Tag Archives: risk

SOLC Day 5: Flight Risk

It’s eerily quiet as I approach TSA at the airport tonight. There’s no line…not in the TSA pre line or in the regular line. I zigzag through the empty lanes, making my way to the person who checks your ID without stopping. There’s a few people ahead of me once I get to the x-ray lines, but the entire process is done in minutes…single digit minutes.

Is the relative quiet because I’m flying on a Thursday evening or because of the potential risk involved in flying because of the COVID 19 virus keeping people at home? The freeways I traveled getting to the airport were packed, at one point my navigation told me that the 13 miles I had left to traverse would take 40 minutes—and it was accurate!

As I type this waiting for my flight I see the Southwest agents pull the disinfecting wipes out, swiping counters. A few minutes earlier I watched another pump the hand sanitizer, rubbing away those unseen dangers. The lady a few seats down from me just pulled out her own hand sanitizer, the smell of the alcohols wafts in my direction.

Am I putting myself at risk by getting on an airplane tonight?  I don’t think so.  In fact, with all the disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and many fewer people than usual, this flight might just be safer than other similar flights I have taken.  And the relative calm of the waiting area is allowing me space to think and write, my belongings spread around me, rather than feeling squeezed in the more typical sardine fashion that I am accustomed to.

But I do have my own hand sanitizer in my bag…and I think I will use it on that tray table before using it tonight.  I might as well keep the risk at the lowest possible levels.

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Oops! SOLC 2019 Day 22

Ah!  The briny air filled my lungs as the gentle spring sunshine warmed my back.  There is nothing better than a walk on the beach at the end of the work day.

I wondered at the beach goers in bathing suits more than waist deep in the still cold Pacific ocean.  (Even in summer, 72 degrees is warm water–refreshing when temps are in the 80s.  Today’s water temperature of 60 degrees is hardly balmy.)  Low 60s do not constitute bathing suit weather in my opinion.  I was thinking about how San Diego is really not a spring break destination.  We’re often mistaken for a tropical location, with warm weather year round.  In reality, we are a temperate climate.  It’s seldom too hot here, and we don’t even know snow unless you drive high into the local mountains.  But March is predictably sweatshirt weather–and I almost always wear shoes on the beach at this time of year because of all the rocks.

I digress.  I walked quickly, trying to have this clear-my-head walk count as some kind of exercise in a week that left too little time to move my body.  I found myself on the uncomfortable slope of rocks thrown high by the surf as I climbed to avoid the waterline, slipping and sliding on the uneven piles.

I’m never bored along the coast, there is always something to see.  Today I watched surfers, dressed in their black wetsuits, as they headed out into the glistening sea.  There is seldom a day without surfers around here, even when the weather and waves are less than ideal.

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Looking up I noticed a modern day pterodactyl, our native pelican, gliding on the currents.

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At my turn around point, I got bold, walking further out away from the rocks.  Walking on the sand just felt so much better than slip sliding on the rocks.  I knew I was taking a calculated risk–walking in my jeans and relatively new tennies so close to the water.  I know all about rogue waves and watched as I was walking.  About halfway back to my car, I could see it coming.  Just as I reached the point of no return, I saw the wave rushing toward me.  I spied a rock jutting up higher than the sand and jumped on it.  Seconds later I felt the cool salty water rush over my feet, my ankles, wicking up my pant legs.  With nowhere to go, I stood, waiting for the water to recede.

My walk the rest of the way was of the squelchy variety as my wet socks and wet shoes squished with each step.  I was less careful at that point.  I was already wet, so I took the easier, if wetter, pathways on my way back to the car.  I had to laugh at myself, maybe I should have just taken my shoes off and walked barefoot for the entire walk.  If I were more like those bathing suit wearing beach goers, I wouldn’t be squelching my way back to my car!

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But neither wet pant legs or squishy shoes could take away my pleasure and delight in my beach walk.  There is something healing and rejuvenating about a walk on the beach!

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Now back home, my shoes have been rinsed, the insoles removed and are sitting on the spare bathroom counter drying.  I wonder how long til they’re dry enough to wear on my next beach walk?