While I’m Concerned About The Virus, I’m Keeping Fear At Bay


Because I have an answer for everything — even for questions I personally will never be asked — I have to weigh on this COVID-19 coronavirus thing. And here’s what I have to say about it… “Fear makes the world go ’round.” This is something I first realized when working on various Wellington political campaigns. And it has only gotten worse. Look at any election. We don’t vote for anyone anymore; we vote against everyone else, terrified of what will happen if they get the power. Like I said, fear.

But back to the virus. Today, the poor FedEx driver had to come to our house with a package, which we thought was a gift, but turned out to be a box of particulate respirator masks, supposedly to help ward off the virus. Admittedly, the package was from a well-meaning relative, but this relative lives in Atlanta, “Airport of the World,” and had perhaps been bombarded by too many local newscasts warning of impending doom. She was already so afraid, she was attempting to save her brother and me.

I appreciate the gesture, but the way I choose to avoid death by virus is to minimize contact with well-traveled FedEx drivers, boxes that have been handled by a million people and, most importantly, stacks of protective masks that were made in — yes! — China.

But I admit, I’m jaded. That’s what happens when you live too long. You see stuff, remember it, and apply it to current events. For instance.

I remember our Florida backyard being traipsed through by various agricultural workers in an effort to stop the spread of disease through the state’s orange trees. Our oranges were the best I’d ever eaten, perfect for juice and uninfected. I didn’t want a little cardboard tent hanging in my tree, a tent that had come from who-knows-where, but it was The Law. “Leave the box alone; we’re going to come back and check on it later.”

Eventually, the powers that be found they could trace, then predict, the trail of infections because — surprise! — their workers were the ones spreading the disease. But, you see, fear had demanded some sort of action, even if it was the wrong action.

Today, because I own two retail stores, people staying home and ordering everything online is not in my best interest. But I’m also a realist. They will (because, you know, fear). So I have to put my trust in the underfunded, understaffed Centers for Disease Control and hope that throwing money at the problem will solve it.

In the meantime, no masks for me, please. I’ve read the box, and they tend to harbor germs and bacteria. Germs! Bacteria! And even if I only use each one once, it may not event protect me, while it could be helping some poor healthcare worker somewhere.

Just looking at the masks make me want to cough and take my temperature. See? Fearful!

And, so, the world goes ’round and ’round.