My dog is NOT a fan of Covid-19. Too much walking involved. She’s hardly a spring chicken, and kind of resents the fact that she’s having to get 10,000 steps of her own in every day while being tethered to me in pursuit of mine. I think it’s fair to say she does enjoy sniffing at seemingly nothing along our chosen paths, and her thrill of every day is passing another dog so she can vociferously snarl at the offender daring to infringe on our defined bit of social separation. But, as a rule, she’d prefer our former leisurely strolls versus our current decidedly more rigorous hikes. (She has been known to get an extra treat out of the deal, though. And she seldom, well, never complains about those.)
Of course, re-thinking and re-working exercise routines is only one of the many new norms in our Covid-19 world. If you’re selling your house right now and happen to have some workout equipment inside, I think your purchase price could probably double. Gyms are shut down, forcing everyone who had actually kept their New Year’s get-in-shape resolution to look for alternative methods.
Grocery store visits now have to be precisely timed and a plan of action developed before setting foot inside the doors. Those shopping cart handles that used to be petri dishes for all manner of contamination are now wiped bleach-clean by store personnel before each usage. And there’s a certain precision dance-like routine being followed by many in the aisles. Synchronization at its finest is on display when several shoppers (properly spaced) are simultaneously headed down the Italian food row. As one stops to grab the fettuccini, everyone else comes to a sudden halt where they are, waiting patiently for the pasta-lover to make a selection and move on.
Travel in general has become a bit more challenging. Reports from those who have flown the friendly skies recently say it’s the first time in recent memory they can recall having not just empty seats around them, but empty rows. Close friends of mine this past week drove from Florida back to their permanent home on Cape Cod. Originally planning to stop and see friends and family along the east coast, they instead made the long road trip in two days, being careful to cut a wide swath around the heavily-contaminated New York City area. They even took their own linens for their one-night hotel stay and packed sandwiches for meals. And a can of Lysol spray visited every convenience store/gas station restroom along with them. (They also reported that they now have to self-quarantine for 14 days since they came in from out of state.)
In addition to the coronavirus, here in the sunny South we also get to experience pollen season at the same time. That would account for the three inches of yellow and green crud covering cars, houses, driveways, pets, etc. If my extensive meteorological research is correct, the pollen count is expressed in ppm, or parts of pollen per cubic meter. The VERY HIGH range is around 200 ppm. This week, we hit 7,113. So, we’re really not sure whether that constant sneezing, runny nose, and persistent cough is due to the ushering in of Spring or the virus itself.
Hoarders are still out in force. Finding toilet paper is akin to winning the lottery. Ditto disinfectant-soaked wipes. Thankfully, however, the Mexican drug cartels are facing hard times too. Reports are that the big players in the illicit medicinal trade are struggling to get the chemicals that typically come from China to make their synthetic vials of poison. (I know that’s tearing at your heartstrings.)
The biggest upside to the current state of affairs, of course, is that there’s little, if any, mention of an election to be held this fall. Primaries have already been pushed back in several states. And pretty soon, both parties will have to decide if they actually can still hold their respective conventions now slated for mid-July for the Ds, and late August for the Rs. Can Zoom handle a couple thousand delegates on one screen all at once? The Donald is probably in a make-or-break situation as he daily updates us on Covid. Meanwhile, Biden and Bernie can’t get three seconds of TV time, especially since they’re both in the “more susceptible” age group and pretty much have to set a good example by staying home.
Sad to say, but all this virus mess makes me long for the days when politics was the main thing that drove us apart.
©MMXX. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer
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