“I’ve always believed that you can think positive just as well as you can think negative.” ~ James Baldwin
Where I’m from we parade. We parade when we’re happy. We parade when we’re sad. We parade for no reason. But now, all that parading has stopped.
It seems the whole world has slowed down to my pace. All the go, go, go. Has gone, gone, gone.
I’m currently sitting in my car. Positioned in a grocery store parking lot. Waiting for my husband to return with our weekly haul of food and provisions.
All my friends are at home. Watching reruns of bad sitcoms. Trying to entertain their kids. And checking their bank account balance every day.
The last time I came to this store we had to wait an extra 15 minutes before we could leave. There was a second line parade in the street blocking traffic. So, we got out of the car and joined the parade.
But not today. The road is empty. The parking lot is quiet. All I hear is the car radio playing the news. The talking heads are telling me I’m expendable. Herd immunity will eliminate people like me. Disinfectant, disposable mask and gloves are my only defense.
They say we are in a war. But I’m not a soldier. I don’t want to fight. Clearly already struggling, I can’t battle anything else. I’m currently fighting for my sanity. For my independence. For some normalcy.
Therefore, I pretty much stay at home. I only sneak out to the grocery store. The whole time, hoping I don’t bring Covid-19 back home with the eggs.
I’m so paranoid. Everyone I see appears to be the enemy. An unattended child touching the fruit. A random sneeze from a person walking by me. An uncovered cough from the cashier. They look like unmasked monsters ready to attack.
I was so anxious; I no longer go into the store. I wait in the car while my partner takes my grocery list and does the heavy lifting.
And even though my fear is real. I’m just so happy to be out. Out of the house.
I can see my husband exiting the store. I watch him pack the car with full shopping bags. When finished, he removes his gloves and mask then jumps in the front seat.
He tells me he got the whole list.
As he drives to the main road, I jokingly asked him, “Do you see any parades coming down the street?”
He smiles and says, “No parades today. But I promise, we will parade again.”
This post originally appeared on My New Normals on May 11, 2020. It is republished with permission.