The Snake Isn’t Always Hiding Under Somebody Else’s Porch

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

I’ve been trying to mix in some humor with these messages because we absorb and learn faster when we’re being entertained. If a few laughs are sprinkled in, the message sticks that much longer. Think about it. How many jokes can you remember from your childhood? Odds are, you can remember most of them verbatim. Now, how many 8th-grade Civics lessons can you recite?

We learn and retain better when we’re able to laugh. Besides, it’s just plain fun. Sometimes I even make myself laugh. Of course, that’s not hard to do. You know, simple pleasures for simple minds. I can say it. If being smart means cashing in your sense of humor, color me stupid. I’ll wear it like a badge of honor.

But some days, there’s just not a lot to laugh about. Oh, it’s out there. But it’s hiding and there are days when we’re not in a mood to do a lot of digging. On days like this, humor has to come looking for us. It will, and when it does, I’ll give it the good hearty laugh it deserves. Then I’ll go back to focusing on the matter at hand.

Last week I said that, before this current crisis is over, it’ll touch each and every one of us in some way. Well, yesterday afternoon, my youngest daughter was admitted to the hospital with what the doctor calls “significant pneumonia.” I didn’t know there was an insignificant kind, but it got my attention. Now she’s in isolation and can’t have any visitors. Not even mom and dad.

They tested her for coronavirus, but the results won’t be back until sometime today. I don’t think that’s what she’s got, and her respiratory doctor seems to share that gut instinct. But, as he said, there are no certainties in medicine. We’ll just have to wait and pray. Yes, we live in a time where people really utter the words, “Thank God – it’s only pneumonia.”

We’ll deal with whatever diagnosis comes back, and I’m just thankful she’s where she needs to be right now. Given the fact that she’s been living with us for the past two years, and our other daughter and grandkids are here all the time, it’s pretty obvious what a diagnosis of COVID-19 would mean. Full lockdown for everybody for at least the next two weeks.

It’s not like we were going out that much anyway. Like most other people, we go to the store only when we need something, and those daily “I forgot something” trips to Walmart are a thing of the past. We stay six feet from other people (as long as they stay six feet from us), and face masks & pocket-sized hand sanitizer are now a normal part of life.

Our daughter goes out even less than we do, but like pregnancy and a lot of other conditions, it only takes once. The admitting doctor told my daughter it’s possible she’s got “a touch” of coronavirus. Is there such a thing? I guess for some people the symptoms are a lot worse than others, but still, a germ is a germ is a germ. Either it’s there or it isn’t.

And therein lies the problem. Any of us could be carrying that germ with no symptoms at all, but in the time it takes for the virus to die within us, we could infect a lot of people. From that perspective, she could have gotten it from me. You just never know.

I always get a little peeved when I’m driving on a misty morning, and cars suddenly appear out of the tree-laden background with no headlights. Depending on the color of the car, you may not see it until it’s too late. Oh, but they can see perfectly fine, right? Well, that’s the thing about headlights. They work in both directions. Sometimes, it’s as much about other people as you.

This social distancing is a pain. It’s frustrating, going to the hardware store to find it closed. And who wouldn’t enjoy a decent meal out with the family right now? Yes, it’s a pain. And I think we’ve all taken some risks we maybe shouldn’t have taken. I know I have. There’s that point where you try to balance caution with life. We can’t just hide in a bubble all day.

But, to the point that we can, that’s exactly what we need to do. We live in an area where, for whatever reason, grocery shopping online means a 3-5 day wait for your food. Most of us don’t think that far out. But that’s what it’ll take to beat this. There will be things we absolutely have to have, right now. But aside from that, we need to put safety ahead of our personal desires.

I’m sure our daughter will get through whatever she’s facing right now. And, if it’s something that has spread to the rest of us, we’ll deal with that as well. As a world community, we’ve come this far. Now is not the time to back off and get careless. It’s like piling up sandbags against a flood. If you let up too soon, it’s all for nothing. Be healthy and stay strong. We can do this. We don’t have any other choice.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Can You Spare A Roll Of Toilet Paper?

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

Last night my wife and I were out shopping and I couldn’t help but notice the empty shelves in three sections of the store – disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. There were a few packages of TP left, and we picked one up. Not because we’re afraid of being house-bound in the near future. Our pre-teen granddaughter will be with us next week. Need I say more?

We picked up a pack of 18 rolls that the packaging assures us will last as long as 72 rolls. Okay, I may be missing something here, but once upon a time it took a really big box to hold that many rolls of toilet paper. I don’t care how many plies you laminate together, a roll pretty much lasts a little over an hour in our house. Maybe a little longer when everyone is asleep.

I try not to make light of people reacting to something that can’t really be quantified right now, and is already disrupting lives in more ways than we may be able to comprehend. And it’ll get worse. But there’s just something a little amusing about people with a few items in one shopping cart and another full of toilet tissue. One lady even asked for an escort to the parking lot. I kid you not.

The last time I saw a run on toilet paper like this was in 1976. The nation was in the midst of a mild paper shortage, and late-night host Johnny Carson joked that the shortage had impacted the TP market. I worked in a grocery store and, for the entire weekend, we couldn’t keep it on the shelves. People were in a panic. Not because of a real shortage. Because of a joke.

Granted, this time it’s not a joke. I do find it amusing that a couple of brands of toilet paper seem to be immune to the panic. And if you go to the camping supplies, there’s no shortage of “rapidly-dissolving” toilet paper. As comedian Bill Engvall asked, just how rapidly are we talking about? From what I’ve read online, rapidly enough. Get some latex gloves while you’re at it.

I don’t think anybody knows for sure how badly this virus will impact us, and how long it may last. And I understand people being a little on the cautious side. Still, it makes you wonder, are they stockpiling food as well? Those shelves appear to be pretty well intact. Sales are brisk, however, in liquor stores, which may explain the increase in toilet paper sales. I’m just saying.

Okay, this is a serious issue. That doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate some of the built-in humor. In fact, few things can trigger the release of immune-boosting endorphins like laughter. That doesn’t mean we don’t take the problem seriously, and that we don’t apply some common-sense preparations just in case. But don’t stop living in the process.

Will you catch Coronavirus? According to most experts, the odds are small. That may change over time, and then again, warmer weather could wipe this out in a matter of weeks. Nobody really knows. And even if you do catch it, there’s a chance you may not even know it. That’s both good and bad. Good for you, and bad for anybody you kiss. So, don’t kiss old folks. Except me.

It’s good to have a healthy fear of things that can do us harm, but don’t let that fear dominate your life. Make the necessary adjustments and go on living. Wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you cough. Don’t sneeze on other people. And, for the time being, avoid crowds. It’s pretty basic – the same things we were all taught as children.

But don’t stop living on the off chance something else will come along and do it for you. Adapt and go on. This virus may be around a while, and it may impact all of us in some way. But fear won’t make it go away. In fact, fear triggers cortisol which can, over time, reduce your body’s ability to fight infection. The more we cower down, the more likely we are to be affected.

It’s natural to be afraid of something we can’t fully understand. Follow your own instincts, but listen to the experts as well. Not politicians – experts. Throughout history, populations have survived countless plagues and pandemics. We’ll get through this one, too. And hopefully with enough toilet paper to go around.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved