March-April 2020 memories

The first-Saturday in March Floyd Radio Show is the oldest picture in this batch, followed by weeks of solitary walks off the Blue Ridge Parkway, whimsical experiments with homemade masks, and watching for signs of normalcy. All thanks to a world pandemic that hasn’t made many people sick and this corner of Virginia, but has inspired music venues, schools, colleges, restaurants and more to close doors, don masks, and figure out a new way of getting through the weeks for a while. Take out food, walks in the woods, and music for the living room furniture are my plan, such as it is.

As April ended, I wrote this in a Facebook discussion of mask-wearing and mask-resistance:

Just back from having my car serviced. Customer area inside is closed… You have to wait at well-spaced chairs and benches outside… Customers, while I was there, were mostly older guys like me with bandanas around our necks, where they could be pulled up over the mouth and nose if needed… you know, to hold up a stagecoach or something.

Staff members at the dealerships were standing in groups of three or four talking, no masks. Some had gloves on.

When the car was finished… The guy bringing out the clipboard with sales form to sign was also unmasked. The dealership says it is “sanitizing” cars before and after service. But with no one on the staff actually wearing masks to talk to each other or customers, we customers looked silly with our bandanas. One white haired customer out of a half-dozen did have a serious-looking medical face mask and kept it on while sitting on one of the more isolated outdoor chairs.

Important to note, the dealership is in the New River Valley four-county (184,500 pop; 1,461 sq mi) health district that by late April had only 8 hospitalizations and only one covid-19 fatality. For comparison, that land area is larger than Rhode Island, with less than one-fifth the population.

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This post is also an experiment with uploading a batch of photographs from my phone to WordPress without compressing them or doing anything special with the page layout. The display may work better on some browsers, worse on othersuntil I tweak it from a full size computer.

mild-mannered reporter who sank into computers and the Web during graduate school in the 1980s and '90s, then taught journalism, media studies and Web production, retiring to write and play more music.

Posted in 2020, Appalachia, hyperlocal, personal, photography, Radford, Stepno, Virginia

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