A Not-Socially-Distanced Story

It’s funny, or maybe not, how my wife Sandy and I have changed our ways of thinking and acting during the it-better-end-soon pandemic era. Scared quite shitless when the era began in the USA in mid-March, we hunkered down, staying home nearly all of the time. We ventured out only to take walks, to buy provisions at supermarkets and to take out meals from restaurants. Right from the start, mask-wearing and social distancing were parts of our regimen. We wore disposable gloves when shopping, washed our hands regularly and used hand sanitizer profusely. None of this was unique to us, obviously. Most people were scared quite shitless, and took the same safety precautions that we did.

Thankfully, Sandy’s and my anxiety levels have subsided since then, mostly due to the easing of the lockdown in Pennsylvania, the state that we call home. As a result, we’re getting out of the house a lot more than we did a few months ago (we dine outdoors at restaurants frequently, for example), and are feeling better about things because of that. But the f*cking coronavirus, which ain’t going away any time soon, is still very much on our minds. Yes, we’ve ditched disposable gloves (hand-sanitizing and hand-washing make them superfluous, I think). But, in general we continue to follow safety guidelines.

“In general?” I hear a few voices ask. Right, 99% of the time we haven’t deviated from the guidelines. But the remaining 1% of the time we have, and that’s because we have pals named Cindy and Gene. When we’ve been with them recently, social distancing among the four of us has gone out the window.

It all began on an innocent day: the fourth of September. Sandy, myself, Cindy and Gene met up at the Philadelphia Museum Of Art, which only two days before had reopened after almost six months of coronavirus-precipitated closure. Masked, we began to wander the galleries together. Before we knew it, Sandy and I were practically shoulder-to-shoulder with our friends instead of the recommended six feet apart. If masks weren’t required in the museum, the four of us probably would have yanked ours off within minutes. Never fear, the yankings took place a couple of hours later when we all settled around a small table on the patio of a café near the museum. There we sat, ate and talked, a foot or two away from one another.

Now, none of us four ever will be mistaken for a wild and crazy type. What, then, caused the two couples to say goodbye to social distancing and mask-wearing when in each other’s company? In my case, I think it was because it somehow just felt like the natural thing to do. Subconsciously, I apparently had been as ready as could be to have normal interactions with these two close friends. And I knew that Cindy and Gene routinely follow the coronavirus guidelines, and trusted that they had determined, as best they could, that they were virus-free.

Let the good times roll! That’s what they continued to do in Cape May, a sweet, seaside, beachy town at New Jersey’s southern tip, about 110 miles from my suburban Philadelphia abode. There, Cindy had rented a condo for the Saturday-to-Saturday week that straddled late September and early October. At Cindy’s invitation, Sandy and I came down to stay with her for the final three of those days. Gene, who was needed at his and Cindy’s Philadelphia home for most of the week, arrived one day after Sandy and myself.

Yeah, we all had a great time together. We social-distanced from other people, but not among ourselves. We wore masks in Cape May’s stores and when walking on visitor-crowded streets, but otherwise not. Our time together passed quickly. Sandy and I were delighted to be on a mini-vacation in a popular area that we’d been to only once before, halfway to forever ago.

Cape May is a lovely place. It is filled, primarily, with old, well-maintained houses, hotels and other structures, all exuding strong character. And Cape May’s public beach, beside the Atlantic Ocean, is wide and lengthy. I, who hadn’t strode on a beach or seen ocean waters since a vacation last year on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, was damn well thrilled to do so once again. And I also was damn well thrilled to walk through the woods and around the marshlands of Cape May Point State Park. They were a sight for sore eyes.

Well, hopefully Cindy and Gene and Sandy and I will be able to continue our undistanced get-togethers. I’m already looking forward to our next one, whenever that might be. And by the way, I’m sure that what the four of us have done is anything but rare. Worldwide, undoubtedly, plenty of people, who otherwise adhere to coronavirus-related safety guidelines, at times are meeting up with trusted relatives and friends in a normal, pre-pandemic manner. I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts about this and/or related topic(s).

Okay, that’s about it, girls and boys. Be well. Adios till next time.

