Back in February, I was living as large as someone who needed foot surgery could live. I traveled to Milwaukee to present at WSRA. We drove to Connecticut to spend a long weekend with my in-laws. I spent as much one-on-one time as possible with each of my kids since I knew I’d be laid up in bed for weeks. Marc and I went out for a date night. The next morning, with just a few days to go before surgery, he drove the four of us to King of Prussia so I could eat tacos at one of my favorite taquerias (Bartaco). I packed as much as I could into the month of February since I knew we probably wouldn’t go away until Memorial Day Weekend.
Then COVID-19 shut down the world in mid-March.
By May, we canceled our summer vacation to North Carolina with our cousins, canceled a girls’ trip to NYC with Isabelle, and canceled our family’s season passes to Hersheypark.
While my kids visited my in-laws in Connecticut over the summer, I stayed home both times since I was in too much pain to handle a 4+ hour car ride. Last week, I realized I have only been to THREE COUNTIES (ie, Dauphin, Lancaster, and York) since the surgery. To say I’m feeling a little restless is an understatement.
But, this weekend, I left Central Pennsylvania for the first time in over seven months! We drove an hour east to King of Prussia to eat lunch outdoors at Founding Farmers. The kids begged to go to the mall (which they never would’ve done seven months ago!), but that felt like an unnecessary risk. We needed some things at The Container Store and Crate and Barrel so I made a deal that they could go into one of the stores if they didn’t touch much. They happily agreed to the deal I cut with them.
Montgomery County, which is where King of Prussia is located, was hit hard by COVID-19 this spring. As a result, all three of the places we went in King of Prussia today were taking safety precautions that are vastly stricter than where we live in Central PA. Here are some of the things I noticed:
- Most people wear masks when they’re walking around outside.
- Everyone I saw wore their mask properly. That’s right! I didn’t see a single person’s nose!
- There are occupancy limits in stores. You wait outside, in a socially-distant line, for your turn to go into the store.
- Everything is sanitized in-between customers without asking for it to be cleaned.
I felt much safer shopping in King of Prussia than back at home where fewer people are taking this deadly virus seriously anymore. As a result, on the way home, I remarked, “You know, we could probably get back to a semi-normal lifestyle if people back home would commit to masking-up properly all of the time like they did out there. Just think how much safer we’d be if all of the stores by us were cleaning like they were in King of Prussia.”
Isabelle was listening. She moaned about how careless people were being. To her, and to me, it feels like we are never going to get back to normal due to the apathy and indifference many people have about COVID-19. But, being in the Philly suburbs gave me a little hope for what could be if everyone tried just a little harder.