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April 20, 2020

I just replied to an email “letter” from our friend Henrik in Sweden. He and his wife Linda were our neighbors across the street for six years. Then it was time for them to return home as their beautiful family grew. Sadly, they had to cancel their May trip to Southern California because of the pandemic. Our bi-cultural friendship was a blast. My fondest memory is Henrik always coming over with a freshly baked loaf of bread wrapped in a towel. And Mexican fare a la Chef Louie was always the meal we enjoyed when they came over. They now make tacos at home in Sweden!

The nightly Cheer has evolved into more than one minute as neighbors linger longer outside –- but always at a distance. The other night as Louie and I walked back to our house, we saw Lola snooping around our neighbor’s yard. The gate to our yard was left ajar and Lola found her way out. We called out, “Lola!” Well, she didn’t come to us. Instead, so stealth-like, she bee-lined her way back across the two driveways between the houses, weaved around our parked cars back to the opened gate to our front yard. Without stopping, she continued up the back stairs, and through our back door. I followed her to the living room. In her mouth was a bright pink stuffed “animal” that she had snatched from our neighbor’s yard. Ah ha!

I looked more closely at her new friend. Its head was definitely a pig. But the round spiked hot pink body looked like -- the coronavirus!

Am I thinking too much into this or did “coronavirus red” subconsciously dominate one of Jacqueline’s recent paintings -- that now rounds out (no pun intended) our salon wall? I did a bit of research on the color of coronavirus. Simply put, it doesn’t have a color. But medical illustrator Alissa Eckert who leads a small team at the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, created the iconic logo of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the cause of COVID-19) that we’ve come to identify on television, in ads and in articles. In order to draw attention to the aggressive virus, she chose red for the spike proteins.

It certainly grabbed mine.

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