I think I’ve mentioned that where we live is fairly rural.
As with some rural communities, there may be some sense of insulation from the effects of Covid-19 as it sweeps around the world. In fact, someone I know was teased a few weeks ago at a local gardening store when he told the cashier that he would load his own mulch in order to maintain some social distance. “A CUSTOMER IS COMING TO THE LOADING AREA,” she announced over the store’s loudspeaker. “BUT HE DOESN’T NEED HELP BECAUSE HE WANTS TO SOCIAL DISTANCE!” There was chuckling. This person now buys his mulch from the Lowe’s in Rocky Mount.
(About ten days after this interaction this same establishment went to curbside-only service. No more loitering in the garden store, y’all!)
And indeed, today’s Roanoke Times reports only 16 cases of Covid-19 in Franklin County, with 19 in Bedford County just across the lake.
However, a large population of our neighbors are retired and are very respectful of the threat that the coronavirus presents. You see some folks wearing masks in the stores, and appreciate businesses’ attempts to distance their customers.
We are supporting our small businesses with take-out orders and only venturing out when we need to. But if we went to our windows to bang pots at 7 pm in support of health care workers, I don’t think anyone would hear us.
When I talk to friends in the DC area or our daughter in New York, it is clear that they are living in a world that seems very different, even if I suspect strongly that it is not.