Black Saturday started off like each Saturday since the Covid began and we relocated to Florida; Covid Cleaning. Wipe it down, wipe it all down. I swear, if we could get a fumigation unit with the right chemicals, we’d bomb our place with it. Now, I used the “I swear” phrase, and on Easter morning I almost feel bad about that because I was told about a million times as I was growing up that swearing is a sin – I think it was a different kind of swearing that Preacher Frank was talking about, or at least I hope so.
After the Covid cleaning was done, we looked in the pantry and fridge, and the sight of nothing had us wondering what the best plan would be to move forward: go grocery shopping, or “pick up a few things.” We decided on grocery shopping, but that could have been a mistake, we’ll have to wait five more days or so and see.
I put on my plastic gloves and faux mask, a tie-dyed handkerchief from our grandson’s birthday party almost two years ago, and off we went to the Publix on Atlantic Boulevard in Neptune Beach. It was packed like a pre Covid Saturday, except now you had half the crowd trying to follow the taped arrows on the floor indicating aisle flow directions, and the other half walking around like in some spaghetti diagram bozo-world, so as much as I would try to find a six foot Covid free space between Publix patrons, it was impossible. And it was also as if no-one knew what they wanted, until it was directly in front of me, and then the reach and grab, as if I was ready to pounce on a particular pound of ground beef, which I was, actually, but missed it by that much.
My younger daughter had Facebook shared a viral video on Good Friday of a woman in a Walmart parking lot that had gone video crazy about all the people wearing their nasty dirty plastic gloves and touching everything like their phones and coffee stirrers – you may have seen it – over a million had; that woman was in the Publix and jumped in front of me as if she was some kind of co-video game entity like, I think it was Sonic the Hedgehog that has a co-entity.
All that time, my wife was in our SUV at the far reaches of the parking lot and she texted me, and I was thinking of that viral video and the woman cursing about touching your phone with your Covid gloves on, and my mind hit a bug and I went into a mental software loop – check message, no don’t, check message, no don’t: Check message finally won out and thankfully at the right time, because I was going to forget to pick up the champagne for her Neptune Beach Cocktails, a Mimosa with a few drops of Grenadine poured in at then end, so it looks much like a Tequila Sunrise. (Later, when we got home, I cleaned my phone with a 65% alcohol cleaner we made on someone’s suggestion.)
That’s how we Dodge the Covid; I go into the stores if it looks at all crowded with limited physical distancing possible and my wife stays in the SUV, and when I return with the goods, I immediately remove my mask and gloves and bathe in hand sanitizer, and then we can carry on, stop by the liquor store for any necessities and head back to the house and start the Covid Clock once again – 5 days and I will feel comfortable, but until then, I’ll think any sneeze or sniffle in the morning, or dry throat, or any feeling in my head real or imagined is a result of some microscopic not living, not dead, freaking piece of RNA covered by a teeny-tiny lipid membrane that has attacked me with the ferocity of a bad tempered Rottweiler on steroids and is ready to treat me as it has the million or two that have already been infected – and bless those families that have lost loved ones to this bastard of carbon based life. Give us this day our daily bread.
Music by: Tom Principato, “Tango’d Up In The Blues”, under CC4.0 share license.