Alexandria, VA

Del Ray eatery South China Restaurant (1302 Mount Vernon Ave) is now reopened for takeout and delivery.

Staff at the restaurant confirmed that the location reopened yesterday, Memorial Day, with a new menu available online.

The restaurant offers a variety of Chinese and Malaysian meals at relatively cheap prices, generally between $6-$10.

South China Restaurant is open from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and noon to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Dine-in meals and pickup meals are available around an expected 15 minutes, with deliveries within 50 minutes.

While South China Restaurant has reopened, other restaurants in the area have not been so lucky. Last week, La Tasca (607 King Street) permanently closed, along with the locations in Arlington and D.C.

Other local restaurants, like Vola’s Dockside Grill and Virtue Feed and Grain have reopened over the last few weeks, with more likely to start opening as phased reopening starts on Friday.

Top photo via Google Maps

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The Old Town Business Association is putting together a charity event next week called Good. Works. Alexandria aimed at both encouraging people to shop at local businesses and have a portion of the proceeds donated to a charity of the customer’s choice.

On Wednesday, May 27, customers shopping at a participating local restaurant or retailer can, at checkout, designate a Spring2Action charity of their choice and the business will donate a portion of the proceeds to that charity.

“As you know, the nonprofit and small business communities have taken an unprecedented blow during the COVID-19 shutdown,” the Old Town Business Association (OTB) said in a press release. “We need to work together to ensure we all succeed. On May 27, Alexandria’s retailers and restaurants will host a giving event called Good. Works. Alexandria with a percentage of sales going to the local nonprofit community, when lunch or dinner is ordered or purchase made.”

Businesses that have not yet signed up for the program can still register online today.

So far, participating retailers include: Read More

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Morning Notes

Uncertainty Lingers for Furloughed Alexandrians — “When Joy Phansond was furloughed from her job as sales coordinator at the Holiday Inn in Old Town, the temporary layoff was initially supposed to last until April 5. Then it was extended to May 5. Then it was extended again until June 5.” [Gazette]

Cinema Del Ray Canceled Due to Coronavirus — “Due to COVID-19, we must ensure the safety of our fellow community members by canceling Cinema Del Ray 2020. We greatly appreciate the support Cinema Del Ray has been shown in the past. We will be back next year, better than ever!” [Facebook]

Old Town Spanish Restaurant ‘La Tasca’ Files for Bankruptcy — “In the past two years, La Tasca has closed two locations in Chinatown and Clarendon.” [Washington Business Journal]

Food Trucks Lift Spirits in Cameron Station — “Rothschild started reaching out to various food truck vendors on March 25, and shortly thereafter she landed her first truck to visit the neighborhood, at the corner of Cameron Station Boulevard and Harold Secord Street – barbecue purveyor Smoking Kow. And neighbors were ready for a feast.” [Gazette]

Tenants and Workers United Raises $16K for Arlandria Community — “Many of our members have had their work hours reduced or been laid off completely. For the undocumented community, there is no social safety net: no unemployment benefits and no stimulus check from the federal government.” [actblue.com]

Contest: Alexandria Living Magazine Gives Away $600 in Merchandise — “Along with KH Giving, we can finally announce the winner of this week’s Mission Masks giveaway! Dixie won $600 worth of prizes including $250 in gift cards from Sweet Fire Donna’s, $100 from Chadwicks and $100 from Bastille and more! These gift cards are all purchased from local restaurants as a way to support them.” [Facebook]

Photos: Meal Distribution at William Ramsey Elementary — “Enjoy these photos of ACPS meal distribution at William Ramsey Elementary School. Thank you to volunteer and photographer, Chris Castillo.” [Facebook]

How Funeral Homes and Cemeteries are Coping in Alexandria — “Some immediate families of the deceased elect to have ceremonies recorded or live streamed for extended family and friends who cannot be present. Others are opting to hold a memorial service at a later date, when larger groups may be able to congregate, rather than a funeral with restricted attendees now.” [Alex Times]

