Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Sunday Salon: A Covid-19 Update



Hello, friends. What a month! March has obviously not gone as planned for any of us...

Our lives on the island have changed dramatically. As most of you know, two of our daughters live and work in Manhattan. As retired health care professionals, we grew concerned about the situation in the city early on and urged them to come to Florida. Eventually they agreed and have been here since the 12th... both working remotely. It's a tight fit with five adults in our small condo, but I am so thankful they're here.

We stayed home for two weeks following their arrival and still continue to do so. Groceries are delivered and it seems like I am cooking constantly... good therapy, actually. There must be material for a Weekend Cooking post or two with all the planning and new recipes. We'll see if the spirit move me.

Life on the island has become eerily quiet. Restaurants and bars have been closed for what feels like ages, though some continue to have take-out available. Public beach access and parking closed earlier last week. A few days later all public parking lots were barricaded... I assume to prevent people from coming over and riding their bikes on the paths. Yesterday the city suspended all rental accommodations for 28 days. The birds seem to like this arrangement... they have the beach mostly to themselves and are coming out in even greater numbers. 

Unfortunately, reading has become a distant memory. I'm still listening to audiobooks on my now twice daily beach walks, but that's about it. I've discovered Alison Weir's Six Tudor Queens historical fiction series and love how they take me away to another time and place. This is not one of my usual reading genres, but I've long been fascinated by Tudor England. Weir is primarily known for her nonfiction and I think she has a knack for fiction as well. Katherine of Arag√≥n: The True Queen was wonderfully entertaining and now I'm over halfway through Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession.

Blog reading has also fallen by the wayside, but I continue to think about my blogging friends and hope you are all safe and well.  As I settle into this new normal, my reading and blogging will pick up again...maybe as soon as this week. 

How are you all holding up? Are you still reading?

46 comments:

  1. I am glad your daughters are with you now and working remotely. It is the same here in north Florida, libraries and restaurants closed, parks shut off. It is like an apocalyptic movie and I wish I could pop the movie out of the player.
    As Doug & I stay home most of the time things aren’t too different for us with the exception of a weekly lunch out. Currently there is a wildfire in the adjoining county so the smoke has run us in off the patio where we had been eating and reading.

    It is definitely a scary world these days. So far only 1 case of the virus in our county but we still stay home. I have been reading a lot lately, just finished Educated by Tara Westover. I know you didn’t care for it but I was glued to that book, she overcame so much. I bought loads of movies as we dont have ability to stream and have checked many digital books out of the library. That’s life here! Wish we had put a pool in years ago because I would surely be in it now.

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    1. Tina - Glad to hear you and Doug are well! Our routine is much the same, too, but I miss our occasional lunches out. The tiny condo kitchen is seeing heavy use with so many people eating in all the time, just wish I could pop in to the grocery store to pick up whatever I need for any new recipe that strikes my fancy! There are over 150 cases here in Lee county - not at all reassuring!

      I still enjoyed my morning walk with an audiobook. This afternoon I'm trying a new recipe for Blueberry Cornmeal Shortbread Tart and I'm hoping to just relax and read for a while, too. I didn't dislike Educated so much as I found it disturbing and difficult to listen to at times. Westover did a fantastic job telling her story and she certainly did have much to overcome! Stay safe up there :)

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  2. I'm glad to hear your family is all safe and sound!

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    1. Thanks, Angela. Hope all is well with you and your family, too!

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  3. It seems like this social isolation would be a reader's delight but everyone seems to be having trouble focusing on books. I'm reading some but not like I used to.

    I'm glad your daughters are with you, safe and sound.

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    1. Kathy - I've been reading blogs today and have come to realize I'm not alone in my inability to concentrate on books right now... hope we settle into things a bit more this week. Hope you and your family are all well!

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  4. Life where I live has changed too but not everyone is practicing the "6 ft. rule". It seems like a lot of our "snowbirds" have left which is early for them to go back north. Still, the stores that are open are always busy. I haven't been anywhere other than work since the 12th. I started ordering groceries to be delivered from Publix. Glad your daughters are with you, NY looks like a ghost town. Stay healthy!

