Quail are such fun birds. The males dorky with their little head tufts, and the babies – adorable little bundles of fluff.

A couple of years ago standing at the kitchen sink looking out the window, I noticed a male quail bobbing around and then disappearing into an overgrown flowerbed. Over the next few days, I saw both male and female come and go, so I decided to investigate. I approached the flowerbed cautiously, from the side, and gently moved an overhanging branch aside, and disturbed the mama quail that flew off and really shouted at me. I left quickly, not sure who was more surprised. I worried that she would not return, but she did and all was well. I was hoping to be able to see the baby quail. On a Saturday morning I thought I could see some movement from the nest, which was becoming more visible as the vegetation became more and more dried up, and decided to check on the nest when we got back from the farmer’s market. However, by then, everyone had left. I counted 18 eggshells!!

But quail also means to cringe in fear of something. And I do – I inwardly cringe, or quail, at things I see and hear around me. People seem to forget (or don’t believe, or don’t care) that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. A close friend told me about friends of theirs, both in their 70s, diagnosed with covid. She was doing fine; he, not so good. Still exhausted several weeks on. But what was most shocking was the number of their contacts. In the week prior to diagnosis, they had been in contact (less than 6 feet for 15 minutes plus) with 70 people. 70 people!!!

Since March I have been in close contact (less than 6 feet for 15 minutes plus) with 2 people, both of whom I live with. If I can do it why can’t they??

Meanwhile the numbers go up.

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