Written for Linda G. Hill’s “Stream of Consciousness Saturday”.
This week’s prompt is the word “wire”.
The newswire was no doubt humming all week. Each day brought something new about the infamous Coronavirus. It has been in the news for a few weeks, since it began in China, but on Tuesday night, I felt a shift in the way it was being covered in the media. My spidey sense was tingling and I just knew it was going to morph into an even bigger story than it was.
I texted my boss and asked if we should prepare a statement and a plan of action. There were only a very few reported cases in Quebec, but as a cancer wellness centre, we deal with a vulnerable population. We decided to wait and see. But my spidey sense was right and on Friday, we sat around the conference table and made a decision.
Our faces were glum as we reached a consensus. We could not take a chance that someone who had been unknowingly exposed to the virus would come to the Centre and expose many others with compromised immune systems. We had to close for at least two weeks as many other schools, municipalities and organizations were doing. Our faces were glum as we prepared the message to be sent by mass email.
Outside, the sky was slate gray and the rain was pelting the windows so hard, it looked as if we might all need an arc to get home. I checked my phone and saw a text message from my husband. He had been to the grocery store and by 10 am, many shelves were empty, and the check-out line snaked around the store. Panic was setting in and it was every man for himself. Another local big-box store had temporarily closed because customers were fighting among themselves. I felt the weight on my shoulders grow heavier. Many say that humans are still similar to wild animals in the jungle where it is survival of the fittest. We are hard-wired to see to our own needs and let the weakest fend for themselves.
Then I saw a post on my social media feed. It was on a group page devoted to residents of our town and someone was offering to pick up groceries, medication or other necessities for anyone who was sick and/or quarantined. Yesss! It made me smile and it restored my faith in mankind.
Have you found a ray of hope in this new, Coronavirus-filled world where we are all forced temporary residents?