Monday, May 18, 2020

Stay at Home Day 53

our backyard
Today begins the 53rd day since our county issued the Stay at Home order. While others in the country, and world for that matter, have had to shelter in place for longer than that, there is no arguing that we have gone a long time without being able to visit family, attend gatherings, play pickleball with our friends, participate in any of the group activities we had become accustomed to in our new community, eat at restaurants, travel, visit local cultural institutions, etc.

To date, there have been 4.76 million confirmed cases worldwide, with 326,000 deaths. In the US there are 1.53 million confirmed cases, with over 90,000 deaths. North Carolina has 18,512 confirmed cases to date, with 659 deaths. Gaston County has one of the lowest virus cases in our area, fortunately. As fat as we know, no one in our community has gotten the virus. Having said that, we know that it is out there and we need to remain vigilant.

While Phase 2 may go into play this Friday, lifting some restrictions for restaurants and hair salons, I will need to decide what I want to do about a haircut. I found a stylist in Mount Holly who I really like, and have been to her several times. However, she has chosen to spend her time off this week in a beach community, posting photos on Facebook. She admitted that her location is very crowded. This is the type of situation that puts people at risk, and I would have expected her to spend the two weeks before going back to work in a more controlled environment. There is no way that I can wear a mask when she washes and cuts my hair, and I doubt that she will wear one either in light of her disregard of the stay at home order. I will need to think long and hard about whether I want to be that close to her upon her return. My hair is in desperate need of a cut as I last saw her on March 3rd. All the stylists will be swamped when they can finally reopen, so odds of getting in to see someone new are slim. And I have no idea what any of them have been doing in their time off either. This is our new world, and everyone has to determine what their risk tolerance is going to be.

Yesterday morning Jim and I took our kayaks out on the lake early in the morning. Weekends on the water are a zoo with all the boats and jet skis, so we wanted to go out on calm waters without having to worry about being hit. Or knocked ashore by the waves. It was beautiful and peaceful, and certainly a wonderful way to forget all the pandemic madness for a little bit anyway.

Mountain Island Lake
The other thing that brings me joy is watching the birds in the backyard. The goldfinches have finally discovered my finch feeder with its special finch food. Another bird this morning made good use of the bird bath, and I saw my first hummingbirds out back over the weekend. I picked up a lantana basket at the farmer's market on Saturday, and it drew them right in. My hummingbird feeder certainly hadn't been doing the trick.

for the birds
We shall see what this Friday brings in terms of removing some of the stay at home restrictions. But thinking about the birds reminded me of the John Lennon song "Free as a Bird." Somehow the lyrics seem very appropriate today.

Whatever happened to
the life that we once knew?
Can we really live without each other?
Where did we lose the touch
That seemed to mean so much?
It always made me feel so
free as a bird.

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