COVID-19 in the City by the Sea

May,20202020 had begun so happily as all New Year’s do! A two week visit with our daughter and one year old granddaughter had been a joy! February birthday celebrations , Valentine love and of course intense Black History remembrances! Whispers of a deadly virus in China had caught my attention from the MSNBC news coverage since mid January. But that was somewhere else for someone else to be concerned with. In passing, I asked my daughter to be careful going through the airports from Md. on February 2 with my granddaughter because of a new virus outbreak amongst travelers.As a hemodialysis patient on treatment 3x weekly for the last eleven years, I am always mindful of my health. Along with kidney failure, there are several other co- morbidities to consider as well. Patients started getting educational handouts about the CORONA (COVID-19)virus. Look for fever,sore throats,shortness of breath and coughing. Although you might have these symptoms you could also be fine, asymptomatic, but still able to pass it on to others.!The virus seemed to be an invisible foe hanging in the air, living on surfaces and who knew what else. Even though I seemed to be in the high risk category, (over 60 with other underlying health issues) you put your faith in God and go on. It all seemed possible. Life seemed “do-able” as it had always been. BUT it all changed starting on March 11 when the World Health Organization (WHO) proclaimed the novel (COVID-19) Corona Viral Infectious Disease 2019 was a Pandemic. On March 12, all dialysis patients were required to wear facial masks and complete a screening inventory sheet before entering the building. Temperature checks normally done at the treatment chair were now done at the door. Anyone with a temperature of 100 or more would be turned away.It was uncomfortable to wear the masks for the four hour duration of treatment but after two months, it seems like a part of getting dressed. It wasn’t long before people wore masks and gloves to pick up groceries with sanitized wipes at the ready.Everything started moving so fast. People started forecasting that the virus was spreading quickly and the government was going to shut us down and shut us in. Everyone started panicking going into the retail stores to get sanitizers,cleaning solutions,toilet paper, paper towels and food!Delray’s lockdown began on March 30 (curfew in the city was from 9p-6a…later changed to midnight – 6a) to end April 16 and statewide onApril 2-May 2.The mandated shut in orders or lock down seemed extreme but did seem to help stem the tide of virus cases and not overwhelm hospitals with the sick. Hospitals nationwide suffered from a shortage of personal protection equipment and ventilators for COVID patients.Testing for the virus had a slow start here. The first Palm Beach County testing site launched on March 31.The federal government issued social distancing orders (6 feet minimum between you and someone else) and no gatherings of ten (10) or more. This mandate closed bars,restaurants and churches!On April 23rd our 45th President, Donald J. Trump, wondered out loud to the nation if ingesting Lysol or Clorox bleach could kill the corona virus internally or using ultraviolent rays internally to kill the virus!Our state government, led by Gov. Ron DeSantis, seemed slow to react to this pandemic. It seemed to the observer as if the revenue the state expected from Spring Break visitors,golfers and beachgoers mattered more than keeping Floridians safe. Our state was among the last to lock down and among the first to talk about re-opening. The Miami Herald is on the governor now about the misleading COVID-19 death reports (especially from long term care facilities) to make things appear more “rosy” than is true.As I write this over 83,000+ Americans have died. Each of those 83,000+ were individuals with stories just like mine. Those of us who live now wear masks,others choose not to. Some are still choosing to stay at home while others could not wait to get outside. People have been willing to stop and speak (at a distance)and are more willing to lend a hand. They tell us to brace for a 2nd or 3rd wave of the virus soon.A workable vaccine may be 12-18 months away.Over 30,000 Americans are unemployed because of the virus. There is food insecurity for some. Children are all home schooled, church is carried out online and no one knows when or if this situation will change.Florida has over 41,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 1700 dead (as of 5.12) only God can help us!Many more hurdles ahead…

About This Story

  • Project: COVID-19
  • Date submitted: May 13, 2020
  • Emotional tone: Positive
  • Who should know about this? My community

About the Storyteller

  • Community: Delray
  • Age: Over 61
  • Gender: Female
  • Concerns: Being alone, Health of the community, My health, and Paying the bills

How the Storyteller Interpreted Their Story

Note: Responses which fell closer to the middle (between two or three options) are shown as two dashes.
  • My story shows we need to: --
  • Who my story is about: --
  • Why people acted the way they did: --
  • How people were treated: People are treated how they want to be treated
  • In my story, there are: No solutions
  • In my story: I am calm
  • My story shows: I have no control
  • My story teaches us that: The community is resilient
  • My story teaches us that: The community is volatile
  • My story is about: --