... Just the semblance of a cough now freaks us out. I hear my wife hack on the sofa. I shoot her a look and ask, “Is that a dry cough?” “No,” she insists, finishing a gulp of something. “It’s an I’ve-got-orange-juice-stuck-in-my-throat cough.”
... All of a sudden I realize we’re going to need chemicals for the pool during the shutdown. A call to Pinch-a-Penny is answered by a peppy guy eager to please. “We are number 21 on the list of essential businesses,” he informs me. And I’m glad for it. I drive over and grab a jug of chlorine. “You’ve got to take care of your pool,” he says. “It’s built-in entertainment for the kids.”
... It isn’t bread or toilet paper we’re after. We want music. An old jazz album by McCoy Tyner for me, the new Harry Styles for my daughter. We yearn for vinyl so start calling record stores from the car. The good guys at Park Avenue CDs are in and check their inventory and find Lucy’s choice but not the old man’s, though their jazz selection is usually extensive. For the first and hopefully last time, we arrange to make our purchase over the phone and pick it up curbside at the store. “Thanks guys,” says the tattooed clerk, handing over the brown paper bag with latex gloves. Oh, and I’ve discovered that Harry Styles is actually really good, quite an imaginative musician. “He’s so vibey,” is how my girl puts it.
... Where did all these people come from? Neighbors everywhere! We walk around the hood in the evening like we usually do and encounter folks we’ve never seen before. Couples, families, young people, all strolling, biking, skating. Everyone’s friendly. “Hello!” “Hi!” “How are you?” An outing early the next morning is a little quieter. “It’s so nice to hear the birds chirping,” says a woman I pass on the sidewalk. “They don’t know anything’s wrong.”