Today’s reflections come from Helen who lives with her family in Edmonds, near Seattle
I live with my family about 15 miles north of Seattle, in the Pacific Northwest region of the USA. We are close to the place where COVID-19 claimed its first victim in the US back in February 2020.
By the end of February, mass gatherings and events had begun to be cancelled, although it wasn’t until mid-March that schools were closed. This was also when all non-essential businesses were closed and many people stopped going into work, some working from home, while others were out of a job.
There was panic buying initially and toilet rolls, sanitizer, soap, masks and flour were hard to come by, but shelves were soon restocked with most items. Online shopping is popular and postal services are running as normal. Many people here continue to buy take-out meals fairly regularly. I have noticed more people starting to wear masks when out shopping for groceries, but the store staff are generally not taking this precaution.
There are no appointments for dental, hair, nails etc. but gardening crews and road working crews are still to be seen and construction work seems to continue. There are far fewer planes over-head and the roads are quieter than normal, but still surprisingly busy considering the restrictions.
Anyone not doing work deemed essential is supposed to stay at home, only venturing out for essential supplies and for exercise close to their home, avoiding any unnecessary travel. The parameters have not been clearly defined and most people occasionally rebel, but there is little policing of this.
The glorious Spring weather has encouraged much gardening and clearing out of clutter. College students are back home, following online courses. Work for school aged children is offered online with participation expected but not required. Many are looking forward to the start of the new academic year in September and hoping there will have been some lifting of restrictions by then.