The “pandemic” is officially over: Walmart has removed the “stay six feet apart” decals on the floor of its checkout lines. Governor Ralph “Coonman” Northam, in his infinite wisdom, decreed the end of social distancing restrictions last week, and Walmart jumped right on board. If Walmart is no longer following the protocols, the pandemic doesn’t exist. Period.
I posted my last mask report a couple of weeks ago after my trip through the deplorable hinterlands of Virginia. The farther away from the cities and larger towns, the less residue of the Coronamadness was to be found. I mentioned that a diner in a remote rural area was totally without masks, and had abandoned the social distancing restrictions even before the governor allowed them to.
But Charlottesville was a different story. I went to Whole Foods last week to see how the bien-pensants were handling the loosening of the COVID rules. As expected, the place was still masked up. Nobody tried to make me put on the Corona hijab, and nobody seemed to be alarmed by my naked facial features, but everybody else, staff and customers alike, was dutifully masked. I thought I was going to finish my shopping without seeing another maskless face, but as I was checking out I saw one other fellow — probably not much younger than I am — without a mask. I wondered whether he was maskless as a matter of principle, as I was, or had a medical exemption, or just didn’t give a [solid waste] either way.
As I mentioned last time, when I went to Wegmans there were eight customers without masks besides myself, and that was a big improvement. But when I returned to Wegmans last weekend, it was even better: there were too many maskless customers to count. Not yet 50%, but still, an awful lot of them.
Today’s trip to Walmart made me feel really chipper. Not only were the social distancing stickers gone from the floor, but the proportion of unmasked people — including some of the staff — may have exceeded 50%. I think my days of counting unmasked people are over, except possibly at Whole Foods.
In my local area, which is entirely rural except for one tiny town, the Coronamadness is scarcely visible now. Compliance was mostly skin deep, anyway, and the small amount of lingering masquerade seems entirely pro forma.
I can once again enjoy my outings into the larger world, without the oppressive feeling generated by the sight of all those covered faces. I haven’t worn a mask in a month, and I feel GREAT.