Sofia is my best friend, my flatmate, my family. She is from Portugal, a place where due to COVID-19 she cannot go. She usually travels home this time of year to visit her family and friends, now she cannot. I find her observations of my country insightful and at times, sad. They are not protesting their freedoms in their streets, they are wearing their masks, helping each other to survive the season of COVID-19. Here is part of a conversation we had this evening.
Sofia upon returning from the corner convenience store: “The weirdest thing just happened…”
Sofia: “Well there was a big sign on the door, stating you: Need to wear a mask and maintain social distancing, but there was a guy, a customer who didn’t have on a mask and he walked up close to me and I said, “You should really have a mask on.”
Me: thinking…”ut oh”….
Sofia: “He kind of just grunted at me and walked past, but when he did, I noticed he had those grill things on his teeth…”
Me: looking more closely at her, to see if she was all right…
Sofia: “And then I noticed he was driving one of those big, jacked up black trucks and I thought, hmmmmm, maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.”
Me: silent, not sure what to say
Sofia: “And then I asked the clerk if that happens a lot and he said, yes. At first he tried to refuse service to people who refused to wear a mask or social distance, but they got aggressive with him, so he stopped.
Me: silent, still not sure what to say
Sofia: “He’s afraid…he’s all alone in that store, and he’s afraid to ask the customers to do the right thing…my god, he’s afraid and it makes me so sad, what’s wrong with people?”
Me: “Well, we could call the police, tell them that the mask and social distancing thing isn’t happening, but then the clerk will get in trouble, probably lose his job, that won’t help much.” ~ thinking to myself I should have stayed silent.
Sofia: “That poor guy, what a way to make a living, I mean really, what’s he suppose to do?
Me: “Like I keep saying, this is much bigger than what we can imagine, it’s like the dam has broken and rivers of discontent are everywhere.
Sofia: “Here’s your M & M’s, I’m going to take a shower.”
Me: Now eating M & M’s and feeling sad, my city just added 1,268 new cases of COVID-19 today, hospitals are filling up and yet, some idiots won’t put on a fricking mask. It would help if Trump put one on, come on man, set a good example and help us please. #girlwithguitar
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“It would help if Trump put one on…set a good example…” — I hope you’re not holding your breath waiting for this to happen!