100 Days Sheltered in Place

Copyrighted. Two pen and watercolor drawings of Chinatown and park
Copyrighted. Pen and watercolor of people  in blue entering a hospital
Copyrighted. Two pen and watercolor drawings of Fisherman's Wharf and Caffe Trieste
Copyrighted. Two pen and watercolor drawings of Golden Gate Bridge and Cobbs Comedy ClubTrieste
Copyrighted. Two pen and watercolor drawings of Ferry Building and Civic Center Farmer's Market

My stories of 2020 are captured in a travel journal of sorts. When the March 16th shelter in place order ended any plans of venturing beyond city limits, traversing San Francisco by bicycle and foot became my travel. I documented the first 100 days of shelter in place with journal entries and watercolor sketches. What started as a written and visual record of daily life and local travels evolved into a chronicle of an altered city and a sheltered existence.

The watercolor images present a range of impacts and responses throughout the city; as the journal progressed, it began to illustrate the slow evolution from full closure to gradual reopening. Some have observed that the images convey a sense of hope and serenity, despite the consequences brought by the pandemic.

A collection of the watercolor sketches became an art piece in the de Young Museum’s “de Young Open Exhibit.” The journal was also published in book form. I’m sharing below some of the journal entries that document the story of those 100 days; supported with a selection of the watercolors.

Day 1: Shelter in Place order. Texted with Bevin – decision to stay together at her place. Packed clothes, food, computer, books and sketchbooks.

Day 3: Evening walk alone on Columbus, Broadway & Embarcadero. Very unnerving to be walking alone, but more police visibility.

Day 5: Drove down Valencia Street. More people than expected, and many stores with boarded up windows.

Day 6: Walked to Coit Tower, pretty quiet. Had a coffee video with Gary, Daphne and Hunter for almost two hours. Seemed like we needed it.

Day 9: Great video dinner with Bevin’s parents, felt very comfortable.

Day 18: AM bike ride to Financial District and Union Square. Numerous boarded up stores.

Day 21: Morning Zoom with family in Hamilton, Ohio and Hamburg, Germany - 2 hours. A bit long. Still learning how to manage Zoom time. Walked along the Embarcadero – too “crowded.” Visited Bevin’s parents (who were on a balcony) from the park below.

Day 23: Was going to be last day of shelter in place …

Day 29: Morning bike ride to Mission Bay. Doctors and nurses entering UCSF Med Center, heading to the front lines.

Day 38: Up early to go grocery shopping; arrived at Safeway just after 6:00 AM, no line, masks required.

Day 40: Bike ride to Union Square and Market Street. Police at nearly every intersection.

Day 49: Officially cancelled Ohio trip.

Day 51: Bevin went into work for the first time; a bit stressful.

Day 70 – Drove to Lands End for a hike; went to labyrinth and beach. Good to be “in the woods.”

Day 77: Seven mile walk to Embarcadero and downtown – impacts of looting. Curfew started at 8:00 PM.

Day 84: Went to Marina/North Beach Black Lives Matter march. Noted that only two marchers were without masks.

Day 100: Unceremonious 100th day, typical work. Shaved off beard for a face mask fit test. Lingering effects of the shelter in place stresses.