This coming Thursday we were flying out to Fort Lauderdale in Florida to climb on a cruise ship that was going to take us through the Panama Canal. There were to be stops along the way in Costa Rica, Columbia, Nicaragua and Mexico. Peggy was super excited. She had lived in Panama in the late 70s BC. (The BC here stands for Before Curt. DC is During Curt. We are hoping to avoid the AC.) She wanted to see her old home at Fort Amador, to revisit where her daughter Tasha was born, and visit the Canal again.
I was equally excited. Just watching Peggy would have been enough. But Panama, Columbia and Nicaragua were new countries for me and I am always up for seeing new places. Cartagena has been on my bucket list for a long time. I figured I would get enough blog material to last up until summer! But it wasn’t to be.
We watched nervously as coronavirus made its way from China into other countries. Given the nature of the disease and its rapid spread, the President’s words that we had only 15 cases in the US that would soon number zero rang hollow. It seemed to us like it was time to gear up and get ready, not play down the danger. It was hardly rocket science, or so it seemed to us.
Nothing focused our concern more about the trip than people being stranded on cruise ships with a highly contagious disease. Countries were refusing to let them land. Reluctantly and sadly, we came to the conclusion that the trip wasn’t worth the risk and cancelled. A few days later Princess Cruise Lines cancelled all of its cruises. That’s how fast this pandemic has developed.
As my post goes up this morning, I expect that our Governor, Kate Brown, will issue the same stay-home order for Oregon that our neighbors in Washington to the north and California to the south have. Our trips into town will be limited to quick in and outs to buy groceries and other necessities. (And no, we aren’t hoarding toilet paper.) We will practice the same social/physical distancing and hand washing/use of sanitizers that people throughout the world now find themselves doing. And we will try ever so hard to avoid touching our faces. The mere thought of it makes my nose itch.
We are lucky in that we live on five acres out in the boonies with our property backed up to a million acres of national forest. Social/physical distancing doesn’t get any easier. Our property is excited that we are going to be around to give it more attention than in normally receives— and the star thistle is bummed that I will be around to yank it out by the roots. It’s a nasty plant that spreads rapidly like coronavirus, kills off native plants, and sucks up precious groundwater. I’ll probably do a blog on it. Woohoo. Also on my to-do list: go looking for Bigfoot. There’s a reason why the world’s only Bigfoot trap is located three miles from our house. And I may go searching for gold. Why not. An old gold mine is located a few hundred yards behind our house up in the forest. Maybe Bigfoot hangs out there. I’ll let you know.
And speaking of blogging, it is hard to imagine a more positive activity in these perilous times we are facing. For one, it is the ultimate in social/physical distancing. Two, it keeps me occupied. And three, most importantly, it allows for safe social interaction with a number of people I have come to consider as close, Internet friends over the past several years. So keep blogging, stay safe, and don’t scratch your nose.
NEXT POSTS: Still thinking about Wednesday. I may take you back to my journey down the Pacific Crest Trail, or off to Europe. Since travel is out, I have plenty of posts to remind me us of the how fun, interesting, and exciting travel there can be. Friday will be special. Peggy and I just made a trip up to Crater Lake National Park to see what it looks like in the winter. One word comes to mind: beautiful.