There is a nervousness around us. There is no denying that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is taking its place in history. More than 16 million people are on lockdown in northern Italy. Italy also reported more than a third of its COVID-19 deaths within the last day, now totaling 366 or more. The Vatican has reported its first death. Several other countries have closed schools, reported deaths, and have residents self-isolating. All public events in Italy are cancelled Marrying your high school sweetheart? Not this week. At least not with friends. The same goes for funerals. Death abounds. Funerals cannot. Any of those quarantined likely fear the unknown and unseen enemy among them: this virus. Globally, more than 100,000 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. I fear that number will pale compared to the final result. The Spanish Flu of 1918 and 1919 claimed -- no, killed -- more than 20 million people. (Estimates range as high as 50 million.)
The coronavirus has only recently been diagnosed on the US shores. Washington State claims the first and highest current count. The lack of testing kits leaves state and health leaders unable to accurately quantify their sick or obtain the necessary care needed in each burgeoning hot zone. Not knowing what is or isn't around us does not garner security. Uncertainty and anticipation churn our fears.
We are not prepared for this. Our roles are not defined. We don't know how we can help when COVID-19 runs rampant here. I fear for loved ones. I fear for the world.
Actress and comedian Amy Poehler wrote, "I believe great people do great things before they are ready." We don't feel ready. Let's hope we have great people around us. Let's pray we become them, if needed.
The waters are beginning to stir here – and it's not a comfortable paddle on this river.
On March 9, 2020, we set off to photograph the full moon – the Worm Moon. We did. Upon leaving our site we looked over our shoulders. In the weeks to follow we will all need to be aware of our surroundings. We are in uncharted waters.
* Although many understood the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a pandemic, it wasn't until a few days after this full moon event that it was officially declared so by the World Health Organization (WHO).