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Chico 5 September 2020

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Breakfast from across the street at Chico Saturday Market. The woman in cool little rolling stand offered Proscuito, Cheese, and Leek Quiche and “her favorite,” Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.

Back across the street for the wonders of the market* – more relaxed than our markets, and much bigger and busier, although lots of empty stalls, and smaller than before the plague. T-shirt: “When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty.”

We came away with fresh crop Walnuts, Passion Fruit, Peaches, Pluots, Corn, small Onions, both Torpedo and round, Purple Potatoes, Llano Seco hamburger and Black Beans, local Honey, Gazpacho, and so much more!

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* Lying in bed, I replayed the “market scene” in the context of Butte County's standing in California's battle with the plague: 3rd, at 201 new cases in the last 14 days per 100,000 people. It's an agricultural county that carefully conceals the ethnicity of cases; far and away the most at-risk cohort are the 19-24 year old college age students.

At the market, a much more complex enterprise than our County's biggest, Fort Bragg, there's virtually no control beyond universal masking and individual efforts to preserve distance. On the ground, chalked names and slogans – Breonna Taylor, All Black Lives Matter – but nothing to remind us what six feet looks like. Conventional pre-plague payment protocols. 

I am grateful to Julie Apostolou, Market Manager Extraordinaire, for her efforts to (1) keep our market open, and (2) keep our market safe. I felt that going to market here in Chico was the chanciest thing we have done since the plague began. 

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