Home NEWS Local Scene COVID-19, Cabin Fever, Crashes And Occasional Chaos In The 24/680

COVID-19, Cabin Fever, Crashes And Occasional Chaos In The 24/680


Today’s offering took a different turn than originally intended. We were headed in an entirely different direction when we realized all you folks were also out there – and also headed in different directions.

We’re not commuting but we’ve heard from folks who still do that road speed, quieted immediately after issuance of the Shelter In Place Order in late March, has inched up again as drivers take advantage of the newfound fluidity caused by fewer cars on the highway.

Photo: Rachel Force (taken during a trip to drop off sanitizer at an Orinda senior care facility).

Add a little rain and we see what we’ve seen these last couple of days, a regular series of crashes, spinouts, jackknifes and other freeway gymnastics at times too numerous to count. Readers write of “crazy speeds,” “reckless driving” and “road rage tactics” as folks return to the briefly quieted asphalt with a vengeance. Although most people seem to have acquiesced, it seems that “cabin fever,” that sense of cloistered captivity many feel after spending too much time cooped up inside, has driven many people out and about despite officials requests for the contrary.

There are also more reports of “COVID Anxiety” coming in, with stressed callers asking for help with a variety of associated symptoms. Readers tell us of covert walks – sometimes drives – through neighborhoods silenced by a statewide Shelter In Place Order, often just to reassure themselves that things are how they left them, to the degree that they are able. People also report feeling overwhelmed by feelings of impending sickness – of, dare we say it, impending death, and a sentiment of worsening conditions beyond their control.

Some, yes, have opted out or talked of opting out as an overriding desperation sets in. Others are turning to friends and family for help, old family recipes, reassurance.

We believe that with a few dramatic exceptions crime has also taken a downswing, with many local police jurisdictions boosting their uniformed presence on the street in an effort to reassure the public and deter the bad folk who may be out and about.

For some reason those periodic “blitz” shoplifting crews are still on the job, on the hunt for booze and various other sundries, and apparently okay with throwing down with employees and any stalwart civilian who may attempt to get in their way. There was a particularly vigorous confrontation in a San Ramon Safeway recently and apparently chemical agents were used and blood drawn. We have heard of enhanced penalties for folks caught pillaging during these times, perhaps someone in law enforcement or the legal system might be able to confirm.

That’s it for today, another Sunday under our belts, a new crash to Flash – this one near San Ramon. Hanging in there with the rest of you.


  1. It’s not the “Chinese” virus anymore. No sir, if you are a southerner, it’s from New York City. Damn that Yankee virus! They won’t take our SEC football away! No sir!

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