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

Yesterday, Lulu led us to the beach on our walk. It was the first weekend beaches were re-opened to more than just exercising, and the pent-up demand for beach activity was evident.

We got to the part where the road becomes a trail alongside a stream. Ever since a couple monk seals had been reportedly hauled out along this stretch of beach a few weeks ago, I’ve started carrying my binoculars and wading the stretch of two-feet-deep stream water to make it to the actual beach. As soon as I started carrying the binoculars and checking for seals, none have showed up. At least, none have been sleeping on this beach while I was there.

Yesterday, we made the last obscured bend of the trail to see several pop-up tents on the sand right at the stream mouth. I walked up to the spot where I usually slide off my slippers and step down into the stream and paused.

“Do you want to cross?” I asked Eric.

He shook his head. But then he saw someone he knew and called across the stream. The guy turned around and with a look of recognition, he started to move toward us in a way of greeting that I knew would end with his hand clamped around Eric’s. But, then, he stopped. The stream was in the way. So, instead, they just chatted over the water.

Phew. That was close.

IMG_4458 2
Lulu après walk.

I belong to a women’s nonfiction book club, and we meet monthly. The past two months, we’ve met virtually, and, honestly, it was great. We ate. We drank—beer or wine or sparkling water. And we discussed books—April it was Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman, and May it was Joy Harjo’s Conflict Resolutions for Holy Beings. I recommend both books; each opened me to new thoughts and ideas, a few of those thoughts and ideas, even, shook my foundation of being.

It wasn’t just the books that were good. Our discussions felt more thoughtful and inclusive than we’ve ever experienced before. No one person got left out because another was more talkative. But there were also fewer one-on-one side conversations, the kind that deepen friendships.

At the close of last week’s online gathering, someone suggested we meet in person next month and everyone else chimed in in agreement. Everyone except me. I was silent.

Last Friday, a good friend suggested we meet at the beach over the weekend.

“Are we ready for that?” I asked.

In the end, we didn’t meet, and it looks like our book club will meet in June online once again. Neither did Eric and I take a Sunday drive to Ke’e, mostly because I realized how busy the beach and nearby Kalalau Trail would likely be. Friends’ social media posts on Saturday were proof of that.

For some reason, I’m not ready to resume socializing. On the one hand, Kauai has probably not been this “safe” for decades, maybe centuries. We have no active cases on the island. There are very very few people entering the island. But on the other hand, best available science tells we’re not in the clear yet. There will be a second wave. Maybe I’ve learned I’m a hermit at heart and, really, not a people-person.

But keep this in mind: I am a woman who has recently made friends with a spider. Is that coloring my thinking here?

What about you? How are you feeling about re-engaging with people outside your home or place of shelter?


The state of Hawaii added zero new cases to our statewide total. As of today, we have 49 active cases and a total of 640 COVID-19 cases. I’m also thinking about a close family member who passed over the weekend–not of COVID-19. Rest well, Big Don.

Be well.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Like you, I am reluctant to be social. I saw my girlfriend, R, for the first time since the end of Feb. She visited me – social distanced. And it was so great to see her – but weird to be so far apart physically. We agree that’s how it needs to be. I am avoiding most social contact for now – it just feels prudent. And safer. And I too, am a hermit, so there’s that.


  2. Oh, and I attended a virtual baby shower for my niece. It turned out to be the absolutely best baby shower I have ever experienced. Everyone took a turn to speak and share the page they made for the baby’s alphabet book. There was real focus and it did not disintegrate into cliques or groups. It was really special. I would never have guessed.


    1. Kim Steutermann Rogers says:

      My same experience with book club. Interesting, eh?


  3. Anne C. says:

    I am being very limited social, with just a couple of good friends whose judgment and behavior I trust. But I anticipate practicing social distancing for some good time to come. This virus isn’t going away anytime soon… (My condolences about Big Don.)


    1. Kim Steutermann Rogers says:

      Thank you for reading all the way to the end and acknowledging Big Don. He was a big good man.


  4. Connie Bishop says:

    I’m with you! I’m not ready to be socially engaged face to face.

    I see my grandkids in their home or mine, no hugging, kissing or being close. But, I do see them!

    I have a mask in my car, just in case there’s any encounter with another human. Basically, my outings are my daily morning walks with Jack and Hank.

    Stay safe! Love and hugs!


    On Tue, May 19, 2020, 12:39 AM Kim Steutermann Rogers wrote:

    > Kim Steutermann Rogers posted: “Yesterday, Lulu led us to the beach on our > walk. It was the first weekend beaches were re-opened to more than just > exercising, and the pent-up demand for beach activity was evident. We got > to the part where the road becomes a trail alongside a stream. Ev” >


    1. Kim Steutermann Rogers says:

      From your nurse’s lips to everyone’s ears, I hope. Hugs and love to you and yours, Connie!


  5. Dana says:

    I’m with you Kim and playing it safe. There are many people who feel it’s not on Kauai so why bother. This only makes me want to isolate even more. I dread the tourists returning. What’s your take on people loving on your dog?


    1. Kim Steutermann Rogers says:

      So many unknowns to come for us here on Kauai. And we’re careful about Lulu, too. (No mask, thought;-) Luckily, we don’t run into too many people on our daily walks.


  6. Susan says:

    I’m in your camp, wholeheartedly, Kim… Or right next to it, still in my own camp (space). I don’t think we’re being silly or overly cautious. Even with a vacation rental that depends on visitors I’m thoroughly enjoy this island of peace and quiet.


    1. Kim Steutermann Rogers says:

      Ooh, camping. That would be fun! I’m glad you’re on island–and safe–for this.


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