There was a sign on the drive-through at Starbucks this morning that, temporarily, reusable coffee cups were no longer to be used. This was in keeping with new guidelines to reduce the spread of infections.  I got my morning coffee and placed the throw-away cup in the holder next to my empty reusable cup.  So for now, saving the environment by reusing cups was taking a back seat.


The morning news was on the radio as I cruised north to my office.  A nearby high school was being shut down for at least the day.  A student had returned from Italy and was feeling ill.  His parents took him to the emergency room where test reports were inconclusive.  But to be safe, the school district closed the school and hired a disinfectant company to wash down school surfaces.  They planned to reopen after the weekend.


In the office, things were as they always were.  RFIs were coming in from a project in construction, design submittals were due, meetings were to be met with (small meetings, however, with many people calling in).  Everything was exactly the same.  Except that less flights were taking off from Logan, local universities were not permitting students to travel, and large conferences were being cancelled at the last minute.  There was a run on toilet paper at a local store.


It wasn’t the plague, probably, but the idea of proceeding with normal bridge engineering life seemed strangely and increasingly off kilter.