These are COVID-19 times. 

What will I remember about this pandemic and what stories will be passed on to future generations?  What will my narrative be? Will I talk about today; that I went for a walk with a friend for the first time in months. sun shining on us, miller moths dive bombing us along the path near the lake we circle, black homemade mask on my face hindering my breathing, scratching my nose?  

“The nice thing about the mask” my friend jokes, “is that we don’t have to smile at people.”

I joke back, “And it doesn’t matter that I forgot my sunscreen.  My nose won’t get burned.”  

I know that on social media sites the groups I belong to on Facebook or Next Door have heated debates about mask wearing and many people feel the need to report on the percentage of people adhering to the mask and distancing rules.

These are COVID-19 times.

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Red spots on the grocery floor, sanitizer spray with bleach invading my nostrils as I wait my turn to get a metal cart and follow the green arrows along the floor leading me like a pawn on a game board (one way only) to get my food and maybe some name brand toilet paper if I am in luck.  There is no turning back to get something you forgot on a shelf.  

If you need that packet of taco seasoning you better know what aisle it is in or you have to let it go.  Things you took for granted, things you miss, opportunities lost, people behind masks, teachers without schools, kids without playgrounds.

These are COVID-19 times.

Jean Schmitt Anderson lives in Lafayette.