Contagious Thoughts 4


For the first time in two months, we made what felt like our maiden voyage to Costco-in-the-age-of. COVID-19. I set my alarm to get up early, being warned by a friend to get there at 7.40 for the 8.00 a.m. opening for “Seniors Hour.”  Paul dropped me off with my bags at the door and went to wait for me in the car.

The first thing I saw was a long line of seniors, spaced out like early-birds on a wire. The line stretched way back around the corner of the building. When I thought I had arrived at the end of the line, I had not. It was just the end where the store manager was trying to corral renegade seniors and herd them over to the real end of the line. But he had met the generation of “sit-ins” and protest marches, and they were not to be easily moved, except for me, rule follower that I am. I left my fellow seniors complaining to the manager. I imagined them being dragged away like long-haired hippies, as I marched quickly over to the far end of the line.

When I got to the correct spot, at last, I found myself among more peers fomenting unrest, grumbling and muttering at the unfairness of the process. The manager came down the line—a well-practiced sheepdog-man patiently tending his herd. Both hands up and out towards us in a calming gesture, he assured us that we would all get in at 8.00 a.m., which was rapidly approaching. I wondered if I should remind my fellow shoppers that as well as the Protest Generation, we were also Flower Children and had they forgotten about “All we are asking, is give peace a chance?” But I didn’t, of course. I didn’t even break into “Lean on Me.” Thankfully, the line began to move, and we all happily followed one another at a safe social distance to the store. On this day, at least, the newspaper headline, “Seniors Riot at Costco!” had been avoided.

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