The Big Quarantine – April 27, 2020
The Day in Personal Contact: I went to Taglio to pick up a pizza last night. The set up for take out at the few places doing business is perfectly fine given the the constraints, but it all looks shady as hell. As I was walking toward the restaurant and was about 1/2 a block away, I made eye contact through the window with the guy inside Taglio. I was the only pedestrian on the entire block, and he nodded at me like he knew the deal was going to go down.
In the doorway, I put my face mask on, something that I would have done just a few weeks ago only if I was about to rob the place. When I masked up and walked in, he had positioned himself behind the serving stand. I was the only customer in the mostly darkened space. All off the places I’ve gotten takeout from are working under brown out conditions. It’s unnerving.
As we were transacting, I felt a huge interpersonal urge to make this one face-to-face mask conversation count. So, I looked up at all the screens that would normally be playing baseball and soccer games this time of year and they were all tuned to the movie La La Land. So I say, “I really didn’t love this movie. I like everyone in it and it looks good but I didn’t love it.” The man waiting on me says, “It’s one of my favorites. I’m so glad to be able to watch it at work.’
Me: [Dead inside. How do I salvage this?] “So,” I began, “What did you think about the ending?” He liked it and I, thankfully, liked it, too (the ending is controversial for rom-com fans). Whew. I seemed to back in his good graces. I gotta get back to seeing people on a regular basis so I don’t lose my social skills.
The Day in the Park: Today’s super sunshine and moderate temperature just begged me sit in the park for a bit. My apartment overlooks the park and if I sit on the wall directly in front of my apartment I’m in the range of my personal wifi and don’t have to use the public internet. Today my prime spot positioned me in front of an impressively limber woman on the lawn doing a full-on, advanced level yoga routine. I could have sat elsewhere, but I defiantly chose MY spot and tried to make it not seem creepy. But did I mention how limber she was? I couldn’t help but sneak a couple glimpses hoping my pandemic length bangs would shield me.
The park, which is a large lawn, had several dozen people using the space in different capacities from full-on exercise routines to lazing on blankets or chairs to walking the track. I saw only one person with a mask. I wasn’t wearing one. Lost in the press conference where Trump may or may not have said the thing about disinfectants (I’m not getting into it here) was that studies show that sunlight (outside the body, direct solar light) kills the corona virus. Obviously this is emerging science, but I’m not worried about being outside without a mask. Personally, I now always carry a mask with me in case I might need it even if I don’t intend to be in contact with people. I always wear one when I go inside a store or restaurant (for take out). The mask thing is going to take some getting used to.
The Day in the Opening: The Governor of Ohio announced that the state is going to err on the side of caution in reopening the economy. I’m mostly okay with that as long as there’s wiggle room to move faster (or slower) as needed. If Georgia is going to be the nation’s guinea pigs I don’t see the harm in waiting to learn from their experiment before we go full throttle.
Restaurants and bars are not on the list for reopening, but I noticed this week a couple neighborhood places that had been totally shuttered are going to open up this week or next for carry out. That is a great sign of life humming under neath the confinement.
But, and I’ve kind of buried the lead here, retail (ahem…TJ Maxx) can open on May 12. As a long time associate of that company I know they are putting into place a new way to run the stores to protect customers and associates in the Pandemic era. I’m sure it will take some getting used to, but candles, strange food and make-up, and that one thing you didn’t even know you needed, but you totally need it are all waiting. I’m waiting, too.