The prisoners are going to die. All those packed inmates in prisons across the country. The people in concentration camps at the border. The victims of ICE raids housed in crowded conditions in cities across the country: when the virus hits, they’re going to fall like dominoes. But daily life continues.
Daily life continues, with small changes: people take up the “Wuhan handshake” of feet taps instead of handclasps. Fist bumps are replaced by elbow bumps. The supermarket puts eggs, milk, cereal on sale: but only if you buy 5+ cartons at once.
Things have started to escalate. The concert sends an email saying “we aren’t going to cancel, but if you want a refund, we’re thinking about giving you one”. Two days later, they just straight up cancel. The grocery store is decidedly out of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and most pasta. A few bags of frozen vegetables make a valiant stand to cover shelves and shelves of otherwise empty space. Classes cancel. Students are told to get out of their dorms. So much for the last quarter of senior year, class of 2020. Get your last-minute crush revelations and awkward hormonal goodbyes done before you fly home in 5 days.
My partner worries about graduating into a recession. My mom starts coughing. I retreat into clearing my email inbox, buying almond croissants for the former and calling the latter every day.
The house starts getting messier. I make a pilgrimage or two at the supermarket every day. I document the shelves that start getting bare. So far milk, eggs, bread, and snacks are holding up fine.
Links start getting passed around. Long medium articles about how bad things are going to be. Lion tamers of data whipping it into terrorizing shape. People joke about how we can’t trust government, how they’re denying or classifying everything, that it’s just like the Soviet responses to crises we read about in our textbooks. Haha.
On my todo list, I make a recurring daily item: breathe deeply for five minutes. Kiss your Sarah.
2 replies on “Love in a time of Coronavirus: March 11, 2020”
Well summarized. And I, too, keep thinking of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez book title every time I kiss my partner. It is strange how strong feelings of love and protectiveness and the coziness bred from being forced to cancel work, stay home together, finally fold that pile of laundry…stands in stark contrast with the avalanche of danger and pain happening right outside. Can’t see it yet, but you can never see a virus. Just the aftermath.
It’s never too late to put a parrot into the story.
Great start! I can’t wait to read the rest. :D