Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Finding Beauty in a Coronavirus World

Flowering Crabapple Against the Blue Sky
Elkridge, MD
March 30, 2020
Despite the beautiful day, with a crystal blue sky, the coronavirus threat lingered everywhere yesterday. During the day, the Maryland Governor issued new orders regarding businesses and a stay at home order which is a misdemeanor if violated. The order went into effect at 8PM last evening. 

Residents of D.C., Maryland and Virginia are ordered to stay at home - The Washington Post

Crabapple Tree in Full Bloom
Elkridge, MD
March 30, 2020
Chris and I are very respectful of the coronavirus and we made two attempts to go to Lowes for home project items and one attempt to go to the grocery store. We decided that the stores were too crowded to venture into and went home. We did actually enter Lowes on the second attempt only to see an incredibly long checkout line where people were not practicing social distancing and turned around and departed. Hopefully we can get what we needed on line. 

I was amazed, as I made an emergency trip to the grocery store as it opened this morning for the things we could not get last evening, at the traffic on I-95. I had expected the road to be mostly empty, but it was not. Apparently, the governor's stay at home order is not having the desired effect. 

In other news, the pool sat yesterday waiting for the next part of the process. But, Chris and I went for a walk with Finnegan, something which is still allowed under the stay at home order, and found that the flowering crabapple trees are in beautiful full bloom. Against the sky, they were stunning! It brought joy to our hearts during a time of such serious anxiousness. 

My advice--don't spend all day watching the news. It is too depressing. Watch enough of the news to know what is happening and then find else something to do!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, March 30, 2020

Monday Musings - March 30, 2020

1. It is the last Monday of March and the month had effectively slipped away. Spring arrived, but the country has effectively been shut down by the coronavirus. 

Pool Refurbishment
Elkridge, MD
March 29, 2020
2. A team of three dedicated workers attacked my 27 year old pool yesterday with the intent of getting it ready for new plaster. While I was happy with how diligent they were in finding the bad places, I was appalled at the totality of the work. It will be ready for summer, of that I am sure.

3. Well, the baseball season has not yet gotten underway, but the good news is that the Orioles remain tied for first place in the American League East. 

4. It was a very busy Sunday around the house, the pool workers arrived shortly after 8 AM and I had to have the water on in the pool house and hoses ready for them--meaning, I had to hook them up after the winter. 

Tractor with Carburetor
Elkridge, MD
March 29, 2020
5. As part of the busy Sunday, my job was to clean the carburetor on my tractor and preform the springtime maintenance. The parts I needed arrived during the week and I had prepositioned the tractor in the garage. Let the fun times begin. I made one small mistake with the carburetor, I missed getting one of the jets back in properly and had to correct that problem, but everything came out OK in the end. 

6. The news about the coronavirus spread is not encouraging. We each need to continue to do our part to be safe, but it is becoming apparent that the actions we take today cannot erase the indiscretions of last week. With testing running a week behind for results, the virus remains ahead of the healthcare system.

7. The year 2020 is definitely off to a rough start. With a quarter of the year gone by, the stock market has crashed, there is a pandemic that is shutting down business, and people are afraid and sheltering in their homes afraid of their neighbors. Perhaps it can only get better from here.

8. Today in History. On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.
The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahanty was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.


How Much Should the Public Know? - The New York Times

Rich Europeans Flee Virus for Second Homes, Spreading Fear and Fury - The New York Times

President Trump extends social distancing through April 30th - OANN

Saudi officials stop 2 ballistic missile attacks - OANN

Russia weighs nationwide coronavirus lockdown after Moscow acts - Reuters

U.S. crude dips below $20 as lockdowns hit demand - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Waiting out the Coronavirus

The cat and the dog are providing much needed entertainment during the coronavirus confinement. 

Finnegan Watching the Squirrel
Elkridge, MD
March 28, 2020
Finnegan believes that he is the great protector of the porch. He sits at the door and watches the squirrels cruise the porch looking for peanuts and other morsels that Chris feeds to the bird. Every so often, we open the door and he launches himself onto the porch to chase the squirrels--it is humorous to watch the six pound Yorkie purposefully walk along the deck to ensure no squirrels are hiding or attempting to access the area. The birds do not seem to mind him as they are up on the railing enjoying the peanuts free of squirrel interference. 

