Hi lockdown fans,
As I awakened from my second nap of the day around 3 in the afternoon I realized that my focus was on the next meal in a few hours, the chance to go outside for 30 minutes later this afternoon and the opportunity to rest in bed or a comfortable lounge chair a few feet away for the rest of the day. It struck me that this sounds like a dog’s life and while not particularly bad in any way, my world has shrunken to these simple elements for the foreseeable future.
I flew out of Colorado yesterday for Albany, NY for the first week of testing and quarantine before the charter flight to New Zealand on Friday as I make my way to Antarctica. We are affectionately called Cohort 4 since there were 3 groups ahead of us that are now down on the Ice. The other groups started in San Francisco but our group of 20 is in Albany because we will fly to New Zealand with 40 NY National Guard folks who are stationed 20 miles from here in Schenectady, so the powers that be figured we should come here first. I’m in the Albany Downtown Hilton which is pretty nice, in a room on the 14th floor overlooking downtown, with the capital building just a few blocks away. We are expected to stay in our room except when certain time is set aside for “yard time” when we can sign out for 30 minutes to walk around outside a bit. The room service food is great so far but more than I can eat without much activity, so I’ll probably skip a few meals along the way. It’s a interesting process of isolation but with cable, phone service and internet there’s plenty of communication going on, but it still feels pretty disconnected from the outside world of touch, smell and hearing. The world of seeing and eating (sight and taste) still falls short of interacting with all five senses- the noise from the TV doesn’t count since it seems artificially generated.
I willingly signed up for this 3 week sequester as a prequel to make it to McMurdo without bringing the virus to the only continent that is free from COVID-19, so I shouldn’t complain. I’m making more of a statement of a shift in my surroundings without whining too much. So, enjoy your freedom of movement and send some news of the outside world.
View of the Albany Capital from my room