Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide
ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.
Day 3 Before Vacation:
It’s a few days before I head out on a trip with friends to the beach. I’m almost done getting everything ready for my vacation. I figured out my budget for the trip, breaking it into categories like food, gas, entertainment and extras. Next up is organizing what I need and then I’ll pack everything up. I’m excited about the upcoming trip and spending time with my friends. I wonder if my friends are as excited as I am to be heading out.
Day 2 Before Vacation:
I just realized that I don’t have an extra key for my place and that’s important because I have a pet! My pet sitter cannot enter my home without a key. So I went to the local hardware store and got an extra key made. I also had to make out a check for the pet sitting services and make a plan to meet with the sitter to give them the check and key. Really important to make sure those keys work before I hand them over to the pet sitter. I certainly can’t have her locked out! So many details and things to think about before I head out on my trip. Hope I remember everything!
Day 1 Before Vacation:
I hadn’t realized before that there are tricks to packing that help with making everything fit in the suitcase. A friend of mine helped pack my clothes tighter so they took up less room. I also stopped by the ATM for cash. I find having some cash useful and it gives me one more way to pay for my expenses. I’m also doing last minute organizing and clean up since the pet sitter will be coming by to take of my pet. I’m sure my pet will be well taken care of but I also know that I will be missed by my pet while I’m away. I wish I could explain that I will be back and I’m not leaving forever.
Day 0 of Vacation:
Last minute details then it’s time to go on vacation! I know my anxiety is leading to overpack and I understand I can purchase anything I may forget. I’m so excited, I’m not sure if I can get to sleep early. The car is filled to the max!
Day 1 of Vacation:
Early morning sleepwalking to car. It’s raining and dark outside. There’s no traffic so we are making great progress. Fast forward and it’s sunny, we are all awake listening to fast, happy music. Laughing and teasing each other while watching the world go by. The only traffic we hit was stopping to get coffee at a gas station in Historic Williamsburg. It turns out there was a college graduation today, so the traffic was stop and go, plus many nicely dressed people were rushing to get to the graduation ceremony. Fast forward again, we just finished unloading at the beach house, we all unpacked and are ready to enjoy the beach! The crashing waves, seagulls calling, all sounds of the ocean surrounding me. I’m really tired but incredibly happy to be on the beach. I’m so grateful to be here with my friends on the beach. After spending time at the beach, we went grocery shopping. We went home, made dinner, had a great time talking and laughing together. After getting ready for bed, we all got together to just relax and enjoy each other’s company after a long day. This was my favorite part of our first day. It really doesn’t matter what we talk about, what matters most to me is the joy and camaraderie we share as friends.
Day 2 of Vacation:
Since we got up so early the day before, we we decided to have an easy day. We went to the beach and got in the ocean. The sky, the ocean, and the beach were beautiful; it was a pleasure just to be there. My friends and I had long talks about life and talks about silly stuff. We also played in the ocean acting like kids. I tried my best to apply sunblock, unfortunately I didn’t do a good enough job so I got sunburnt. I will have to be more careful about putting my sunblock on. Fast forward, we are heading home to make a pancake and bacon dinner. I don’t think I would enjoy going out to eat as much as I enjoy a home cooked meal. We watched “The Big Bang Theory” and I was struck by how young the characters were when the show began. My friends and I have also grown a lot over the past few years.
Day 3 of Vacation:
We went to the Orange Blossom Bakery for a huge cinnamon roll and a big “Apple Ugly” (which is like a fritter) to share for breakfast. We made it to the ferry on time. I’m not sure if I can express the experience properly. I took in the rumbling of the ferry, the blue of the sky and ocean. It took an hour to reach the island and now we are on the island riding bikes. It has been a year since I last rode a bike. The island is very bike and golf cart friendly and it’s easy to ride the bike. We are taking a break, planning our next move. Maybe we will go to the marina to see the boats come in. The boats will have many kinds of fish. We were all hungry and tired so we stopped at a Mexican food truck. We are heading to the ferry right now and we’re hoping to catch the sunset on the beach. Every day has been good but I’m getting tired and cranky. I need to head to bed before I say or do something I will regret. If I’m overtired I tend to have a harder time controlling my temper.
Day 4 of Vacation:
The sunburn I got on Sunday is still painful. Hopefully it will start to feel better and I won’t get any more sunburns. I’m so glad I got to bed early yesterday since I was really cranky. My friends last night were talking about hopes and dreams for the future. I really enjoyed listening to their thoughts about the future. What do I want for the future? That’s a good question. I need to really think about that…
We drove to Jockey’s Ridge National Park and got lots of pictures there and then we went to John’s Drive-In for lunch. We went to Jannette’s Pier and we saw dolphins near the pier. We saw pelicans and seagulls. We also went miniature golfing. I don’t think mini golfing is my favorite thing to do. I will probably skip mini golf in the future. We are heading home and it’s really dark outside at 8:30. My favorite part of the day was the dolphins. We watch a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory, then head off to bed.
Day 5 of Vacation:
It sounds like it’s raining outside. Hopefully it doesn’t rain very long today since we had hoped to go out to the beach. I need to be really careful since I keep getting sunburn most days. I forgot to put sunblock on yesterday and got burned again. Today is a beach day; we are enjoying the sun and ocean a lot.
I enjoyed the ocean too much and went too far out. I really scared myself because I couldn’t touch the ground and I kept getting pulled further out to sea. I also kept getting hit with waves so it was tough to get back to shore. I could see my friends waving for me to come back to shore and thankfully I finally got my feet to touch the ground. It was very slow progress to get to the shore. Lesson learned: no deeper than my waist in the ocean.
We finished at the beach and now we are at the beach house. My one friend is making dinner and after that we plan to have a campfire at the beach. I can’t wait for hot dogs and s’mores.
Day 6 of Vacation:
Turns out we didn’t have a campfire the night before as we accidentally lost the permit. It’s necessary to have a permit in order to have a small beach campfire. We got the permit in the morning for a beach campfire. We were unsure of the weather this morning but decided to go on a ferry ride to the island. We had an enjoyable afternoon watching and playing on the beach in the rain. I really liked seeing the rain hit the waves. I was much more careful about going into the water, only going waist deep in the waves, like I planned after my scare the other day. We caught a ferry and went back to the beach house. We had a great campfire and cooked hotdogs and s’mores! I have never experienced a campfire on the beach. The wind was blowing, the waves were crashing and the fire was dancing! We were having a blast! Back to the beach house to watch The Big Bang Theory and do laundry.
Day 7 of Vacation:
Last day at the beach so we went shopping for souvenirs; my friends got some t shirts and I decided not to get anything. I really didn’t feel like getting anything at the store. Then we went to the beach. I forgot to mention that two of friends would occasionally act silly by using funny accents. They’re really funny but I hope they don’t get “stuck” with the accents. Since we are leaving the next morning, we did laundry again and packed up. We went out to dinner at a local seafood restaurant. The food was good and there was lots of it. Boy, I’m really sleepy right now.
End of vacation:
We pack up and hit the road, homeward bound. Hopefully the traffic is not too bad heading home. This was a great vacation and I enjoyed my friends. Being able to just spend a lot of time together was a lot of fun. The clouds are turning grey and it’s starting to rain. We stop at a rest stop and got wet trying to dash through the raindrops! Fast forward, we arrive at our meeting place and it’s time to say goodbye. I will miss my friends but I’m happy to be going home to my pet!