Riordin and the Coffee Pot
Elkridge, MD
March 28, 2020
Riordin has become another source of entertainment. He is inquisitive and clearly fits the old saying that "curiosity killed the cat." He wants to know and be involved in everything. We acquired a new coffee pot the other day to expand our coffee options--K-cups for our Keurig have been in short supply. Riordin was all about the new pot and the box to the point where I had to physically remove him form the area so that we could prepare cleanse the pot for its first brewing. 

The movies on TV--and all of the available channels, have become so much the same. Chris and I have begun watching the old Blue-ray movies that we have in our collection. Last evening's movie was Angels and DemonsThankfully, we also have some "live" entertainment in the cat and the dog to change things up a bit. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Today is Gonna Be a Great Day

Dawn over the Truck
Elkridge, MD
March 27, 2020
I could tell, yesterday was going to be a great day! 

The Pool, Mostly Drained
Elkridge, MD
March 27, 2020
It was Friday, after all! The day dawned beautiful and clear.

Yes, I had to go to work, but the day was mild with temperatures in the 60's and mostly blue skies and sunshine. It was also the day when Chris and I tool the cover off the pool in preparation for having it resurfaced. 

The pool did not winter well. It was warm this winter with not a great deal of precipitation and although the water was clear, the pool was not in good condition. We drained it to begin the resurfacing process. I was, frankly, embarrassed by its condition. But, I am hopeful that the new plaster that will be installed next week will inhibit the algae growth by being smoother. 

Fire Pit in Action
Elkridge, MD
March 27, 2020
But, in a great ending to the day, Chris and I enjoyed some wine around the fire pit and since we could not share Happy Hour with our friends we had Chipotle delivered and relished in the excessive calories making up for the lack of the usual Friday evening hors de oeuvres. Of course, there was only one bottle of wine, rather than the usual selection of multiple bottles from which to enjoy. 

Friday evenings have changed living under the coronavirus restrictions. But, we must strive to maintain our connectivity and some sense of normalcy. 

So, for some weird reason the theme song for Phineas and Ferb, titled Today is Gonna Be a Great Day came to mind as providing a template for dealing with coronavirus isolation. The first verse is as follows:

There's 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it 
Like maybe...
Building a rocket
Or fighting a mummy
Or climbing up the Eiffel Tower
Discovering something that doesn't exist (Hey! )
Or giving a monkey a shower

Surfing tidal waves
Creating nanobots
Or locating Frankenstein's brain (It's over here! )
Finding a dodo bird
Painting a continent
Or driving your sister insane (Phineas! )
As you can see
There's a whole lot of stuff to do
Before school starts this fall (Come on Perry)

Have imagination to find new things to do each day. We are only isolated when be believe that we are!

Today is Gonna Be a Great Day!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, March 27, 2020

Opening Day 2020, Not!

Yesterday was the originally planned opening day for Major League Baseball's (MLB) Baltimore Orioles and most of the league. 

Why do I get so excited about Spring and baseball?

Rogers Hornsby, a baseball star from a century ago said it best when it comes to the return of baseball.

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball,” Hornsby once said. “I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”  
-- From the New York Times article It’s Opening Day. Baseball Is Closed.

People who know me know that I, similar to Rogers Hornsby, look out the window during the winter and wait for spring. Why? Because spring is when baseball begins again, and in truth it begins before spring in Florida and Arizona with Spring Training games. I am more fortunate than many MLB fans because I was lucky enough to attend four Spring Training games in Florida during February before the season stopped and then delayed. 

