The Virus Diaries: A Different Kind of Good Friday.

Holy week has been different this year.  It's not that we aren't observing; it's not that we haven't been (and will be) celebrating.  Things are just different but that doesn't make them any less valid, respectful or holy.  Instead of waving palm branches on Palm Sunday, I decorated my front door with local flora (and a palm that was graciously left out in a basket at a local church).  I participated in a "live" Zoom online service as well as watching my own church's recorded message which went live at the time that the service would have started if we were able to gather together.  On Maundy Thursday, my son and I watched our churches recorded message as it went "live."  We washed each other's hands, we took a modified communion (I don't think that God minds that I actually used tortilla chips in place of bread.  I was trying to conserve what bread I had) and we had a simple supper of soup.  All of which we would have done with our church family IF we had been able together physically.  It was actually quite nice and very reflective.

Now on Good Friday, there will be a brief reflection at 10:30 on my church's Facebook page.  I hope at noon to attend a Zoom Stations of the Cross.  (Something I've never really done so I'm looking forward to it.) I'm also thinking it's time to revisit an old tradition of watching "Godspell" tonight.  (I used to have to wait until it came on tv; no more!)

Good Friday is a solemn day, but I am going to add some levity to it.  Friday is also my grocery shopping day.  I've been going alone, which believe it or not is kind of stressful during a pandemic, especially when they are doing construction/reorganizing making it difficult to find things (and let's face it, items are becoming more and more difficult to get).  Last Friday I had tried to put a scarf over my face while shopping, which didn't work out too well.  So I was a little apprehensive.

As of yesterday, our governor has mandated that if you are going into a retail establishment, you need to have a face covering.  I found another scarf, tied it around my mouth and nose and went to pick up some wine that I had ordered online.  (Yes, I'm buying A LOT of wine...I think at this point I should be good for a LONG time...but...who knows?  Don't judge.)  I drove with it and went to the store that I had never visited before.  I immediately noticed a sign that proclaimed you had to wear a face covering.  Going inside, I had to wait a bit for more order (probably longer than usual, but we are not in usual circumstances).  While I waited at least 3 people came in without face covering and were asked (POLITELY) to leave.  Actually, I told 2 people that they had to wear a mask.  I think they were annoyed, but really???  This is what we need to do; let's do it.

I was near a Shoprite and I debated doing my grocery shopping right then and there.  However, I was technically on my lunch break and I didn't know how long it might take me.  This particular store is very large and I wouldn't know where things were.  Every time I've been in there in the past (during "normal' times), there have been pretty long lines to check out.  I noticed that there was a line to get in, so I decided to wait until today, my regular shopping day and go to my usual store.

One thing was that now I had "used" my scarf.  It would need to be cleaned before I used it again.  Simple enough, but I figured I had enough scarves to use.  I tried a couple out.  They were ok.  I tried the bandana with hair ties trick.  (Google it.)  It kind of worked, but I the ties hurt my ears a little.  I was just going to tie bandana around my face ("stick 'em up!") when I happened to see something funny on Facebook.  I laughed at the woman, but...

This morning, I decided to give it a try and it yes...this morning I went grocery shopping wearing my husband's underwear on my head/face.  You can laugh.  (I'll laugh with you!)  However, this actually worked and didn't look too bad. (You be the judge:  Now in this photo I am also wearing a heavy sweat jacket (it was pretty darned cold this morning) and I also had a scarf around my neck, which I figured I could use as a backup if this method failed.  It did not.  I was able to drive, shop, deliver groceries to a friend and go home with relative ease.  And to be honest, I don't think I looked any stranger than anyone else in the store.  To be honest, you'd have to look relatively closely to see that this is actually a pair of boxer briefs.  (And who's getting that close these days?)  While this may not be the best/safest mask out there, it's definitely on par with a scarf or bandana.  And if I gave you a giggle on this solemn day; then my work is complete.  (Consider it one of my Lenten acts of kindness.)

As we wrap up this holy week, I wish everyone a Happy Easter, Happy Passover or just a Happy Weekend.  Be smart; be safe and be sane.


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