Everybody is stressing out over this pandemic. The concern goes beyond getting sick ourselves, or our loved ones being stricken with Covid-19. We’re worried about life as we know it. We’re worried about our income, homes, jobs. We’re worried about so much more than running out of toilet paper. We’re worried about being able to buy food and if food will be available.
At the beginning of this week, businesses started to shut down voluntarily. On Tuesday, state governments were ordering closures or limits on service. Here in Virginia, restaurants, no matter how large they are, are limited to ten customers in their building at a time. This hurts. People in the service industry will be the first to suffer. Already, unemployment numbers are coming in that are huge. We had a stock market crash. Now we’re having an employment crash. This isn’t fear mongering or predictions of doom. This is happening.
Yesterday, when it was time to check out at the grocery store, I decided to use those horrible self-checkout lanes out of safety for myself and the cashiers. People were jammed next to each other, so I stood several feet away waiting for it to clear up. I even waited for a few aisles to clear up before going down them…and old people are really slow. They take their time in a grocery store. When they pick up green bananas, they’re yellow by the time they check out. And they all buy bananas. Why isn’t there a banana shortage? And why do they all buy bananas?
There were a couple of machines available when a lady asked if I was in line. I told her I was but I was social distancing, but if she wanted, she could go before me. She said, “Great” and promptly jammed herself in with the others. She also laughed at me. I hope there’s a tarantula in her bananas.
A friend of mine manages a bar here in town that I never go to. It’s very small and cramped. Kinda dank and skanky too. It’s named after a masturbation technique. It’s like Hooters but with less dignity. But I hear the chicken wings are really good. Anyway, he was posting on social media, upset over the state limiting their services. He believed it should be each individual’s choice on whether or not to take the risk of exposure. Freedom! America! Liberty! No socialist big government telling us what to do! I tried to explain to my friend, it’s not his choice to risk exposing others. I’m not sure he understood that.
I get it. You’re scared. And I’m not sitting here in a lofty tower cartooning, blogging, and casting aspersions on everyone who disagrees with me. Well, at least not without understanding. This pandemic is going to hit all of us and that includes sloppy political cartoonists. When it comes to being afraid and nervous about the future, I’m right there with you.
This is hitting us fast. And while we’re being told we’ll recover, climbing is a lot harder and slower than falling. You have a right to stress out and quite frankly, if you’re not, you’re being extremely naive. Everybody is stressing over this pandemic. Well, almost everybody.
Spring break is this week and the beaches in Florida are pretty full. Millennials have given us another reason to look down our noses at them. They’re not taking this seriously and maybe like Trump supporters, they haven’t accepted the reality yet that this is going to hit them. But they’re doing something much more dangerous. They’re risking exposing themselves…and the ones they love.
Youth is wasted on the young. You feel invincible when you’re young. I did. And if you catch Covid-19, you will probably be OK. You’re young, strong, a rock star, stupid but healthy. It’s time to party. But you’re being selfish. You risk exposing others, especially people older than you, including family members. Are you willing to kill grandma for a wet T-shirt contest? Don’t answer that.
My bar-managing friend isn’t a millennial so it’s not just they who don’t seem to get it. But right now, you better get it before you get it.
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