Orioles Game on TV to Celebrate Opening Day
Game from June 7, 2017
March 26, 2020
Of course, the real MLB opening day will now likely be in June, but I decided to enjoy yesterday as if it were Opening Day. I wore my Orioles jersey to work along with the cap I bought at Spring Training and my Orioles jacket. I was not the only person who similarly attempted to infuse some springtime cheer into those around me. During the day I imagined when I would be going to Camden Yards and reveling with the crowd--yes, a real baseball crowd not adhering to social distancing, and then enjoying my first beer of the baseball season. Chris also got into the spirit of the day. When I got home she had a ballpark dinner planned and we enjoyed sitting on the back deck in the full sun talking about Opening Days past and reveling in the warmth dressed in our best ballpark clothes. Oh yes, and there were adult beverages served as well. 

Trey Mancini
Once we came inside, we joined the broadcast of an Orioles game classic on MASN, from June 7, 2017. The game went 11 innings and the Orioles scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game--the two that tied the game were powered by a homer from Trey Mancini. The Orioles went on to win the game in the bottom of the 11th on a walk-off homer from Trey Mancini. It was good to see all of my favorite old Orioles who are no longer with the team while watching my favorite new Orioles player. Sadly, only four players from that team remain: Trey Mancini, Richard Bleier, Mychal Givens and Chris Davis. All four of these players appeared in this game. 

But hey, it was Opening Day, in my mind, and the Orioles won! What could be better?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, March 26, 2020

New Normal

The hardest part about sheltering, social distancing and the reduction in services and stores is finding a new normal. 

Hey, let's head out to a movie tonight? Nope!

Where are we meeting for Happy Hour? We aren't meeting.

Let's go to Orioles Opening Day! It was supposed to be today, but, well, baseball has been indefinitely delayed. 

Let's go over to the mall and checkout the sales. Not happening. (at least in the Baltimore-DC region)

The weather on Monday looks great, let's play golf! Also, not happening.

And since the gyms are closed, I'm not playing racquetball either.

So, let's walk the dog! At least we can walk the dog. Well, maybe the dog has other ideas. Finnegan has been a trooper and has been doing in excess of three miles per day on multiple walks. Makayla, on the other hand, is not so interested in heading out and chooses whether to walk or not based upon the weather. 

We each need to find the new normal and settle into the routine. Wishing we were doing something else of able to do something that we cannot do is not going to be healthy.

Chris and I found a new technology app last evening. Google Duo. It is an older app, but it allows video calling across platforms--like iPhone to Android. We called my parents and were able to see them and converse with them. It brightened both of our evenings. We may try having Happy Hour on Friday via Duo--together, but yet still apart. And it seemed to work every as bit as well as FaceTime, only better.

All part of finding the new normal!

Settle in, it is going to be a few more weeks before a sense of the old normalcy returns.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Mixed Signals?

Are we fighting to save lives or save the economy? Or, will saving lives ultimately save the economy?

The Governor of New York prophetically said it yesterday--"we are your future!" He was referring to the increase in coronavirus cases in New York, specifically the NYC region during the past days.

The New York Times reports:

Thousands of new coronavirus cases are being identified across the United States each day, including in large clusters in the New York City area, along the Gulf Coast and in the Pacific Northwest. As of Wednesday morning, at least 53,852 people across every state, plus Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories, have tested positive for the virus, according to a New York Times database, and at least 728 patients with the virus have died.

The graph below, from the same New York Times article, shows the numbers of new cases being reported in the U.S. each day. Here is the real rub, because of inadequate testing, we really do not yet have a handle on the actual numbers of cases out there. The virus is weeks ahead of our response.

Now is NOT the time to think about changing directions, despite the Lieutenant Governor of Texas being willing to die of the coronavirus for his grandchildren economic well-being and suggesting that other grandparents should likewise be willing to sacrifice themselves. My opinion: that is not the reasoned opinion of responsible leadership!

The shortsighted approach says that "we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself." The problem is that we really do not have a good handle on the magnitude of the problem! Look at Italy! The virus is a generation killer! The country has stopped. The medical system is overloaded and failing.  People are afraid.

