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. https://www.cnn.com/.../woman-helps-elderly-couple...
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.
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.
These are really small flowers.
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.
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]