You Can’t Try It On…You Can’t Return It…Just Guess!

I visited our local JC Penny’s store in our ever shrinking mall today.  The store is going out of business…just as our Macy’s department store did earlier this year.  The retail world is changing faster than we can keep up with it!  As I perused the
Big and Tall selections I noticed a clearance rack.  While the storewide sales were 30% off, the clearance rack had 70-85% off.  When I get involved with the XLT’s and XL’s 2 3 and 4…I am lost.  Thus I attempted to hold the shirt up to my shoulders and imagine how it would fit if I were wearing it…similar to what I have seen actors and actresses do in the old movies on Turner Classic Movies.  While performing this procedure I alternately slipped my glasses on and off due to the extreme fog from wearing my mask for the protection of others from my breathing.  I finally settled on 3 shirts that I thought were worth the risk…and proceeded to the checkout area. I thought to myself that there is no harm in asking questions that I already knew the answer to…and so I inquired as to whether 
I could try on the shirts…and the answer was no.  I then mentioned that I probable could not bring them back if they did not fit…and the young woman replied that I was correct.  Finally I said that it appeared that I just had to guess…and she laughed a said that I was right.  Life has changed for us as we tread water through the flood of our 2020 pandemic.

My experience at Penny’s can serve as a metaphor for the state of affairs that we find ourselves in.  We are in the midst of a worldwide scourge that makes some people very ill and kills them…while others contract the disease and have no symptoms.  Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are: Cough, Fatigue, Headache,  Congestion or runny nose, Sore throat.  I have experienced all of the above in Southern Illinois, which is rife with allergies, for all of my life.  Speaking and speaking loudly and singing propels aerosol from we humans… and that areosol has the direct danger of infecting others.  Illinois spent months in lock down while other states tried it for a short time and did not like it…and returned it to the store!  Now the Coronavirus is spiking in a dramatic fashion…and we must either return to the blunt procedures that we know work…or guess at the resulting outcome if we choose to follow our gut!  

So many of my friends and colleagues are taking the restrictions of living in a pandemic with class and dignity.  Many of them are my age and older.  They have seen trouble and trial.  They understand patience and good humor will win in the end.  

There is some guess work woven into our life during the pandemic.  Every human interaction that we choose to participate in…is a calculated risk.  MJ and I had our first restaurant dinner in months…a week or so ago.  It was with our dear friends…one of which has been undergoing a battle with breast cancer.  We dined al fresco and it was a lovely experience.  However about half of the patrons were wearing masks and some of the wait staff were either not wearing masks or wearing them incorrectly.  You can not wear a mask when you are eating and drinking…

We were not given the opportunity to try on our reactions, visceral and otherwise, to the 2020 pandemic.  All we could do was to look at a similar example in the history books from 1918.  I remember being in meetings with SIU President Dr. Glenn Poshard and listening to his explicit explanation of the potential for a SARS pandemic, and the preparation and response that Building Services would have to perform, should it occur.   He told us that the health professionals had informed him that it was not a matter of if…but when…  And so we older folks supposed that we had probably missed our turn in the barrel of pandemic…but we were wrong…




3 thoughts on “You Can’t Try It On…You Can’t Return It…Just Guess!

  1. I really enjoyed this entry. This is so true. There is no trying anything on ahead of time, just moving forward using your best guess.

    Liked by 1 person

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