• Brian D. Hinson

Uber and Hate in a Time of Plague

Taxis are considered an essential business. I still go out on Saturdays, but my Fridays are on hold for a bit.

Since I have already suffered the virus and recovered, I can’t get it again, nor can I spread it, unless I start shaking hands. I carry a bottle of rubbing alcohol for wiping off the car door handles. Most passengers sit in the back seat, as Uber instructs.

Where do people go in a time of plague? Most of my previous business was entertainment oriented: shuttling people to restaurants and bars, concert and sport venues. Now it’s grocery stores and pharmacies, clinics, people’s places of work and back to their home. One person needed to check on their grandma, they were leaving her a care package on the doorstep and they planned to chat on their phones through the living room window.

And, of course, there’s still some people heading out to their friend’s house to socialize, to party, to relax and beer or relax and smoke. Go ahead and judge these people. I do. I don’t say anything to their face and I don’t give them a one star, either. I really don’t know what to do, if anything.

One laughing young group out partying was remarking on how weird it was that the streets were so empty. I said something about plague times. The guy with the glasses in the passenger seat replied, “I gotta live my life, y’know?”

“Even if it kills gramma?” I asked.

“Well, of course I’m not seeing my grandma!”

It’s not just the younger folks, either. A guy who announced he was forty-nine was headed out with his two twenty-something nephews. I picked them up at a large house in Rio Rancho, the garage door open with an American flag on display. They were already drunk and told me they were headed to someone else’s place to get more hammered. They were bantering on about something but my ears blazed up when the old guy in the back asked, “Were they ni--ers?”

“No, they were white,” came the reply, as if what he said was perfectly normal.

The flippant hate didn’t stop there. The topic was changed to dating, and the uncle went on to give his opinion on women, “If she’s the kind that’s talks back a lot, that thinks she need to be in charge, even if it’s only sometimes, ditch that bitch. A good woman is a submissive woman.” He went on to talk about that’s how it’s been throughout all history.


Remember how in 2001, a terrorist act brought us all closer together, if only for a few months? Yeah, this virus is totally not like that.

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