I was flipping through the TV shows the past few days. Different kinds of shows. Police procedurals. Hospital dramas. Sitcoms.

They all take place in an alternate reality to ours now. One where people walk the streets as if nothing is wrong. No masks. No caution, no distancing. Dining in restaurants. Going to malls. A reality where the doctors and nurses in the big-city hospitals are mostly concerned with some odd new surgery to be performed or the like, with no especial rush of patients coughing and gasping and needing a ventilator to keep breathing through the night at all.

Even the doctors weren't wearing masks, when they visited patients in their rooms, and sat bedside, much closer than six feet.

Do these images remind people what normal was, a normal we'll never quite get back to? Or do they trick some into thinking this is what normal is, or at least can be, if all those pesky levels and layers of government would simply lift their pesky orders and let everybody pretend as though nobody was coughing and gasping and dying after all.
"It's all a hoax! Educate yourself, people!"
--some guy

As we hadn't done a liquor store run this week and I am participating in a virtual convention on the weekend, I thought I would head to the nearby LCBO after lunch and check out the line. Incredibly, it was only stretched back a few people. Sometimes the numbers work out for you. Moments later, I was near the front of the usual long line-up. I typically do all my shopping on one morning, so I've not seen what the place is like at other times. Perhaps this is just the afternoon shift coming on. We were keeping our social distancing and, like polite Canadians (a stereotype horrifically challenged this week by the worst mass killing in the country's history), even left a space for anyone wanting take-out from the sushi place in the plaza.

As I stepped to the front, the shouting commenced, from the back of the line:

"Social distancing doesn't matter!"

We looked.

"Where are all the bodies in the streets?"

One person yelled out, "Yeah!" Everyone else ignored him. I turned back, and saw Security rolling his eyes.

"Exactly. Who benefits from this? It's not helping out wealthy corporations."

"We do. The liquor store's doing great."

"Ah. So you're the ones behind this."

The tinfoil crowd does not lack entertainment potential. Stephen Colbert got to interview Bill Gates on COVID-19, and they briefly touched on online conspiracy notions. Gates dared to give speeches some years back in which he repeated what every medically and historically aware person knew, that a pandemic of some kind was statistically likely within our lives, and we should prepare. We haven't experienced a true global pandemic since 1918. Sometimes the numbers don't work out for you. Of course, to an unknown but statistically significant number of people, those comment means he obviously bioengineered this one so that he could, um, inject us with trackers or sterility or autism or something when the inevitable vaccine emerges.

An occupant of the White House, meanwhile, suggests we should inject ourselves with disinfectant or light. Oh, heh, he later clarified. That was just a "sarcastic question for reporters." Of course it was.

Back in my part of the world, in the largest city of a nearby county regarded as slightly more redneck than ours, someone organized a protest against the shut-down.

Nobody showed up.

The tinfoil hatter stepped back into his spot at the end of the line.

Damn Illuminati, making him wait for his Budweiser.

For many years now, I have desperately sought to have sexual intercourse with a televangelist. I just received a sign that tells me this is going to happen SOON.

God bless you. God bless us all. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I've been disappointed many, many times before. I'm really hopeful this time.

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