Fire road in the Middlesex Fells. Photo (cc) 2016 by Dan Kennedy.

We’re living through a historic moment. Following the lead of many others, I’ve decided to start keeping a COVID-19 diary. Don’t expect anything startling — just a few observations from someone stuck at home, lucky to be working and healthy.

In early March, I began running for the first time in many months, starting out at a cautious two miles and gradually working up to five. During the intervening weeks, the world started closing down around us. I settled on main drags where few people tend to walk and where I could head out into the street if necessary. My goal was to give people 15 or 20 feet of separation.

Then, yesterday, a beautiful spring day, I took a chance that I should have known wouldn’t work out. So many parking areas around the Middlesex Fells have been closed that I thought the fire roads around the North Reservoir might be relatively empty. No such luck — it was like a beach in Florida, only with trees. I got maybe a quarter of a mile in before I could see that it was hopeless. I stopped, put on my mask (which I had carried with me) and walked out.

Today: Back to the streets.

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