This is Thursday, March 12th 2020

Unseasonably warm air, and a need to get my wife ice cream, blew me into the gas station. I was standing tiredly at the checkout while the cashier rang up my purchase. “Where do I stick this–oh, here,” I said a bit foolish, staring at the card reader right in front of me. I inserted my credit card. “Long day,” I said by way of excuse.

“Yeah,” said the younger cashier to my left. “I’m leaving work early today.”

“Well I work in health care,” I said. “With all of the corona-virus it’s been more than the usual.”

The two cashier’s made sounds of fake alarm and stepped back, one covering her face with her shirt.

“I remember that,” said the older lady, a rangy woman in her fifties or perhaps early sixties. “That’s why I got out of the nursing home. I worked there and I was sick all the time. I was forty years old then, and I was sick three months, throwing up all the time.”

I gave a vague expression, half thinking of explaining that it was administrative headaches associated with the corona-virus, not issues of getting sick, which had made my day weary. But the lady continued without any input from me.

“I went to the doctor and told him I had the flu. He tested me and said, ‘Lady, you don’t have the flu.’ I told him, ‘Yes, I do. I’ve been sick a long time.’ He said to me, ‘You don’t have the flu, you’re pregnant.’ I said to him, ‘Doctor, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m forty years old. I’m not pregnant.’ ‘Don’t argue with me,’ he said. ‘I’m telling you that you’re pregnant.’ I went home and I was so mad. I was furious.”

I looked at her, a little uncertain, and picked up my purchase. “So…were you pregnant?”

“Yeah. I was so furious.”

People sometimes share the strangest things.