Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the LifeZette, and written by David Kamioner.
As is the case for many people, the last two months has seen me stick pretty close to home (except for grocery, drug store, and liquor store jaunts...my cigars come in the mail).
Though, sometimes I feel rather odd about it, as things have gone quite nicely for me in semi-lockdown. Actually, I'm having a very good pandemic. To make it even better, I decided to take a trip.
Over the last two days I ventured from my Maryland home to Philadelphia for a thoroughly enjoyable time. I had no idea that my ride to and from Annapolis would resemble a scene from one of those 1950s era "Omigod, they dropped the bomb" sci-fi melodramas.
Why? Because at every train station, every metro station, every taxi stand, hardly anybody was there. Almost zilch, nada, deserted. In fact, I'm on the train now. There are a couple people here and there. Yesterday, I had a whole Amtrak car all to myself.
Like "The Walking Dead" and "I am Legend," it was almost as if coronavirus had depleted the population to such a point that we survivors were barely surviving. For me, that meant Maker's Mark in the Amtrak Club Car, not my usual Woodford.
It started at Union Station in DC. I've been there hundreds of times over the years. Always bustling, always busy. Not on Wednesday. When I got there about 8 a.m., I was not greeted by the usual thousands of commuters I've grown used to over the decades. In the entire vast expanse of that train station there must have been a dozen people. If you know the space, then you'll get this: from leaving my Uber out front almost to the McDonald's by Gate L, I didn't see one other person. Not one.
As I mentioned above, on the train I had a passenger car all to myself. I felt like President Grant in his own personal Pullman. Granted, with a few less luxuries and no Jim West and Artemis Gordon around waiting for a mission.
The ride was easy and punctuated with overly attentive Amtrak personnel who were likely so nice because they were likely so bored. On the way we passed by Baltimore Penn Station: empty. Wilmington: devoid. Philadelphia 30th Street Station was a bit more crowded when I got there. But on the way back Thursday morning it was virtually empty.
Not being a great fan of my fellow man or human nature at the best of times, I must admit that not having various strangers in my general vicinity was great fun. Though the mask drill everywhere, including my hotel, was a bore.
Speaking of masks and general virus regulations, one thing I did notice while strolling about Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia then stopping on a bench to have a cigar: there seemed to be a direct correlation to mask wearing and age. The younger the person the more likely the mask outdoors. Perhaps we of a certain age who grew up to the melodious sounds and not exactly groupthink lyrics of The Sex Pistols and The Dead Boys are in no mood to take advice on accessories from nanny state scolds and public health busybodies.
Now, sure, indoor masks in public places seem like a good precaution. But in DC, I noticed young and old were almost all wearing masks outdoors. While in Philly, it seemed to be prevalent primarily among the below-30 set. This is probably because, given the age of PC, the toddlers have had a lot more conditioning than prior generations. Also, DC is full of people who like to take orders and like even more to give them. As such, it's mainly a city of academic overachievers and social underachievers. People like that are ripe for sheep status.
The trip will likely end uneventfully, as I Uber my way back to my apartment/facsimile 1962-era cocktail lounge. I'll of had enough of the paltry and non-teeming scores of humanity for a bit. Or, at least until the next pandemic.