life and love in the time of corona

March 16, 2020  •  4 Comments

To say that uncertainty, dread, and nervousness were the order of the day around the world this week, courtesy of the corona virus or COVID-19, is an understatement. It has been part of the news cycle for several months, but during the past two weeks, it nearly obliterated the 2020 political scene in the United States, with 24/7 interviews of and briefings from experts in the medical and scientific fields.  In the back of my mind, I was thinking about Gabriel Garciá Marquez' Love in the Time of Cholera, when Fred said that this was life in the time of corona.  My thanks to Marquez for his amazing title and work, and to Fred for his wit.  

The virus roared in, wreaking havoc, and changing our lives beyond imagination.  It feels like a science fiction movie.  Yes, we have gone through different outbreaks and pandemics before in the 20th and 21st centuries - the Spanish flu of 1918, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, H1N1 to name a few.  But COVID-19, with its truly world-wide spread, seems to have no boundaries and no particular preference (except that the elderly are more susceptible) - just people.  And it is new.  No vaccine, and no knowledge of its behavior except what the medical professionals world-wide are putting together in real time. There have been knee-jerk reactions in grocery shopping and other preparations, some scammers are trying to take advantage of the situation (I could easily say they should be shot at dawn for that) but eventually, we'll all need to find a new rhythm in our lives.  My only and sincere hope is that people remain civil, and can find a certain joy in the resulting relative isolation.  Only time will tell, as governors, mayors, and leaders around the world try to wrap their heads and systems around the virus.   

Below are a couple of wonderful and inspiring videos, the first of Italians singing and making music from their balconies, and the second is of a runner in Bend, Oregon, who stopped to help an elderly couple with their grocery shopping.

Terry Thompson posted this on Facebook.

As a photographer and writer, there are always reasons to write and make photographs, but sometimes I don't write or journal as much as I should.  My weekly blog is one example but I should be doing more.  So while we are restricting trips to town (our last workout at the gym and pool was on Wednesday since the community centers are now closed until mid-April), it is time to start writing a bit more about the sequence of events concerning the virus in the United States and around the world.  And I would love to hear from you about how your life has changed, if it has, and how you are achieving new routines, and keeping body and soul together. Regardless of where you live in the world, it would be good to hear from you.  For me, if I don't commit pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, documenting what is happening, I won't remember it accurately.  

My sister said this week that life continues as well as other parts of nature in its own way, despite what is happening to the human population.  One example is the return of the Say's Phoebe.  It happened yesterday morning, with my reaction "Isn't this a little early?"  Well, checking the nature and weather data notebooks we keep, the arrival was absolutely right on time and perfectly normal.  Thus, the written data keeps our memories accurate. Another example is the emergence of the bulbous spring parsley or Cymopterus bulbosus.  The very first flower of the spring, it lies prostrate on the ground, and never sends up a tall bloom stalk, but tiny flower bundles.  It being "first" happens regardless of the date, and thus we know winter is ending.  The purple bundles in the middle are the flowers.

first blooms of spring 3first blooms of spring 3

As I got closer, I saw things I had never seen before in these amazing flowers.  The wrapper around the purple is white with green vertical lines, and thinner than fine paper.

first blooms of spring 1first blooms of spring 1

first blooms of spring closeup 2first blooms of spring closeup 2

These are really small flowers.

first blooms of spring closeup  with dimefirst blooms of spring closeup with dime

When I peeled the outer wrapper, there are all sorts of strange things inside.  My sister says they are called petaloids, and the slightly tan colored goodies in the photograph are stamens.  

first blooms of spring closeup 1first blooms of spring closeup 1


There are people in this world who cannot be thanked enough for their work right now, including all of the medical professionals and health care providers, scientists, emergency responders, national guard personnel, caregivers, teachers, day care providers, journalists, those working in the service and hospitality industries who must be at work, and numerous volunteers.  My hope is that our appreciation extends beyond just thanks and prayers, translating into better wages and true appreciation for the work they are doing.  

Thanks to Christina, Jean and Sam, Barbara, Wayne, Earle, Ingrid, Steve, Debra for checking in about last week's tulip blog.  And to Charlie, an incredible writer and poet who wrote "Drowning inside a flower surrounded by color definitely the way to go right now."  

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]


elida Hanson-Finelli(non-registered)
Thank you Dear Daryl for your thoughtful and as always upbeat, kind words. The best thing that any of us can do is stay calm... helps the immune system! Remain prayerful and with gratitude. I too am grateful for the millions of people out there on the front lines working towards making, goods, information and health care available. We are fortunate that most all goods and services are still available(except TP!!) Testing if one needs it too at Holy Cross. A vaccine near, still passing trial period but soon here, according to Dr Fauci. Not a good time to buy into the politicizing by misconstruing words and intentions.
On the personal level, I agree this is a good time to slow down and reevaluate the beauty that surrounds us at which you Daryl, are a master! That is one of the elements of your art I so appreciate. I am always arrested to a quiet place when I view your images!
Hoping myself to work on some long awaited sewing projects...maybe even cull through a few thousand more images!!!
Stay well and keep Dancing!
Wayne Gesterfield(non-registered)
Neat flower.

A friend of mine went to a trade event in Chicago and the Trump people were saying the coronavirus is a hoax and media hype.
I will miss that gene pool.
Thank you for your thoughtful writing, and the reminder to look at the nuances of nature. Nature will survive us in one form or another. You bless us with your weekly blog; connecting us across time and space. Peace to all in this time when the world seems tipped off its axis.
Xooxox Victoria
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Well, this a fine situation we've gotten ourselves into.

Thanks for your thoughtful take on life in limbo land. I had just been jotting down ideas for dealing with the isolation that social distancing will cause and my mind turned to learning, for example studying Spanish more faithfully, finally mastering video editing, writing something of consequence and setting aside daily time for it. And, in the spirit of your message, engaging more people more often through emails and phone calls. Just now I received a forwarded email from Linda Thompson's uncle in Spain that speaks to Life in the Age of the Corona virus and makes me want to respond in Spanish so to initiate an ongoing conversation.
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