Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Sharing the Juice

Sharing the Juice

He had been hiding for so long he didn’t know whether it was day or night. The virus that was sweeping the globe was causing the entire world to stop and shelter in place. For once in his life, as a man that had never really enjoyed life outdoors, he was growing ever more frustrated by the fact that going outside was suddenly considered dangerous.

Mingling among the rest of the people in the city was never something he relished. He found common people repulsive. He avoided casual or unintended contact as much as possible. Still, he enjoyed taking his walks out in the fresh air regardless of the fact that he would encounter other people. The occasional bump couldn’t be helped.

He did his best to follow the “social distancing” rule that had been put in place. Avoiding “the juice,” the germs that could be expelled in coughs or sneezes, or touching any surfaces where such germs could land was important. He kept his distance from other people as best he could. 

Try as he might, shopping in the supermarkets, the one place where other people couldn’t be avoided made it difficult. People would push past and bump him in their rush to grab the items most desired before he could get to them. He had to use public transportation and avoiding close contact with the other passengers or touching surfaces that others had touched was impossible.

He had offered to pick up some items for the old lady that lived next to him so she could avoid having to deal with it all. She was one of the few people he liked and they would often stop to chat in the hall. Three days ago she didn’t answer the door when he knocked to deliver her groceries.

Two days later he learned she had been taken by ambulance to the local hospital with symptoms. Another neighbor wearing a face mask and wearing latex gloves told him the next day that she had succumbed to the virus. Two days later he started coughing. He considered going to a clinic but, if he was contagious, they would put him in isolation. That was something he just couldn't bear.He didn’t need a clinic to tell him what he knew.

The virus was highly contagious and could be passed by both air and contact. He and his elderly neighbor had a lot of contact during the time she would have been contagious. When he learned that he was infected his outlook on social interaction changed. Once he was sure he was at the level where he was a virtual biological weapon he decided that the humans he had long considered something to be avoided were now a way of influencing the fate of the rest of them.

On a sunny day, when the air was fresh and seemed to offer a respite from any virus to all those people that dared to go shopping he dressed in his best outfit and walked to the market. Greeting everyone with a happy smile and a hearty breath-filled laugh he strolled through the crowds keeping close contact. He entered the supermarket and greeted all those shoppers with a clasp on the back.

With a strange smile he spent his day doing his best to share his juice with everyone he met.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear God, lol Michael. At least he left them smiling. Ahem, for a little bit of time. Stephen would love you.