Needless to say, the talk around the house has been centered on the Coronavirus. Yes, the apocalypse is upon us, but instead of anarchy and zombies, we are being forced to deal with being stuck at home with our children who are prohibited from attending school and a shortage of toilet paper.
As a father, I have found it difficult to explain to my daughters how a guy eating bat soup in Wuhan, China led to a toilet paper shortage in the United States. I did however point out one salient fact to them in that if you really think you need 150 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, you probably should have been seeing a doctor long before the virus made an appearance.
Worse yet, I am being continually reminded that with my approaching 70th anniversary of life on this Earth, I am among that group of "senior" citizens designated "at risk" for the virus. They have basically forbidden me from leaving the house, lest I chance upon being infected with the dastardly illness. I tell them that I have a secret to staying healthy during this crisis. All you have to do is strictly follow the instructions of the back of a good old aspirin bottle, "Take two and keep away from children." Works every time!
Truth be told, the real worry among my clan is that if I test positive for the virus, all of us would be confined together for two weeks. I asked my beloved Grace (aka: she who must be obeyed), "How bad could a couple weeks stuck in isolation with our family be?" She looked at me with a look of horror on her face and tears in her eyes and replied, "Have you never seen The Shining with Jack Nicholson?" On a happier note, with all the self-quarantines going on, there is bound to be another baby boom. Suffice it to say that in about 13 years from now, we will see then end of Generation Z and the rise of the "Quaranteens"!
On a personal note, ‘twas a sad day indeed to have to spend St. Patrick's Day without the benefit of the grand parade down 5th Avenue. Adding insult to injury, the pain of the absence of the parade is only made worse due to the fact that we can't visit any of our local watering holes to cry in our beers because, in addition to canceling the parade, all the damn pubs have been closed.
I was over in Rockaway on the morning of St. Patrick's Day and observed that the Liquor Wine Warehouse adjacent to Stop and Shop was doing a booming business. I spotted one young woman exiting the store on the way to her car in the parking lot with a shopping cart brimming with wine bottles and I casually remarked, "Bad enough all the toilet paper is gone, I hope you're not hoarding all the wine!" The woman stopped short and with a smile on her face waved her hands at all the wine in her cart and said, "When it's wine you are talking about, it's not called hoarding, it's called collecting.”
Speaking of Stop and Shop, effective Thursday, March 19, the supermarket will open earlier in order to service only customers who are age 60 and over from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. daily. Customers aged 60 and over can use a designated entrance, which will be marked at their local store during the hours of 6:00 to 7:30 a.m. Although Stop and Shop will not be requesting ID for entry, the retailer is asking shoppers to “please respect the purpose of the early opening—and do the right thing for your neighbors.”
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