Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Friday Slide Show: Signs of the Time Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

27 March 2020

When it became apparent that there would not be enough coronavirus tests to isolate the infected and track the exposed, sheltering in place became the only strategy to avoid bringing the health care system in several countries to its knees. If we couldn't contain it, we'd have to hide from it.

Sunday evening March 15, we heard from a buddy who wanted to let us know that the governor had ordered anyone over age 65 to shelter in place. By Monday that order had been extended by the mayor to everyone in San Francisco.

Private schools closed shortly after the public schools closed. Everyone expected the closures to last two weeks. But it quickly became clear that we would have to hide from the virus longer than that.

Meanwhile there was panic buying. Inexplicably, paper goods disappeared and were not restocked. Medical supplies like masks and gloves also disappeared from the shelves of the local drugstores.

Grocery stores and drugstores remained open, yes. But restaurants had to close their dining rooms, offering take-out and delivery only. And, observing the shelter-in-place order, everything else was closed, too. Hair salons, antique stores, bookstores, music stores, real estate offices, bars, you name it.

The beauty of our city was superimposed over the bad news.

Not very long after everything shut down, we were in the now deserted village taking a walk. We only had our smartphone with us when we realized the signs on the shop windows were telling the story of this time in their own particular way.

How to describe it?

Each sign was a statement made by the business but some were corporate and others personal. Some were technical, others folksy. Each evidenced a particular kind of connection with the community and their customers. The variety itself amused us.

They were all posted on the glass doors or windows from the inside of the establishment. That made photography a little difficult. To avoid glare on the notices, we stood to the side to take the shot. We couldn't avoid reflections, though.

But later, editing the images, we grew rather fond of seeing the scene from across the street reflected in the glass. The sky was blue. The buildings stood tall. The beauty of our city was superimposed over the bad news.

There's nothing comprehensive about this collection. Most of it was shot on one side of one street. But we couldn't help shooting a few bare shelves at the market because we'd never seen any bare shelves there before and suspect we won't again.

A few days later we again walked down the deserted sidewalks of the village and took the last shot in this series. The boy with his cat seems resigned to sheltering in place for a while.

Indeed, the buddy who called to tell us about the shelter-in-place order himself tested positive for the virus and is in quarantine now. Symptom free, he perhaps will emerge in a few days immune to the thing and free to go about his business.

BackBack to Photo Corners