Spring Hopes Eternal: Spring in the Time of Coronavirus

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”

–Hal Borland
Early spring flowers, Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA

Spring is in the air. It is gradually awakening, even in this little corner of the Northeast, where it is historically slow to emerge. Signs of spring are all around. It’s in the dawn birdsong that doesn’t gently stir awake, but insists on bursting into a raucous celebration of the new day. It’s in the early-blooming flowers that infuse hints and patches of color into the drab grey-brown landscape of the fading winter. The daffodils are blooming now, and the forsythia too, in sunny bright yellow shades that dare you to try not to be happy. It is a typical coastal New England spring.

This spring feels different. There is a cloud shrouding this spring, heavier and more persistent than the fleeting clouds and fog of a typically capricious New England spring, with its March bluster and April showers. This is the cloud of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and its attendant illness COVID-19, spreading globally and around the country, even to this little corner of coastal New England. It has seemed colder, cloudier, and rainier this spring, probably because those are the days that reflect the mood. The sunny days seem like a betrayal, incongruous with this cloud of disruption, fear, pain and grief. This spring is not typical.

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