The sliding glass doors opened. I grabbed a cart and went into Publix, a local grocery store here in Tampa, Florida.
The boisterous colors of all the retail brands greeted me, each vying for my attention. Then, I saw my first person. He was an older man, with daggers extended from his eyes directly at me. Then, a second person had a similar fire in their glare.
I wondered what I’d done wrong. Then it hit me, “I forgot my mask.” I put my cart away and headed back to the house. It was a minor inconvenience. But worth it.
Outside of that blip, I've been good, as has everyone I see here in Tampa. Social distancing has been practiced. Everyone has masks on. But I, like so many of you, have watched in horror as COVID-19 cases continue to hit staggering numbers.
It’s been a bit of a slow train wreck. I sat here months ago, watching New York’s nightmare unfold, deeply concerned about how my state would do. I wish I could say I’m surprised that it has been such a mess, but I’m not. We are a wild state with a diverse set of people who have strong opinions.
It’s been frustrating because, at the local level, people are trying so hard. We are all sanitizing, wearing masks, and locking down. My girlfriend and I have never been more stir crazy. Yet outsiders seem to think we are all doing whatever, having a total free-for-all.
We Floridians usually know who the culprits are in our area. How? Because they love to announce themselves.
I’ll give you a perfect example. This is someone I know from my local area. She posted this on Facebook (I’ve have muted her name for anonymity):
I immediately knew her post was going to be a mess. It was so shortsighted. Three days…