COVID19 update: when can we go home?
First things first, we and our families are safe and healthy. We’re currently stuck in California without a definite date on when we can return home.
Jaime and I returned to California in late February for our first visit since moving to Italy in January 2019. When we left Italy, the outbreak just started becoming a real issue. Two days after we arrived in California, Italy’s northern region went into lockdown quarantining 16 million citizens. Every morning, we anxiously watched the news with heavy hearts as COVID-19 took over the country we now consider home. Our return flights were scheduled for March 13th, but a few days before departure Italy’s Prime Minister mandated a country-wide lockdown and our flights were immediately canceled.
Ever since then, we’ve been in limbo. The Department of Defense and the US Navy continue to issue new instructions. The most recent one mandated we shelter in place for 60 days. Jaime has received an exemption from his Chain of Command, but even with the exemption, our flights can’t be rebooked for anything earlier than May 1st. We’re hoping a military flight is our mode of transportation home, but we also haven’t received any promising answers on when that might be available. We’ve learned Jaime’s not the only military personnel stationed in Italy stuck in the US and their updates were pretty much the same: no clear answer on when they can return home.
Jaime and I are separately quarantining until we return to Italy so we’re able to spend time with our own families and lessen the risk of exposure. Being apart isn’t anything new after multiple deployments, but it is weird knowing we’re only 5 miles away from each other. Troy and Xena are in Italy with a dog boarder we know and trust and we miss them so much. Every day Jaime and I send each other pictures of them — we are those kind of dog parents.
Troy & Xena
Jaime is currently in school and I’ve been using the free time to sew cotton masks to donate to non-critical healthcare professionals and other essential workers. With no end date on our stay in California, I’m making as many masks as time will allow and by the time you read this, I’ll be close to or finished with sewing 500 masks. If you’d like to make a fabric or monetary donation or if you need masks, please reach out to us on our “ABOUT” page. If you’d like to sew masks, here are a few patterns that have been circulating the web: pattern 1, pattern 2, pattern 3.
100 completed fabric masks
Temporarily living in a small country town means it’s relatively safe to venture outside because the streets are naturally void of pedestrians. We go on walks around town almost every day and minimize going to the local grocery store to once a week.
I hope you’re doing well wherever you are and that you’re staying safe and healthy. Stay home if you’re fortunate enough to be able to and wash your hands. For the most accurate information on what you can do to keep you and your loved ones safe, be sure and check out www.cdc.gov and https://www.who.int/.