Stories from COVID Country I'll tell you a story as it was told to me. A few days ago a friend wanted to buy a new bicycle helmet. Her current helmet is not broken, just too heavy for the amount of cycling she does; so she rode to her go-to bicycle store which she had confirmed was open. When she arrived she found the door was locked, even though there were clearly people in the store. She knocked, but no one would come to the door. Undaunted, she called the store number and this was essentially what happened: "Something-or-other bicycle store. Can I help you?" "Yes, I'm outside the store but the door seems to be locked." "That's because we're only open for curb-side pickup." "Hmmm. That wasn't clear from your web site, or on the storefront. Ok, I'd like to buy a helmet. How can I do that?" "No problem. You can place your order online." "Would you mind confirming you have the make/model I want?" Information is exchanged. Time passes, and eventually the girl returns to the phone and says they have six in stock. "That's great. Can I just tell you what I want and have you bring it out?" "No, you'll have to place an online order and use your credit card to pay in advance." "Fine. So, if I place the order online now and pay in advance, will you bring out the helmet?" "No, not today. We need two days to process your order." Apparently the store just down the street was able to both take payment, and provide a helmet. You can't make this shit up.