KUCHARUK: step by step, day by day

I wonder if Fitbit or Apple Watch could add a step count category titled, “additional steps incurred after getting all the way to the front door of store before realizing that you forgot your mask”. From experience, I can attest that the step count most definitely adds up when you are running errands and multiply the forgotten mask misstep by numerous stores.

I also bet that one could also count the expletives that ‘some’ of us use when we realize that we must return for our mask. Every trip is on a loop like Groundhog Day – park, walk to store/bank/school/work, realize you forgot your mask, curse loudly, shake head and mutter, return to car, retrieve mask, put it on, walk back into store/bank/school/work. Perhaps a swear jar is in order? Might be a good way to save for that Caribbean vacation planned for 2022.

If you have a gaggle of children with you, there is the fielding of questions like, “Why are we going back to the car?” or “Mommy/Daddy! You said a bad word!”.

The duplication of steps does not end there. The steps continue to creep up while you try to figure out which aisles are ‘enter only’ and which are ‘exit only’. Have you ever walked backwards out of a grocery aisle after realizing you messed up and it was an exit only? Just me? Okey Dokey.

Things are different now. The same grocery cart handle that you allowed little Susie to chew on with the attitude of, “germs improve your immune system” is now vigorously sanitized prior to laying hands. Little Susie hasn’t gone grocery shopping with you for almost a year.

The ‘tap’ option on our debit and credit card is an unexpected win during the pandemic. The little serotonin rush you get when you know that you can just tap your card instead of inserting it and manually pressing the germy pin pad is exhilarating. Conversely, when your tap does not work, and the unit says ‘insert card’ it can have the opposite effect.

Back in your car, you grab the hand sanitizer, and everyone gets a squirt before heading off to the next destination. You could just leave your mask on while you are driving to the next stop, but we tend to laugh at those people – the ones that drive around as sole occupants and insist on wearing their mask. The joke is on us as they have probably figured out that if you just leave your mask on while you are going from store to store, no extra steps are incurred.

Finally, there is the post grocery drive home where you wonder if the person you chatted with in the frozen food aisle is actually the person you thought they were. The eyes looked familiar, and the responses seemed on point, but who really knows. 

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