It is mid April, 2020, and every day seems to be a scene from the movie Groundhog Day.

The routine of shelter at home is in its 5th week and consists of: wake up, coffee, check news, check emails, check Facebook, work, lunch, check news, emails, Facebook, work, maybe get dressed, dinner, check news, emails, Facebook, Netflix binge, go to bed…start all over again.

Pandemic trends.

Some pandemic trends that have become popular are the use of pajamas as day and evening wear, alternated with sweats on odd days. The weeks/months of not seeing a barber, stylist or manicurist has made looking into a mirror non-essential. Face masks from medical, homemade to designer-label, offer some protection and cover most of the face, which means wearing lipstick or makeup is also non-essential when leaving the house. It has been interesting to watch TV anchors and reporters adapt to doing their own makeup and hair. Their broadcasts are televised from their homes; staged in a bedroom, living area or a study with weird lighting. Backdrops might include art on the wall or bookshelves with identifiable top reads. Watching the reporter or anchor keep their composure while their children ask questions or display a tantrum makes for real TV. 

Popular pandemic terms, phrases and people associated with the crisis include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx, Governor Andrew Cuomo, daily news conferences, “testing, testing testing,” social distancing 6 ft. apart, shelter at home, flattening the curve, essential business, non-essential business, self-quarantine, home schooling, cooking, take-out, delivery apps, N95 masks, and frontline workers/heroes.

There are many ways Benicia has been brought together safely through the talents of our citizens.

Annabelle Marie and her nightly waterfront violin concerts, Voena Choir’s virtual concert, artists that have shared their works on social media, a friend’s funny post, the many volunteers that check in on and help our seniors and citizens in need, our first responders that keep a vigilant eye on our safety, the Benicia City staff that continue to work on our roads, treat our water, and maintain the services we rely on. Then there is you, who have stayed home and kept your distance, perhaps you’ve had to close your business or limit your operations in order to keep us all safe. Benicia has been fortunate in numbers of reported COVID-19 cases. Our town has shown <10, which means 0 to 10 cases, consistently since Solano County started reporting by city. 

We are all adjusting to the new normal as we maneuver to find that light at the end of the tunnel and work to stop the Groundhog Day from repeating itself!