Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Life in a Zoo

 

It was an eerie and uneasy time for us. My husband and I decided to get away and we went to St. Petersburg to stay for a couple of days. The first day was bathed in the warm sunlight of fall, and was perfect weather for touring Zoo Tampa, where we had never been. We had watched the care of the animals on TV and thought it would be fun to become acquainted in person.

Aside from the sunny day, however, much of our visit seemed somehow off. We were hungry when we got there, so we went into the cavernous café near the zoo entrance near noontime. Hardly anyone else was there. Everyone was masked up when they weren’t eating.

When we started touring the zoo, one of the first enclosures had a single tiger in it. We watched as he paced from side to side in one portion where there were rocks for him to walk on. I wondered if his behavior would be considered normal. Later I asked a staff person about it, and she said he was probably waiting for his meal. Maybe so.

As we made our way around, the surroundings were quiet. Mostly mothers and small children (pre-school age) were walking around. The children all seemed well behaved, as if at one level they were participants in the emptiness of the zoo and absence of sounds. Few seniors were walking around.

A few enclosures only had one animal; the okapi was one of those. We watched him as he stood in a corner, alone, not moving. We wondered if there was an absent okapi, or this animal preferred a solitary life. The communal animals we noticed were various breeds of primates, penguins, and elephants. In one large enclosure, there were several monkeys; they seemed determined to harass one of their own until he finally found sanctuary.

Today, most zoos provide habitats that resemble the natural habitats of the animals. Most of them also work on the conservation of endangered species. At first, their efforts seem noble to save the disappearing animals of the earth. But then the animals must give up their freedom for a greater cause.

* * * * * *

After we left the zoo, we talked about our reactions and realized we had almost the same experience. But we couldn’t figure out why. And then it hit us.

We were watching a shadow of our own lives.

We are trapped in an environment that is not of our choosing.

We are subject to the stress of limiting our travels and exposure to the virus.

We often feel the isolation that so many people feel, even though we have each other.

Of course, although lockups threaten the lives of many, we still can unlock our front doors and step into the sunshine.

Right?

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  1. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thanks for depressing me even more.

    • #1
    • November 20, 2020, at 8:43 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    Welcome. I’ve been here for a dozen years.

    • #2
    • November 20, 2020, at 8:53 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    iWe (View Comment):

    Thanks for depressing me even more.

    Then again, some people paradoxically benefit from having their state of mind acknowledged. It helps to know in a strange way that they aren’t alone, that others are struggling, too. You and I, @iwe, know that (I think!) our depression will pass over time; that life will take on a sense of normalcy in some ways.

    I don’t want to depress people; I just want them to know that if they participate on Ricochet, in some ways they are never alone.

    • #3
    • November 20, 2020, at 8:53 AM PST
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  4. Annefy Member

    In a previous post detailing my experience with Covid positive friends, I commented that six months ago I felt like a rat in a maze. And now I feel like a rat in a medical experiment. 

    You said it better 

    • #4
    • November 20, 2020, at 8:57 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Annefy (View Comment):

    In a previous post detailing my experience with Covid positive friends, I commented that six months ago I felt like a rat in a maze. And now I feel like a rat in a medical experiment.

    You said it better

    I’m not sure about that, @annefy. There are plenty of good metaphors around, like yours. Thanks.

    • #5
    • November 20, 2020, at 9:00 AM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I don’t want to depress people; I just want them to know that if they participate on Ricochet, in some ways they are never alone.

    That  makes me feel better.

    • #6
    • November 20, 2020, at 9:05 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Maguffin Member

    I can see it now:

    “See the curious conservative in his/her/zer native habitat!”

    “As these conservatives have been hunted, their numbers in the wild have dwindled. We zoos are the only thing standing between them and extinction.”

    Not re-education camps. Zoos.

    I’d like to think I’d be one of the monkeys or a cute otter, but I’d be one of the water buffaloes.

    • #7
    • November 20, 2020, at 11:03 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. PHCheese Member

    Did you watch the lemmings while you were there?

    • #8
    • November 20, 2020, at 11:18 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Maguffin (View Comment):
    I’d like to think I’d be one of the monkeys or a cute otter, but I’d be one of the water buffaloes.

    Your chances of survival would probably be better as the water buffalo; cute won’t help!

    • #9
    • November 20, 2020, at 11:35 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I am retired and my wife of 48 years and I get along very well. We live on a country road where I can walk the dog for 2+ miles without seeing anyone, so the Covid Shutdown hasn’t had much impact on our daily lives.

    On the other hand, my heart aches for all the small businesses and restaurants in the little towns near us. We have done more carryout in the last 9 months (with bigger than usual tips) than ever. We are even getting a pre-made Thanksgiving dinner from the local ‘fancy joint’. 

    I hope our little bit helps.

     

    • #10
    • November 20, 2020, at 12:34 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):
    I hope our little bit helps.

    If everyone did a “little bit,” I’m certain it would be a big help, @willowspring.

    • #11
    • November 20, 2020, at 12:40 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Arahant Member

    WillowSpring (View Comment):
    On the other hand, my heart aches for all the small businesses and restaurants in the little towns near us. We have done more carryout in the last 9 months (with bigger than usual tips) than ever. We are even getting a pre-made Thanksgiving dinner from the local ‘fancy joint’.

    We have been doing a lot of that sort of thing, too.

    • #12
    • November 20, 2020, at 12:55 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Stad Thatcher

    The left wants us isolated like zoo animals alone in their enclosures. My guess is they want to desocialize us the way we are in order to resocialize us in the way they want us to be . . .

    • #13
    • November 20, 2020, at 1:36 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    The left wants us isolated like zoo animals alone in their enclosures. My guess is they want to desocialize us the way we are in order to resocialize us in the way they want us to be . . .

