Today is May 4. Can I resist a Star Wars joke? No, I cannot. May the fourth be with you. After all, in these decidedly unfunny times, a little humor helps leaven the grimness.
In Maine as well as in other states, governors are gradually reopening their economies—for businesses such as hair salons, barbershops, and pet grooming places. I get it. I really do. Unemployment in this state, in this country, has risen at an alarming rate. People are afraid that they won’t be able to pay their rent or buy food. Business owners are afraid that their doors will be closed for good.
These are real fears. But it would be a gross understatement to note that our government is ill equipped to help everyday people get through this crisis. For the past forty years, we have bought the line that government is not the solution; instead it is the problem. Now we are reaping the results of that philosophy.
In Maine, the virus has seemingly slowed down in terms of new cases and deaths. But the virus is still here, and infection has not reached the standard level of decline—fourteen days—that most experts recommend before opening the economy. As soon as people start gathering and going out in greater numbers, the virus will strike in force. I am worried that we are in for an even rougher time this spring and summer than what we have already had.
On Saturday, we spoke to our New York City daughter, and as we talked, there was a steady wail of sirens in the background. When we asked Dee about it, she said that there were more ambulances than ever rushing through the streets where she lives. I understand this is true everywhere in New York City. With so many people sick and dying, sirens are the primary sound of urban life in this time of the coronavirus. A chilling sound.
But despite the coronavirus, it is spring in Maine, and that means leaves must be removed from the various flower beds. It’s a relief to head outside and work in the yard, to take away the leaves and see what’s coming up.
I’ve made good progress. Since I took the picture below, another bed has been cleared. Weather permitting, I’ll have everything cleared by the end of the week. Then it will be time for moving plants around, a chore I really do enjoy.
Here are a couple of pictures before all the leaves are cleared. Looks like fall, doesn’t it?
Nothing in bloom yet, but the first flowers are in bud.