caryn hewlett

adventuress. photographer. writer.

A Little Update: Life in the Time of Covid 2020

Hello all,

It has been quite a long time since I’ve written on here, and for that I apologize. Due to Covid-19, my husband and I had to cancel our dream honeymoon to London, Paris, and Rome. It would have been my first time in Europe, and it’s been my dream since I first read Madeline as a little girl. For my husband, it would have been his first trip abroad, and our first time going on a plane together.

Needless to say, canceling our trip 15 days prior to departure has been stressful, heartbreaking, and it put me into a negative tailspin for the first few weeks of shelter-in-place. We had saved for a year after our wedding to afford this trip, and we should have spent our first honeymoon sipping champagne on the Seine with the Eiffel Tower twinkling overhead. Instead, we created a “European honeymoon” at home with a French brunch and Italian dinner from our favorite local restaurant.

Our French charcuterie board brunch – we also had some croissants!
The night before our anniversary, we got Indian food from another favorite local spot. The national dish of England is Chicken Tikka Masala so this is a nod to what would have been our time in London.
Lillian’s takeout: Lasagne for him, black truffle gnocchi for me, cheesy garlic bread and red wine to share! Yum!
Our first anniversary. 4/5/2020
Another nod to England, we “visited Kew Gardens” in London – meaning I went crazy for indoor plants at the beginning of quarantine.

We also splurged and ordered Indian food from our favorite local Indian restaurant, in honor of England’s national dish: Chicken Tikka Masala. We really did our best to represent parts of our trip throughout our anniversary weekend.

We have tentatively started to rebook (only airbnbs, and ones that we can cancel anytime) for next Spring. I hope that people begin taking Covid-19 seriously, not only so that this trip can happen, but also so that we can all hopefully return to work sooner rather than later with minimal re-closure. Things are opening up around here, from the beaches to the bars, and it is nerve-wracking. We have been staying inside and doing a lot of home improvement, occasionally going to the beach in the evenings (less so now that it’s been opened up to people from out-of-county – we have relatively few cases here in Santa Cruz but the counties surrounding us have many), and avoiding going out, for the most part.

That is, with the exception of protesting. Despite my growing anxieties about going out in the times of Covid-19, protesting for the Black Lives Matter movement was one thing I felt compelled to go out for anyway. I am lucky to have a strong immune system and be able to go out in support and solidarity of Black people. Both of the protests I went to were peaceful, respectful, and calling for systemic change.

This change is not going to happen overnight, but I hope that the stories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Miles Hall, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, and more – because, oh, there are so many more – incites people to open their minds to change. I hope that lawmakers put new laws in place. That redlining is abandoned in favor of fairly distributing tax dollars to all schools. That people sitting in jail waiting out weed charges while weed shops are considered “essential” are released. That city funding is spent more on community centers, mental health clinics, housing the homeless, and less on police.

I could go on, and I probably will in another post sometime. However, these are the things that have been on my mind in this shelter-in-place for the last 100+ days. I have gone from depressed about our canceled honeymoon, to crazy plant lady, to trying to be positive, to doing home improvement, and doing self-improvement and fighting the powers that be and my own personal biases. Being anti-racist is lifelong work. Allyship is lifelong work. We are going to be the change.

And with all of that said, a reminder to myself, and to you: make sure you’re taking care of yourself during all of this, too. Self-care is especially critical right now. If the news is getting to be too much, step away from the electronics. If you’re exhausted, rest. If you need to get everything off your chest, you can call/zoom a friend, write in your journal, or talk to your family. Cry it out – keeping your feelings in is detrimental to your wellbeing. And above all, give yourself grace during this time. Honestly, we are all going through an incredible amount of change and growth, individually and world-wide. You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed.

So, if you need to take a warm bath with a big glass of wine and a good book or music, do it. Give yourself grace. You deserve it.



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