Coronavirus Diary Day 5: March 17, 2020

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, College Students on Spring Break are Ignorant, My Dad is Sick

It’s March 17th, the most hallowed day of the year, and this is what we have to show for it. Social distancing. I could have never imagined this in my wildest dreams.

Um, I have a message for all you college students on Spring Break, flooding social media with your social distancing jokes and photos of huge crowds on the Florida beaches, packed into parties, touching each other, tongue kissing. When this is over, when you have graduated from school and are attempting to act like citizens of our world, you are so fucked. Because no one is giving jobs to you dicks.

Oh, you think we won’t care? We’ll never forget this, you little creeps. Lock your hotel room doors and isolate yourselves for 14 days, beginning right now.

You know which young people I feel genuinely bad for? High School Seniors. I live with one of them, and my heart aches for him. These kids were born during 9/11. Now they have a pandemic. Prom is cancelled. Senior Week is cancelled. And the way it looks right now, their graduation will take place via live streaming. Live streaming.

Ryan starts online classes tomorrow, including homeroom and roll call. It’s going to be a tricky situation, considering the seniors were already mentally checked out. They will not receive official grades. They just need to show up and do the work. And if they don’t? Well, there really aren’t any consequences for that. So I guess I’ll have a battle raging in my house for the next few weeks. I. can’t. wait.

The Hubs is working from home. This is one thing I actually like a lot. He’s an excellent companion. He inspires me. He walks the dog with me. He’s home on time for dinner. It’s really very nice.

You know who is the most on board with this new program? The dog. Which requires no explanation.

Before I segue to this next part (let’s call this paragraph, Avoidance), can we just talk about West Virginia? They reported their first case of Coronavirus today. You can’t tell me it wasn’t running rampant through them hills before just now, can you? I guess Ryan made a good college decision, after all. And while we’re on the subject, what’s the deal with India? I mean, are we just ignoring the fact that they have a population of 1.34 billion people, and COVID-19 might as well be an alien from Jupiter? Are they on the verge of a viral explosion, or have they really dodged a bullet? God, I hope they dodged a bullet.

So I called my parents this morning. I normally talk to them about once a week, more or less. They live 20 minutes away without traffic. They are in their mid-70s. Quintessential Boomers. They retired a few years back. For as long as I can remember, they’ve enjoyed an active social life, but since retirement, it’s off the chain. They are constantly traveling and congregating in large crowds of people. Nine days ago, they attended the Alexandria Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. They stood in large crowds of people to watch stupid green floats go down the street. They waded through crowds to get barstools at every pub. They posted photos with new friends, young and old, on Instagram, for chrissakes.

Well, as soon as I heard my Dad’s voice this morning, I knew he was sick. I also knew he didn’t want to tell me he was sick. But he did. He also told me that one of his bartenders in Alexandria was very sick, coughing and sniffling all over the place. I asked, “Like a cold?” And my Dad conceded, “More like the flu.”

Jesus Christ, Dad.

When Mom got on the phone, I asked her how he’s really doing. She took his temperature, he didn’t have a fever, but he might have the flu. I knew they didn’t want to discuss it. I kindly reminded them not to leave the house. They have a survival bunker in their basement thanks to Mom’s OCD. They have enough food, supplies, and alcohol to last a year. Clearly, they have no reason to go out. Mom wholeheartedly agreed, thank God. Then she told me she’s going to CVS later because she needs some things. What the hell, Mom?

In her closing remarks, Mom reminded me to stay home, because COVID-19 is running rampant in my Montgomery and Chester Counties. I then told her that it’s also running rampant in Philadelphia - where they live - and everywhere else in the world. And that Dad might already have it.

To which she said: “OH HE DOES NOT!”

On that note, I’m raising a glass to Saint Patrick, who drove the snakes out of Ireland, because they were too drunk to drive themselves. The Dropkick Murphies are live-streaming their audience-less concert on YouTube right now, so it’s time for me to peace out. Cheers, my friends. Stay healthy, and be kind to one another.

(Unless you’re a college student on Spring Break in Florida. I hope you get hit by a car).


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