When You Can’t Serve People, Squirrels Must Do

The mom of Bruce, Guido, and Little—all of which appeared in my “Cats of University Heights” series—put out a clever, cutesy squirrel feeder. There is a sad sweetness to the gesture. She can’t serve people—no thanks to California Governor Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom’s order prohibiting all restaurant dining—and last I heard her employer might join the increasing list of local eateries and pubs put out of business.

In this County, SanDiegoVille keeps a running list of the permanently shuttered since the pandemic’s start. I count 115 eating or drinking establishments, but more when accounting for businesses with multiple locations.. Uncontrollable spread of COVID-19, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2), demonstrates that forced closures are ineffective subduing the pandemic.

Proof point: Last week, peer-reviewed study “Assessing Mandatory Stay‐at‐Home and Business Closure Effects on the Spread of COVID‐19” had authors Eran Bendavid, Christopher Oh, Jay Bhattacharya, and John P.A. Ioannidis concluding: “We do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs” (non‐pharmaceutical interventions, which “are mandatory stay‐at‐home and business closures”). “Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less restrictive interventions”. The researchers looked at 10 countries—England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States—essentially finding that voluntary measures work well enough. So I ask: Why are we locked down and why are people like Bruce’s mom, who want to work, forced into unemployment?

But that all digresses from this post’s intended topic. I was out walking with Leica Q2 Monochrom yesterday afternoon and stopped to shoot her colorful squirrel feeder. I like the ambience of the Featured Image. Do you? Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 200, 1/2500 sec, 28mm; 3:25 p.m. PST. I cropped but did not otherwise alter the photo.

But is color better? You tell me. I used iPhone XS to make the companion for comparison. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/1748 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 3:24 p.m.