Coronavirus in Tennessee: Franklin photographer captures funny, sad neighbors

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Tausha Dickinson got sick of looking out her windows after a week stuck mainly at home to help keep down the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

She wanted to find a way to get out and take photos again, but didn’t want to be part of the problem experts who urge social distancing warned about. 

That’s when the professional photographer got really creative. 

“I just thought, gosh, I’m just feeling really down,” she said. “I’m very extroverted and this has been hard, I bet everybody else kind of feels like this, too. I just wanted to make my neighbors’ day.”

She put up a note on Facebook, giving her neighbors a heads up that she would be walking around with a long lens to take whatever family photos they wanted. 

Some took smiling family photos, some used signs to reference the social distancing guidance they are following to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some tried to document what the new working-from-home normal is for many people. 

When she posted the photos later, one photo resonated the most with people: that of a man sitting on his porch, smoking a cigar, holding a bottle of bourbon and a roll of toilet paper. Slung around his neck is a semi-automatic rifle, and he’s surrounded by more rolls of toilet paper — a hot commodity in the age of coronavirus. 

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“I just needed to get out of the house, and I hoped that, just for a few moments, we could maybe forget about the fact that they’re worried about income or worried about getting sick, could just make people smile,” Dickinson said. 

She planned to go out again on Friday, just to keep the good feelings going. 

“This is something we will remember,” she said. “I just feel like this has to be captured: the serious and the funny and the crazy. I felt a strong need that I’m supposed to be part of that.”

Reach reporter Mariah Timms at mtimms@tennessean.com or 615-259-8344 and on Twitter @MariahTimms. 


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