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LETTER: Life as we know it

Kim Gamble, a front-end supervisor with Atlantic Superstore scans groceries behind plexiglass at the store on Joseph Howe Dr. in Halifax on Monday. Ryan Taplin - The Chronicle Herald
Awaiting us at the checkout counters are additional barriers. In the movie The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman was advised that the future was plastics. Today, that advice would be plexiglass - SaltWire Network

It's a different time and we march to a different drummer under new marching orders — social distancing — society's newest oxymoron. There are new words to live by – six feet apart or six feet under.

In the mazes that stores have become, shoppers circle warily, some of them quick to point out where another errantly treads. Surprising, but understandable, reactions of store workers to my missteps have ranged from flinching to almost recoiling in horror. Guess the customer is no longer always right.

A sneeze — and I have yet to hear one in public of late — would probably clear a store quicker than tear gas.

Awaiting us at the checkout counters are additional barriers. In the movie The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman was advised that the future was plastics. Today, that advice would be plexiglass. Small talk, a hallmark of Island behaviour, is not a happener in a lineup at six feet of separation and if a mask is involved it's a non-starter.

On the plus side, meeting strangers in parking lots sometimes elicits empathetic, we-are-in-this-together smiles.

After all, a smile is also contagious. Keeping with movie themes, a number of films have centered on the theme of death taking a vacation. Today, life as we've known it, seems to have taken a vacation.

One adage still applies: you don't appreciate what you've got til it's gone.

Here's hoping we get it back.


Frank MacDonald,
Cornwall

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