Salem in the Time of Corona

I imagine Salem must be like your town or city at this time: quiet and closed. As it is a compact and walkable city full of architectural treasures (still), the quiet more than compensates for the closure, but you are all too aware of the hardship that both are causing. It’s not a singular holiday that is allowing you to walk or bike freely with few cars in your path but rather a prolonged period of anxiety through stoppage for the freelancers and entrepreneurs among us, many in a city like Salem. I’m grateful for my security: there’s no stoppage for me, either of work or of income. I find that remote teaching takes more time than classes which actually meet in person: and while the latter invigorates you (or me) the former drains, so out in the streets of Salem I go to try to get some energy back. But again, I’m grateful for my security and have no complaints.









This week’s weather is so much better than that of last week, when the sun failed to appear for days. I am determined to: 1) put on real pants, with zippers; 2) observe proper meal times; 3) drink more tea; 4) turn off the computer for one full day; 5) avoid the daily presidential briefings; and 6) try to play board games with my husband (I am a terrible game-player but he loves them). This is not a very challenging list, obviously. In addition to all these tasks and working, I take my daily walks, noting new architectural details but also new orders of business around town: restaurants which are still open for take-out, or have transformed themselves into makeshift grocery stores which deliver, shops whose owners will meet you at the curb with your online purchases. The signs for canceled events are the other conspicuous markers of Corona time, like those for Salem Restaurant Weeks (March 15-26) and the annual Salem Film Fest (March 20-29) in the reflective windows of the Chamber of Commerce.








But there are other signs too: of support for health-care workers and grocery clerks, teddy bears and other animals for children’s scavenger hunts. And signs of Spring, of course.





8 responses to “Salem in the Time of Corona

  • Judith Smolk

    Hi: I watch you every week. I am sheltering in, in Florida. I’m thinking of a Paint by Number project. It seems like a good idea. Do you have any recommendation of a site that might have Salem, Danvers, Concord paint by numbers? I am a descendant of Rebecca Nurse and visited Salem and Danvers in 2018. (no witch paint by numbers!)

  • Susan Milstein

    Thanks for the lovely essay & photographs of Salem in spring during the pandemic. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  • Diane Smith

    You have the eye of an artist Donna and, of course, a feel for the history of our much loved city. Thank you for sharing this. Best, Diane

  • Brian Bixby

    Ah, boardgames! When I was in high school, I was an avid wargamer when board war-games were at their peak in popularity. With so much indoor time, I got several out, and convinced my partner to play one based on monster movies, “The Creature That Ate Sheboygan.” It turns out to be more fun than watching a different kind of monster destroy our cities.
    Stay safe, Donna.

    • daseger

      I am the worst gamer—any type of game—ever! I can’t even wrap my mind around the concept of playing a game. But I think I must try. You too, Brian

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