Sunday, April 19, 2020

One If By Land

Two hundred and forty-five years ago, the American Revolution began on this day, which happened to be a Wednesday that year.  It all started at sunrise on Lexington's town green:

The Battle of Lexington, 19 April 1775, Oil on canvas by William Barns Wollen, 1910. 
National Army Museum, London

The rest, as they say, is history.  But history is quirky.  As the story of how we got here, history is often mis-remembered, mis-quoted, rewritten to suit the current audience, or simply forgotten until someone stumbles over it in the dark.
It was quite by chance that this story appeared in my e-mail this morning, from the New England Historical SocietySix Fun Facts About Paul Revere’s Ride.
We have a friend who is a member of the Paul Revere Memorial Association, and I thought of him as I read the article.  He's the type of person who would have known all of this and THEN joined the association.
The first 'fun fact' for me was to learn that Longfellow's poem, Paul Revere's Ride, was really about fighting slavery.  Follow the link to find out how, and you will learn about Longfellow too.  In my generation, this poem was simply something one knew; I can't tell you when I learned it but I'll have to read it again now.
Another item, #6, reminds us of the relative impact that Revere's ride had on him, his family, and anyone not living in Boston at the time: his obituary in 1818 doesn't mention the ride at all.  But in hindsight, it became a big deal for us.
Notice, too, that the painting above resides in the National Army Museum in London.  History may be written by the winners, but everyone can learn from it.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Going Viral

By now, most of us in range of this blog know about the Covid-19 virus.  According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 'COVID-19 is a new respiratory disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases.'
Compared to the common flu, it looks like this:

So far, it has made a mess of globalization, our economy, not to mention our anxiety levels.
We are all, to some degree, practicing social distancing, which is hard for a lot of people to deal with.
Who hasn't seen a bubble graph like this lately:

(Confirmed cases in the Sargasso Sea?)
Businesses, such as automobile manufacturers, have very quickly adjusted their television advertising to remind us that they will deliver your new car to your driveway without you having to interact with anyone.  Restaurants that have never offered takeout meals now do so, just to survive.  Our roadways and town squares are mostly deserted or closed.  Even beaches are empty of human life and activity.
Some good news: pollution levels in some parts of China have dropped considerably.  The canals in Venice are showing clear water too.
Then it hit me: I've seen this before, here:

The cats have been batting this thing around for years and I never noticed how much it resembles a disease.  Check the video here:

We will get through this.  In the meantime, enjoy the downtime.  God loves you.