Sheltering-in-Place Part 10: Hitting the Road

Week 17.

My bubble-mate, B, and I have made the decision to undertake a road trip to the east coast. B will clear out the house of her recently-deceased step-Dad; I will go visit 96-year-old Mom. Mom retains misgivings but has given way to my reminding her of our many visits to her 100+-year-old sister, never knowing which visit would be the last, always wanting to create one more good memory.

Yet it’s still COVID Time, still Shelter-in-Place for much of the country, and liable to become more so as more of us venture into risky undertakings. I don’t advocate what I am doing, but here’s my report of plans made and (eventually) how they turn out.

Departure date is tomorrow. The rental car is reserved. We’re packing disinfectant, hand sanitizer, face masks, a UV-sterilizing light and the protective goggles that go with it, road food. The plan is to drive in shifts for some 20 hours, take a 20-hour layover somewhere in the midwest, then drive another 20-some hours to upstate New York. After quarantining at B’s step-Dad’s empty house, I will drive to Massachusetts to visit Mom, stay a week or so, then return to New York and back to California. After returning, I’ll quarantine again for 14 days before starting work, assuming that Alameda County and Sarana are open by mid-August.

It’s a big undertaking, not lightly chosen. From my current viewpoint, choosing to hit the road now seems like the path with fewest future regrets for might-have-beens. But only time will tell. Meanwhile, we’re off. Wish us luck.

Stay well,


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