Feel Like You’re Living in an Episode of the Walking Dead? I do.

March 13, 2020

Like most of you, I watched the first few seasons of The Walking Dead. I can’t help but wonder if it’d have been even more successful than it was those first few seasons were it to be released today. I mean, think about it. The premise was ludicrous. Zombies? Come on, now. We couldn’t really relate to it. After a couple of seasons most of us dropped off. Today, not so much. I think we all can relate. We just don’t know who the Zombies are.

Here’s my thinking –

Not unlike 9/11, the world has changed. This morning trying to leave New York, I couldn’t get an Uber. “No cars available,” the app told me. No cars? WTF? I usually take the subway and then the Q70 bus to LGA, but I’d thought better of it and now I was paying the price. Might there be Zombies on the F train? I don’t know. We’ll see.

I finally did make it to the airport 20 minutes before my flight. There was no line at the ticket counter. I don’t typically check in at the counter, or have a carry-on, but I decided to bring some things home from my apartment as it feels like I may not be back to the city for a while.

Ordinarily, checking a bag with 20 minutes to go would be a problem. Not today. “Mr Perry. No worries. We’ve got nothing to do. Your bag will make it.”

Now, keep in mind, this is New York. Run late in the days before Walking Dead time (COVID-19) and you’d be screwed. Even multi-million mile flyers like me would have been greeted with a highly impersonal “Tough shit, pal,” especially in New York. Not today. Only smiles.

During this new Walking Dead time, I’ll only fly if I can sit in row 1. This morning I’m in 1B. Shortly before take off, 1A was empty, but the gate agent came on and moved a rather attractive young woman forward. True to the way things typically work, we didn’t acknowledge each other. I try not to risk getting the dirty old man label when I can… I count Robyn Wright, Natalee Cole and Bo Derek, to name just a few, as former, entirely by chance seat-mates (though I took the risk with each of them and chatted).

Midway into my flight I used the restroom. It was a short, 2-step walk. I was careful to use napkins to protect my interests, namely my health. I’ve no idea if this makes sense, or works, but this is Walking Dead time, so who knows? The venerable scout motto: always be prepared was suddenly making sense, though I was struggling to remember what it took to earn all those badges.

When I returned to 1B, my attractive seat-mate was careful to stay focused on her work. Eye contact during Walking Dead time is, we’ll, forbidden. Seated again, I whipped out my hand sanitizer, returning my hands to pristine and Godly cleanliness. Prepared.

I return to reading Faulkner, focused simply on getting home. We’ll soon land in Chicago and I’ll see where things stand there. My Terminus is Marion, IA. I hope all is well in Iowa. I may need to stay with buddy Mike Braun until the world returns to normal, though I doubt the Chicago suburbs are safer than Iowa. Maybe I’ll walk.

Back into trying to make sense of Faulkner, 1A now needs to use the rest room. We’ve yet to speak. No worries. Bulk head has plenty of room to get by so we don’t need to acknowledge each other, or speak. Our relationship remains at the pre-introductory level.

Eventually, 1A returns, 3 steps for her, after using the restroom. Order had been restored. She’s seated, virus or no virus, we endeavor to make ORD without speaking or acknowledging each other.

Suddenly, overcome by my normal need to be chivalrous, I reach in my pocket and hand 1A my hand sanitizer. Surprised, she takes it. We are now friends. Eye contact and conversation established. Life is good. We bonded over hand sanitizer. I think about my beautiful wife and daughters back home and hope someone would do the same for them.

Life is not normal right now, but it should be. Let’s not lose site of the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Let’s just be kind to each other.