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