Sign of Our Pandemic Times

The Featured Image is rather ho-hum by itself but is something much more when given context. Plural perhaps is better: contexts. First: The window is adjacent to another, presumably in the same apartment, where I saw Kip, who was profiled in my “Cats of University Heights” series just after the new year. I have seen the kitty several time since and have come to look for him (or her), which is how the fashioned-sign caught my attention.

Second: California, like the majority of US states, is locked down. Most businesses and all schools are closed. Citizens are ordered to stay at home and “shelter in place“. Keeping people apart is a desperate attempt to slow spread (e.g. “flatten the curve“) of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19. That lone—or better stated lonely—”Hi” reaches out from isolation to the few wanderers traversing the seemingly post-apocalyptic street below. Some residents still walk their dogs or go out for fresh air or to exercise.

Staying indoors, in an environment that you control couldn’t be more urgent now than when I saw the sign on March 31, 2020. Yesterday, Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus task-force coordinator, warned: “This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe”. The death toll is expected to rise, substantially—if not exponentially—during at least the next 14 days.

As I write, based on data collated by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, the global number of confirmed Coronavirus cases is 1,275,542 and 69,498 deaths. United States: 337,637 identified and 9,647 dead—about one-third of the deceased from New York.

This afternoon, I made a last Costco run, to top off our supplies—with expectation that the Wilcox’s won’t go much of anywhere in the coming days; my cherished walks are likely over for awhile. Better to respect the pandemic than experience it bodily. Who knows, I may yet place in my window something similar to the greeting taken using Leica Q2 six days ago. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 10:47 a.m. PDT.

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