I started coughing in Houston.

I told myself it was seasonal allergies, but I upped my social distancing as much as possible: I wore disposable gloves at the gas station when pumping gas and using the touch pad, shoved doors open with my feet, used hand sanitizer liberally, stood several feet away from the campground host, and touched literally nothing at the ranger station.

Obviously, all of that was probably the “too little, too late,” that the shutdowns are meant to stop. If I’d known I was going to get sick, I wouldn’t be on the road now, but I am on the road and there’s not a lot I can do about it. I’m so glad I haven’t visited anyone, though.

At the moment, I’m in Guadalupe River State Park. I believe there’s a scenic overlook within easy walking distance, but I haven’t seen it, because easy walking distance is not feeling so easy. Not that I’m that sick — I feel like I’ve got a cold, really, and not a terrible cold, just a typical cold. In normal times, I’d take some cold medicine and make myself some soup and get over it. And in fact, in these non-normal times, I’ll probably do much the same.

It might be just a cold, of course, but I suspect Florida is vastly under-reporting corona virus cases because there are no tests available. Christina wanted to get tested and the doctor told her they were only able to test people sick enough to need to be hospitalized. That’s a fine way to manage a pandemic, don’t you think? In Florida, of all places. So many high-risk people, so many people who travel, and only enough tests for the desperately ill. My friend Lynda’s neighbor came back from Italy two weeks ago, has a severe respiratory infection, and also hasn’t managed to get tested. At the moment I’m writing this, Florida claims 122 cases, but they’ve run only 699 tests.

But I’m not going to dwell on this, because it’s just too scary. I am simply going to do my absolute best to keep my germs to myself. And also to take care of myself. Yesterday, when I was still feeling like maybe I wasn’t sick, maybe I was just allergic, I cooked all the things: rice, quinoa, chicken, steak, salmon. My goal was to make enough food that I could eat quinoa or rice bowls with protein and greens for the next several days and not worry about needing the stove. Today that’s feeling rather convenient.

Also nice: my ample supply of spice gum drops. I didn’t plan on eating them all while I was sitting still (they’re a long driving day treat, supposedly), but I am enjoying them. It’s probably not the healthiest choice to be eating lots of sugar, but carpe diem for spice gum drops. I’m sure the cinnamon ones are good for me.

Stay safe and wash your hands!