A year ago at this time, we’d never heard of the Coronavirus, I was neither frail nor elderly, and a cruise ship promised adventure and pleasure.

Today, the Coronavirus is a global pandemic that has killed thousands, including in my state of Florida. I am officially old, having hit age 65 and qualified for Medicare. I became frail when felled by illness in May and stayed that way through November; though I have worked my way back to being strong and hearty, I lost my spleen in the process of staying alive and am at greater risk for infection. And cruise ships today are in the news for trapping travelers in floating incubators of quaratined disease.

I’d like to go back 13 months to when my husband and I were starting our Atlantic crossing to Amsterdam. We were relieved to have him cleared for travel by our doctor who monitors several ongoing conditions — like diabetes — that come with the years, and ready to enjoy three weeks at sea and then one month in Amsterdam. The good news? We got three months in Amsterdam.

I’d like to go back 15 months to our Christmas week Caribbean cruise, when our only concern was whether we’d get enough of a workout in the gym to go a little nuts on the Lido Deck.

Christmas 2019 Caribbean Cruise!

But, here we are, the frail elderly in Florida, valiantly trying to do the right thing. For now, we’ve stocked the larder and loaded the fridge, and will stick close to home. We’ll wash our hands (early and often, as they said about voting in the old days of the Democratic machine), and I’ve come up with “an app for that.” My Apple Watch tells me to breathe once an hour, so I’ll breathe and wash. Cleansed inside and out.

We’ll forgo the gym for the time being, while not ignoring our fitness. Our rescue Lab Kumba gets one or both of us out for around 3 miles a day, and I have my PT workout routine. There is a lovely simplicity to outdoor living in the semi-tropics of South Florida. Which reminds me to get the mosquito people back out here as soon as things warm up a bit more.

And we’ll ignore the siren call of the cruise ships. There’s one off the coast of Florida right now awaiting Cornavirus test results of two crew. The passengers will eventually get off. I can’t imagine the desperation of the crew who sign on for months’ long contracts in exchange for a wage that is needed by their families back home far away.

We desperately need a level-headed, calm, truthful voice leading us from the White House. We have instead Trump. Please vote in your primary — we have early voting so did do our duty without the long lines this week, and before the scarcity of polling site volunteers creates craziness.

I don’t know what Bernie and Joe will say to us tonight, but their words will carry a confidence in the country I know, a country whose character is about to be challenged and whose leadership is absent.

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