By Monday, the first cases were showing up but all connected with a cruise to Egypt. Basic precautionary measures were being touted online as well as on the local news. The crazy run on toilet paper began, causing those of us who were charged with educating many of the now adults to wonder where we fell down on imparting common sense.
As the week wore on, I began to reconsider my travel plans. But by the weekend, I could not see anything in my plan that would violate the guidelines. I would drive myself, take along my lunch, stay one night at Jill's parents lake house, and spend my time only with family. I figured there was no more risk than staying home for a week and doing necessary errands there.
I planned to leave on Wednesday, but when I looked at the weather forecast on Monday and saw the words severe weather for late Wednesday and Thursday all up and down my travel route, I decided to up my departure to Tuesday. Guidelines for avoiding the virus still focused on six-foot distances, washing your hands, and avoiding large gatherings.
As I headed south on Tuesday, I began hearing things like 'Elderly stay put!' and 'No discretionary travel.' I debated turning around but couldn't see any real gain so kept going. I arrived without a hitch on Wednesday afternoon.
Like many people, we found some distractions. A thousand-piece puzzle of 70s junk food kept us busy for several hours. Saturday afternoon, we took a ride around the area to look for stands of bluebonnets. Unsuccessful but certainly distracting. A drive through the marina where Pat keeps his boat inspired a search for You Tube videos on new boats and campers. And on Wednesday night we were treated to the incredible rainbow pictured above after a storm--a reminder of promises and not to lose hope.
But reality was never far away. Pat maintained his work connections through his computer and teleconferencing. Jill faced challenges of planning online lessons for her fourth-graders and learning new technical skills to execute them. She also helped Jack, a freshman at UTDallas, to move all of his belongings home to finish out the year online. My brother-in-law spent a night in a small Georgia hospital with heart problems, with the accompanying threats of of infection. Other family members and friends were changing plans almost hourly to return home from winter residences.
Tomorrow I will begin my trek back home with an overnight stop again at the lake house. It's been a welcome respite, but I think there are things I can do there that may be helpful to others. It's frightening to consider what the next weeks may bring. But I will remember the rainbow.