? It’s not my place to pretend I have the answer nor I have the right to point fingers. No one has. No one should. Nobody is spotless.
I am a Californian and like all the dreamers, the builders, the innovators, the fighters and the survivors before me and like me, I will create tomorrow not from what I’m told but from what I envision it to be. Light will overcome darkness.
There are just two ways to move forward with the Coronavirus outbreak, surf or drown. So, I’m trying to learn quickly how to swim my way through it like everyone else because drowning is NOT an option.