I’ve heard it said that we should all be writing (or, to turn a noun into a verb, journaling) about these times, for posterity. If my descendants ever want to read about how I holed up in my home office day after day and through the magic of technology was able to connect to my work and the world, I’m here for them.
We are heading into the third week of “extreme social distancing”, and I have these moments where I feel like I’m in a sci-fi narrative. The Powers That Be have ordered the Humans to sequester themselves inside their homes, emerging only for a bit of fresh air, perhaps a short walk in the neighborhood, or to procure groceries or carry-out food. Only the most recalcitrant souls disobey, but almost everyone heeds the dire warnings.
Grocery stores have mostly restocked their shelves, but there are aisles where products are completely missing. Notably, the baking aisle (flour, sugar, yeast – everyone’s a home baker now), fresh meat, and of course, there is no toilet paper to be had, nor cleaning products that disinfect, too. (Related: People are mail-ordering bidets.) I ventured out for groceries this morning and found it odd that there is still a large, fully-stocked display of fancy gourmet cheeses at my local grocery store. I mean, it makes sense that people wouldn’t be buying it, as Quarantine Times call for practical purchases, but it’s weird to me that the store still features it. Even so, that didn’t stop me from buying Gruyere (for French onion soup) and fresh mozzarella (for pizza).
Saturday night, out of sheer boredom, we got in the car and drove simply for the sake of driving. There wasn’t anywhere to stop – bars and restaurants are closed except for carryout, and all retail stores are closing earlier than usual to allow time for restocking and, they assure us, cleaning and disinfecting. There were definitely fewer cars on the road than normal. It felt like driving at 1am. Only it was 7:45.
Anyway, is this the part of the sci-fi series where the slimy swamp creatures emerge from the sewers and take over the world? Is the apocalypse nigh? Have The Humans been lulled into some false sense of security, the kind that precedes maximum drama at the sudden onset of some huge cataclysm? Stay tuned!
Meanwhile: just before lunchtime yesterday, we ventured out to check in on Rosie and Joseph, our Avian friends. Last week, Rosemary had taken leave of her nest and I was worried; you see, last year, this weekend, one of her three eggs hatched, but two did not, and the family of three left the other two. I learned this is a natural thing that sometimes happens, but that didn’t stop me from fretting about it.
As we drove up, we saw two adult geese herding six goslings!! Steve took some photos while I hopped on Facebook Live to share my excitement.
And thus concludes the third season of GNN (Goose News Network), live from the parking lot at Shady Grove Metro. I’m so relieved all the eggs hatched this year! With Metro rides limited to “essential trips only” and most people teleworking, there is a lot less car traffic around the station, which means the geese have run of the place. This bodes well for overall goose safety. They’ll make their way to the runoff stream that is channeled between the parking garage and the Kiss ‘n’ Ride driveway, which is where the geese spend their springtime. If I was a goose, I think I’d feel like it’s a nice place to be – there’s water, lots of grass and shade, and substantial iron fences signal to humans to keep their distance.
Turns out, the geese were doing social distancing before it was A Thing.