July 1, 2020



THE LAST TWO DAYS OF MAY 

Two days before demonstrations broke out in response to George Floyd's death, my husband and I helped our daughter Abby relocate to Washington, DC.  During the 540-mile drive, we weren't thinking about anything political and we certainly didn't think there'd be civil unrest.  Our biggest concern was moving Abby safely.  Though this should be a happy occasion, we were sad that we would not be able to get physically close or hug one another because of COVID-19.

Feelings aside, these are...

the things I observed: 
  • traffic was not heavy on the interstate or in Washington, DC.  There was little road construction.
  • everyone social distanced in rest stop restrooms and washed their hands.
  • only 40 - 50% of the travelers wore masks at rest stops.
  • about 90% of the residents in the neighborhood of Mount Pleasant, Washington, DC wore masks.
  • in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Washington, DC, only 50% of adults picking up carry-out food wore masks.
  • all employees in fast-food restaurants wore gloves and masks.
  • dining rooms in fast-food restaurants were cordoned off and strips of tape were placed at six-feet intervals to ensure social-distancing when placing an order. 
  • the hotel receptionist sat behind a large plastic shield. 
  • the Embassy Suites looked like a ghost town.   
  • Rock Creek Park was crowded, but people practiced social distancing. 

the things I didn't foresee: 
  • the truck rental company not having the vehicle we had reserved.
  • we'd have to park a block away from my daughter's apartment to move her in.
  • I'd have to stand guard after the furniture was unloaded onto the sidewalk.
  • some of the furniture being too heavy to be lifted up steps. 
  • we'd have to rent a storage unit for the furniture that couldn't be carried into the apartment. 
  • the move being so emotional for our family. 

the things I didn't expect:
  • not having dinner because COVID-19 forced restaurants to close early. 
  • the streets surrounding our hotel to be blocked by police cars.
  • an angry, loud crowd outside our hotel shouting and throwing parking cones into the street. 
  • riot police assembling on the street and lining up shoulder to shoulder behind bulletproof shields.
  • my anxiety level to be sky-high, not knowing how the police or crowd of people would react.  
  • Washington, DC locked down for a curfew. 

The last two days in May were stressful for our nation.  On a personal level, the weekend was equally as stressful.  But we got through it.  Despite a few glitches, the move went fairly well.  It actually turned out better than I had thought it would.  For months, the three of us had been social distancing and limiting contacts, so we felt safe to be close.  And therefore...

the thing I am most grateful for: 
  • heart-felt hugs from a happy, loving daughter. 

À la prochaine!