Second Half of the NEW YEAR.

Good Morning,

Thursday August 6th, 2020.

Three days until my 63rd Birthday.

Yesterday I received a birthday card and letter from my Aunt & Uncle.

I did read the letter and was happy to hear their news and that they were okay.

 

Cannot believe how quickly the time passes.

Yesterday I wrapped and had ready to post the birthday present for my friend back in Regina.

I was going to “phone a friend” to see if someone could go and mail the parcel.

But then I thought …. why?

Instead I asked my neighbour if I could borrow her car and go mail the parcel.

We have a strip mall less than a five minute drive away complete with a drugstore and post office.

For the next bit before I actually went over to grab the keys, I felt a bit sick to my stomach.

At first I blamed it on the heat and then I realized that I was feeling a bit anxious.

This was my first time since March that I had been out in public, in a retail store where there could be many people.

I do not count the VET as they were only allowing one patient at a time.

Occasionally someone would come in for supplies.

The staff were always wiping down the doors, handles, windows, counters and debit machine.

Any place where a human could touch.

They always had sanitizer out on the counter so nothing new.

As I gathered my purse, shoes, sun clips, phone and checking to see if I had my debit card and of course, the main reason for going out, the parcel.

Picked up the keys and shortly thereafter I was on my way.

When I arrived at the parking lot I was amazed at how many cars.

Every person I noticed had a mask on.

There were the disposable light blue ones and many home sewn ones of every description.

After parking I grabbed my purse, the parcel and of course, the mask and locked the car.

As I walked to the drugstore, I slipped on the mask.

I have worn it before at the VET just because it is the right thing to do.

It felt hot on my face as I breathed in and out, momentarily fogging up my glasses.

Once instead I saw friendly faces hidden behind the masks.

I called out to the girls in the cosmetic area.

It is an odd feeling not seeing someone’s face when you are speaking to them.

I had a quick chat with the girls, telling them this was my first time out since working from home started in March.

First retail experience.

The young gal that I know the best “told me not to worry, you have your mask on.”

I felt kind of silly.

Then I was on my way.

First stop “Post Office.”

I noticed the arrows on the floor that no one was following.

There were several people in the store and everyone at that point had a mask on their face.

At the Post Office, I was happy to see only one person ahead of me.

The mask was hot on my face as I spoke to the Clerk in the Post Office asking this and him answering that.

I remembered to pick up stamps.

Once I had mailed the parcel, I decided to pick up a few items as I was at the store.

Walking down the aisles, I spotted the hair colours and walked over to them.

The first thing I did was to pick one up.

Then I placed it back like a hot potato.

Realizing what I had done.

What is the protocol for this?

Is there one?

Do you just look and only touch what you are purchasing?

After that I only looked and picked up what I intended to purchase.

 

At the checkout there was a woman with no mask.

No one knows why?

Perhaps for medical reasons, maybe she did not have one or perhaps she did not care.

When it was my turn at the cashier, I saw in front of me, this plastic wall, a shield protecting the cashiers, with an opening at the bottom to push through the products you were buying.

I must have looked stunned for a moment – I think you can tell that even if your mouth and most of your face is covered.

I had heard from others that most retail stores had this kind of setup but to see it in person, is quite another story.

Seemed like in a bank or in our old office before the renovations or in a New York taxi.

I had a quick chat with the cashier as she rung through my items.

I felt compelled to tell the cashier that this was my first public outing since March, my first retail experience.

Also, I commented on how hot the masks were and asked “Do you ever get used to wearing them?”

She said “No.”

This gave me a whole new appreciation for those folks who work out in the public.

Whether in health care or in retail or anywhere really.

 

Then I was done.

As soon as I was away from the building, I whipped off my mask.

Deep breath.

Into the car and back home.

A sense of accomplishment and relief.

 

I wondered how many folks were in a similar situation to mine?

I have been so blessed over the past few months to have friends and family that pick up my groceries and such.

After this, I am not quite certain if I am ready for grocery shopping or not.

If there were only a couple of people, maybe.

 

This morning we were up a bit earlier than the past few mornings and actually left the house at 7:00 for our walk.

I was surprised at just how many folks were out and about.

Riding bikes, walking with a friend or like me walking with their dog.

Another hot day so I must get going.

Time to have coffee and breakfast before getting some housework done.

After lunch it is just too hot to be doing much inside the house.

 

Living with respect and kindness.

I/We shall remain,

As Always, Carol & Alvin

 

 

 

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