The little virus that could

By Don Rush

Coronavirus. COVID-19. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. COVID-19. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. Coronavirus .COVID-19. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. COVID-19. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. Coronavirus. COVID-19. Coronavirus, and Coronavirus.

There. Glad I got that out of my system. Holy moly. Never thought I would see the likes of this little virus, or more accurately, I never thought I would see how a little virus has affected the collective psyche of the entire world — not to mention our nation, nor our very own communities.
I knew things were getting real last week when, in about a two-hour window I received no less than five emails from places I do business with . . . yup, like me you probably were contacted by your utility companies, your financial institution, credit card companies, grocery stores and area restaurants. All the correspondences stated what those companies were doing and what I, their valued customer, could do in regards to the health crisis we now find ourselves ensnared.
It is really getting hard to watch the news these days, network or cable; mainstream or conservative. It’s all that C-word all the time. News coverage has ramped up to seemingly unprecedented levels. Some news opinion broadcasters wanting to pass blame; others trying keep the country “calm.”
Meanwhile, our quaint little communities are acting like our big city neighbors by sacking all the local stores and cleaning them out of toiletries, disinfecting wipes, water, milk, hamburger, chicken and more. Parking lots were full, there were no grocery carts available and the shelves were bare last Friday afternoon — less than 24 hours after the Governor closed all schools in Michigan until sometime in April. People were angry in the parking lot and angry in the store. Yikes.
Oh The Humanity! (Where have you gone?)
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Working at a weekly community newspaper, it’s really kinda’ daunting to report on this thing — the situation seems to always change, the goal post is always being moved further down the field. Last week there were two Michiganians who had tested positive for the disease. The next day it was six. Later that day it was 12, then 25. At 11:20 p.m., on Sunday we received a press release from the Michigan State Police peeps. It announced, “20 additional positive cases” of the C-word. The new total before Monday morning for Michigan was 53 positive cases. As I type, I am positive before the days end, that will change.
Nothing we can report in a weekly paper can be timely because all the parts seem to be moving at warp speed. We can write about the affects on our individual communities and residents. I reckon we can type words like, “stay calm, be nice, and care for your neighbors.”
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Breaking News! While I type, the Governor will announce the closing of all restaurants at 3 p.m. today.
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I wonder how this virus thing will effect mass transit in Southeast Michigan?
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How many people will be out of work next week and for how long? How will they get along. I think we could see here what we have seen on television in third-world countries. Welcome to the totalitarian state of rationing, being told what and where you can do and go because we cannot take care or think for ourselves. With nothing but “executive orders” government leaders can make sweeping actions to keep the populace “safe.”
“It’s better to be safe, children, than to be free to hurt yourselves,” said the Big Brother.
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Just think, a month ago our stock portfolios and retirement IRAs were gaining money like never before. One little virus later, and our economy is gonna’ come to a grinding halt. Our savings sunk. I just thought of this. How many restaurants are in town? How many do they employ? Will landlords give their tenants some leeway when folks cannot pony up rent?
While big businesses and very wealthy business owners may be able to “take care” of their employees while their businesses are closed, what about small business? How long can they survive? What will be the trickle down effect of this thing?
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Don’s tip of the day to parents: since taking kids to the movies, play-places and the like are a no-no, how about taking them kiddies for a walk in the woods. Fresh air, nature, exercise and none of that C-word.
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