Covid vs Florida

By: Linda Beck

May 5, 2020

1 Week before shutdown.

“Are you sure we should still go to Florida?” I ask my husband.  We had planned a three week trip to drive down to Florida from New Jersey with our son and 11 yr-old dog in tow. My sister-in-law just finished building a house with a pool and separate guest apartment just outside of Orlando.  I couldn’t wait to break it in.  

4 days before shutdown. 

“I don’t think we should go to Florida.” I tell my husband.  He has been looking forward to this trip more than me and fights me on it.  His sister reports that business is as usual down there.  Everyone is still partying like it’s 1999.  I convince him that if we go down there, his mom and step-dad will be pressured to still fly down to meet us.  I don’t want them on a plane breathing in infectious air for three hours. 

2 days before shutdown.

“We’re not going to Florida anymore.  But we will still try to visit for Easter weekend.”  I tell my parents via FaceTime.  We were supposed to stop by my parents’ house in Maryland on our way to Florida and on the way back for Easter weekend.   By tradition, we celebrate all the grandchildren’s birthdays over Easter weekend.

1 day before shutdown.

“Shut up!  Seriously?  Okay, you are only allowed in your office or bedroom.  Don’t come into the kitchen or touch anything!”  I yell at my husband.  He has woken up with a fever.  I spend the rest of the day wiping all high touch surfaces with rubbing alcohol and doing laundry.  I tell my son that Appa is sick so he can’t go near him or play with him for the next two weeks.  I count only six extra-strength Tylenol pills in my cabinet.  Luckily my friend/neighbor leaves about 50 pills for me on her porch.  My husband will be on Tylenol every six hours for the next week. 

Day 7 into shutdown.

“Just stay on that end of the kitchen.  Don’t touch anything!”  My husband is allowed into the kitchen just long enough to sing Happy Birthday to my son while he blows out the candles on his brownie-cake.

Day 10 into shutdown. 

“I started walking downstairs to give my husband the dog’s food!” I text my Tylenol friend.  That was how delirious I was from the constant back and forth from my husband’s office downstairs to the kitchen to the never-ending laundry upstairs.  My husband is now having breathing issues and I spend my night looking at Youtube videos on how to listen to lungs for signs of pneumonia.  I have a stethoscope packed away somewhere.

Day 25 into shutdown.

My husband is fully recovered and we are making a fire to make some s’mores.  The weather report shows a frost advisory for most of New Jersey.  I say to myself, “I wish we were in Florida enjoying this lockdown by the pool.” 

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