Stay At Home: Day 1 – March 28, 2020

West Theatre, West Duluth March 28, 2020

There is sweetness
In the suspension of busyness
Making space for nothingness
Sublime simplicity
In the hours
Of a day

I went to Duluth today March 27, 2020 to photograph the city on the first day of Governor Walz’s Emergency Executive Order 20-20 Directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home. I have been writing about and photographing the Covid-19 pandemic for two weeks now to bear witness to this experience.

In Duluth I found empty spaces and abandoned places where usually on a Saturday there would be people, very little traffic and only congregants of humanity at grocery and liquor stores. So, people are staying home. I am still wondering though about the “essential” workers and if some are essential to keep the wheels of commerce and capitalism from completely coming off. It seems there is a dichotomy between legions of healthcare workers doing all that is possible to save lives and some politicians doing all they can to save the economy. There appears to be a certain willingness by some to sacrifice life for dollars. There will be a reckoning after all of this and so many things will be different – so many unintended consequences yet to be known.

Since the metaphor of war has been invoked to describe what is being waged against this virus, I would like to think it analogous to WWII when the Germans invaded Poland and France. At that very point, early on in 1939-1940 with a lot of war left to go until D-Day. We are only at the beginning of a protracted crisis.

I will share my photos here on this first day of “Stay at Home” which is two weeks after some already began to stay at home to work and students stayed home from school. New York, the epicenter of the US outbreak is expecting to reach the apex of infection in about 21 days and Minnesota not for weeks yet. This is going to be our new reality for some time and we still do not know if there will be a second wave of Covid -19 similar to what occurred in the 1918 pandemic. There is much that remains to be seen. I will continue to reflect and write and photograph to have a record of these times.

In the end
Buildings become ruins
Bodies dirt
Memories history
Life an enchanted empty space

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