It’s spooky. Going to the grocery store, I mean. In the best of times I don’t get out much, but since groceries are only really in supply (somewhat short) after senior hour, and since I’m an early riser, I head to Giant at 7:00 a.m. Nobody’s talking to anybody else, unless the check-out line is long. Even then it’s brief. Most people (including myself) are wearing rubber gloves and face masks. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this in a horror movie or two. As in The Body Snatchers, we’re afraid of each other, not knowing who might be “one of them.” Gun sales, meanwhile, are booming. Since I get in once the seniors have checked out the toilet paper and high fibre cereal are decimated. I’m glad I’m vegan because most of that stock remains untouched.
The funny thing is daily life for me is otherwise pretty normal. I’m an introvert who normally works from home and has no one beyond family check in on me. I don’t normally buy out the grocery store, however. I don’t hoard. (Yes, I have a lot of books but they’ve been bought slowly, over many years. And only one copy of each.) So it seems that when non-introverts are forced inside they hoard. And purchase firearms. Or maybe I’m missing something. I think back (if I can) to before this all started. Going to a crowded grocery store on a Sunday afternoon where nobody was wearing gloves. You could see their faces. There was chatter. Now when we get home we’re supposed to leave our groceries outside where the squirrels will get them before we do. Then we disinfect them and wash our hands before and after washing our food.
A work colleague in New York City reported seeing grocery delivery individuals wearing hazmat suits. We can’t see with whom we’re dealing any more. The truth about introverts is that we’re social creatures as well. We just require smaller doses than most. That doesn’t mean we all want to live on a desert island. Our quietness is a mask, you see. We observe. We try to help when we can. That’s why it’s me in the grocery store. My special talent is waking up early. I’m not yet a senior, according to public transit or grocery shopping guidelines. My hair is turning gray, though, and my beard is white. You won’t see it though, if we pass in the grocery store. Like everyone else, I’m wearing a mask to get through this crisis.