To say that COVID-19 has unprecedentedly altered the way we assess and live our lives is an understatement. Many of us now awaken every morning stifled by thoughts of despondence and volatility. Human existence has never been so frail and bleak, especially when COVID-19 is one’s very first pandemic.

I started writing this post on St. Patrick’s Day, when I was supposed to spend the morning and early afternoon in Boston – possibly attending the annual parade. Last year I visited tourist hotspot Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. A few T Ching posts reviewed not only the establishment but also the teas that were thrown overboard into Boston Harbor. In a future post I would like to give the spotlight to the Robinson Tea Chest.

The Courtyard Tea Room located inside Boston Public Library’s historical McKim Building was one of this year’s planned tea-themed destinations. Cancelling the trip did not cause much stress. During the holiday season I started paying attention to news from Asia when my birthplace Taiwan experienced election fever. (The candidate who challenged incumbent President Tsai was one of the very worst examples of human indignity. President Tsai of course won in a landslide, on January 11, 2020!) I was puzzled by sporadic reports on a mysterious illness inflicting the people in Wuhan, HuBei Province – a strategic railway hub and the most populous city in Central China. The world would learn later that five million residents escaped Wuhan prior to lockdown. If only there was more information sharing, more transparency from the onset… 

Beautiful Boston has left its footprint in every chapter of American history. Camp Devens — now Fort Devens — near Boston served as both reception and demobilization centers during World War I. In 1918, more than 800 soldiers lost their lives when the Spanish flu infested the base. An American Experience documentary entitled “Influenza 1918″ urges its viewers to ponder how and why “as soon as the dying stopped, the forgetting began.” Major wars and economic meltdown seldom flee our memories: Why did Influenza 1918, said to have killed 50 million worldwide?

While contemplating cancellation of the Boston trip, I feared my European trip in the spring would suffer the same fate…

To be concluded in Tearooms That WERE To Be Visited – Part 2

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