As the World Shuts Down

Commercial St. in Portland, Maine Midday on Friday March 18 during COVID-19

Earlier this week I took the ferry out to Peaks Island to get the last of my stuff from my rental. While waiting for the ferry I walked over to Commercial Street and took the photo, above. This is the main artery running along the waterfront. As you can see, there are few cars. Schools, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the courts, along with many other establishments were closed. At 6 PM all bars and restaurants were limited to take-out only.

It’s ironical that just now as I’m getting resettled and ready to resume my photography (that has been mostly dormant for the past six months) that I (along with the rest of the world) must shelter in place both for my benefit and that of my community.

Unlike past pandemics, COVID-19 has spread to all continents, except Antarctica, in a “flash of an instant” while we follow its developments and consequences in real time. Much as in the aftermath of the two World Wars, humanity will likely be changed for decades. Governments will likely allocate far more monies for disease surveillance and first responder infrastructures, if for no other reasons than the financial costs of shutting down the economy.

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Stephen Fielding Images

I'm a retired medical sociologist from the University of Rochester. Climate change is one of the two great challenges facing humanity (the other is nuclear weapons). In writing about the impact of climate change I read reputable books and articles on the topic. So when I make statements about climate change you will see a link taking you to the scientific source(s) of the information I provide. As for my independently published photobooks, each has gone through several layers of editing and peer review for both readability and accuracy. This is not to say that everything I say is accurate. Even the New York Times makes mistakes. So, if you find something that is factually incorrect, let me know. I hope you find reading my blog a positive experience. If you do, please encourage your family and friends to have a look. You can find photos from my other photo work by clicking on the My SmugMug Gallery tab, above. Best wishes, -Steve

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