Sandstorms, Pandemics and Toilet Paper!

March 19, 2020
man with light star scene

The musings of an astronomer in lock-down!

After the turbulent year on a personal level in 2019, I looked to 2020 with a renewed optimism and determination to succeed.  After the worst sandstorm in 40 years and now the global pandemic of Corona Virus Covid-19 you might think my optimism would have all but gone.  Rightly we are all looking forward with a pinch of hesitation and uncertainty in abundance of the future model of tourism its very self.  However, the lock down imposed by Royal Decree in Spain, also observed in the Canaries, has led to great community and social awareness.

hope 2020

As I am writing this Blog I am sat on my balcony in the evening sunshine watching another beautiful Tenerife Sunset and awaiting the now nightly, rounds of applause for the health workers in the Canaries.  Regular as clockwork nearly the whole village is out on their balconies applauding the health workers efforts and every day without fail it continues to lift your daily spirits.

Doesn´t sound hard, stay in your house, watch TV.  My Grandparents were called to War at a younger age than I am now so I shouldn’t really complain.  Talking to my Grandmother now 94, who by the way compares everything in life to an analogy of WW2, she seems decidedly optimistic for the long-term outlook.  However, she did mention that reading the now daily reports of the lack of toilet roll that “during the war, we used to tear up newspapers and hang them by the toilet”.  I am sure we can all imagine at least one newspaper we would like to use for that task for our own reasons.  But her steeliness in the face of adversity just made me think in the 94 years she has been on this Earth she must have seen it all.  Despite being worried about catching the actual virus herself as she is quite definitely in the high at-risk category, she just shrugs her shoulders and says what will be will be and gets on with it.

empty toilet roll

Like I said on Facebook nobody knows what the future holds, but when the sun dips below the horizon and the day sky turns to night, and slowly but surely the stars start to reveal themselves, we can take some solace that they will be there for more than just our generation to see.  It is an almost comforting thought to me that I am looking at the same night skies essentially as the Greeks and Romans did when they were conjuring up stories about their Gods and Heroes.  In the same vain as the stars, we shall return after the crises has passed.  Maybe the World will be a different place, but rest assured the stars will still be telling the same stories and will continue to do so for a long time to come and I for one am looking forward to getting back to passing these stories on to you from the National Park of Tenerife.

Stay Safe guys.

Until inspiration or the lack of external contact hits me again, this is Kieran saying by for now, unless you are a member of our new Moon Light Members Club….

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