When you consider that Broadway has gone dark, March Madness has been canceled, the Boston Marathon has been postponed, and Disney has closed its magical doors for the time being, the world doesn’t seem much like a happy place anymore.

Both young and old are out and about across the Gate City, and we’re all doing our best, but daily interactions have gotten weird around here, if you will.

I happened to stop by a downtown store recently to pick up a few items. I bumped into a longtime employee who had been missing for a while. He told me that he had suffered a heart attack three weeks prior. He moved in for a big hug and I went for it.

When I got back into my car, I cursed myself for being foolish enough to hug another human being for fear of possibly contracting the dreaded coronavirus. Lately, the hysteria and general unknown about the illness have many of us thinking twice.

A few days ago, I was in CVS on the Daniel Webster Highway, and turned down one of the pharmacy’s narrow aisles and saw an old friend and former city official looking for an item. We wanted to hug each other but laughed and chose a right elbow-to-elbow bump as some folks are doing these days.

I have another friend who returned from the Main Street Walgreens.

“Just six packages of toilet paper left. I bought another jumbo,” he told me.

One lady I know just informed me that she cannot visit her husband residing at Greenbriar Healthcare. The nursing home provider is only allowing staff members inside the facility until further notice.

Even the annual book sale hosted by the Friends of the Nashua Public Library has been canceled. The popular book sale was scheduled for March 20-22.

“If circumstances and schedule allow, we hope to hold it in the fall. Our vast inventory of carefully sorted books will be ready for future perusal,” the library said in a release.

It was almost one year ago when television’s popular medical reporter, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, was interviewed on the Ask Patt Morrison podcast. His words are haunting.

“Out of all the big health threats out there, all the things that we talk about, a global flu pandemic is probably right at the top of the list, because it could come out of nowhere, because of a re-assortment of genes in a tiny little virus that all of a sudden turns it into a highly transmissible killer.”

Ms. Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column is published weekly. She can be reached at jtania512@gmail.com.