A week ago the university announced that all classes would go online. Two days ago most of the counties in the San Francisco Bay Area announced a "shelter-in-place." More counties followed yesterday and now 1 in 4 Californians is under semi-lockdown. No one is to leave their houses except for essential services. All businesses not offering essential services are closed. Schools have closed. There is such a weird apocalyptic atmosphere. Many people are stepping up and offering kindnesses. Many others (especially in other states) are ignoring the pandemic. It's frightening to see college kids swarming the beaches in Florida for spring break when at the very least they should be practicing "social distancing."
Steve and I are both in the age groups and health groups designated as particularly vulnerable to serious, potentially fatal, cases of coronavirus. California is one of the worst hit of the states. We are 47th in the ratio of available hospital beds to population. Italy, which has been devastated by COVID-19, had a better ratio. The pictures and stories from Italy are heart-breaking. I can't help but be scared.
We asked our grown son Ben, who shares an apartment in Oakland, to come home for the shelter-in-place and he's here, which is a comfort and makes meals together feel festive. He's working from home (working hard for the Public Utilities Commission). We're working from home. I'm trying to teach my class online but just can't focus on the papers I should be grading. When I got online early Tuesday morning and saw that my students were flooding our Blackboard Discussion Board with comments on each other's essays as I'd asked them to, I almost cried I was so happy. That's the shape I'm in.