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Research & Thoughts

Guide to a New World

My first trip to Madison with my husband for his medical treatment since January. Because of the virus I'm now unemployed, so I thought, what the heck, I can kill three hours, right? Maybe get in my 7500 steps? No, it's not the world we're used to.


Gone is the freedom to browse. One of the ways we used go get our exercise was in walking the stores, stem to stern, occassionally finding something we didn't know we needed. Go in, get what you need and get out. That's the message of the face masks and hand creams and washing hands and no using reusable bags and heaven forbid you want to try and fill your water bottle.  


"Go buy plastic," says the kid at Target. 


"I don't ever buy plastic water," I said in return.


And the sense of no reusable bags? There really isn't any. Why do we need someone to bag our goods? I don't. I can bag my own. You want to give grocery workers a break? There's a good place to do it. Why should I trust bags that have been laying around the grocery store over those I keep in my car?


I get the feeling the plastics industry is having a field day with this disease, saying their plastic is safer than our reusable. For who? That's not answered. For who? Not for nature.


I believe in being safe, but I don't believe in being ridculous about it. Like face masks. You wear the same one all day long? Then if you're exposed to someone, you're breathing in those germs all day long. How often do you change it? There's no way of knowing.


And try finding a cup of coffee in town. I went to one drive up but when no one waited on me, I got to thinking they wouldn't let me use my own mug and drove off again. When I went to redeem my free burger coupon at Burger King (where we shouldn't be eating, yeah, I know), they DID allow me to use my mug, and I was so grateful I ordered more than I could eat. For drinking, I bought a glass bottle Kombuchu at Target. Don't expect me to survive by buying more plastic.


At Target one of the entrances was closed, and there was a clerk standing there, I guess, keeping track of the comings and goings, ready to stop me if there were too many in the store. Only a few of clerks wore face masks. Why not all of them? No one at either liquor store worth them, though they did have that big plastic barrier put up.


Oh, good for you, Plastics Industry - another win!


At Metcalf they were busy wiping carts down, and the guy told me which ones were clean. They had their aisles marked "one way only" so that people couldn't accidentally bump into each other. I had the hardest time figuring out how to get out, once I got in.


School was out, but so few kids around. That was spooky. 


A crow cawed at me, and closer to home, a robin had been killed, his mate in the street waiting for him, wondering why he didn't get up. There is a sense that animals are going to get used to this quiet in the streets, wonder over it, and even reveling in it, getting caught off guard when a car does come. I've never seen the birds quite so happy in our bird bath before. I've also heard the Earth is not vibrating quite so much, with fewer cars on the road.


There will be a new world emerging. Just what it will mean to all of us is yet to be seen. It's like we're reading the pages of a novel, and want to peek ahead to the end.

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