April 9, 2020, Sitka, Alaska
I needed some more practice at social distancing before I really took it on-line. It was a beautiful day to try. I decided to walk along Silver Bay where I would not encounter too many other people. There is both a sidewalk and a bike lane, so if I encountered anyone, I could easily get 6 feet away. I encountered three other people to test it on. First, two women with a child. I climbed over the guard rail and they passed further than 6 feet away. The second was a jogger who was coming up on my rear. I moved to the far right and she ran into the bike lane. The third was a biker who just whizzed by in the bike lane, twice, while I hugged the guard rail.
After advice from yesterday’s post I arranged my facemask so my glasses didn’t fog. It worked. I was the only person wearing a mask at Silver Bay. Having walked from the first turnout to Whale Park and back I felt I was ready for the gold standard of a social distancing hike, Sitka National Historical Park, where I usually walk and take pictures and where I encounter lots of friends no matter what time I walk.
So, after lunch I went to the park. It was truly social and somewhat distant. I could still have conversations with people I hadn’t seen in three months, at two arm’s lengths. At one point in a clearing there were 6 of us, a wheelchair and and a dog. We were all 6 feet from each other. I was the only one wearing a mask, but it was good to chat, at a distance, with friends. One was a park ranger who was happy I was back to take and post pictures of her park. I am a social creature. The President’s advisor says that after this is over, we should stay out of the habit of shaking hands. Shaking Hands? I’m a hugger! This is hard. I missed people, especially after the intensely social experience of a cruise followed by an enforced 14-day quarantine. Fortunately, Suzi and I did not have to be socially distant.
But it was at a later encounter where I had my severest test. An old friend, who usually hug, and I were talking at more than 6 feet distance. We were both wearing masks. That’s when all the little pollens decided to gang up on me. Try to stifle a sneeze while wearing a mask and without touching your face. I dare you. It was a close thing but the urge to sneeze passed, I kept my hands clutched to my camera to stop them from pinching my nose, and I finished the conversation.
At home I checked out the crocuses. Two more had popped up in a completely different part of the yard.
At sunset Suzi and I decided to take advantage of not being locked down. The sun is setting a little north of west in early April, we can’t see it go down from our car. We went out to the old seaplane turnaround to look at the sunset. On the way home we checked the mail and grabbed a newspaper. Success on day two.