Like many of y’all out there, this whole Chinese virus scare has got me a little out of sync from the way I move about town.
Being retired and all, I don’t venture out all that much, but when I do, I feel like I am tiptoeing among the tombstones, if you believe all the hype being pushed by our historically accurate media types.
I saw an interview with a renowned doctor (aren’t they all) who said deaths outside the elderly with chronic health conditions who live in personal care homes or being treated in hospital settings are infinitesimally small for the rest of the population. Although there are some super strange medical conditions in some young folks, even that group represents a statistical anomaly when it comes to infections.
He went on to say that this virus, like that of the common flu, needs to work through the herd, so to speak, to build antibodies to ward off future exposures. Depriving the virus the opportunity to create these antibodies by social distancing and such will make a secondary seasonal uptick as bad as or worse than the first attack.
In fact, the whole idea of a vaccine is the precise administration of viral-specific antigens to potential victims through injections to prepare the body for the onslaught of the virus in the future.
There are those that don the masks, slip on the gloves, and douse themselves with Purell every so many steps in an attempt to avoid the virus. I commend them for following instructions and trusting the government in their advisories so as to minimize the spread of this dreadful disease.
I feel like an outlaw when I walk in public without suiting up to ward off this invisible foe.
I was in Walmart the other day, standing in line with mask-compliant shoppers and like happens from time to time, a little bit of spit inadvertently slid down the back of my throat and I began to cough. The brief cough erupted into a hacking session all in an attempt to clear my airway, but those around me fearfully stared at me as if I had been sent by a foreign government to infect a high concentration of Walmart shoppers. The shame, the guilt, my inability to explain the reason for my hack attack made me want to run to the school section, pick up a white board and erasable marker set, and scribble out, “Surprising spit made me cough, not the virus, forgive me fellow Walmart shoppers.”
Governor Kemp was terribly criticized for opening Georgia earlier than other states in America. I told my wife, you can always spot the trailblazers by the arrows in their back, and if he proves to be successful, he should be recognized for the true leader he is. It’s his dang country accent and the shotgun across his knees that make some believe he was not the intellectual whirlwind deserving of proper notice. Who’s poking fun at him now?
Some say sitting back and letting the virus take its course would have resulted in over one million perishing. Doing something and still 100,000 will probably die. But our natural yearning for freedom will bring us out from our cavernous existence insisting on our return to a modified normal.
I believe seating will be close but not so close as to realize John didn't have time to shower before leaving the farm. Handshakes and sloppy kisses will be replaced with fist bumps and snappy salutes. Masks will only be worn during surgeries and bank robberies, and my erratic coughing is probably due to spit not a virus.
W.J. Butcher is a Coweta County resident and retired 26-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department. Send comments, kudos, and criticism to: firstname.lastname@example.org .