Weekends have been rather dreary during San Francisco’s two months of lockdown, but some hiking trails have begun to reopen, and I am lucky enough to have a housemate with a car, so we drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and go for a quick walk. We’re only out for a couple of hours but it’s a tonic - the scenery around here is stunning.
On the way back we drop in to say hello to a Telegraph colleague and her partner - from over six feet away of course. It’s the first proper face-to-face conversation I’ve had with anyone other than my two housemates in eight weeks.
This morning the big news is that Uber has laid off 3,000 people. Some tech companies are thriving but lots of others are struggling. In a lot of ways San Francisco hasn’t been as hard-hit as other places but some small businesses and individuals are having a tough time.
The San Francisco Bay Area was the first part of the US to lock down and is also among the slowest to reopen. Last week the counties started opening up a little, including letting shops do kerbside pickup for some businesses. I'm thrilled to hear that my favourite bookshop has started taking phone and email orders.
I usually get to my desk at around 8am and spend a couple of hours trying to catch people working on UK time before they sign off.
My working area is set up in our living room. I live with two other people and it’s a pretty big flat - our fourth housemate moved out right before the lockdown so we have an extra room which has become a makeshift gym for the past few weeks.
I collected all my kit from our WeWork office a few weeks ago when we ended the lease, so I’m well set up, though it can get pretty noisy if my housemates are also around chatting during a break from their work.
One of my neighbours has been doing concerts from her street-facing garage, which is a nice thing to pass as I set out on my daily walk. Local children have done chalk drawings on the pavements and families have put up inspirational posters in their windows. It’s all very wholesome.
I dial into my book club via Zoom for half an hour and then eat a takeaway Pad Thai my housemate brings home. We’ve been trying to support local restaurants as much as we can. San Francisco is an expensive city and lots have been forced to close for good.
I go for a run and then drop into the corner shop for some essentials. We have to wear masks inside any shops or other buildings, and a lot of people are also wearing them to walk around.
After weeks of shortages it’s now possible to buy antibacterial wipes and flour without rationing. But toilet paper is still in short supply and expensive - it’s $18 for a pack of the high-quality branded stuff.
Tomorrow I am getting up early to go and volunteer at a pop-up food bank near the baseball stadium. Lots of people who have lost their jobs, especially in the service industry, don’t have any savings to rely on, and the US benefits system doesn’t provide much support for people who fall on hard times.
The weather is gorgeous, and we’re officially allowed to sunbathe and picnic again, as long as we stay six feet from others. I’m hoping this weekend will be another inch closer to normality.