Avoid it Like the Plague

My cousin posted on Facebook the other day:

Guess we can’t say ‘avoid it like the plague anymore’…

It was kind of serendipitous that she wrote this recently, as my scheduled topic for today is about my neighbor and how she thinks I have the plague.

Ok- she doesn’t actually think I have the plague…

Ok- maybe she does think that…

Here’s the story:

A few weeks ago I entered the lobby of my building, armed with groceries and a smile under my mask. As I approached the elevator I saw one of the women from my hopefully temporarily defunct book club.

I gave a big “Hi” while remaining about five feet away.

M retreated backwards. She literally cringed and I could see her eyes and forehead tense up.

She didn’t say “Hi” to me. She just looked panicked. A woman I’ve had innumerable conversations with over the past twenty years.

She told me she hoped I didn’t mind but she was taking the elevator by herself.

She then proceeded to look straight ahead at the doors as they opened and she ran in and elbowed the DOOR CLOSE button about a million times.

What’s the expression- “deer in headlights”?


She ran away from me like I had the plague…

Because, you know, I really could have the plague.

Of course, my building has a rule that if you have the plague you must disclose it and quarantine yourself- but it’s not like anyone actually listens to rules- so…

But anyway-

There are some people that are totally scared of catching Corona. I get it. I really do. I have lived through this nightmare too.

But, I wonder if many are ever going to recover.

We have now gotten to the point where we don’t trust our neighbors. We have now gotten to the point where many are afraid to leave their houses.

Will these people ever be able to get over their fears of living through COVID 19?

Will they ever be comfortable going to a store?

Saying “Hi” to a neighbor?

Sharing an elevator?

A year from now- will they still be scurrying to and fro like mice avoiding a cat?

Will people want to leave their houses ever?

Or will they exist in virtual life?

Work from home?

Zoom parties?

Amazon orders?

Netflix nights?

Anything to avoid human contact?

Will we become a society of introverts?