The calming balm of nature

For me, one consequence of COVID-19 times has been a general inability to enjoy the distraction of a TV series or watching a movie on TV. I think this comes from that fact that watching the characters go about their activities (sitcom stuff, action stuff, whatever stuff) without wearing masks pulls me out of the show — by reminding me that “Oh, this show or movie can’t be real because look how nobody is wearing a mask.” Alternatively, the show or movie can make me wistful or uncomfortably nostalgic for the “before times” — and it makes me sad for the people in the show or movie (characters and actors alike), because I know what’s coming for them one day in their future — COVID-19 times.

However, I have lately found some sort of comfort in watching 24/7 live streams on Explore.org. ( https://explore.org/livecams ) In particular, one of the “Africam” streams. It’s a camera positioned beside a watering hole called “Rosie’s Pan.” It streams night and day. It’s so remotely located that it is powered entirely by solar panels. There is the constant drown of insects. Sometimes I’ve seen an elephant come by and take a drink. Birds will sometimes fly by. Ducks will land in the water and nibble on whatever ducks nibble on. And COVID-19 has not impacted the ebb and flow of nature, day and night, over and over, at this remote spot on Earth.

by Shāymus MacĀmus