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.

U.S. Screening for Coronavirus Among Passengers Returning From Europe Could Backfire

Update: The Washington Post reported that this in fact has happen.

COVID-19 Virus

CNBC reported another example of the ill-preparedness of the administration to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Packing people in against public health advice will spread the virus among the passengers who will in turn scatter and further spread the virus back home. Better to just let the passengers through customs as usual, and reduce the spread of disease.


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