‘La Brocante’ and ‘Top It Off’ Open This Weekend in Del Ray — “La Brocante and Top It Off are now both open on the weekends only (including TODAY until 5 p.m.), with social distancing measures in place (extra sanitizing, limits on the number of people in the stores, and face masks).” [Facebook]

‘Pacers Running’ Donates Shoes to ‘Together We Bake’ — “Thank you @runpacers and @on_running for giving running shoes to our TWB family! We’re excited to break in our shoes.” [Facebook]

New Job: Member Marketing Manager — “We are looking for someone passionate and analytical who loves product marketing. The purpose of this role is to help drive many stakeholders across many departments to inspire members to act on our top opportunities. If you love coordinating complex marketing campaigns, then this job is for you.” [Indeed]

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The following Letter to the Editor was written by Adriana Gomez Schellhaas, executive director of Casa Chirilagua, a Christian nonprofit in the Chirilagua/Arlandria neighborhood that provides help for local low-income families. 

“When will we go back to normal?”

Like me, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question since this crisis started.

What was normal to you, pre-pandemic? For me, normal was spending time with friends and happily not social distancing, going to work without having to wear a mask and being able to work for eight+ hours a day because my toddler twins were spending the day with our lovely babysitter.

Before COVID-19, normal for many of our neighbors in Chirilagua was spending any free time working a second or third job to ensure bills were paid and food was on the table. Normal for many others was an accustomed reality of food insecurity, joblessness, and lack of medical care. The normalcy of the economic disparities that exist in this vibrant community where we, Casa Chirilagua, have spent the last 13 years building long-term relationships with neighbors has caused it to be one of the hardest hit areas of COVID-19 in Northern Virginia.

Since COVID-19, normal has turned upside down for Casa Chirilagua and our neighborhood. The squeals and excitement of our Kids Club students during the afternoons have been replaced by a donation pantry bursting at the seams with vital food and essential items for Casa families, thanks to the outpour of generosity from city residents and folks all the way from Rockville, Maryland.

Our parking lot is not filled with cars of dedicated volunteers coming to spend time to read and tutor students, but has been turned into a COVID-19 testing site thanks to our wonderful partnership with Neighborhood Health.

Our regular fundraising pattern for this time of year isn’t the normal lull we experience after Spring2ACTion but has changed drastically as we continue to see donation after donation from kind individuals, church partners, and organizations like the Del Ray Business Association and Hume Springs Civic Association, all wanting to support the mission of Casa Chirilagua and make sure Casa families have the necessary resources to survive this pandemic.

This is not normal. But what if it was?

What if this outpouring of generosity lasted all year round, year after year, ensuring that our most vulnerable neighbors in Arlandria have what they need? What if vital health screenings were readily available week after week to neighbors who could not afford them or do not have access to a doctor?

What would it look like to truly love our neighbor as ourselves?

This crisis has caused the “normal” negative issues which plague our community to rear their ugly heads even more. However, it has also resulted in generosity, camaraderie and empathy to shine ever so brightly. Business owner Jason Yates sent us a donation of 100 handmade masks. Sheriff Lawhorne and his deputies did not hesitate for one second when I asked for their assistance in directing traffic during our donation hours. City residents like Marcia Call organized her own donation drive, delivering to us the biggest haul of donations we have seen to date.

There are countless others, like Rosa Landeros, the parent liaison at Mount Vernon Community School, who said to me, “Anything this community needs, please call me.”

The ways that many in our city have loved our neighbors in Chirilagua during this crisis is emotionally overwhelming for me in a beautiful way. When this is over, my prayer is that these gestures of love and kindness will not cease but increase, making it the new normal for us and our city.

ALXnow.com occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor about issues of local interest. To submit a letter to the editor for consideration, please email it to [email protected] Letters may be edited for content and brevity, at our discretion.

Staff photo by James Cullum

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Alexandria Restaurant Partners (ARP) is switching things up this weekend, with a planned reopening in Shirlington and a Del Ray restaurant opening a new brunch menu.

“Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap (401 E Braddock Road) will launch a limited brunch menu starting this weekend,” ARP said in a press release. “Brunch will be available from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.”

