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Mar. 5, 2021 | Friday
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Letter from U.S.: 'Lockdown' means different things to different people
Tennis buddies gather “safely” to play a game during lockdown in the U.S. (Supplied/Sonja Schindeler)

Sonja Schindeler and Rick Hrga
Special to The Lake Report

When we decided to take the risk and travel to our winter home north of San Diego, we weren't sure what to be more afraid of – COVID-19 or civil war.  Thankfully we have done well with both. 

Let's start with COVID-19. The stay home order was lifted on Monday and outdoor dining, limited indoor dining and salons are some of the guilty pleasures that people will once again enjoy.  

Previously, although we were "presumably" in a lockdown, we were astounded by the range of interpretations of what "lockdown" means. 

Restaurants were closed – unless they chose not to be. People were told not to gather – but made excuses for having their families over for the Christmas holiday. Still, we are supposed to socially distance but ladies will still drive to the tennis club together – masks on.

Honestly, I am most stressed by trying to stay away from people who tend to come too close!  

So, combining the pandemic issues with civil war, I recently got into a five-minute conversation with one of the women after an (allowed) tennis match.  (Masks on through the parking lot and right on to the court, at which point we are allowed to unmask.) 

A staunch Republican but NOT a Trumper, she was venting about how the "numbers" are all suspicious. She argues that many people get tested over and over and over again, and that the systems are not robust enough to identify "unique" individuals. 

With no knowledge otherwise I could not argue the point, but I "innocently" asked if more enforcement of masking, handwashing and socially distancing would/could not help to mitigate some deaths. 

Her answer was: "We are Americans.  We will never go along with the diminishing of our civil liberties." 

Go figure. Thank goodness others are a little bit more reasonable. So I backed up another three feet ...

While watching the media reporting around the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6 we were checking out property values in our area. Honestly, if Trump had somehow swung a coup there is no doubt that we would be selling. 

Hopefully Joe Biden is the right man at the right time. At least the "temperature" has gone down palpably in our area. It seems everyone, regardless of party affiliation, is breathing a sigh of relief.

Many of our dear friends at home have expressed concern that California is such a "hot spot" for COVID-19. California is a very large and diverse state. 

You may not realize this, but the state is 1,040 miles from north to south. To put that in perspective, Toronto to Orlando is 1,050 miles. Way too far to believe that something is the same across such a large geography. 

We are very fortunate that we are in an area where the impacts of COVID are not as visible. Los Angeles, of course, is getting killed (pun intended), and some of the southern areas of our county – those bordering Mexico – are also suffering due to the socio-economic issues and congestion. 

All of this taxes the medical system which is why all of southern California is in the "purple zone." Purple.  Why purple ... why not RED!?

As of Jan. 23 our area is vaccinating those age 65 and older and a lengthy list of occupations. The next phase will be 50+ and anyone younger with a comorbidity that could result in a stronger reaction to COVID-19.

The highlight of our days has been going to the county website to see if there are any appointments available at the vaccination sites.

The website is very straight forward. It identifies the vaccination clinics and tells you if they have any appointment availability. You choose a location, fill out your personal information and choose an appointment time. The available time slot(s) are sometimes gone before you submit your form and then you have to start over again.

At the clinic, including a 15-minute wait after the shot, you are in and out within a half-hour.

After striking out previously, on Monday Rick received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine (free, even though he is Canadian). I gave everyone at the clinic my best sales pitch on why I should get one as well, but ... no luck.

 And so, I wait.

 

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