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    1. Vicki - It took a long time for people here to start practicing social distancing... think the public beach and beach business closures finally convinced the spring break crowd. It seems like I haven't been to the store in ages, but a neighbor mentioned yesterday that Publix seemed like it was a little better stocked. Our island has become more like a ghost town, too... I imagine this is what it usually is like in late August and September. Stay well!

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  5. I am so glad to hear that your daughters are there with you!! It's so scary what's happening, particularly in NYC. You must be so relieved they are with you. Our state has also banned any use of rental properties and hotels (with the exception of some folks like those in construction or people with loved ones in the hospital - I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting). The main thing was to stop all the tourists from arriving and infecting our county, which to date has only 1 confirmed case. I'm walking twice a day, too, and listening to audiobooks rather than podcasts, but my reading time for real books is down, as well. Just can't focus on much, although Option B is proving to be a very good read right now. I'm trying to carve out a little time every few days to check my favorite blogs. We're playing more games (Qwirkle, Quiddler, Trivial Pursuit) with my mom and working on puzzles to help pass the time. Not too much in the way of tv/news, but we are watching shows like Shetland and most recently an older show called Prime Suspect. I still watch This Is Us (only on Season 3) every night or so by myself. Facetime has become more frequent with friends and family, which is fun, too. Looking forward to some meal ideas when you get a chance. :) Take good care, JoAnn! xoxo

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    1. Les - I was really a wreck until they got here, and that was before it got really bad. Even more thankful now! FL has been very slow to respond to the whole situation. The accommodation closings are just our island/city and that as a result of emergency declaration. Thought of you the other night when we got out a puzzle... haven't started it yet, but this is a new activity for us. My siblings and parents have been using Zoom to communicate the past couple of weeks . Having a lot of fun with that. Hopefully, the reading will begin again soon. Stay well, my friend!

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  6. I'm glad you are all together right now. I worry a lot about my son and his wife who live in Chicago. Her parents and her grandmother live there, too, so they are seeing to them. Still, I worry a lot about Chicago.

    It's an odd time, isn't it? We have lots of time, but our activities have been curtailed. We don't venture out. Even when I go out on the front porch I hesitate when I see others out. How close is too close? I worry about my 93-year-old dad and his wife who live close to us. They are not accustomed to being without their family and friends. They miss everyone desperately.

    I had a very hard time trying to read, but I've found I seem to do fine if I stick to light or children's books. I'm glad you have found some good audiobooks. I'm happy to see the e-books and e-audiobooks available at my public library.

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Thanks so much, Deb. This is a strange time, for sure. Our neighbors next door have now postponed their return to Chicago until the end of April, but that could change again depending on what happens there. I'm sure I won't be able to read anything too heavy for a while. Historical fiction seems good for now... we'll see if I branch out for my next book. Hope you and your family continue to stay safe.

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  7. Good to hear from you, JoAnn, and I, too, am happy that your daughters are with you in FL. Strange times indeed. Also glad to hear that you are continuing your walks on the beach and I totally understand about that and the audios. I am doing the same a lot. Print reading is not as easy for me. I'm trying not to worry too much about our daughter in her job as a nurse at a local hospital. She's working too hard and too much, but that's the way it is and I'm glad she can do it. My husband is working from home and that's a bit of an adjustment for us. Not too bad. We'll get through this, but I'll be happy when I can go where I want when I want. I always thought I was very much a stay-at-home person in the last few years, but I'm finding that being required to do that somehow isn't as fun for me. Ha! Missing my library volunteering so much. Take care and we'll be glad to hear whatever you're in the mood to share when the muse hits.

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    1. Kay - I will keep your daughter in my prayers. My best friend's daughter is also a nurse. She's working in the Covid ICU at Buffalo's largest hospital, and equipment is scarce. They're using the same masks day after day :(

      I've been spending more time cooking and baking. It's become a challenge to see what I can make with the ingredients on hand (didn't realize how often I ran to the store when I wanted to try a new recipe!) Today's treat is a Blueberry Cornmeal Shortbread Tart... good thing I'm walking twice a day! I'll check in again soon... stay well!