    I think you are right. I’m poorly socialized to begin with, so I wish them luck!

    • #14
    • November 20, 2020, at 1:38 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    The left wants us isolated like zoo animals alone in their enclosures. My guess is they want to desocialize us the way we are in order to resocialize us in the way they want us to be . . .

    I think you are right. I’m poorly socialized to begin with, so I wish them luck!

    You’re satisfactorily socialized, Susan. Though I’m probably a poor judge – being anti-social and all. 

    • #15
    • November 20, 2020, at 2:51 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Rodin Member

    Jurassic Park with the Progressives on the other side of the high electric fences and behind bulletproof glass. And just like in Jurassic Park, the unanticipated will happen and the Progressives will be amazed and surprised.

    • #16
    • November 20, 2020, at 3:05 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Front Seat Cat Member

    iWe (View Comment):

    Thanks for depressing me even more.

    That is so sad – but a very good observation. 

    • #17
    • November 20, 2020, at 5:13 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Weeping Member

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    I can see it now:

    “See the curious conservative in his/her/zer native habitat!”

    “As these conservatives have been hunted, their numbers in the wild have dwindled. We zoos are the only thing standing between them and extinction.”

    Not re-education camps. Zoos.

    I’d like to think I’d be one of the monkeys or a cute otter, but I’d be one of the water buffaloes.

    I’d be one of the hippos. I’d dance about as well as one of them too.

    • #18
    • November 20, 2020, at 5:46 PM PST
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  19. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Since the first stay-at-home orders were issued in March, I have refused to be locked down. I got in my car and drove up to the Skagit Valley to see the scenery. Since I was working in an essential industry, I went to work at our factory every day. We have done a lot of takeout meals, and we get in the car and drive down to our local Chick-Fil-A to get takeout. We grocery-shop as normal, take drives when we want to. The local restaurants were open for inside dining for exactly four weeks before the Dictator decreed that they be closed again. Last Friday, I met my best girlfriend at our favorite place for a drink in the afternoon-they had been open exactly two weeks before they were required to close again. This is disgusting, and evil. The waiter said he was so glad to see us again! It made me so sad when they had to close.

    I changed the tagline on my blog back to “Defy Tyranny. Break the Lockdown”. If we can get over the mountains, we will drive 250 miles to Kennewick to eat at Koko’s Bartini, the restaurant that has been in the news for refusing to close for inside dining. They ask patrons to bring a protest sign with them, and I will make one.

    • #19
    • November 20, 2020, at 11:07 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  20. Annefy Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Since the first stay-at-home orders were issued in March, I have refused to be locked down. I got in my car and drove up to the Skagit Valley to see the scenery. Since I was working in an essential industry, I went to work at our factory every day. We have done a lot of takeout meals, and we get in the car and drive down to our local Chick-Fil-A to get takeout. We grocery-shop as normal, take drives when we want to. The local restaurants were open for inside dining for exactly four weeks before the Dictator decreed that they be closed again. Last Friday, I met my best girlfriend at our favorite place for a drink in the afternoon-they had been open exactly two weeks before they were required to close again. This is disgusting, and evil. The waiter said he was so glad to see us again! It made me so sad when they had to close.

    I changed the tagline on my blog back to “Defy Tyranny. Break the Lockdown”. If we can get over the mountains, we will drive 250 miles to Kennewick to eat at Koko’s Bartini, the restaurant that has been in the news for refusing to close for inside dining. They ask patrons to bring a protest sign with them, and I will make one.

    We have continued on as normal, we get together with daughter and family and friends 2-3 times/week. Went on a lovely long weekend for wine tasting and dining in the central coast.

    Been on a road trip to see son #3 and his family in AZ and another to Austin, TX where I helped a friend move.

    Spent the 4th with my brother and sisters, as usual, in Utah

    Regardless, seeing my grand daughters in masks weighs on me, though I’m delighted they’re in school. Worried about grand daughter #3 due in March.

    Son in law is putting up the Christmas lights tomorrow. I’ll be grateful for the cheer

    • #20
    • November 21, 2020, at 12:03 AM PST
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Since the first stay-at-home orders were issued in March, I have refused to be locked down. I got in my car and drove up to the Skagit Valley to see the scenery. Since I was working in an essential industry, I went to work at our factory every day. We have done a lot of takeout meals, and we get in the car and drive down to our local Chick-Fil-A to get takeout. We grocery-shop as normal, take drives when we want to. The local restaurants were open for inside dining for exactly four weeks before the Dictator decreed that they be closed again. Last Friday, I met my best girlfriend at our favorite place for a drink in the afternoon-they had been open exactly two weeks before they were required to close again. This is disgusting, and evil. The waiter said he was so glad to see us again! It made me so sad when they had to close.

    I changed the tagline on my blog back to “Defy Tyranny. Break the Lockdown”. If we can get over the mountains, we will drive 250 miles to Kennewick to eat at Koko’s Bartini, the restaurant that has been in the news for refusing to close for inside dining. They ask patrons to bring a protest sign with them, and I will make one.

    Go, Rushbabe!

    • #21
    • November 21, 2020, at 4:27 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. aardo vozz Member

    PHCheese (View Comment):

    Did you watch the lemmings while you were there?

    No need. We’ve already got the network news and the White House Press Corps. 

    < Sarcasm… cynicism…you know the thing!>

    • #22
    • November 21, 2020, at 5:20 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  23. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    The left wants us isolated like zoo animals alone in their enclosures. My guess is they want to desocialize us the way we are in order to resocialize us in the way they want us to be . . .

    I think you are right. I’m poorly socialized to begin with, so I wish them luck!

    You seem pretty sociable at the Pre-cruise Meetups!

    • #23
    • November 21, 2020, at 7:48 AM PST
    • 2 likes