The Enemy Without

Frontline Warrior

“I don’t have it”. “I’m clean”. “I know I’m OK because I don’t have any symptoms”. I have heard these statements and many others when people are justifying not wearing a mask or not maintaining social distancing or just participating in an activity that they can’t seem to live without. Studies are showing that a large percentage of people infected with Covid-19 are asymptomatic. This means they are carriers of the virus and as such, close contact with loved ones or people in general may mean you are a 21st century Typhoid Mary, a real and present danger to elderly, immuno-compromised or other members of our population that may be susceptible to attack from Covid-19. This virus is extremely virulent, easily communicable and as family members of over 50,000 fellow Americans can attest, it is deadly. The enemy is without. It floats, jumps, hitches a ride steathily seeking a host where it can grow, multiply and morph as it spreads its wickedness. Its goal is survival. Small in size but a giant with real clout, Covid-19 has turned our world upside down and our “norm” will most probably be changing, just as it changed after 9/11.

Today is my birthday and I am by myself celebrating 74 trips around the sun. I am immuno-compromised and at age 74, I certainly fall in the elderly category. This morning was a beautiful sun-shiny day, blue skies, soft breeze and a perfect temperature of 66 degrees. I decided to don my mask, camera and binoculars and go for a walk on Lady Bird Lake. People are out and about and I was astounded by how many people are NOT wearing a mask on the trail. They are biking, running and walking, huffing and puffing as they speed past me on the trail apparently with no fear of the silently lurking virus that has the potential to snuff out their lives. Are they stupid? Or do they just not care that they may be spreading death to others? I’ve worked as a nurse for 40+ years, caring for many patients in isolation and never have I been afraid of going into the hospital and doing my job. But this is different. This virus is a killer in ways that scientists and physicians are still trying to map. If healthcare workers are fearful, then everyone should be very afraid.

So I enjoyed my short escape from my condo walls and captured some photos of a few feathered friends along the way. I sat on a secluded bench and just soaked in the dappled sunshine under a canopy of new green leaves on towering bald cypress and oak trees. Alone but not really alone sharing nature with strangers during this most strange time in the history of our planet. Be safe, wash your hands, wear a mask if not for you then for your grandmother or other loved ones. This too shall pass but unfortunately I believe we will be dealing with this monster for quite a while yet.

Blue Jay (Internet image)
Green Heron
Male Cardinal
Red-bellied Woodpecker nest site last year. Will they return this year or have I already missed their visit?
Green Heron

Happy Social Distancing!

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