So, I was in the supermarket this week. I stopped to look at some of the cleaners that contained bleach in them. I wasn’t sure how low I was on this item, but I thought I should get some more when a woman called out to me from the end of the aisle. I didn’t hear her muffled words under her mask at first, but then she spoke more clearly and aske me to exit the aisle so she could walk through it. 

Well, we were both wearing masks and all she had to do was walk past me. She explained that we must observe social distancing at 6 feet. Sigh. I explained to her that it was okay for her to walk by me. She repeated herself but then she said, “okay, no problem, I’ll leave and go another way” She said some other things under her breath – I don’t think anything profane but to me, not necessary. 

How could she have expected me to leave the aisle? Let’s do a play-by-play of this situation. 

Shopper A entered the aisle from the north of the supermarket traveling southward. Shopper B, that’s me, was stationary as this was happening. Shopper A requested Shopper B to yield his position and egress the aisle in the southward (opposite) direction of Shopper A. 

Okay, had Shopper A simply waited a few moments, I would have made my selection and exited the aisle in a fraction of the time it took for her to engage me. Shake my head. Okay, so I left that aisle and went to the adjacent aisle. Guess who’s coming down that aisle. It’s Shopper A, again! I let out a laughed, it was instinctive and inappropriate. It was one of those weird encounters that makes you lean you head to a 45-degree angle, squint your eyes, and say, “I don’t know!” 

The coronavirus isn’t even alive so we can’t reason with it. Yet, because we fear it and/or the consequences that comes with, we give it a type life. I felt like the conversation I had with Shopper A was like trying to reason with the virus itself. It’s like the virus took the form of Shopper A and said, stop what you’re doing, pay attention to me, and get out of my way. I’m a proponent of social distancing, but not common-sense distancing.