Mall In The Time Of COVID

Today I ventured into a mall for the first time in almost a year. I had to go to Syracuse to swap cars with Brady, and I have a hardware issue with my MacBook Pro, so I made an appointment at the Apple Store to confirm my diagnosis and see about getting it fixed.

The mall, Destiny USA, was relatively deserted. While not unexpected, it was still surreal. I used the rest room first and then made my way to the Apple Store. There were fully 6 “guards” (really Apple Store staff) milling about outside the store in black shirts with “SECURITY” on the back. I’ve seen fewer places taking COVID as seriously as the Apple Store does. People are kept out until there is someone in the store available to meet with them. There are 6 workstations at the front of the store (the rest of the store is cordoned off) where you meet with a store employee. It’s very much like how visiting prisoners in prison is depicted on television, but without the intercom/phone handset.

The mall itself has done a good job of trying to keep people safe, as much as that’s possible. But as comedian Ron White said, “you can’t fix stupid.” I don’t know if it’s actual stupidity as it is obliviousness or willful ignorance, though to me the latter qualifies as “stupid.”

What I’ve called “Pedestrian Narcissism” bothers me on a good day. But today I wish I’d brought a squirt gun with me so I could go around squirting people who just walked wherever the hell they wanted, ignoring or not bothering to read the clearly-placed signs that were RIGHT THERE ON THE FLOOR telling you where you were supposed to walk. And it’s not hard—modeled on how we drive. One simple rule: keep to the right. And patterns generally moved in a counter-clockwise direction. I can’t even give them the excuse of staring at their phones, because I actually saw very little of that. (And being early for my appointment I had about 20 minutes to watch this chaos.)

I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, and I won’t go back if I can at all avoid it until masks are no longer required. People suck.