During last year’s SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, electric scooters nearly disappeared from San Diego streets. But as the pandemic becomes endemic, and activity approaches some semblance of normalcy, the two-wheel rentals return.
If SARS-CoV-2 could be a metaphor, first electric bikes, then scooters, suddenly were everywhere three years ago. County-wide, communities had no natural immunity (e.g. ordinances) to prevent the e-rides from clogging sidewalks or from masses of people zipping about—jeopardizing themselves and other citizens. City councils imposed restrictions to, ah, flatten the curve—to prevent quite literally the flattening of some riders. But the scooters spread unchecked until COVID-19 lockdowns crushed the scourge.
In the spirit of Halloween and quoting from movie Poltergeist II: “They’re b-a-a-ack”—and no mRNA vaccine can protect against them. Electric scooters are as endemic as Coronavirus; more so. No one deliberately seeks sickness, but people willingly, eagerly, launch Android and iOS apps to rent a ride. I see the things in alleys and on sidewalks and streets all around my neighborhood—and like a mutating virus, the new variants (e.g. models) are more sophisticated and more contagious (meaning easier and more compelling to use).
These three Limes—at Cleveland and Van Buren—are a typical gathering of the invaders, which usually appear in pairs or trios. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image on Oct. 3, 2021. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 100, 1/1600 sec, 28mm; 11:28 a.m. PDT. Gallant, who appears in my “Cats of University Heights” series, lives nearby.