On Friday, March 13th, on what would end up being my last real day of work for the forseeable future, I headed out at 5:30pm to chase some light. I had no destination in mind as I drove down Pleasant Street then State. I pulled into and out of the Landing lot and then headed down Front Street until I pulled over at Fort Beach. That spot offered me the best view of the interesting clouds and light over Chandler Hovey Park and I started off shooting a tight composition of that section of this image with my zoom extended.

It was only when I zoomed out to explore other compositions that it struck me – the great tree was missing.  I had seen posts earlier that day about it being taken down but I guess that hadn’t become real to me until I was out there with my camera and could feel its absence in a composition that I had captured previously. I decided that I preferred the grander view of Fort Beach in the end with the Great Tree gone but not forgotten as a large empty space at the edge of Fort Sewall.

As to my earlier comment, for those who don’t know, I am an Allergist working four days out of the week out of offices in Salem and Danvers. On Sunday night, following recommendations from both Beth Israel Lahey Health and Partners Healthcare, we made the very difficult decision to close our offices. We are running a single office with a rotating staff to care for very few patients and otherwise have switched to telemedicine visits.  As a physician, the first rule they teach you is ‘first, do no harm’. Though isolating ourselves and our teenage children is not easy by any means, it is literally the only tool we have right now to keep us and our vulnerable populations safer from the coming wave of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.  Isolation only works to minimize spread if everyone does it so I will add one more voice imploring you to keep yourself and your children home as much as possible.  Thank you.

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