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NEW: A Research Guide to Homelessness in Rhode Island

Providential Gardener is developing a research guide on homelessness. Read about the guide, explore the guide, and follow the news.

I haven't seen an explanation that satisfies me of what our situation is at the end of March 2020. I may have missed it; it's not possible to read everything and listen to all the reports in the media, which are overwhelmed with stories. Some articles stress parts of the following, and all of the things in this post have been said somewhere by people who know what they're talking about. However, spelling things out this way helps me get perspective. Maybe it will clarify things for others as well. 

If you're a parent and have been on a long trip with your young children, you may relate to this: you've packed the car up, belted the kids in, and left the driveway. Fifteen minutes into the 400-mile leg of a cross-country journey to Disneyland, the 8-year-old in the back seat says, "Are we there yet?" I can't help thinking of this when I watch the Coronavirus Task Force briefings through March 21st (at least to this date. This may continue indefinitely I fear).

For now, mercifully, most people are focused on what matters, which is life -- especially saving lives of elders and healthcare workers. It's a great relief from the usual battles over who gets a political advantage over whom. We have to collaborate, support, and be thoughtful of others. This is a great opportunity to be our best selves.

However, the coronavirus crisis illustrates why one of those political tugs of war is worse than useless, and that issue is arguing over what size  our governments should be.

Today, March 17, 2020, TV and online news stories overwhelm me by their sheer numbers and range of topics. I do have other stuff to do besides keep a journal, so how can this be summarized? I just can't do it, so here are a few items.

CBS This Morning - March 17, 2020 (8am-8:30 approx)

Expert Recommendations about Social Distancing to Slow Coronavirus Undermined by TV News Footage and Ads
Social distancing is our best tactic to slow the rate at which infections occur so that the hospitals and medical professionals are not overwhelmed. We can see what could happen by checking out the experience of China and Italy. Experts say that two weeks from now, without drastic action today, the U.S. could look like Italy today, with critically ill people denied care and people dying at home.

The other day I saw a suggestion about keeping a journal of personal experiences/observations as the Covid-19 pandemic develops and overtake the world. Good idea, I thought, so I'm starting the ProvGardener Covid-19 Journal to document this extraordinary situation from my point of view. Some posts may be about the virus in general, but I want to focus primarily on what's going on in Rhode Island. Additionally, until the federal response rises to the occasion, I'm also following and documenting what is happening (and not happening) at that level.

A new Liberty Tree, grown from a seed of the last surviving original tree, a grand tulip poplar that lived more than 400 years in Maryland, was planted on April 27, 2007 at the Roger Williams National Memorial on North Main Street in Providence, RI. It's just down the road from the site of Rhode Island's original Liberty Tree, an elm chosen by the Sons of Liberty in 1768 that stood on the north side of Olney Street and North Main.

Most of us never give categories much thought -- the librarians* among us are most likely to think about this, but even many librarians find cataloging boring and tedious. The fact is that everyone automatically categorizes everything every waking moment. Let yourself think about this: you got up this morning and you did different things in the bathroom than in the kitchen. You put clothes on, not the drapes. You looked for forks or spoons in the silverware drawer, not the sock drawer. And so on.

Westerly's Wilcox Park was designed by a former associate of Frederick Law Olmstead in the early 20th century, and it is truly a beautiful space with many activities during the summer. One of those activities is a walkaround to view the Wilcox Park Champion Trees on second Saturdays, May through October.

Indoor Farming is also known as Vertical Farming.

Definition of Indoor Farming (Vertical Farming)

A method of growing food indoors in stacked layers, for instance, in a skyscraper, warehouse, or shipping container.


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