Stay At Home: Day 8 – April 4, 2020

Duluth, MN April 4, 2020

“April is upon us, pitiless and young and harsh.”
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
 
“April is the cruellest month…
 I will show you fear in a handful of dust…
 After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience…”
~ T.S. Eliot, excerpts from The Wasteland

I went to Duluth yesterday to photograph “Stay at Home – Day 8” – last Saturday I photographed emptiness in black and white. This week the sun was out and so were people. I chose to mostly process the photos in color with a few exceptions. It seemed right for the day and my mood. There were more people around and outside than I had expected, and I am not sure what to think about that. People have to get out and feel the sunshine and the wind and move and yet there was an eeriness to humanity moving freely amongst a deadly virus. A few people had face masks on, and some had gloves at Target. Unfortunately, the mask I saw were worn improperly with noses exposed or very loosely fitting. The gloves worn into a store and then back into a vehicle do nothing to protect you. I witnessed two individuals in a car with masks and gloves on and thought of that image of a metaphor for this time of ignorance, lack of preparation and vision. We keep moving without knowing where we are going thinking we are safe. As Jürgen Moltmann writes, “It is in the foreign country that we first come to cherish home. It is only when we have been driven out of paradise that we know what paradise is. Every perception requires detachment and ‘alienation’. That is why all self-knowledge is always a little too late, or a little too soon. In the pressure of events we are blind to what these events are.”

Another aspect to this pandemic is the defining of “essential” workers. I believe some like medical personal, law enforcement, fire and EMS, scientists are essential but the claim that the many of the other industries are essential is more of a comment on the desire to keep capitalism alive and well. Most white-collar workers can work from the relative safety of their homes while that is not the case with the blue-collar work force or low-income workers. It is almost as if a calculation is being made to the percentage of people that can be sacrificed for others to have the life, they expect living in America? As the president said, “The cure can’t be worse than the disease.” As I have written already, I believe there will be a reckoning to come after this when people realize the cost of this pandemic is not in the percentages – either of the survivors or the dead. But, in the actual human lives lost – the family member, the friend, the colleague, the neighbor, the lover, the child. A human life gone because of ignorance and lack of vision. 

Here are some images from yesterday in Duluth, MN: 

The cost of this pandemic is not in the percentages – either of the survivors or the dead. But, in the actual human lives lost – the family member, the friend, the colleague, the neighbor, the lover, the child. A human life gone because of ignorance and lack of vision. 

“This is going to be imprinted on the personality of our nation for a very long time.”
~ Dr. Anthony Fauci

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