Exercise. I'm a guy that likes to follow a schedule. When exercise is on that schedule it happens with little thought or complaint. My routine has been thrown through a loop. I tried jogging only to conclude that I am not a jogger. I've upped the number and duration of the dog walks but that's not real exercise. With all this hand washing and the shortage of paper products, I've taken to air drying my hands by rapidly waving them around until they dry. I then count that as both steps on my Fitbit and exercise for the day. I'm still looking for the best way to stay healthy but in my head I'm saying, "you ain't so young anymore Greg and this is not the time to overexert yourself to the extent you find yourself in need of medical care...it's happened before you know!" So, as we begin week 4 today of the lock down I'm inventing new excuses to lock down exercise as well.
Fantasy. I started thinking about how crazy the stores will be when things open back up. Like millions of people all being let out of jail at the same time. Restaurants jammed and shopping malls filled. I'm not worried about any of that but I found myself thinking about how to best game the haircut so that I didn't find myself waiting for hours for my turn. And where would I park? Bad habit. Stop daydreaming about the future and focus on the now!
Bandana Flashback. There was a time in my life when I had a lot of hair. It was thick and long and in the mid 70s it went below my shoulders. That was a lot to deal with on a day-to-day basis so I looked to the cool kids and at least one wore a bandana as a headband. And I copied that look. I remember ironing the bandana and making precise folds with a stiff crease in order for my headband look to be perfect. That's the last time I really thought about bandanas. There's been one rattling around with my ski clothes and another that's been living in my sock drawer but I can't remember the last time I actually wore a bandana. Now two things are happening. A few City leaders are requesting that EVERYONE wear a mask when they leave the home. Not a medical mask, but they are encouraging cloth home made masks. I'm pulling out my bandanas. It occurs to me that my hair will not be cut and that I may need two bandanas...one for me hair and one for my face. Oh wait. My hair grows horizontally these days with precious little action up top so it's unlikely that I'll need a bandana for my head unless it's to cover my entire unkempt hair.
In other news
On Hold. Eve has been on hold with Instacart (grocery delivery) for 3 hours about a problem with their website. It's not a good time for call center metrics!
Beard. One of my colleagues posted a photo of his lockdown beard and his is clearly worse than mine! I mentioned this to Eve who helped me understand that the other person's may look worse, but mine still looked horrible. "And it better be gone by my birthday" she said which means that it can live for three more weeks! That's progress.
Bagels. The day started simply enough. It's a Saturday but as always I was up like every other day and moving through my morning routine. That routine always includes a dog walk but Saturdays are typically more adventurous than a typical weekday. We did a "big" walk which took us from our perch above San Carlos into our downtown area. It's about 8,000 steps roundtrip on the Fitbit and takes us a little over an hour. As we worked our way down the hill I started to think about whether this was an "essential walk." The definition of that word is ever evolving. What seems essential today seems vey different than a few days ago. The "recommendation" to wear a mask in public is hard for me. In my head I concluded that when I was outside well beyond the 6 foot buffer zone, a face mask wasn't necessary. But as I would learn later in the walk, it's not about me.
Downtown Laurel Street is a three block stretch of shops and restaurants and today it was halfway point in our walk. Usually the "cookie" store is open and they leave a bin of free cookie samples which make at least one of our tails wag. Not today. The store hours are reduced and there were no dog cookies. As I reached the end of the block it struck me how different this street looked than the hundreds of other times we had walked here. It was empty. Even the bagel place which normally would have a small line out the front door had no one there. Then I saw someone leave with a full bag. They were open but without more than an occasional customer. I felt compelled.
I tied up the dog and walked inside. The tables and chairs had been rearranged to keep me away from the counter and appropriately spaced from the other customers who weren't there. The room had its normal warmth and comforting smell but the Asian couple that owned the place made me feel sad. They both wore facemasks and gloves. I trusted that those bagels were clean. I didn't even think about the good old days when a dozen bagels used to be about $6 and try to figure out why they were more than double that today. On a normal day I would have complained in my head at least once. Not today.
The proprietors were as efficient as always. She promptly helped me do the math so there was no delay in my 13 important decisions. We carried on as if nothing was abnormal. I exchanged cash with the husband and promptly put on my glove remembering that the hand needed decontamination when I got home. The sadness in the room got even sadder after a block or two when I remembered that I was maskless. I was just selfish. I just put these nice people who worked so hard to keep my bagels virus free and I felt like my embarrassment was more important than their health. I was sad with myself. To be honest I stopped feeling sad once the toaster oven dinged when we were back home. But I learned my lesson. Wearing a mask...it's not about me...it's about keeping all of us safe.
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