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CSotD: Feels like a Monday

F-Minus gives a pretty good overview, not of how I feel, but of why.

Facebook, and to a lesser extent Twitter, have always been full of people whinging about this or that, and looking for allies over silly things nobody else frets over, and announcing nincompooperies they are convinced are breakthroughs.

But never so much as now, and, unfortunately, you can’t say “Get over it” because that puts you on the side of the nitwits who are denying it.

And “Get over yourself” seems cruel at such a time.

Which boils down to this: There was a time when people who were afraid of doorknobs and toilet seats were being silly. Now you can’t deny the basic threat, even when they’re still being silly about it.


It’s not all bad. The global crisis has meant a long string of First Dog in the Moon cartoons that don’t require familiarity with Australian politics, and you should go read the rest of it, because he’s absolutely brilliant.

Which opinion I base on the fact that I broke down yesterday and made a mask which I will wear in the grocery store, which is indoors, but not at the park, which is huge and windswept and outdoors.

It has a great deal more to do with peer pressure than with my belief that I’ll get the coronavirus at the grocery store, though when I went there yesterday they were handing out numbers at the front door to make sure it wasn’t overcrowded and they have tape on the floor and plastic shields for the checkers.

By the way I haven’t heard a lot of complaints lately about self-check lanes, though oddly enough there are people afraid they’ll get the virus from pumping their own gas.

Hey, just unbend the hose when you’re done and let the last bit go over your hands. Rub them together and, if you’re afraid the gasoline didn’t kill the virus, light a match.

(Note: That was a joke. Don’t do it.)

Meanwhile, for those at the other end of it all, Pia Guerra comments on idiots who think crowding into church doesn’t count.

Foolish as they may be, however, note that Jesus didn’t go after the people who were changing their foreign currency into good Israeli coins in order to properly purchase animals for sacrifice, but, rather, the profiteers who were making money from the exchange.

And the Gospels are silent about how — profiteering aside — the Zealots and Essenes and similar types he hung out with felt about the whole process anyway, though I suspect that widow who contributed her tiny coin might also, rather than buying something at the temple, have brought some kind of sacrificial thing that she’d made at home.

Anyway, I’m quite sure that rope’s end is for the charlatan who called the people together, not for the people themselves.

To which I would add that, if Jesus came back to do that, he wouldn’t stop at the churches, because there are all sorts of folks who deserve to have their tables kicked over and their backsides whipped for running con games on decent, trusting people.


Including, as Kal puts it, the people who whip up xenophobia as an excuse for their own incompetence, inaction and lack of caring.

And to return to the F-Minus point where we started, the problem is that, if you really do say enough foolish, prideful, ignorant, patently ridiculous things about the coronavirus, people will start believing in foolish, prideful, ignorant, patently ridiculous things you didn’t say.

It also goes back to that thing about how it’s easier to tell the truth because then you don’t have to keep track of your claims.

Or, to put it on another level, if people are gullible enough to believe the lies you tell them, there’s a good chance they’ll also believe the lies that are told about you.

And if you believe that people are good at sorting  truth from horseshit, you must not spend much time on social media.

I once reported on the search for a fellow who was putting up hand-lettered posters in laundromats offering in-home gynecological services.

The concept itself was so ridiculous, and the posters so absurdly amateurish, that you’d have had to have been a real moron to fall for it.

But the answer to that is that real morons are the people who most deserve our protection.

(They let me come along for the sting and you should have seen his face when he realized the lady was a New York State Trooper. I’d like to see a few people today given the right to remain silent.)


Of course, as Joel Pett points out, we can all get drawn into the paranoia.

I’ve been in full Fred Sanford mode for weeks now, staggering around the apartment crying, “I’m coming, Elizabeth!” at each sneeze and sniffle, despite the fact that I sneeze and sniffle every spring.


But, unlike this fellow in Macanudo, I’m not infecting my good shirts and sweaters over it. Don’t tell anyone, but I use (gasp!) a snot rag.

In fact, when they finally figure out this whole coronavirus thing, they’ll likely track it to a reclusive writer in rural New England who blew his nose in a bandana instead of on his clothing.

You can lecture me about it as soon as you figure out how to stay six feet away from your own elbows.


I wish this Betty had dropped tomorrow, because I would have used it to send you to see the responses of my young reporters on the topic of how they’re holding up under lockdown.

Their words are thoughtful and it’s even uplifting, but it doesn’t publish until tomorrow, so I can’t offer the link today.

Instead, I will link you to this McSweeney’s piece, which is proof that, as much as I hate all the whinging and complaining, I am perfectly willing to praise well-done mockery of the babble in which educators operate and intelligent parents do not.

Plus this Morten Morland animation, which I can’t embed directly but I promise is worth the click.

Community Comments

#1 Brian Fies
@ 9:20 am

Thanks for First Dog and the McSweeney’s, both very time-worthy in these times when time has lost its worth.

I have a feeling that my favorite reclusive writer in rural New England who blew his nose in a bandana will be just fine. Somebody’s got to be left when this is over to explain what it all means, or at least provide links to cartoons about it.

#2 Mike Peterson
@ 11:15 am

I’d rather be left than president.

#3 Carl Laws
@ 11:29 am

Never been a fan of that sneezing-in-the-elbow thing. It just seems kinda…gross. Even worse is when the sneezer does it in summertime when he/she is wearing a short-sleeved shirt or blouse.

Nowadays, that would mean not just hand-washing but an OR-type scrubdown all the way to the elbow. Or maybe the Coronial Squad could just hose them down as they leave the building.

#4 Mary Ella
@ 4:57 pm

The homemade masks don’t keep out coronavirus—they’re supposed to keep you from spreading it as much.

#5 Charles Bosse
@ 10:46 pm

My wife, who is in mental health, actually says a lot of the people she sees who have anxiety are finally feeling better. They don’t have to go out, have people over, and now they feel like other people understand. Personally, I think a lot of people in the city also have a lot less ambient “pollution” (noise, light, air) bothering them.

Of course people who were a little anxious but did well with social support now have a big problem, as does anyone who was fine as long as they could get away from their home for a bit each day. But hey… at least a few people are doing a little better.

@Carl, I think the point is that hand washing isn’t 100% effective and we don’t always remember or have the chance to wash after every sneeze. I don’t know about you, but I touch a lot more things with my hands than with my elbow, so if something isn’t going to be clean, the chances that another person will make contact are a lot better if my hands are dirty than if my elbow is. But hopefully you do bathe and change clothes reasonably often too. Also, advice has to be for all of us, and if you assume not everyone follows every bit of advice perfectly, then some of the advice has to mitigate failure to follow other advice.

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