Small Towns in the Midst of a Pandemic

I have travelled in Texas during the pandemic from Rockport, to Austin, to Fredericksburg, and now to Hillsboro. In a couple weeks I’ll make my way to Kansas City. I keep heading north because living in a metal tube in summer should not be done in FL or TX! I also want to be someplace where I have family and friends in case I go down. I didn’t have pandemic on my pro/con list when I decided to take up this lifestyle.

Fredericksburg is about 90 minutes from Austin. I had a pre-pandemic reservation there and there was no space at my Austin park, so I had to roll on down the road. It’s a small town and I didn’t venture out except for necessities. But when I did, and this is a tourist spot, there were plenty of people on the street, cafes were open, people carrying on as if nothing was going on. And then I went into the Walgreens (necessities) where they had painters tape on the floor at the registers to keep people six feet apart when in line. The failure point was at the register when the cashier can’t be six feet from the customers. Good intentions, poor execution.

The town I’m in now is even smaller but it’s halfway between Waco (Hi Chip and Joanna!) and Fort Worth. I tried out the grocery store because I was going crazy and I really needed a few items that I went through faster than I thought I would. This town is the land that time forgot and seemed pretty oblivious to the virus. It has a major intersection with the Interstate so there is a truck stop, fast food, etc., but the town center is tucked a mile or so away.

The grocery clerks and staff were carrying on as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening outside their doors. No social distancing, no gloves, no concern for touching everything. I carried my Clorox wipes in with me – not the whole package, just a couple wipes. I touch nothing.

I drove around a bit just to see the town and it has a historic courthouse square, old buildings and the streets were empty. Everyone must have been at the grocery. A few cars were parked at the courthouse/city hall but otherwise, it was a ghost town – except on the roads. Quite a few cars on the streets – going somewhere. I rounded a corner and found a restaurant open with lots of cars. I’m choosing to believe it was all take-out.

The most jarring anachronism for me was to see a vacant storefront with a Movie Gallery sign. Movie Gallery pre-dated Blockbuster (my ex worked for both, so I know my video store history). They folded when the big blue and yellow boss rolled in and of course both are now in the corporate dustbin.

I drove to Fort Worth the other day to see a dear friend. We kept appropriate social distance and only went out to walk. I made no stops along the way. The eeriest thing was driving back at 6pm and traffic on the highways ran at full speed. Cars were on the road, but this was rush hour. We actually rushed instead of being bumper-to-bumper.

I took a few photos of my current town. Enjoy my little tour. I’m snug as a bug in my RV park with lots of social distancing and nice people. The guy on the motorcycle with his dog is in my park. It’s smile worthy 🙂

Be Well everyone!!

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