We took to the road from the DFW metroplex to Amarillo, up to CO Sprgs, Denver, Boulder and back and then up to OKC for a few days and back and I
thought a few of you might be interested in what I saw.
Preface: Preferring to avoid masks and confrontation as well, we haven't been out much at all and didn’t know what to expect. We haven’t owned a
car in over eleven years, rent when we need it - we ride bikes to stores occasionally but generally make the runs when we rent. We have groceries
delivered by Amazon (free WholeFoods delivery was timely, huh?). Very few of the drivers are wearing masks. The kids that work the local gas station
wear masks and less then half the customers. That was where we were coming from…
Driving to Amarillo is a long haul through farmland, cattle ranches, oil fields, distant refineries, miles of huge windmills, small towns centered
around a train station with equipment/elevators to load grain and a football stadium down the road. Fields are dotted with cows, horses, antelope.
On this route, the landscape is occasionally dotted with Trump flags and banners and a couple of anti-Biden flags. Most of the way, there's no sign of
the Rona. No signs at the rest stops or gas stations (many already had plexiglass or more for cashiers); there was a mask here and there on employees
and those traveling through but not many. Amarillo, no sign, NOTHING of COVID...went to a restaurant, no masks on employees, stopped at a station,
some of the highway passes right through town...no masks, nothing.
What we did see was lots of growth; new gas stations with more food options (not that these are necessary), new grain elevators, new metal roofs on
like 30% of the barns, new sales yards for large farm equipment, trucking and livestock movement equipment in lots. Hiring Now signs for
trucking/driving, food processing, service jobs.
So, on to Co Sprgs, where it was also pretty chill. The best hotel experience was at the Best Western; no masks, no signs, no pool but they spread the
buffet stations and tables much further apart (I never eat cereal but I do at Best Western
...something they should have done a long time ago! We
also met with a real estate agent about a rental, she met us w/o a mask, shook hands. In Denver we saw a dramatic increase in mask wearing, most
pedestrians had them on, though masks were on the chin, not the nose and mouth. We also spotted the rare mask wearing driver...LOL masks are
Boulder was worse. We walked in to an empty pizza place near the university where a young woman was spraying tables while a couple of guys stood
around behind a fortress of plexiglass - all w masks. We walked in, saw the masks (we had none) and turned around. The waitress asked if she could
help and I couldn’t help myself and blurted out that we didn’t want to wear masks and she said, oh, it’s OK and in we went.
In OK, there was very little sign of COVID. The country is beautiful from DFW to OKC. The hotel had a faded 10'' x 10" sticker on the front door that
said Do Not Enter if you have the sniffles, fever, etc. The pool and hot tub were open and packed and no guests were wearing masks, about half the
staff wore them.
While out, we went to Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts and no one enforced anything. Sprouts had plexiglass shields for cashiers. Some employees wore
masks some did not. Most shoppers did not except for those at Trader Joe’s where about half the shoppers wore masks; a few employees had masks, many
maskless. In the lane next to me was a boy about 13 or 14, with his maskless family members, his hoodie string pulled so tight as to leave only an
eight inch diameter hole, over his mask and glasses…poor kid.
We were never told to mask up, we saw no signs of needing to be vaccinated. Business was brisk in many of the towns we drove through and traffic was
nasty in Co Sprngs and OKC. Lastly, I saw the best billboard on OK. It said, We’re all going to be OK!
edit on 8/4/2021 by BlissSeeker
because: (no reason given)