We are doomed. If the climate doesn’t get us, some newly arisen germ will get us. My son is sure the oncoming Coronavirus is a reiteration of Stephen King’s “The Stand.” To be fair, I read “The Stand” such a long time ago, I don’t remember much about it. I have his updated (edited material restored) version in my audiobook library, but it’s a 46-hour listen. The book was long, but now it’s a couple of hundred pages longer.
I’m not sure I have the strength to reread it, but I feel I should. Because, you know, it’s Stephen King and he’s a local guy.
It was October when we got our super flu shots. These are hyped up uber-potent shots they give to older folks — like us — because we are more likely to get sick than younger people. Sicker, because we also have asthma, high blood pressure, heart problems, chronic sinus problems. Stomach problems. IBS. Fibromyalgia. MS. Cancer. And, of course, arthritis because you can’t avoid it. It comes with age and being mammalian.
In fact, I don’t know why we don’t just die and give the world a break. Sheesh.
Discovering that in addition to the usual distributors of disease — other people, especially very young people, we can worry about everything we touch including supermarket carts and ATMs.
As if the handles on the shopping cart and whatever my granddaughter is carrying (she doesn’t get sick — at 23 you carry germs, but you’re fine) isn’t bad enough, now I have to stress over ATM machines? Not that I actually use them. I won’t make a deposit without going to a living person in the bank. I want a paper receipt. Signed and dated.
How about that creeping, unexplained virus eating China or maybe the super-flu which the vaccine can’t control? Or the climate will continue changing and it will rain until the rivers overflow. We will all drown in boiling water because it has gotten too hot to live in what was humorously called “the temperate zone.”
We don’t go out much. When we do, one of us gets sick, followed the other one of us. There’s an inevitability to it, like the slow cars that pull out in front of us while we are traveling. I’m sure these cars are told when to appear by drones from the Super-Slow Drivers’ Department.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the air, there’s a germ-laden drone.
“Look! It’s the Armstrongs! Prepare to disperse germs!”
When we went for our flu shots, they asked if we thought either of us might be sick. At our age, that’s not an easy question to answer. Maybe we are fine. Or not. Is my stomach the usual “upset” or is it a bug? Am I exhausted from last week’s major house cleaning or from trying to find (unsuccessfully) a handicapped space in Worcester the other night? Does this mean I’m coming down with something? If so, what?
Am I worn out because the dogs are more passionate about squeaky balls than I have ever been about anything? Don’t you wish you could get that enthusiastic about a big green tennis ball that squeaks? Don’t you wish you could bite something hard enough to make it squeak?