Category Archives: Pandemic Diary

Bicycle Barricades are Down

Bike path on a sunny day with a sign saying to maintain 6 feet of distance between people.

…and replaced with these warning signs to maintain distance.

I think this particular path could have been left open with these warnings to begin with, because there’s so much room to go around people even if it did draw a crowd. It’s not like the paths along the base or top of the bluffs near the coast where you really can’t keep your distance if there are too many people (particularly when the beach itself is closed).

Heck, there’s more room to spread out here than on the sidewalks along most streets. I think the only reason they closed this path to begin with was that they had closed the other paths — the ones that don’t have giant open spaces on either side — and were concerned about people gravitating toward the one remaining path and, once again, creating a crowd.

It’s worth remembering, as California moves to stage 2 and cities and counties start loosening pandemic restrictions, that the coronavirus pandemic isn’t over. We’ve slowed its progress enough that it looks like we can take a few more risks without overwhelming the health system, but if we go back to large gatherings and people milling about together, we’ll be right back where we started.

And we still don’t know how long antibodies provide immunity — if at all.

Keep your masks. And keep your distance.

Sorta Open. Maaaybe. If You’re Careful.

I mentioned last week that Manhattan Beach had closed all their parks outright, rather than just closing equipment and facilities. Over the weekend heat wave, they reopened at least Polliwog Park, taking down the caution tape from the perimeter and instead wrapping individual playgrounds, gazebos, sculptures and even picnic tables with metal fencing.

And signs. Signs and fences everywhere.

Park with signs for pandemic rules and fences around everything.

I’d been able to see at least some of the signs from the side of the road last week, reminding you of the Covid-19 mantras: Cover your face. Keep six feet apart. Stay home if you’re sick.

And then there were signs like the one above explaining that yes, the park open again — but only on a trial basis, and you have to follow the rules! There was even a police car parked on the lawn to show they meant business, though I’m not sure where the officer was. It’s a big park.

And then there were these, posted on all those portable fences.

Empty playground with a temporary fence and a sign reminding you just how long the coronavirus can last on surfaces like, well, playground equipment.

Some cities around here have just wrapped their playgrounds in caution tape. Manhattan Beach wants to make sure you know why it’s closed.

Even the interactive art installations.

Red gate/ring sculpture/bench with a fence around it.

…Or Was It?

With more symptoms being added to the list for Covid-19, I’m beginning to think I should have gone in for a flu test when I had the flu at the beginning of March. At the time, chills, muscle aches and headache (and lack of coughing) seemed like a clear “not Covid” indicator. I was staying home anyway — I didn’t want to give anyone the flu, either. And I figured as long as it was treatable with home care, I wouldn’t waste time and doctors’ resources on a flu test to tell me what I already knew. Or thought I did.

Not that I would have been able to get a Covid-19 test, even if the flu test turned out negative. This was about a week before California started locking things down. Tests were still in short supply. I hadn’t traveled to China or Italy, or been in close contact (as far as I knew, anyway) with anyone who had. I wasn’t coughing or short of breath. All I had was the fever and a bunch of other flu-like symptoms that weren’t recognized as Covid-related.

That said, one key piece of evidence still points to the flu: I managed not to give it to anyone else in my family.

We kept our distance, washed our hands a lot, and made sure I didn’t cough or sneeze at anyone or on anything. But we continued to share space in the apartment.

See, in a small apartment you can’t do the level of isolation that a lot of articles have suggested. I wasn’t locked in a red zone alone. Food wasn’t delivered furtively, with a mask and gloves that were immediately dropped as soon as the door closed. We didn’t disinfect everything as it left the room.

If it had been Covid-19, everyone else would have gotten it too. Especially since I would have already been contagious for at least a week before symptoms hit.

But it would be nice to know for sure.