These days, you can’t throw a stick without hitting a mom clutching a glass of vino to temper the hours of “social distance learning” with the reality of 2020.
I, for one, am happy to have a senior, whose studies I can entirely ignore. The days of monitoring or supervising are nearing an end. College acceptance takes precedence over anything left in this rotten semblance of a schoolyear. Any reminders for tests or homework go unheeded. So why bother? After a constant barrage of uninformative teacher emails and daily school texts, stating, “Yes, another coronavirus case has been detected on campus,” we shrug and move on. Every day is the same. It’s easily the worst time to be a high school senior since the threat of being shipped off to Vietnam, and I imagine the emotional and social repercussions will be heavy and long-lasting. God, do I need a drink!
In any event, I am not drinking wine nor spirits. Fate has deemed that all alcohol gives me a headache lately, and it could not be timed any worse. So coffee and tea it is, with my beloved Coke at interims. Yes, 2020 has been a nightmare on every level. But at least we have the luxury of Netflix and Amazon in quarantine. We can still be comfortable and feel relatively safe, even without the company of fermented grapes.
During WWII, however, moms had more at stake, fearing for their husbands overseas as well as wondering if bombs would drop on our very soil. Were they encouraged to sample pinot? Alas, no. The power of pulling it together lay in Alka-Seltzer.
Alka-Seltzer kept the “unjust words” at bay. And it had already been time-tested. Even Will Rogers had stamped his approval a decade prior.
The post-war would see the addition of Speedy. Serenity now! Pronto!
But it wasn’t just for ladies about to lose their minds. Anyone indulging in food or drink could make use of it. Instead of a daydrinking suburban mommy, your pre-diabetic uncle kept a roll of A-S in his pockets. Just in case.
As Americans continued to eat up, sales continued to soar. While my association with the product is limited to the “Plop plop, fizz fizz” of the 70s, children of the 60s would have seen a more animated endorsement.
These days, when every other commercial pimps a prescription drug, meant to feed your fears as well as line the pockets of Big Pharma (O-O-O-OZEMPIC!), you have thousands of other choices to provide comfort for what ails you. Most of you probably take a daily prescription to address the imperfections of your mortal coils. But do any of you still take Alka-Seltzer?
During these heady times, it’s hard to refrain from going stir crazy. But keep in mind that cabin fever is always better than lowgrade fever. Even the President said a hell-to-the-no when Birx mentioned her fever.
In the words of Nirvana, stay away.
Running out of ideas for solo activities? Well, let’s take a cue from history.
You could make a pyramid, reminiscent of the wonder of the world. You will be self-isolating, so no one will see your Daisy Dukes or judge your ale intake.
You could bundle up under the covers and read a good book, or just the Cliff’s Notes.
Catch up on the funnies in your paper.
You could science up and create a vaccine.
Or spend time with microfilm. How long has it been?
Try tobacco! And maybe write the Great America Novel while you’re at it!
Lie on your bed (but first take your saddle oxfords off because the virus can stay on the soles of your shoes for days) and think about yesterday, when all your troubles seemed so far away.
If spring has sprung in your town, pack a sack lunch and head over to a nearby park, spray the entire bench with Lysol, sit down, and enjoy a snack, while hearing the mating calls of the doves.
And if you are part of the unfortunate “essential” few who have to be in public, remember to wear your mask.
If you’ve frequented this blog, you know I loooooooathe White Diamonds. Having endured the presence of not one, but two Boomer women in my life who sported the scent, I can honestly say that it makes my stomach churn. Colognes are so subjective. In any event, these poor kids wish they were breathing the scent of rank perfume. Instead, they were stuck in an Oklahoma one-room school smack dab in the middle of the Depression, covering their mouths against the dust that had permeated the air and suffocated cattle. Dust pneumonia, aka the brown plague, proved lethal for children and the elderly. Makes the cedar pollen plumes of smoke in my home state seem tame.
1914, New Orleans. The Public Health Service, created in 1902, helped suppress an outbreak of bubonic plague by mobilizing this team of rat-catchers to eradicate the filthy beasts which spread the disease. Seems like backbreaking work to me, one that would not necessitate a hat and tie.
An army of 380 workers swept across the city to carry out the campaign. In a single week, they inspected 6,500 railcars and 4,200 buildings, fumigated 101 ships, trapped 20,000 rodents, laid nearly 300,000 poison baits and discovered 17 infected rats.
Using good scientific protocols, workers recorded data for each trapped rat, and when a laboratory analysis identified an infected specimen, its point of origin was subjected to a scorched-earth campaign of fumigation, burning, and in some cases, complete leveling.. Tactics like these went on daily, citywide, for months.
Ground Zero in the geography of rats proved to be the Stuyvesant Docks, where that first infected specimen had been found two years earlier. Here, mechanical conveyors transferred Midwestern grain among railroad cars, ships and elevators. Coupled with the warm fresh water of the nearby Mississippi River and ample nesting opportunities, the Stuyvesant elevators were a veritable rat nirvana. The campaign made them into a rat graveyard.
Death to the Black Death!
Bonus rat fun fact: Cagney never actually said, “You dirty rat.”
Below you can see celebrities like Grace Kelly helping with the effort.
Founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as the National Center for Infantile Paralysis, it became known as the “March of Dimes” when the call went out for regular Americans to simply give a dime – ten cents – to fund research into a cure for polio. The call came from entertainer Eddie Cantor who mused, “Nearly everyone can send in a dime, or several dimes. However, it takes only ten dimes to make a dollar and if a million people send only one dime, the total will be $100,000.” The dimes poured in and by 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine. Eventually the disease was licked and the March of Dimes turned its focus to birth defects. –www.deborahnorville.com
That’s me in the corner, except with more coughing fits and joint pain. Oddly enough, that was how I felt when I first took to writing on WordPress one year ago today. For whatever reason, my immune system is compromised immediately after Christmas and fearfully close to the New Year. Anyhoo, it was that state of under-the-weatherness that caused me to vent on serious issues like baked potato toppings and the inaccessibility of egg nog at this time of year. I know: I need a bridge, a straw, and a full cup for my First World Problems. If you don’t know to what I’m referring, here’s a peek:
So thanks to all my readers as I post this 250th post. I appreciate this community of interesting people and look forward to another year of following the great blogs out there! Now I need to go eat some chicken soup.