Pandemic or not

Posted 8/30/22

There have been many cultural changes due to Covid; less excitement to meet and greet with hugs and kisses, an aversion to filling water bottles at public water fountains, squeamishness to be lumped …

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Pandemic or not


There have been many cultural changes due to Covid; less excitement to meet and greet with hugs and kisses, an aversion to filling water bottles at public water fountains, squeamishness to be lumped together in big crowds, and virtual doctor appointments.  Some of the changes are no longer needed, or, at least, not needed to the extent that they were. 

Hubby and I like to eat out for lunch at restaurants such as 99, (love their free popcorn), or Applebees, (love their half-priced appetizers from 2:00-5:00).  Other people, I am sure, love them also.  During the active pandemic, these restaurants no doubt did a roaring business from take-out orders, and they generally have seven or eight front row parking spots reserved for this purpose.  Hubby gets annoyed that these spots sit there vacant, nary a take-out customer in sight, while we must park at the back of the parking lot. He considers it a tease, “Look at these convenient, close spots just sitting here empty!” He is bothered by the fact that potential take-out customers are treated so royally, while we, the customers who will spend extra money in the restaurant on drinks, dessert, and a tip, must endure a hike to get into the establishment. While it is fine to save a few spots for take-out, it seems superfluous to have so many, and it has created ill will.  The last time we ate out, Hubby parked in the 8th spot, still leaving 7 spots for non-existent take-out customers.  Nothing has created hard feelings as much as the bright green flyer that was placed on our windshield alerting us to the fact that we were parked “illegally.”  (Note:  this was not at a restaurant in central Rhode Island.) I was appalled, stunned by the fact no such notice is placed on the windshields of cars that are actually illegally parked in the handicapped spots! Let people with disabilities drag themselves across a parking lot the size of a baseball field to get inside, but heaven forbid someone with a take-out order not have their pick of eight spots in which to park. Outrageous!

Another change, be it due to the pandemic or just plain advancing technology, is my use of Amazon for retail purchases.  Shopping at the malls used to be a favorite activity of mine. Browsing in the store windows, stopping to buy this or that, and grabbing lunch at the food court was great fun. However, the fact that my mother and brother are no longer with us, and that my children are all grown, had made the trip a solitary one. It became easier to just make purchases on my laptop, especially since my son turned me on to “Prime,” which delivers items free in two days.  He is actually a great spokesman for this service, touting the fact that he purchased 2 pounds of special nuts and bolts sent by way of Fed-Ex, taking eight days to get delivered and costing $37.50, as opposed to the 25-pound bag of dog food delivered the next day, free, by Amazon. The lure of shopping in person is still there, but the ease of getting items delivered outweighs the adventure. It is no wonder that I have been gaining weight.

Getting together with our family for the holidays has been hampered by the pandemic.  My son and his family in California would not risk the long flight to Rhode Island. Nana and Hubby’s brothers and sisters and their families would not risk getting such a large group together, now that most of their children are adults and have children of their own. It is with great excitement that I look forward to renewing this year’s traditional family holiday on New Year’s Day.  Grandpa is no longer with us, and a few new great-nieces and nephews have joined the fold, as have a few fiancés, a testament that life goes on, pandemic or not.


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