Pandemic Reflections #5

Are Public Restrooms Safe?

Answer: Apparently not. We took a drive recently over the North Cascades Highway. The “essential trips only” signs are down, but be warned – everybody knows this, so the hills are alive with crowds of people at every trailhead. About 125 miles from home, we took a break at Newhalem, a company town for Seattle City Light. One beloved feature of Newhalem is was decent public restrooms. But no longer. They are now closed due to Covid-19. 

I stood looking at the closed sign wondering what I was supposed to do. Believe it or not, the solution (definitely thought up by some MEN!) was a line-up of porta-potties a block away. To me, porta-potties are the grossest thing ever invented by MEN!. How could they possibly be safer than stalls with flush toilets and sinks with running water? Ugh. I decided I could wait until I found a decent bush.

My Four-o’clocks Cannot Tell Time

A year ago, I planted some Four O’clock seeds in my small garden allotment. They took their time, but eventually sprouted and bloomed. This year, they came back aggressively, and I was delighted. Alas, their flowers were slow in coming. Come they did, but truly they cannot tell time. Their name seems to come from their proclivity to open only around tea time, but that’s tea time on standard time or at some other latitude. I began checking on them around five, but even that is too early for my batch. Then yesterday, my husband called from the garden area around 7:30 to invite me down to view them. Lovely.

Celebrate at Di Fiora

I really wanted to go out for dinner for my birthday. Of course, we’re not supposed to dine in yet, but a wonderful cafe has sprung up in my neighborhood, a lovely new cafe with walls that go up in the summer. We walked there for a Happy Hour meal, sat a table, were served by staff with masks, all the while cooled by a breeze in our open air cafe – our first venture to a sit-down restaurant since the lockdown.Perfect! Help them out with your business; they actually opened during the CHAZ/CHOP chaos in Seattle. Di Fiora 1320 University St, Seattle.

The Mental Roller Coaster

Remember back in history the story of “the year without a summer,” a year when a massive volcano erupted in Indonesia and its ash cooled the earth for several growing seasons? I’m pretty sure that our pandemic is taking a toll on the earth, if not by cooling the weather, then certainly by stressing us out. I think of it as the year without a break. I’m stressed, and I’m relatively comfortable. Some of my neighbors lived through the Blitz in London, people elsewhere have lived through wars or famines or ebola, or tidal waves, etc. I count my blessings.

Blessings acknowledged, I find the 2020 protests one of the biggest mental challenges for me. Justice is a great cause; the need for change is real; but I don’t like anything about the protests that are dragging on and on. I don’t like the tactics of the protesters, I don’t like their claims of innocence; I don’t like the “othering” of police, I’m not wanting a socialist revolution as our most militant city council members proclaims. I want a resolution; agreement on a plan; working together; kum ba yah. Then I can get back to getting through the pandemic – and shouting at the plans of my medical center to go into business with a large Catholic entity. Ugh.

2 thoughts on “Pandemic Reflections #5

  1. Hurrah for a decent bush (or as I like to say a “friendly tree)!” 😉

    Sent from my iPhone Connie Hellyer 🦉@HellyerConnie


  2. If being peaceful were all it took – and I sure wish it was and rest assured so does everyone else I know – then there wouldn’t be any need for protests. Kolin Kapernik first kneeled in 2016, four years ago, and in a month of protests (most peaceful and unreported) and riots there’s been more changes made than in the rest of the last four years. BLM was founded officially in 2013, and in that timeframe nothing changed. Now at least some places are moving forward, just a bit. Not enough, but it’s a start.

    Stonewall was a riot, riots, property damage and even bombing fueled the suffrage movement, the Selma marches that earned black people the right to vote turned into riots which led the federal government to give protection to the marchers. In the 1910-1920 coal miners rioted across the untied states for good pay and safe working conditions, many used guns and guerrilla warfare as their tactics. The boston tea party was a riot that in todays value would be worth millions and as a percentage of the economy it would take bombing server storage for entire major banks to do a similar percentage of damage today. Slavery was an entire war. I’m not sure why anyone would think that there’s any other way to earn their rights other than by direct action, honestly.

    If peace and words worked, I don’t think people would be protesting right now. Do you?
    If progress was really being made, would we still be hearing the same words that MLK spoke out against almost 60 years ago?
    If you’ve ever thought about that time, and thought about how you would be different than those racist sorts of people during it because you’re not racist and you care about the black community, I hope you give some thought to it too.

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