Covid-19: Notes from the beach (3/16/20)

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the United States is in an unprecedented quasi-shutdown, in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, and it’s associated sickness, Covid-19. So I thought a new blog challenge was in order. After all, what else do many of you have to do but read my random musings?

My plan is to take a walk to the beach each day that we are under this quasi-lockdown, and see what deep thoughts emerge.

Disclaimer: I recognize that I am very lucky to have the luxury of blogging while there is so much sadness and terror sweeping our country. I send my love and sympathy to all those who are not as lucky as I am.

So this afternoon, Sadie and I set off on a raw, chilly, gray stroll along the waves of the Chesapeake Bay.

Sadie refuses to leave the boardwalk until she knows I’m coming with her onto the sand. Here, she’s galloping back to ensure that I’m on my way. She’s the best.

The beach was deserted, except for a man strolling at the water’s edge who completely ignored us. As usual, I found the waves beautiful, although here’s a secret about beach walks with Sadie; they don’t offer much scope for wave contemplation because all my attention is on keeping her from eating seaweed and fish guts.

Despite the distractions, it struck me, as we walked, that my life under quasi-lockdown is not that different from my usual life.

Strolling alone on the beach felt typical. Familiar. More normal to me than if I were with a partner or a large group. And it occurred to me that single, mostly introverted people like me are oddly better equipped for this strange experience of quasi-lockdown. After all, for us, being quiet and alone in our house or on a walk is just, well, normal.

Not that anything feels really normal these days. It was impossible to shake the specter of a looming health crisis, and how I’m worried about my friends who work in the medical professions. Or my friends who wonder where their rent money is going to come from now that their livelihoods have evaporated. Or my parents and their friends who are at the most risk from this damn virus.

At the end of the walk, I found myself doing something I always try not to; looking for a place to lay blame. After all, we are all very much in the “let’s get through this together” mode, but I couldn’t help but wonder when this crisis is over…will anyone be held to account? Today, I fantasized about a reckoning that would give us the momentum to, once and for all, call the insurance industries to the mat for all the terrible things they have done to our health care system. It was a lovely fantasy, quickly dispelled, because it’s unlikely that we will be mature enough as a country/society to really examine the underlying forces that keep our system teetering on the edge of collapse. This crisis has definitely shown that to be true.

This has turned gloomy, this post. Sorry! I do want you to keep reading, so I promise tomorrow I’ll share some funnier thoughts on cookies, show tunes, and working from home.

And here are a flock of piping plovers, hard at work, that we saw on our walk. I tried to get close enough to film them without scaring them off; I was only marginally successful. They made me smile, and I hope they do the same for you.

PS: Don’t forget to wash your hands!

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#plovers #pipingplover

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