Sunday, March 29, 2020

Get on with it

With the Covid-19 pandemic seemingly spreading as rapidly as a California wildfire, I find some of the measures to slow, or mitigate, the virus' damage to be somewhat perplexing.

The other day, I ventured to a local small specialty business, only to find the door locked to customers even though the building was staffed. I knocked on the door and an employee answered, asking how he could help. But he told me what I wanted was out of stock and likely would not be filled anytime soon.

I understood completely. I liked that the business was trying to protect itself and its customers. Good job.

Moments later, I was in a grocery store. It was open to all and, indeed, there might have been 30-40 or so customers inside, doing their best to keep a physical distance from each other.

In this case, I salute paranoia.

But I'm still trying to reconcile how one business attempts measures to contain the virus with restrictions while another business just minutes down the road functions as if we are living in normal conditions.

I don't have an answer.

We are about to live with statewide shelter-in-place mandates, which distinguish between essential and nonessential businesses. The nonessentials will be closed until further notice – some have already – putting their futures in jeopardy.

Grocery shopping seems to be the weakest, most vulnerable link in this chain. We need food. We need to get food. We need to venture out. There's no real choice. I suppose there could be online shopping, where a store employee fills out a shopping list for you. But not everybody has access to a computer, or owns a debit card, and not every store can offer online shopping. Or delivery.

So I guess we do the best we can. I've tried to stay at home as much as possible, but maybe I have to tighten my own restrictions on myself. Not so much to protect me but to protect you.

Wash my hands more. Sanitize more. Lower our risk as best as we can. Flatten that curve. And, in the crap shoot we now find ourselves in, roll the dice and take our chances.

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