Lens-Artists #90 photo challenge invites us to explore the theme of distance, especially the ways in which we are practicing physical distance from our friends and neighbors: we are all in this together despite needing to avoid each other physically. Please share with us the creative ways you’ve found to address your need to connect while keeping your distance. Have you found interesting and productive ways to pass the time? Are you enjoying comics/funny stories or do you find the situation too serious for jokes? The Lens-Artists team hopes our weekly challenge brings at least a small opportunity to look away from the news for a bit to connect with the rest of us. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing your Distance images – whether related to the COVID-19 crisis or not. Be sure to link to my original post, and to use the Lens-Artists TAG.
I have chosen photos I have taken in my restricted universe this month. Since my husband and I live in a senior community, we have certain advantages, such as meals delivered to our door, and a nice campus where we can walk and appreciate nature. My favorite thing to do is to walk over to the two ponds (here referred to by the unimaginative names of “East Lake” and “West Lake”) to watch the swans. Every year, two pairs of swans are brought here in March to mate, nest, and raise their young. They are taken back in October, when their cygnets are grown. They are brought here partly to scare off the Canada geese, which some do more aggressively than others.
Keeping one’s distance from a swan:
One day residents were invited to sing patriotic songs outside next to West Lake. A lot of the staff was there and some residents came out on their balconies to sing along. Those of us physically present tried to keep about 6 feet from others. I prefer to call it “physical distancing” rather than “social distancing” because we are still social! The times we look forward to are taking walks and encountering others doing the same thing, so we are able to socialize with our friends. It is our only substitute for the camaraderie we shared at the dining hall, the fitness center and the many activities normally offered here.
Since all activities are cancelled, the staff has started a daily schedule of fitness classes, meditation, a morning meeting, spiritual programs, and video programs on the two closed-circuit TV stations, now called WAMS. Sometimes these are videos they’ve strung together, such as short clips of dogs and babies or sports bloopers, and last week our music director played a piano concert.
The biggest treat was yesterday, when they broadcast a recording of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven’s 9th symphony. Sublime!
Because of the opportunity to go outside and take walks, and the connection with others via video or phone calls, I don’t feel cooped up — thank God this didn’t happen in January when it was often too cold to go out!! Also, I have my blog, I read, I finished a photo book of our trip to Israel last year, and keep busy with other projects. This afternoon, my writing group had a virtual meeting via Zoom. Also, I do feel we are all in this together – not just here, but all over the U.S. and the world! We will get through this!
I have a feeling, though, that this forced isolation will get tedious by the middle of April. And it will probably be May, at least, before we can get our normal lives back. But the one being in our house who loves that we are home all the time is our cat, Hazel!