When Hurricane Prep and Corona Virus Planning Collide

If you look at things critically, we’ve been on a emergency preparedness footing since November.  We just didn’t realize it.

The first whisperings of a problem were around New Years, but here in South Florida we go through a twice yearly exercise.  In May or so, we begin to get supplies.  Hurricane season is coming, we need to keep at least two weeks of extra food in the house.  The assumption is that in a Power Down situation, what can you have handy to eat without anything to cook it.

Industrial sized Peanut Butter Jars, Massive bags of Crackers, Giant multi-packs of Tuna.  My own hallway has two cases of water bottles.

Mind you, here in Wilton Manors Florida, the Utilities Management staff is amazing.  The head here is “Honor Bound” to make sure there will be no problems with turning the tap and having water pour out with the exclusion of when the storm is at its peak for about six hours.  Its just prudent to have extra water on hand.  Nobody wants to stand under the drainspout to get a drink.

We have never had a problem here due to his success and his department.

The drum beat of “there’s something wrong coming” got louder in January and February.  Loud enough that by the first week of March, I managed to get to the Big Box Wholesale Club three times and stock the house for the rest of the year of those non-perishable.  Someone else was welcome to stand in line, I’ll have Spam for lunch.

Preparing for a hurricane which we are used to here, and a pandemic are similar but not identical.

What happens for a hurricane is that in May, now, we have a giant tree on the property that needs to be “thinned” as well as all the hedges and flowers have to be “rightsized”.  The hedges are fine, as are the flowers.  After all, my prize bougainvillea hedges might be nasty to work with having all those thorns, but I’d prefer to do all of that myself.

The Tree is a very different story.  It’s a Sea Grape.  Being a native species, we are not allowed to remove it, but there is no reason to have a monster 50 foot tall beast in the corner of the yard with dinner plate sized leaves.  Every year, we have it “lowered” or else it grows into the power lines.   I have had the limbs trimmed back about six feet every year, and they grow back about half that so it’s now a healthy 30 plus.

We’re about to go through that exercise.  They cut almost all of the foliage off the tree, and the fascinating thing is that the tree is evolved enough to accept that and thrive.  It almost all grows back by “next” year.  So shorten the longest limbs and allow it to adjust.

The problem is that half of my orchids were all shaded by that beast of a tree.  I had some that the elements had eaten away the pots and needed replanting again.  So pull all of them away from their home under the shed’s eaves and repot.  I was able to make an extra two pots out of the one largest plant and move them close to the house and out of harm’s way.

I guess all of this is an illustration of the “Butterfly Effect” where the flapping of a butterfly in the tropics stirs up dust that forms clouds that eventually form a hurricane.

That dust on my Jeep’s hood in the carport is from the Sahara Desert.  If I stand on the beach and look due east, my line of sight following the curve of the horizon skips over one small island in the Bahamas and then comes ashore in Boujador in Western Sahara.

You folks are welcome to the dust you lost, and here, have an orchid.

COVID-19 Killed My Outdoor Workout And It Killed Yours Too

Hey!  You!  Listen to The Coach, stay the hell home!  You don’t want COVID-19.

Great, now that we have gotten that out of the way, if I’m a little grumpy I’m trying to remove 500 calories a day out of my daily diet because I am home and can’t workout.  I will be dusting off the Bowflex home gym today.

It’s all because I got a lesson in Social Distancing.

I workout at Pompano Beach Airpark.  It is a 4.5 mile outdoor loop around an airport and a golf course here in South Florida.  It has benches and three water stops.  Flat as a pancake even if they did put speed bumps on the trail itself for the blind.

Whoever made that decision, needs to have a talking to.  The speed bumps at the .6 mile marker (1 KM West of the southern start of the loop) are enough to make an elite inline skater fall down.

Can you file them down a bit, they’re excessive!

Never the less, I have a complicated set of maneuvers that give me a 14 mile workout without ever hitting a street or that particular speed bump.  There are people Skating, as well as Bikers, Runners, Walkers, and people out strolling to enjoy the setting.

I have been going there for a year and a half and it shows.  I’m in markedly better physical condition than the average person in the US at my age group.  A workout is 1700 to 2200 calories, generally twice a week.

The last time I went there, I went specifically to ask the question “Is it safe to continue skating“.

The answer is a resounding NO.  Emphatically.

First, about half of the people normally working out are staying away.  I have a few people I know well and all of them were gone.  The Canadians are heading back North, and the locals are skipping it too.

Second, that Golf Course?  Easily half of the old duffers were missing.  The line for a Golf Cart was gone, there was nobody sitting on the bench that I use at mid workout.  Even the Pro Shop was idle.

Finally, the parking lot was down by about 2/3.

While we all make decisions that effect ourselves, the decision to employ Social Distancing effects others as well.  If you have COVID-19, it does not pass it to someone if you aren’t there to do that deed.   Also you can’t pick it up if you aren’t drinking from a contaminated water fountain or sitting on a contaminated park bench.

I’m done for the duration.  The skates will all be “refurbished” for the next workout, hopefully sooner than later.

 

But, Stay Home.

 

Walk your dogs longer.  Go out before dawn and get some exercise when nobody else is awake.   There were a few people still out but this morning’s one mile walk was completely alone and I live in the middle of a populated area.

Your health will thank you.

If you are an outdoor workout person, I did think that you can do it safely if you do a few things.

  • Bring what you need to keep yourself safe.  Sanitizer and a mask are helpful if you have enough.
  • Obviously – Social Distancing – Stay away from others.  If someone coughs and you run through it, you’re exposed.
  • Don’t touch anything or anyone.
  • Don’t use the facilities.
  • Don’t drink the water, bring your own and bring extra.
  • Don’t use the benches unless they are in full sun and consider wiping them down with full strength rubbing alcohol or other sanitizers.

 

Don’t fall.  That’s just good for any other normal day.  Falling hurts.

Maybe this autumn I will see you all again but for now, I’m looking for my skate box.  I have bearings to tear down and re-lube.