(All of the photos were taken in Cape May, New Jersey, USA)

138 thoughts on “A Not-Socially-Distanced Story

  1. Anonymous October 14, 2020 / 12:30 am

    Glad you had a great time. I embraced the idea of having a pod awhile ago. A handful of people I am more lax with for my sanity and because they are worth it. I try to stay in my pod and distance elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynette d'Arty-Cross October 14, 2020 / 12:41 am

    In Canada, we have social “bubbles,” small groups of trusted friends and/or family members with whom you can safely interact. However, this article says that it’s maybe not a good idea. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.5727136
    M and I have been “bubbling” with another couple and two of our kids. We will probably keep doing that though as I think we’re all pretty careful.
    Good post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 11:52 am

      Hi there. Yeah, much of what we do during the pandemic is potentially risky. We all need to periodically re-evaluate how we approach things, and change course if need be.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. andrewcferguson October 14, 2020 / 2:17 am

    So hard to follow every single rule to the letter, isn’t it? Alison and I are pretty conscientious about most of it, but when it comes to close friends and family, you’re right – it goes against every grain not to see them and act normally around them. It’s almost as if you’re not trusting them to have been sensible, and yet common sense doesn’t really rule this virus.

    We’re not completely locked down here – yet – but local restrictions mean we can’t see Daughter and Heiress right now, which is kind of tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sniderjerry October 14, 2020 / 2:44 am

    Glad you had a good time with great friends. We need the people we love around us to stay healthy. Have a great day. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 11:58 am

      Hi Jerry. Changing the subject: I looked for pawpaws this year, but as usual couldn’t find any. Have you had any this year?


      • sniderjerry October 14, 2020 / 5:51 pm

        hello Neil, There is a cluster of Paw Paw trees at a park near our home. The deer, racoons, skunks and other woodland creatures always get there ahead of me. The paw paw festival in Albany Ohio, about 55 miles from where we live, was canceled this year. Maybe I’ll see you there in 202 for a glass of paw paw beer. All the best. Jerry

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Paddy Tobin October 14, 2020 / 3:45 am

    Your early comment, “scared quite shitless” can still be applied accurately to the two of us here. With the exception of the gloves, which we used on very few occasions only – petrol pumps, we followed and continue to follow the same regime as you. Our weekly grocery shopping has been done since March online with delivery from the supermarket. We have gone to another shop on two occasions for difficult to source items but that has been the extent of it. We have not been to any restaurant since last February. In recent times we have begun to take walks in quieter areas and now that the schools are in full operation and the weather is becoming worse walking areas will become more and more quiet and we will be inclined to go out more over the winter months. Otherwise, it has been stay at home, tend to the garden etc with very rare contact. I reckon your approach – with trusted friends – is a good one. Enjoy and be safe and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 12:00 pm

      Hi Paddy. I hope that my wife and I aren’t making a mistake. But so far she and I, and the friends I wrote about, remain healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paddy Tobin October 14, 2020 / 2:04 pm

        Yes, I hope you continue in the very best of health. We are being more cautious than most here and having started that way…..

        Liked by 1 person

        • Paddy Tobin October 15, 2020 / 8:19 am

          An update from Ireland: All visits to households have been banned here – except when essential. So, no visiting our son and family who live locally nor of them visiting us. This applies to simply being in the garden of the house and not only entering the house. We have had a very worrying increase in numbers of Covid 19 cases and, indeed, the medical advisers to the government have recommended an even harsher general close-down of all not essential movements and contacts.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, Another Blogger October 15, 2020 / 10:25 am

            I suppose that similar measures might have to be taken in certain states in the USA. Here, the governor (i.e. the chief executive official) of each state sets their state’s virus policies. It’s not done by Trump, thank goodness.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Paddy Tobin October 15, 2020 / 2:01 pm

            We’ve had our highest single day number of Covid 19 cases today. I will have not problem complying with these new regulations. My front gate is locked!

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Steve Higgins October 14, 2020 / 5:02 am

    Our Coronavirus experience has been pretty similar to yours. Full lockdown, then the easing up of the rules and finally we’ve been going to restaurants and pubs, all socially distanced of course. The crazy thing is that here in our small country, England Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland all have different rules. We’ve just left Scotland after a short break and we hear they’ve closed the pubs there for two weeks ! Got that break in just in time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 12:03 pm

      Hey, Steve. The rules vary from state to state in the USA too. And sometimes they vary from county to county within a state, which has been the case in my state (Pennsylvania).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. tylerus October 14, 2020 / 7:08 am

    Lovely pics, as always, and NJ’s pretty, too (spent some time there). They have implemented some lockdowns in this city again (you can’t eat in restaurants or go to gyms for 28 days, as examples). As for work, it appears we may be doing so from home for quite a long, long time. I believe I’ve become used to the “new norm(s)”. To use a friend’s favorite phrase: it is what it is. As such, we do what we must [to get through].

