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Kicking It: Playing bridge in Alaska

The big question is: did you change into outside clothes today? All of this alone time has me pondering and comparing today’s isolation with past experiences throughout the history of our great country. And while I want to use this time to enrich myself, I will just as soon as I find the TV clicker.

As for now, I whittle away endless hours sorting and forwarding emails to and from a list of like-minded pals. Who writes these things?

Here are some examples: “Until further notice the days of the week are now called thisday, thatday, otherday, someday, yesterday, today and nextday.”

“Anyone else’s car getting three weeks to the gallon?” or “CEOs are now playing miniature golf.”

“I’ve spent two weeks with myself, and I am so sorry to every person I have spent time with.”

“Finally, I understand why dogs get so excited when they see an open door,” and “Exxon Mobile laid off 25 congressmen.”

Sorting through emails is my biggest job besides playing endless hours of online bridge. I told you this would happen. I knew I’d get hooked. And now I’m an addict. No doubt, I will require extensive counseling to work through it when I return to the Fallbrook Senior Center and actually sit across the table from a bridge partner.

One of my husband’s favorite maxims is “No good deed goes unpunished,” which explains why I am in Anchorage, Alaska. My physician assistant daughter is isolated in Little Diomede, Alaska. She was helicoptered in for a two-week visit as part of her village rotation when a state mandate quarantined her and the 78 indigenous natives in hopes of protecting them from the virus.

Naturally, she only packed food for two weeks. The idea of grocery shopping is along the line of whole foods. You catch it, kill it, cook it and eat it. And here is the rub, as a vegan, her supplies have to be helicoptered in when weather permits.

Her accommodations are sub-minimal. Incarcerated folks have it better. The clinic boasts a cot and a microwave. Naturally, the heater went out over the weekend and still isn’t repaired and there are 20-foot snow drifts outside. It is so remote her closest neighbor is Putin.

As a loving mother, of course, I came to Anchorage, Alaska, to babysit Sally, her Australian shepherd. Sally was due to leave her trainer; alas, she is there and I am here still under lockdown.

Do you think the cost of living is high in Southern California? Just going into the grocery store here causes cardiac arrest. It’s insane.

As part of my 14-day quarantine, I am required to take my temperature twice a day. Yet, there are no thermometers for sale anywhere in the state.

The Walgreen’s clerk said during this virus pandemic, “It’s illegal to sell to a person.” All inventory is for the medical community. Keeping in the spirit of the law, I’ve resorted to using a mother’s method; I put my hand to my forehead. Apparently, I am fine.

Theaters remain closed. Their season has been bumped back into infinity.

Aha, now that I have found the TV remote, I think I’ll go for a walk – but first – I need to check out what’s happening on Bridge Base Online. Bye for now from the 49th state.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected].


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