I have two other topics I have long planned to blog about. Anniversaries, which I’m big on. The 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, an event that horrified a nation and forever changed Oklahoma City, arrives on April 19. Three days later is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. But my life, I’m sure like yours, has been upended.
We are in the midst of a pandemic. As I write this, confirmed cases of COVID-19 or coronavirus have topped 200,000 with over 8,200 deaths. That’s about 4% of the people who are infected. By the time you read this, the numbers will be much higher. And the virus is growing exponentially.
The virus touches every part of our lives. My day job has me working from home for now, something I’ve been wanting to do like forever. Yet the virus steals my satisfaction. We don’t know what the future holds. And that’s scary.
Compared to coastal states, I live in a low infection area. Only seventeen cases have been confirmed, yet it’s ground zero for the sports world. Because last week, a much anticipated basketball game was abruptly cancelled when Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The NBA called the season. The next day, the NCAA cancelled college sport events, including March Madness. Hockey, baseball, and marathons. All cancelled or postponed.
Without intending to, I delayed my grocery shopping until Friday the 13th. What was I thinking? My first stop, a Walmart, had never before seen bare shelves; the worst being the toilet paper aisle. This repeated at the next store. Someone at work remarked on seeing someone walk out of the Dollar General with toilet paper. I rushed over to find half a dozen and grabbed two. After the work day, I tried to pick up a couple more things on the way home…just like everyone else. I told one of my sons that I felt like we were on the precipice of a dystopian event.
I waited for a Sunday morning to complete my shopping. Again, bare spaces that I wasn’t used to seeing in my neighborhood grocery store. Toilet paper aisle again. This time with about a dozen packages left and a sign limiting everyone to two packages. I watched an elderly couple study the sign. The wife placed two into her cart, while the husband went to checkout with another two. He took them to his care and then returned. Still not as bad as the idiots who bought out entire stock. More than they will need.
I spent more than usual at the grocery store, buying things I usually stay away from. I bought a loaf of bread in months. I added a couple of cans of tomato soup. Tomato soup and grilled cheese were my childhood comfort food. Two pot pies made it into my cart as well. My adult comfort food.
One of the cashiers wore gloves. Everyone in the store wore a mask of doom. It was frightening. I stopped at a doughnut store on the way home. My need for comfort feed still not filled. There was a line. Apparently, I wasn’t alone in my need for comfort.