On Super Bowl Sunday, Carolyn and I drove down to San Mateo where Sutter Health was giving seniors Covid-19 vaccinations—Pfizer. The process stimulated several thoughts.

San Francisco went under “lock down” eleven months ago. Since then, I haven’t been south of the border with Daily City. The farthest north? Giving my car occasional outings, we cruise up Highway 101 to the Mill Valley/Tiburon exit. And turn around.

The only other times Carolyn and I leave the city is to hike the Marin Headlands just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The road to Rodeo Beach is closed, but you can turn left into a parking lot adjacent to the bridge. From there, you can hike the road along the Headlands with its Golden Gate/Pacific/San Francisco views or the Headlands trails, offering great views of the Bay and City. It’s a fabulous escape seven or eight minutes from our house. 

While the pandemic has kept us close to home—at 76 and 73, we’re not risking our health or others’—we see people occasionally, including our son and son-in-law, and two grand dogs. We’re masked and distanced—except for Saffy and Stella. Otherwise, FaceTime and Zoom offer workable if imperfect alternatives.

We also walk three times a day, targeting at least four miles total. The Presidio National Park is practically right out the door. Other destinations include Lobos Valley, Baker Beach, Sea Cliff and China Beach—not to mention Golden Gate Park. Cooped up? Hardly.

Then there are trips to Laurel Village—CalMart, Standard 5 & 10 (Ace Hardware), Stan’s Kitchen, Walgreens across the street. We pick up books at Green Apple on Clement, meals at Lokma (Turkish—Clement at 19th Avenue), Heritage on inner Clement, Gordo’s on Geary and sandwiches throughout the neighborhood. We’ve also gotten a few pizzas from Little Star—to me, the best in town.

We’re anything but bored. Carolyn fills her days—and evenings—with acting and singing lessons via Zoom. Monday night cabaret. TV and movie auditions in her home studio. She’s making a music video. 

I’m completing a new novel and developing three short-stories, one under 500 words with an unusual structure and content. To come: research for another novel I’ve started to outline.

We also watch some great TV and movies. Last week, I wrote about “The Mandalorian” (and the Jews) on Disney+. We’re finishing Pretend It’s a City (Netflix) with humorist Fran Leibowitz interviewed by Martin Scorsese—very New York. Season four of a great French series, Call My Agent, is underway (Netflix). We’re laughing with the hilarious Ted Lasso (Apple). Now we’ll crunch films for the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Tip: See Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself (Hulu), a 90-minute film of his off-Broadway show. Riveting. 

Circling back to our vaccinations, the process was smooth and efficient. No side effects. 

Sadly, the nation’s vaccine rollout has been spotty given a previous White House administration that denied the pandemic’s seriousness and took little interest in funding a dependable program. The new administration is picking up the pieces.

If you haven’t started the vaccination process, I hope you will soon. Do share information on venues and appointments. We’ll reach herd immunity that much sooner.

Then we can all trade FaceTime for face-to-face.

Happy birthday, Abe Lincoln, even after the clueless San Francisco school board decided to remove your name from the high school in the Sunset District.

Enjoyed this post? Please pass it on. 


  1. Douglas Currens on February 12, 2021 at 11:53 am

    We can second the DelGaudio performance, having seen him a few years back near Union Square in NYC – amazing effects and (apparently) memory at work! And now you’ve given us some good Laurel Village-ish recommendations! I was at the 5&10/Ace a few weeks back and picked up some great pastries nearby at Arsicault Bakery. And now I have a vaccine appointment next Wednesday in SF, life is good! I’d like to see Call My Agent, I’ve seen surprisingly few of the widely recommended series (and have to subscribe to Apple+ for Ted Lasso). And for Marin walks, go down by the Discovery Museum and there are good walks around the headlands. And of course the Old Rail Trail at Blackie’s Pasture in Tiburon…

    • David Perlstein on February 12, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      So many good things to see and do, Doug, and all within the confines of the pandemic. We’re fortunate in where we live.

  2. Sandy Lipkowitz on February 12, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    I’m in the 1st shot club. 2nd vaccine schedule for February 28th (drive through).

    I was just hiking at Rodeo Beach on Sunday. Parking is open. You access it through Bunker Road. Right on Alexander and then left through the tunnel.

    I have been more adventurous. Following strict safety protocols, I have gone to Mexico and Costa Rica. I can tell you I felt safer in both places than in the grocery store here. There are other countries who take the virus very seriously. People behave, wear masks and social distance.

    Life could be so much better here. Things could be open at limited capacities, Our economy would be in better shape, if everyone wore a mask and observed the correct protocols. We didn’t have to devastate so many businesses. More importantly, perhaps 300,000 of those 400,00 plus who died, might be alive. I lay it at the feet of our worst government in modern history and selfish non-mask wearers. Terrible black mark on our country

    • David Perlstein on February 12, 2021 at 12:44 pm

      Been thinking about Bunker Road, Sandy, and will take it out to Rodeo Beach and the trails I like to hike in the valley.

      As to the pandemic’s hit on the United States, I agree that a derelict previous administration bears much blame. Notions of “freedom” to avoid wearing a mask are misdirected, assuming some equivalency with women covering their faces in some Muslim societies. Many lives would have been saved, and we’ll continue to prolong the pandemic as people meet in large groups without masks.

  3. jean wright on February 12, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    I’m the least adventurous. I live across the street from Lake Merritt, and walk the 4.3 mile perimeter several times a week. Other days, I achieve my daily 3 to 5 miles walking through Oakland’s Chinatown or Downtown. I love seeing the families wandering around, little kids in diapers “playing soccer”, learning to ride a bike, or just being curious, happy kids.
    Today I had my #1 vaccination at Fremont (East Oakland) High School. With an appointment, no line. I was welcomed like an old friend – walking in the front door getting the jab and walking out the back took 25 minutes, including the required 15 minute sit-in. And my bus stop was right there! I carried my “Oakland In The House” tote. Kudos to our favorite Oaklandish, Kamala.
    I miss you all, but am thrilled to be living here, warts and all.

    • David Perlstein on February 12, 2021 at 3:45 pm

      Glad you got shot #1, Jean. And, walking around a neighborhood and feeling connected is something very positive. People often go a long way to escape themselves only to find that “wherever you got, there you are.”

Leave a Comment