Although I am used to isolated living owing in part to my line of work and personal preference, the stay-at-home order in Britain since 24 March 2020, had begun to take its toll on me. It is one thing to deliberately choose to physically separate oneself, but another to be forced to, especially when there is a deadly pestilence, lurking around, seeking whom to devour. PS: I can hear Mama whispering under her breath: “the blood of Jesus”! Yes, like many Nigerian mothers, my mum is a devout Christian. She does not joke with “the Blood”!
So, yesterday, I decided to go grocery shopping. It was the first time in three weeks since I stepped outside my house. I had run out of food and, therefore, needed to re-stock.
As a typical Naija babe, I had quickly bought everything I felt I’ll be needing for upwards of three months, just before the compulsory stay-at-home order. However, there are those precious items called “fruits and veg”, that one may not be able to store for a long time. I had finished eating my collection of Bananas, Avocados, Pears, Oranges, Lemons and Limes. My fridge looked kind of sad without Broccolis, Carrots, Spinach and yes, Celery.
Like most people, I know that these items are key to keeping my immunity level on point, assist my Wellwoman (if you know, you know) function better, and generally keep “things” tight! But, with these items gone, my body was telling me there’s something missing in my life.
In addition to the joy of stepping outside the house, I was particularly happy because it was a sunny day. If you live in the UK, you’ll understand just how rare such days can be. With caution, I put on a generous amount of hand sanitizer, grabbed a jacket, carefully opened my door, and stepped into the light. The feeling was priceless.
With shopping bag in hand and a very long list, I approached my favourite grocery shop, Tesco. FYI, I have a favourite shop for virtually everything.
On arriving Tesco, however, there was a very long queue. I quickly made the decision to go to another shop. This time, the Afro-Caribbean shop, even though I was not sure they’ll be open given COVID-19. Much to my surprise, the shop was open. I went in and quickly grabbed everything I needed from the shop.
But, just as I was about to step out, an average-aged guy made an attempt to sneeze. Like clockwork, everyone in the shop sharply turned their gaze at the man as if to say: hey man, thou shalt not sneeze. I found myself saying, in my mum’s voice: the blood of Jesus!
The man or should I say the sneeze immediately got the message, and returned from whence it was supposed to come. As if on cue, people began leaving the shop. Those who already purchased items, went to the counter to make payment.
I had finished buying and paid for my items, so I left the shop with a lot on my mind. When will things return to normal? Is thou shalt not sneeze going to be our new normal, post COVID-19?
I’ll be going out again, tomorrow or next. I still need my precious veggies. But, I have to figure out the best time to go to Tesco. Meanwhile, how are you coping? You can tell me in the comment section below. DO STAY SAFE!