ハンゾーモン 半藏門 江戸城内郭の城門の一。一に麹町御門ともいふ。吹上禁苑の裏に當る。名稱は門内に服部半藏正就の屋敷があったので名づく。半藏御門。
出典：「大辞典」第21巻 昭和11年5月刊 平凡社 発行者下中弥三郎
テキサスだより①Spring Stirs Hope for Recovery, Rebirth
PHOTO: The author and her husband mask up while enjoying a high school football game, a rare trace of normalcy in a year upended by the coronavirus pandemic
Here in Texas, the arrival of spring feels more symbolic than ever this year. Sure, it also means allergies, a resumption of mowing, and most likely 100-degree temperatures right around the corner. But spring’s promise of renewal and of brighter, warmer days holds special appeal after the difficult year we’ve just had.
Exactly one year ago, in March 2020, the WHO declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic, upending normal life around the world. Here in north Texas, our stay-at-home order came during local schools’ one-week spring break, disrupting the return to classes. Weeks turned into months, as classes shifted to a virtual format, concerts and year-end school activities – such as my son’s graduation ceremony – were postponed or canceled, stores and restaurants closed to all but pickup or delivery orders, and normal interactions with friends and family suddenly became awkward and potentially dangerous.
Mask-wearing became a flashpoint, at the same time that the American public was already reeling from political divisions during a bitter presidential campaign, in addition to protests over police brutality and racism. Texas Governor Greg Abbott loosened pandemic-related restrictions in early June, leading coronavirus cases to rise sharply in mid-to-late summer.
Amid immense uncertainty and stress, school resumed in August, with both virtual and in-person options – but there were serious safety concerns for fall sports. High school football is an indispensable part of fall in suburban America, particularly in Texas. The season eventually proceeded, and with a daughter in marching band, my husband and I spent the fall attending games with mandatory masks, spaced seating, and no food or drink allowed. It was different, but I’m grateful now that we got to experience the season at all, as these games were practically the only semi-normal hallmarks of a regular year.
Another case surge after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays pushed coronavirus case numbers through the roof, with Dallas county announcing 2,387 new *daily* cases on January 8 and recording 228 deaths in a single week in early February. Several people I know lost loved ones after exposure at holiday get-togethers. My own extended family had to reschedule our Christmas gathering multiple times, as various family members got infected or were forced to quarantine.
Then, as the icing on the cake, Texas experienced a winter storm that pushed the state’s power grid to the verge of collapse. My family spent most of 4 days in freezing temperatures with no power and no internet or cellphone signal. We ran water from all our faucets for 10 days straight to keep our water pipes from freezing, as we huddled under blankets to keep warm.
And then the sun came out. And the flowers began to bloom. And as the vaccine rollout gained momentum and daily caseloads and hospitalizations began declining steadily, the governor lifted the state’s mask mandate and allowed restaurants and businesses to operate at full capacity. In the span of a single week in mid-March, I managed to register for a COVID-19 vaccine, I received a hefty COVID relief payment, and the first official day of spring arrived. At long last, there’s a sense of optimism and recovery in the air – and it’s not a moment too soon.
March 20th, 2021
- テキサスだより②Deep Divisions Threaten Unity
- よしなしごと 〔２〕暗い秘密
- よしなしごと ［１］
- メディア・コンパス６『日本の鉄道 車窓風景絶景100選』
- メディア・コンパス３「情報とフォルム-1 」
- メディア・コンパス２「RTT=Real Time Transcriptionシステムの意義」