Items available include:

  • Breakfast Pizza: mozzarella, eggs, bacon, roasted red peppers, alfredo sauce
  • Italian Sausage and Egg Panini: spicy Italian sausage, fried egg, provolone, garlic aioli
  • Egg Salad Panini: crisp pancetta, egg salad, mustard, tomato, arugala, scallions, focaccia bun
  • Wood-fired Frittata: mushrooms, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, mozzarella, mixed green salad

“Orders can be placed via LenasWoodFire.com for carry-out and delivery, or for delivery on UberEats, GrubHub and Postmates,” ARP said.

Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap was the only ARP restaurant not to close after Gov. Ralph Northam’s order limiting businesses to six patrons and was one of the early adopters of the cocktails-to-go directive.

Also opening is Palette 22 (4053 Campbell Avenue) in the Shirlington neighborhood of Arlington. The restaurant will reopen for take-out and delivery starting Memorial Day, Monday (May 25). The restaurant will offer a limited menu of local favorites, plus a selection of signature cocktails and sangria.

Photo via Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Group to Sue City for Pollution Near Recycling Center — “After a 7 On Your Side Investigation aired about the amount of Styrofoam piling up along the banks of the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia, organizers with Advocates for Clean & Clear Waterways, a new non-profit, has informed the City it plans on suing.” [WJLA]

DASH Bus Requiring All Riders to Wear Face Masks — “Based on guidance from the Alexandria Health Department, the Alexandria Transit Company (DASH) will require all passengers to wear face coverings while using DASH buses beginning Monday, May 18, 2020. The measure will help protect DASH employees and passengers from contracting the COVID-19 virus and is consistent with the actions of the agency’s regional transit partners, including WMATA, Frederick Transit, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County Transit. This precaution will remain in effect until further notice.” [DASH]

Fire Department Responds to Eisenhower Avenue Commercial Fire — “Around 3 pm, units from AFD & @ffxfirerescue responded to a commercial bldg fire in the 5600 block of Eisenhower Ave. Units found fire in UPS trailer & outside storage area and extinguished. No damage to bldg itself. No civilian or firefighter injuries. Cause under investigation.” [Facebook]

Congressman Beyer Calls Federal Coronavirus Response a ‘Disaster’ — “Over 87,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19. South Korea, with a population of over 50 million, had their first case on the same day the United States did. The COVID-19 death toll in South Korea stands at 262. The federal response in this country has been a disaster.” [Twitter]

Video: Old Town Jumping on Friday Night — “Looks like @AlexandriaVAGov is open for business…” [Twitter]

Crowded Sidewalks in Old Town Saturday Night — “Crowded sidewalks in Old Town, Alexandria causing concerns tonight two weeks before Northern Virginia is set to reopen.” [Twitter]

Family Celebrate 80th Birthday at Goodwin House — “Sandy Connolly celebrated her 80th birthday at Goodwin House Alexandria with a socially distant visit from family members. Connolly and her husband Jim were able to view the May 7 celebration through a window as children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren held signs and left gifts in honor of the occasion.” [Gazette]

T.C. Williams High School Violinist Wins National Merit Scholarship — “Kudos to Chamber Orchestra violinist Leah Nickelsburg, who is the only TC Williams student to be awarded a National Merit Scholarship of $2,500 in this week’s announcement by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation! She was one of 68 recipients statewide who were judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.” [Facebook]

Kindergarten Registration Begins on Wednesday — “Due to the Governor’s stay-at-home order, 2020-21 kindergarten registration will take place completely online. All registration steps, including the enrollment form and providing documentation, must be completed for a child to be able to start school.” [ACPS]

Old Town Businesses Giving Portion of Proceeds to Nonprofits — “Alexandria’s stores and restaurants will give a percentage of their sales to the charities of the customers’ choice. For every lunch or dinner ordered OR purchase made, we will share those profits with clientele’s charity of choice located on the Spring2ACTion website.” [Facebook]

