Crossing Tenth.

Friday, April 17th, 2020

The drive west from our house, along the south edge of Piedmont Park, and then over the freeway to the area north of Georgia Tech is one I have made for decades, at one point to go to work at Turner Broadcasting. Familiar territory. Today my mission was to follow safety procedures as best I could and…head to Target, over by Atlantic Station.

My takeaway driving Tenth along the park was that there were lots of people out there enjoying the springtime. Many of them were in little distant-from-the-others individual clusters, but let’s just say some weren’t. Lots of cyclists, even some with rental bikes (haven’t seen that since before the pandemic) and none of them were wearing masks.

As I got over by the Georgia Tech campus, I drove by one of the Covid-19 ‘rapid’ testing sites, this one, I believe, run by CVS. It begins with coned lanes smack in the middle of State Street on the Tech campus, with lots of signs and instructions and lots and lots of masked cops (quite a few from Kennesaw State University, hmm.) I gave it a wide berth.

In the store, it was pretty busy on an early Friday afternoon and the staff was doing a great job of being helpful and socially distant. Some of the customers (the women, mostly?) had masks on, and some didn’t. There were plexiglas shields and marked places to stand and I found most of what I was looking for.

I was, in aggregate, a little alarmed by the general traffic levels in Midtown at 2 pm. They were, I’d say, maybe 70 percent of normal for our fair city, and that’s a lot of people out (and yes, I have to count myself. Could I have postponed the Target run? Maybe. Did it help my mental health some? Yeah, it did.)

I’m worried how many people will be at the park this weekend. I’m more concerned about the days after the mythical “turn the economy back on” happens.