The Virus – A Different Perspective 3-24-20

The Virus – A Different Perspective 3-24-20

{Editor note: Part was written during drive back, part when back, Hence the difference in tenses]

No one has had it as difficult as we have had it unless they’re sick.

We left Pocatello on March 4th driving a van and a car back to Virginia, to find a home, because Steve got a new job.

It took us nine days to get from Pocatello to Manassas, Virginia. The van gets 8-10 miles per gallon and can only go 55-60 miles an hour in order to stay within that mile per gallon range.

We rolled into Manassas, Virginia on March 12th. We had no idea it had been called a pandemic the day before. We went to Costco and it looked like a bomb had gone off. We had no idea why and people were acting completely irrationally. No one told us anything about what was going on. Every place we went people were acting crazy.

We went to Olive Garden for dinner and the waiter told us it had been declared a pandemic the day before.

Even so, we still went through and tried to find a place to live. The first real estate agent we had, didn’t make time for us. We wasted 2 days waiting for him. We figured it was probably because we were looking to rent and not buy. Apparently in the East, you don’t find a place to rent on your own, you have to have a real estate agent. So we got another agent through the company my friend got his job with, Susie. She too, refused to find the time to help us. She had “webinars to go to, other clients to help” she said. We did manage to pin her down and saw 3.5 properties. She was rushing us through and trying to get us to put an application in on each one.

We put in an application on one Wednesday night, March 18.2020, but had heard nothing by Friday.

Thursday was our 7th day in the hotel. We were supposed to get the room cleaned. The housekeeper didn’t speak any English. Going to the front desk, I said they need to speak some English to engage with the English speaking customers in the room. Candlewood Suites Manassas said it was racist and kicked us out.

We stayed in Embassy Suites that Thursday night. After we got the van refilled with gas since someone has siphoned $70 [all] of it out.

Since we had not heard anything back regarding the application, even though we had left a couple messages, we decided on Friday, amidst all the news of lock downs, we would head back to Pocatello.

We did not want to be in lock down in a hotel room.

I was able to give the corned beef briskets and the fresh asparagus and some other foodstuffs to the Embassy Suites hotel food mgr. But he didn’t want all of it.

We threw most of it away. The Trader Joe’s flaky uncured ham and swiss things, the zucchini pancakes and potato pancakes from TJs. [you have no idea how sad I was at throwing away the flaky things]. The bacon, etc etc.

Could we store the van? It had proven impossible the day before to find some place that didn’t charge $150/mo.

One place in Fort Belvoir that rents to Veterans at $60 a month, said we could not rent from them, because we didn’t have a disability. Even if we were rated 0, we would need that rating in order to rent from them. That’s just wrong.

I finally found a place to store it.

Since Friday afternoon March 20, we have been driving back. Steve’s work said he will be able to telecommute.

At home, the house is all packed, waiting for the movers. We ate as much as we could in the days leading up to this move and threw away the rest of the frozen and fresh food, because why????? We were moving. The van lines were supposed to come pick up our stuff and move it all out.

So now authorities are talking about closing the entire Nation, while we are on the road trying to get home. What would happen to us if they did that? As it was, gas stations were talking about having to serve people coffee the next week, instead of people getting it themselves.

We are hoping the roads in Wyoming are open. So we don’t have to go around Wyoming in order to get home. They were not open on the way out and it added about 350 miles to the trip.

My dog has lost 2 lbs, he is very skinny. He’s never been a fat dog anyway. He is energetic, part Jack Russell and part poodle. He hasn’t had much exercise. He doesn’t eat much, if at all, when he’s traveling.

We left Embassy Suites in Ashburn, VA on Friday, 3-20-20 at 11 a.m. We stayed in Grove City, Ohio, 3-20-20.

3.21.20 was Moline Illinois.

3-22-20 North Platte, Nebraska.

Then 11 hours to home.

For all the people complaining about being ‘stuck’ at home, besides those sick, there are worse things.

You COULD be traveling in a country where all restaurants are shut down, where hotels have no breakfast and if you don’t eat the ‘bag breakfast’ of an apple and a Nutrigrain bar, there’s no other place to eat.

You could be in a strange place, cleaning up dog throw-up because he hasn’t eaten, trying to get some sleep on a super hard bed. It could be worse for you.

We dodged washed out roads [highway I-70] in Ohio, at night in the pouring rain. We dealt with freezing weather and argued about eating ANOTHER hamburger. We peed on the side of the road.

We don’t have the luxury of watching Netflix, wearing our slippers, sleeping in our beds, moving around, eating something healthy. We wipe our butts with napkins on the side of the road and get lost on backroads that google maps said to take – at night.

From March 4, 2020 to March 23, 2020, we have driven 4,958 miles, stayed in 11 hotels and tried to find a place to live,

We left before the virus hit the USA so hard. It was a few people. Things were normal. We didn’t stop at any museums or distilleries in Lexington, because we were on a timeline to get a place to stay.

On the way back, nothing was open. Not the Space Museum, not a restaurant, just rest stops. And Mickey D’s. Oh we had Taco Bell once!

Now that we are home. I”M HAPPY TO STAY HERE and not go out! I WELCOME IT!

Maybe if people had a different perspective, they wouldn’t think they had it so bad.