Disappearing Trails…

I wanted to write another blog but was unable to settle on any specific subject matter so I let my mind wander. Along with most of the Nation, I have been affected but luckily not infected by the Corun-19 virus. In reality, I have not changed my lifestyle very much as it is not much different than it was before this pandemic. The only visible major change is a reluctance to get out and about especially where there are people whether it be many or just a couple. I do go to the grocery store but even that is on a much more infrequent basis. Before, if I needed a couple of items, I would jump in the truck and drive to the nearest HEB or Home Depot and wander around, taking my time, chatting to people that I met, generally very much at ease with my situation. Now, I wait until I am out or almost out of the necessities before jumping in my truck and pulling into the parking lot. I grab a cart that has been sanitized, make sure my mask is on, use the wipes provided by the store to wipe down the handles of the cart and then on my hands and only then venture inside. Once inside, I try to make sure that I am never in a crowded situation trying to maintain the recommended 6 feet of distancing.

I usually have a list, one of the old fashioned kind written out on a piece of paper that I pull out and stare intently at as I work out in my mind, where all of the items are. As my list is one that is written as I think of things or staring into the depths of the refrigerator, nothing is in any sort of order. Consequently, I often find myself backtracking to find an item that I forgot. In a way, I don’t mind as the pedometer on my phone is busy tracking those additional steps on the way to realizing the daily total that I have set for myself. These will be added on to the ones that I know will happen towards the end of the day when the dogs inform me that it is time that I took them for their daily walk. We have gotten into quite a routine and late afternoons will find us walking the neighborhood passing many of the other people intent on getting some exercise, some with dogs, others stepping it out either with another person or on their own. Sandy, really looks forward to our time together and lets me know in no uncertain terms that it is about that time. Mikey, not so much but he willingly goes along. Now that it is beginning to warm up and the late afternoon temperature is still in the mid 90’s, I usually end up working up quite a sweat resulting in a change of clothes when I do get back home.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, in the grocery store avoiding the other people who are just as busy trying to avoid getting too close to me. One thing that has happened is that people are much more polite than before, which is a good thing. The times that I choose to shop is usually later in the day and before the working crowd hits the store. Those that are still working, that is and the stores are generally pretty empty or should I say, at least not crowded.

With the shopping done and keeping in mind the rules regarding checking out which include, follow the marks on the floor, keep your distance, stay behind the plexiglass shields to protect the person working the cash register, the same for the person packing your groceries until finally, you walk out the door into the hopefully, germ free fresh air. In my case, when I reach my truck, the first thing is to take off my mask before loading the groceries into the truck. It’s not that I mind wearing it but it is easier to breathe without it.

As many of you know who follow my blog, I am a big hiker and love to hit the trails. For some reason, I have not done that in quite a while. I am not really sure why that is although a part of it was that many of the local parks including both State and County were closed down for a bit. They are open now but with some restrictions including having to call ahead to reserve a spot. It’s hard to imagine a more safer place than the open trail when there is no one else in sight which is true of many of the trails that I hike. Even the very few people whose paths I may cross tend to just say hello as they walk on by. My lack of enthusiasm is really troublesome to me.

So, where does that leave us. This pandemic is far from over and it remains to be seen just what lies in store for us. If there is a second wave, it will probably strike much harder than the first and we will have to go through this all over again. This time, it will be much harder to enforce as staying home was a bit of a novelty and this next time, people are not going to comply as easily having tasted it and not liking it one little bit. This will probably lead to more violence and riots as people protest this infringement on their civil rights at least as they see it. The fact that it may keep them alive will not matter as many people only live in the now.

For me, all I can do is to conform to the health care instructions doing the best I can to stay away from crowds or even individual people. Me and the dogs will continue to take our afternoon walks unless it becomes too dangerous for any reason. I do have an open carry license and maybe I will start to carry some protection although I am not sure if I would ever use it unless I was being robbed or assaulted. Hopefully, carried just as a deterrent. I will still make my periodic shopping trips and hope that no infected person is in the store or has contaminated something. I guess if our number is up, there is not much we can do to change it. We all have to die sometime but hopefully, not yet. I still got a few more years left in me.

Interestingly enough, I am currently listening to “The Stand by Stephen King” on Audiobooks and in it, the majority of the population of the world was wiped out by a virus that he named, Captain Trips. It was much more virulent than our Covid-19 killing just about everyone it came in contact with in just a couple of days except for the very few who were naturally immune. The story is about those few. Quite a coincidence to be listening to that at this time…

Written 6/4/2020