By Johnnie W. Lewis
We’re quarantined north of Marietta, GA. We can’t go anywhere except to the grocery store or gas station. We can’t have a “get-together” with our family. All the state parks are closed. All of the “attractions” are closed. So all we can do is “stay home.”
The “reason” that we had worked up for being on the highway when we came up to the Marietta area after the Everglades and a week in Cordele was totally logical. The order was to stay at home, “shelter in place,” not congregate with other people. But the deal is that, while we’re in our RV named “TB-1,” we ARE at home! We’re just moving our house!!
We were “quarantined” in the Everglades by choice of being there. It was 40 miles to the nearest grocery store, so every time that we went to “town,” we ate at a different place. There were four places, so at each weekly visit, we’d swap eateries, then start over.
But now that we’re out of the Glades, we looked forward to doing things that we could not do in the Glades. During our planned “home visits,” we needed to accomplish several things. Grandchildren’s birthdays, family and friends visits, all doctors’ visits, sitting down and eating at our favorite eateries.
Of all the things we had “planned” on getting to do during this month while we are in our home area, here’s the list of what we have NOT been able to accomplish.
* Our planned campsites — CANCELLED. Before we had even left Big Cypress in the Everglades, two of our reservations at Corps of Engineer parks in the Lake Allatoona area had been cancelled for us. That threw us into having to scramble to find a place to park this rig, at the last minute, for 30 days. We learned, when we first started this odyssey, that if you don’t make your reservations at some of these parks WELL in advance, you can’t get a spot at a moment’s notice. Since two of our COE parks closed, we were stuck with a high-priced place, KOA, for eight out of 30 days. More $$ than we’d planned!
* See our Co-Captain-of-the-Varsity-team grandson play soccer — CANCELLED. Schools are closed across the state, so all school events are cancelled. The kids are having to do school work via computer on “ZOOM,” whatever that is. I had heard of, and tried, “Face Time” before, but Zoom is a new one on me. Our cyber security expert son tries to see to it that aging Mom and Dad are kept “up to snuff” on these advances and most changes in the computer world, but that one has sneaked up on us!
* See our granddaughter in cheerleading competition — CANCELLED. She is a “flyer” on one of the Stingrays championship teams in Marietta and most years they go to Orlando during the first weekend in May to compete with other teams of their level. This year, twice (once in March and once in May) her competitions have been cancelled. So now, she’s “keeping fit” by running three miles a day and doing her back handsprings, front walkovers, etc. on a long mat placed at the bottom of their driveway (the only FLAT space outside of the house!).
* Grandchildren’s birthdays — CANCELLED. No parties, because we can’t have too many people in one area. We delivered presents in their driveway!
* Visits with our family and friends — CANCELLED. None of our family or friends want us in their houses, because we might be contagious. Actually, they might be contagious to us, too! We did spend the night at our son and daughter-in-law’s house one night — the Sunday night of the 15 tornadoes through the north-of-Atlanta area. But when the night was over, they were chomping at the bit for us to leave, as we left to go see if our TB-1 was still standing. And they aren’t interested in us returning. We visit with them and our daughter’s family on the driveways. Not exactly the “warm and fuzzy” feeling that we wanted to feel during our “coming home” time this month!
* Doctors’ appointments — CANCELLED. At least part of them were. We had four appointments apiece scheduled. Two appointments out of four, for each of us, were cancelled before we got here. I guess dental and eye appointments aren’t important, ‘cause those were the first ones cancelled by those offices. Jimmy’s skin scan was cancelled. But my chiropractor adjustments were held anyway. My chiropractor is the best! The crux of the whole medical scenario was to be our annual physicals. Blood pressure medicine is not one of those drugs that you can buy off a shelf. You HAVE to “see” the doctor to get those prescriptions refilled. And he/she has to “see” you! So our appointments for our annual physicals this year will be by “Telemedicine”!! Our doctor is going to “see” us on the computer screen to determine if we’re in healthy shape or not! By that new thing called ZOOM! HA!
* Eating in our favorite restaurants — CANCELLED. We have realized the obvious — there is no ambiance on the drive-thru board!
This Coronavirus “shelter-in-place” thing is getting old. But it’s extremely interesting to sit at home and watch/listen to others who are bored and having to sit at home for extended periods that they’re not used to! FaceBook is RIFE with hilarious tales of how people are acting during these home-alone sessions. Some people with kids are ready to pay teachers a billion dollars a year, once schools are back in session, ‘cause they realize what the teachers are going through daily. And they realize that it’s barely possible that the kids being bad AIN’T necessarily the teacher’s fault! hehe! The smog in Los Angeles, they say, is almost completely gone from the skyline, because people are staying home instead of being on the roads so much. Churches are holding services online rather than run the risk of people getting sick because of being together. Funerals are being postponed or held without mourners. People are learning to help each other out by volunteering to box and deliver donated food to people who have lost their jobs due to the quarantine.
Not everything about being forced to stay at home is bad. Some good may come out of this quarantine yet!
Johnnie Wright Lewis, author of many books, and her husband, Jimmy, travel the USA in their RV, stopping to see whatever they can. They met and married in Athens and with cousins and friends in the Athens area, including their beloved Bulldogs, they take every opportunity to come back to where they “started.” Follow them on Facebook at “Two Old Farts Traveling” and watch the many videos of their travels on YouTube under the same name. Look for Johnnie’s books on Amazon.com under the name of Johnnie W. Lewis.