It’s Been A Year and I Am Ready To Go!

Not only has it been a year, but it has been one like no other! Why do I say this? 

Well, a year ago I began to physically distance myself from people, cover my nose and mouth with a bandana or neck gaiter, until I learned a facial mask would better, to protect me from the airborne contagious Covid-19 virus. How could I not be concerned given the fact any virus at other times in my life made me feel lousy for a couple of weeks and this virus is reported to be worse!

Wearing a mask when near people, especially when within 6 feet of a person did take some getting used to, just as doubling my masks now as recently recommended by the scientists. To me, an airborne contagion means no indoor space for periods of time, but outdoor activities are many. I have taken a break from my tennis and pickleball playing, despite them being outdoor activities, because I did not want the stress of interacting with people who may or may not think mask-wearing or physical distancing important. It has been easier and more enjoyable for me to do solo activities or be with individuals within my “bubble”.

During this past year, I read more books, listened to audiobooks, started to sketch birds, bought bird feeders for the backyard to begin learning about birds, which eventually fueled my interest in bird photography. Stimulus check money went to organizations, such as Feeding America, Shelter Box, and some to camera equipment. I found myself driving to birding locations, listening to an audiobook along the way, and hiking an area to observe and photograph birds as my way to be outdoors, active, and safe from the virus. The majority of bird watchers seemed to respect the importance of face masks and physical distancing too when a group may congregate at a birding hot spot.

Reading the news and watching it on television this past year has been distressing most times. Reports of police brutality, especially with the death of George Floyd, boiled into numerous protests. The increased number of coronavirus cases and deaths, along with disrespect for what scientists stated as what each of us could do to “flatten the curve” seemed to fall on deaf ears. This was distressing while many Americans also followed misinformation. Coronavirus cases increased and our businesses, schools and country’s economics faltered while nurses and doctors at hospitals were overwhelmed. UPS, USPS, FedEx and Amazon delivery trucks seemed to be everywhere everyday while essential workers, such as the drivers of those vehicles and other delivery services, and those who worked in grocery stores, nursing homes, and medical centers services available. The news each day became more depressing as milestones of deaths were reported and videos of people at large group celebrations with no masks worn seemed to indicate no concern for their fellow man. And when the country’s president at that time also disregarded what world and national health organizations reported and encouraged none of their guidelines to be followed, then my concern and worry only continued to grow. 

What I cannot understand even a year later is why people still do not understand the science. There is information available to learn about the virus and how it spreads, but instead they would rather do what they wish and complain about their business or job not being available to them or their children at home not getting the best education, despite attempts to do so with their teachers through virtual learning. If we looked to other countries to see how they have been more successful handling the situation and incorporated any of those best practices we could also have been in a better position. Yet I notice many people in the USA not caring.

So here we are a year later with many people hesitant to be vaccinated. Scientists have accomplished an amazing task in having 3 different vaccines available for use within a short period of time. The scientific method was followed at each institution and accelerated which does not mean corners had been cut, so I wish people understood their work. While I am within the process of receiving my vaccine doses, I continue to spend time outdoors discovering the parks and places to roam where few people do. But I have discovered many other people realize the outdoors for hiking, bicycling and camping provide great opportunities for them too. Let’s get ourselves healthy so we can get back on an airplane and travel the world beyond our “bubble”. I’m doing my part to reach that goal, can you? I am ready to move on and see the rest of the world! How about you? 

Contemplative Mood …

Hmmm… hmm… okay, well I best get started with this post! To say this year so far has been frustrating would be an understatement. Covid-19 has put such a dampener on everything!

Time to sit and think!

I have a lousy sense of time, which more often than not is a blessing as I can stay immersed in whatever I am doing and not worry about running off somewhere, but these number of months have D-R-A-G-G-E-D, and I have noticed it. I speed it all up with projects such as reading, birding, walking, talking via phone, writing, and taking photos… but I still want to get on the road to visit family, friends, see new places and meet new people. I crave adventure and these months are sucking all of it out of my realm of possibilities to do so!

I have been physically distant and wearing a mask when within feet of others. I am appreciative of the fact that I do not need to work or to be in places where I have to contemplate if I should or should not do a particular activity. I am doing my part to keep my family, friends, and others in this state healthy. And yes I do wish all others were on the same wavelength as me, but many are not!

When I enter stores I follow the signs requiring masks be worn and physical distancing be done. I have no idea why others find it so difficult to follow. We as a world are one and should be caring for each other, but often I see is not the same belief as others and it is disappointing.

I love to travel the world. I always have an appreciation for the various cultures, scenery, food, history, local people, and the camaraderie of fellow travelers. I learn so much when I travel. While armchair traveling these past months, watching the Tour de France bicycling event and seeing areas of France or other travel programs offer a glimpse of an area of the world, there is nothing better than actually being on location! Seeing other people around the world being more cooperative in stemming the tide of the virus has been heartening, but then I wonder why others simply do not care to participate in the safer approaches for their own community and in mine.

We are one world. As time goes on we as world citizens need to think globally in order to tackle the next planet issue. Will it be another virus? Or wildfires, floods, or catastrophic storms of some nature affecting multiple places around the planet at the same time? Will anyone be ready? What are we leaving to the next generations?

The storm overhead suggests it is time for me to move on! I take advantage of these types of notices so I will take cover elsewhere. I can only hope enough of us awaken to where we are at, where we are headed and support positive, productive, environmental, healthy, local and global goals with leaders who support the same! May we have a better 2021 and be Covid-19 free! I can only hope. Do your part for a better world tomorrow, thanks.