There wasn't anything normal about 2020. In January, I had been really sick. As I emerged from the illness, I started following this novel virus in the Wunan province and Northern Italy with deep concern, because it was only a matter of time that it would effect us. I nervously attended live music concerts being the only person in my circle that was concerned at the time.
On March 16th, everything shutdown and we were all sheltering-in-place. It seemed that the entire world was in shutdown. There were scenes where the virus hit first where people would go out on their balconies and bang pots and cheer in honor of the health care workers. Marin decided to join in by howling. It started just south of us in Mill Valley, and spread quickly. Every night at 8pm, the howling and banging of pots could be heard.
One night on April Fools, I went out to capture it happening in my neighborhood. There was a forum on Facebook devoted to those who howled that seemed to extend to the entire American west and perhaps further. People would howl for loved ones who died or who were sick. Some howled because they lost a job. Many not only howled to honor health care workers, but to connect with each other. It was a way to feel solidarity with neighbors and connect via their voices. There was a little bit or even more than a little bit of cabin fever craziness involved mixed with a little primal yell. The howling was sad, exhilarating, and strange.
The howling did not survive the Spring. I imagine there a many reasons for this. There will be a list of things that happened in 2020 that will be difficult to explain to those who were too little during 2020 or came after 2020.
Americans decided to collectively forget going through the 1918 pandemic, and it will be interesting to see if we decide again to forget or decide to remember so we can be better next time.