Sheltering in Place by
(311 Stories)

Loading Share Buttons...

/ Stories

Sheltering in Place

Back in early February – which now seems a lifetime ago  – my husband Danny was told by his cardiologist that he would need surgery to correct a blocked carotid artery.  Of course I couldn’t resist chiding him that years of unhealthy snacking had finally caught up with him.

Danny’s surgery was set for Tuesday, March 31 at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital.  The surgeon was confident all would go well and  Danny would be fully recovered in time for trips we had planned for April and May.  And in June we anticipated heading up to our country house in Connecticut for the summer.

What we didn’t anticipate was Covid 19.

And so as things spiraled down and the pandemic threat was suddenly a reality,  and with New York City as the probable epicenter,  our son Noah urged us to try to get an earlier surgery date.

I knew the surgeon operated on Tuesdays only,  and so I feared his schedule would be full.  But ironically because of Covid 19,  an out-of-town medical conference was cancelled giving him another operating day.   So much to our relief,  Danny’s surgery was moved to March 17,  St Patrick’s Day.  James Joyce-lover that I am,  I felt that was a good omen!

And so early that rainy St Paddy’s morning Noah and I drove Danny to Mount Sinai.  Noah took him in to be admitted,  but couldn’t stay very long –  the Covid no-visitor policy was already in affect.

As I waited in the car,  I  watched dozens of health care workers hurrying through the rain,  some leaving the hospital after their night shift,  others going in to start their day   Most wore the same green scrubs,  but as this was New York –   and hopefully this is still America  –  under their hoodies,  rain hats and  umbrellas,  I saw the faces of men and women of all creeds and colors.

Thankfully Danny’s surgery went well,  and the day after he was discharged we packed our car.  took our cat,  and drove to Connecticut to hunker down indefinitely,  all our best-laid plans now on hold.

The other day Danny and I went out on our deck to catch the sun.  The air was nippy and I brought wool throws for our laps.

Let’s imagine we’re sitting on deck chairs on a grand ocean liner heading for an exotic port.”  said my husband.

”As long as it’s not the Titanic!”,   I said.

Stay safe,  and safe harbor everyone!

– Dana Susan Lehrman 

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

Visit Author's Website

Tags: Pandemics, Covid 19, Quarantine
Characterizations: moving, right on!, well written


  1. John Shutkin says:

    Thank you, Dana, for one happy COVID19 story: the acceleration of your husband’s surgery. So glad it was successful. And may we all not be on the Titanic now — though there are striking parallels between its captain and our own faux “leader.”

  2. So glad to hear of a happy result. And as I just wrote in response to John’s story, I heartily endorse the sun-catching. Even beyond the UV benefit.

  3. I’m afraid someone — need I say who? — also saw Titanic and took it to heart: “I’m the king of the world!” Aaargh…may he “walk the plank” come November!

    Okay, enough with the nautical innuendo. Dee, I’m just so glad your husband’s surgery went well, and that you’re enjoying the sunshine in a beautiful place. Stay safe and well!

  4. Marian says:

    What a relief, Dana, that Danny could have his surgery. All very scary. It also must feel safer to get away from NYC at this time. My niece and her fiance went from their cramped apartment in the center of Washington, DC to his parents’ very large home in Nyack. They say they are a lot less stressed there.

    • Yes we were so glad to leave the city, but it’s such a strange feeling not knowing when we’ll be back home.

      Glad you and your guy have lots of space, and your niece is lucky too, sounds like a good move and she’ll really get to know the future in-laws! I have cousins in Nyack, I love that area.

  5. Suzy says:

    Dana, thanks for an upbeat story! Glad Danny’s surgery got moved up, and went well, and now you are safely situated in Connecticut. You even have your son with you, you lucky woman! Love the picture of the deck chair too!

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    So glad you were able to move Danny’s surgery up and that he’s doing well now. Yes, Dana, we have all given up on our summer plans and are living through this day-to-day. What I wondering is how three cats peacefully co-exist under one roof?

    • Thanx Laurie.
      In fact the 3 cats are not getting along very well, our poor cat has had his domain invaded, he hisses and growls at the other 2.
      Of course it adds to the stress here where there are 3 humans who are also trying to get along without growling!

  7. Betsy Pfau says:

    Dana, I would say you had the luck of Irish on your side! Forget our Jewish roots, we can all be Irish on St. Paddy’s Day and I followed Danny’s surgery during the day, happy when it was successfully complete and you could escape from your beloved Big Apple.

    Sorry about the cats. My Vicki in San Jose talked briefly about getting a second cat during this isolated time, even though she adores her adult cat. We advised against it, for just the reason you’ve commented on. Cats are territorial and don’t necessarily want to have their domain intruded upon.

    Stay safe, enjoy the view from your deck chairs and dream of a happy outcome on November 3!

  8. Dorothy Rice says:

    Great story with a happy ending! It does seem like ages since the quarantine began, but less than two months, right?! Incredible. I’m so glad the surgery went well and you could enjoy your “cruise.” I look forward to checking out your website.

Leave a Reply