Friday, August 14, 2020

Duval Dawn

5:41 am and you wouldn't expect to see anyone crowding the sidewalks of Duval Street.
 The thing is I find myself unwilling these days to wander downtown in a world where mask wearing compliance is still spotty and requires constant surveillance and warnings from police officers. We have been quarantining ourselves since March 15th, avoiding  indoor locations, staying away from crowds and crowded businesses and doing all the other stuff recommended by scientists and so far it has worked. My 65 year old wife with the compromised immune system is not among Florida's 8,000 dead. And apparently I am not among the half million and more infected. 
To take a chance at this point seems extremely stupid. Even on our camper van vacation we followed the same self imposed rules which our self contained Promaster made possible if not always enjoyable, but as delighted as I am by the Russian promise of a vaccine I am not ready to let my guard down. At work I sit at my desk and listen to officers on the radio report their covid checks and advise they gained voluntary compliance as they patrol shops streets and beaches. No dispatches have yet reported being infected so as usual my office is taking care of us. Officers who meet the public haven't been so lucky and several are in quarantine and at least one that I know is infected. It is inevitable I suppose even as infection rates in Florida finally start to drop. So here I am walking around alone, masked and in the dark.
With more than three weeks away Rusty had lots of smelling time to make up leaving me to trail along pondering life and emptiness and the lack of live theater in our lives. I do miss that.
Commercial lobstering is underway and continues through the winter. I was delighted to be Up North during the hubbub of mini season. Every year the Keys offer the public two days of lobster hunting  prior to the official commercial season opening. It is an endlessly controversial practice trying to balance hospitality demands for more visitors in low season versus the noise traffic and on the water confusion of massive crowds of people who act as though they can't afford to buy lobster at Publix. Furthermore, and this may come as a surprise, some of them steal under sized lobster and a few of them leave trash behind. Just a very few of course but people who live in the keys face mini season with a sense of dread. To be climbing Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan at the time was simply a bonus.
Besides the lack of crowds it was nice being out walking Rusty before the heat. I have missed this part of the keys since well before my vacation. Maybe we haven't been here for as long as six weeks?
There is, if you need it, a mask looking for an owner at Confederate Secretary of the Navy Square.