Around the world the COVID-19 emergency is forcing rapid changes to human society. In Pennsylvania nearly everything is closed; crowds of any kind are prohibited. If we go out at all, we must stay away from others and maintain a safe social distance (six feet). We cannot afford to spread this illness. The number of infections blows up like a bomb.
Birds don’t need to care about the disease — they won’t catch it — but these photos can illustrate social distancing.
Above, two saffron finches display a proper distance.
Below, the pigeons are WRONG! The group is small but they’re too close.
The flock below is spawning a local epidemic. This crowd is NOT ALLOWED. It’s a petri dish of infection waiting to explode in 9-10 days.
In case you don’t believe this is necessary, here’s a message for us from Italy, sent on 15 March 2020. They know what happens if you don’t stay away from each other BEFORE the need is apparent. On 15 March: “It is believed that the US, England and France are 9-10 days behind Italy in COVID-19 progression.”
9-10 days is next week, 24 or 25 March 2020. That’s why things are closed!
It’s like living in a war zone, but there is hope. Italians are singing from their balconies to keep their spirits up and the Chinese are sending encouragement.
Stay strong. Stay well. Stay apart. Stay home.
This too shall pass.
(photos from Wikimedia Commons, videos from YouTube; click the captions or YouTube links to see the originals)
p.s. Birding alone in the woods is a safe social distance, but don’t count on finding a bathroom!
p.s. Here’s the latest coronavirus case map, US and world, from The Washington Post. Don’t get complacent about the numbers. Cases in New York state increased 70% in one day — Monday to Tuesday.