Fire Department Recognizes EMS Week — “Our EMS personnel are facing challenges every day, especially during a pandemic. Their compassion is admirable and their dedication to the profession and community is appreciated. Thank you for all that you do. Happy #EMSWeek. Stay safe and healthy Alexandria!” [Facebook]

Yates Dry Cleaning Donates Cloth Face Masks to Neighborhood Health — “The masks will be distributed to patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus and to their families. Need a mask? Yates has them for sale in both adult and child sizes.” [Facebook]

Kiskadee Starts Spring Sale by Appointment Only — “Kiskadee’s Spring Sale is happening now! Click below to sign up for a private shopping appointment.” [Facebook]

Video: Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub Opens Mini-Market — “Here is a little clip of our Market.” [Facebook]

New Jobs: Alexandria Health Department is Hiring — “The Alexandria Health Department (a division of VDH) is seeking candidates for Communications Officer, Senior Epidemiologist, and two Public Health Nurse positions in the areas of Sexual Reproductive Health and Tuberculosis/Newcomer Health.” [City of Alexandria]

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Morning Notes

Arlandria in Crisis Over COVID-19 Spread — “Azucena Esquival lives in a cramped apartment in the Arlandria neighborhood of Alexandria, where the problem of community spread isn’t just theoretical. The pandemic is in her household. Earlier this month, she tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Another adult in her household paid $300 to get a test, which was also positive. They are living with two people who have not been tested. None of them are currently working, and they have no source of income.” [Gazette]

Alexandria Unemployment Claims Spike — “As of the Times’ print deadline, Alexandria residents had filed 10,609 initial unemployment claims, according to the Virginia Employment Commission. Initial claims began pouring in throughout mid-March, climbing from 33 the week of March 14 to 797 the week of March 21.” [Alex Times]

Senior Shoppers Surprised with $100 Cash Visa Cards at Alexandria Safeway — “Shoppers at the Safeway in Alexandria on King Street were surprised this morning with $100 gift cards at checkout courtesy of PenFed Credit Union. In all, there were 100 cards disbursed to customers in addition to goodie bags containing face masks and hand sanitizers.” [Zebra]

‘The Dog Park’ Having Anniversary Sale — “10 years ago on May 15th, The Dog Park opened it’s doors! We had a 10 day celebration planned but due to the ongoing crisis we decided to postpone the event until our customers feel more comfortable leaving their homes. However we can still celebrate.🐾 On Friday, May 15th we will be having an Anniversary Sale. EVERYTHING (with the exception of can/kibble) is 10% OFF to honor our anniversary.” [Facebook]

Teacher Does Extra to Help Student Online — “Virtual High Five! Ms. Hall congratulates one of her kindergarten students during a 1:1 zoom session. Ms. Hall noticed during their synchronous math class yesterday that this student was struggling with a concept and scheduled an extra 1:1 zoom session to work through it.” [Facebook]

Here’s How to Thank Hospital Heroes — “We have been grateful for the outpouring of support our community has provided our healthcare heroes! We are sharing notes of gratitude sent for #InovaHeroes. If you would like to send a message to an Inova team member, send an email to…” [Facebook]

Pork Barrel BBQ Buys Fancy New Red Tent — “We have UPGRADED to a bigger and better tent! Pick up all your orders for Pork Barrel BBQ, Holy Cow Del Ray and The Sushi Bar at the BIG RED TENT from here on out!” [Facebook]

Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Auctions Gift Cards to Local Restaurants — “Click Below & Bid! And then…order some takeout for dinner to support THEM in this time of COVID (https://events.handbid.com/…/scholarship-fund-of-alex…/items). ALERT: Some Gift Cards are ALREADY SOLD through our Buy-it-Now Option. Get Bidding before it’s too late.” [Facebook]

Carpenter’s Shelter Honors Volunteer of the Week — “Our Volunteer of the Week, Angela of DC Metro Church, truly has a heart for the children of the shelter. For over 4 years, she participated weekly in Children’s Hour at the shelter, a program in which volunteers interacted with and entertained kids in shelter for an hour on weekday evenings. After the weekends, the children would be jumping out of their seats in anticipation of children’s hour with Angela every Monday! Even now, with our children’s hour program suspended due to COVID-19, she donates to help our families currently housed in a hotel. Thank you Angela for your huge heart and years of service to our families.” [Facebook]

