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Hood’s Winks – ‘The World Is Too Much With Us …’

By Ralph Hood

I had been planning for a while to write my column about the lockdown, isolation and/or whatever you want to call it. Then—uh-oh—I found that Ray Knapp wrote about the same subject last week.

What to do? What to do?

Then I read Ray’s column. Wonderful, and totally different from what I want to write…

Our current isolation from the coronavirus (CV) or whatever you want to call it, is vastly different from anything in my past.

Some say the isolation is much like World War II. I disagree. Although I was only four when that war ended, I remember it well. It was a busy, bustling time. We had a shipyard and workers poured into town to work. Sometimes three different men shared the same bed in a rented room. Men of each shift slept, then rose, and then worked.

Tires, gas, and certain foods were rationed and hard to get. We had air raid practice many nights. All the lights were turned off except for the airport beacon on St. Simons Islands.

It was a hustling, hard-working time.

Today’s isolation is different. We avoid other people like they have the plague—and they might! At first I didn’t take it seriously. Then all the world explained that the CV was hardest on old people. They were the ones dying.

Hey, what are they talking about? I just turned 79, for crying out loud! That’s not old. Is it? Is this gonna kill me? If so, when?

I’ve been skulking around ever since. Since the lockdown started I have been into only two other buildings besides our own house—the doctor’s office and Baker’s Shoe Repair downtown. I was a bit scared each time. Still am.

I haven’t shaved since the lockdown started. The last time I had a beard was in the early 1960s. It was red, as was my hair.

Today beard and scalp are both sorta grayish white, and ugly as home-made sin.

Wife Gail and I do walk almost every day on a mountain trail. When we meet someone on the trail—and we usually do—we face the mountain side of the trail and try not to breath as they pass. They don’t seem to worry about us at all. Are they nuts?

Oh well, at least we’re eating well. Gail can make wonderful meals from—it seems—whatever we have on hand.

And we surely aren’t spending much money.

Hey, maybe this CV ain’t as bad as I thought.

How can I tell if other people do, or don’t, have CV at this moment? Near as I can tell, there ain’t no way to tell. What if I have it myself? Ohmygosh! How long do I have to live?

But wait a minute—somehow it seems to me that I’m on the verge of death! Have I always had that troubled look on my face? How come my back hurts all the time? And how come my nose itches? Why is that black spot on my left big toe?

Oh no…

Folks, truth is, it’s a great time to talk to God.

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