֎ The ‘shelter in place’ has not affected mariner much. He mostly stays at home anyway. However, the garden season is fast approaching and mariner has begun to start many, well, too many projects for garden improvement; he has added organizing the basement and is adding more shelves in his workshop.
Focusing on the compound increases mariner’s awareness of small things. For example, he and his wife maintain a bird feeder outside the kitchen window. A large variety of birds, rodents, squirrels and rabbits are regular visitors. This draws predators as well. Mariner and his wife have seen a red tailed hawk swoop in to capture a small rodent, a large cat visits regularly and a fox was seen carrying a squirrel carcass.
Mariner’s town has had resident foxes the past few years which has kept the rabbit population low. Five years ago there were rabbits under every bush and rhubarb plant. One year he planted 40 perennials in a border; as they started to grow, they all disappeared in one night. In self-defense mariner now has a 117 gauge bb rifle at hand. Recently, the rabbits don’t visit very often thanks to the predators.
The other irritating creature is Japanese beetles. Mariner has advice for readers: don’t ever use beetle traps because every Japanese beetle in town will swarm to the reader’s garden. Mariner tried it once; he had to replace the little bag that comes with the trap with a 40-gallon trash bag. That bag weighed 23 pounds and mariner still had thousands of beetles in his apple trees, rosebushes, and shrubs.
֎ So much for mariner’s shut-in world. As the ‘shelter in place’ restriction and the accompanying crowd limitations spreads to significant portions of the United States, mariner is fascinated by the way social interaction changed. It’s as if the virus has forced society to do a training drill for how society will change as new concepts of economy emerge, how working from home will be a major aspect of jobs under artificial intelligence, as the retail world finally succumbs to online purchase and delivery and how active group experiences among friends, neighbors and extended families is adapting to Internet communication.
A new Skype-type product, ZOOM, is a fast rising software product. A full harmonic orchestra was able to play classical music together with ZOOM. Check it out with the reader’s search engine.
It is, however, a harrowing time. Pandemics have and will change the path of the future. Given the nation’s political conflicts, it is a good feeling to have everyone united for a common cause.