After weeks of shelter-in-place quarantine I imagine a lot of married couples will be taking separate vacations this summer, if summer is not canceled. The photos on the news emphasize the far-reaching nature of the pandemic – Paris abandoned, Times Square dark, China closed down, empty streets a testament to hard times still to come.

Bob Kalish observes life from a placid place on the island of Arrowsic (motto: You’re not in Georgetown yet). You can reach him at [email protected]

You have to respect those microscopic germs for bringing the entire world to its knees. The underdog defying the odds, David versus Goliath. Whose side are we on? OK, so experts in those kind of things say we should mobilize our defenses against a virus marching across our world, our country, like those old black and white films of German tanks and troops marching across Poland, having its way, country by country. How do we do that? The simplest way is to order everyone to stay home. Then authorities shut down any of the places you could go if not sequestered, such as bars, restaurants, libraries. Message to the world at large: stay home.

But what about those who work in our homes when we’re not there, not just our cleaning service but our friends the burglars, the robbers, the jewel thieves.

What we’re going through is like an episode of the original “Twilight Zone,” minus the Red Scare overlay.

So what’s it like to be ordered to stay in your own home, while watching the numbers of sick people downed by this germ continue to spread? Venturing out, you find there’s not much difference between home and “out there,” where danger lurks in the form of tiny droplets that can make you sick as a dog if they bivouac in your body. Out or in look the same – empty streets very few people out and about.

It occurs to me that crime figures will show a decrease during this time of the coronavirus, since everyone was urged to stay home, or to practice “shelter in place,” which means the same thing but sounds more dramatic. We’ve been urged to behave in a manner usually reserved for those with obsessive compulsive disorder. People with this disorder are compulsive about their hand washing. We, too, are now washing our hands compulsively. Long lines snake out of public bathroom doors and around the block while one person at the sink sings the aria from “Madame Butterfly.” When the dust and smoke clear from this chapter of our history it’ll be perceived as the The Purell Era.

I heard that in New York City criminals are offering takeout. The way it works is like this: You’re at home and the phone rings. “Hello,” you say, noticing caller ID displays an unknown caller, who says, “This is a holdup, just do as I say and no one will get hurt. Put your jewelry, wristwatches, any cash in one of those cloth bags you rich people use to move your assets.” He then tells you to place the bag in a regular grocery bag with your name written on it at curbside for pickup.

The name’s Smith; it works 60% of the time.

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