A Likely Story - Covid19 In My Neighborhood

Roger Clark
June 2020

Like so many others here in flyover country, we’ve been ordered to shelter in place while the Corona virus wings its way around Kansas. We have also been instructed to avoid gatherings, wear masks, and put gloves on. Authorities are issuing these orders from crowded press briefings, where the only PPE in sight are the colorful scarves of Dr. Deborah Birx.

Living where fashion is limited to a Walmart Super Center, we shop wearing everything from driving gloves to idiot mittens, and facemasks made from elastics and bandanas. They may not ward off the average viral bogeyman, but it certainly increases following distance! 

 I had a raging cold, (or something), some weeks back, and finally went to see the family physician. He gave me a shrug and an antibiotic. Was it just a cold, or the dreaded COVID19, which has turned American mortality tables, (not to mention a trillion-dollar economy), on its head? 

Did I nearly get killed by this raging pandemic phenomenon because I fit the perfect profile? Or was I spared for choosing not to buy a hundred rolls of toilet paper? I don’t know, and neither do millions of others.

Before COVID19, 8,000 Americans died every day from hundreds of causes. The good news is, that death rate is down to 3,000 per week. The bad news is, it’s all from the Corona Virus. The good news is, nobody is dying of anything else. The bad news is, the United States population will still be wiped out in just over 2,000 years.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I have what the government calls an essential business, and no, it’s not a marijuana store. I’ve got rush hour to myself, a stim check in the bank, and a places to go when I want to be alone. Like, our favorite restaurant; our church on the hill; the ballpark around the bend.

 My next door neighbor is 80 years old, just returned home from medical rehab, and looks better than I do. Across the street, old Jack is 90-plus, pushing a lawn mower over a half acre of grass. Next door to him is a young couple with a toddler, laid off from a teaching job—the daddy, not the toddler—and all three are industrious as the law allows them to be. 

Nobody on our street is wearing a facemask. We’re not wearing gloves. No one is wearing black, because nobody here has been diagnosed as inspected, infected, rejected, or dead. The only obituary in our local newspaper, in fact, is for the United States Constitution.

But like I said, I’m one of the lucky ones. In all this downtime, I’ve finished three books, and that’s a lot of coloring!

  You can follow Roger Clark at  ALikelyStoryBlog.com