I got a package in the mail a few weeks ago.
Mind you, I ordered this particular package on February 5. Was coronavirus a thing then? Sure, I had heard about it; “it’s just a bad flu, not that big of a deal.” I mean the president himself had not even really talked about it yet, and when he did speak a few days later he shrugged the virus off too. No one really expected what was to come in the following weeks.
So, not really knowing any better, and without a care in the world – on February 5, 2020, I ordered some custom Vans.
Within that very month, on February 29, 2020, the United States had it’s first fatality due to COVID-19, a respiratory disease that the novel coronavirus caused.
Fast forward to March 18, 2020. I’m at work. There’s a little bit of talk about this whole coronavirus thing but still not a lot of concern. Two days prior the CDC had issued social distancing guidelines advising people to stay six feet away from others. No one’s following this advice; I try in vain to keep my distance.
I clock out and go to my car for lunch. I check my phone for emails and I see it, right at the top: my latest unread message.
To: Jesse Rice
Subject: Shipping Confirmation
Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah. Shipping From: blah blah blah PROVIDENCE, CHINA. Blah blah blah blah blah ESTIMATED DELIVERY DATE: MARCH 19, 2020 by 8pm. Blah blah blah THANK YOU. Blah blah blah blah CLICK HERE TO SEE OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19.
You get the jist.
My heart sank. I let out an audible “oh fuck.” If you’re unfamiliar, the outbreak began in China, at a “wet market” in Wuhan where animals were in close contact to people. The virus was thought to have spread from an animal at this market to a person. Patient zero was in China, and now I was about to get a package from the country of origin over-nighted to my house.
I sat up and began thinking through my options. I could send it to a pickup location at a local Walgreen’s or Dollar General I thought. Just as I was about to do this though, I thought about the poor employee who could be potentially exposed due to me. Then I thought about holding it at FedEx, but they wouldn’t let me. Shit. Guess I’m stuck with it.
So, there was nothing I could do. I hoped for the best and went back to work. I honestly assumed that U.S. customs would hold it as the president had talked about trade restrictions with China over the illness. Nope.
I came home on March 19, 2020 and sitting right there next to my fucking front door was this package that had been in some warehouse in China the very night before.
So I took a deep breath, manned up, and got my mom to spray the hell out of it with Lysol while she wore a mask and gloves. I sat six feet away and watched. Then we took it to the garage where it has sat ever since today. I finally felt comfortable enough to open it up and take a look at my new shoes 18 days later.
You can watch me open the package and take a look at the shoes (they’re fuckin’ sweet) in the video above.
So why did I write all this? I guess it’s to serve as an open thank you letter to everyone that helped get this package to me. Thank you China, for your extremely unhygienic markets and awful containment of the virus. Thanks Vans, for continuing to produce shoes for cheap in China while there’s a deadly pandemic going on there. Thank you to FedEx, who gave me no option to cancel or hold the order. And where would my package be, had U.S. customs not bravely allowed it through the border without so much as a passing glance?
Lastly, thanks to President Trump and the United States government, for allowing my dumbass and no doubt thousands of others like me to get a package from China NEXT DAY even at the possible expense of lives.
And finally, thanks to my mom who disinfected that shit.
Enjoy the video folks.
For more information on the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, please visit cdc.gov/covid19. STAY HOME.
Music Credits (from video above):
Too Cool by Kevin MacLeod