The Traveling Steve's

Looking Ahead for the Good Old Days!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in outer space, you’ve been affected in some way by the scary Coronavirus . As I write this on Monday, April 6, the world seems to more or less have stopped from the way of life we are used to. Schools are shut down, many offices closed or staff work from home, restaurants and fast food are only open for take out or delivery, public gatherings are not permitted, even churches broadcast via “Facebook Live” now. Airline travel has dwindled to a trickle,

and most cruises are canceled for the next two to three months. Here in Orlando, Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, and the huge convention center are all closed, impacting the huge tourism economy, along with many hotels, and the ripple effect that goes along with it; i.e. rental cars, Uber, taxis, malls, restaurants etc. I saw this “Will be back soon” video on YouTube that Disney put out, which tried to reassure people they would open up again soon, but was still quite sad to watch.

The stock market has tanked to new lows, and many people are being furloughed from work. Hopefully the new stimulus package will offer some aid to those affected and rejuvenate the economy.

And now a new term has arisen: “Social Distancing” which we had never heard of just a couple months ago. Yes, everyone is now taking this virus thing seriously, and the six foot rule people distancing people from each other is felt around the world.

In spite of all these things, we are trying to stay positive. Our trans-Atlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome on the Celebrity EPIC was canceled, though no surprise to anyone. As it turns out, I couldn’t have gone anyway as I’m still wearing this neck brace.

I had a virtual doctor appointment with my neurosurgeon last week and unfortunately he said I need to wear this brace for another six weeks! My neck is slowly healing, but not good enough to discontinue wearing this brace. Not good news for me, but at least I can be home and continue to recover. I’ve had this brace on now for over three months; since just before Christmas. While the doctor appointment was via phone call, I did have to go into the imaging center prior to have a CT scan done on my neck once again. They were only taking medically essential appointments so it wasn’t real busy; still they screened you coming in with the coronoavirus questions and sprayed hand sanitizer on your hands. I wasn’t comfortable sitting down in the waiting room, so I stood in the very far corner of the room away from everyone!

So what have The Traveling Steve’s been up too? Well obviously we are not doing any travel right now. Our days at home have been pretty low key, filled in with lots of movies and TV, via the Roku channel, HULU, and most recently BritBox. We love the Brit shows, and have become a real fan of “Midsomer Murders” and “Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple”, along with the comedy “Keeping up Appearances.”

For exercise we take a twice daily walk around the neighborhood, which includes an occasional social interaction with passers-by; all from a safe six foot distance. There aren’t a whole lot of people outside actually so it makes for a peaceful ‘getaway’ from the house. One day this week even saw a chalk-driven “Hospcotch Course”, courtesy of the neighborhood children across the street! Pretty elaborate and creative too! – actually more like an obstacle course!

One day we met my friends Ben and Tom for lunch in the parking lot of Firehouse Subs, where we had already completed our lunch order online. From a safe six foot distance, we chatted a bit while we waited on our food.

For evening entertainment when we are not watching movies, we’ve gathered at one of our neighborhood circle of friends and had a “driveway happy hour”, with everyone bringing their own chairs, tables, food and snacks. We even brought our own tablecloths and flowers! And we all congregated in our neighbors driveway a safe six foot distance apart of course!

So in this period of anxiety, depression, uncertainty, and boredom, may we offer hope and encouragement. While we don’t have a cure for the virus, let us all enjoy the time we have at home. Maybe start a new hobby, reconnect with friends and neighbors via a phone call, Face Time, or outside in person via the safe six foot distance rule. How about taking a class on line, learn a new language, go thru old photographs, file your tax return, complete the 2020 census form. And maybe start planning for your next fun trip somewhere; just not anytime too soon -who knows how long this is going on.

So in the spirit of the good ol days, here is a short video I made 8 years ago on a Med Cruise we took. I set the music to the song by Chicago “Old Days”, which offers a nostalgic trip to yesteryear, and shows some really carefree days we had on the cruise. Who knew that eight years later we would not be taking group selfies, private tours, flying away on international trips, going on cruises, or having lunch at restaurants with friends. What a more innocent time it was? Yes, we will get thru this as we did in the aftermath of September 11th. For now, stay positive, thankful for all you have, and remember “This too shall pass”! Enjoy the video below, and hopefully it will put a smile on your face! Thanks for watching!

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