Perhaps I was overreacting.  I got my food and took it directly to the car.  I wiped down my hands, the bag and containers.  It will be alright.

Great job!

I have noted in my permanent record, the one I have been keeping in my head since Kindergarten, that I have been kicking ass during this pandemic.

As per usual I have been excessively responsible. I’ve been educating myself, staying safe and careful, and being considerate of others. With the exception of the occasional pity party, I have remained positive amidst all the negativity. Most of all, I am making good decisions!   

That is, I was until the ugly “corona got in my head” incident in Fruita the other day. 

Traveling during this time is frightening but I started out strong.  The make-shift bed in the back of my car was brilliant (Kim’s idea). No virus-infested hotel for me. A cooler full of food to avoid fast food stops. Genius! And great food, no less, thanks to Kim (my personal chef).

It happened at the end of my 9 hour drive. Not my fault: I was tired. I pulled into my camp site and looked forward to a fabulous picnic. On the menu: Cheese, grapes, apple, crackers, some of Kim’s “comfort” homemade chicken salad and a glass of white wine.

As I unpacked my cooler, I was horrified to discover my cherished, mouthwatering chicken salad had been tainted with cooler water. That is what sent me spiraling out of control. Instead of just eating all my other “safe” food, I went in search of comfort food at a place called Munchies. (I know, Munchies?  Really?)

I was relieved to see the Munchies’ employees wearing masks but freaked out when literally all the patrons were not. Still I stayed calm and decided to press on ordering a hot dog and side salad (don’t judge me). As I waited, I glanced into the kitchen.  Rookie Virus Mistake! I couldn’t unsee that they all wore masks around their necks rather than over their faces. What the hell!  

What do I do? Cancel my order? Ask for my money back? 

Perhaps I was overreacting. 

I got my food and took it directly to the car and wiped down my hands, the bag and containers. It will be alright. I opened the hot dog only to find condiment packets wrapped up with the hot dog. What are the odds someone individually cleaned each packet before nestling them up against my hot dog?

Slim and none.

I opened my salad and the dressing packet laying ON my lettuce. What is wrong with these people? The virus was now securely in  my head and probably all over my food. Why did I do this? I had wonderful food in the cooler. I managed to consume one bite of my sorry hot dog and half of my salad (the half not touched by the dressing container), but nothing tasted good. 

I must get to safety. I hurried back to my campsite, ate an apple and drank all my wine successfully ridding myself of Coronavirus thoughts for the night.

Great job!


Nancy Reed is a writer who has survived 32 years working in Corporate America, two hikes down into (and ever so slowly out of) the Grand Canyon, a posterior-first fall from her mountain bike into cactus, skydiving out of a perfectly fine airplane and cancer.   
She lives in Boulder, Colorado (and winters in a tiny house in Prescott Valley, Arizona) with her wife of 20 years, Kim and two cats, Gracie and Shay.