where the virus cases are exploding and the hospitals are at their breaking point and long gone are the days when we would say We're all in this together and Let's flatten the curve. There is no curve. What we have now is a line zooming straight up. At the Starbucks at the end of my street the line
of cars waiting in the drive thru stretches out into the road and blocks traffic. Blocks me, on my way in to work and I find myself screaming one afternoon through the windshield at the car in front of me who won't move. MOVE, I scream at him. MOVE. Strangely, it helps, the screaming. That, and yoga. Stretches in front of the TV, a ten minute meditation, the happy yoga girl in front of her brick wall and carefully posed plant, her soothing voice telling me to breathe.
I want to bubble wrap my adult children.
At the library people burst inside frantically looking for covid home testing kits. Sometimes the kits are in. Sometimes they are out. When they are out, I offer to call the county library system to see if they have any. A woman stands in front of my desk, hack-coughing. I'm vaxxed, she tells me. And boostered. Maybe this is a cold?
Sure, I tell her. It's probably a cold. And all the while I am inching my chair back, internally screaming MOVE. GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME. But on the outside, I smile. I breathe. I tell the woman where she can find a test and she thanks me, more profusely, probably, than I deserve.
Seriously, though, about the bubble wrap. Do they make it in the size of your adult children? My son and his girlfriend currently #van-life-ing across the country. My daughter and her fiancé braving public transportation and the crowded store where my daughter works, never mind the crazy pro-birther people sporadically picketing outside the building next door, the pizza restaurant which these deluded zealots fervently believe is a front for a child sex ring and so a co-worker has to escort my daughter to her bus stop.
There is not enough bubble wrap in the world for this kind of world, but on the bright side, I snagged some of those hard-to-find covid tests before we ran out at the library. And as of today, anyway, I can still move. I can scream. I can smile. I can breathe.