I’ve seen a lot of strange things lately during this six-month pandemic. Some things have made me laugh, some things have made cry, some things have made me rethink my priorities, and some have just flat out baffled me. Of course, a lot of these things I’ve seen in Walmart and yes, my own home.
I saw a lady walking through our local Scottsboro Walmart dressed in a Plague Doctor mask, the beak of it extended so far that you were certainly six feet away from her no matter which way you walked. I also saw a man wearing a scuba mask, all he was missing was the flippers and the tank. In all the mandates, at least people are having a little fun.
One day I saw a girl running through Walmart while the overhead store voice announced they would be closing in ten minutes. The girl flew past me in a panic toward the card aisle. And while some people were frantically trying to complete their shopping, another couple strolled along at their own pace, their buggy full of items, taking it one minute at a time. Perhaps we should all pause to take our time and pace ourselves, breathe and find some peace – even if the time’s up announcement is blaring.
I saw the Wizard cry over basic first grade math because adding numbers was, “too hard.” Oh, how I feel for his first-grade teacher and having to keep him six feet away from his friends at all times. He’s convinced PE will only allow one person to play at a time and he worries how he will ever get his exercises done without someone holding his feet during sit-ups.
I saw a line slink out the door for a recently opened business – people flocking in to try the goods that it offered. I watched other local businesses in the same area struggle to have people visit for the day. Let us all be reminded to support one another – we all have food we need to put on the table.
But of all the things I’ve seen, the best and most expensive so far has been the droopy, sad face of a hundred-pound Labrador retriever pouting in the door frame of the laundry room, knowing good and well he was the reason that the old double panel door was hanging by one hinge. I saw said dog pout until about three in the morning as Drew and I not only moved the refrigerator, tore out the broken door, replaced with a steel door, painted and then, the next day, hung a few shelves.
I saw a 33-year-old man stand with pride, using a brand new level and knowing that his door installation was perfect.
The next day, as I was getting ready to leave for work, I saw the cold, black nose of the dog poke from under the steel door and I wondered to myself if the house would be standing when I returned.
Lots of strange things have been seen lately. Who knows what the month of September has in store for us.
Laura Pitts is a former Daily Mountain Eagle reporter. She currently serves as director of the Scottsboro Public Library.