New Job: WMATA Assistant Superintendent — “This is technical management, supervisory and administrative building and support equipment maintenance work. Employee in this job is responsible for assisting in the planning, scheduling, inspecting, managing, coordinating and establishing work priorities for major Plant Maintenance activities.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Mayor Hosting Weekly Virtual Town Hall Tonight — “Thursday evening (May 14th) beginning at 8 PM, I will be hosting another virtual Living Room Town Hall Meeting. ‬‪We will discuss the City’s on-going response to the COVID-19 outbreak and address any questions you might have. ‬‪Please post questions and join us Thursday night!‬” [Facebook]

Volunteer Alexandria Needs Household Donations — “Can you donate some canned goods, diapers, or kitty litter? During COVID-19, there is a great need for a variety of goods — many of which you may have around the house or be able to pick up in your next shopping trip.” [Facebook]

Alexandria City Public Schools Not Making Staff Reductions — “While these budget reductions will impact some of our employees’ take-home salary, we are fortunate to not be required to implement a reduction in our workforce at this time. It is important that we understand the budget reduction recommendations that were presented last week may potentially increase in the near future if we do not see an uptick in our economy and revitalization of dollars appropriated to ACPS from city, local, state, and federal funding sources.” [ACPS]

Congressman Beyer Calls President ‘Compulsive Liar’ — “This isn’t complicated. Dr. Fauci is a highly decorated scientist and doctor, a respected medical expert who spent his life leading American efforts to fight infectious diseases. Trump is a compulsive liar who suggested we could fight COVID-19 by injecting people with bleach.” [Twitter]

Scholarship Fund Auctioning Guitar Signed by ‘Collective Soul’ — “Along the way during our Virtual Auction to Support Scholarships we’ll be highlighting some of the amazing and unique donations we received this year. CHECK OUT this QUINTESSENTIALLY ’90s Fender Electric Guitar Signed by COLLECTIVE SOUL. Dude, rock on, this is some quality ’90s memorabilia here…” [Facebook]

Virginia Theological Seminary Hosting Virtual Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. — “Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of our 197th Commencement Ceremony, which will be broadcast on our website, here on Facebook, and on YouTube at 10:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow, May 14. Join us in honoring the Class of 2020!” [Facebook]

‘Mind The Mat’ Hosting Virtual Prenatal Pilates Today at 6 p.m. — “No experience necessary! Start at any stage of your pregnancy. Our prenatal program is designed for pregnancy not modified for it. This course was developed by Megan Brown, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Pilates Instructor and mother of two.” [Facebook]

Buskey Hard Cider Offers Delivery in Alexandria — “Orders for the NOVA Zone run between Ruther Glen, up I-95 up to Arlington and out to Winchester. It’s a big territory! Delivery schedule for this week: start delivering on Friday, and continue subsequent days based on orders! Orders must be placed by 11:59pm on Thursday night.” [Buskey Cider]

Alexandria Library Offers Remote Academic Journal Access — “JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization established with the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It provides access to more than 12 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines.” [Zebra]

New Job: Digital Communications Manager — “The ideal candidate has a mix of technical and creative acumen with the ability to think critically and strategically about communications while helping our association move forward with modern communications techniques.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Inova Hospital System Needs Blood Donations — “Starting this week, over 1,400 blood donors will be needed each week to make lifesaving donations. One blood donation can save up to three lives! Schedule your lifesaving donation with Inova Blood Donor Services online at www.inovabloodsaves.org or call 1-866-BLOODSAVES.” [Facebook]

Video: Alexandria Firefighters Thank Health Care Workers — “Station 203 members made a quick stop at Envoy of Alexandria today to thank healthcare workers.” [Facebook]

VDOT Asks Drivers to Slow Down on Interstate — “While many #stayhome and #socialdistance, there are fewer cars on our roads. That doesn’t mean safety goes out the window, though. PLEASE comply with posted speed limits. Let’s help keep each other safe #NoNeedForSpeed #SlowDown” [Twitter]

