Sign of the apocolypse: Alcohol abuse

 I had to touch base with our tax preparer, and the outfit is located at one of the local shopping malls, which has been decimated by a decade of online shopping and Walmart.

Even with the pandemic, my take was that the mall is a safe place despite the edict against gatherings of 10 people of more. 

I was met by a notice on the door that mall walking was prohibited because of the virus. Apparently, the mall would meet the definition of a “health club” if people were walking around inside, and health clubs are closed under state order.

Also apparently banned — mall sleeping. The guards caught a guy who took advantage of the closures to take a nap in a sleeping bag a few days earlier.

Inside, only the tax place and a clothing store were open (since closed). Maybe At Home — the lights were on, but the glass doors were closed. The mall is usually at less than 50 percent occupancy, but this was surreal. It was hard to tell the difference between the stores that had been shuttered for months from the ones closed because of the upcoming outbreak.

Growing up in the ’80’s, malls were a focal point, more so for me because I lived a block from one. When I got bored, I simply walked over, walked around. The mall was also a de facto refuge a few years back when a massive ice storm knocked out power to parts of the city. People left their frozen homes a hung out at the mall to soak up some warmth and let their kids run around in the play area. 

No such natural disaster camaraderie this time.  

I did a quick lap around the mall taking it all in, trying to not be noticed by the two security guards. I couldn’t help but think the security industry will be booming. So much closed property to be guarded until the virus blows over.