There’s a wellness kit with sanitizer, a face mask, gloves, and a sachet of Emergen-C. Amenities in the time of a pandemic. Housekeeping comes twice daily but will visit less if I prefer. I keep the regular schedule (I’m a sucker for turndown), but head onto the balcony whenever they’re cleaning. I happily note that when Nicole arrives that evening, she’s masked and wearing a disposable gown over her uniform, as well as gloves and a bonnet.
Fast Wi-Fi allows me to work efficiently from the hotel, and the generic beach scene that was my Zoom backdrop is replaced by the real deal, the whoosh of waves my soundtrack instead of daytime TV. I’ve swapped my usual day-old sweats for a fluffy robe. As the sun sets, I declare day one a success.
Life in hotel quarantine
The next two days unfold smoothly. I Zoom with Stateside colleagues visibly envious of my new beachfront location. At meal times, chef-prepped delicacies are set up on a linen-clad table overlooking the sea. I write, email, and update my social media feeds, alternating between chaise, bed, and sofa. My days are interrupted only by the chirp of bananaquits, the odd-hours crowing of roosters, and the hum of air conditioning units.
But by day three, the shine is off the apple. I no longer bother to dress, remaining in my robe all day. I wistfully watch walkers and swimmers at the beach. (Grand Anse is public—as are all beaches here—and, as such, strictly forbidden for quarantiners.) My only brief human contacts are room service and housekeeping staff. I’m lonely but I miss my four-day-a-week running habit the most. That, combined with daily cheese plates, makes me feel out of sorts, physically and mentally.
Grenada’s Grand Anse beach
Courtesy Silversands Grenada
On day four, hope arrives in the form of two nurses, who come to administer the complimentary PCR test Grenada requires before visitors can be released from quarantine. I’ll have the results in one to two days, they tell me, and I cross my fingers it’s the former.
Day five dawns and I wake up hopeful I’ll get the green light to leave and check into my next hotel, Mount Cinnamon, which will be my base for exploring Grenada in the remaining days. But lunchtime comes and goes and then suddenly it’s 5 p.m. I realize that even in a luxury resort—which might be the best possible place to spend quarantine—five days of confinement isn’t much fun. When I post an update on Instagram, a local hotelier DMs to report that her guests sometimes receive results as late as 9 p.m. Hope returns. Sure enough, at 9:10 p.m., the front desk calls. I’m negative and free to leave in the morning. Angels sing!
Free at last
Before I go to sleep, I lay out my gear for a sunrise run along the Caribbean-lapped crescent that’s been taunting me. And when I finally start my run the next morning, every splash of waves on my sneakers feels like a beachy welcome. I pass seniors taking a sea bath in the shallows and walkers with their dogs in tow. Sailboats bob at anchor and the capital of St. George’s beckons in the distance. In the morning sun everything is illuminated. And so, at last, am I.
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