Pandemic Isolation: Week Six

The cloth masks arrived from Amazon last Wednesday. It’s a good thing they did. Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Department of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, signed an order on that day, requiring all workers and customers at essential businesses that are still operating in the commonwealth, to wear masks while inside the building. Enforcement of the order is to begin at 8 p.m. tonight, Sunday the 19th.

With the new mask mandate, I’d be afraid to walk into a bank like this:


At the beginning of all the COVID-19 uncertainty, I opted to do my food-shopping online and get the groceries at the market’s pick-up location, for which a three- or four–day wait to obtain the items was prevalent, saving me from having to mingle with potentially infected people in the store. That wasn’t such a big deal; but now, the waiting period is well over a week, forcing me to go inside last Thursday to buy needed supplies.

People tend to keep their distance from someone who’s wearing a mask, it seems. At least they did with me while I perused the supermarket aisles with mine on. I have to commend the workers there for performing a well-needed service in these dangerous times, and send kudos to the store’s management for keeping their shoppers safe.

By the way, as seen in the following photo, people are still hoarding toilet paper:

Fortunately I still had some left and wasn’t obliged to buy the nine-pack.

Riverton, NJ, Ospreys
Pennypack Park on the Delaware River’s resident nesting pair of bald eagles and eaglet.
Actually there are two youngsters, but the other one’s hidden,

Needing some exercise and fresh air from staying indoors mostly, I went to Pennypack Park at the Delaware River in Philadelphia on Friday, taking pics of the scenery, checking up on the local ospreys and resident bald eagles. As I was photographing the Riverton ospreys, a voice from behind me said, “Hey, where’s your dog?”

“I don’t have a dog.”

“Oh, I thought you were the other guy with a big lens, but he’s a birder.”

“What do I look like?” I felt like saying, considering my passion for taking photos of our fine-feathered friends; but I said instead, “You must mean Frank.”

“Yeah, yeah, Frank,” he said.

“Frank died.”

“Oh yeah? When was that?”

“Last April.”

“Nah, not him then. I mean the bird-watcher with the small, white dog.”

“Oh, you’re talking about Pat. He’s the one who carries his tripod and scope on his shoulder.” Meanwhile, I stepped back to maintain social distancing. He was getting too close.

“Yeah, Pat, but his lens looks different than yours.” The guy began to step closer while eyeballing my camera.

“Stay back, please. Keep your distance.” I had put my mask on during our conversation.

He looked startled for a second and said with a chuckle, “Ah, Corona. That’s what the last guy I was talking to said to me; and I told him, ‘COVID-19, now you’ve got it.'”

What a jerk, I thought and began to walk away. That’s not something to really be joking about. He then said that everyone is panicking for nothing, and that the “so-called pandemic is all hype, made up by the media and liberals.”

That did it. I normally keep my political leanings to myself, but this guy overstepped his boundaries. “You know, I’m sick and tired of hearing that reasoning by right-winged deniers, especially damned Trumpers!” I said to him. “If you want to get sick and die, go ahead; but don’t take everyone with you.”

Surprised the man wasn’t wearing a MAGA hat, I continued on my way, glancing back to make sure he wasn’t coming after me. You never can tell about these crazy people.

My apartment complex’s management sent out a mass e-mail to all the tenants, telling us someone who lives here has tested positive for the COVID-19 disease; but, because of privacy-protection laws, they said don’t bother to ask them where the infirm individual is located. Come on, dagnabbit, give me a hint so I stay away from there. Why tell us about it and promote paranoia? That gives me another reason to wear one of the new masks whenever I go outside of my flat now. Thank goodness the parcel contained 10 of them.

I purchased some mixed nuts and gummy bears at the market. The latter treats all disappeared during my binge throughout the course of yesterday, which brings me to my last question. Since the entire contents of the bag weighed 12 oz, why is it I put on 5 pounds overnight? It doesn’t seem fair; but then again, I was never promised life would be. I better eat the nuts sparingly. That bag weighs a pound.

So much for another tirade. Thanks for stopping by and for your continued support.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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2 Responses to Pandemic Isolation: Week Six

  1. Jack says:

    Hi Mike, Just read your post about the asshole in the park. All of us that had voted for President Trump are not that way. I do believe that the media has made it bigger than it is and have Exaggerating it out of proportion including Fox News. Shelley and I have practiced strict procedures because of my compromised health. I don’t know how much I’ve told you about my fairly recent issues. Just came down with Bell’s Palsy last Sunday. Previous to that I had Sepsis that almost ended it for me. Had it not been for Shelley’s very quick reaction I would have bought the farm. Before that I had a Gall bladder attack and went in for removal but couldn’t be done for 5 days till they got an infection down. I was not allowed food For 5 days. They went in and removed the Gall stone and fixed a rupture. The next day they pulled the Gall bladder out. Not many realize that in 1918 the Quarantine was lifted too Soon, The First World War killed 18 million people. The flu killed 50 million World Wide. Mike, I have to tell you that we didn’t think very much of President Obama, He did more to hurt race relations in this country. But we keep our mouths shut . There is so much animosity. President Trump is a terrible speaker He thinks He’s funny. Sarcastic, hurtful to his opposition and an asshole at times, But I believe he is far better than the last two.

    Take care my Friend Jack

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  2. Hi Jack,

    Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, but don’t force them on me or my safety. I know you’ve been having a hard time lately, but wasn’t aware of your having Bell’s Palsy. Sorry to hear that. I caught it back in ’97. At the onset, I was supervising a work crew at J.C. Penney’s in Old Bridge, NJ. The entire right side of my face began to sag and become paralyzed. Thinking it was due to a stroke, I called my doctor immediately, and she told me to come in, presuming evidently I had come down with Bell’s Palsy. She sent me to a neurologist who confirmed it.

    The disease wasn’t fun for sure, sleeping literally with one eye open, putting in gel so it wouldn’t dry out from not blinking. My young son loved it and laughed hysterically while we were eating, whenever soup or a beverage would dribble out the side of my mouth on the paralyzed side. I took off of work for a week, looking in a mirror for hours at a time and trying to raise my eyebrow and smile on the affected side of my face. Finally during that period, all feeling and motor functions returned, but the right side of my face and mouth still droop slightly from it. Hang in there, Jack. Better times are ahead of us. Thanks for commenting. Hope you get better soon.


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