When I committed to writing one post per week this year even if that one post wasn't much, I meant it. But I didn't define the week. I started by thinking I'd put something out every Saturday morning, but that was unrealistic. Then I thought I could post every Saturday, until I actually spent time not on the computer for most of a Saturday. Last week, I didn't finish my post until Sunday because it takes time to look things up and cite them correctly.1 And now it's Sunday night and I haven't posted anything yet.
I spent the night at home this weekend for the first time since the weekend after Thanksgiving. Santa Clara County has had a travel quarantine in place for three months now, which means that when I go home I need to stay in my apartment for 10 days before I can do anything else. The rule only applies if you spend the night, so for months I've been going home to check on my apartment and get my mail, and then returning to my parents' home on the same day, a round trip of about 650 miles. Am I using a narrowly literal interpretation of the travel quarantine rule? Kind of! But my apartment is literally the only place in the county I've stopped on these trips.
This routine has gotten pretty tiring and recently I re-read the county's FAQ more closely and it seems that I'm ok staying in my apartment for less than 10 days if: 1) it's the only place I go within the county and 2) I leave the county entirely when I leave my apartment.2 That's what I did this weekend. The benefit is that it's much easier to split up the drive over two days. The drawback is that driving did eat up much of both days, leaving me too tired to finish the blog post I started yesterday. Hence, no real post today.
Who knew? ↩
Arguably, it's not clear where my "home" is now. I had to decide whether to renew my lease during the early shelter-in-place period in April and I was in no position at the time to move all of my stuff out. Maybe it would have made sense to have done so, or to have broken the lease later, but I've always planned to go back home and it would be difficult to find somewhere better for a similar rent.
I looked at some other places pre-pandemic, since I'd just changed jobs and had a slightly different commute, and as far as I could tell even a marginally "better" apartment would likely mean a 25-40% rent increase (because my current place is at the low end of the market), giving up the protection from large rent hikes that has kept my current place affordable (I've been there five years), and giving up a landlord who's so far proven not to be someone who tries to extract the maximum rent out of every tenant (my rent has increased a few times, but never to the maximum amount allowable). So I feel like if I gave up my place, I might never return to the Bay Area.
As it is, my parents recently got their second Covid-19 vaccine doses, and my dad seems to be at a point where his treatments are a routine and manageable once-per-month, so it looks like I'll be able to go home soon. And then sit there for 10 days or have to leave again. ↩