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new normal

Hawai’i statewide “stay at home” order goes into effect in an hour. This is a weird feeling, this global experience, the ease at which illness can travel with the immensity of the human population, the environment’s response as we tuck away into our homes, the emergence of clearer skies and curious wildlife.

It’s interesting to watch the reaction to crisis --- what we buy and what we leave on the shelves, how we adapt or resist the best we can, the more obvious displays of courteousness or self interest with availability of resources in question, redefining “normalcy” in this new version of life being revealed.

Meanwhile over the weekend, vacationers pulled up in their rental car at the Airbnb across the street from our house, coughing loudly. The local government seems tempered in its response even as the story plays out around us. This island community where food grows abundantly, yet we’re so heavily reliant on imports, with limited medical resources on an average day.

As disquieting as it all is, it’s also unifying --- this collective uncertainty while we, as a species, grasp for some sense of control.


Repost @Rachel Pugh:

”Italy looked at the example of China ... not as a practical warning, but as a 'science fiction movie that had nothing to do with us.' And when the virus exploded, Europe ... 'looked at us the same way we looked at China.'"— Sandra Zampa, undersecretary of Italy's Health Ministry, to The NY Times

Lockdown - weeks in, no longer counting.It’s strange looking on as countries around us head into lockdown. We’ve been through the resistance to change and belief, and we’ve been through the bravado. Initially we sang from our balconies and painted rainbows to stick to our doors. We also flocked to beauty spots for ‘one last time’. We filled our fridges and pantries. We photocopied the piece of paper required, the piece of paper that tells the authorities that we have left our homes for a ‘valid’ reason, the only reasons left, to buy food or to go to hospital. We are now where you will be in a couple of weeks. Your hospitals will be full, your Doctors and Nurses will talk of ‘war’ when they talk of their wards. We hear church bells ringing and ambulances passing and we are woken by lorries that are hosing down our streets. We are watching you. You were watching us. Just as we watched China. It’s surreal. We watch the figures, the death rate. We look at the calendar. We are in this together. We are not talking or thinking about how we will pay for food or rent next month. Because we are too happy to be safe and alive today. We are getting a little stir crazy. Finger pointing. Runners and dog walkers are taking a rap. Try to stay calm. Learn from us. Watch what we did. Watch what we are doing. We are weeks ahead of you in this life with COVID-19. Learn from our mistakes, but also learn from how the Italians dealt with the day to day life under quarantine, with dignity and great courage. We are quietly moving forward. Our government chose to protect our vulnerable over our economy from day one. We are mourning the many thousands of deaths. I hope the finger pointing stops, I hope the communities grow together, I hope our hospitals can look after our sick. I hope the world comes out of this, the entire world, with greater respect for each and every one; each loving, each living, for the greater good.


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