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 12:04 pm

      It’s true. I guess that most people are adaptable enough to deal with this miserable situation.


  8. Joyce Hamilton October 14, 2020 / 8:04 am

    Glad you had a great time. I also have a family with 2 children that l get together with once a week. Parents work from home and take all precautions. People need people.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Helen Devries October 14, 2020 / 10:08 am

    That looks like a super place to take a holiday.

    As to taking precautions…we are used to it as any ‘flu can potentially kill Leo. So we did what we always do…keep people away from the house and avoid close contact.

    In the early stages there were vehicle restrictions – could only use the car twice a week – but most of that has now been eased and we can go shopping almost at will. We wear a mask in shops, but that is all.

    I think we took it in our stride because of Leo’s health history…and also because we have lived through so many health scares in our time which took their course without the level of panic from governments that this one has aroused.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 12:07 pm

      Afternoon, Helen. I’m glad that you and your husband are virus-free. You have a common-sense approach to the situation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Devries October 14, 2020 / 12:09 pm

        You must feel so much better now that you have been able to meet up with friends ‘properly’.
        We’ll just keep on as we are and hope for the best.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Laurie Graves October 14, 2020 / 10:36 am

    Phew! I was afraid this story was going to have an unhappy ending, and I bolted through right to the happy ending. Stay safe, be well!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Des October 14, 2020 / 12:12 pm

    Sounds like you all had a great time, Neil! It’s important to try living our lives like we did before the pandemic. Personally, I’m being very cautious, but I don’t judge anyone for not being able to handle the isolation. This includes my wife, who is much more social than I am. We’ve mostly interacted with immediate family, however, every outing seems like a step towards normalcy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 1:02 pm

      Hi. You know, the pandemic must be absolutely horrible for people who live alone and don’t have friends or relatives nearby.


  12. rivertoprambles October 14, 2020 / 12:19 pm

    Way to go, Neil– with trusted friends or family, one step at a time… B/t/w, just returned from an awesome trip to Cape Cod, even saw Minke whales at Nauset w/o paying for a whaling expedition. Have long desired a visit to Cape May, as you have done successfully, mainly to catch the bird migration there… Will have to prioritize it on the bucket list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 1:04 pm

      Hey there. I’m glad that you and Cape Cod bonded! And Cape May is worth a visit, for sure.


  13. Jacqui Murray October 14, 2020 / 12:25 pm

    My hand’s up–me too. I visited my sister in Indiana, basically an open state. People still wore masks but we had a big family get-together to celebrate my visit. When I returned to California (which doesn’t require self-isolation upon return), I warned friends who might want to be cautious, stayed to myself despite that the Bosses didn’t require it. I feel great. Everyone back there feels great. This is the 8th day…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 1:10 pm

      Hi. I’m glad that it all worked out well, health-wise. Getting together with people in a normal way can be a tonic.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 4:31 pm

      Hi, Rosaliene. Before too long, hopefully, life truly will get back to normal. (We need a vaccine!)


  14. Becky Ross Michael October 14, 2020 / 2:10 pm

    Bottom line, anything we do is taking a chance. We each just have to decide how important that “event” is to us and how much risk we are willing to take. Hope you all continue to remain healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 4:33 pm

      It’s true. When we go to the supermarket, or anywhere, we might come in contact with the virus, even if we are masked and keeping our distance from others. You just never know.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. talebender October 14, 2020 / 2:24 pm

    Our motto, while following the safety protocols you’ve described, is ‘If you don’t live under that roof, don’t go in that house!’ We see our kids and grandkids only outdoors, and safely distanced, because they, unlike the two of us, are out and about at school and work.

    Nice pictures of Cape May!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. JT Twissel October 14, 2020 / 2:25 pm

    For us it’s been the fires that have kept us inside – bad air. I think the important thing is to avoid large gatherings. Certainly hanging out with a few trusted friends can’t be put on hold forever!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 4:40 pm

      “hanging out with a few trusted friends can’t be put on hold forever!” — Afternoon, JT. As time continues to go by without a vaccine, probably more and more people will do just that. It seems inevitable.


