Fear & Loathing in La Mesa
I first noticed something was amiss on March 16th, 2020.
Now, I'm well aware that the MSM had been bombarding US Citizens with news on the outbreak since mid-January (see timeline below). But how is one to tell when they mean business or not?
Anyway, on March 16th I drove my car to work as usual. I work for a company that provides Managed IT Services to Businesses.
I live in La Mesa, pretty close to the 8 Freeway. And I work in Kearney Mesa, which is about 15 mins away with no traffic.
Today, I was running a little late. But upon entering the freeway I noticed a peculiarly shallow amount of traffic for 7:30am. "Lucky me," I thought. As I got off the 15-N I took a detour to the Ralph's grocery store off Aero Drive, since I arrived earlier than expected.
I went to get my usual snacks--a few protein bars and a highly-caffeinated beverage. But when I made my way to the checkout area, I was baffled at what I saw. Every lane was opened, each with a sprawling line, backed-up more than halfway down each corresponding store aisle. Each person had their cart stocked to the top with random household essentials like canned foods, ramen noodles, cleaning accessories, water, and paper goods.
I had shopped at this store countless times in the past, there was normally hardly anyone shopping before 8am; in fact there's usually only one cashier open, with never more than 3 or 4 people waiting in line.
I was completely taken aback at how many people were here this early on a workday to stock up on supplies, I was simply flabbergasted. My head was spinning.
Realizing I would not be able to complete my purchase within any reasonable amount of time, I left and headed to my place of work.
I quickly informed my co-workers of what I had witnessed at the grocery store. They seemed unaware, and only slightly interested.
This was a sobering wake-up call. Up to this point, I had no clue there was anything I should be preparing for.
But this experience had me thinking...