Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Respecting Social Distancing in Chattanooga, TN

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. As more states emerge from the lockdown, people are flocking to the beaches, water parks, swimming pools, anywhere they can gather and have a party.

Can you blame them? They had already missed Easter, Mother's Day and graduation celebrations, so they are dying to get out.

But please! Respect the guidelines for social distancing and wear a mask if going to crowded places!  The last thing we need is a second wave of the virus, like the health pundits are predicting. Until we get a vaccine, we have got to be careful and stay safe when venturing out.

We too went out to celebrate our anniversary this weekend with dinner and a walk in downtown Chattanooga. As we were heading out, we noticed our marina neighbors were gearing up for their signature barbecue parties.
Dry rubbed smoked ribs and chicken wings
We met a couple of friends for an early dinner at Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria. This place is normally packed, but not today. We got a table right away. The staff took our temperatures before letting us in. We were surprised they had closed the outside seating area, but happy to know that the restaurant had removed some tables to comply with the social distancing guidelines. All the servers were wearing masks and gloves as well. Hubby ordered his usual Low Country Linguine with crawfish in Alfredo sauce, and I had grilled salmon over spinach salad. Fabulous food, as always!
After dinner, we explored the garden and the sculptures. This Arts Bluff district captivated us since day one. It's one of the reasons we've been in Chattanooga as long as we have. See the video below that we took back in 2007.

Back Inn Café - Food Network's Rachel Ray was here!
Desserts at Rembrandt's
Walking underneath Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge
Zig zag path down to the waterfront
Hunter Museum of American Art
High water at the waterfront after a week of heavy rains

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives forever. Three major music festivals which normally kick off in June have been changed. The CMA Music Festival in Nashville is cancelled. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in  Manchester has been rescheduled to September. Chattanooga is still pondering what to do with its Riverbend Music Festival.

It's our civic duty to slow the spread of COVID-19. So whatever you do, please be cautious, and try to avoid large gatherings during this stressful time.

This post is shared on Through My Lens, Our World Tuesday and Image-in-ing and MyCorner of the World.

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Homebound: life amid coronavirus pandemic

I was browsing through a TN magazine when this poem caught my eye. It won third place in a poetry contest for people age 14-18.

To Be A Selfish Sympath
Hamsa Javagal

China’s distraught and in a panic
While more are reported “dead”.
Spreading uncontrolled and rapidly,
Their pleas for help, misread.

No solution reported from China
Leads to Italy’s despair.
Once a small and petty problem,
Now an international nightmare.

Still, no worries come from us-
Our alarms are left on snooze.
We know of no Coronavirus
Except for the one in the news.

But soon the US confirms its first case-
The affirmation seeming surreal.
It’s when the virus could possibly affect us
That problems become a big deal.

Big deal is a massive understatement! I read today's news on Covid-19 that global cases have reached 4,024,737 and 34% of those cases are in the U.S. alone! We knew about the problem back in January, yet we did not take precautions, and … here we are.

Those who follow us on this blog know we live aboard our boat Mai Thai on the Tennessee River. Our marina is located in a rural area with a population of a mere 650! Still, our county instituted a 2 week curfew April 8. We've stayed homebound since we got back to Tennessee in mid March, venturing out for groceries every two weeks. The lockdown has not affected us as much as others. We're homebodies who love to cook and bake.
Banana bread with cranberries
We practice social distancing when hanging out with boater friends in the open spaces at the marina. We are grateful we could fish, boat and kayak even when quarantined.

So far 2020 has not been kind. Tennessee experienced flooding and tornado outbreaks (Nashville in March, Chattanooga in April) amid the pandemic. Spring has been beautiful with pockets of wintry temperatures of high 30s and low 40s at night. The mallard duck came back to our flower pot to lay eggs, incubate and hatch 5 ducklings, much to our delight. Unfortunately, after a couple of days, the ducklings were  nowhere to be seen.
Apr 16: Five ducklings hatched on a chilly morning
Apr 7: Lovely bleeding hearts bloomed early
Mar 30: High water in Chattanooga waterfront
Mar 30: Chattanooga downtown was a ghost town
Mar 30: aisle with empty shelves (paper goods and cleaning supplies)
We're glad businesses are now opened, albeit operating at lower capacity, and people are back to work. We miss shopping, visiting with friends, hiking at the state parks, all the stuff we do in our normal everyday life.  For now, we'll be good and stay put, waiting patiently for the deadly coronavirus to go away.

We believe wearing a mask will help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. There is an excellent article about the risks and how to avoid them here. Be safe and stay healthy!

This post is shared on Through My Lens, Our World Tuesday and Image-in-ing.

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