Wear a mask, wash your hands, protect what’s important
What we have this week is the second set of photos from a group we shot back in September when it was still, barely, warm enough to be running around naked in the woods. At that point in time, we were fairly hopeful. COVID-19 numbers were down. Schools were slowly starting back. Bars and restaurants were opening. While we knew there was a good chance of a second wave, it was still a while off.
Now, I look at these pictures and wish I’d taken more. Lots more. As much as I’d love to call Ashley and say, “Hey, meet me…” I don’t dare. Coronavirus infection rates are the highest they’ve ever been. As of the particular moment when I’m typing this, the United States has seen more than twelve million cases and just crossed 250,000 deaths. Our daughter, who had been enjoying going to school and seeing her friends, will now be back at home learning remotely starting Monday. All schools in the county are completely closed to in-person instruction. That bars and restaurants haven’t done the same is more cowardice and lack of supportive action on the part of lawmakers than it is any reasonable form of science.
One of the most difficult parts of this past week was making the decision to not participate in family Thanksgiving celebrations, despite them being small. They’ll only include two more people than normal, but they’re people outside my normal bubble and one of them works in retail, exposed to a plethora of people with little consideration for anyone else. Making that decision more difficult is that our youngest son’s birthday falls on the same day. We’ve promised him an additional celebration at home, but it’s not the same. There are no friends coming over for a party, no sharing cupcakes with classmates.
Of all the songs running through my mind right now, perhaps the most relevant is Whitesnake’s 1987 hit, Here I Go Again.
No, I don't know where I'm goin' But I sure know where I've been Hanging on the promises in songs of yesterday And I've made up my mind I ain't wasting no more time Though I keep searchin' for an answer I never seem to find what I'm lookin' for Oh Lord, I pray you give me strength to carry on 'Cause I know what it means To walk along the lonely street of dreams And here I go again on my own Goin' down the only road I've ever known Like a drifter, I was born to walk alone And I've made up my mind I ain't wasting no more time
I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. Millions of people who would normally be spending portions of this week with large gatherings of family are either staying home or severely limiting the number of people around them. Across the country, there are more than 250,000 chairs that empty and most of them didn’t have to be. We, as a country, continue to be irresponsible.
So, here we are, on our own, out in the woods, staying several feet apart from each other. We can look at the pictures and enjoy the beauty and, perhaps, for a moment, forget how unforgivingly horrid this year has been on so many different levels. Perhaps next year will bring more opportunities to be more adventurous. For the moment, we are thankful for the time we had.