Tag: COVID-19

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Flickr a Week 22a: ‘I Can’t Breathe’

The entry previously planned for today is now queued for mid-July, which reveals just how far in advance posts are prepared. I made the change around 9 p.m. PDT last evening, to make place for a provocative and timely street portrait by Miki Jourdan. Reason: Protests, riots, looting, and property destruction are underway in major metropolitans across the United States; Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, MinneapolisNew York, and Washington, DC are among them. City-wide curfew is underway in LA, as I write, while Minnesota’s governor has mobilized the National Guard to the Twin Cities.

The incendiary that set the country ablaze was the death of George Floyd, an African-American man arrested six days ago for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill and who died in police custody, while Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on the victim’s neck. The tinder is much more than racial tension; many millions of Americans already are frustrated by “stay-at-home” and “social distancing” orders; closing of most businesses and all schools; cancellation of many summer events; and sudden, explosive unemployment—sacrifices meant to slow spread of  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19. What had been economic and viral pandemics adds another: violence.

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So This is Why They Call It Snail Mail

I rarely have reason to go to the local US Post Office—even less so during a pandemic—but there was need today and the weather was fine for walking. The journey made me wonder about the organization’s creed: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. Yes, but what about swift retrieval of outgoing mail?

As you can see from the Featured Image and its companion, the boxes outside the building were overstuffed—like they hadn’t been emptied for days. This at 3:52 p.m. PDT, when I clickity-clicked Leica Q2, and nearly an hour after the most recent scheduled emptying. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm. The other is same except for 1/160 sec. I prefer the second shot, which deliberately crops out the bird poop. But its inclusion, in the first, adds ambience of neglect.

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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).

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Streamline Barber Shop

Strange the things you see every day and ignore until the unexpected occurrence draws your attention. Last week, for reasons I won’t bother guessing, YouTube’s algorithm recommended video “I Bought An Airstream! Tiny Home Project” by vlogger Monica Church. Bored, I watched—and, admittedly, intrigued.

Yesterday, while walking along the alley behind Coronavirus-closed LeStat’s, I walked by the Airstream perennially parked there and took fresh notice. With the “shelter-in-place” orders still shuttering most businesses, but restrictions marginally lifting in California, the area was deserted—and I had been looking for something, anything, reasonable to photograph. Out came the Leica Q2.

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Yes, But Did She Foresee the Pandemic?

Times are tough for small businesses that thrive on person-to-person contact, courtesy of stay-at-home orders closing commercial operations and schools. California Governor Gavin Newsom has outlined a four-stage reopening ramp-up to semi-normalcy. Nail salons are relegated to the third phase. Psychics, too, perhaps?

How unfortunate, because reliable fortune-telling should be in big-time demand during the pandemic. If I were this soothsayer, who should be able to see the way without my saying, Zoom would be the remote-conferencing choice rather than FaceTime. Gather together a family and offer a group discount, or employees from a (supposedly) temporarily closed business. They have questions, and you have answers!

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Flickr a Week 17b: ‘COVID-19’

With much of the United States largely still shut down to combat the viral pandemic, cities look more like post-apocalyptic movie sets and little resemble bustling bastions of human habitation. Self-titled “COVID-19“—also known as SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—captures the loneliness with foreboding colors, punchy contrast, and captivating composition. At any other time, the street shot would beg questions: “Why is he wearing a mask?” “Is that cosplay for the comic book convention?” Here and now, we know—and the dude’s protective gear impresses compared to the bandanas and home-made face coverings many of us wear.

Chris Yarzab captured the moment on March 26, 2020, using Nikon D80 and 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 lens. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 110mm. There are different street-shooting styles. While many photographers get close to their subjects, such as zone-focus adherents, others reach from afar to produce their art; like Chris. Besides, the long-shot also adheres to strict “social distancing” guidelines. The portrait was taken in Panorama City, which is a Los Angeles neighborhood.

