• Asilomar: Refuge by the Sea

    By Al Saxe


    While the Sanctuary cities of San Francisco and Oakland had no room at the Inn for the passengers aboard the Princess Cruise Ship docked at the Port of Oakland, the city of Pacific Grove did!

    The selection of Asilomar and Pacific Grove was an interesting choice to say the least. The Asilomar neighborhood has the demographics most attractive to the virus. The senior laden area has many elders with severe respiratory and heart problems and a significant population above sixty years of age.
    If as expected all the quarantined passengers successfully clear quarantine and return to their homes the rationale of selecting Asilomar will probably not be delved into. However If something does go amiss Katie bar the door!
    There is no doubt that the quarantined passengers will be more likely to find their peace here than on a military base in the desert. In fact I would not be surprised if some of them will become smitten with our area and return to visit often or even buy a home here. Even the Incident Commander was enthralled with Asilomar saying “You live in such a beautiful area.” There is also no doubt that the school children of Pacific Grove will send letters or cards filled with compassion and love to the guests. Pacific Grove students always amaze me with their kindness.
    As usual the Salvation Army will be there when needed. They will prepare 100 meals off site three times a day for the repatriated cruise ship passengers and the staff sent here to care for them. The meal service will begin March 11th and will run until March 27th.The meals will be delivered to a safe area nearby where the medical staff will receive them and bring them to the quarantined guests. I have been told No Asilomar conference Center employees will be in contact with those “serving their time.” However one does wonder who will clean the buildings and restrooms during and after the operation and remove the trash. As far as security is concerned, as of Tuesday only yellow police tape provided a barrier to an accidental intrusion of the quarantined area. This so called barrier did not deter our beloved deer who gracefully navigated through it like it was a ticker tape parade in their honor. There was talk of putting up fencing around the area after the quests arrived. Hopefully someone in Sacramento won’t want a wall or guard tower. If they do I am sure the coastal commission will intervene.
    The uncertainty and uneasiness of our guests will hopefully be lessened by the understanding and friendliness of the people of our town. It was an eerie sight driving by the quarantined area late Tues night. An excessive number of floodlights lit up the night time sky and medical personnel as they carefully unloaded the weary passengers from numerous ambulances. Once again we are reminded of the compassion and valor of our first responders.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on March 12, 2020

    Topics: Uncategorized

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