Traffic Detours, Pandemic, and Makeshift Cul-De-Sacs

The so-called “traffic calming measures” along Meade Ave. at Alabama and Louisiana are nearly complete. I will be sorry to see the “road closed” signs come down—and I won’t be alone. California schools and many local businesses (still) are shut because of the COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2) pandemic. Semi-blocked Alabama—and to lesser degree Louisiana—is a makeshift cul-de-sac where kids bike, run about, and skateboard. Soon, the party’s over, following nearly six month’s construction.

As of this week, all 50 US states are partially to semi-completely reopened. Meanwhile, the Novel Coronavirus rages on. According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, there are, as I write, nearly 5 million confirmed cases (4,996,472) in 188 countries and 328,115 reported deaths. Soon to be 100,000 of the dead are from the United States (93,439 currently).

With all the mayhem—and local park playgrounds still yellow-taped off—rerouted traffic has made safe space for fun; that’s as much about reducing contagion’s spread as protecting from vehicles speeding where they shouldn’t (and otherwise would). I’d like to the think of the coming change as a metaphor, because of timing: For the reopening of our economy and society. May there be some semblance of normalcy soon, even if we all must adapt—like drivers encountering the new traffic circles.

That brings us circumspect to the Featured Image and a gripe about Leica Q2. I typically check settings before taking the camera out of the apartment, or after adjusting them for a capture. I am not in the habit of inspecting the dials, otherwise, and that has proved to be a problem on several occasions.

I tend to sling the strapped camera behind my back. Recently that has caused the shutter speed dial to change from A (auto) to 1/2000 sec. My attention is on composition, which blaring San Diego sun complicates, not looking for the settings readings in the Electronic Viewfinder. The mishap has resulted in the ruination of shots that I really wanted—but luckily today’s fallen signage isn’t another casualty. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/11, ISO 1000, 1/2000 sec, 28mm; 11:03 a.m. PDT. Photo is presented as composed; no cropping.

I do worry about the kids having become accustomed to playing in the street. Maybe I can document their joy tomorrow, if construction continues for one more day—and it may not.