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The Twilight Zone

Think back to the popular television series of a generation ago, “The Twilight Zone.  

The bizarre circumstances ordinary folks found themselves trapped in were imaginary and highly unlikely, to say the least. Not so anymore, with the invisible, incurable coronavirus spreading its misery and death throughout the world. 

I sensed being in an otherworldly planet March 31, when I drove across town to make an insurance payment at ALFA. 

As I approached the office from Highway 31 South, I looked for signs of activity and saw an employee’s car parked on the south side of the building. “Good,” I thought. “I’ll walk in, pay my bill and walk out with a receipt as usual.” 

It didn’t work out that way. The windows and doors were covered with sheets of paper.  The door was locked.  

“We are closed due to the coronaviuus,” said duplicate signs. A phone number was listed for customers to use for assistance.  

Through a crack in the door, I was able to see the lights were on and an employee was working at computer in a rear corner of the office. I called the phone number and the employee responded, “How may I help you?” I told her who I was and that I wanted to make my homeowner’s insurance payment by check.  

“Give me a minute,” she answered. “I’ll process your check and open the door to accept it and give you a receipt.”  

The transaction was made through a 4-inch crack in the door. 

I left wondering if what I had just experienced was something akin to a scene from “The Twilight Zone.”  

My sense of being was rattled again on my way home. Aside from the cars and trucks traveling on Main Street and the ever-confusing ebb and flow of the traffic lights, business activity downtown was dead as a doorknob. With more than an hour remaining on a normal business day, every storefront was shutdown.   

A young couple walking hand-in-hand at Hickory and Main embodied the norm. Perhaps they were thinking about their future while going to The Something Blue Shoppe to window shop for a wedding dress.