[002] My First Pandemic

An outbreak of random thoughts about life during my first pandemic.

Like you, this is my first global pandemic, and based on my experience so far, I hope that it's my last.

On April 1st, Fools Day, I received a call from my boss who informed me that I was being placed on furlough status until the pandemic passes, and the documents they had me sign were open-ended, meaning that this could be a long ride.

We’ve been sheltering in place for over forty days now and boy do I have questions. Like for instance, why is a donut shop or an ice cream parlor allowed to be open during the shutdown? Also, why do I hear a constant roar of cars on the freeway all day long? Where are all of these people going?

I haven’t picked up my camera in over a month and while the break has been sort of nice, it’s time to start making pictures again. My plan for today is to load up my Pentax with some Portra 400 and go make a couple of portraits of friends wearing homemade PPE equipment. A project of the Pandemic. I wonder if my lab is still processing film?

Our number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has doubled in the last few days and there appears to be an outbreak occurring up north in Round Valley where seven people from a single household have become infected with the virus. From what I understand, a member of the family made three trips to the Bay Area recently and was in contact with someone who had the virus. Is this what sheltering in place is supposed to look like? Our County Public Health Officer has done a good job at keeping us informed but she is on her way out as her contract is set to expire soon and the County will be forced to hire a replacement. That feels weird.

Since the pandemic began I have been drinking more whiskey than I normally do and I’ve been taking part in a weekly Zoom “Whiskey Wednesday” meeting with some new friends. My whiskey supplies are getting low and I think it’s time to go back to drinking hazy IPA’s. I sure do miss pint nights with friends at the local restaurant. I know that people drink for many different reasons. Some for fun, some to feed an addiction. Right now I'm drinking mostly to entertain myself and to bury my fears a little. I hope this doesn't become a problem.

A few days ago our Dear Leader suggested that people might want to look at injecting disinfectant to, in his words, clear out the virus. I fully expected that we would have our Forsythia moment, but I never thought that it would come from the President of the United States. His insanity is dangerous and is going to get people killed.

"I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning." — DJT

I really should stop paying attention to him, but it’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The problem here is that we are the passengers on the train. Oh, boy.

Chris Pugh is an editorial and commercial photographer from Northern California. He can be reached by email at me@chrispugh.com or you can follow him on Twitter @chrispugh or on Instagram @chrispugh. Click here to buy him a cup of coffee.

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