Jon Garberg (71) from Brooklyn (NY) was a business and estate planner and spends the winter in Florida. He is bored – and cautious.
Hello Jon, how is it down in the Sunshine State?
I’ m bored out of my mind. Everything is closed, the beaches, the pool, the restaurants. At least the weather is nice.
Every day between 78 and 82 degrees.
Almost like here in Switzerland. We are close to summer temperatures. Where do you live?
In Delray Beach, 5 miles from the beach. A retirement community, for ages 55-plus. 7300 units, 48 units each with 4 apartments per section. All the buildings look the same, a little bit like army barracks, but with slight variations in color.
Do you know anybody?
I don’t know a lot of people. The ones I know are from Canada and the metro New York area. My ex now lives here too. I made the mistake to let her stay in my apartment last year, and she liked it so much that she sold her house in New York and moved down here. I also socialize with people from the New York area that live in surrounding towns.
We are on WhatsApp – show me your apartment.
It’s a one bedroom, 900 square feet, ground floor. In front there are some plants, about three feet tall. I have a lot of light. I often sleep with the sliding door to my bedroom open. I don’t care if anybody sees me.
Is that an exercise machine I see in the corner?
No. That’s my two-wheel foldable electric scooter. Every time I feel like exercising, I lie down until the feeling passes.
Do you like it there?
I do like it here under normal circumstances. I go to a lot of museums from Miami up to West Palm Beach. Every year I attend Art Basel in Miami. However, in the community they have ridiculous rules. Some are underenforced and some are overenforced. Example: No dogs allowed. The rule is not enforced, a lot of people have dogs with lame excuses in addition to those who really need them. On the other hand the rule of not being allowed to wear shorts in the theater is enforced. I got in trouble for that. They wanted take away my privileges to use the facilities because I refused to leave a show with my shorts on. I offered to take them off, but they would not have any part of it.
They wrote me a letter and demanded that I hand in my ID card for the compound for a period of 2 months. That was right when the virus started to hit. I told them I would comply, but I was a little sick. I told them I thought I had the bug. Then they bugged me not to come over, and that was the end of it.
Do you know anybody who really got sick?
I know two people who died. One was a 94-year-old man. The other was the husband of a friend of mine in the Bronx. He was 54 years old. The family had a 90th birthday party for his mother and most of the people in attendance got sick, including the mother. They all got better but for the husband of my friend. She brought him twice to an emergency room in different hospitals. Both times he was told to take some Tylenol and sent back home. When he got worse, she called 911 and two days later he was dead.
Are you scared?
I have decided not to take any chances at all. For a while I used to play cards with my neighbor and friend in the afternoons. Not anymore. I don’t go to the store, but I am running out of supplies. I’ m trying to get a delivery which looks like it is more than a week away.
What do you eat in the meantime?
Rice and beans. I have enough of it.
Do you go out at all?
I use my electric scooter to go for rides, looking at the birds and the turtles and the alligators.
I’m kidding. There are no alligators.
How is Quimetta?
She is in Brooklyn, hunkered down. She went shopping recently. Before, she did not leave the apartment for ten plus days.
You normally go back to New York in April. Will you?
I have a reservation for the AutoTrain on the 26th, but I’m not going. I wait for the downturn in New York. Besides, parking is difficult in Brooklyn. Nobody moves their cars right now. Here, I have a parking spot right in front of the house.
How about your sailboat in Brooklyn?
She’s scheduled to go in the water on May 11. We will see.
One last question: How do you rate the performance of Trump?
Donald Trump, the President of the United States.
He doesn’t give a damn how many of us will die. He is a piece of shit, only motivated by money, fame and getting votes. I call him the orange….
…Hold it, you give me more than I’m asking for here. Will he get the votes?
Not mine. Unfortunately, other people will vote for him, blindly. I think it is the people with low self-esteem or the just plain ignorant ones who do so.