I am sitting at my work desk. It’s the end of the week. A bizarre week, to say the least. Outside, traffic has ceased, almost completely. I see only one young lady crossing the street. And a car every once in a while. Otherwise an unusual silence, almost ominous. The society is in lockdown-mode. The buzzword is social distancing.
What maybe surprises me the most is the fact that I have been able to maintain almost full workload. I have produced stories for magazines and papers that still keep the press running – if not literally in these digital times.
However, I have hardly photographed people this week, and when it happens, it’s from a distance. I always preach to photographers; go close, but in the time of corona, it’s not feasible any more. Not surprisingly, I am photographing much less than I would usually do.
I certainly can’t do much street photography. Well, I can, but not with much activity or people close up. Maybe I will give myself an assignment to photograph emptiness and how the lockdown has so dramatically changed city life. Next week.
As much as I have been able to keep myself busy this week, it seems to change as of now. I haven’t gotten new assignments, so naturally as the projects I am presently working on get done, my workload will quickly diminish. I do not despair, though. I will survive. Instead I will start developing new personal projects that I have long wanted to do, but never found time to commence with.
Here in Norway we are in the second week of the lockdown with severe regulations imposed by the authorities. Most people are doing okay, but I feel a kind of despair emerging from the collective soul. We are all getting somewhat restless from all this isolation we are supposed to enforce. The despair gets more evident as people start to see that this is going to last for months, not just a couple of weeks.
Last weekend it was as if the safety valve blew. After a more than usual rainy winter, the sun finally showed some grace here in my hometown. Suddenly every single one who has been practising social distancing needed to get outside and enjoy the sun. On the mountains surround the city, there was almost a line of people hiking up and down. So much now that the health authorities found it necessary to impose new regulations for the use of the outdoor vicinities.
I unconditionally confess, I was among the culprits. And how good wasn’t it for soul and spirit! I could lift my eyes, see and accept what is to come. I am ready, now after getting in touch with mother nature and seeing her beauty is still untouched by the plague. In fact she is doing better than in a long time, with diminished pollution, diminished pressure by modern society and diminished exploitation.