Holy schmoley! What is happening to our world? Some teensy tiny microscopic cootie has invaded all that we know to be right and true.
So small we can’t see it. So small we can’t even imagine the hairy little beast which has steam-rolled over our nation and sent us all inside, leaving us to pull back the curtains to peek out at empty streets.
What is it this time? Where did it come from and when is it going back?
It is a lot like a really bad “B” movie made in someone’s basement with the theme being “Coronavirus - Claustrophobia 101.” The camera pans over hacking victims and the detritus that has collected. Quarantine Day 7: socks, shoes and boots thrown asunder. Sweaters and heating pads in piles. Pizza boxes and old newspapers. A half-put-together puzzle on the card table in the corner. Pallid and listless victims lying on couches and struggling with spasmodic coughing.
This time it is the elders among us who are looked upon as suspect. The young folks are being scolded for not observing the rules and it’s all because of the old codgers. They’re the ones everyone must stay in the house for! Nice people, of course, but far too feeble to fight back.
Folks! We have gotten caught with our proverbial pants down! Where are our superheroes when we need them?
I don’t think there is anyone who remembers anything quite like this foul cloud.
I do remember the precautions taken when measles, mumps, and chickenpox and smallpox were going around. My three sons got chickenpox sequentially, right before Christmas one year, and it was a two-week quarantine period for each before they could return to school. One week after another of trying to think of something for them to do — before the next one would start scratching. It was a trial by Calamine. Let’s also remember a tougher version: smallpox.
It was a bit before my time, but I do sort of remember the fearful disease: polio. It was more than a little scratching. It was lying in an iron lung and maybe getting through it and maybe not. Remember the Telethons? Kids clumped around with braces on their legs and not all recovered from the paralysis. I recall the lines winding around in our school auditorium as we waited to get our vaccinations. I know there are some parents that question the validity of vaccinations, but I sure don’t.
My own dear father passed at the far-too early age of 48, due to the damage done to his heart from rheumatic fever.
There was also the feared tuberculosis which took many lives and left others in sanitariums “taking the air” and hoping to get well.
There have been other more recent viruses including SARS and others that were equally contagious.
The whole idea of a pandemic is frightening. Staying at home and keeping your hands washed seems rather simplistic, but allegedly effective. It would be nice to have a vaccine. Because my dog Ivy and I live alone, we are used to the quiet and don’t feel as quarantined as most. I’m quite used to talking to myself and eating chocolate ice cream out of the carton with a tablespoon. Status quo on Torrey Street.
My boys have been calling to make sure that I am behaving and staying home except for visiting the pharmacy and grabbing a few groceries. Fist-bumping instead of hand-shaking. Washing my hands at every opportunity. All the usual precautions.
I’ve read that for every person that gets COVID-19, three more people will be infected.
I am hoping we get some bright sunshine this week. The spring sun and the rain always seem to help sanitize our world.
Until then, I hope you have a partner for cards or a collection of puzzles or games. My crazy son, Kyle, sent me a video of him and his friend playing a video dance game recorded in fast speed and I laughed so hard and it felt so good. Many musicians are offering short video performances from their own home which are fun to watch and connect us all. In Italy (where the virus is the worst right now) the romantic Italians go to the balconies at a certain time in the evening and they all sing their national anthem. Very stirring. Also, they sometimes applaud health care workers.
In America, there are few balconies, but we are all into watching celebs like Jimmy Fallon at his house connecting via camera to those who were set to perform on his show. (Just as an aside, he has a big slide inside his house from one floor to the other — I found that entertaining.) There were other musicians who were wishing us well and offering good cheer and good music. Best wishes to our students who may not go back to school this term. Proms and spring sports are mostly canceled and students are studying from home online. Let’s just buck up and do what we need to do and come out on the other end of this! Stay safe, gentle readers!