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Sunday, September 6, 2020

Carlsbad, California. Less than an hour drive to a beach escape from the heat. We arrived Friday night and checked into the Ocean Palms Resort. A short walk brought us to Jay’s Gourmet Restaurant for dinner. What’s pandemic-different here? First, while there are plenty of people, it’s still not as crowded as you might expect an accessible beach to be on a holiday weekend. We easily got a table — outdoors of course— for a creamy fettuccine Alfredo (me) and sausage and peppers baked pasta (John).

Most people wear masks here, even outside. The hotel lobby, normally a place where you can help yourself to coffee, bagel, and yogurt in the morning, is closed, but fruit and granola bars are offered on the porch. You check in at the outdoor window. In fact you take care of everything at the outdoor window—ask about restaurants, pick up your morning coffee, check out beach chairs and body boards. The atmosphere is tropical with tables here and there for relaxing or bringing in your lunch. The Jaccuzzi is closed and warnings about six- foot distancing are everywhere. This is not the open space and solitary trails we had found in the National parks up north. Here there are people everywhere. More than I ever see at home.

Saturday morning we had coffee with an ocean view. People were already starting to set out their towels and beach umbrellas at least six feet apart. We picked up Grace and her sister and the four of us set up our place on the beach. The city of Carlsbad had a table by the steps where they offered free masks. Even though most people did not wear masks on the beach, I thought the beach pandemic etiquette was pretty good, in that no one tried to set up their chairs between groups that were already six feet apart, the groups were mostly about four or five people at most, and people stayed with their own group.

As I took pictures, I could also see how you could make the beach look much more crowded by taking a side shot down the length of the beach. Or less crowded with an aerial view. It all depends on the story you’re trying to tell.

Everything is a calculated risk these days, and my feeling was that with reasonable distancing being out in the open air was safer than being indoors anywhere. Except home, of course. The water was icy cold but so refreshing! The girls and I jumped and dodged the waves while John dived right through It reminded me of the summers we used to spend with my grandparents in Laguna many years ago. I’m so grateful to share some memories and spontaneity with my grandchildren even in these pandemic days.

Today’s Notable Headlines

Nope. This is a VACATION!!

Why am I doing this?

The coronavirus pandemic will be indelibly written on our memories just as the Great Depression or the Battle of Britain left their mark on past generations. It is my intention to journal the events of these days from three perspectives: as a retired medical technologist, a historian (Ph.D., 2014), and an ordinary person living through an extraordinary crisis.

You are on History’s Edge.

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