May 18, 2020
Amid the general chaos Melissa has started a new job in Northwest Arkansas. While she is excited about this new venture it means she drives an hour and twenty minutes each way to work. The Fayetteville-Rodgers stretch is also one of the busiest stretches of highway in the state. One way to compensate for this is to leave the house by 6 am. This puts her at work by 7:30 and allows her the option to leave by 4:30 in the afternoon. Both times work well to avoid most traffic tie-ups.
Even without the slowdown of traffic Melissa is finding she still needs to contend with the big trucks that carry goods on this main thoroughfare. The car she drives is a small convertible and it is dwarfed by the big rigs around her. It has also been raining a lot lately and this makes driving more tenuous. While most truck drivers know what their rigs can and cannot do, there are always some who ignore caution to try and squeeze a few more miles into their daily log. Melissa has been involved in three near misses in her first three weeks of driving. This was compounded by the wiper blades going out last week (it is a 2007).
That gave Melissa the idea to get a larger, safer vehicle. She searched the used cars online and found one she thought would fill the bill. This was an SUV with all-wheel drive that got 33 miles per gallon on the highway. All three features were exactly what Melissa needed to feel safe. We scheduled a 4:00 pm appointment with the dealer and arrived a little before time. We called and entered with our masks, did the test drive, and were convinced this was the car. After filling out the paperwork the saleswoman said we just needed to wait for the financial manager. We sat for almost two hours as previous customers were sold cars. We stopped for a bite to eat and then started home in the dark and the rain. Melissa said the drive was reassuring. I am glad she feels safe.
THOUGHTS: When the world is in panic mode, we need to find ways to feel safe. This is true with the cars we drive and with opening businesses, churches, and schools. There is no “right” approach to reopening. The economy has been hit hard by closure and there is a push to open. People are tired of staying inside and there is a push to get out. The stay at home orders have been lifted in all but a few states. Some have responded with immediate opening. Others are planning opening at later dates, and still others are taking a wait and see approach. We need to follow the guidelines and do what makes us feel safe. If you venture out, stay safe.