Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Not-so-Merry Month of…Closed

 

The two descriptors that define this month of May, 2020, are Closed and Cancelled. Around us, events and places everywhere have been cancelled, and closed, due to the Wuhan Coronavirus Pandemic. For this Memorial Day, services at the two cemeteries near our home have been cancelled, and this is a general rule around Western Washington. This week, we were notified that Seattle has canceled Seafair, including the July 4 fireworks, hydroplane races on Lake Washington, the Torchlight Parade, and other festivities. President Donald Trump has indicated that houses of worship, including churches, synagogues, and mosques, are Essential for society, and should remain open. The governor of Washington begs to differ. [Western Washington has some of the highest rates of “nones”, people who subscribe to no religion]

Everywhere you go, you see businesses with CLOSED signs in their windows. We took a day trip up to the Skagit Valley north of our house, to the little town of LaConner, one of our favorite places.

LaConner is admittedly a “touristy” little town on the Swinomish Slough, with dozens of little local stores selling just about anything you might want. Not one store is a member of any chain, and we look forward to going up there a few times a year to see what’s new. This year, this is “what’s new” in LaConner.

LaConner

And then, this.

trail-rules

We were actually surprised to see so many cars parked on the main street. But this was sad, sadder, saddest.

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closed-2

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closed-7

closing

And this was only fewer than half the stores on the main drag. In his infinite wisdom, the governor of the State of Washington has ruined the town of LaConner. I wonder how many of those little stores will actually re-open, when His Lowness in Olympia decides it is again “safe” for them to operate. This was the most depressing trip to LaConner that I can ever remember. The town is not being destroyed by the Wuhan Coronavirus, it is being destroyed by the Government of the State of Washington.

Sickening, this is really sickening, and so unnecessary. Destroying the town in order to supposedly “save lives”. No concern for the lives of all those shop-owners whose livelihoods are now in danger. I wish them all the best, but fear the worst.

And just outside of town, you would never know the anguish being felt.

Skagit5-10-20

The Skagit Valley is the home of the Tulip Festival, every year for the entire month of April. This year, the Festival was totally cancelled. The majority of activities associated with the Tulip Festival are outdoors. People come from all over Western Washington to walk through the brightly-colored tulip fields with their cameras, and their children. The big farms sell bulbs and cut flowers, and make a goodly portion of their annual incomes from this festival. Here’s a picture from last year.

No Festival this year. And the worst part of it was, not only did they cancel the festival, they turned off all the “tulip cams” so those who were forced to isolate at home couldn’t even view the pretty fields from afar.

Spring, and the Merry Month of May, are supposed to be a happy time of year, with longer days, warmer weather, and a renewal of a beautiful world from the cold and dreary winter. Not this year. Just depressing isolation, “social distancing”, empty restaurants, stadiums, and concert halls. Supposedly, for our “own good,” to “save lives.” For some reason, I can’t muster much merriment this May.

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  1. Clavius Thatcher

    My in-laws live in Anacortes and we have gone to the Tulip Festival several times. We were planning on being there for our usual Easter trip. It is a beautiful area.

    It is sad to see those signs in LaConner. The economy needs small businesses.

    • #1
    • May 25, 2020, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  2. Bishop Wash Member

    RushBabe49: No Festival this year. And the worst part of it was, not only did they cancel the festival, they turned off all the “tulip cams” so those who were forced to isolate at home couldn’t even view the pretty fields from afar.

    Why would they do that? Similar to Obama putting barriers around open air memorials during the government shutdown, to make the pain worse?

    • #2
    • May 25, 2020, at 11:21 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49

    They turned off the tulip cams so they would not be an “attractive nuisance” and draw people into their cars to break the government-mandated lockdown and actually go see the real tulips. If you think they’re not there, you give up and stay home under house-arrest. I got into my car in March and drove up there anyway. It was too early for the tulips, but I had a nice drive.

    • #3
    • May 25, 2020, at 11:45 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. Bishop Wash Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    They turned off the tulip cams so they would not be an “attractive nuisance” and draw people into their cars to break the government-mandated lockdown and actually go see the real tulips. If you think they’re not there, you give up and stay home under house-arrest. I got into my car in March and drove up there anyway. It was too early for the tulips, but I had a nice drive.

