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Shelter in Place

I am starting to feel as though I am not getting the same “quarantine experience” as everyone else. Following California’s lead, many states have been enacting official shelter in place orders, leaving people sitting at home with nothing to do but stream media and learn new skills. It kind of seems like fun, minus the rising death toll, existential fear, and inexplicable run on toilet paper.

All manner of businesses from online retailers to my domain name registrar have sent me multiple emails assuring me that their employees are taking appropriate COVID-19 precautions, as though somehow viral particles are spreading through the internet. Websites are not fomites, folks, although the devices you use to access them most definitely are.

Meanwhile, Rachel and I are still heading to work at our respective hospitals as usual. Very little has effectively changed since I last wrote about it: hospital policies and procedures continue to morph multiple times a day, I try to maintain links to accurate information, and the number of COVID-19 cases climbs. The hammer has not yet truly fallen on San Diego, but it will, especially as testing becomes more accessible.

With all of the businesses closed and people indoors, it feels like the entire city is holding its breath now, not only the hospitals. I’ve visited a few of my favorite San Diego haunts to collect take-out orders from local businesses, and it breaks my heart to see so many closed buildings with their lights off. No longer are the streets alive with the smells of cooking food and sounds of jovial people. I love that aspect of cities, the sense that things are happening all around me, that there is always some new place to discover for food, drink, art, music, or conversation. All of that is eerily silent, as we collectively attempt to distract ourselves from an ever-present globus sensation.

It is a serious situation and I urge everyone to heed recommendations, wash their hands, and quit touching their faces. I’m not exactly sure how to respond to the friends and family inquiring as to my status. I know I don’t have a fever for sure: I’m checked at hospital entrance daily.

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