I hadn’t anticipated writing about this again quite so quickly, as I hadn’t anticipated much change. But there has been some change. Late last week, my city mayor made an executive order that bars and restaurants no longer provide dine-in service. Over the weekend, the governor (after initially saying something to the effect that he trusted the citizens of Tennessee to make good decisions) finally also issued an executive order limiting the same sorts of things. So, we’re in semi-lockdown.
It’s not a police state or anything, thankfully, though Trump has deployed the National Guard in California, and I can’t really imagine what that’ll mean for people in California. I hope it doesn’t mean that the most vulnerable people get treated (more) poorly, though that does seem to be the general modus operandi of the current administration.
I went to the grocery store on Sunday partially to resupply myself with candy but also to get food for our meals for the coming week. The shelves were a lot more bare this time. When I went a week ago, it was mostly rice, flour, and paper goods that were in short supply. On this trip, there was very little meat, just a scattering of canned goods, no snack cakes, no bread, no butter, and a much smaller selection of cereal than usual. Chips were fairly picked over too, as were frozen vegetables. Soft drinks and candy (historically my most important food group) were thankfully abundantly available.
I’ve seen photos of downtown, which has been fairly bustling in general over the past few years but which now is apparently a ghost town. I’m surprised and relieved that people may be seeming to get the message to keep a distance from one another.
I’ve seen more neighbors walking their dogs and pulling children in wagons than usual, though we are heading into Spring weather, and these activities always pick up after winter draws to a close, so maybe this isn’t pandemic-specific. A neighbor proposed to the neighborhood Facebook group that people put teddybears in windows to give little kids out walking sort of a scavenger hunt, and I find the idea sort of charming. Another floated the idea of bringing a food truck to the neighborhood one night a week so that we could help support local businesses without going out. I’m mixed on this idea — I like the notion of supporting such businesses, but it’s hard for me to avoid thinking that somebody cooped up in a food truck all day and passing food and money back and forth is a pretty effective germ vector.