Ozo coffee shop on Pearl St. in Boulder is the quietest I’ve ever seen it. All the tables are normally overflowing, and the cacophony of conversation covers up any of the ambiance. But today, half the tables are empty and I can clearly hear Dr. Dog playing over the speakers.
So this is how it starts. Whether warranted or not, the fear has become very real, even in this landlocked city. And when the fear is real, the effects are real. I’m supposed to go to Germany next week for my daughters eighth birthday. I can feel that opportunity slipping away from me.
Missing another birthday. That’s real.
Someone in the coffee shop accidentally knocks over a small sealed bag of coffee. They don’t hear it and continue out the door. I consider getting up and putting it back on the shelf. Instead I go back to writing. A hunched older man with wispy white hair and a blue cardigan (70’s, maybe 80’s, a prime risk candidate) walks by. He stops in front of the coffee bag and with great effort bends over and picks up the bag and puts it back on the shelf.
And then he shuffles out the door.