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It’s the middle of summer 2020 during Covid19. According to NOAA weather data for Washington, D.C., July 2020 ended with 28 days over 90 degrees. So what’s new about that? It’s summer. Here’s the dilemma we all face: stay inside all day every day, or get outside to try to enjoy what Mother Nature gives us?
There’s no choice, really, as I have to walk the dog three or four times a day. At 6:00 a.m. one morning, it was already 80 degrees and 75 percent humidity. But nature called. Then at noon, it was nearly 100. A short walk to the park, then home. In the evening, with thunder rumbling across the sky, we try to get the walk done before the deluge. This is not easy with a dog who scares easily at the distant sound of thunder, which he hears long before I do.
For a break, I’ve managed to get away for short road trips to cooler spots near the water or in the mountains. During short excursions to the Chesapeake Bay and the Hudson Valley, I wore my mask, kept my distance from others, and wore sturdy walking shoes, welcomed breaks from the outdoors heat and indoor confinement. As you can see from my video, however, not everyone was following the recommendations for masks and social distancing.
We're all looking to get outside. If you have a story to share, send it my way and I’ll help you bring it to life. Stay safe!
For my next blog, I’ll be exploring whether lifestyle changes, like decreases in transportation during the pandemic, have had any impact on greenhouse gas emission levels that contribute to climate change and global warming. Are we merely passive recipients of what Mother Nature gives us or are we affecting it?
FAUCI TO STUDENTS: THE FUTURE OF SCIENCE IS WITH YOU
COVID19 Underscores Need for Science Education
The sixth USA Science and Engineering Festival was scheduled to take place in the nation’s capital from April 24-26, 2020. Instead, the Washington Convention Center, where previous festivals took place, will be converted into a field hospital if needed for COVID19 patients in the District of Columbia.
The festival is the largest of its kind in the country, drawing more than 370,000 K-12 students, parents, and teachers from across the nation for three days of engaging exhibits. It offers the opportunity to see rock stars in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and math) like Bill Nye the Science Guy, astronauts, pilots, oceanographers, doctors and health researchers, inventors of all types, and even robots. I worked at all five previous festivals and was amazed by their size, scope, and enthusiasm levels.
At a related event in 2015, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke to students at the X-STEM festival on “From HIV to Ebola: Always Expect the Unexpected.” Ironically, this year the nation is combating the COVID19 pandemic, Dr. Fauci is now a household name, and we are dealing with the unexpected.
Although the 2020 festival is postponed, it highlights the importance of STEM to our nation’s wellbeing. These examples illustrate why:
-- Marjorie Weisskohl, All Seasons PR
What is your small business or non-profit doing to survive COVID19? How are you adapting, and are your communications helping you sustain the business? Join Marjorie Weisskohl of All Seasons PR and Brian Williams of StratIQ Consulting for their April 14 webinar on crisis communications for COVID19 and steps you can take to help surmount this daunting challenge. Continue to follow Congressional action on possible additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Act.
02/02/2020 -- Groundhog's Day.
There's a long tradition in the little town of Punxsutawney in west-central Pennsylvania, where people in 18th century black top hats and black coats wait for the groundhog to emerge from his burrow. According to Stormfax.com, "when German settlers (Pennsylvania Dutch) arrived in the 1700s, they brought a tradition known as Candlemas Day, which has an early origin in the pagan celebration of Imbolc. It came at the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox."
The long-awaited prediction this year is for an early spring, as Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow and decided to venture further outdoors on Sunday.
In northern Virginia, the temperature was in the high 40s/lower 50s, sunny with a light breeze. Not one to spend a beautiful day inside, I decided to venture over to Great Falls National Park in Maryland, about 10 miles north of the Maryland/DC line. The good weather was enough to bring other humans out of their dens, too. Despite the previous day's rain, the ground was very walkable. And, it led to a fast flowing Potomac River.
The video below captures a little of my experience that day. I hope it inspires you to get out there and visit a nearby park. Enjoy!
KOA staff from Gloucester Point, Va., left, and Harpers Ferry, W.V. , with Camping World reps, center, welcome guests to the expo.
Interior of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter camper van. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.
Photos by Marjorie Weisskohl, unless otherwise noted. (C) All Seasons PR 2020.