This morning (Sunday) I ran out to get the San Francisco Chronicle, bought fruit, and then dropped off a library book, mailed a letter, and parked in front of CVS, waiting for the pharmacy to open.
Why not run errands later, you ask? Because the Chronicle sells out fairly early, so I settled in with the paper and the radio to wait for fifteen minutes.
While waiting, the radio deejay said that because of the pandemic, sales of two things that people use have dropped 30% and 28%. The crafty deejay said he would reveal the answer after three more songs. I had the car turned off but the radio still going because I wanted to know the answer.
My first guess was gasoline.
I was wrong.
Think of social distancing. Think of people wearing masks. Because of those two things that we have to do, guess what people don’t need anymore? That’s right, breath mints and gum.
It makes sense. I used to dab on some lipstick right before I entered a business establishment. I always carry an extra tube in my car for that very reason, so I don’t have to go digging for it in my purse.
Newsflash, lipstick kept in the car on a hot summer day is not a great idea. It goes on like butter, but sometimes it breaks in two or melts away.
But I digress.
Who needs lipstick anymore when going out? Now I put on my mask, carry my glasses, because they steam up, enter the grocery store, put on my glasses so I can see how much apples cost, buy my fruit and paper, pay in cash so I don’t have to touch the dirty credit card swipey thingie, and voila, I have survived a trip to the store.
The deejay made a joke that there is lots of stinky breath out there, folks. The good news is, we don’t have to smell it. We are barricaded behind all kinds of masks – made from fun fabrics or t-shirts, in various shapes and sizes. What kills me are the people who wear the mask only over the mouth, and their noses are hanging out.
On another note, my daughter got married yesterday on the opposite coast. Because of the pandemic, I didn’t get to go. It’s traumatic for a mom to miss a child’s wedding. I did get photos and permission to post them on Facebook. Over 100 people commented, mostly with congratulations and many with empathy and kind words for me. That made me feel better.
I know they’ll do it again for their guests a year from now (if there’s a vaccine by then). But still, I had the airline ticket, the hotel reservation, my dress selected, and a week planned out to see where two of my children work and live.
I did it all on the first of February. When the month was over, doctors were telling me not to take my sister out in public and to avoid large gatherings.
Here we are, three months later, with no end in sight. We are distracted from the pandemic today because of the senseless death of an unarmed black man at the hands of a police officer, a tragedy that has brought thousands of protestors across the country to march, chant, yell, scream, and some opportunists or paid insurgents to loot, vandalize, and destroy.
The wedding is a bright light in an otherwise crappy world. Not forever crappy, I hope, but for this moment in time.