"Carry on” feels different. Surviving on a daily basis isn’t true, well not yet at least, but the moments of sorrow and laughter have struck me with uncanny clarity. An area most precious to me now is a place I left before graduating high school, where words like biological father, adopted father, step dad, half brother and daily scripture study were placeholders until my real life began, home. When many copy and pasted texts were sent to family and my inner-circle about the urgency to prepare, to buy masks and to educate ourselves I did not imagine I would leave Oak Park, CA. Myhusband works for Walt Disney in film distribution, he commutes to Burbank where his office is on the lot. I had pulled my son from school 2.5 weeks before the announced a shutdown. I had purchased 7 N95 masks online after Lowe’s, Home Depot and a string of hardware stores and pharmacies quoted “we are sold out nationwide”. I drove to several Lowe’s Feb 26 and had managed to buy 3 face masks with ventilators. At checkout, a man approached me asking if he could buy one of the masks off of me as he needed it for work that day. And asked if I was just buying it for the FLU. I handed him one and within 2 days had given one to a construction worker using a wet bandana and to my maid. I’ll speed this story up with segmented cliff notes. Before leaving oak park to drive to Diablo Grand for a few days (10weeks) I left my 86 year old neighbor Joyce, who was unable to visit her husband in a rehab facility after breaking his femur, a box with gloves, a mask, rubbing alcohol, sanitizer and 36 rolls of toilet paper and a key to my apartment. Image below. And did the same for another young family living above me who were still digesting the news. A box with a n95 mask was intercepted by my house cleaner for her 6 year old granddaughter. Diablo Grand is a community built around a vineyard and 2 closed golf courses. Here are my cliff notes: embraced homeschool, khan academy started following me on Instagram, made a url with the following folders of information I shared with friends and family CDC, WHO, DOD,CONGRESS, RED CROSS, EPA, FEMA, FDA, GIFS, NPR etc the link is https://candicebrittain.dropmark.com/787022.
I masked a 17 ft statue at 3am, found a pond on the forbidden golf course and taught my son to fish, mooed at cows who mooed back, entered and won a poetry contest, roasted marshmallows in all 3 of my parents fire pits, swam most days, consumed edibles in the theater room, watched my husband work from home for 2 weeks before Disney furloughed thousands. Now I watch there weekly Tuesday 4:30pm optional zoom meetings.
Last week Disney told us we would receive a specialized thermometer that will be used in the morning to notify the office and allow admittance, and used again at lunch to be allowed to finish off the work day. It automatically shared your temp with headquarters. When this will be put into action is still unknown. It’s difficult to understand what I am suppose to feel, the overwhelming clarity is more of a overall feeling....grateful. To have this time with my son and husband. Our son is 3.5, and all the headaches, lack of income, and tantrums are a small price to pay for a glimpse of what this dreadful time brought us.