Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Avoid gatherings of ten or more!

(As an update: my library system has closed now, but had not yet at the time this was written. It's a bit dangerous writing anything about coronavirus even on a short delay. Things have had a tendency to develop... quickly. On Tuesday I went to work in an empty library.)


The size of the gatherings everyone was supposed to avoid dropped precipitously over the last week. I vaguely remember a 1,000 figure, though that seems like a bit of a warm up from my current perspective looking back to those carefree six days ago. There was an urge against gatherings of 250 around the time when the sports and concerts were all getting cancelled. Then the Governors sporadically started calling for an end to gatherings of 100 or more, albeit on a voluntary basis. Barely any time had passed from that level to when that broken... President... troubled... guy said we're now advising no gatherings of ten or more. 

And now, as I write, we seem to be, piece by piece, getting into something more like "Just stay away from everybody else for god's sake!"

Of course in some bizarre glitch this doesn't apply yet to the majority of libraries around here, and so I am calling in sick at my library still. 

Not only is it the ethical, right thing to do, but I also enjoy not working.

I did go out though for a walk. I kept a lot of distance from people. I even climbed down a bluff and followed a creek to the river. Soon I was a thousand very safe feet away from any humans. I stood on the muddy, early Spring shore of the Mississippi doing my part.

I thought of my dead friend Matthew who loved the Mississippi and always wrote the nicest things about my river posts.

I breathed in and wondered what would happen in the world.

And then I saw a great gathering.

I tried to count the members of this gathering because I couldn't tell just by looking at them. It was hard because they were moving. I got to 184 of them, all together in close proximity. They were heading west. When they got far enough away that I couldn't count them individually anymore they became a shimmering line.

And then two other geese swam up the river and stopped in front of me.

I decided the three of us were probably safe enough as long as we just waved.


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