We’ve finally finished two weeks of self-quarantine.

We have finally completed our fourteen days of state-mandated at-home self-quarantine. (All visitors arriving from anywhere outside New England are required to self-quarantine for two weeks.) Although the policy is eminently reasonable, given the low prevalence of COVID-19 here relative to many other countries and regions of the US, it has certainly been a difficult adjustment for the three of us; we were quite used to hopping on a tram or train to visit a favorite restaurant or trail. It was especially tricky for us, because our daughter (and her friend) were already living in the house, so we’ve had to wear masks and maintain social distance while inside the home. (On the other hand, they were very helpful in keeping the house stocked with groceries!)

I miss my ‘morning walk’ up the steep streets of Zürichberg; now I’m faced with the flat and sparse terrain along River Road.

River Road, seen from our driveway entrance.

Actually, I can’t complain. It’s not all that bad. Read on!

This is a pretty cushy place to quarantine – we can swim or boat on the river, walk in the woods, pick berries in the garden, or catch up on yardwork. (And there is a year’s backlog of yardwork!)

It has been hot and muggy for the past week and, like most NH homes, we have no air conditioning. Fortunately, the swimming conditions have been fantastic, and far less crowded than in Zürich. First, a Reuters photo (clipped from the New York Times) of one of the public bad in Zürich last week:

and now our riverfront, which allows a bit more social distancing:


I can even work on the deck, with a beer and a view of the river.

Although it is great to be here, we look forward to getting out tomorrow, into town.

More reflections

Two weeks ago, on departing Switzerland, I reflected on my likes and dislikes. Now I can reflect on what I miss about Switzerland – and what I’m grateful for about home. Often it is the minor things that strike me first.

Things I already miss about Zürich and Switzerland:

  • the opportunity to walk to a café for fresh bread or hot chocolate;
  • a view of the Alps right from our living room window;
  • the windows that swing open sideways or slant inwards – which allow a breeze but can stay open even during a rain shower;
  • no bugs (and no screens on the windows!);
  • the nightengales singing to me early in the morning;
  • a competent federal government with a rational response to the pandemic.

Things for which I am grateful about home:

  • the river – and the opportunity to go boating or swimming whenever we like;
  • the call of loons, and the sight of a bald eagle– each spending the summer in residence;
  • the deer grazing in the meadow outside my window, shortly after sunrise;
  • the sound of foxes calling in the middle of the night;
  • the darkness, with crystal-clear view of the comet and the Milky Way;
  • re-uniting with family and friends.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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