Here in the U.S., patience seems to be in pretty short supply these days. We’ve got a president who wants COVID-19 to disappear quickly so he announces that he wants less testing in order to get the country to think things are getting better more quickly than they are. We’ve got governors opening their states up too soon. Finally, unaccountably, some of us have stopped wearing masks because we’re convinced we’ve worn them long enough and any longer impinges on our political freedom.
After the last few days of widespread, sometimes violent, protests about the George Floyd killing and the economic devastation brought on by Covid-19, I tried to find a couple of recent photographs that might sum up my current feelings. Here they are.
I have no idea who he is. I think it might have been taken somewhere around the main branch of the Boston Public Library because of the marble and iron background. It doesn’t matter. His facial expression accuratelycaptures the general mood around here.
Early today this old man was waiting for the light at the intersection of Beacon and Joy streets in Boston. (He has a cane in his right hand which you can’t see.) When the light changed in his favor he seemed not to notice it for quite a while, barely making it across before the light changed back again.
I tell you this because I think old people, a group I’m definitely a part of, are having a hard time with this lockdown. Death draws nears yet we have little choice but to stay still and wait for it.
This photograph is of a runner who has briefly paused her workout to stretch. She’s looking back the way she came as if someone or something is following her. I find the image to be an easy illustration of what we all currently feel about the virus. Things will of course eventually get better but, for now, the fear persists.
The older I get (and that’s pretty damn old) the more I appreciate the marks that aging leaves. If this tree was a perfectly formed spruce I doubt it would attract half the interest that this old warrior does.