The COVID-19 Battle


Last updated 4/10/2020 at 10:32am

No one alive today has experienced what we’re all going through together in this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Maintaining social distancing to stem the spread of the virus, self-isolation if infection is possible or likely, not going to work or having to work from home, shutting down many businesses, and more, all contributing to the elimination of the word “social” in the way society operates in pre-pandemic times.

In light of widespread adoption of social distancing practices in Borrego, residents and business owners are all contributing to the need to keep COVID-19 infections to a minimum.

Spirits are still high and folks friendly and supportive of others in this beginning stage of the crisis. An early run on the supply of basic goods in the markets that were once emptied has been replaced with resupply from vendors – markets have been fully stocked with food and other essentials, so there’s no longer a need to hoard toilet paper or canned goods. And restaurants are offering take-out services (including beer, wine, and liquor for some – ask at the time of ordering for current policy), delivery or curbside pick-up. It keeps local business revenue flowing, and fills the needs of Borregans.

Our community also has a lot of Snowbirds, folks who come here for the winter and leave in Spring. It’s Spring now, and they’re heading home, but not under ideal circumstances.

On March 26, the Senate unanimously passed the $2 trillion economic stimulus package providing future financial relief to residents and small businesses with restrictions on who exactly qualifies for a stimulus check. President Donald Trump signed the bill on March 27. So we cope as best we can now, and in times to come.

How are Borregans coping these days? Let’s begin with examples of personal thoughts and coping strategies via Borrego Springs 92004 on Facebook.

“What I miss most are people. Social, community, cultural and spiritual gatherings are important parts of my life, and they’re all being cancelled. I enjoy living alone and being alone, but not 24/7. My friends and I are coping by staying in touch via text, e-mail and phone, and meeting each other at home. This too shall pass.” ~ Wendy Quinn

The U.S. – Canadian border has closed to non-essential traffic for at least 30 days, depending on the state of the pandemic, but in fact re-patriation shouldn’t be a problem. Gary Mercer sent along a photo of his latest attempt to ensure an adequate supply of essentials, specifically growing his own toilet paper. He still retains his sense of humor, something we all should do.

“I hear friends decry the need to return to Canada before the border is closed, but I understand their concern.” ~ Gary Mercer

Something else we should all do while restricted movements are called for: Exercise. In that regard, golf courses at the RoadRunner Club (members-only policy for over a year) and at the Springs at Borrego RV Park are the only courses in the area open for business and general fitness at this time; do keep your social distances in mind!

Bunker rakes have been removed, cups inverted, and flag inserted to avoid direct contact. Spirits are indeed high at the RRC for those who want to get outside and knock a golf ball around after being cooped up.

“Doug and I are coping. We had a great round of golf this morning – lots of fresh air but kinda breezy; it felt germ-free out on the course. We will continue to try to play every day.” ~ Joan Kirchner

Joan also has community concerns, giving the following “serious thought.”

“I’m just wondering, are we all going to put on lots of pounds? Now that we are just staying around the house and chowing down, we’re all going to have to watch our calorie intake.”

Perhaps a partial answer lies in her previous comment: Leave the golf cart at home and hump those golf bags for as long as possible.

The following coping mechanism might also be illustrative of the need to at once keep in shape while not putting others at risk.

“I am heading out for a bike ride on the streets of this amazing town we call home. Admittedly, I am a bit concerned about how my outside activity will be perceived. Assuredly, I will be riding solo and not making any stops along the way. I do care.” ~ Rick Rethoret

While many Borregans are rightly concerned about personal health and safety, for themselves and others, there are others who voice more civic-minded notions, like supporting local businesses and doing what we can during struggling times.

“It is essential for us to generously support grocery, liquor, gas, and other retail outlets. If it’s possible, support the service industry in this community – buy gift certificates.” ~ Larry Gilstrap

Two comments received on coping reflect at least one positive effect of the pandemic, but the following is also a selfless commitment to our community and the needs of those less fortunate.

“This quarantine is great for redirecting our attention to what is important. Family, friends, healthy habits, board games, etc. We always participate in food bank and have a pantry of essentials, and we tend to shop daily for veggies and things at the Pantry or Village Market. We appreciate our local grocers, always, and we stay in town most all of the year anyway. We are doing take-out, too.”

“For doctors, we go to Escondido, but we’re rather healthy so are not doing that. We will save coronavirus testing for those who really need it.”

“I made peace with death through meditation long ago and do not entertain fear in that regard. I believe the entire thing is God’s way of helping the planet heal – less pollution, and more realization of what we really need: proper health care, proper schooling tools, working from home, employment unions to ensure pay, unity in politics and world view, food for children and the elderly, and love for Mother Earth.” ~ Ellen Fitzpatrick

Caring for grandchildren who are home from day care, or school, is one way of helping working parents to cope.

“Jean and I are full-time Borregans. She is currently over in Orange County watching our 18-month old grandson whose preschool has closed, and mom and dad have to work, so off she went. Jean is being very careful, as they live in one of those abominable condo complexes. I decided to stay home, because I saw no reason for both of us to be around people.”

“I have been enjoying the peace and quiet, while also working at the food bank, enjoying the Hawk Watch, and enjoying a Carlee’s Burger with onion rings – at home. Today I practiced social distancing by taking a nice Jeep ride.” ~ Craig Johnson

These are just a few examples of Borregans coping with a unique and very difficult situation. If a reader wishes to share a personal coping strategy or things they are doing during this time, please email

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