Holding our breath..One day at a time…

The scene we traveled on the Toy Train.

In the past several weeks, each time we’ve been required to venture out of the safe cocoon of a hotel room, we can’t help but wonder if we’ve been exposed. At this point, we only leave the sanctity of our space when it’s time for breakfast or dinner.

All of the employees at this beautiful hotel live on-site and aren’t allowed to leave the premises. The staff is minimal, and food supplies are dwindling. This morning, the restaurant manager explained meal options are rapidly declining when they can’t get deliveries.

Sunset in Bandhavgarh National Park.

As we mentioned, there is no laundry service, and we’ve begun washing our clothes in the shower or the bathroom sink and then hanging them on the window ledge to dry. We decided to wear the same clothes repeatedly for as long as possible to avoid having a big pile of laundry accumulate. 

We’re hand washing our underwear daily and will hand wash shirts and pants when we swap out those we’ve been wearing. Blue jeans are tough to squeeze dry, but we’ll figure it out.

Memorial for fallen soldiers in Delhi.

Thank goodness we have air-con and WiFi. India is fast-moving into its hottest season, and we notice temperatures rising each day. If the power goes out, we’re in big trouble. So far, nothing indicates that the infrastructure will fail.

Mahatma Gandhi’s burial site and memorial in New Delhi.

Today, the mandatory 21-day lockdown began in the entire country of India. As seen in this article, people will be arrested if found outside of their activities aren’t covered by exemptions. So far, the government is not requiring all hotels to close, only those who choose to complete as stated in the above link:

” Exemptions: Hotels, Homestays, lodges, and motels which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew.”

A herd of sheep on the road.

This notice came out this morning and gives us a degree of comfort, but many hotels continue to close due to low occupancy and subsequent loss of revenue. If this hotel closes and as long as we have a hotel to move into, we will be fine. It’s the prospect of not having anywhere to stay that is terrifying, as we had feared after yesterday morning’s incidents.

None of the dozen or so holiday homeowners I’ve contacted online have yet to respond to our inquiries except one, who stated they aren’t renting their property during this crucial period.

A sambar deer sighting.

Most likely, this will be the case for most holiday property owners and managers. They don’t want to be exposed to any travelers who may be infected, nor do they want their properties to be a “hotbed” of germs they’ll eventually have to clean.

This morning at breakfast, an Englishman approached our table (at a distance of several meters). He said he recognized us from Madurai, where we stayed in isolation for four days before our last flight to Mumbai a week ago today. His group of three is in the same spot we’re in. They are unable to leave Mumbai due to closed airports and India’s total lockdown.

She was crossing a river in Kanha National Park.

They are hoping to return to their home in the UK with over 8000 cases as of today. Here again, Heathrow Airport would potentially be another dangerous airport. Our plan continues to wait it out until we’re able to enter South Africa, which currently has 554 cases. Tomorrow, they are also implementing a total countrywide lockdown.

The wait could be extended, especially when South Africa has confirmed they won’t accept any foreign nationals entering the country until after May 31st. If we get lucky, and this hotel stays open, we’ll be fine here until then. Time will tell.

The restaurant at Tuli Tiger Resort in Kanha.

None of us knows what will transpire over these next weeks or months. We’re all in this together, regardless of our circumstances. We must stand together as a unit in our commitment to “social distancing,” ensuring we are continuing to avoid passing this dreadful virus onto others.

Stay safe. Order groceries online. Stop shopping at warehouse facilities. Stop getting together with relatives, friends, and neighbors. Wash your hands. Cover your cough or sneeze. Stay home, world, please…

Photo from one year ago today, March 25, 2019:

Such a handsome kudu bull. For more photos, please click here.

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