Flying out of necessity to Arizona, convinced me Coronavirus is not an April Fool’s prank.
The reality started as we returned the rental car. The lot was full of snow-covered vehicles, and the young man who took our keys said the business dire. Next to tears, the airport shuttle driver said he was the only driver still employed. He was worried about his friends and his future.
The terminal smelled of hand sanitizer and was eerily quiet. Because of temporary walls and confusing directional tape on the floor, we got lost looking for the check-in kiosk, and there was no waiting to check our bag. Except for one, all the stores were dark. Security had no lines—None. Thankfully, a few restaurants were open at the C terminal, but most had no seating. Attendants served cans of water to the masked and unmasked passengers in the half-full plane.
After exiting the empty arrival gate at Phoenix Sky Harbor, we walked toward baggage and felt sadness for the people without jobs and businesses that could belly up. One luggage carousel served all incoming flights.
The parking lot, packed to capacity one week earlier, was half-empty, and exiting the airport, my usual fear of death by traffic accident was nonexistent.
At home, our neighbor backed away as my husband walked toward him in the yard. He kept eight to ten feet distance during their visit. He voiced displeasure with golfers not following the rule of having only one person per golf cart. He didn’t understand why some were not heeding all warnings with self-quarantine.
Then we went to the grocery store. There were NO eggs, sugar, flour, cereal, canned soup, and as expected, T-paper, hand wipes, or sanitizers, but plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and soap—Odd. As we checked out, the clerk said as she shook her head and rolled her eyes, “People are standing at the door at 4:00 A.M. waiting for us to open at six. They’re crazy.” She then said to the couple behind me, “You can only buy two breads.”
Another neighbor, from across the back yard fence, said he and his wife were in 12-day quarantine because they had had guests from another state. He also said they invited friends over, but the guests were bringing drinks, glasses, and nuts for themselves, and all would sit six feet apart on the patio.
My granddaughter flew from Denver, to get belongings from her shutdown university, in a Southwest plane with eight passengers.
This one day was upside-down from any day last week, and it’s not an April Fool’s prank.
Today, as I busy myself through cabin fever, and wonder about next week, I’m going to paint rocks and place them along sidewalks to help multiply smiles instead of fears.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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