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  • Covid Cocktail

Quarantine Blues

Quarantine Blues

An ongoing series of journal entries about the perils of being safe

  • Posted on: 21 June 2020
  • By: bevmire

Hello fellow forced isolationists,

So I woke up this morning like I usually do, happy to face the day for about 10 seconds. Then it dawned on me (pun intended) that we’re living in a no person’s land somewhere between pandemic and race war.

Today I’m facing a particular problem and that is do Off and hand sanitizer mix well on your skin? It’s hot and humid so the ‘skeeters are sending telegrams to each other that I’ll be sitting in the garden in about 45 minutes. On the other hand, I’m in that age and skin color group that doesn’t bode well for a trip to the hospital. What I’ve decided to call “Lysol Baths” are a necessary part of my hourly toilette.

Throw in a spray of Benadryl if I do get a mosquito bite and, well, now that I think of it that would be a very interesting cocktail.

I decided to throw caution to the wind and use both Off and sanitizer. This is my weather and I’m not going to miss having a cup of coffee out in my yard, mosquitoes are damned. And if I’m going to read about how some idiot, racist jerk is trying to end the world as we know it as I sip my java, I don’t want to have to use any part of the newspaper to swat a critter. I hate squished bugs. They’re so unappetizing.

My next dilemma came about an hour later when I had to decide which face mask to wear. I’m going out to a garden center in Wayland, which is always a dicey situation. I’ll need to navigate three kinds of white people when I’m there: the employee who’s been told to follow me around to make sure I don’t steal anything; the shopper who can’t believe they’re seeing a person of color (and can’t decide whether to be afraid or aggressive); the real person who is just plain nice and can’t understand why I practically fainted when they said hello.

On a really good day I run into a child who’s never seen a Black person before. On those days I either feel sad or want to open my eyes wide and say, “boo!”

But back to the mask: It’s Juneteenth, which is now a bona fide thing--outside of the Black community. I’d like to wear a mask that’s made of material whose design is reminiscent of a Kinte cloth. However, I have to decide whether that will make me look like an activist with a gun hidden somewhere or if it’ll do what I vainly want: go with my skin color and make me look radiant. I go with the latter. Besides, everyone else will be wearing masks, which these days is a mixed blessing. I mean, you can’t tell if a person is smiling, and if they’re unhappy it’s hard to tell unless their eyebrows are forming deep wrinkles on their forehead. And truly, these days, who’s looking?

Mask decision made, I packed my purse. Up to now I’ve always forgotten something but in what may be a sign of the times I now have a list in my head that I tick off. Wallet, check. Keys, check. Phone, check. Face mask, check. Small bottle of hand sanitizer to compliment the larger one in the car, check. Spray bottle of grain alcohol to use on suspect flower or grocery carts, check.

Yardstick to keep people six feet away, check. Okay, only kidding on the last one but I wish I had one when I last went shopping at Star. I'll tell you about that next time.

More later. That is, of course, if the Off and sanitizer fumes don’t start a car fire.