What a distinction a work makes, where now each morning us seemingly wake up into another brand-new normal in the fight against the coronavirus. It’s this visibility of being stuck at house for the services of society’s health and also well-being — all dressed up and nowhere come go currently taking on one entirely various meaning.

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Hell, it was only earlier this month when most of us an initial caught wind the what the coronavirus was, this highly-infectious sickness roaming v China and also Southeast Asia. In ~ the time, the concern was — literally and figuratively — an s away. I think of the old Mad magazine tagline “What, me worry?” and cringe in ~ the lack of initial solution compared to wherein we right now (and are projected to) was standing in all of “this.”

But, when this virus conveniently made its means to American soil, so have actually the rules set forth through local, state and also federal officials in trying to cope v a global pandemic. In ~ the last week, our entire region of Western north Carolina has actually pretty much shut down, this eerie post-apocalyptic scene now familiar almost everywhere the unified States and also the remainder of ours planet.


And right here I sit in ~ a kitchen table in a small bungalow a couple of blocks from downtown St. Augustine, Florida. Normally, the roads are buzzing through tourists and locals alike, all soaking in the signature sunshine with a slim breeze coming turn off the nearby Atlantic Ocean. As I type this, the streets are silent, businesses closeup of the door until further notice, however the sunshine and slight breeze remain, thankfully.

Last Thursday, ns took off for The Sunshine State to save an eye on my parents before they venture earlier home to Upstate new York. Spending every march in St. Augustine, they’re eager to acquire on the road and return come the old farmhouse, which, at critical check, is currently covered with a fresh ceiling of snow.

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It to be I-40 to I-26 to I-95 to obtain here. Vice versa, these paths are known to be greatly traveled, I discovered myself rocketing under the highway v ease. The normal traffic v Asheville, Columbia, southern Carolina, and also Savannah, Georgia, had actually disappeared. The masses were (finally) adhering come state and national guidelines as checked out on blinking signs above the interstate: “Stay Home.”

Initially, i was cynical to head down to St. Augustine, to take it the possibility of travel and also put myself in close quarters through my folks, who, though healthy, space both in your 70s. But, amid their involves of gift alone in Florida through the rest of ours family back in the north Country, I made decision to roll down and take treatment of everything they needed.

Today (Tuesday morning) is my 5th day in St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United claims (founded 1565). My parents and I have been laying low. Quiet mornings sitting on the prior porch over coffee. City hall the news and keeping track of the latest developments. A rapid afternoon excursion come the beach for some fresh air and also sunshine. Homemade meals or takeout because that dinner, every while watching classic films ~ above TCM v my mom or old boxing matches through my dad.

Things space calm, with a feeling of calculate rhythm that keeps us at bay v our wandering thoughts. Because that someone like myself, that odd to not be so busy, to no be constantly traveling or writing, two things that have overcame my existence for as far ago as I have the right to remember. The weird come sit still because that once, whereby you begin to realize how much time there actually is in a day.

Over the weekend, i went because that a jog through the downtown corridor of St. Augustine. Happen by the old Spanish ruins, I quit at what was once the phibìc entrance gate constructed in 1739. By the time that gate was built, the Spanish had already been over there for almost 175 years.

I assumed of all the points that gate had actually witnessed: negative weather, brutal conflicts, rampant sickness, but likewise joyous celebrations, promise sunrises and also sacred sunsets. Ns jogged away with one concept rolling with my mental — nothing is the same, everything is the same. I remain optimistic, always have and constantly will. Sure, it might prove complicated in the long-haul, however we will overcome and succeed together.

For instance, as soon as “this” is all over and done, we may start thinking around —and maybe taking much more proactive steps —towards: locally grown produce, being more self-reliant, seeing the true worth of artists and live music, conservation of natural resources, embracing the beauty beauty of our herbal surroundings, evaluation of your neighbors, establish the an excellent aspects of your community, and also realizing the things needing to adjust in her community.

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But, most importantly, this totality thing has truly carried to the head the prominence of time and “moments,” and of spending time through loved ones. Every little thing has slowed under in our fast-paced world, if yet for this crossroads of contemporary times, which means we can strip away every the noise and also distraction — lastly seeing what is essential and also nonessential in our daily lives relocating forward.