Rep. Beyer Defends Dr. Fauci Amid COVID-19 Criticism — “People in positions of power and influence trying to capitalize commercially and politically on treating Dr. Fauci like some kind of national villain as he literally works to save their lives is not a proud moment for this country.” [Twitter]

City Continues Series on Teleworking ‘Innovation’ By Citing 911 Operators — “After a successful one-month pilot, Alexandria became the first city in the United States to enable some staff to answer 911 calls from home. Rather than relying on employees’ home phone or internet connections, this remote setup uses wireless hotspots connected to a dedicated national public safety network called FirstNet. Regardless of the location, staff comply with the same strict confidentiality and quality assurance standards, and have access to the same computer-aided dispatch system that helps route public safety resources.” [City of Alexandria]

New Sheriff’s Deputy Sworn In at Alexandria Courthouse — “Congratulations and welcome to Deputy Fidelis Asonglefac who was sworn in yesterday! Deputy Asonglefac received his badge and Clerk of Circuit Court Greg Parks administered the oath of office at the courthouse.” [Facebook]

New Italian Restaurant Planned for Del Ray This Summer — “Piece Out LLC, which operates Café Pizzaiolo, St. Elmo’s and Markt2Market, is working on opening a from-scratch Italian restaurant at 2419 Mount Vernon Ave. The restaurant will initially focus on carry-out dining with plans to grow into a sit-down restaurant as the region starts to recover from the coronavirus crisis, according to owner Larry Ponzi. The restaurant will include pizza, house-made pasta and more. The company is very early in the planning process, Ponzi said, but he hopes to open the new Italian restaurant by mid-summer.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Animal Hospital Now Open For All Appointments — “Whoop! We are excited to announce that we are now able to accept all appointment types. We will continue our curbside service and safety protocols to ensure the safety of our staff and clients. We’ll greet you outside and keep you informed during your pet’s visit. With safety in mind, we will continue to limit hospital traffic to associates only.” [Facebook]

Mount Vernon Community School Teacher Launches Youtube Channel — “Did you know that Mount Vernon Community School has many amazing dual language teachers? One of their music teachers, Mrs. Quesada-Sayler. has started a YouTube channel to provide more music lessons in Spanish and English. Check these out. They are awesome!” [Facebook]

Lee Fendall House Celebrates Museum Week — “Much has been said about the historic times we are living through now. Are you doing something to document them in your own way? Perhaps you are keeping a journal, taking pictures, or saving certain mementoes of life in quarantine?” [Facebook]

Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Center To Reopen Saturdays — “The City of Alexandria will reopen the Household Hazardous Waste & Electronics Center for one day a week starting on Saturday, May 16. The limited opening is intended for residents who cannot store materials at home indefinitely for reasons such as moving. Others are encouraged to store materials until normal operations resume.” [Patch]

New Job: Administrative Specialist for Salvation Army National HQ — “Bachelors degree and at least two years’ of experience required. Knowledge of general office practices and procedures, effective and efficient record-keeping and bookkeeping practices, knowledge of proofreading symbols and basic mathematics. Ability to transcribe dictation and type information into a computer. Ability to scan documents and work with same. Ability to operate various office equipment including a telephone, Dictaphone, computer, scanner and adding machine.” [Indeed]

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During the worst part of his infection with the coronavirus, David Posey had a fever of about 102.8 degrees and hoped he wouldn’t die in his sleep.

The Del Ray resident has recovered from a COVID-19 infection, but only found out he was infected after the fact.

“I did not get tested until it was all over with and I had an antibody test, so I didn’t get the COVID test,” Posey told ALXnow over the phone. “My primary care doctor said he had no access to the tests and he said he had no COVID patients at the time.”

The 59-year-old Posey didn’t experience common symptoms of COVID-19. His main symptoms were fevers and chills. He never had a cough, sore throat or a loss of taste or smell. He also had no appetite while he was sick from about March 14-March 29, and lost about eight pounds. His primary care physician ended up telling him over the phone that he likely had the flu, and to call him if Posey started to experience respiratory issues.