    Silly. Other places like zoos, granted they’re behind walls, advertised their cameras as a way to combat the boredom and still see the animals. 

    • #4
    • May 25, 2020, at 12:12 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    It is indeed depressing. And turning off the tulip cams was really outrageous. But on a happier note, I went out and bought a mattress today. They are opening up more in San Diego and as a statement I felt I needed to go out and buy something. I took a chance the local mattress store was open, and it was. The salesman said that it is very slow because everything else around it is closed. We commiserated about the need for masks and sotto voce complained about California’s policies. He was a kindred spirit. He said many people coming in are afraid to actually try out the mattresses, but hey, at least they are coming in. It cheered me up a bit.

    • #5
    • May 25, 2020, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Front Seat Cat Member

    The little town looks so cute, and the signs made me teary-eyed. You just feel for everyone. Then you look out over the beautiful fields in wonder and the virus fear seems to evaporate, even for just a few minutes. It all seems surreal, like one of those war of the worlds movies. People could mask and glove up and go to these little shops. There are ways to do it – limit the amount of people that can go in at a time, but give people a chance.

    • #6
    • May 26, 2020, at 6:32 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RushBabe49: We took a day trip up to the Skagit Valley north of our house, to the little town of LaConner, one of our favorite places.

    You might have said something. Might have come down. Might have….heh heh!

    • #7
    • May 26, 2020, at 7:29 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Incidentally, we drove out to Point White Horn Marine area yesterday, and on our way home we drove through Birch Bay State Park. As you enter the park, there is a large sign that read “Crowded Parks Lead to Closed Parks”. Then there was some COIVD-19 nonsense in smaller print, same as you see everywhere else.

    This was a good opportunity for a civics lesson from the kids: Institutions such as large corporations, schools, universities, governments at all levels, they all have a middle level administrative arm that attracts people who love to tell other people what to do. They are, most of them, well meaning. They think they are helping by nagging and chiding as they look disapprovingly over their reading glasses with lips pursed. Sadly, none of them will ever amount to more than a scolding librarian. They are always implementing someone else’s rules. They derive their sense of superiority from granted power. Someone told them they were in charge of something. They will never influence anyone through good leadership or good ideas. They are sad, pathetic little people. Don’t be like Karen.

    • #8
    • May 26, 2020, at 7:42 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. Ray Kujawa Coolidge

    Spin (View Comment):
    Incidentally, we drove out to Point White Horn Marine area yesterday, and on our way home we drove through Birch Bay State Park. As you enter the park, there is a large sign that read “Crowded Parks Lead to Closed Parks”. Then there was some COIVD-19 nonsense in smaller print, same as you see everywhere else.

    I got exactly the same sign at Marymoor park yesterday. From the King County Parks website:

    The health and safety of residents and Parks employees is paramount, and we will continue to monitor our parks and trails to ensure that that (sic) visitors are following physical distancing and other public health guidelines.

    We’ve continued doing the essential work of caring for our system, but know that there will be trails and other areas needing attention. So as you start to explore our 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 215 miles of backcountry trails, please help us by reporting crowding, areas that need attention, or other issues using our reporting tool, SeeClickFix.

    I didn’t get out of he car. The weather was perfectly gloomy for the occasion, overcast and threatening to rain. Nobody was doing anything on the ballfields. I hadn’t driven through the park in a few years. The most noticeable difference to me was the amount of acreage that had been converted from grass to parking lots. (I didn’t see anybody there monitoring the park.)

    This physical distancing outdoors is serving some other purpose than epidemic control. It should be widely known by this point that respiratory illnesses do not transfer outdoors. One thought that kept entering my head as I drove was, ‘Are we passing the test to be ready for socialism?’ I’d say in Western Washington, they are passing.

    • #9
    • May 26, 2020, at 12:40 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Ray Kujawa Coolidge

    This just today by Molly McCann in The Federalist: “Mandatory Masks Aren’t About Safety, They’re About Social Control.

    • #10
    • May 27, 2020, at 11:10 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    It has been sad to see the same sorts of signs on my local Main Street downtown.

    Do your part to share a bit of humor, dry or rich, high or low brow. Stop by and sign up for a day in “A Merry Month.” 

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #11
    • May 30, 2020, at 12:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes