Safe in American Samoa’s closed borders

May 1, 2020Lifestyle, Moments, Photo Diaries

I’ve lost track of what day we’re in since quarantine began… let’s see, it’s been 5 weeks since we closed the island’s borders after the last flight in and out on March 26th. Many people were demanding the borders close early, and I’m so glad the government did just that. I keep wondering what might have happened if the government waited another week. Would we still be safe? I’ve been relishing in these days, feeling more safe within our tiny island’s borders than I would have thought or expected amidst a global health pandemic. Our one and only hospital has been on high alert since before the State of Emergency was announced, preparing for the worst, but I’m afraid that no amount of time will actually prepare us for what is to come if we let our guard down. While the stress tension in my shoulders have eased up, I am still weary of the possibility that it could still make its way here. I myself have let my guard down a couple of times over the last week, and have leaned in for hugs when my neighbor’s kids come running up to me to greet me. Kids aren’t very good at reinforcing social distancing. I’m not very good at resisting their open arms. I still have a pesky cough too, which is weird because I feel totally normal and fine. But my mister has pointed out that I can’t just chalk it up to nothing, and that I should still be careful, so thanks for the reminder.

A good day in isolation

My echo dot alarm goes off at 5:30am, and I listen to the automated daily NPR update as I convince myself to get up even though it’s still dark out. I call Jabs because she never wakes up on time, and we both meet in the treehouse 15 minutes later with our yoga mats for a half hour flexibility sequence we find on Sarah Beth’s YouTube channel. We’ve been getting up early every day this week to work out and move our bodies. The surface of the ocean is lit in tiny sparkles, and the sun hides behind dark clouds the entire day. I’m in my studio/office by 8:00am, headphones on listening to chill lofi beats, and looking up fautasi articles to contextualize my research of the history of fautasi evolving in American Samoa. The morning flies by and before I know it, it’s lunch, and high tide. Ian goes for quick SUP surf, and I plop down in the treehouse with Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening by Liz Clark. It’s an easy read but I’m taking her blog-style chapters in slowly to sate my appetite for travel and adventure. I’m only distracted by a turtle that buzzes by. Back in the studio/office, I find out from my supervisor that we’re going to continue teleworking next week and I exhale an audible sigh of relief, and tell Ian beside me that he’s stuck with me at home for at least one more week. He’s happy to hear it. We work steadily until early evening and walk out to watch the pink and gold sunset skies. I head down to Gabby’s to get my camera sensor cleaned and walk with her to scout a location for a video interview she’s filming for AJ+. Ian and I play cards for our usual ‘happy hour’, then turn on the AC and get cozy for another night of healthily binging Ozark on Netflix. I tried to post this blog last night but could only muster the energy to finally edit my photos from Three (which I’ll post later) and upload these pics from my camera roll. My eyes started to droop, and not wanting to fight my sleepiness, I dozed off for the night. Here are a few little photo journal snaps from my phone yesterday.

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