  17. tanjabrittonwriter October 14, 2020 / 3:00 pm

    These are no easy decisions, Neil, best made by conscientious individuals who think not only of themselves but others, too. The more people involved, the more complicated, why I think larger gatherings are a very bad idea.
    Stay well,

    Liked by 1 person

      • tanjabrittonwriter October 14, 2020 / 6:20 pm

        A vaccine will only be effective if the majority of people will receive it. In this country, if I’m not mistaken, at least 50 % of all people interviewed stated they would not!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 7:25 pm

          I don’t know when it became apparent that very large numbers of backward-thinking people reside in the USA. But a lot of them definitely have come out of the woodwork since Donnie took office.

          Liked by 1 person

          • tanjabrittonwriter October 14, 2020 / 10:51 pm

            I think many people mistrust science and scientist. Just imagine–they think that ignorant, self-important politicians know more than trained experts.

            Liked by 1 person

  18. Pazlo October 14, 2020 / 3:25 pm

    It’s impossible to keep an accurate perspective of this whole thing. Like “The Universe”, it’s just too much to comprehend within one’s mind. Add to that the anti-natural separation of a species known for communal living, and you have a formula for partial self-induced insanity.
    COVID protocols refer to a certain level of society wherein it is unrealistic to expect separation, called “members of the same household”. Given the surreal world in which we now navigate, I’ve determined my “household” extends slightly beyond the walls of my domicile. Its limits and perimeters are fluid, and defined by the location on this spinning blue ball of those I hold most dear.
    So it’s a big “household”.
    Everywhere else, I follow the rules.



    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ann Coleman October 14, 2020 / 3:50 pm

    I think the rules are different for different areas, depending on the number of Covid cases in each one. But I don’t think that by seeing just these two friends without social distancing, you are breaking them. I’m pretty sure that in our area, groups of at least 10 people not living in the same home are allowed, possibly more. (I don’t keep up, because with my husband’s chemo, we aren’t getting very close to people we don’t live with right now.) But as this situation drags on, I think we have to weigh the consequences of our decisions and do what we think is right, as long as our behavior doesn’t put others at risk. So, I guess this is my long-winded way of saying I think what you and your wife are doing is okay and probably necessary for your mental health. Also, I’m actually glad you’re able to do that: in some countries, people would not be allowed to be around anyone that doesn’t live with them, and they can’t go more than 2.5 miles from their house either. And that would drive me nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 4:49 pm

      Hi, Ann. You’re right — getting together with our friends was very good for my mental health, and for Sandy’s too I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter October 14, 2020 / 5:11 pm

    I am perhaps more cautious than most because of my almost-94-year-old mother. Yet my aunt and cousin came over for a visit (outdoors) and, though we started out socially distanced, by the time they left I was chatting face to face with my cousin as if life was “normal”. When you know people very well it’s so hard not to do that. But I try!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. workinacresnothours October 14, 2020 / 5:26 pm

    Beautiful architectural buildings & pretty landscape, a nice reprieve from our odd lives at the moment. We’re the same, close friends whom we know are cautious, fine. Our boarders are a bit of a joke though. It is a crazy time. My son works at a local supermarket, a lady said she couldn’t get out of her car as she had a bad leg but she needed to shop “odd”. So my son & work colleague shopped brought out her change for her & as they handed her her change she said she had the virus & was supposed to be quarantined. They raced back inside sterilised the money & washed their faces hands & arms. The police were called. turns out she didn’t have it she was just flamin lazy & thus fined $10,000 for her lie. Guess she wont be shopping again anytime soon. Talk about push my Mother bear button. May your weekend be free & relaxing.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. K E Garland October 14, 2020 / 5:39 pm

    Ha! It was the same at a wedding I went to recently. I just haven’t taken the time to write about it. I also noticed up north, you all think being/eating outside means you can’t catch COVID (or at least that’s what I learned from the outside wedding I attended)…such an interesting time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 7:22 pm

      Evening! Yeah, if you’re in the wrong spot at the wrong time, you might catch the virus, even if it’s outdoors. But I’m pretty confident that your chances of catching it are less outdoors than indoors.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Cindy October 14, 2020 / 7:33 pm

    I’m glad we all braved (sensibly, of course) the risks of a getaway to lovely Cape May, and especially that we’re still here to tell (and read) the tale. We’ve been real lucky–let’s hope it lasts!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. viewfromoverthehill October 14, 2020 / 7:39 pm

    I understand perfectly well. I, too, have eaten out with one or two close friends and often treat myself to coffee at my favourite coffee shop after my daily walk. I’m still waiting impatiently to be able to see my U.S. children though but am reluctant to fly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 10:21 pm

      Evening, Muriel. Flying in a plane isn’t something I’d be eager to do either. Too many people in a confined space.


