Desperate times, desperate measures

By TIM BEELAND,

Like many folks, wife Danny and I didn’t do much “getting out” before the pandemic put a basic stop to any “getting out.” These days, though, being told that we can’t go to favorite restaurants, and knowing that we may never be able to go to some establishments that don’t survive the quarantine, makes us feel like we used to “go” a whole lot. Maybe we should have gotten out more while the getting out was good.

We did go into town on Saturday to get some flowers to go on my mom’s grave for Mother’s Day, and from what I could see, there is probably less than 50 percent of the population following the current “safer at home” guidelines and/or suggestions. Some folks have diligently donned their face masks and rubber gloves, others, well let’s just say they apparently are like Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind and “frankly, my dear, don’t give a damn!”

It is my observation that social distancing in large box stores with directional arrows and six foot spaces marked with tape is causing some irritation amongst the shoppers. Some confusion too, I think.

In one store there were lots of people standing around visiting it seemed and others making darn sure they were keeping the distance. I stepped into one of two vacant waiting boxes at the checkout line and a man two boxes back yelled “sir I’m in line here.” He apparently didn’t get the memo that you are supposed to step up to the next six foot space as the line moves forward rather than wait in the box you started in for your number to be called.

Oh well, I’ve been hollered at for worse offenses and since I did have a mask on, he couldn’t see the face I made or the words I mumbled.

Irritation seems to be a common problem in this era of fear, misunderstanding, and misinformation. People interpret the directions differently and apparently the suggestion for staying at home simply isn’t going anywhere at all. I’ve also noticed that the toilet paper hoarding has yet to let up, or the TP factories have been hit hard by the virus and production is at a stand still.

Next up, it seems, will be a run on chicken, beef, and pork. Or, that’s what some specialist are warning us anyway. It is hard to believe that we live in the middle of one of the highest poultry producing counties in the state and in the very near future we may not be able to have fried chicken for Sunday lunch.

I’ll admit that I’m one of those people that feels like a meal is not complete if there is not a piece of meat. I suppose I could head to the creek — see lots of folks down there morning and night — and catch a mess of fish, but my wife wouldn’t care for that every day. Me, I could eat it anytime, but just like being forced to shelter at home, I wouldn’t like it for long simply because of the fact that fish is all I had.

I have not looked at the canned meat aisle at the grocery store, but I wonder how it is holding up. Honestly some of the empty spots on the shelves makes me wonder if folks really ate some of these weird things before the outbreak of COVID-19 or if they made a mad dash down the aisle grabbing anything in reach. Sort of like on a game show where everything the contestant can get in their buggy in 60 seconds is free.

For now I’m just hoping that the garden does well. It’s just tomatoes and peppers but I could eat that every day...just as long as no one tells me I have too. When it comes to that toilet paper though, now that’s a different story. Fortunately we had bought a big ole jumbo pack just before the panic began and we still have about half of it left.

Office manager Charlene Stinson did say on Monday that the roll count was running low at her house and she sure didn’t want to have to divide that two-ply into one-ply. She was kidding, of course — well I guess she was kidding — but these are desperate times. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Right?

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