Coronavirus and California

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.

I saw Lands End for the first time on a foggy day of Fall 2015, then Winter, Spring, Summer and the seasons repeats. It’s our gateway to place we always feel at home, San Francisco. So many beautiful memories to count. To many blessings to count.

No one knew last Summer was their last.

John Hopkin’s University COVID-19 data shows 9,508 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 521,000.

Exactly why we turned around and ventured the other way.

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.

I wish it’s a joke, but one of our favorite restaurants had a sign, “Closed forever.” This is not an isolated case. Some restaurants all over the U.S. has closed or planning to close because outdoor dining is not enough to sustain them. Many of their customers also hasn’t come back as more and more people are opting to eat home for health safety reasons.

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.

If all we have is this Summer, how do we wish to spend it? Stories of people are a living reminder not even the rich and powerful can predict their when.

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.

Related Links:

The Coronavirus Is Never Going Away

Raucous parties, young adults fueling California’s COVID-19 crisis

Covid-19 is more widespread than ever in the US, even hitting Americans living on islands

Coronavirus surge slowing in California, but don’t expect a repeat of reopening fever

Coronavirus Stimulus Proposals Aren’t Limited to Coronavirus Spending

How the Pandemic Defeated America

We Just Have To Assume The Monster Is Everywhere

You don’t have a right to kill me

Dr. Birx warns U.S. in new phase of coronavirus pandemic with ‘extraordinarily widespread’ cases

Global Cases Top 18 Million; U.K. Mulls Options: Virus Update

No signs Trump has pandemic plan despite chilling warnings from administration’s top doctors

Hundreds infected with coronavirus at Georgia camp, raising fears about risk for children

As COVID-19 hammers Texas, Hispanic residents are dying at the highest rate

One day in the life of COVID-19 across L.A. shows wrenching inequities

Opinion | COVID-19 and school openings are a dangerous mix. Don’t force us students to risk it.

Coronavirus Cases Rise in Europe as Youth Hit Beaches and Bars

Pandemic ushers in ‘new normal’ for historically underfunded HBCUs

Birx Warns U.S. Coronavirus Epidemic Is In ‘New Phase’ As Cases And Deaths Climb

A vaccine won’t mean a quick return to normal

About Island Traveler

Just a Man too curious where his dreams will take him.
This entry was posted in Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Coronavirus and California

  1. Thank you for sharing your story, as I don’t feel so alone now reading.this. I’m commenting as a fellow human. I appreciate your words. I think that the human and emotional journey of this pandemic is one we should all share.


  2. Yes. I hear you loud and clear. Those closed forever signs are haunting, and behind each one there are real people who have lost their way of life. We move forward the best we know how. Also, I love the beautiful California pictures.


  3. I am so glad that you put in that vacation request! It is so vital to nurture ourselves and our families during these difficult times, not wrong at all! You are making the world a better place by choosing hope and joy. 🙂


  4. restlessjo says:

    You are, after all, my Island Traveler and your dreams were big and beautiful. 🙂 🙂 I don’t know the details for California but I do know what a mess the UK are creating with their Covid policies. It’s such a small overcrowded island, with a wilful population. My son is out of work, living inner city, and he and partner and 7 year old escaped here for just one week, to hug and make some more memories. Fraught with danger? It felt daring, but so necessary! Who knows when we can do it again. Have a wonderful holiday beside your ocean 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jo. It’s a mix of fear and hope here in California. The Summer surge goes on , though news and politicians says it’s better. > 6,000 new cases a day and rising deaths is NOT better. I guess less than 10,000 new positives is the “ don’t panic yet,” numbers. My work place has totally changed for the safety of patients, their families and medical staff. It’s mostly telephone appointment now because anyone is a possible asymptotic coronavirus infected. It’s sad but we learned to live and stay alive. We’re praying Flu season in Fall will not be catastrophic. That’s just a less than 3 months from now. Sorry to hear about your son losing his job. It’s happening everywhere & no one is addressing it with real solutions. I’m glad you saw your son and his partner and their 7-year old because time with family is so short & unpredictable these days. Stay safe and take care my friend .


  5. Pingback: Coronavirus and California — This Man’s Journey – Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

    • Thanks for sharing the story. I was reluctant to release it cause it may stir negative emotions in people, when really is just letting people know, we hope the same, “to live,” & find joy in our unfortunate circumstances with Coronavirus. We are better than our leaders who still can’t make up their minds whether to save us or just save their political agenda , so we save and help each other. We are after all makes our Nation great. How this pandemic plays out is up to all of us.


  6. Ab says:

    You have the right attitude to living life in the moment and during this pandemic. Be cautious, be safe but not be paralyzed. We all still have to keep living. It is very sad that the restaurant closed. It is thus imperative we all continue to go out and live, cautiously, and to support those businesses that are struggling during these difficult times. Thanks for sharing these pictures. And that story of the mother and daughter was very touching. It is the simple things that truly make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ab. The day was beautiful and each scene speaks of a truth and a story. The mother and daughter was my favorite because it showed courage & faith. The elderly mom, conquered her fear by going out in a world she was just simply trying to remember. Her daughter, spending valuable time with her mom for as long as she can. No one lives forever. No one can control life, only God. However we can control living and being truly alive in the present. Being in the now has never been more important than this year. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Robyn says:

    I completely agree – I don’t judge and I don’t want to be judged. I’ve watched a lot of our friends take some time away, although we have not reached that comfort level yet to do a whole trip. We have, like you, taken our time to appreciate the beautiful things around us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So much hate and fighting already. The news is full of it. Explosive negativity and blaming as widespread as the infection. People can’t heal if we keep going back to what’s tearing us apart. It would be nice to wake up one day & everyone is just at peace and hopeful fighting for the same, Coronavirus. Stay safe and have a beautiful Summer. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. We can’t live in fear, or we aren’t living. Although I admit, I have my share of fear at the moment. But I go out every day off and explore somewhere outside (early because it is very hot here). And as long as we can get hotel rooms, we will take our roadtrip in the fall. I agree to live life the best we can every day. I try not to be fearful, I try to be hopeful. But virus or not, none of us really know how long we have on earth, and we need to live it while we are here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Been following the guidelines since Feb., but now it’s in the hands of God, “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.” A friend said yesterday, “My family and I drove to a beach last weekend. Hearing the ocean waves on the way back and the seals, I cried because I didn’t realize how much I missed nature , & the happy times of last year Summer.” Entrusting our worries to God and just doing our best to live life safely and still fully will make a big difference in living our new normal. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree completely! 🙏🏻 I can relate with your friend. The beach calls my heart…


        • The risk of COVID19 being at the beach is far less than being inside our fav stores & groceries especially on weekends. Lately, scares me to be inside Costco. Too packed with people. Nature heals us this days and we should not fear nor people stop us from doing that. We’re already following the safety measures, we can’t give up living as well. We’re to far from the finish line and we just do our best. Stay safe.

          Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.