March 15th, 2020

Star Wars - Fly away...

Sunday, and time enough to think about what's occurring

More to say about life during pandemic-time:

PDX: less busy than usual. Valet at PDX: really less busy than usual. Made for a long day today. Surprisingly few, and occasionally no, Uber or Lyft cars were dropping off near our Valet booth. Though I did see one of Oregon's Senators, Sen. Ron Wyden, being dropped off by a car and then hurrying into the terminal.

I didn't do much at work today, because there simply was less to do. But in between doing my few duties, I could mostly be by myself when I wanted; for my morning break, I sat down in the South Tunnel from the terminal to the parking garages. The tunnel, as it usually does, didn't have too many people in it at any one time; it was a good place to sit and take a break. I cracked in text messages "How's my social distancing? 😉" with photos I took looking down the tunnel.

Here is where the surreal quality of this time in history hit me today: I got on the MAX to home, then transferred to a (blessedly waiting for a few minutes) bus for my final leg home, and after being on the bus for a while I realized:

People were quiet. Very, unusually, quiet. That's rare in my experience on mass transit. People are often talking, sometimes loudly. Not this time. Not this day.

Many of us are subdued. Many of us have so much on our minds. Personally, I'm being reminded of watching the pall from Western fires hang over Portland and other parts of the Pacific Northwest in summers 2017 and 2018, with the dim orange Sun in leaden skies. There was a weight to those moments; there's a weight to this.

I'm home, and once again keeping to myself. More work tomorrow; we'll see how the first weekday goes. And what will change between now and then.