Here are our second round of journal entries for the week. If you'd like to play a part in history as it unfolds before us, please send your submissions to email@example.com
Pat Garrity (Southampton)
On March 15th, I was showing summer rentals to a customer who turned out testing positive for Corona Virus. We had followed all the “social distancing” protocol and he followed me in his car just as a precaution. At the time he did not know that he had been exposed but on March 18th he called me to let me know that his wife had become sick and had tested positive. He had not been tested at the point but was not feeling up to his usual self and had decided to get tested (. He eventually got tested and his results were positive). He also advised me that I might want to do the same.
So, at his urging, I called the CDC testing hotline and did get through on my third attempt. The person that I spoke to, took my information and indicated that I would be called by someone based on the severity of my symptoms (I did not have any – nor did I ever get a call back). Fortunately I never felt sick and know that testing is more important for others who needed it.
Just in case, I decided to self-quarantine to protect others in the event that I may be infected. When we got the “stay at home” mandate for non-essential workers 5 days later, I had already been at home and stocked up on groceries! Now I am doing all the chores around the house that I never got around to or realizing that I should cross them off the “to do” list as I really really don’t want to do them and will never find the time!
Taking walks in our relatively safe and very beautiful community gives me gratitude every day during this sad time.
Laurie Collins (age 62, North Sea)
I hate food shopping under normal circumstances. On Monday (4/6), I set out to shop at King Kullen in Bridgehampton. I had two lists and I was hoping to get enough food to last for one week for several people. I put on my mask and gloves and got on the line with my cart. They were only letting 50 people in the store at a time. The line was moving along quickly and soon I was in the store shopping following strict guide lines. Mostly keeping 6 feet apart which makes for slow shopping. Many of the shelves were depleted but I was very happy with my progress. The problem was, I was very uncomfortable. The mask was pinching my face. I was sweating and my hands were sweating.
At least an hour later I was relieved to be on my way out of the store. As I was on my way out an elderly bent over gentleman was on his way in. He was slowly struggling to push his cart which contained his cane. He had no face mask, but was wearing a pair of very large welders gloves on his hands. He obviously has no one to help him. Had I not had a cart full of food that would spoil, I would have offered to help him. His image was in my mind for the rest of the day and I felt terrible. How could a community at a time like this not reach out to this man who could use some help? I felt so guilty for complaining to myself the whole time I was in the store.
Barbara Schwartz (age 90, Sag Harbor)
The pandemic of 2020 and how I celebrated my birthday.
It is March 20, 2020 and I am recording my birthday in the midst of the Corona virus. I have lived through the depression, stock market crash, World War II, 9/11 in NYC and I will survive this. During World War II I never felt afraid, we kept busy knitting for the soldiers, collecting aluminum foil, growing victory gardens and other activities. We heard about the war on the radio or saw pieces of it in news reels on Saturday at the movies but it wasn’t broadcast 24 hours a day on TV as it is now. We had to deal with rationing, I still have my ration book, and we had to darken our windows at night but we weren’t quarantined and isolated as we are now.
A party at Brian & Linda’s was planned for tonight with Deirdre, Liam, Ann, Kathy & Maureen but it had to be cancelled as we were staying indoors. I baked cupcakes and iced them in the morning and that evening faced timed Deirdre and Liam and Sam and they were face timing with Anna and Nick. We lit our candles and then sang Happy Birthday to one another and blew them out. Liam and Sam baked a pineapple upside down cake for Deirdre. As we were singing my doorbell rang and out in the road in front of my house were my neighbors, about a dozen of them, sing Happy Birthday to me. What a day it was. Despite the gloom and darkness there was light and gladness tonight. Thank you Sag Harbor.
March 21, The celebration continued. My neighbors who were in California and Florida sent their greeting on facebook and said they were sorry they could not be here to join the singing.
My grocery delivery from Serene Green arrived and in the bag was a little pound cake and a birthday card. Everyone has so nice.
I place an order with Peapod two weeks ago and it will arrive the 30th. They are really busy. My drug store delivered my prescription so there is no need for me to go out.
Today I sent both of my granddaughters chocolate covered strawberries to thank them for what they are doing in the hospitals under trying circumstances. We are under quarantine now. The summer people from New York City have come out here in droves and cleaned out the grocery stores and appliance stores. PC Richards sold 500 freezer last weekend. People were spending thousands of dollars at Citerellas stocking those freezers. They are exposing us all to the virus and don’t seem to care. They are congregating at the beach as if it is summer. We already have four deaths and a number of cases in the hospital. Why aren’t they staying inside? It’s hard to understand.
Wednesday my order from Everyplate arrived and I started cooking my dinners. It was a box with enough ingredients to make six dinners. That should keep the wolf from my door. On Monday my Peapod order finally arrives, it has taken two weeks to get a delivery date.
I have cleaned my office, organized my desk and will now start on the storage room down stairs. I should have the house pretty organized by the time we are able to go outside again. I am hope we can still have my birthday party with the whole family that is planned for July. We will just have to wait and see.
Zachary Taylor (age 29, Farmingdale)
I've been trying to make sure my friends, family and loved ones are all doing well during this time. So far all of my friends, both locally and across the world, are holding up quite nicely. Family of mine both within and outside the state are doing about the same. My father and I are doing good, everything being as ordinary as it can be during the time. Much of our time spent hanging out consists of watching professional wrestling together, which I've now been consuming more than I ever have before the lock down. But much like with cleaning out my basement, there's only so much sweaty muscle opera I can consume before I get burnt out.
Aside from my father, I haven't seen another human being on anything that wasn't being broadcast on a television or via a video call meeting. As surreal as it is, and as crushingly lonely as it can get for some folks, I find myself adjusting well to it. Since I've been ripped away from my ordinarily, busy schedule, I'm left with enough time to not only check up on my friends but get to familiarize myself with whatever projects they're working on as well. Many of my friends are either musicians or artists, and having this time to look and listen to their work is both inspiring and satisfying to experience.
It got me thinking about all of the scrapped projects I've had built up over the better part of the last decade. Maybe once everything I have is organized, I can smash the reset button on some of these projects when the motivation hits me.