(Solomon Jones for WHYY)

It Was Like Living At The Edge Of Chaos: The Day Coronavirus Came Home

The day coronavirus came home was unremarkable except for one fact. It was my wife’s birthday.

I’d neglected to grab a card for her in the days leading up to March 20, but this year, unlike in previous years, I had a legitimate excuse. The world was turning upside down. Malls were closed. There were new government restrictions being implemented daily. People, including my wife, were afraid. It was like living at the edge of chaos.

Purchasing a birthday card for my wife would provide a little slice of normalcy, so I took a slight detour on the drive home from my job as a morning radio host, and pulled into the parking lot of a Rite Aid on Ogontz Avenue, just five minutes from my house. I’d visited the store a thousand times before, but this time, there was something different about it. There were tents in the parking lot, white men standing around in dark glasses, a car emblazoned with the name of a security company, and a chain link fence surrounding it all. I knew that this was somehow connected to coronavirus, the virus that causes the disease known as COVID-19. Now that this site was being erected in my community, coronavirus was connected to me.

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