Blog: The Virus

Burt Ross

There seems to be a virus going around, or at least that’s what everybody, from my kids to the folks on the news, keeps telling me 24 hours a day. So what is a humor columnist supposed to do? 

Obviously this virus is no laughing matter, but humor is how I deal with a crisis. Some people take drugs, but humor is how I cope. Now if you find it impossible to laugh or even smile during this ordeal, you can stop reading this blog/column until things return to normal. I won’t take it personally.

Each morning recently I get awakened by my daughter the doctor who is concerned for my safety. She tells me that I am over 60 (something I think I already know), that I am at high risk (I already know that too), that people are succumbing all over the place (I watch the news), and that I should not venture forth from my house (I do not want to hear that).

My bride who also loves me urges me not go to the gym, the cigar lounge, or anywhere else for that matter. I had to fight for the right to go to the dentist, and I was the only patient there.

When I called some friends to go out to dinner, there was silence on the other end of the phone. You would have thought I had invited them to watch professional wrestling.

When I do venture out, I wear gloves, drown myself in Purell, and wash my hands so frequently that my fingers take on a most wrinkled look.  I not only wash my hands incessantly, but I do as I am told, and make sure I wash them for the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. 

In the public restroom people stare at me while I sing the birthday song. Sometimes I get absolutely flustered when I have no idea whose birthday I am celebrating, and have to sing the song again until somebody’s name pops into my mind.

I, of course, do not shake a person’s hand as a greeting, nor do I touch elbows, fists, or kiss somebody on the cheek (God forbid). Let me propose a novel way of greeting a friend: Do not bow frontwards like the Japanese. Stay the requisite six feet from another person, immediately do an about face, and then bow so your butt not your face is in the direction of the other person. Try this sometime and see when you turn around whether the other person is still there.

Finally, I can only imagine going to a wedding which, of course, I would not do since it would involve leaving my home.  Upon finishing the ceremony, the officiant would say to the groom, “You can now elbow bump the bride.”

Stay safe.