The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
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 by Laramie Boyd
The Best Laid Plans...
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               I woke up early this morning feeling pretty good, so as I was semi-dozing off before I leaped out of bed to greet the new day, I made out a mental list of things I'd try to accomplish or have fun doing today.

           First I'll put on the coffee pot then stroll out front and pick up the paper. I like to do the puzzles. I remind myself to use a sterile rag to wipe off the coffee pot handle and put my gloves on to pick up the paper, while not forgetting to wash my hands for 20 seconds right after. A full 20 seconds. No use looking up the sports results in the paper though, they are all cancelled.

          Next I'll take a brisk walk around the block to get the old blood circulating. I won't forget the face mask. What is it, an E-95 or something like that? And don't get closer than 6 feet to any passing morning strollers on the street. Wash my hands again afterwards.

           OOps! Forgot. I need milk for my breakfast oatmeal. I'll drive down to the market and pick some up. Be sure to take the face mask along. And be sure to wipe down the shopping cart with the hand sanitizer provided, then head for the line waiting to enter the store in groups, same number as how many shoppers come out at a time, each shopper 6 feet from the other. Remember, 6 feet. Oh Oh! Seems they're out of milk. And paper towels, toilet paper, and bottled water. I'll check for any hand sanitizer bottles and hand soap. Tough luck. Out of those too.

          No problem. I'll go down to the Club House and have a bite to eat there for breakfast. I have to use up some of the money on my food and beverage minimum bill anyway. Wait. I remember now, it's closed 'til further notice. Along with the bar and the golf course. And it'll cost $1000 if they catch me sneaking on the course to play a few holes of golf this afternoon.

          Maybe a dip in the pool and spa will make me feel better anyway, but no such luck. Pools and spas are all locked up tight.

         I ask myself, is this the way I visualized my retirement years? Afraid of a virus the health officials don't seem to know too much about, but told us to stay inside 'til the bug disappears anyway. How long will this go on? Weeks, months, surely not years? Is there any place in this great country where I can go to lead a life that is even remotely similar to what it was just a couple months ago? I haven't heard or read of any. Freedom of movement, associations, and travel has all but disappeared. Stay inside! Wash your hands! Put on a mask! No congregating in groups! Is this what it's going to be like for the foreseeable future? The new normal? No movies, vacations, no golf, no parties or family get-togethers? Markets closed. Even the casinos are shut down. And churches, for God sakes. 

         What did the world do to deserve this? Is it global warming? Arctic ice melting exposing prehistoric lethal bacteria? Deforestation? A terrorist plot? Did the virus come from outer space via aliens staying just out of range while humanity dies off, waiting to pounce on Earth and make it their home? Maybe Trump did it? Who are we to believe? The media? Scientists? Elected officials?   What about my family, my grandkids, and great-grand kids. What will their life be like if this planet-quarantine persists?                                                                                               

            Where is God, I ask reluctantly, when we need him?  So often, it seems, he doesn't come around when we could really use his help. I guess he has more important things to see to besides saving the Earth and its population Are we just some kind of experiment that failed? I'm sorry, "God works in mysterious ways" doesn't satisfy my wanting to know. I guess the only thing left will be a global lockdown. Life as we know it coming to a halt.

          Maybe I'll start smoking again. It's been 20 years now since I quit. But how could it hurt? A hot cup of coffee, a smoke and a butterscotch lozenge in the morning with my wife used to be very relaxing. Maybe I won't even wait 'til 4:00 PM to have a cold Bud Lite before supper. There has to be some way to make the stress go down. Just standing by and watching the world go bad surely isn't the best approach. Let's try to find some way to make these hellish days at least slightly meaningful, or fulfilling, even rewarding somehow. Or do we just sit back and accept the unknown consequences without putting up a good fight?

         But, hey. Let us not forget, by way of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, that the strong shall survive, and there is no easy way of getting around that. So let's be strong, and fight the good fight, and maybe we'll be around down the road to rebuild what we might have lost in the fight.