Day 46 – Covid-19

172,434 positives in Italy. Up 2.1% – 22,745 total deaths since beginning of the outbreak.
1,337 positives in Umbria. Two more deaths at 57.

718,185 cases in the US – 37,730 deaths.
Have you heard that one of the sure-fire symptoms of the Covid-19 virus is a loss of the sense of smell and taste? Well, for the last week or so it seems I smell nutmeg all the time. Is that something I should worry about? What do you think? Last night when our pizza was delivered all I could smell was nutmeg. Maybe I have Covid-20…I am not making this up!

And what about those poor people stranded in a train station in India?! Oh my. And I thought we had it bad. Wow.

Varanasi, India — The main train station in the north Indian city of Varanasi is a sprawling building that has witnessed its share of delays over more than a century of rail travel. Sometimes the waits are long, and sometimes they are pleasantly short. But it has never seen anything like this.

Inside a high-ceilinged room, a group of travelers from across India have waited in vain for more than three weeks for trains that never come.

They are parents and children, construction workers, managers, pilgrims, students, a lawyer and a marketing professional. They have one thing in common: They were all stranded hundreds of miles from home when India abruptly suspended its passenger trains, which carry 23 million people a day, then imposed a strict nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Ever since, the passengers have spent their days confined to a waiting room in a state of uncertainty worthy of an existentialist play, unable to continue their journeys and forbidden to leave the station.

In some ways, they are lucky. The station staff, accustomed to handling more than 100,000 passengers a day, have busied themselves taking care of the fewer than 50 who remain. Those stranded get three meals a day, hot tea, a morning yoga session and nightly showings of Hindu epics on a newly mounted television screen.

But they are stuck. “Is this life?” 

Let’s talk about my lemon tree. I got this tree the first summer we were here. All my life I had wanted a lemon tree but it was too cold in Virginia. So I bought this little tree from a nursery. Not knowing much about lemon trees I didn’t really notice that the tree was trained to encircle a metal cage supported by four bamboo stakes, rather than have one central trunk. At first that didn’t matter too much but as time passed it became more and more skewed. So this winter I decided to remove the cage and severely trim and shape it. I removed most of the branches on one side to encourage growth towards the center. It ended up with a sturdy trunk, but it was growing at an angle to the pot. See picture #1 below.

Picture #1. Tree after most of the leaves and branches on the left side were removed.

This next picture has a couple of arrows pointing at a new flower which is a potential lemon, and new leaves. This tree puts out a lot, lot of leaves. Did you know lemon tree baby leaves smell strongly of lemon? Mature leaves do not.

Picture #2. Lemon blossom and new leaves.

Picture #3 has a depiction of lemon fruit if allowed to grow in the main tree. The fruit will be heavy and exert a downward pull straight down from the fruit.

Picture #3 shows downward pull of gravity on the heavy fruit if allowed to grow on the left of the tree.

Picture #4 is my depiction of the twist and pivot the pot would do as it is pulled sideways by the weight.

Picture #4 Pot will topple over from the weight.

And last is Picture #5 showing where I will try to allow fruit to form so it is centered over the pot beneath it. Thus keeping the center of gravity to the right.

Picture #5 showing the fruit centered primarily above the pot.

Well, that was fun wasn’t it? And now everyone will understand what I’m talking about. Do you think this tree is worth saving? Or should I start anew? If I keep trying, I will take pictures as the summer goes on. The fruits start like tiny limes. A lot of them don’t ever mature and fall off when small. The ones that remain don’t get big until autumn and don’t ripen until January. Every year, this little tree produces about 20 lemons. My friend George gave me a great book called The Land Where Lemon Trees Grow. All about the history of citrus in Italy. I know a lot more about it after reading it.

Guess who went for a walk yesterday! 😀 My loop takes about 8 minutes per loop. I was surprised at the number of people out. Everyone was alone (except for some young men 😡)  so that was pretty good. Here are some pictures I took.

Rosemary are shrubs here, not just herbs.
The small Torrente river which meets the Tiber.
The walkway next to the Torrente.
My friends house along the way.
Annoyed to see five regazzi (guys) gathered together barbecuing. Grrrr.

Buona domenica. The bells are tolling outside calling people to Mass…sadly, no one can go. The day will be fine. I hope you enjoy yours…stay home and stay safe everyone…
🌈 Andrà tutto bene…

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