Before COVID, I took a lot for granted. If I needed an item, I’d just run out and buy it. Sometimes I’d even go into several stores in succession without washing my hands in between! (Shocking, I know.) Now, even a quick trip to the grocery store is fraught with complexity:
- Do I have my mask and hand sanitizer?
- Can I recall the correct order in which to apply the mask and sanitizer?
- Will I fail to note the directional arrows on the floor and find myself bashfully backpedalling while other shoppers give me the stink-eye?
- Can I remember to maintain a six-foot distance between myself and others while simultaneously calculating whether the extra-large box of cereal at regular price is a better deal than two smaller boxes on sale?
- And how can I dodge that group of bare-faced young guys who are laughing and gabbing and breathing their invisible death-cooties everywhere?
Yep, in the past six months, I’ve done a whole lot of things I didn’t think I’d ever do. F’rinstance, I never thought I’d ever:
See people freak out over toilet paper. I thought I was joking when I wrote a blog post titled “Weapons of Ass Destruction” back in 2014, but apparently I was foretelling the future. I can’t tell you how much that scares me. I really, really hope none of my other blog posts are prescient.
Go through a liquor-store checkout wondering if they’ll ID me this time because all my wrinkles are hidden behind my mask. (They didn’t. Guess I have more wrinkles than I realized.)
Worry about who my dryer repairman has been seeing. He’s the only person who’s entered our house in the past six months. Where has he been, and did he catch anything while he was there?!?
Become even more of a hermit than I already was. You know you’ve got a problem when a twice-monthly trip to the grocery store seems like a lot of travelling.
Walk into a bank wearing a mask that conceals most of my face. The first time I did that, the idiot-joker part of my personality begged to shout, “This is a stickup!” Fortunately for my continued freedom, I managed to suppress the idiot, but it was a near thing.
Turn down an ice cream cone. When I turn down ice cream, it’s a sure sign that the world is seriously awry. But I can’t figure out how to hand-sanitize when one of my hands is occupied by the cone. D’you think they’d flip a scoop of ice cream over the counter to me? I’m sure I could snag it out of the air with my teeth…
Hmm, if this pandemic goes on much longer, I foresee the rise of a whole new “No-Touch” fast food serving system. It’ll look a lot like this:
Not very efficient or tidy, but at least the spectators would get some laughs. (And let’s hope this blog post doesn’t turn out to be prescient!)
Book 16 update: We have words on the page, woohoo! I’m halfway through Chapter 2, and Aydan’s getting sent to Leavenworth. But don’t worry, it’ll all work out!