Closed Until Further Notice
As I venture out to explore what Boston looks like under the coronavirus pandemic, the city was locked-down pretty tight with a few exceptions. Most of the people I pass use face masks but I was and still am surprised at how a fair number of people flaunt the recommendations of health care professionals. Mental illnesses aside, arrogance and self-centered attitudes continue to exist. Maybe Darwin’s theories will take its toll but sadly and unfortunately it is also taking the innocent and vulnerable as well.
The only other times I have seen this city so void of people and vacant of traffic was in the middle of a major snowstorm where the entire city was closed up and the streets became small solitary paths because the snow plows from the DPW simply could not keep up with the amount of snow that was dropping down. There was always tomorrow and then they could bring in the bigger snow removal equipment to do the job right. This time was different. Fear had driven people to stay inside and only boredom or a desire to try a new recipe encouraged people to walk the streets to a local grocery store or the few restaurants which tried to stay open and serve takeout food only.
Some jobs can’t be done remotely. This MBTA employee was happy to be out and washing down the glass windows of a bus stop in South Boston. Just another day but now he is a certified and relied upon essential worker. In normal times, an invisible city worker, but on that cold Spring day applying plenty of bubbles to make the glass as clear and invisible as possible while washing those windows until the virus looses its grip and slithers down into the dark sewers from where it came from.
A strange and mysterious virus….. not unlike so many others. You cant see it, can’t feel it, can’t smell it and in many cases, you don’t even know you have it unless you get tested. We know so little about it and it’s long term impact yet we know its deadly and devastating to hundreds of thousands of Americans and their families who have gotten the virus and were either lucky enough to walk out of the hospitals or for the unfortunate ones who left thru the exits where the refrigerated trucks were parked taking their passengers for a final ride to the overwhelmed mortuaries and funeral homes.
Eyes darting quickly away. Furtive glances while people try to make it to where they are going without getting caught in someones exhalation. The new normal is definitely abnormal but until we have a working vaccination, we are all on our own, hoping to avoid getting coronavirus or passing it on to loved ones.
An unprepared, narcissistic and hateful President Trump who is in denial about the harm that this pandemic is causing coupled with his constant lying and misinforming American citizens as to the dire impact it is having on people’s health, mental well being, and the financial hit the economy is taking because it will definitely hurt his chances for re-election.
It still feels very strange…. like time has stood still and we are all in a post-apocalyptic science fiction movie, but in this case, it’s very real. I look out the window and it all looks normal out there. Sun streaming in the windows, birds flying, the wind rushing through the leaves of trees, but I know the world isn’t right. I am not alone in this bad dream.
Horizontal color photograph of people walking in Copley Square wearing face masks during the coronavirus pandemic. Boston, MA
After 3 months of lockdown the night was settling into a very empty and cold Spring evening in Kenmore Square. All the stores were shuttered. A local pizza establishment open with a young man inside looking for conversation, dinner and a sense of belonging. Belonging to anything besides their lonely apartments. I pass the bus stop where 2 people are sitting on benches waiting for their bus to come and take them away to someplace else. Maybe home, maybe a hospital, maybe some place where the coronavirus hasn’t disrupted almost every detail in our daily lives and routines. I come across a bus with its lights off and the driver bundled up against the cold evening. An essential worker filling out some paperwork in between shifts of moving people around the city of Boston, hoping and probably praying that no one gets on her bus tonight.
Horizontal color photograph of a bus driver filling out paper work in between rides during the coronavirus pandemic. Boston, MA
Copyright © 2020 Steven Edson
The camera works to document the external, but more importantly, magnifies the mysteries which exist within one’s self. How does emotion impact memory? How does ambiguity and POV change our perception of reality while the familiar slides into the unknown? Steve’s images begin to dissolve into a study about our solitary existence. His images reveal over and over the metaphorical fog that shrouds our experience. Not just an observer, Steve is present with us, describing but also raising questions about what we think we see. Steve thrives on creating fresh and authentic images experimenting with both his and the viewer’s perceptions while exploring the roads less travelled.