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The Cats of University Heights: Bella, Too

Who would have guessed? Another Bella lives on Alabama—and about a block separates the kitties. The new gal is the fiftieth feline seen on the street, between boundaries Adams and Lincoln; her namesake was profiled in November 2017. Bella, Too lives in the same apartment complex as Penny and where once resided Pedro; he has gone to live with his owner’s parents, whose place provides more run-around space.

The pretty Tuxedo is 15 years old, curious, and energetic. Problem: She recently started having sporadic seizures, that increased from one every few weeks to about every day. Preliminary diagnosis: Brain tumor. I could see during my conversation with her dad how much the affliction bothers him. Which leads into a strange side benefit to the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—aka COVID-19—lockdown: Working from home means he can monitor her condition, and (my words, not his) maybe ensure she lives longer.

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I Wonder How Much is the Pet Rent for THAT

About a month ago, I spotted a porker outside of a cottage apartment that my wife and I briefly considered renting sometime last year. While charming, with excellent windows, and lower monthly obligation than our current place, the one-bedroom flat came up short on living space; we wanted a little more square footage, not lots less. How then is it big enough for the current residents, which I guess includes the pig?

Then there is the question of pet rent, which already is an abomination applied to cats and dogs—and it’s too common a fee here in San Diego. Consider BLVD North Park, which actually is located in University Heights: Prospective tenants pay a $400 deposit for their animals and $50 additional monthly rent for each one. The fifty, even one-hundred, is typical for places demanding the fee—and so is $500 for deposit, which may not be refundable. Landlords could as reasonably pump a pint of blood from each resident, every 14 days, for the plasma. The vampires.

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When Pandemic Closes the Gym, Try This

The weather is unseasonably warm this week, here in San Diego. Temperature reached 26 degrees Celsius (about 80 F) this afternoon. I set out for a morning walk, when cooler, and surprisingly found what is the Featured Image. We all may be ordered to “shelter-in-place” and to “social distance“, but people still go outdoors—and exercise is all the more important to folks whose gym routines are upended by closure of most businesses.

The make-shift “fitness circuit” is wonderful remedy for anyone looking to maintain a physical exertion routine or to use the lockdown as opportunity to improve health through increased activity. Sunlight is an excellent source of Vitamin D, which offers several health benefits—improved immunity is one of them. That could assist the body’s fight against the ravages of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—aka COVID-19.

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Garbage Day

Trash and recycle collection is underway throughout San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood—and, whoa, is it needed. The cans overflow like I’ve not ever seen in the nearly 13 years living here. Shouldn’t surprise with most stores closed and Californians ordered to stay at home (e.g., “shelter-in-place“). Damn the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—aka COVID-19pandemic for the catastrophe unleashed on communities, counties, and countries across the globe. As asked three weeks ago: “I Wonder Which Will Flatten First: Us or the Curve?

The Featured Image (warning: 25MB file), taken on March 31, 2020 using Leica Q2, shows what happens with some of the refuse. The pizza box is one of three stuffed in a hedge. Seriously? Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 125, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 11:16 a.m. PDT.  The companion shot, from the same camera yesterday, gives glimpse of overflowing cans that typically wouldn’t be. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 4:25 p.m.

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Flickr a Week 17a: ‘The New Gardener’

During the past seven days, seemingly spontaneous protests have erupted demanding the end to government-ordered lockdowns that have shuttered most businesses and public spaces and all schools, ordered citizens to stay at home (e.g., “shelter-in-place“), and established strict guidelines for “social distancing“, hand washing, and mask wearing. Unemployment soars, economies are wrecked, and millions of people are sick or dying—all because of the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19pandemic and drastic measures to slow its spread.

Citizens’ frustrations are understandable, particularly given that because economic and social isolation is working, overwhelmed emergency rooms and ICUs or the number of casualties are below worst projections. Accompanying self-titled “The New Gardener“, Neil Moralee has a message for those looking for a return to the old normal.