My Life in LA County During COVID-19: May 29

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

I do feel some trepidation about these visits to my doctor and dentist.

May 29, 2020 at 7:59 AM. It may not seem like much to most people, but big changes are underway here in the South Bay of Southern California. The beaches are open. You can walk or run on the sand without worrying about being hit with a $1,000 fine. You are not allowed to picnic or sunbathe but can even go in the water to swim or surf.

I am being a coward about this new opening and staying at home. My wife and I are in the age group that experiences 50% mortality if infected. While I think that this mortality is mostly due to underlying conditions accumulated during life, I would rather not take chances. I am not interested in becoming sick even if I survive and am even more concerned about my wife. Perhaps, I am just succumbing to the concept that others are more likely to die than am I, but I would be devastated were she to sicken and die because I did not take adequate precautions.

I now have four masks for $25 and from a local business. They are cloth, comfortable, and washable.

We have some new cloth masks now. Finally, someone started making them affordable. Our disposable masks may now be disposed of. What is affordable? That will vary. For me, $25 per mask was way too much. I recoiled from paying $100 for four masks. I now have four masks for $25 and from a local business. They are cloth, comfortable, and washable. We have two to wear while two can be in the wash. I just wish that I could have had a color other than black. 

I still cook all of our meals. We obtain our groceries from delivery. It is still not perfect but is adequate. It also costs a bit more. We are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination but do have sufficient resources to afford the extra cost, especially when we have eliminated restaurant eating.

Our weekly trips to the mountains to visit and work on our small lot there continue unabated. I keep neoprene gloves in the car for pumping gas. Use once and discard.

I had to visit a doctor’s office for a dermatology check. These are biannual occurrences for me. Long ago, in my misspent childhood, I basically lived on the beach all summer every summer. As a result my skin looks like a battlefield. Please do not ask about sunscreen because it didn’t exist in those halcyon days, the 1950s. A melanoma a few years ago put me on this dermatological regimen.

I was met at the door, asked several questions, and temperature-checked remotely.

I was met at the door, asked several questions, and temperature-checked remotely. The office was very cautious about its waiting room and the examining room. I assume that I escaped unscathed but won’ t know for a couple of weeks. This office just happens to be one of the COVID-19 centers.

My dentist has also opened up for business again. I was in the middle of an implant procedure when we all shut down. They had their office door open. All personnel were wearing masks, and the medical personnel also wore face shields. I had my mask on but had to remove it for the procedure that day. I have to return for one more visit.

Truthfully, I do feel some trepidation about these visits to my doctor and dentist. I wish that I could postpone them until COVID-19 ceases to be a threat, but that could mean 18 months or more. It just isn’t feasible. Honestly, cancer scares me more than this virus. I am in robust health and have a decent immune system.

Except for the times we leave the house, the routine has become dull, almost numbing. I feel some cabin fever due to this constant restriction, but better bored than dead.

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