Vacationing During a Pandemic

Self-quarantining? Social-isolating yourself? Fighting zombies over the last roll of toilet paper? Searching for hand sanitizer? Avoiding stock market updates? Smacking your forehead over the ineptness of the Trump guy who occupies the Office of President? Yeah, the latter for sure. But I’m on vacation. In sunny warm little Sanibel Island, Florida. A bubble of basic normality where quarantining means strolls on the beach, frosty margaritas and cold Coronas, biking thru tropical pathways, kayaking thru the mangroves, moonlight pool swims. And yes, dining in sparsely occupied beach restaurants and bistros. I’ve been here for over two weeks. The first two were before the world was officially declared at war with the Coronavirus. This the third week and I can hear faint faraway rumblings of that war inexorably creeping closer. Sure, the raw oysters and conch fritters, coconut shrimp and cold beer contribute mightily to the trite, corny tourista Jimmy Buffet-pretend lifestyle. Like being in Disney World, or Dolly Partonland, or that place in Missouri or Arkansas with the Japanese fiddle-player and long-forgotten 1950s crooners. But without all the Disney shit, Dolly crap and Japanese fiddlers. It feels like the little island it is. Life goes on here; everyone seems to have been infected not with Covid-19 but instead with Novid-00 island fever. Since we’re already booked here until the end of the month I’m fighting the impulse to just pack up, hit the road (we drove) and endure a three-day drive home to Southwest Michigan. But it’s snowing there. And 80 here. Amid warnings to avoid contact with grandchildren, our two near our Michigan home, what’s to gain from an early departure. So we take it day by day, read online apocalyptic reports and try not to panic. Time for a bike ride, dear. And then a dip in the pool, martini in hand. Welcome to the pandemic vacation.

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