By Peter Jay “Last night, and the night before, Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers knocking at my door. Want to go out, don’t know if I can, ‘cause I’m so afraid of the Tommyknocker Man.” The Tommyknockers, by Stephen King Well, well, well! Just when we thought that things in the US couldn’t get any more exciting! […]
By Peter Jay
“Last night, and the night before, Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers knocking at my door. Want to go out, don’t know if I can, ‘cause I’m so afraid of the Tommyknocker Man.”
The Tommyknockers, by Stephen King
Well, well, well! Just when we thought that things in the US couldn’t get any more exciting! It seems like just a month or two ago I was creating World War 3 musical playlists and reviewing popular war movies, and what the hell am I doing now? For this month, I was preparing to discuss a few of my favorite war novels and memoirs, and all of a sudden I am quarantined/embedded in my living room, and am looking to be here for the next several weeks. I repeat: just when we thought that things couldn’t get any more exciting, they do.
Back in December, nobody outside of Wuhan, China had ever heard of the Covid – 19 virus. Now, I defy you to log into any news site anywhere and not find at least half of the articles on the page dedicated to this nasty virus which is tormenting us all. A brand new virus shows up, one which humans currently have no antibodies against, and slowly but surely begins modifying society.
Right around 935 BC, King Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes, where he stated “There is nothing new under the Sun.” As a veteran marijuana smoker, I can truthfully say man, that’s deep! Old Solomon definitely hit that nail on the head. Oh, there have been other pandemics before, most popularly the Black Death, the Asian flu, H1N1, and Country and Western music, to name a few. Canada, for that matter. Okay, Maybe Canada doesn’t belong on the list. They are not a pandemic, just kind of annoying.
Truthfully, I find the whole illness portion of the pandemic kind of boring. What I am increasingly finding fascinating is the way stress is manifesting itself upon our society. What do I mean? Well, when was the last time that you were able to go into a neighborhood store and buy toilet paper? Hand sanitizer? How about pasta, rice or beans? Gun stores across the country are selling out on a daily basis. On some level or other, I kind of understand this behavior. People are afraid and people who are afraid cannot always be counted upon to act wisely. I have long said that tough people do not scare me. Tough people are tough because they have to be. I am deathly afraid of stupid people. Stupid people can never be counted upon to do the rational thing in any type of high-stress situation. Because, you know, they are stupid.
Total disclosure: I am one of those people that the news and other outlets keep discussing who could best be described as immune-compromised. I just finished the second course of a drug that is designed to take my immune system down to pretty much nothing. I’ve discussed this before; I have multiple sclerosis, symptoms of which are caused by my immune system attacking and feasting upon my central nervous system. Contemporary medical strategy on the subject is to just beat that immune system right the hell down so it will stop digesting essential parts of my body. Sounds like a plan, right?
Oopsie! Where am I going with this? Well, if anybody should be nervous about this virus, it is probably me. Am I frightened? Nervous? Anxious? Is my daily marijuana consumption increasing exponentially? Well, no, no, no and maybe. You see, I have a rather unique (or maybe not) method of dealing with shit over which I have no control. Fuck it. Fuck it until it has tears streaming down its face. I am keeping myself quarantined/isolated. My kids are all mostly staying indoors and maintaining social distance when out. I use hand sanitizer for almost everything except an enema (enjoy that mental image, folks). If I get sick, fuck it. I tried!
In the above-quoted book “The Tommyknockers”, an ancient alien craft is found buried under a town called Haven, and the results of the intergalactic craft excavation certainly do a number on the town inhabitants. It is a story of hysteria and forced change, as well as being quarantined. Change starts small, until it takes over the world. You know, like the novel coronavirus!
One last unsettling thought: were this story by Tom Clancy instead of Stephen King, biological warfare would be used to prepare our country for invasion. The good news is that any country that could even remotely land upon our shores is also so afflicted with this virus that they would be unlikely to be able to muster a sufficient invading force. So there’s that.
Knocking at the door!
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