It’s Saturday, and it feels like I’m in the slow beginning of a disaster movie, where the characters are all going about their daily business with no idea what’s ahead. Except we know what’s ahead. We see what has happened in China, Korea, Italy, Iran, France, Spain, and, like, Seattle. We see what is happening here as the case count ticks up. Schools are closed, workers are told to work at home, the Department of Defense has banned even domestic travel. The writing is on the wall, and yet.
But no government official has told me to stay away from restaurants and coffee shops and movie theaters and etc. etc. So why should I? I feel like I live in two worlds, one that’s pub crawling for St. Paddy’s Day and another that is already in total lockdown.
So I went for a bike ride. I headed up to Hampden to see if the brunch crowd was still at it, and every parking spot was taken, lots of folks walking around in the sunshine with shopping bags. I zipped up Roland Avenue and then back down again, retracing my pedals on my way to Druid Hill Park.
On the way I passed a crowded playground.
I got up to the park where people were playing tennis, working out on the shared exercise equipment, and jogging or biking in ones and twos. It felt so good to be speeding around the half-reservoir in the sunshine. I turned the corner, snapped a picture of this open field/empty lot along Druid Hill Park Lake Drive.
When I first moved to Baltimore this space was home to falling-down row houses. I watched as they tore them down, put up a fence, let the grass grow. And then they put in that protected bike/ped lane behind the plastic barriers in this picture. Eight years of riding by this view, and I hope for many more. Today’s view was cars zipping by, I’m guessing on their way to the Shoppers at Mondawmin, because the time to lay in supplies is now. I hope everyone knows that.
I headed home the way I came, past crowds of Hopkins students in masks pushing suitcases and carrying boxes, the only sign that something’s amiss. It’s like we’re in a slow motion disaster movie. I predict a lot of solo bicycling scenes in this apocalypse. The weather doesn’t match my mood, but it’s perfect for being outside, by myself, looking around, and fortunately there’s little else I’d rather do.