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Better here than there

I could’ve written something about the SARS-2 Corona Virus when the global pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, but I didn’t until today, 302 days later, after Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for countries to, “. . . take urgent and aggressive action . . . the agency has rung the alarm bell loud and clear.”

At the time, my impression was the WHO had taken their time in declaring the pandemic. I had been following news of the Sars 2 Corona Virus since late January, but at the time I didn’t write anything down about it, apart from a letter I sent to some people I care about. I was busy doing other things, among them thinking about what I would be planting in my new sustainability garden. Looking back through the pages of my 2020 garden diary I’ve only found two references to Covid-19: one on March 13th, and the other on the 15th:

2020.March.13.,  “ > 110 000 cases of Covid-19 worldwide.” And this:

“Where is the data that confirms a 5 day incubation period?”

While 110 000 Covid-19 cases worldwide sounded huge then, the number has only taken off from there, There are now well over 87 and a half million cases worldwide and the total number cases is still increasing.

There was nothing else written in my diary to suggest I’d ever found the answer to my question about the 5 day incubation period, but judging from the quarantine restrictions imposed by most, perhaps all government jurisdictions in Canada and internationally, 14 days has apparently been settled on as the number of elapsed days necessary to ensure that anyone arriving in Canada from somewhere else is non-infective with Covid-19. 

Looking back hoping for further references to the pandemic in my garden diary proved futile; this was my 2020 garden diary after all, and I’m a legend in my own mind for wanting to keep the ‘main thing’, the main thing.  At least there’ll be lots of primary-source information to include in my year end garden report — if I ever manage to write it.

But there are so many other things I could write about besides gardening. Covid-19 obviously, politics, books, ideas, journalism, even the weather, my ideas about acoustic music: the problem for me is not so much what to write about but where to begin.

A few weeks ago, on my Facebook page, a platform I’d like to get away from, I invited people who respond to a post by indicating a single word or phrase they associated with when where or how they became associated with me. I was astonished that over 50 people responded and many others who’s opinions I also value, choosing not to.

I started thinking about the larger group, those who had replied to my silly question immediately along with those who had not probably comprised my audience. A few days later, I realized that should I ever jump into the deep-end of the social media pool and commit to generating steady content for a self-published blog, it would probably be this larger group of people that I’d probably be writing for.

After the middle of July, 2020 the number of entries in my garden diary dropped off to zero.  It wasn’t because I had stopped gardening, it was because I had stopped writing about it. I’d become so busy actually working the garden that I didn’t bother to write things down anymore. Looking back, this was disappointing to me because keeping things going and bringing them to completion is also something I value.

Being really new at this, I believe have no choice but to take small steps, but I don’t think I would be wasting my time if I encourage you to leave a comment, letting me know your thoughts, and suggesting what might make this blog one that you might keep returning to. In a genuine sense, I’m working for you; my only payment so far is your interest, as reflected in your comments and other feedback. whether or not this website is something I can think about later.

If the surprises of 2020 have been any indication, I think there’ll be lots up for discussion in the weeks to come; 2021 shows no indication of being any less astonishing than 2020, as the events in Washington, D.C. yesterday would confirm.

So don’t be shy about leaving a comment, giving me honest feedback, suggesting the topics you find most compelling, as well as those that do not.

One more thing. I haven’t determined a regular schedule for posts here, but I’m thinking that once per week might be enough for me to commit to; twice per week would mean the blog would become a job; more than twice per week would end up being an annoyance.

Feel free to subscribe, share, comment and to provide me with any feedback that you’d like.

[N.B.  While writing this blog entry, my TV was off, and when I was finished I went for a two hour hike up along the Big Chungus River Loop.  It wasn’t until later I heard about the bad craziness going down in and around the U.S. Capitol building which resulted in the death of a woman who was fatally shot in the neck while trying to climb into the Chamber of Congress through a broken window.  I’m glad I wasn’t there.]

By Paul David Steer

Paul David Steer is a teacher on-call living and working in Midway, BC.

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