Quietly queued: Thoughts in the coronavirus line at the supermarket A reflection on grocery shopping during the COVID-19 era

It all starts when a woman isn’t happy that there’s a line, and immediately rolls her shopping cart into everybody’s six-foot space on her way to the end while simultaneously proclaiming a concern for our children who, at this moment, due to the virus, are not being educated. The future, for that reason — she proclaims — is dire. 

As I listen I realize another person is creeping up behind me. He’s close, too close. Is he too close? And then I realize he’s not too close. And I wonder: how much is this virus consuming me? 

Above us people in the bending supermarket line is a blue sky—losing its shimmer and beginning to dim. Dusk in it its initial stages. There is a lingering spring warmth in Tucson and yellow, orange, and purple wild flowers (brittle bush, chuparosa, purple desert lupine) are on my mind. Earlier in the day William, my four-year-old, held four desert marigolds, two in each hand as he sat on the back of his bike. He picked them for his mommy who had the good fortunes of turning 40 during a global pandemic. But now I’ve gone to the store alone. 

The rest of the line waits without a word. And this is when it happens. I begin to send my deepest respect to everybody around me.

At first it comes as a feeling of solidarity with an employee with a semi-anxious look on his face who gazes at the complaining woman with a hint of irritation. 

Read the rest here as it appears in the Tucson Sentinel.

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