We re-enter the US to an empty airport, in Miami. We depart the plane in groups of 15 and are asked a few questions about where we had been, our current symptoms and our temperature was taken. Passing the tests, we head to customs and are through in a record 10 minutes. Deciding to stay in Miami for the night we head over to pick up a car. In five more minutes, we are done and have our choice of any car they have. The lot is overflowing since tourism is down to zero. This just feels so strange.
We are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. None seem to know what this means, no one is keeping track. We cannot see family or anyone during this time. Our camper (home in the US) is in storage in Florida, but it’s still season so campgrounds are scarce. Picking up our camper we drive toward northern Georgia trying to find a campground to wait this out. All the national parks and forests are closed. Same with the state campgrounds. Some Campgrounds are allowing monthly rentals and we finally find one in NE Alabama, the Little River Campground near the Little River Gorge, a great recreation area. The sites are very spacious, and spring is in the air.
My 91-year-old Mom is not doing well so we need to travel back to Florida as soon as we finish the quarantine period. She is in an assisted living facility and has fallen and broken her back. She won’t be having surgery and is not tolerating the back brace. Finding a hotel on the beach we are amazed that the beach in open to recreation and the pool is also open. So strange and different to what we are being told needs to be done. Applying all protocol, we thoroughly disinfect the entire room, twice, with Lysol.
The assisted living facilities and hospitals are totally locked down to visitors. Luckily, mom is on the first floor and we can visit with her through an open window. She is now in pain and bed ridden. My sister Laurie has been the rock and our family angel through all this and for the past few years. She has done an amazing job as caretaker and advocate for Mom. Love you, sis. Things aren’t going well, and hospice is called in. She keeps deteriorating over a couple days. Finally, the management has come to the agreement that we can come in and see Mom, since things don’t look good. We all get to come in and say our tearful goodbyes. The next couple days she becomes unresponsive and we head back to Alabama to refill our medication and my dear Mom passes peacefully in her sleep in the middle of the night.
During this time, our wonderful dog companion Gypsy-girl’s health is declining. She has mitral valve disease and a soft upper palate with a collapsible trachea. She is on medication for her heart and to try and keep her out of congestive heart failure. She now coughs consistently, 24 hours a day with occasional short breaks. She has become so tired that she can barely walk and coughs even when laying down. Medications to control her cough have all failed. Her time has come, and we decide to humanly have her put to sleep. The vet is fantastic and injects her in the back seat of my car while I hold her in my arms. The emotions of the past month catch up to me. I sob.
The next few days we chat with family and visit with family. This is so needed. Rick, Dallas and Dallas’s fiancé have essential jobs and are all still working. We all practice distancing but that also goes away over time. This is a concern to all of us, but we do what we can. The US has a different take on the restrictions of the virus than many other parts of the world. I hope whatever people do that all stay safe and we can make it through this time with as little consequences as possible.
During this time I was contacted by Jim Martin of Adventure Rider Radio. He somehow feels our story is worth telling and we set up an interview. We are very flattered and at the same time, worried that our story will not be up to the standard of so many world travelers out there. The interview goes well and I hope all the people that listen to ARR will enjoy it. Here a link to the show. https://adventureriderradio.com/adventure-rider-radio-episodes/2020/5/7/doing-what-really-matters-in-life-greg-and-melanie-turp
We are getting out on the bike as that is allowed here and the roads are fairly empty. Like usual, miles in the saddle help keep my mind clear and my emotions level. I feel so sorry for the people that must stay inside or that are stuck in various parts of the world and unable to continue on their journeys or get home. It is now early May and some restrictions are being relaxed. Hope this works out okay, but I have my doubts. One thing for sure, this economy cannot endure what has happened again.
This also will pass as has all the past difficulties the world has endured. It’s the uncertainty on the other side that is of concern. Time will tell.
Everyone stay well, safe and be kind. We’re all is this together.