In the Time of COVID. Day 28
April 15, 2020
“There’ll Be Some Changes Made”
Today , for the first time in four weeks, we left our house and drove 36 miles to do some grocery shopping. Trader Joe’s and Sprouts both have early hours for senior folks. Friends told us about it and truth be told both stores have approached this crisis with sensible strategies that protect employees and customers alike. There were lines at the door and physical distancing clearly observed. Everyone masked and gloved, sanitized carts. We were able to stock up for another 4 weeks.
The traffic to\ the ghost town of San Luis Obispo was weird. It was sparse along the ocean drive north of Morro Bay but as we approached SLO more cars. It was less than during the before time, but compared to Cambria it was hustle and bustle. After a month at home, it was disorienting. We have slowed to a stroll at home.
It brought to mind Ethel Waters and Fletcher Henderson. They recorded “There’ll Be Some Changes Made” in 1921, on the Black Swan Label in Harlem. It has become one of the foundational songs of the Harlem Renaissance. It has been covered so many times that at least 400 people have recorded it.
There will be some changes made. Everyone wearing masks, no social gabbing, just get your buisness done and get away from each other, furtive glances , steps back from people who come to close. That used to be rude, right? Now it is survival.
I feel for the young folks, they thrived on proximity, they danced, the hung on each other, piled to many into a car and howled at the moon. They flirted with danger and were certain they would live forever.
This year, no rights of passage, no graduations, no proms, no field trips, probably no summer jobs. How do they recover from that?
Will we ever return to the social inter-actions of the before times? Is the mask here to stay. Is distance learning the new classroom? Are crowded concerts and sports stadiums a thing of the past? How long until this seems normal?