They sat on their usual benches one opposite sides of the running path down by the river. The threat of rain had kept the runners at home, which was fine for the friends because the lack of others in the equation made social distancing much easier.
“Did you know that Maine now has the third lowest case total of all the states?” Holly asked after she took a sip of her coffee. “I saw that on the Worldometer site this morning.”
“We had been fifth lowest for a while, so that’s cool,” Aaron replied excitedly.
He really liked numbers and statistics, but numbers and statistics that told him he had a better chance of surviving a pandemic were his absolute favorites.
“Our numbers have been very low over the last few weeks, but Alaska and Hawaii have both seen a steady climb in cases,” she explained. “Now it’s only Wyoming and Vermont ahead of us.”
“Kudos to Governor Mills and Dr Shah!” he declared and held up his bottle of Snapple to honor the pair most responsible for Maine’s Coronavirus response.
Holly raised her cup of coffee and they pretended to clink their beverages in a toast from fifteen feet away.
“And to think so many people have been giving Governor Mills crap on social media because they don’t like her social distancing restrictions,” Holly scoffed and then took a long sip of her morning roast.
“Maybe the one good thing about this pandemic is that it’s made it clear which of my friends need to be blocked or muted on social media because of their political views,” Aaron chuckled. “I had no idea I was friends with so many Trump supporters and anti-mask crusaders.”
“Speaking of surprising revelations,” she started and leaned forward for emphasis, “I went for a run this morning and couldn’t believe how many Trump/Pence 2o2o signs I saw on the lawns of houses I passed. I thought Maine was a very blue state.”
Aaron shrugged. “I’ve got a theory about those signs.”
Holly’s beautiful face lit up at those magic words. “Do tell…”
She then made herself really comfortable on her bench because she knew this could be a long, rambling theory. They usually were, much to her delight.
“This is a very blue neighborhood in a very blue state,” he agreed. “I don’t think those signs are there because the homeowners support Trump. Those signs are actually part of a very effective and crafty social distancing strategy.”
Holly raised an eyebrow. She always loved a surprise twist.
“What strategy is this?” she had to know.
Holly replied without hesitations. “Of course. I wanted to get the hell away from anyone delusional enough to believe that Trump deserved another term.”
“Exactly!” he replied with a smile. “A very effective social distancing tool, wouldn’t you agree? No one wants to get too close to a Trump supporter, and risk getting sucked into some alternate reality debate about how the man is good for our country. Plus, you have to assume whoever lives there is rabidly against wearing a mask, so even more reason to keep your distance. It’s pure genius.”
Holly shrugged like it made sense. “I’m going to choose to accept your theory because it’s way better for my stress levels than believing that I’m surrounded by Trump supporters.”
“You’re so lucky you have me,” Aaron informed her with a chuckle.
Holly rolled her eyes, but did not disagree.