Marilyn Hagerty: Eerie silence on Cottonwood Street

Marilyn Hagerty

The last weekend in March of 2020 arrives with an eerie silence. It makes no difference what is listed on calendars printed for this year. It doesn’t matter what was planned for the waning days of March.

Nobody dreamed of being hit by a worldwide pandemic caused by coronavirus. It always seemed things like that happen somewhere else.

These are quiet days. On Cottonwood Street, where I live, there is that eerie silence. Few cars go by. Lately, there have been more people out walking. Many follow their dogs down the sidewalks still partly covered with winter’s ice and snow.

A big rabbit chews the bark off of shrubs in the back yard. A squirrel occasionally slithers around, looking for something to eat.

Empty shelves

Now and then I follow suit looking for something to eat. And I venture out to the nearest Hugo’s market on the corner of 17th Avenue South, and South Washington Street.


There on Wednesday evening, I had to settle for a strange raisin bread. My regular choice was all gone. Because it was well into the evening, there were few shoppers. They were finding big bare shelves where toilet paper usually is on display.

An employee who greeted me, just shook his head. He doesn’t know why it’s all gone. It keeps coming in. We agreed maybe too many people just have that reaction to stock up. And that’s what causes temporary shortages.

In times like these, there are the hoarders. And there are people who reach out to help others.

They want to make sure everything is OK with other people.

At the end of a long winter with icy sidewalks, the letter carriers are on the job. They are among the heroes in days like these. The radio and television keep us on track with the world outside. When I pick the Herald out of my mailbox, I read all of it. I read many of the legal notices in fine print – even if it does take a magnifying glass.

And I feel a sense of defeat if I can’t figure the word puzzle.

Cleaning drawers

These are good days for cleaning drawers, polishing silver, fixing broken shelves.

Somehow it’s easier to look out the front window and wonder when the birds will be back. Somehow it would seem good to know if Philip the Fly is on his way north.

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