I can’t breathe.

I am white.

I am middle aged.

I am female.

I. Am. Invisible.

That does not mean I don’t feel your pain.

That does not mean I don’t see the bias.

That does not mean my tears mean less than yours.

My heart grieves with you at the death of a man,

A father, a brother, a son,

Who lost his life for the crime

Of living while black.

A man who couldn’t breathe and died

Being held down with a knee on his neck

Because a cop

Who knew what he was doing

Ended a life with malice

And a knowing look in his eye.

Image

Memory

I go to the place

Where the big trees are,

And stand.

I see the sunlight

Shining through centuries

of limbs and branches.

I breathe the air filtered

By these giants of the mountains

and feel small and safe

and grateful

at their feet.

Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park

COVID-19 updates from Texas


As of today, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has not declared a state wide stay at home order. He is letting counties make that declaration. I live in Tarrant county. We have had over 100 cases diagnosed. It’s growing by at least 15 cases a day. Fort Worth has issued a stay at home advisory and the schools in the county are closed till further notice.


I shopped at Central Market in Fort Worth today. They are the source for a supplement I take daily that is very important to my health. (I bought two bottles, a month and a half supply.) They are very serious about keeping their customers safe from each other. I had to wait in a line outside the store, keeping at least 6 feet from everyone else. They didn’t let anyone in until someone else came out. There were decals on the floor reminding everyone how far to stay apart. When I got to the checkout, I was informed the reusable bags I had brought in, they couldn’t touch. I had to bag my own groceries. I don’t mind that. There was also an acrylic shield between the card reader and the cashier so I couldn’t cough or sneeze on them.
Central Market’s parent company is HEB. If you’ve paid attention to big natural disasters in Texas, you’ve heard of them stepping up and providing hot meals during hurricane relief and generally taking care of their communities. They really do believe in taking care of their people.


I work for Walmart, if you’ve followed me for a while, you know that. Shopping at Central Market made me aware of the huge difference in a company that really cares for people and one that wants to make it seem they care while still making as much profit as they can.
Walmart stores have reduced hours, supposedly so they can have more time to sanitize and restock. And they are hiring lots of temporary workers to stock and cashier. And I don’t know what actually happens from the time I leave at 4 pm and when I get there at 7 am but I don’t see the extra sanitizing happening when I’m there. There are no sneeze guards at the registers, cashiers and customers are only about 3 feet apart. The pharmacy is serious about distancing and disinfecting counters and there are markers on the floor for distance and there are three or so pieces of tape on the floor at the service desk to keep people spaced apart if they’re paying attention. There is no limit on people in the store. There is no reminder to keep 6 feet apart. There are a few gloves available for us workers to use but no masks.


Another thing I see is many shoppers are not taking this whole thing seriously. The people I see shopping when the store opens are. They keep their distance, many are wearing masks and gloves. They get in and get out. Then, late morning, the people start coming in that are just hoping to find something to buy. Afternoon brings a lot of people that get bored and decide a trip to the grocery store is something to do. They come in groups, the whole family including kids. Then they get mad when they can only buy one thing from the meat counter. Or one carton of eggs. There’s no toilet paper or paper towels by then so they complain about that.


Today was a nice spring day so I was sitting on the front porch as it got dark. We live not too far from Interstate 20, on a normal day the road noise is very noticeable. If everyone was taking this seriously, you would think it would be much quieter. Nope. Highway noise was just as loud as normal. We also live in the flight pattern for DFW airport and there are a lot fewer airplanes in the sky.
The National prediction is for this virus to peak in three weeks. Governor Abbot says he should have a prediction in a week of when this will peak. But then, this is the state where the Lieutenant Governor said that grandparents should be willing to die to save the economy for their grandchildren. No really, here’s the link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/03/24/covid-19-texas-official-suggests-elderly-willing-die-economy/2905990001/

Oh, and gun stores remain open as “essential” businesses in the state. Cause errbody gotta have a gun to protect theyselves when the lootin and stuff commences.