Isolation vs Quarantine…what is the remedy for a pool party during a pandemic?

Normally my morning outdoor efforts involve running. Running is a passion of mine. A very disciplined goal-oriented passion. Goals have become a very tricky proposition during this pandemic we are experiencing. The art goals I have been working towards for the past number of years seem to be dissolving quicker than the remaining patches of snow on the ski slope down the street. Reimagining and reinventing thoughts are dominating my sleepless nights. No run scheduled for Memorial Day, so I decided to go for a neighborhood stroll. I enjoyed a leisurely walk while I looked around at the beautiful landscape that makes up my rural home in Vermont. Walking along at a leisurely pace does not come easily to me…physically or metaphysically.

Reading some of my local Vermont news sources over the weekend I came across a moving expose titled: Scenes of Isolation Amid Pandemic In The Vermont Countryside by Tara Wray …

Beautifully evocative, poignant and a testament to the strength of the people in the state of Vermont. The images are soulful, and her narrative is telling as it provides a glimpse into a select group as Vermonters during coronavirus and social distancing. 

Living here for however long it has been I often have thought that it is not easy to live in Vermont but so worth the effort as beauty surrounds. There is a ruggedness to living here. Wray states that there is a certain amount of “grit” required to live in Vermont. I happen to agree. I started to think about the word “grit.” What does it mean to have grit? We don’t often use the word anymore, but it is appropriate in describing the incredibly strong people of this state. Courage, strength of character, perseverance and resiliency are just some of the characteristics people possess.  

Wray’s images have stayed with me and I keep thinking about the people she featured. The amazing images while social distancing speaks volumes with their elegant and thoughtful expressions. Juxtaposed to such graceful images I reflected on some of the other images in the news this weekend.  Images of defiance and not compliance. Videos of a massively overcrowded pool party at the Lake of the Ozarks, crowded boardwalks and beaches were featured on many news broadcasts as well as on social media. 

I had to think for a moment where exactly are the Ozarks? The name sounded more like an exotic resort than being located in the state of Missouri.  My knowledge of Missouri is obviously limited, but I do know that it is the childhood home of Mark Twain. Hannibal, Missouri was Twain’s boyhood home. I wonder what Twain might have penned about the Ozarks pool party. Nothing witty about a crowded pool party during a pandemic that has claimed nearly 100,000 American lives. A questionable decision made by some citizens of the state but not a reflection on all Missourians in my mind.

Twain was a seeker of the truth.  His writing challenged the issues America was facing during the late 1800’s. Racism, class issues, access to education etc… Seeing the images of the pool party and reflecting on Mark Twain I longed to remember Huck Finn and his sense of morality in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. As Huck said …

“That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don’t know nothing about it.”

Follow the science…

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

One thought

  1. Liz, I love the connections you make. Been enjoying your writing very much. Thank you for continuing to beat the drum. You are tireless and it gives me hope.

Leave a Reply