Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Living in Strange Times [OPINION]

With more than 10 million Americans out of work, both Ariel and I realize we’re lucky to still have a job. But it does kind of feel like it’s vacation time, and we’re stuck in summer school.

I know idleness is driving my neighbor to distraction, because he mows his lawn every other day. I’ve also seen him with an upright vacuum cleaner, cleaning out his car; as well as power washing his driveway. My neighbor two doors down from him has managed to cut his lawn so short that it is completely dead, even with all of the rain. He may as well dig it up and reseed.

The fellow’s property who lives across the street and works cutting lawns, which seems to be an essential service, and my lawn could both serve as secondary sets for the ‘Swamp Thing.’ I find there seems to be an interesting correlation between whether people in a household are working and the growth of their lawns.

By the way, Code Enforcement, the Swamp Thing comment was a joke, kind of. Both my cross street neighbor and I have tidy lawns.

Other than sleeping, binge watching ‘I Love Lucy,’ and chasing the kids, people who are stuck at home seem to spend a lot of time cleaning, which is great. If you are spending loads of time at home, it should be a nice place. The result of all this sprucing up is Pier One, which is in bankruptcy, has seen an avalanche of orders.

I like Pier One, but the fact is no one needs a three wick candle or wicker magazine holder. However, as adults, all of our fun has been stolen away from us. No going out with friends, no going to bars, movies, restaurants, concerts, wine tastings, basketball games, church, dog parks, big family dinners, on and on. The governor has even closed the state parks. So I figure if a three wick candle is going to make you happy, you should order one—right now.

One thing COVID-19 crisis has done is exposed some shortages we have in our national reserves. However, being a state and a nation with tremendous manpower, I don’t understand why this is a problem. If we have a shortage of face masks and anyone with minimum sewing skills can create them out of cloth, why hasn’t the governor assigned a handful of National Guard units to start sewing? We should be hip-deep in face masks by now.

If so many people are calling the Workforce Commission in an effort to receive benefits and the funds they need to survive, that the agency is overwhelmed, why are no National Guard units answering the phones?

If there is a shortage of ventilators, why has the Army Corp of Engineers not been assigned to build them? Some of the best and most resourceful engineers in the country could certainly supply America’s hospitals with ventilators in short order.

The men and women who joined the armed forces swore to protect America against all enemies. COVID-19 may not have been the enemy they were envisioning, but we are under attack and we need everyone’s help to move forward efficiently.

One aspect of COVID-19 that can be difficult to always remember is social distancing, especially if you haven’t been out of the house in a while. The one place you must practice social distancing is at the pharmacy. Either the people in the pharmacy are sick or the people in their household are sick, and you don’t know what they are sick with, so for the love of Peter Rabbit, stay away from them.

Ariel recently went to the pharmacy and watched a mother arguing with the cashier about some expired candy or some such nonsense, while her four-year-old daughter ran around the store COUGHING ON EVERYTHING. Seriously? Parents, teach your kids to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. I’m pretty sure a four-year-old can grasp the concept of “cover your mouth.”

Please, don’t just walk up to someone in a pharmacy and start a conversation like it’s 2013. A little common sense can go a long way.