Venturing Out

 Posted by at 12:05 am  Nick's Blog
May 082020

They announced on the news the other night that they are doing free tests for the COVID-19 antibody at the Volusia County Fairgrounds, which is about 28 miles from our home. This test is not to see if you have an active case of the virus, but rather if you have already had it. Doctors are using plasma from those who have had the virus to treat patients sick with it. Since several people have suggested that when we both got sick during our trip to Arizona in February, we may have been dealing with the virus. We figured if that was true and we could donate plasma to help others, it was our duty to do so.

According to the news, the testing would start every day at 8:30 A.M. We got up earlier than usual yesterday morning and ventured out, arriving at the fairgrounds around 10:00 to find the entry roads blocked off and no more vehicles allowed in for the day. Later I learned that some mornings they have had hundreds of vehicles show up,  they’re only doing 500 tests per day on a first-come, first-served basis, and usually by 8:30 or 9 o’clock, they have enough people there to met their daily quota they don’t let anybody else in. It was suggested you show up sometime around 6:30 A.M., although they don’t open the gates to the fairgrounds until 8:30, and there’s no place to park and wait for that because it’s a busy divided four-lane state highway. I’m not sure If we will go back and try again or not. From everything I’m reading, it’s pretty much hit or miss, and your chances of getting in are slim to none. One neighbor said he was there every day at 8:30 on the dot and was still turned away because he wasn’t in the first 500.

There was still a lot of traffic out, and every store had lots of cars in their parking lots. We decided to get some more groceries while we were out and stopped at Publix. Just like in every visit in the last month or so, less than half of the people were wearing masks, they were ignoring the one-way aisles, and just doing whatever they wanted to do. We saw people that were wearing masks pulled down over their chins, with their noses and sometimes their mouths exposed. I’ve got news for you, sweetie, you’re not doing anybody any favors! You might as well wear one of these new ones from Victoria’s Secret.

Terry was looking at some meat, and a man was almost leaning over the top of her. She moved away a bit, and he moved right back into her space again. I finally said, loudly enough for everybody around here, “Let’s go, Terry. This jerk’s in a big hurry, and he’ll be standing on your shoulders if we don’t get out of his way.” Of course, he wasn’t wearing a mask. I’m sure he heard me, but he just ignored it.

Somebody told me that masks cannot protect us, they are to protect other people from us. Okay, fair enough. I wear a mask so that somebody else won’t have to die because of something I may be carrying that I don’t know I have. Unfortunately, other people don’t seem to feel the same responsibility toward their fellow man.

Florida’s hurricane season begins in June, and we’ve lived here long enough to know that you have to be prepared well in advance. If you think there’s a shortage of things now, it will only get worse the first time they announce a hurricane anywhere in the region. There are always long lines for gas, people hoarding bottled water and canned food, and of all things, toilet paper. Go figure.

I always keep several 5-gallon cans of gasoline, with Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer. added, in the garage during hurricane season. When it passes in November, I pour the gas into our cars and refill the cans with fresh gas again before the next season. Once we got home and carried all the groceries in, while Terry was sanitizing everything and putting it away, I put the empty gas cans in the Explorer and went out again to fill them.

One station advertised gas for $1.65 a gallon, and since it was close to home, I stopped there. But when I pulled up to the pump, I saw a sign taped on it that said the $1.65 price is for cash only, with a limit of $5. After that, it’s $1.85 a gallon. Thanks, but no thanks. I drove a mile or two further down the road to the Circle K where we usually get gas, and it was $1.74 gallon. I topped off the Explorer and filled all of our cans and brought them home and stored them on a rack in the garage. I’m hoping we don’t have any bad storms to contend with this year. But there’s always a possibility, and I like to be prepared as much as possible.

One thing about it, come virus or hurricane, we’re not going to starve to death during this the self-isolation thing. Terry always has plenty of beans and pasta and stuff like that on hand. While we were at the grocery store, she bought some chicken and other meat, and we always have a good supply of bottled water that Terry runs through the filtration system she installed a couple of years ago, then stores in glass Mason jars.

Check out this brisket she made the other day. It was delicious, and yesterday she chopped up the leftovers, added barbecue sauce, and fed me barbecued brisket sandwiches on toasted buns.

Now let’s talk about the peanut butter cookies she made last night! If you have never had any of Miss Terry’s cookies hot out of the oven, washed down with a glass of ice-cold milk, you don’t know what living is. I know I’ll never be skinny. But that’s okay, at least I won’t die hungry.

Today I’ll be back at work on my new Big Lake book. I did 9,250 words on Tuesday and I’m just about to the halfway point. Not bad for a little over a week’s work.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Dog’s Run, my mystery set in a small Ohio town in 1951. I have 29 mystery novels out, as well as 10 nonfiction books, and I have to say that Dog’s Run is my favorite. It’s a gritty tale that is loosely based upon an actual crime that took place in that part of the country when my father was a young police officer there, and I warn you in advance that there’s some rough language, but it’s appropriate to the time and place. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – A happy marriage is a continuing journey into a miracle.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Venturing Out”

  1. There are too many people who can’t get a grip of not Social Distancing. A good elbow in the midsection might teach them.
    Wise to stock up while you can.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  2. Hey Nick, as preemptive and self-sufficient as you guys are, have you planted a “victory garden?”

  3. Rick, we have a large house on a small lot. There is not enough room

  4. Nick you can get that test at Quest, need a script from your Dr. so that you don’t have to pay for it. I got mine and got the results online the very next day. Stay safe. When people invade my 6 feet, I gently remind them that they should step back. Some are a little taken back; but they usually move for me (but then I am an old broad and that has its benefits)

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