A New Enemy Among Us

It’s such a foreign feeling to be apprehensive of other human beings.

As children we were warned about the “boogey man.” And stranger danger. Sometimes we were fed images coupled with descriptors of what a so-called bad person looked like. There may have been role playing exercises so that a child’s naivety wouldn’t put them in jeopardy. “Beware of strangers,” and “don’t accept rides or candy from people you do not know,” our parents warned.

Today, there is a new enemy among us. One that we literally cannot see coming, but it’s presence is formidable as it is legitimate. What’s more frightening is that the “smartest” minds among us can’t thwart it, not even medical science. This enemy is viral. And while it has no specific personified target it seemingly has a mission.

Grocery stores now look like ERs and ICUs, over capacity with a sea of blue face masks, and hands adorned in pastel blue plastic gloves. Recently, and for the first time in my life, I wore a face mask and gloves before entering a grocery store. A grocery store. I caught myself carefully stretching out the fingers of the gloves as I prepped myself in the car, nearly mimicking a climactic scene from a medical drama. Except I wasn’t about to perform life saving surgery. I was trying to save my own life as I was preparing to go food shopping.

This crisis is revealing the most extreme spectrum of responses and personalities. There are those who now visit public places completely shrouded, some donning military-grade gas masks, and other makeshift versions of PPE. And there are others who carry on their regularly-scheduled lives as if they possess a level of immunity that alludes the rest of the planet. They still play contact sports. All but mock “social distancing” edicts, and yet are somehow inclined to stock pile (i.e., disrespectfully hoard) essential food, and household supplies “just in case.”

There are those who still stand dangerously close to strangers in shopping aisles, or other public spaces. These people will all but kidnap your shadow and stand in it’s place, hovering over you as you attempt to make your selections. This behavior is rude pre-corona virus, it is potentially lethal today. No hyperbole here. This is not a game, and it is not a drill.

We’re all in this together. So let’s act like it and do the right things together. More often than not. The lives of others…including your own may very well depend on it. There’s a so-called “threat” out there, and it shouldn’t be one of us.

Be careful out there.


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