There is a sobering article in Vanity Fair about the change of directions. The article, 

Surprise: Trump Started Itching to End Social Distancing After His Six Most Profitable Clubs Closed

opens with the following paragraph:

Over the past 24 hours, Donald Trump’s coronavirus journey has gone from telling people the disease is bad and they should stay home to pushing to “open up” the country by Easter, even if it means hundreds of thousands, if not millions, dying as a result. Obviously, some of his about-face can be attributed to caring more about the economy than literal lives, a genetic condition doctors describe as “being a giant asshole.” But on Tuesday evening, a shocking new report from the Washington Post shed some additional light on the president’s thinking: It’s possible Trump is suddenly gung ho about getting people back to work far earlier than public health experts recommend because—and you may want to sit down for this—his own financial situation will suffer otherwise.

If you want to try to digest some scientific analysis of the growth of the virus in the U.S. compared to other countries, I recommend a Forbes article titled Population Adjusted Coronavirus Cases: Top 10 Countries Compared. It is difficult reading, but provides a scientifically based assessment of where we are right now in the spread of the virus. The scary assessment is that we have not yet affected the spread of the virus in the U.S. and it is growing.

So is now the time to change "horses mid-stream?" I think not. The economy is down, but we should not be willing to sacrifice potentially thousands of Americans. I could not find a good projection of the potential death toll, but using Italy's numbers and comparing with the U.S. would translate to 37,000 US deaths--and the number continuing to rise. Remember, Italy is a few weeks ahead of us. AND, according to my analysis of the Forbes article, we are not being as effective at controlling the virus as Italy as this point. 

Leadership and encouragement is what we need. We need hope. 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
So let me give you some hope and encouragement. President Roosevelt closed his December 8, 1941 address to the nation after the Japanese attack on Hawaii with the following words:

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God.

This is our time. Let us be united in purpose and not be confused by the mixed signals that our elected leaders are sending.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

15 Days to Slow the Spread

Yesterday I learned that today is Day 9 of the 15 Day Coronavirus Plan.  The Plan began on March 16th and will end of March 31st. 

I was amazed that we are 9 days into a 15 day plan and I didn't realize it. I guess they are making up things as they go along. I tried to watch the near daily coronavirus news conference last evening which went well over an hour. I am not sure what the point was because it seemed to ramble. I was struck by the dichotomy of the president saying we will reopen the country in weeks not months when earlier in the day others were saying to expect the coronavirus measures to last months and not weeks. 

Which is it? 

On the personal front, the battle continues. What is the battle against? Well, it is not so much against the virus as it is against the feeling of confinement and isolation. 

We have to do a better job fighting isolation. 

Yesterday the Governor of Maryland closed all non-essential businesses. Interestingly, liquor stores are considered essential, while golf courses are non-essential. I can practice good social distancing on a golf course--I am usually the one not on the fairway.

I note that the original Orioles Opening Day is two days away on March 26th. I am at least happy that I was able to get to Spring Training and see some Major League Baseball already this year. 

I can only wonder what today will bring.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, March 23, 2020

Monday Musings - March 23, 2020

1. It is the beginning of the second week of coronavirus lockdowns and closures. It is also the next-to-last Monday of March. 

2. We must continue to have faith in others and ourselves to do the right things to help stem the rise in COBID-19 cases. 

Lake Bogoria, Kenya, is a Flamingo paradise
 with the largest population
 of Flamingos on earth.
3. My sister sent me the picture at the right containing a myriad of flamingos, just to brighten my day. Yes, for some reason I love flamingos they are pink and they wear it well. 

4. Being home is a good time to get the spring cleaning projects accomplished. Especially while the weather is good. Chris and I cleaned the garage!  

5. I was happy to fly Radio Flyer, my drone, last week  when the weather was especially nice. I enjoy slipping the surly bonds of earth, even of only vicariously in my drone. 

6. I especially want to point readers to the first two items under headlines--they are especially significant articles. The second one was written by John Meacham. 

7. Be safe and well during this period of concern about the spread of COVID-19. Don't do dumb things!

8. Today in History. On March 23, 1839, the initials “O.K.” are first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for “oll korrect,” a popular slang misspelling of “all correct” at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans.
During the late 1830s, it was a favorite practice among younger, educated circles to misspell words intentionally, then abbreviate them and use them as slang when talking to one another. Just as teenagers today have their own slang based on distortions of common words, such as “kewl” for “cool” or “DZ” for “these,” the “in crowd” of the 1830s had a whole host of slang terms they abbreviated. Popular abbreviations included “KY” for “No use” (“know yuse”), “KG” for “No go” (“Know go”), and “OW” for all right (“oll wright”).