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  8. I’m glad your family is with you, even if it’s a tight fit. I tried to get groceries delivered, but the store is out of pretty much everything. I have to wait until they restock. I hope you have a good week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. AJ - Seems like the stores here are just getting restocked again. Hope yours follow soon :)

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  9. I'm glad you're all together, too, and that your daughters are not in New York. As we've discussed nothing's been normal, including reading! But I did pick up a physical book finally (a Donna Leon mystery that I had missed) and it's felt nice getting slightly back to normal in this regard at least. All I need right now is more sunshine -- walks (and audiobooks) while walking have felt so good. Take care!

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    1. Audrey - I have the first Donna Leon Brunetti mystery on my kindle... maybe that would be worth a try now. Still enjoying the Anne Boleyn book and that will keep me busy for a few more days. Sunshine is not a problem here! We've been near record temps for the past week, so I'm walking around sunrise and sunset lately. Hope working from home is going okay. My daughters find it very frustrating, but better than the alternative. Take care, my friend.

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  10. I don't know you, but I felt instantly what a relief it must be to have your kids w/ you in Florida instead of NYC. What a blessing! Good thing they were able to get out of there in time.

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    1. Ruth - It is certainly a blessing! I think they were both unnerved seeing the tent hospital units going up in Central Park. Looks like they'll be here at least through April now.

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  11. My children in laws and grandchildren all live overseas so I worry over them. Here in Sri Lanka we are in complete curfew mode very strictly enforced so no walks anywhere, not even pharmacy. You need medicines you inform the Police! Stay safe.

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    1. Mystica - Worry seems to be the natural response in times like these. I hadn't heard that even the pharmacies closed in Sri Lanka. I'm sure the complete shut down will keep more people safe. Take care!

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  12. I’m glad your daughters are able to be with you. We too have a full house, it takes some getting use too 24/7

    Wishing you a great reading week and good health

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    1. Shelleyrae - I'm sure we'd both prefer a full house to the alternative. We seem to be falling into a routine now. Hope you're having good week.

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  13. So glad your daughters are out of NYC right now! Hang tight, even when the quarters are also tight...family together can be a comfort.

    I haven't seen any of my family in a while...sad.

    I have explored grocery delivery, but since there are staff here, I'm giving them lists to shop for some items. So far, so good.

    Enjoy your books when you can manage. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - It is most definitely a comfort to have everyone together. There are challenges, but overall we are quite content. I'm sure the reading will fall back into place soon. Take care.

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  14. I am so glad to have a post from you. We are all in the same situation but it still brings a calmness to hear from another locale. Yes, lots of cooking (and clean-up.) Glad you found some reads to distract you. I am such a nerd that I have found diving in to dense reading, fiction or nonfiction, that demands concentration to be a saving grace. We each do what we can and must. We will get through. Stay well.

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    1. Judy - Today is the first day I've been able to concentrate on a book and really want to read... that's progress. Guess I'm coming to terms that this will be our reality for the time being. Glad to hear you are safe, well, and reading!

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  15. I'm glad your family is safe! My father and his wife are in Florida for the winter and they've agreed to stay there because we think it would be unsafe for them to drive back to Buffalo right now. I'm glad your daughters were able to get to you in time. One of my daughters lives in New Orleans, which has been hit very hard by the virus and although she has been isolating herself for over two weeks now, I'm very anxious with her so far away.

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    1. Aileen - I think your parents made the right choice by staying in FL. Driving back would surely be more dangerous than staying in place. Our neighbors just extended their stay another month, too, and it could end up being even longer. Glad your daughter is isolating herself... still, I know there's no way to not worry. Hope you all stay safe and well.

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  16. So happy to read the twins are out of NYC and with you. My husband's son, wife and 3 teens live in Manhattan - not a great place to be right now. I miss not seeing our children/grandchildren but, the 2 of us are hanging in there are trying to make the best of this situation. (Reading is challenging - audios seem the best right now). Stay safe.

