Friday, October 23, 2020

New Normal

Key West has always been the escape destination. This is where people come to live for a brief while south of reality. These days the escape from reality seems more important than ever for some, perhaps for most visitors. This is supposed to be the weekend of Fantasy Fest and supposedly there are people in town determined to pretend the canceled carnival is still happening. Most of from Tampa, a place where the word "superspreader" new to our collective vocabulary, may not yet have taken root. It will if enough of them have showed up.

I see two key Wests these days more starkly defined by clothing than ever, which is funny as the Key West I preferred was the one where outward signs of status or wealth were pretty much ignored. 
These days wear a mask as you go about your business and you are a local, travel with apparent impunity and you aren't.
Perhaps it takes local lungs to be immune to heat and small pieces of cloth combined. Perhaps it takes immunity to the news to travel for sheer fun these days. 
I find myself slightly astonished by the numbers of people prepared to eat in restaurants, gather in groups and act as though Covid 19 is a live or die proposition. I have no desire to imperil my helath at this late stage, and when you've been intubated once it isn't an experience you are anxious to repeat let me assure you. 
Yet when I went to pick up food to go the restaurant tables were crowded and the diners were mask free. I salute their escape from reality. At the supermarket on an early morning nearly deserted shop a few select items are as usual in short supply. In preparation for the second wave of coronavirus we stocked up on toilet paper. I wonder what we will miss this time around and nearly run out of?
This irritating state of affairs is the new normal.