No Empathy, Only Anger - The Atlantic

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

One of the oldest truths in the world is that nothing worth having is cheap. And many times, the greater the good, the higher its cost. Keeping America free has cost us dearly over the centuries. Since 1776 we as a nation have lost thousands of lives and suffered thousands of injuries to guarantee our freedom. Preserving the peace also requires the daily toil of millions of men and women who, without fanfare and glory, serve to protect our freedom and security.
The men and women in our armed services are our final protection against those who wish us ill. The soldier, the sailor, the airman, and the marine in the United States and around the world are the ultimate guardians of our freedom to say what we think, go where we will, choose who we want for our leaders, and pray as we wish.
It is sad that these rights, which should belong to all people, are not fully enjoyed by most of the human family. It is sadder still that some in the world view such freedom as a threat to their right to rule over their fellow citizens, and so long as that's true, we can't afford to take our freedom for granted. It cannot survive without protection.
-- Radio Address to the Nation on Armed Forces Day, May 15, 1982

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Time Out! Spring Arrives--Don't Miss It!

Perspective of a Flowering Crab Apple Blossom
View 1
Elkridge, MD
March 21, 2020
I hesitate to say this, but I have been enjoying daily walks with Chris and the dogs watching the Spring arrive in the flowers and the trees. It truly is one of the most beautiful times of the year here in Maryland and I am glad that I can enjoy it this year along with suitable weather for being outside. I remember that last year it was cold and rainy most all of the time. 
Perspective of a Flowering Crab Apple Blossom
View 2
Elkridge, MD
March 21, 2020

On our walk yesterday, which came after filling the truck with junk and visiting the county landfill/recycling center followed by a short stop for my biweekly allergy shot, I was captured by the sight of the crab apple trees in full bloom against the sky. It made my spirit soar during a time when all of the news seems dire. Spring is here! I am usually one of the greatest celebrants of the season which officially ends the time of darkness--but this year it seems that the darkness, metaphorically, has found a way to continue. 

I was thrilled to see the blossoms dancing in the wind illuminated by the bright sunlight during my daily walk. Despite the dogs thinking I was crazy to stop, I decided to take a couple images of the blossoms just to remember the day and to escape the coronavirus news for a few moments. 

All-in-all it was an unusual Saturday. There were no sports to attend, coach, or watch on TV. Remember, this is the time normally devoted to March Madness and the only madness is that of those of us who would normally be glued to our TV's watching the tournament. And so, in the absence of a suitable diversion, I finished spring cleaning the garage and determined that I have enough hazardous stuff around the house to justify another run to the landfill next week when the hazardous recycling center is open. 

As we are all minimizing contact with others, don't forget to take a time out and notice the springtime. It will be a welcome diversion from the news of the day. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, March 21, 2020

What Will Become of 2020?

The cancellations are mounting in dramatic fashion and 2020 has become the year of COVID-19 and cancellations. 

Cooperstown Dream Park
The most recent cancellation, which affects me, is the 2020 Cooperstown Dreams Park Season. I have been working with a dedicated group of boys and parents since last August to prepare for a weeklong tournament in Cooperstown, NY, competing with teams from across America in the annual 12U Baseball Tournament. It is a real kick in the solar plexus that the tournament was canceled. I am not sure, at this point, if baseball will ever resume, but we had been practicing over the winter to keep the team in baseball shape. 

Bleeding Hearts
My Garden
Elkridge, MD
March 20, 2020
That cancellation, along with the cancellation of my two-week Italy trip radically changed my 2020 calendar and suddenly, I have vacation time available. Now if I could just get all of the money back that I have spent in airfare and accommodations. That, however, is a saga for a different day.

It seems that I have nowhere to go. Wait! I have a condo in Florida!!

This has become a really self-centered blog this morning, but I am pretty sure many others out there have similar stories of changed plans and cancellations.

