|"The Hanged Man" from TAROT DADA, ™ and © Duck Soup Productions, 2020.|
As today is the last day that Mainers can legally leave the house for "less than essential" reasons, I feared that there would be another run on the stores.... waking at 5:55, I threw on some clothes and went out to catch "senior hour" at the supermarket.
Aside from the personal disgust at the fact of being old enough to partake of such a thing, I actually felt less safe shopping with the geriatric crowd than I did last week during normal hours. But under the circumstances, I was afraid they would run out of eggs -- if they even had any. And I need eggs to make Whitey's Magic Tummy Mixture.
I needn't have worried, the supermarket had tons of eggs, and really, they have done a smashing job re-stocking everything: which reinforces the fact that THERE ARE NO SHORTAGES. THERE IS PLENTY TO GO AROUND, if you just don't panic and buy up a shit-ton more than you really need.
But they were out of hand-sanitizing wipes for the carts and I was glad I was wearing gloves. Even then, I panicked when I absent-mindedly touched my cheek because it was itching. I thought, "It's all over. I touched the side of my nose. Contagion will surely follow."
Returning home was not the happy experience it usually is, because I knew that I needed to go back out again in a few hours. Not enough time to do anything productive, too much time to have on your hands. And I did worry about what I had brought back on my hands. I washed my hands and face intensely, killing my iPhone (which I'd absent-mindedly left in my shirt pocket) as a result. Pussyquats being the perceptive creatures they are, both Whitey and Hunny picked up on my distress.
I did venture back out into the war zone after about 2 PM. The mailman did deliver my last paycheck for my freelance job, bless him -- and really, bless and keep the U.S. and Worldwide Postal Services for keeping the world up and running. Imagine how bad this would be without a basic service like the mail. I have heard rumblings that the USPS will be forced to shut down within three months. Folks, if that happens, especially without a viable replacement service, it's literally the end of Civilization as we know it. Burn the set: it will all be over.
Part of the reason for my going out this afternoon was to ship out the tiny handful of Tarot orders that have trickled in. The Post Office was open, and the folks there were safe and friendly behind new plexiglass panels. Clearly marked intervals on the floor showed the safe distance to stand in all areas, and with mechanical door openers in place, I didn't have to touch any surface at all while I was there. Honestly, it felt like the safest place in town.
So, once again, raise a cheer for the mail system: keeping the whole world going in a time of genuine crisis.
In other areas of the town, traffic was about close to normal as the people of Maine took advantage of their last day as Free Range Cattle. The local bank has wisely closed its lobby. All business now being transacted at the drive-through. This made me feel good about the safety of the people inside. And if they're safe, I am too.
The vet was shuttered. Not a big, deal, I have enough meds to last Whitey a few days, and because I have a good relationship with them, I know I can drop them an email and pop down to pick up the pills Whitey needs sometime in the next few days.
If the first part of my day had been as angst-free as the second part, I'd be feeling pretty complacent by now. Unfortunately, ANY trip out these days means that the infection clock re-sets. Covid-19 has a 2-14 day incubation period, with 5 days the average. No matter what, I'll be a little bit on tinter-hooks until next Monday rolls along. By then, the numbers should be getting genuinely alarming. Stay at home, folks, and stay safe.