Normal reception will resume shortly

I had an opportunity to shoot a lovely young model at Picnic Island yesterday and so I decided to head there an hour early so that I could explore the natural world before I was forced to look at scantily clad bikini stuff.

Someone has to do it, I suppose.

It was a typically beautiful late afternoon in Tampa, with temperature in the 80s, a mostly blue sky, and a soft breeze coming in from the bay.

These near-perfect conditions brought more than just me out … there were people of all ages, all ethnicities, and all shapes and sizes, enjoying what the natural world had to offer.

As I wandered off taking shots of small wild sunflowers, there were people swimming, sunbathing, barbequeing, para-sailing, boating, and fishing.

All around me were the sounds of people having fun, children laughing, and the strains of Abba coming from a balloon-decorated shelter where a family was obviously celebrating a birthday.

It was idyllic.

I hope you like some of these pics … it is hard for me to choose between the flower that was actually breathing, the anhinga stretching his wings out to dry, or the magnificent colors that engulfed the skies as the sun went down.

But hopefully you might find your own favorite in here!

In any event, the lasting thought that ran around inside my head, as I drove home, was neither bikini nor nature driven. But it was about people’s behavior.

Everything was so damn normal. You could be forgiven for thinking this coronavirus shit was merely a bad dream.

There was no signs of panic, toilet paper hoarding, or canned food shortage. Doomsday seemed a million miles away.

The experience put a spring in my step and yet made me sad for all these people who have their finger almost permanently on the panic button and living their life in constant fear.

Yes, there is a pandemic. Yes, there are changes that need to be made to how we handle the coming weeks or so.

But the rush to hoard 24 mega-rolls and 80 cans of spaghettios is not just ludicrous, but it has damaging effects to all of us. The over-loaded stocks in rich folk’s houses is balanced by a shortage in poor folk’s houses. Not everyone can afford to fill their pantries and bathrooms when they are just about making ends meet during more normal times.

But the big asses that need Hummers apparently also consume about ten times the toilet tissue of the asses that have to walk or ride buses to work, apparently.

I mean, come on! Seriously!!

In times of stress, people show their true colors. Good people help others. Selfish people help themselves.

In times of stress, our empathy for others, our conscience, our moral fabric … it all gets tested and not everyone passes with flying colors.

There are those loud-mouthed, bravado-spewing, chest-thumping, bullies that circle the wagons and make the problem an “us versus them” issue.

But in times of pandemics, we are all in the same boat. We are not chinese, italian, or american. We are just human.

We may live, we may die. But given that we will all die eventually, the living part needs to be about how we live, rather than how long we live.

So, watching these people yesterday live a normal Saturday enjoying their lives by being simply normal … well frankly, embarrassed those of us building walls, closing borders, and demonizing strangers.

Whenever it does happen, one thing is for certain … Normal Reception will Resume Shortly. Until then, just relax and breathe.