Yesterday we celebrated two birthdays. Ken turned 75 and, our friend and fellow volunteer, Roger turned 74. While we didn’t exactly stay six feet apart we did our best to respect each other’s space and managed to share a meal, followed by a homemade carrot cake, which I enjoyed as though it were my birthday. Anyway, happy birthday again to Ken and Roger!
As the Coronavirus rages on we remain at our volunteer post at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach, Florida, which lies within Palm Beach County. Boynton Beach is just 35 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale and Port Everglades. We carefully selected Loxahatchee for two reasons: 1) the proximity to Ft. Lauderdale was perfect for the cruise we wanted to go on, and 2) we really wanted to be a part of the refuge’s volunteer program at the northern edge of the magical and mysterious Everglades.
So, while we planned a long term assignment here well in advance, no one could have predicted then how it would play out this way. On March 16th, due to the coronavirus, the refuge suspended the volunteer program. The last three weeks have been surreal. Fortunately for the three resident volunteer couples, the refuge is allowing us to remain in place as long as we want, even if that means until the Fall, when we can hopefully resume our duties.
Our day-to-day is pretty much like everyone else’s. We stay inside away from people as much as possible. The refuge is still open to the public, so walking outdoors takes some planning. We don’t walk on weekends when the trails and levee are heavily populated. Our observation is that people here don’t seem too concerned and are hesitant to distance themselves from others.
I only go out to get groceries when necessary and I wear a mask. My anxiety is heightened when I see that our county is leading the state’s statistics in number of confirmed cases and cruise ships with sick and dying have docked at Port Everglades. My heart goes out to all those affected, but I can’t help but worry about the widespread effects that might occur throughout an already largely impacted area.
Why not head for the hills (home to Missouri)? That is a decision that we’ve been pondering. RVers across the country are in a difficult situation. Many state parks and campgrounds have been ordered to close and we don’t want to end up in a predicament by leaving now. Sadly, with social distancing the way it is, it’s not like we would be able to be with family anyway.
So, for now, it is what it is, and like everyone else, we just have to keep to ourselves as much as possible (aside from yesterday’s small birthday celebration for Ken and friend Roger) and hope this passes soon. Until we meet again, stay safe!
Dorothy and Ken