  25. ellie894 October 14, 2020 / 9:38 pm

    Sounds like an absolutely wonderful time all together and I’m happy to hear how much you all enjoyed being together!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 14, 2020 / 10:25 pm

      Hi, and thanks for the visit. The short vacation was just what the doctor ordered. The four of us always have a good time together.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. George October 15, 2020 / 5:10 am

    Cape May looks beautiful. You’re always very quick to comment on my photos of the Lake District, but yours, in turn, have me hankering for long ocean beaches. Wonderful stuff.

    Over here, you are allowed to form a bubble with another j household. Outside of that, you must socially distance. Or at least, I think that’s the rule, they are complicated and confused, and seem to change on a daily basis.

    I don’t think you’re too far wrong in what you’re doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • George October 15, 2020 / 5:11 am

      *another household* — not sure where the spurious “j” leapt in from.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 15, 2020 / 7:25 am

      I’m very surprised to learn that social bubbles are allowed and endorsed where you live. As far as I know, that hasn’t happened anywhere in the States. But maybe I’m wrong about that — I don’t keep up with things as much as I probably should.

      Liked by 1 person

      • George October 15, 2020 / 7:49 am

        Neither do I. I think I got that slightly wrong. Apparently, two households can form a bubble of one of the household only has one adult. Not sure whether the the bit about the single adult is new as they are tightening the rules. Perhaps, I just hadn’t been paying close enough attention.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. cincinnatibabyhead October 15, 2020 / 2:09 pm

    Keeping a small circle and getting some stimulation will keep you on top of things Neil (Doctor Babyhead talking). Stay away from the over reactors on either side of anything. Common sense will guide you (And some good sound advice from someone who knows what the *&^%& they’re talking about). That thing (TV) that sits in our house can be good for entertainment but can drive us mad at the best of times. Dancing and getting shitfaced works also as long as it’s in your circle. See you next week Neil. Stop by the receptionist on the way out and tell her the visit was on the house. CB

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Robert Parker October 15, 2020 / 2:10 pm

    Looks great, I’d love both the beach, and the great old houses.
    It’s tough to let your guard down – -your friends may be really observant and careful, but maybe someone else they live or work with, is careless. It’s like that Six Degrees of Separation thing, you don’t know if someone brushed by a friend of a friend in the supermarket, etc. and got contaminated. I’m thinking about visiting family back in NY but am not feeling enthusiastic about being jammed in a plane with 200 people I don’t know. I met up with some friends recently, and we got food and ate outside, where we could spread out and still talk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 15, 2020 / 3:54 pm

      Hi. What you say is true. And we all need to rethink things periodically, too. As for an airplane: Taking a flight seems like way too much of a risk.


  29. johnlmalone October 15, 2020 / 5:58 pm

    here in South Australia we have had restrictions eased for a long time with no new covid cases yet we are encouraged to practise social distancing and practise good hygiene which we largely do. It seems normal now and mixing with friends too. It probably helps being a low density state.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 15, 2020 / 7:59 pm

      Great to hear that there is at least one region (yours) with no new cases. Life probably has returned pretty close to normal where you are.


      • johnlmalone October 15, 2020 / 8:02 pm

        it has, Neil; there are even contingency plans in case we experience a second wave. And in further good news Victoria, the state next to ours, which has experienced the hardest lockdown as in Wuhan, has just reported 2 new cases. They were ‘the basket case’ of Australia for many, many months

        Liked by 1 person

  30. America On Coffee October 17, 2020 / 8:32 am

    Hi Neil. wonder when it will end. People are fueled with poisonous fuel this election year. 2020 is gone, and here are at a lost.🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 17, 2020 / 9:39 am

      2020 has been a terrible year, for sure. 2021 maybe will be a lot better. Thanks for adding your thoughts, AOC. Enjoy the weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • America On Coffee October 17, 2020 / 10:13 am

