Corona, as in Coronavirus has been personified. It infiltrates numerous conversations these days and rightfully so. Chris and I decided to escape our self-imposed isolation for a few minutes yesterday. Our plan was to hop in the SUV, turn on the air conditioning and take a leisurely spin, no route in mind. It was 87 degrees yesterday afternoon, quite warm even for this time of year. We thought about taking the Shi-Tzu, Ari with us, but decided to leave her at home. She’s an at-home dog anyway, so she doesn’t need a Corona break.
As we exited the neighborhood, we didn’t notice anything different than normal. Traffic was about the same as it normally is. There were a few pedestrians on the streets. Several small businesses had none to a few cars parked in their parking lots. Restaurants were open for business, with services provided through their drive through windows. Our governor has made this business model available to restaurants; they had to close their dining rooms but could continue operating under this social-distancing model.
With National Public Radio playing, we drove onto the freeway, at this point with some sense of where we were going. We figured this would be a good time to checkout Pinnacle Mountain State Park. If you’re reading this and you’re not familiar with Pinnacle Mountain, it’s a volcano looking mountain just outside of Little Rock. There are acres of park land around it, offering space for picnicking, bird watching, just hanging out and enjoying nature. Yeah, this was the place to go to on such a fine, early spring day. Since we were in no hurry, we meandered through the western part of the city until we reached the park.
Obviously, there were more folks than us, who thought getting out to enjoy the nice weather was a good idea. For some reason, there were several state police vehicles parked on the side of the road near the entrance to the park. Blue lights were also flashing. As we approached the entrance to the park, a quick survey showed that people were out and about as if it were a holiday weekend. No way were we going to pull off into that. What about social distancing? All around the park, bicyclists were hunkered down on their sleek, expensive-looking bikes, carefully navigating on the narrow shoulders of the roads. Drivers couldn’t drive too far in any direction without pulling over into the middle of the road to prevent hitting a cyclist.
This was like the Sunday drives of old, when I was a kid. We’d all hop into the reasonable facsimile of a car we owned and just go for a ride, no destination in mind. We might have stopped at a dairy stand somewhere, which as I recalled would have had a window specifically set aside for folks who looked like us. (Have you figure that out yet?) Yesterday, we chose not to stop anywhere. The cautionary measures we took to keep us from contracting the Coronavirus provided another type of segregation (social distancing). We got some fresh air, a look at some things that had changed, some things we hadn’t seen in a while. Then, back home where Ari greeted us at the door with the same toy she had before we left the house. It’s a strange new world for a Sunday drive, even on a Thursday afternoon.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.