I had skipped breakfast yesterday, went hiking and then worked all day on the Goodrich material. It was near four o'clock and I was starving. I pushed myself back from the computer and walked down to the yogurt shop for a tuna sandwich. Closed. Street was pretty dead. My mask firmly tied around my face I walked across the street to Coffee, corks and cuisine, their open sign was on.
But no, no food at that hour except expensive pastries that didn't quite hit the spot for me. I grabbed a bag of potato chips to tide me over but the barista was working on one of those complicated sissy drinks for somebody that takes for ever and I put the bag back and split.
So I walked over to Harry's Sports Bar. Harry's has just emerged from a messy entanglement with the state over their liquor license, which was suspended for what seemed like an eternity, through no fault of their own. The old owner croaked and his son never did the transfer properly and the State alleged all sorts of nefarious things, dragged their feet in typical bureaucratic fashion but finally gave it up and relented. Can't be easy for any business to survive but even harder during a pandemic. Bar is now open but you also have to order food.
I like Harry's. I like the owner Scott and the food is really quite good. The regular clientele is back on their familiar stools and it is like nothing has ever changed. Didn't skip a beat. I am not much of a drinker but what was that line from the movie Being there, I like to watch?"
So they were making my reuben sandwich and I was waiting at a table near the end of the bar and I was talking to a guy I used to drink with at the Moose Lodge, whose name is not important, an older fellow. And I looked around and realized that the picture I was seeing was no different than any other picture you can see of any bar in America right now, people elbow to elbow, crammed together, not a mask in sight. How could there be, you can't exactly drink a shot or a beer through one?
And I thought, this is the worst place I can be right now in my health condition. It's a microbe's wet dream. And these people are completely oblivious. So I asked my friend if he was worried at all?
"Nahh. Covid is a big hoax. It will go away right after the election in November. It's all politics."
And I asked him if he had heard about the guy who just died in Lake Elsinore, Thomas Macias, who contracted the disease at a barbecue and died the day after his Facebook post, which warned people that it was no joke?
"That guy didn't die of corona, he died of a heart attack."
There was no getting through to him. Facts be damned, it is all a big political conspiracy. I looked it up, there was no heart attack but the man did have diabetes and that is apparently a problem for covid sufferers, as is asthma and a host of other pre existing conditions. My friend and the other people at the bar, are seemingly totally unconcerned, but then again it might be the alcohol talking.
No different from any other bar I guess. No way to do it risk free. I guess people are entitled to pick their poison.
I paid for my sandwich and split. It is going to be hard for me to go back in there for a while, until the contagion blows over, the place scared me.