        Let’s hope so, but there is no telling whet this nasty election cycle will lead us into.😞

        Liked by 1 person

  31. sloppy buddhist October 17, 2020 / 9:41 am

    Such fluidity in the guidelines between cities and towns here in Alberta and BC … with doctors in the family we locked down earlier than most it seemed … and I did/do think it’s about keeping doctors and staff safe … does take 12 to 16 years to be a doctor here …. there were and are many unknowns but I’m ready for a plan and leadership to move forward with some kind of a plan for all … I respect where everyone is at but would love that plan 🤓 I look at New Zealand as an example … exciting times I’m sure we will learn to thrive with this virus and the ones that follow … normalizing and talking about death would also be a good thing in our culture here in Canada … working with MAID perhaps changes respecting a broader range of individual rights at the end of life are also occurring … thanks for sharing Neil … I also get tested before I drive to the west coast to see our little family … super easy and fast … gives some peace of mind ~ stay strong ~ sending joy hedy ☺️💫

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 17, 2020 / 11:36 am

      Thank you for a Canadian perspective on the pandemic and related issues. This is a society-changing time that we are going through. Enjoy the weekend. Be seeing you.


  32. selizabryangmailcom October 17, 2020 / 1:21 pm

    Your get together with friends feels like burrowing into a big, soft blanket. Warm and comforting and as necessary as food or water.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. D. Wallace Peach October 17, 2020 / 1:46 pm

    I can relate to this post. Our “bubble” has grown slightly to include my brother and his wife, and our daughter and grandson (who are part of their own bubbles including in-laws and exes). We know it increases our chances of contracting the virus, but we also know that the extended bubbles are very careful. It seems worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 17, 2020 / 2:52 pm

      Yeah, in these kinds of arrangements, when we believe that our chances of contracting the virus are very low, I think it’s worth taking the chance. Maybe I’ll change my opinion in the future, but I hope I won’t have to.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Robyn Haynes October 17, 2020 / 11:50 pm

    I think you’re right. I find with family and close friends who observe the rules, we are far more relaxed

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 18, 2020 / 7:19 am

      Hi, Robyn. No matter what we do or don’t do, we’re still taking chances, unfortunately. So, we weigh the risks and hope for the best. Thanks a lot for adding your thoughts. See ya.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robyn Haynes October 18, 2020 / 7:23 pm

        Yes. Good to look through a wider lens. Virus risk has concentrated our attention and telescoped our view

        Liked by 1 person

  35. melissabluefineart October 18, 2020 / 11:48 am

    I agree~it is hard to spend time with people you cherish with a mask on. It just is. I’m glad you got to have a wonderful time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 18, 2020 / 1:16 pm

      Howdy, Melissa. I wonder if mask-wearing in public will remain as a safety practice anywhere in the USA when the pandemic is over. It probably makes sense. It would reduce the number of cases of colds and flu, most likely. Enjoy the upcoming week. Be seeing you.


      • melissabluefineart October 19, 2020 / 10:09 am

        I’ve wondered the same thing. It would make sense, you’re right. I’m glad I can avoid other people for the most part. I’m often glad about that, to be honest! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  36. Isabelle October 18, 2020 / 8:23 pm

    Cape May looks like a really lovely place. You wrote quite a few posts about Cape Cod. Are these two beautiful places related to each other since both carried the word “Cape”, or is it pure coincidence? I wonder.

    We’re following social distancing measures too and most people including myself are quite fed up. My parents find it really hard to keep distance with their grandchildren. We haven’t visited them for a long time in fear of transmitting the virus. I could see the longing in their eyes. Take care Neil. Catch up soon, Isabelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 18, 2020 / 9:20 pm

      Hi. Cape Cod and Cape May border the Atlantic Ocean, but they are far apart. Cape May is about 400 miles southwest of Cape Cod, by car. As for the coronavirus, hopefully a vaccine or two will be approved fairly soon, so that people can start acting normally again. I hope that all is well with you and your family. Enjoy the new week.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. ckennedy October 19, 2020 / 10:11 am

    It sounds like you’re expanding your bubble and have found your bubble people:)


  38. cath October 19, 2020 / 2:36 pm

    What lovely pictures. I’m glad you all had a lovely, relaxing time. It looks like a lot of us are doing careful bubbles, now