“I never did call him back, until last weekend after I got the antibody test and found out that I was positive,” Posey said. “He said he does have 24 cases now and two people have died.”

There are now 1,240 COVID-19 cases in Alexandria, and there are 41 reported cases in the 22301 ZIP code, which includes Del Ray. Del Ray has the lowest number of infections, and there have also been 343 residents who have been tested out of an estimated population 15,171 people.

Posey, who is a graphic designer and photographer, was in Las Vegas prior to getting sick, and he questions how he contracted the virus. His friends and neighbors dropped off food and Gatorade outside of his front door. He treated the illness with Extra Strength Tylenol.

“I started feeling sick in the middle of March,” Posey said. “I was actually in Las Vegas and had gotten back the end of February, so I’d been home for a week-and-a-half, and just kind of milling around here and I started to feel bad.”

For work, Posey creates PowerPoint keynote presentations for conferences with thousands of people at large venues all over the country. If it were not for COVID-19, he would now be working a show in Orlando, Florida, followed by another big show in Las Vegas at the end of this month, and then a show in Denver, Colorado in the beginning of June. But all of those events have been canceled, and Posey is wondering what large conferences will look like in the days ahead.

“I was very busy in January and February and then everything came to a screeching halt,” he said. “It will be interesting to see when they start thinking that they can do them again and if people are going to be wearing masks, or they’ll be limited by how many people will be allowed in a ballroom?”

Posey is single and doesn’t even have a dog because of his busy travel schedule, he said. Staying at home for such a long period was challenging, and he would wake up in the middle of the night drenched in a cold sweat, and would have to change the sheets to his bed to be able to comfortably get back to sleep.

“I didn’t leave my house for about five weeks total,” he said. “I was pretty sick and I just had no energy. I had body aches and my teeth would chatter and I live by myself, so when the news was starting to get scary I would go to bed go and hope I wouldn’t die in the middle of night.”

Posey was on the road to recovery with 60 hours without a fever, and then he got another fever and felt as if he was back at square one.

“I was thinking I was done with it and then, boom. I get a fever and had to start over again, and they say you have to wait 72 hours after your last fever before it’s really out of your system,” he said. “Nothing sounded good, nothing tasted good. I just didn’t really want to eat.”

Posey was sick for about two weeks, and decided to take a blood test with Quest Labs on Duke Street. The test cost $129, and he paid full price instead of using his health insurance.

“I just wanted to know for my own peace of mind,” he said. “I kind of kept it a secret from most of my friends but I didn’t want anybody worried about it.”

Posey wears a face mask now when he goes to the store, even if there is the possibility that he is now immune to the virus.

“It’s as much about protecting everybody else,” he said. “I still wearing a mask when I go out, and I’ve been shocked to see so many people in the store without wearing masks. Customers aren’t required to wear them.”

Photo via David Posey

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Morning Notes

Northam Says Northern Virginia Will Ease Restrictions More Slowly — “Northam said that more information about ‘how this will work’ for Northern Virginia localities will be released on Wednesday.” [Reston Now]

Metro Phased Reopening Plan Includes Face Mask Requirement for Riders — “In the first phase, trains will run every 20 minutes and buses will operate on a Sunday schedule. Service will ramp up slowly from there. All riders will need to wear masks to board a bus or train in the WMATA system. (Right now, that’s just a recommendation and request, according to Metro’s website.)” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Salon Owner Cautions Against Reopening — “My colleagues and I think the Governor’s plan to allow salons to open is dangerous and shortsighted. It’s also worth mentioning that it seems the overwhelming majority with opposite opinion aren’t the professionals who have to do this work, based on the engagements I’ve had and observed in the comments section of the Governor’s Live streams. While that may not be an effective means of data collection, I think it speaks volumes– we are being excluded from the conversation about our own industries and our own lives.” [Alexandria Living]

