Marty’s photo of the day #3197: If you’ve read my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents, you know the story of Deb’s and my near-death adventure backpacking with the Iban tribe on the island of Borneo. Later we spent a day at an Iban longhouse to rest and recover. The COVID-19 pandemic made me think about our Iban friends. Entire Iban tribes will live in a single long house like the one in my picture. The house continues to get longer as each newly married male builds an new unit on the end, and through the entire house is this long open area where everyone does their crafts and net making. There would be no such thing as self-quarantining here!

Back in Montana, I think about Pinesdale—a polygamous community of a thousand people. All the land in the town is owned by the Apostolic United Brethren, a Mormon fundamentalist group. Located just five miles away from me, the community is so close-knit that they literally vote in one large Republican block (when Al Gore ran for president, he got a single vote). So again, I wonder: what would happen if COVID-19 sprung up in Pinesdale?

Well, that was a depressing post. I’ll come up with something happy next time.