    Liked by 1 person

  39. bluebrightly October 19, 2020 / 9:10 pm

    I’m glad it’s worked out that you guys can enjoy some social life. It’s hard these days! And Cape May – we went there once – so pretty. BTW, I bet you could find a good Italian bakery in Philadelphia that makes that special pastry…

    Liked by 1 person

  40. myowncalcuttablog.com October 20, 2020 / 9:30 am

    I think you simply found two people that belong in your bubble. Where I live, the government suggested a bubble of ten people which made life doable. Recently, it was decreased to keeping within your own household. Pretty hard to go from a bubble of ten down to just your own household!


  41. artdoesmatter October 20, 2020 / 3:51 pm

    Neil, I enjoyed this post!! Not only because you mentioned going with friends and Sandy to the Art Museum, but you also visited Cape May – absolutely my fav beach in all of New Jersey. If you get the urge to go out again to see a great art show, stop by the National Liberty Museum in Old City on Chestnut Street. A new exhibit opened there, “Philly’s Freedom” and I’d love to hear what you think of it!! No rush as it runs til early next year. Stay well, safe and social bubble is the way to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 20, 2020 / 6:22 pm

      Hey, it’s good to hear from you. I haven’t been in Center City for a long while, because I’m not keen on riding in any SEPTA vehicles these pandemic days. I miss central Philly, and will have to get down there before too long, SEPTA notwithstanding. I’ll try to check out that exhibit at that time. Be well. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  42. carolinehelbig October 20, 2020 / 11:14 pm

    I don’t think you’re alone here Neil. We’ve done the same with good friends, though at times it leaves my feeling anxious (after we’ve had the good time). Still draw the line with hugging though. I’m glad you and Sandy got away to Cape May. Looks lovely!


    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 21, 2020 / 7:43 am

      Hi, Caroline. The overall situation is a big dilemma and worry for all of us. Even those who are extremely careful, rarely leaving their homes, still might somehow come in contact with the virus.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. Pam Lazos October 21, 2020 / 8:59 am

    My husband and I have had a similar evolutionary arc, even venturing as far as the Finger Lakes in NYC two weekends ago, but I think the party is about to be over with the colder weather although I dread having to go back inside, Neil. Thank goodness for dog walking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 21, 2020 / 11:58 am

      Greetings, Pam. You know, I grew up in the state of New York, but have never been to the Finger Lakes region. For years it has been in the back of my mind to explore that area. One of these days. Thanks for stopping by. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. eden baylee October 22, 2020 / 11:31 pm

    We had social bubbles of 10 since June, though I didn’t have that many in mine. Toronto has rolled back on this recently due to increasing cases.

    It’s ever changing. With the cold weather, we will be moving indoors which could mean a rise in cases too, since people will gather indoors.

    Staying prudent, zooming, calling, waiting it out …
    Hope you’re well,


    Liked by 1 person

  45. cigarman501 October 23, 2020 / 4:56 am

    Stay safe…my wife and I are still staying put except when necessary. Boring…..

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Michele Anderson October 24, 2020 / 7:14 pm

    I guess we just have to find the balance that works for each of us. I know we have gotten together with our daughter and family and probably have taken chances too. I’m not sure with the uptick in my state if we will get together for Christmas this year, we’ll just have to see. I do know that my relationship with my daughter and family has really changed. It seems like the grandkids aren’t as close to us as they used to be. This pandemic has taken it’s toll on us for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 24, 2020 / 10:18 pm

      The pandemic has been going on for over seven months in the States. It’s only a guess, but I think that half a year from now a vaccine will have been produced and inoculations will have started. Things will be better then. Hi, Michele. Many thanks for adding your thoughts.


  47. Pam Lazos October 26, 2020 / 9:53 pm

    My husband and I are doing the same thing, Neil — really strict in the beginning and less strict when we’re with members of our “pod”, but winter is coming and I think we need to go back to being strict again, because I can’t eat outside during winter — my food will get cold before I can even taste it! ;0)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2020 / 11:18 pm

      Hey there, Pam. A vaccine, or vaccines, can’t arrive soon enough. We all need normal human interactions to return.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Lazos October 27, 2020 / 6:56 am

        I know, Neil, I know, but I don’t think I’m going to be first in line. Maybe a million or so, but not first. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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