During the lockdown, I have been going out for food and medicine – and picking up an occasional meal at a favorite restaurant. The world looks to me far different than the reports on television. Of course, they are all New York-centric. Those folks have little knowledge or understand what is happening outside of Manhattan.
In stores here in Palm Beach County, there is an almost universal wearing of masks. That is because it is required according to the signs posted on the door. I have seen two individuals in my local Publix grocery store not wearing masks – and they were not being harassed by customers or admonished by employees.
In the open spaces, the non-mask wearers reign supreme. Masks are donned as people enter and removed as soon as they exit from a store. They are not worn by those populating the commons.
There is also a lot of violating of those blue demarcation lines on the grocery store floor; those circles on the floor at the check out counters that have us moving forward like a child crossing a stream by stepping on rocks; and those one-way aisles that always seem to be guiding me in the wrong direction.
There have always been a number of people walking, jogging, and riding bikes – but since some restrictions have been listed, the parks, the playgrounds, and the tennis courts are back in use by more people than I have seen in them before the pandemic.
Recently I went to look for a new car in nearby Broward County which is still under lockdown. Inside the dealership, many wore masks – but most did not. Outside of one of those blue lines at the check-in counter, there was not a lot of obvious social distancing.
The salesperson asked if I wished her to wear a mask. Since I was not wearing one, I saw no reason for her to do so.
A friend and I used to have an occasional breakfast at IHOP. I am particularly fond of their Swedish Crepes. It was quite another story. We were the only two patrons in the place – although they were fully staffed with what looked like more than a dozen workers.
There were a lot of changes. Every other table was marked “reserved” even though it was reserved for no one. They now use disposable paper menus. There are no condiments on the table. If you want salt or sugar, you need to ask, and they will bring packets.
It looks like most of my favorite restaurants will be ready for customers. That means a frequent lunch with a good friend. Next week, my Chinese massage parlor (no, not that kind) will open – as will the bowling alley for my weekly game with friends.
By June 1st, it appears that my life will be returning to close to normal. There is something very nice about being out and about among the unwashed masses.
So, there ‘tis.