DASH Adds Digital Displays for Riders at Bus Stops — “Thanks to the I-395 Commuter Choice funding, DASH is adding new digital displays to stops on the AT1 and AT9 to improve riders’ experience during essential travel. These signs display real time bus arrival information and helpful alerts.” [Facebook]

Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Online Auction Open Until May 30 — “We have received MORE THAN 150 Fantastic Auction Items, Expieriences, Packages, Gift Cards and One-of-A-Kind Opportunities from some amazing and generous local donors. This VIRTUAL SILENT Auction will help make up for our Canceled Spring Benefit Gala. ALL Proceeds Go to Helping Send T.C. Williams High School students with financial need to College.” [Facebook]

The Bishop Ireton High School Food Drive is on May 15 — “Spread the word! Looking forward to seeing you, even if for only a few minutes, socially distant. Thank you in advance!” [Facebook]

The Birchmere Reopening in June Schedules Performances in June — The upcoming schedule of performances includes Gaelic Storm, Steve Earl & The Dukes, and actor Kevin Bacon and his brother. [Facebook]

New Job: Digital Content Manager — “The Manager, Digital Content is responsible for the management and creation of content on AASLD’s (American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases) primary website and its related sites. This position will work with the Director, Digital Media to ensure AASLD’s websites are up-to-date, provide solid user experiences and follow best practices.” [Indeed]

Zebra Newspaper to Resume Printing in June — “The printing press rolls for us again in June, with your papers arriving around town and online June 8, 2020. But, the times, they are a-changin’ in terms of our distribution. We are adding more newspaper boxes to neighborhoods. If you want a box somewhere in particular, please let me know directly. You will start seeing them delivered in about 14 days.” [Zebra]

Road Paving Begins on Mount Vernon Avenue — “Mount Vernon Avenue will be under paving reconstruction for two weeks starting May 13, 2020.” [Zebra]

Taste of Del Ray, Other Community Events Canceled — “Taste of Del Ray and Well Ray in June as well as the Del Ray Music Festival will not happen in 2020. A decision on October’s Art on the Avenue, one of Del Ray’s largest events, has not been made. Art on the Avenue typically draws 75,000 people.” [Patch]

Former Councilman Fannon Named Alexandria Living Legend — “I have always been proud of Alexandria and was very fortunate to be born in such a great community… I was raised to be civic minded and to always contribute and give back to our fellow citizens.” [Gazette]

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It wasn’t your usual First Thursday in Del Ray, as hundreds of residents celebrated the monthly community ritual by social distancing with a beach-themed party on their respective front porches.

The theme this month was a beach party, and children played with their parents in their front yards as other neighbors carried conversations over safe distances, talking about the latest goings-on during the collective experience that is the coronavirus pandemic.

Usually on First Thursday, Mount Vernon Avenue would be packed and Pat Miller Square would be cordoned off for a live musical performance, and crowds of residents and visitors would spend hours in shops, restaurants and eating at tables.

Erica and Adam Zajac are both working at home while taking care of their two kids in their house on E. Custis Avenue.

“I think that it’s been incredible just to be in this scenario, where there’s a lot of children,” Erica told ALXnow. “It’s it’s just such a blessing to have this type of community, particularly for First Thursday. We actually did this on Cinco de Mayo, too, on Tuesday.”

Their neighbors — all five members of the Dunham family — were also glad to get some fresh air.

“When you’re able to share your experiences and speak with your neighbors through the ups and the downs, to know that they’re there and everyone’s going through different but a similar experience just makes things easier,” Anna Dunham said. “This street does a really good job of keeping things. Last Saturday we had a derby party and two kids raced each other around the block with hobby horses.”

Just then, Dunham’s four-year-old daughter interrupted and said, “Did you hear? The coronavirus is gone!”

“Gone?” her mother replied. “You just declared it gone? Well, good news!”

Dunham then said, “It’s been challenging. It’s a lot of people in small spaces, and we’re grateful to be together and to have everybody healthy. Being outside definitely helps.”

Del Ray, as always, we are blown away — by your creativity, your generosity, your spirit. Congrats to the winners of…

Posted by Visit Del Ray on Friday, May 8, 2020

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