Panicking Over the Pandemic

Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to share a few humorous looks at our COVID-19 pandemic because laughter helps us cope.

The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, is in bookstores now.   //

There are many topics I could write about, but it’s hard to ignore the elephant in the nation. Is anyone thinking of anything other than the Corona Virus? Everyday it’s on the news and the Internet. It’s hard to ignore the empty shelves in grocery stores. Society is trying to find a way to greet each other that doesn’t involve hands or hugs.

I remember an earlier pandemic. In 1957 I was 6 years-old. The Asian Flu spread throughout the world. My mother caught it and was close to death. My 8 year-old sister had to take care of both me and my mother. My father was out at sea on an aircraft carrier. They had to fly him back to the states to take care of us. In America, nearly 70,000 people died. In the pandemic of 1918 over a million people died.

I’m hanging back watching unnecessary hysteria go on around me. I’m in the high-risk category because as a transplant recipient I take 14 pills a day that suppress my immune system. I’m not stocking up on water, toilet paper or hand sanitizer. Unless there’s a run on cat food and biscotti, I’m fine.

What I’m not fine with is the worst qualities of people that comes out during an impending crisis. By stripping the shelves of toilet paper, shoppers don’t bother to think of others in the same boat. Several of my friends are carrying guns in case someone tries to take away their Purell. Rags can be used and washed. I’m looking at the old phone book and thinking ahead. Believe it or not, many people in the world don’t have the luxury of Quilted Northern. I’ve been to some of those 3rd world countries.

Water? We’ve been spoiled by bottled water, although plastic is now a problem. I use Brita. In a crisis, tap water is available. People act like the water supply is going to dry up or get tainted. This is not Hurricane Katrina or a Tennessee tornado. We’ll have electricity and homes to sequester in.

It takes common sense and precautions to deal with this crisis, not toilet paper. I love staying at home with plenty of books to read. I hate traveling and I now have an excuse to skip gatherings. The timing could be better, what with the Presidential election in full swing and the Olympics in jeopardy. It was St. Patrick’s Day recently but I skipped corned beef and cabbage at a restaurant.

Out of this quagmire, Americans have managed to maintain a sense of humor. I’m laughing along with everyone at the jokes. This is what we do best: make fun of the things that scare us the most. That’s called survival.