What it means to me is that I need to grasp that the COVID-19 fight is not a short-termed event. I am concerned that we are in for a siege of "Middle Ages" proportions. 

What ultimately will become of 2020? 

Well, Spring is here! It arrived almost unnoticed under the COVID-19 cloud. The flowers and trees are blooming and the days are longer and warmer. I have been outside more and even enjoyed dinner on the screened porch last evening watching the sunshine fade as the day passed into twilight.

Here is my motto to survive: Find the good, or at least the promising, amid the disappointments.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, March 20, 2020

Encouragement from the Past

I watched movie set during WW2 the other day, no it was not Patton

Churchill studies reports of the action that day
with Vice Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay,
28 August 1940, © IWM (H 3508)
I was, however, reminded of the dire circumstances being faced by the British, especially after Dunkirk, and I recalled a very famous speech made by Winston Churchill to demonstrate the resolve of the British people in the face of Hitler's armies. So I went and found a transcript to read.

It was an inspiring address--but it was the last paragraph which spoke to me. As I hunker down now, alone but yet still inextricably entwined with my community I felt a sense of encouragement in reading the words and changing, in my mind, references to the Germans to COVID-19. And even the very last sentence apparently still rings true given what is happening with COVID-19 across Europe.

Winston Churchill's complete address delivered on June 4, 1940,  to the House of Commons, titled We Shall Fight on the Beaches is at the link.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old. 

I highlighted a couple of really important points that the Prime Minister made.

We must each do our part and we must also consider how the actions we take today could affect ourselves or others tomorrow or in two weeks.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Escaping Coronavirus

Me Sitting on the Car Flying
Elkridge, MD
March 18, 2020
Chris Retrieving Golf Balls that She Just Hit
Radio Flyer, Elkridge, MD
March 18, 2020
Another day played out in America. The COVID-19 pandemic continued and I grew more weary of hearing about it everywhere I went and on every news show. I had a medical appointment in the afternoon and it felt as if I was walking into a biohazard zone, but I was comforted in the care they took to keep everyone safe.

It's a pandemic, got it! 
It's bad, got it!

I needed a moment of escape. So what did I do? I took to the air with Radio Flyer, my trusty drone, to get some images of the Springtime and escape the pervasive reality for a few minutes. It was a 12 minute flight achieving a maximum altitude of 48 feet--not even higher than the tallest trees. It was the first flight since December 14, 2019. 

Bartlett Pear in the Neighbors Yard
Radio Flyer, Elkridge, MD
 March 18, 2020
A Tree in Full Bud Preparing to Leaf
Radio Flyer, Elkridge, MD
March 18, 2020
The flight was not about time nor distance, but rather documenting the arrival of Springtime. 

And it was a nice Spring day! Although the temperatures were a bit cool, the sun shone for much of the day and we began working around the house doing those springtime projects that just need to be done. 

It was Day 3 of America under COVID-19 siege. But my spirits flew with my drone, at least for 12 minutes, and then it was off to my medical appointment. 

Someday I hope we will all look back and remember these weeks as the time when we grew together as a nation against the unseen evil. But, for now we need to band together one day at a time and, when we can, find healthy ways to escape the dire news and restrictions on everyday life. 

We are all in this together.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The New Normal

For the moment, I remain a member of the employed and working portion of our society, despite the increasing numbers of my friends and acquaintances who have thrown off the daily grind for retired life at the beach, or elsewhere. I remain aware Monday's arrival and look forward to Friday afternoons. 

With the country hunkering down to combat the virus, I have noticed that the roads are less congested during the first two days of this week. Of course the schools and many businesses are closed which significantly reduces the amount of morning and afternoon traffic. The lack of sports activity as a diversion is a very real problem--we all still speak of sports, like it was something that ancient civilizations used to have. 

The stock futures are down again this morning after yesterday's rally. I guess it was to be expected. The down-up-down pattern will continue, I guess. 

The news just gets worse, it seems, with each passing day. 

Keep up hope! We are all in this together, even though we have to maintain social distancing.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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