No, this time I’m not writing about the idiot-in-chief sitting in the Oval Office — although he is a mix of stupid, malice and money – not a great combination evidenced in what we have seen and become in the past three years. But I digress.
It has been a great many years since anyone has found my level of patience to be something to recognize as a core strength, even in normal times. It is a trait that I think has served me well over my long career but has taken it’s toll on most of those who have been forced to spend time around me. It is something one would think with retirement should have ebbed a bit. Well, that’s apparently not happening – especially now.
Where I will most typically go quickly off the rails is in the face of stupidity and ignorance. Unfortunately the opportunities to experience those ever-present qualities among our fine citizens of this great nation abound. In normal times, I am reminded that I should recognize that it is a reality of life and that stupidity is a way of life for many and that is not going to change. I get it but don’t really accept it – I guess then I don’t really get it. But at this time when we have been now almost two months into this pandemic, I again struggle. maybe even more so given that the stupidity and ignorance of many wandering aimlessly out in public can, and likely will, add to the death toll…and unfortunately it won’t just be the stupid and ignorant whose herd we are ultimately thinning.
Why this today? Well, I just returned from what I thought was going to be a quick trip to the grocery store. Could I have done without it? Probably yes, but stubbornness sits up there with impatience in my makeup…again something those around me would not debate. I can rationalize my trek a bit given I don’t step foot in the store without my N95 mask and disposable gloves, as well as a Clorox disinfectant wipe or two in my pocket. I should have known as I wandered up to the entrance and two people wandered out sans mask (of any kind). While the store was not overly crowded, I was astonished by the number of people wandering the aisles without masks. Like to say it was mostly younger people who a often immune from those things that knock us seniors off balance but no, many were my peers. I, at least, can still move reasonably fast. Most of these people couldn’t get out of the way of a launched germ if they tried. I was also amazed at the number of children wandering around with a parent wearing a mask but they weren’t. I know there are times you would like to get rid of your kid but not sure this way works…especially since if they get Covid-19, then it is likely shortly coming your way. For many of these same people the concept of social distance appeared to also be something said in a foreign language. So, here we are weeks into this crisis and it now dawns on me why the media and most every health professional on TV still repeats the same instruction time after time after time after time. It isn’t just to annoy me, it is for the stupid and the ignorant.
Beyond these fine people, I also was blessed to experience a number of the people working in our fine supermarket, Giant Foods in Bartonsville, PA. Now I do realize that we are in a crisis and “normal” (whatever that is) is off to the wayside. However, not sure why given you would expect that most of us want to spend as little time in a store as possible and at the same time the store would most likely also want us out as soon as possible so we can’t spend too much time noticing how many shelves are not stocked, they only had two checkout lines open. The self checkout, where I’ll usually try to go so I don’t have to depend on someone else, was not an option this time around and there was a line, no exaggeration, probably 10 or 11 people long – of course all practicing the recommended social distancing. So, using my best judgement I looked at all the carts in front of me and did a quick evaluation of which line would go fastest. Well, pretty much missed it. At one point, with two people still ahead of me and nothing moving ahead of me for probably 10 minutes, I did wander around to see if the cashier I picked only had one arm. Well, she had two but, aside from not moving very fast, she was dealing with a woman in line with no mask or gloves (see previous paragraph) and, no exaggeration, probably 25 bags or so…the cashier was doing all the bagging – ringing up 2 or 3 items, stopping to bag them, repeat and rinse…and she wasn’t wearing a mask either. She was making sure she stayed behind the two foot wide, bulletproof barrier the store had put up so there wasn’t too much room to move. In fairness to my lack of patience (rationalizing more likely), the two people in front of me and the two behind me also weren’t too happy as I could hear muffled comments thru their masks. Then it was my turn. Of course I’m not patient enough to wait for someone else to bag my stuff so first I asked her if she was required to bag (which she wasn’t, just laziness on those ahead of me) so I bagged and did my part to moved things along. By this time, I was convinced my frozen items were already thawed and our dinner tonight was going to be a bit different and much larger than planned.
Now on a more positive note (at least to like-minded folks), after seeing those many who feel no need to protect either themselves or the rest of us, I will make what to many would be a vast generalization. What I’m seeing among those idiots unfettered with masks are the Trump Nation. A horde of people (“deplorables” fits here) who aspire to be something or someone they can never be. They have been too stupid and too ignorant most all their lives to achieve much and now they have been taken in by that lump of shit in the Whitehouse (I guess that could apply to many there) who has convinced them that many of us have been looking down on them for far too long and he is their savior…how fitting with Easter just around the corner. Just thinning the herd….