I coughed at the grocery store

I have been feeling divinely uninspired lately.

Now the smart part of me knows that this is because my rear has been at home for weeks upon end.

The “der-de-der” part of me just thinks my brain is on holiday.

So then that gets me thinking about where my brain would even go on holiday …

… AND, that’s the rabbit hole that my mind has been going down lately.

It’s alarming where your thoughts go when they are all you have to keep you company most days.

By the way, the answer is Disney World.

Always Disney World.

Back to the subject at hand.


It turns out that I am inspired by the people around me.

Most of those that know me are not shocked by this revelation.

So, to come up with something without having much human interaction is tough.

However, I had to run to the grocery store a few days ago.

Mask on face and gloves on hands, I walked into that store like I was going to proclaim myself some sort of sanitizer superhero.

I wiped down my cart and began the journey to the necessities. 

Following the new arrows on the grocery store floor I found myself having to navigate longer ways in order to follow the rules.

My activity watch loved this.

Just kidding, I don’t have an activity watch.

It would have surely laughed itself off my wrist by now.


As I was searching for the almighty and illusive Clorox wipes, I had a tingle in my throat.

The tingle turned into an annoying tickle.

The annoying tickle turned into a flat-out war in my body.

The war in my body could not hold out any longer and all of the sudden it happened.

I coughed.

Behind my mask came a cough that surely rattled the very souls of nearby shoppers.

A woman that was cautiously more than 6 feet away from me whipped her neck around towards me as if I had offended every single one of her ancestors.

I didn’t know what to say.

It happened.

It happened at a time that nobody wants it to happen.

These days we feel about coughs the way we have usually all felt about public gas.

I held in my hand the last canister of Clorox wipes as she continued to stare into the very depths of my soul.

She made a wide turn around me without ever breaking her stare down.

There I stood, in aisle 7, with my Clorox wipes, mask, gloves and shame.

I had become “THAT” shopper.

The one who coughs during a pandemic.

Never mind the Claritin that was already in my cart.

I had offended everyone from A to Z.

From there on out, I felt nonexistent stares as I roamed quickly down the aisles that I needed.

Once at the checkout, the employee asked from behind her mask if I had found everything alright.

I felt the need to verbally spew that I had allergies.

Her eyes peered at me from above her mask and I could tell that she was smiling.

“Hard to have allergies in times like now. People think you have the Rona.”

I felt a surge of relief as I smiled from behind my mask.

I went from feeling like some sort of germ-infested monster to a human once again.

It made me start to think, when this is “over” and whatever that truly means, will we remember the good things that have come during this time?

The random acts of kindness.

The drive-by parades for birthdays.

The neighbors working out together from across the street from one another.

The bags of food, wipes, and toilet paper left on a doorstep, “just in case”.

I hope that when the world “opens back up” that we do not lose that.

Neighbors that have never spoken, are speaking.

Good deeds that have not been seen, are all the sudden visible and amazing.

The newspaper is filled with articles of hope and people using their time and talent to make masks for our frontline heroes and sheroes.

Of course I want the Rona to end and I want to be able to have a valid allergy-induced cough without being sworn to a life of isolation and loneliness.

However, from every bad there is a lesson of good sprinkled within.

Sometimes you have to squint, but it’s there.

Let’s keep the random acts of kindness.

Let’s keep the new connections that were socially distanced made.

Let’s still hang out in parking lots with our windows down sharing coffee with a stranger.

Let’s not forget how to have these moments as life starts to reactivate in whatever normal looks like now.

Yeah, I coughed in a grocery store and who knew a cough could inspire.


Nanci Wilson

Nanci Wilson

Nanci started her credit union journey due to lack of kindness. That fact is what led her to close her bank account and open up at a credit union. Ultimately ... Web: https://lcul.com Details