Sunday, Mar. 22, 2020 @ 10:03 pm
At seven in the evening, we all go out onto our decks, hang out of our windows, and clap. Bang pots and pans together. Whoop and shout.
This is the community’s collective thank you to the healthcare workers who are taking care of us all.
Night falls. The streets are quiet. I walk to the drugstore ten minutes before closing. There is nobody around except for a man mopping the floor. Masking tape marks off two meter distances along the aisles and where the line would be at the cashier.
With gloved hands, I take a box of expectorant from the shelf. I smile and mouth a thank you at the pharmacist but realize they cannot see my expression behind my mask.
Russell’s cough is not improving. He coughs up masses of thick mucus. I rub his back and make him tea and pancakes and soup.
I read a light novel that includes banalities such as choosing a dress for the senior formal and changing the offerings on a restaurant menu. I file my taxes, even though they are not due for months. I empty a drawer and organize the contents.
The yellow police tape wrapped around the children’s playgrounds.
The vast swaths of empty shelves at the grocer.
“At least you still have a job.”
“At least you have a partner with whom to isolate.”
“At least you are healthy.”
I know. I know.