Like most of you, we’ve been isolating ourselves from most of the world in order to help “flatten the curve” and avoid getting or giving COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus). To be honest, we’ve kind of lost track of time and how long this has been going on.
I was buried deep in the blur that is tax season when the pandemic hit the U.S., and while I work remotely, most of my coworkers work out of physical offices in Massachusetts. Since we’re already set up for remote work, most everyone was able to limit or eliminate their in-office hours, and clients were able to work with us digitally. We thought we’d be pushing hard to make the April 15 deadline, but once the deadline became July 15, things have become a whirlwind.
David has been working hard as a mobile RV technician, and had been so busy that he had to schedule days off just so we could spend a day together! Since the pandemic hit, he’s been limiting exposure by only responding to emergencies (fridges, air conditioners, hot water heaters, that sort of thing).
Currently, we are in Cedar Creek, Texas (just east of Austin), and have been here since December. We had planned to do a little traveling once tax season ended on April 15, but once tax season was extended, we weren’t sure what to do, except stay put, work hard, and wait out the uncertainty. So we cancelled our reservations to Double Lake Rec Area near Houston (but hope to visit someday!), and cancelled our reservations at The Texan RV Park, where David was going to attend an LCI training.
We’re used to buying a lot of food online and in bulk because of celiac, food allergies, and veganism, so while we we’ve been inconvenienced a little bit by shipping delays and needing to get creative with suppliers (we couldn’t find Barilla Red Lentil Pasta anywhere, but we were able to purchase a case from Shop Rite Delivers!), this isn’t too different from the way we usually operate. Although we did sorely overestimate how many plates we were buying…
David masks up and goes to a grocery store once a week or so and picks up fresh and frozen veggies for us. The stores here are taking things pretty seriously, sanitizing carts and restricting the number of people in the stores at a time. Initially everyone was wearing masks, but I’m sad to say that nowadays we’re only seeing masks on about half of the people we see (from a distance) going in and out of stores and places where people tend to gather.
We’ve been mask-users for a long time now: I’ve got enough environmental allergies that I’ve carried an N95 mask in my bag for years, and when David was biking to work every day, he wore a mask to avoid the dreaded junebug-to-the-mouth. We love our Vogmasks (link is to company site, but if you’d like to shop, here’s an Amazon link), but they’re understandably out of stock lately. Wearing masks in public isn’t anything new to us, so it’s been interesting to see how attitudes towards them have changed. Instead of being looked at like I am weak and sickly as people did pre-pandemic, now it seems like we just blend into the crowd. Remember, kids: wearing a mask isn’t a sign of weakness. It says you care about the health and well-being of your neighbors, your family, and your friends.
In the park where we are staying, the laundry room has become an impromptu donation spot for neighbors sharing what they have. It started with a few rolls of toilet paper, and we’ve seen (and contributed) nonperishable food items, toiletries, and face masks. We have a lot of long-term residents here in this park, and we know some are struggling more than others. It’s nice to see people pitching in however they’re able.
Now that the temperatures and humidity are creeping up here in Texas, we’re thinking that we need to make a careful and calculated move somewhere cooler, where we can lay low, live inexpensively, and wait out some more of this pandemic. We don’t expect things to go back to “normal” (and to a certain extent, we don’t want the old “normal” back: more people than ever are finally seeing the importance of accessible healthcare, sick days, and safe working conditions! They are finally realizing that spreading germs to immune compromised people is bad! This is real progress!), but we do think there will be a new normal someday.
We had some summer reservations planned that we were able to adjust our arrival date, so we’ve decided to make quiet trip next month and stay there until the fall. We’ll bring our groceries with us, stop only for gas and sleep, and lay low once we arrive, while the curve continues to flatten.
Stay tuned for more details about our next not-quite-long-term stop…