I’ve been thinking about what leaving the house looked like during the height of the pandemic. The people at the grocery ranged from the laissez-faire who took no precautions preferring to let things take their course to the ones who taped themselves into garbage bag/duct tape haz-mat suits complete with safety goggles, face shields, shower caps, elbow length latex dishwashing gloves and an N-95 mask.
Now that it is warm out, there aren’t any plastic clad preppers. Instead the scarcity of face masks has given way to many home-made masks. Some of them are improvised and funny and some are more practical mimicing the traditional surgeon’s style masks. The sewn masks made to hospital specifications are actually very colorful and at least a little more Spring-like in addition to being safer than some of the more, um, exotic ones. We have been going to the grocery separately – Sparky goes to one store and I go to another. This provides a way to get my car a little outing to keep the battery in good shape and to make the trip shorter. The last time I went I was in and out in 30 minutes. Gone are the days of leisurely strolling down the aisles, chatting with neighbors or relatives you happen to see, and the friendly banter with others and the cashier. The stores here are catching up with our European neighbors – limiting the number of people who are allowed inside the store, creating one-way traffic flow in the stores, and requiring/suggesting masks be worn and no reusable bags to limit exposure of staff. Finally (since son#1 is a grocery worker) the store staff are wearing masks. This makes me feel a little better since there are too many who are not wearing masks (I have a little rant on that that I may post at a later date. On the up side our grocery bill has plummeted. We would spend easily $70 a week on groceries. Now we are spending ~ $20 -25 a week. Add that to the savings by not eating out and we are doing fine financially since neither one of us made any money. The bad part is that the Governor has started the last phase for opening everything up. Some of the stores have done away with senior/fragile persons’ hours meaning we have to mingle with everyone when entering. And of course there are those ‘mericans who refuse to wear masks putting themselves and me & mine at risk. To that end we are continuing to shop at the crack of dawn when most of the idiots are still tucked securely in bed.