Saturday, April 11, 2020

Crowds Looking At Crowds


Part 11 of 30

This is the before picture, before the virus took hold, but to be perfectly frank it could easily be confused with the after picture.

Of course it was entirely safe to be in the public concourse before, when we dwelt in ignorance, the virus fully present, infecting the first few crowds.With that taint, however, it was immediately obvious that we should shrink back, with the crowds to be diminished and possibly never restored, depending on the scope of the pandemic.

But anything that’s anything has to be witnessed, otherwise how would we know there was no one there. I know when it happened, my first thought was I should stay home, but then I thought, "How will I know if everyone stayed home unless I go see?" Well, great minds think alike. And the neighbors saw me pulling up my truck's anchor and shoving off. They all know how careful I am, probably, so they figured, ‘If he’s going to see it, it must be safe.’ And really, how will you have bragging rights in the future unless you're bold now? Who wants to rely on secondhand gossip?

Just the sight of the concourse, the pavilion, filled to overflow proportions gave each of us a renewed confidence. It was just another false alarm. The word went out, “It indeed IS another false alarm!” Meaning, anyone paranoid enough to stay hunkered down with their little supplies of toilet paper and canned soup is a sucker of the meddling government! When you put it like that, what choice do you have? Plus, the wind was blowing the germs out to sea, or whatever islands there are betwixt hither and thither.

You can sort of see it in the way our noses work, filtering out the germs of our immediate presence with the tiny hairs. On the macro scale, that’s what trees are, nose hairs without a nose. The wind blows from one tree to the next, each with its marching order -- germs incoming! -- and the filtering both begins and ends like inhalation and exhalation, the next breath cleansing the previous breath.

That day has passed by now, of course, and we’ve had some iffy days since. A number of the people I knew that day have fallen victim to optimism or stupidity, even now flitting about in the afterlife, living with regrets on those virus-free shores. It may not have been the best behavior but I’m still alive, my nose a little plugged up but my left leg's fine. I’m still kicking...

I implore you -- my entire healthy left side implores you -- be socially responsible in this time of terrible virus. You may live to see tomorrow, or, equally possible, you might not.

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