Part 1…Musings over the peculiarity of life in a lockdown in a hotel room in Mumbai, India…

Elephant seals cuddled together in Gyrtviken, South Georgia Island, on our way to Antarctica.
See the link here.

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Today’s photos are from our post one year ago today. Please click here for more.
As inquiries as to our well-being flood our inboxes, we can’t help but feel humbled and blessed to experience the outpouring of love and concern from our family and readers/friends throughout the world.
Mr. & Mrs. Hornbill was eating seeds off the veranda table. We weren’t able to put up the birdfeeder with monkeys nearby and placed the seeds on the table after they’d banged at the window with their beaks to remind us to feed them.  

Living in a hotel room which may prove to be for many more months to come, is rather peculiar, especially under these trying circumstances. Fortunately, based on our years of attempting and often succeeding at being resilient and resourceful, these circumstances are not unfamiliar territory for us.

Of course, being entrenched in a pandemic is new for all of us, including the complicated mechanics of protecting ourselves from contracting the virus, even here in our somewhat pristine environment.
At this point, no new guests are allowed to check in to the hotel. But, as India’s Prime Minister Modi and state officials have begun to lessen a number of lockdown restrictions and domestic travel is reinstated, we expect this business-friendly hotel will start booking business travelers.
Willie loves making eye contact when I talk to him. But, since his eyes are far apart, he tended to look at me by tilting his head using one eye.

From what we’ve observed thus far, it appears domestic travel will be instituted long before international travel, which could leave us in a precarious position with guests from all over the country beginning an influx into our otherwise safe surroundings.

Will we need to start wearing masks and gloves to go to dinner or sit in the lobby while our room is being cleaned? Or will we escalate our protection and ask for room service and never leave the room, even during the period when the room is being cleaned?  The cleaners wear masks and gloves now. What added protection might they need?
Will staff and cooks still sleep here at night as they do now, which provides us with an added layer of protection? Will our food be safe if they start returning to their homes at night when the lockdown potentially changes on May 3rd?
Suckling baby kudu and her mom.

All of this is up in the air right now. They don’t know the answers to these questions. Nor do we. Our current safety from the virus is predicated by our lives in this hotel, and until international flights re-open, not only here but worldwide, we have nowhere else to go.

I freely admit I am considerably more concerned about getting the virus than Tom is. Then again, he tends to worry a lot less than I do under certain circumstances. He worries about the small things. I only worry about the big stuff.
If we were in a holiday home, it would be much easier in many ways. If we chose to keep ourselves in lockdown long term, we could make that decision easier by receiving food and supplies from online retailers. 
Sunset over the Crocodile River from the veranda at Ngwenya Lodge.

We could cook our meals, tend to tasks around the house, and live a somewhat everyday life while we waited for such time as we felt it was safe to venture outside, see friends, and interact with others.

Here, although for the moment, it’s been safe, going forward is questionable. Once we can fly out of here, the situation at the airports will be frightening, filled with potentially infected individuals who may not even know they are carrying the dreaded virus.

Blooming Bird of Paradise.

Still, we remain assured we made the right decision not to return to the US. With today’s number of cases in the US at 1,010,507 and 56,803 deaths compared to India’s 9,451 cases and 939 deaths, it feels safer to us here in a hotel than we’d be in the US.

As for our hope to return to South Africa, as of today, with 4,973 cases and 90 deaths, we’d feel safer there as well. Of course, we realize all of these numbers could be inaccurate, but it’s all we have to go by at this point.

A majestic waterbuck.

So, we wait. And, oddly, while we wait, we are both OK, both sleeping well, both learning as much as we can, with neither of us exhibiting any signs of stress. We have hope, determination, and faith, all of which will see us through, however long it takes.

Be safe. Be strong. Be hopeful.

Photo from one year ago today, April 28, 2019:

Parade of elephants crossing the bone dry river before the rains. For more on this story, please click here.

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