Or is it the end of the beginning?
Maybe it’s just the end of the first phase of our Covid-19 pandemic: the scramble to identify the virus’ strong and weak points, to develop vaccines, to realize it’s a global problem, to stumble as we learn a thing or two about delivery and care, to disentangle politics from the health of the human community. Maybe we’ll crush Covid-19 to an annoyance, one more annual vaccine to get. Or maybe not. Viruses are wily.
Even if Covid-19 becomes background noise, there’s the next one waiting in the wings. Will we (the global we) be foresighted enough, and will we care enough about our future generations, to prepare for it as we so clearly did not for this one?
Well, that’s my scary question for now.
On the other hand, my white and fully vaccinated Seattle life motors along just fine. Our county’s case numbers are dropping, hospital beds are emptying, vaccination rates are doing well, our big employers understand the public health issues and are not screaming for an end to social distancing and mask-wearing.
As a result of all this good behavior, we now have the tentative return to dinners between vaccinated couples inside their houses! Our social skills are rusty, so we’re hesitant, but to even talk about such a thing is a huge change from the past year. Next week, if the numbers continue to move in the right direction, our restaurants are scheduled to open to 50% capacity. Incredible!
It feels as if space is expanding, as if we can take a deep breath and move on.
I’ve recently signed up the local recycling pick-up company Ridwell. They have found partners and recyclers who will take the things that our city/county recycling system will not. Specifically, Styrofoam and all scrunchy plastic like grocery store produce bags, plastic wrap and cling film. The cling film is what got me going. I’ve been haunted by all those photos of the stuff wrapped around fish and clinging to the floating trash islands in the oceans. If we destroy our oceans, we destroy the planet.
And guess what the cling film and flexible plastic food and mailer envelopes (think those blue and white Amazon prime wrappers) are being recycled to become: Trex. You know, that decking material that looks like wood, is cheaper than wood, lasts longer than wood and doesn’t need to be refinished like wood. So it’s a double, maybe a triple win. Saves the forests, saves the oceans and is convenient and affordable for people. Ridwell. Maybe you have something similar in your area.
I’ve been taking a Zoom painting class from a local art school that’s focused on painting water. Here’s my results from two of our exercises: both from photos I’ve taken on trips. One is a spawning salmon in Alaska and the other is a rushing stream in Yosemite.