Writing in the time of COVID-19: Day Thirty-Nine

One end of our road dead ends at the base of a mountain. The other end dead ends at the beach. Lulu likes to go to the beach, so that’s the direction we walk.

After the big flood a few weeks ago, however, our path to the beach is blocked right at the stream mouth—right where stream meets the beach. It happens as sands get shifted around by water—heavy flowing stream water, high surf, and/or the daily ebb and flow of the tide. Right now, to reach the beach, we have two choices—wade in thigh-deep water for 20 feet or bushwhack through the tangled limbs of naupaka, a native shrub that’s all but impenetrable. Because we’re typically not dressed in swimsuits or surf trunks on these walks, we don’t wade through the water. And because we don’t want to crawl through scratchy sticks or because we’re lazy, we stand a few steps shy of the beach and stare at the ocean for a few minutes, commenting on whether the tide is in or out, whether trade winds are picking up or slacking off. All while Lulu enjoys a little cool-off swim in the stream.

Our County of Kauai mayor announced today that there are officially no active cases of COVID-19 on the island. That’s not to say there won’t be more in the future, he cautioned in his daily address. There are tests awaiting results, but there are no active cases today. A milestone has been reached. He also indicated there may be some loosening of restrictions in our near future; however, we don’t know exactly what that means.

I filled up the car with gas more than five weeks ago, and it’s still got half a tank of fuel left. Sure, our Toyota Prius gets 61.6 miles per gallon, but pre-COVID-19, I was filling it up every three weeks or so. No wonder insurance companies are refunding their drivers. No wonder air pollution is plummeting and skies are clear again.

But I wouldn’t mind taking a little road trip and enjoying some of the island while it’s quiet—while the tens of thousands of daily tourists aren’t here. Maybe we’ll pack up Lulu and take a walk on Hanalei Bay one evening, all while honoring social distancing protocols. Walking and exercising on the beaches are now allowed, but no setting up a beach umbrella and camping out for the day. Maybe we’ll venture to the south shore and walk Mahaulepu coastline. I really wouldn’t mind getting up to cooler Kokee, too, especially as the temperatures are warming. Summer is close to arriving.

Like the season, change is on the horizon. Whereas, we were sheltering-in-place and working-from-home for the foreseeable future, the sands of life are shifting again, ever so slightly, and life will find its new normal, whatever that may be. One day, too, we’ll walk to the end of the road and be able to step on the beach again. Maybe we’ll all three, Lulu, Eric and me, enjoy a swim.

Kalalea Sunset
A beautiful sunset from last week.

Two new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the state, bringing our total to 609. One of those new cases is a Lanai resident who has been hospitalized on Maui for a bit, so presumably the chances of community spread on Lanai is low.

Be well.

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