Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Statues Zombies and Social Chatter

When yesterday morning I walked Rusty downtown and Key West was empty, more so than prior to the usual hurricanes of recent memory, I thought these statues of the late Seward Johnson would be the only inappropriate social gathering I might see. Wrong!
I fear that in the not too distant future our governor will join those who forbid sauntering outside at all, and in Italy and Spain I read you can only walk your dog within a quarter of a mile of your home. Fines are being levied. So when I saw a couple of newspaper readers on the waterfront at Margaritaville Resort I figured they knew enough not to get close and if they hadn't wiped down the benches more fools they.
 But of course not everyone was so aware and a gathering of yoga matted bicycle riders formed at the end of the walkway, next to Admiral's Cut to share endless loud stories and copious quantities of Covid-19 no doubt. I don't think they were Spring Breakers who have happily evaporated back whence they came to infect those closest and dearest to them. 
There were a few people out and about early in the day, mostly other people walking dogs, and a few joggers and cyclists of one sort or another.
It seems like social distancing has become the new normal and a very good thing it is too. When I get home after walking and neither sitting on benches or touching anything the first thing I do is put my clothes in my laundry hamper. Then I take a shower and get clean clothes. It's become a routine.
Some people might call it a ritual but I haven't yet cottoned on to the idea that a routine becomes a ritual unless some higher power has been invoked. Taking a shower is routine in my home. Ablutions before prayers might be a ritual I suppose if I believed in such things.
Oh and while we are looking at a lucky few jogging through an empty Key West I'd like to make one other point of what irritates me most today (aside from the world appearing to end). When did "multiple" become the only way English speakers describe more than one of anything? If you come nearby and start telling me about multiple this or that I do believe I will violate the six foot separation space and share Covid-19 with you. Try saying "many" or "several" or "a few" or find your own thesaurus. I'm sick of distracting myself on YouTube and hearing multiple speakers droning on with multiple rhetorical questions about multiple aspects of photography or vans.
The Bodyzone gym closed the other day. That was okay as my immune deficient wife and I had already agreed to stop going. However when the small local gym near our home on Cudjoe Key also closed desperate measures were called for. My wife got out her rendition tapes and started us on a course of CIA approved interrogation techniques. The label said it was home exercise plans but I can't feel my legs and I'm pretty sure I am ready to tell anyone who will listen whatever they want to hear. My wife ignores my protests and keeps pressing on. Apparently she doesn't think I am properly broken yet. I am allowed to swim in the canal of an afternoon behind the house and that relieves the aches a bit. A gin and tonic later does its part too, as we soldier on in isolation.
Nearly nine o'clock on a Monday morning and Greene Street looks like the epicenter of a pandemic. All it needed was a few zombies to start giving me the creeps. When I got home my wife yelled through the shower door that a virologist on the radio thinks this can go on for more than a year.  I was not terribly polite when I refuted that suggestion. There have to be better ways to die than watching humanity crumble. My friend Webb is not fond of social media so I thought of him, hunkered with his wife Up North under a blanket, a thin one, of snow. He sent me pictures of lovely leafless trees covered in snow.  Back at you sailor man:
Someone headed yesterday morning for Federally approved social isolation west toward The Lakes or maybe Fort Jefferson. There was a decent breeze too, which is better than snow I think.