Living in this strange new world of COVID-19 has changed the daily routine. Telecommuting and #WFH (working from home) were mere concepts to most Americans just two weeks ago. Today we’re exchanging tips for using tools like Zoom and Skype. Grammarians cringe as “slack” becomes a verb. Work may never be the same again, let alone the workplace.
We’re also looking for ways to spend our time after hours. How can we get out of the house while avoiding interactions or large gatherings? Socializing without socializing. So yesterday we did something we hadn’t done in years—we went for a drive in the country.
Leaving town the empty shopping malls of Tulsa gave way to farmland. The setting sun cast an orange glow over old Route 66 as we rolled through the countryside. Passing though the first small town we noticed something unexpected. Most of the parking lots at local restaurants were jammed. A whole lot of people were treating this as just another Friday night.
It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Returning home we passed Tulsa International Airport. Standing in stark contrast to the apathy of the suburbs was row upon row of silent airliners. The planes have been parked because airlines are canceling almost all international flights. In the setting sun their tail fins cast long shadows across the tarmac.
As we pulled back into the garage my wife commented, “Somebody in one of those places we passed this evening probably has it.” We weren’t really expecting a lesson in social behavior when we backed out of the driveway, but we felt we got one.
Welcome to the new world.