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Flattening the hill (curve)


buttercu5b-mThe Dukes of Hazzard was a popular television serial while I was in my residency in Augusta Georgia.   Georgia was a very different place than the Midwest; I quickly learned to ask if alcohol was government label or not. And the little rural hospital I moon-lighted in lent its ambulance to the movie producers for one of the Smokey and the Bandit movies.

We lived outside the city limits in a lovely suburb named Vineland. It was bordered by the highway, the Masters Golf Course, Forest Hills Golf Course and a huge cemetery. Masters Week was always a nightmare with traffic and people from out of state who all left their diabetes and blood pressure medications at home. Tickets were at a premium and were something named in wills. The golf course is as lovely as it looks on television; the only thing the course cannot control is sunlight.

Now that we are all admonished to stay home so we can ‘flatten the curve’, I am reminded of those Dukes of Hazzard; well-intentioned but making up their own rules as to what is right.The internet is flooded by ‘hints’ about how to make masks….people thinking the masks will protect them against the virus—masks are designed to protect OTHERS from the wearer.

While I am very much limiting social contact…no shopping…no travel… a few walks in the neighborhood, I see grocery store parking lots as full as if it was Black Friday shopping days; liquor stores and comic stores considering themselves ‘essential’. but then we can all read about the 50 years since Apollo 13 and be amazed at the ingenuity of NASA engineers.

peach-mToday is Easter Sunday; a day celebrated with joy and family and friends and special meals. While all of us wonder when all of this will be over and we can return to ‘normal’ with work and play and museums and movies and family gatherings, perhaps we can take courage from nature—male cardinals whistle for mates in the trees outside our front door, the crepe myrtles have fully leafed out, the peach tree that turned out to be an apricot tree has two small apricots, the satsuma is covered with tiny fruits, the tomato plant  is growing taller, all in ignorance of the pandemic. Next year they will do the same.

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