16 March 2021
My friends at Public Works in Linwood, New Jersey, sent a photo of the park sign and updated landscaping, and I thought I should add the photo in here. And then my sister-in-law J took some photos and sent them as well.
The sign is looking great for having spent the winter out in the park! So happy to see it held up to the snow and rain they had in the northern regions of the US. Not that New Jersey has anything like the snow that some states encountered, but they certainly saw more snow and ice than we did here in Florida!
I'm hoping that Public Works added in an azalea or two as we discussed last autumn, especially if they can find more in that pretty pink I used for outlining the letters. I can't quite see exactly what those two small bushes in front of the sign are, but that really would make the letters pop even more!
We should be back in Linwood in May, so I'll definitely need to go see how it looks!
29 March 2021
There really isn't much going on. We've had our vaccines, and supposedly have as much immunity as can be expected at this time. But given the viral caseload here, as well as the rampant partying during spring break, it doesn't seem very safe to be going out into areas with a lot of people. We don't live close enough to family or friends to go visiting, and neither of us really wants to go shopping.
So we find things to do at home. I finished a large afghan, and have started painting again. There are online art workshops, always interesting. We both enjoy our e-readers, and Richard is continuing with his physical therapy.
My therapy continues to be spending time at the dock, just watching the water and the birds. I keep hoping to spot an alligator - at a distance, of course.
Spring is here, though, and some birds are heading south or west for breeding season. Others nest here in Florida, though I don't think I've seen any chicks yet.
But then, I think about the statistics we're hearing - something like the ten richest and/or most developed (or industrialized) nations have purchased something like 75% of the available vaccines currently. How fair is that? We aren't even half the world's population, those ten nations added together - how can we buy three-quarters of the vaccines available, leaving barely one-quarter of the currently manufactured vaccines for the rest of the world?
If we travel, how ethical or moral is it, knowing that I'm basically privileged to have had the vaccine only by the accident of being born in the US? Won't I be flaunting that privilege in front of people who are doing their best to survive year 2 of this pandemic? What kind of "global citizen" would I be then?
And is it even safe for travel yet? There are different variants with this constantly-mutating Covid virus, some much more contagious than the original virus. How safe would it be if someone caught one of those variants? What are the chances of bringing that back to the US? And will our current vaccines even protect us from these variants? How long does the vaccine immunity last, anyway?
I know that many developing countries depend on tourist and traveller dollars (and other currencies) for their economy, that small businesses worldwide are going under due to the lack of travel. But TRAVEL is what turned a small viral outbreak into this worldwide pandemic! Trust me, I understand wanderlust, that ever curious need to see new places, explore new cultures. But that's how this virus spread from nation to nation and continent to continent - through tourists, travellers, and people visiting family. We humans spread the virus through our travel.
So not only am I questioning whether travel would be moral or ethical, I'm also questioning whether travel right now would even be smart.
Seems kind of like a big no.
The Center for Disease Control is still asking US citizens to not travel, especially not to travel overseas. It still isn't safe - for us, for our families, for our neighbors, for our nations.
So when our lease on our Florida house is up, we'll drive back to New Jersey. We'll attend two socially-distanced and masked minimal family events that were postponed from last fall and winter. And we'll eventually drive ourselves across the country, back to our home base in Washington state, for our usual medical check ups and renewal of prescriptions. All that older people stuff.
Until then, we'll continue to enjoy the warming weather and the flowers. The local and migrating birds. The amusing trapeze artist squirrels living in the trees around this house. The high and low tides at the dock. The single giant leaf floating in the pool. Even the occasional gale that blows through, or the ever-changing skies.
It isn't optimal. It isn't our first choice of what we'd really like to do. Not even our second choice.
But at this point in time, it's the safest choice. Which seems like the smartest choice.
And thus, it becomes the only choice.