Wednesday, March 25, 2020

My Town

I met a guy from New York yesterday. "Meet" is a loaded term and we talked from a distance of about 20 feet, almost neighborly in the time of plague! I learned something too, as in his retirement he came to live in the Keys and spends an all too brief summer on a lake in the Adirondack Mountains.  I described him as a "reverse snowbird" which left him a bit confused.
I agreed he will be better off down here but as is often the case an upstate New Yorker separates himself from the city we all know and either love or hate! He told me people are apparently fleeing the city to stay in their second homes in the mountains, small communities far from anywhere. 
Florida is apparently receiving some of those fleeing the epicenter of plague in New York and not everyone is happy.  Supposedly new arrivals are self quarantining for two weeks and one hopes they aren't bringing Covid-19. with them. I don't really understand the outrage about people trying to find safety in another place. And lets be honest Florida isn't bad at the moment as a refuge.  
Unless and until they stop airplanes and close highways I don't see what Florida is supposed to do to stop people coming. Hotels and overnight accommodation is all closed but if you have a second home here you can't be stopped from showing up even now they are putting check points on entry into the Keys. We are now told in fact, that as of tomorrow there will be checkpoints on Highway One and Card Sound Road to prevent non residents entering.  But the Internet allows us all to manufacture outrage so that is the emotion that predominates.
My Key West is still a small town of lanes and alleys, of year round blooms, of colorful sunrises, all the shapes and shades and beauty that I always see when I walk Rusty around. And yet we are living under all these weird restrictions. 
The Supreme Court ruled in the early 20th century that Americans cannot be prevented from moving across state lines and what I love about this country is how we create these rules by which we choose to live. People were fleeing to California to escape the dust bowl and economic ruin. The Supreme Court ruled to overturn California's attempts to stop the migration That decision has remained in effect ever since. So how does Florida's governor stop this latest wave of refugees from Up North? 
But beyond all that we need to work together and I have to say I feel bit guilty getting caught in place  in these delightful islands. We swim in our canal, I walk my dog on lonely trails, places where people don't go even when there is no coronavirus in the air.  My work has enacted some serious lock down mentality to keep dispatchers isolated in our office so I feel pretty good about going back to work on Thursday. As usual the police department steps up and I am grateful. So what do I do now? Yell "outsiders go home!" online? I can't bring myself to do that.
I wonder about people spring on their neighbors. This virus isn't bringing the best out in us for sure. We've seen people in Britain and the US failing to act sensibly and stay apart...but now I read online comments from people complaining about short term rentals in Key West. If people are renting vacation stays they need to be turned in to Code Compliance not. snitched out online. Again its a matter of manufacturing outrage, not of being effective. From my perspective at this point we know enough and we have the tools to look after ourselves. Let the idiots be idiots.
I'm trying not to worry about running out of pictures because I want to keep posting here, I want to remember the time I live through as always even when things aren't bizarre but I also feel like we need to be normal.  Not everything is off the chart. I'm taking a hint from Rusty by simply keeping on keeping on. I hope you do too, whether you are snowed upon, rained upon, locked in at home or free to infect your neighbors (but don't!).
 Live well and stay alone and get fresh air and don't be mean and so forth, now more than ever. I'll try and do the same. See you tomorrow as always.