California Lockdown (Lockdown-ish), day 1

by Deeann Mathews 4 months ago in health

Solo strolling in the spring of solo distancing

California Lockdown (Lockdown-ish), day 1
Pretty poppies perking up for me to see and snap as I strolled

So, as I said in my previous article, Gov. Gavin Newsom wiped the calendar clean on various shelter-in-place orders given by counties across California …

… and just put the whole state on shelter-in-place until May 20.

So, today ends up not being the fifth day of the San Francisco Lockdown(-ish), but the first day of the California Lockdown(-ish).

I figured it was time for me to take a nice walk and process all of this.

Solo exercise is permissible, so long as six feet of social distancing is maintained.

Long absences and distances from the house are discouraged, but things like walking the dog and going around the block are encouraged.

Three weeks is a long time to sit around.

Eight weeks would wreck anybody's fitness.

I used to walk miles and miles per week, but I've been off due to injury – too much walking, actually, at after snapping a whole muscle a few years back.

I was looking forward to working my way back up again, given a longer period of time and strengthening.

I started today, although I can't say that today was anywhere near my baseline standard.

I was cautious today, wanting to feel out things outdoors.

At least it is spring, and I was greeted warmly by a fresh but gentle breeze and sunshine.

I had been snapping photos of the weather all day … afternoon ...

... but after a while, it became clear that it wasn't going to rain, and if I was going, I had better go.

Spring did not disappoint.

Not at all.

The earth does not fear Covid-19.

It is said that in regions that have had shelter-in-place or stricter orders for a long time, spring has been doing exceptionally well … animal activity that has not been seen in decades in the springtime is recurring around the world.

This is the first spring in a long time where the silence is of normal human activity.

Perhaps this time will cause us to reconsider our stewardship of the planet.

On the other hand, the big flu pandemic a century ago suggests that people will double up on their movement and pleasures when this is done, and that very little will be learned. The last flu pandemic preceded the Roaring Twenties of the 20th century.

Hence the memes, and some serious-minded people, saying the true virus on the planet is us.

I would not go that far.

But it does cause one to reflect about one's choice of resources from the earth, especially since there are shortages.

Portion control is easier when you know someone has to risk their life to provide food and you have to risk your life to go get it.

Nothing now can be wasted – same issue.

The streets are CLEAN today, and San Francisco smells good.

The problem with that glorious odor, of course, is that it is springtime. Pollen on top of pollen, blowing in that gentle breeze.

People like me, if we forget to take our allergy medicine, will end up coughing and hacking and sniffling, and not from Covid-19.

But, everyone around people with major allergies, even six feet away, will panic. The struggle is real!

I got away with one today, owing to the shortness of my walk, and the fact that it is still very early spring.

But I am suffering now with my allergies, and I will need to remember to maintain my regimen.

All is not sunshine and roses in San Francisco in the springtime, even in this neighborhood – social distancing sometimes lets us express the fears we have of neighbors we have never bothered to know.

I am a young Black woman in a neighborhood that was majority Black when I was a child. The neighborhood gentrified. Those of us whose families remained are now “the odd ones out.”

A couple of my new neighbors jumped as I greeted them in passing, maintaining the social distancing.

But, they would have been surprised either way.

Covid-19 has not changed that much in the heart of the city, or this country, yet.

Yet given eight weeks of time for all of us to be taking short walks in the neighborhood, and the fact that we will be at home and on our front steps and seeing each other much more, perhaps we will get to know each other.

Like I said in a previous article, Covid-19 is no respecter of persons, and does not discriminate against any race or creed.

Perhaps Covid-19 will serve as “bad cop” to the “good cop” of a pretty spring, and we all will learn the lesson, in the end.

One can hope and pray for that much healing of the planet, at least my part of it.

Deeann Mathews
Deeann Mathews
Read next: Best Running Shoes for Women
Deeann Mathews

Deeann D. Mathews is is a former professional journalist with the Bay Area News Group, and is a writer, composer, and community servant living and working in San Francisco, CA. She is an early adopter on Vocal and the new Hive Blockchain.

See all posts by Deeann Mathews