The Newnan Times-Herald


A tangible target

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • May. 15, 2020 - 3:16 PM

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A tangible target

The Newnan Times-Herald

If you’re looking for opinions, I’m your guy.

If you’re looking for expert advice about anything beyond sharpening a pencil you’d get better results from a gypsy fortune teller.

I need advice as much as the next person, but if the subject is serious I consult an expert. And when the subject is personal health my panel of experts is just a phone call away.

My sister is a doctor. Her husband is a doctor. Their son is a doctor. He is married to a doctor.

One of my cousins is a doctor. My daughter is a nurse.

Considering my age and health history, their unanimous advice on dealing with coronavirus is,

“Stay inside when you can and keep your distance when you can’t.”

Take out treats are still allowed, so I’m good to go. But I have to admit that worrying about the coronavirus makes me feel a little wimpy.

I haven’t been scared of a bug since I was in the seventh grade in Louisiana and everybody told me if I danced with Gloria McDaniel at the Brame Jr. High sock hop I would catch a case of the Cooties.

I dodged the Cooties and I plan to dodge the coronavirus, too. But I wish I could do something for people who aren’t in my situation.

Health care workers, truckers, law enforcement officers, and small business owners struggling to innovate and stay afloat don’t have the luxury of staying at home and sheltering in place.

Watching others struggle to fight—or survive—the coronavirus has made me more compassionate about human suffering in all its forms. If there is a personal silver lining in this mess, that’s it.

At the same time, I’m mad that this virus has turned so many lives upside down. I wish I could fight back. But it’s hard to fight an invisible enemy.

The first time I saw Godzilla taking Tokyo apart stick by stick on the big screen, I knew who to root against. Pictures of Adolf Hitler still make me hot under the collar.

The coronavirus is an enemy that can’t be seen. That’s an enemy I can’t fight. The other day I was so frustrated I actually daydreamed about battling a bug I could see, and feel—and smash.

I had the perfect opponent in mind.

Scientists call it the Asian Hornet. I prefer the snappier term Murder Hornet. These invaders showed up on America’s west coast recently. Experts say Murder Hornets aren’t a problem and will probably kill fewer than 50 Americans each year.

They also say the Murder Hornets will never make it to the Deep South. Twenty-five years ago experts said the same thing about armadillos.

Maybe you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but I didn’t daydream about catching a Murder Hornet. I visualized stomping one under my shoe.

But I also considered installing a lifesize Chuck Norris doll on the front porch to scare the Murder Hornets away. It was stupid, but for a minute it felt good.

Life is hard now. It’s frustrating. Hearing clueless “experts” argue about when this battle will be over doesn’t make life easier for anybody.

Until things get better I’ll continue to get medical advice from my family doctors. I pray others will find wise counsel. I also pray the coronavirus virus will soon be a bad memory.

But on the outside chance that Murder Hornets show up, I just went online and ordered a giant can of Raid!


Alex McRae is a writer and ghostwriter and author of There Ain’t No Gentle Cycle on the Washing Machine of Love. He can be reached at: