Pandemic Eyes

Sitting in my car, I observe the people in the parking lot. Some don’t put on their masks until they are at the store entrance. Others put on their masks before they get out of their cars. That is what I do. Turn off the ignition, grab my purse and car keys and put my mask on. I position it properly with both mouth and nose covered.

I peer over my mask at the other shoppers making sure we don’t get closer than 6 feet from each other, which is not always possible. Do I have to wait until the person looking at every brand and flavor of soup finishes and leaves before I can continue? The aisles are narrow. Usually I just pass them anyway, averting my head so I don’t breathe on them. I never really enjoyed shopping for food. Now, I hate it.

We are watching more t.v. now that we are staying home most of the time. I yell at the actors for not social distancing, something I would never do in the real world for fear of bodily harm in the form of some angry anti-masker coughing on me.

Technology is wonderful. We can stay connected via our phones and computers. However, participating in Zoom gatherings is very frustrating in that I cannot make direct eye contact with anyone. And I am tired of looking at my own expressions.

I find peace in being outdoors, but even the shape of certain flowers or seed heads remind me of pictures I have seen of the covid-19 virus.

Anything that is spherical with spikes, even a child’s rubber ball. Every part of life now seems to be through the lens of the pandemic. If you had told me a year ago that we would all be wearing masks, I wouldn’t have believed you. I wonder what our country will look like a year from now? Whether you are marching in the streets for justice or venturing out to work or caring for loved ones, please stay safe.

Cactus Flower
Firewheel (Gaillardia pulchella)

All photos by Betty McCreary

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Born and raised in Central Texas. Spending time outside brings me joy and I love to share my observations. I also belong to two writing groups and enjoy researching my ancestors. I find people interesting, but Nature keeps me sane.

9 thoughts on “Pandemic Eyes”

  1. I fear this new “normal” will be with us for a while. The way you describe the heightened awareness of the disease resonates. My dreams have disclosed themes of paranoia. Stay safe, Betty.


  2. I too Betty, work around people and wait a lot in the grocery stores. I am beginning to not want to go at all. I do the same as you with my mask and sometimes wear two of the lighter weight folded ones and have learned to put the blue side out.

    Your observance of things shaped like the covid-19 pictures we’ve been shown is quite interesting. Now I recognize that my dryer balls have this configuration and the brown centers of the Echinecia flowers too. The chocolate/coconut drops I make from time to time have all of those “fingers”. So far, these haven’t repelled me but now I am more aware, thanks to you. Thanks for sharing this!


  3. Great read! So true about masks, social distancing & stores. So many mixed messages but I go a bit overboard in ways to stay safe at home, during walks and being essential at work . While Covid has created social distancing we are all human and need one another. 😷


  4. 2020 has been incredibly challenging to presumptions about how society and the planet work, and so many of us have personal challenges underway as well. I’m thinking of the many teachers who have to choose between a profession and personal safety. I’m thinking of the many w/o employment literally unable to care for themselves and their families. 2020 is a crisis. We’re all in the midst of evolving change. I look forward to looking back on 2020 … fingers crossed that comes within my life span. I am intrigued with your flower images as COVID symbols … the flowers gorgeous even in association with the dreaded … perhaps a hint that COVID might someday be seen differently (once we are beyond the utter dread).


  5. I too look forward to a new time when we can again have some hope that we can make the world better for everyone.
    I have mixed feelings about the covid virus shape. There is fear and even anger and then I also find it sort of pretty. I guess it looks interesting and innocuous and cute until you learn how destructive and callous it is.


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