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    1. Diane - Not seeing family is hard... and I can imaging how much you must miss them. Hope the Manhattan branch is able to safely stay at home. Today is the first day I've been able to sit and read for an entire hour without my mind wandering. I'll take that progress. Stay well!

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  17. So glad your daughters were able to come down and are working remotely. We are mostly staying home and going about our regular day. My 10 year old is homeschooled so while we no longer have the classes and outings that were part of our weekly schedule things aren't that different. The main difference is that my husband is working from home and decided that the dining room has a better wifi signal then his office so I no longer have a dining room. Small price to pay! We are doing a lot of cooking but trying to get takeout a decent amount - especially from locally owned businesses to try and help out. I've found having either classical or spa-music on in the background has done wonders for being able to read. It helps drown out the background noise and the extra noise in my brain! Stay safe!

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    1. Katherine - We're trying to support local businesses, too... this is absolutely devastating to so many. We're getting deliveries from the local family-owned grocery and have enjoyed takeout from a few restaurants. Tomorrow, I'm considering purchasing a book from the local indie. They are offering curbside pick-up. We're trying to give the girls space/privacy to work... so far, so good. Great idea to try classical or spa music in the background while reading! I generally prefer silence, but need to drown out the extra noise in my brain, too. Thanks.

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  18. I'm so glad you children were able to join you during this time. I hope you all stay safe and healthy. Reading has been a bit harder to pick up for me too. I've got some online work and school and a kiddo to take care of and help get school done. But we're managing but it's difficult to fit some of those normal things in. I hope we can all figure out the new normal. Stay safe!

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    1. Heather - This week seems to be a turning point for us (well, me) in adjusting to life for the time being... accepting the limitations and annoyances, but still realizing how very fortunate we are to be together. Hope your new normal gets easier, too. Take care!

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  19. Hi -- so glad your daughters are there with you and that you all are well. It must be really odd that Sanibel is so quiet during spring break season, but glad you can get out for daily walks & audios & see the birds & shells. We are cooped up but fine here ... reading light reads ... and waiting for the snow to end. Last weekend we had a couple of bike rides that have helped me mentally. It's good to keep active. take care there.

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    1. Susan - Light reads do seem best right now! I finished the book about Anne Boleyn and have started Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson... very good so far. Had a great bike ride yesterday and a walk today. Everything is fine until I turn on the news...

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  20. I managed to get excited recently about a book which I just reviewed, The Woman in the Dark and that got me reading again.

    We have not been able to order groceries online. The cart just keeps going empty. Too many people trying to do the same. I've tried several stores.

    I'm glad your daughters listened to you. I have relatives in NY and all their friends and neighbors have it. My son just returned from college. He didn't want to come home but it became impossible for him to stay. I am glad he is home.

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    1. Ti - Our grocery delivery seems to be crashing, too. I think the small island grocery has just been overwhelmed. Signed on to place an order today and they can't deliver it until next Thursday! Guess we'll take precautions and head to the store.

      Glad your son is back home. I'm sure you are relieved! I finished the Ann Boleyn book and started Nothing to See Here today... think it's going to be a good one!

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  21. So glad to hear your daughters are with you! What strange times we are in right? Like you, my reading and blogging have been non-existent. I just keep thinking we will get through this but if we only knew exactly when it would be so much easier to deal with it. Ah well. Stay safe!

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    1. Iliana - I think you're right that the uncertainty makes it all harder. Luckily, things here seemed to fall into more of a routine this past week. Hope it does for you, too, very soon.

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  22. My reading has really slowed but I think I'm finally working out the new schedule as I continue to work remotely. See what I've read at Girl Who Reads

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    1. Donna - Things got better as far as a routine goes this week. Glad you're finding a new schedule, too.

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  23. Glad you're all together and safe. We are used to being home, but even so, everything seem so difficult now -- ordering food, wearing masks, and so on. I haven't been reading much either -- we're decluttering and rearranging the house, partly out of boredom, partly because were here all.the.time, partly to accommodate some of the things we brought home from my mom's. Stay healthy.

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    1. Beth F - We're still hanging in there, doing the same things you are. My reading has finally started to pick up though. I'm sure you'll find a place for those new possessions. Stay healthy :)

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