The 1918 influenza pandemic and our present COVID pandemic have some similarities and some differences. For instance, they didn’t have to hoard toilet paper in 1918. They had plenty of Sears Catalogs lying around. But we have something they didn’t have, something that certainly saved me during the quarantine days of 2020: Facebook.
If there was ever anything Sandra and I were made for, it was the COVID quarantine. A big part of our readiness is having no social life. We’re basically retired, except for part-time jobs, so we weren’t in any pressure to leave the house, except to purchase snacks. Snacks are a big part of any emergency situation, whether it’s a hurricane, a snow flurry or ice storm. Forget the milk and bread, you must have snacks.
For Sandra, 2020 was like the movie Groundhog Day. She honed her skills at the keyboard, she purchased a ukulele and re-learned to play it, she cooked wonderful meals, she read, she colored her own hair. She was a true renaissance woman.
But the major reason I survived the quarantine so well is Facebook.
You know, our community used to be our neighborhood, our schools and our church. Now, we don’t know our neighbors, schools are consolidated and church attendance is down. Luckily, we have Facebook.
I swore I would never get on Facebook. But then I also swore I’d never pay to watch TV or pay a dollar for a gallon of gas. The older I get, the more words I eat.
But Facebook has saved me during the COVID epidemic. At any given time, day or night, never leaving the comfort of my recliner, I can know what people I haven’t seen in 30 years had for lunch.
People on Facebook are concerned for your soul. They’re always praying for you. I get a lot of prayers. They are also giving you advice, sometimes in your face. “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” “Be kind to unkind people. They need it the most.” “Wisdom is worth more than rubies.” I mean, where else can you get advice like this? I guess they know I need it because I certainly get a lot of it.
“I was going to cook alligator for dinner but realized I only had a croc pot.”
“Every time a bird craps on my car I eat a plate of wings on the front porch to show them what I’m capable of.”
If I mention fish sticks out loud, ads for fish sticks will appear on my Facebook page.
At any given time, there are hundreds of dogs missing in Randolph County and they’re all on Facebook. Not many cats, just dogs. I guess cats can fend for themselves, making tasty meals out of baby birds and rabbits. Dogs need help and Facebook offers it.
You get to see everyone’s children and grandchildren on Facebook without having the pleasure of their company. And, if you wish, you can scroll on past the onslaught of pictures unlike being accosted in public.
You can get all your news on Facebook. Did you know the COVID vaccines have a chip in them? Well, I tried a magnet on my arm and got nothing. I’m feeling a little left out. If Bill Gates and the government think enough of all of you to follow you around, why did they leave me out? I thought I saw Bill in a rusty 1978 Pontiac following me out of the Health Department parking lot after I got my vaccine, but evidently I’m wrong. If I get a booster, I’m going to ask for the chip so I can be like everyone else.
And did you know there’s a tunnel from Miami to Europe, right under the Atlantic Ocean? Kids are being shuttled in (maybe mule train?) so that certain politicians can use their blood to stay young. If this is true (and, hey, it’s on Facebook), that tunnel has to be an engineering marvel. But I’ve seen recent photos of these politicians and the blood treatment ain’t working. So maybe they should have saved their tunnel money and invested in some Mary Kay.
Sadly, I’ve learned through Facebook that grammar is no longer being taught in our schools. This may have come about the same time they quit teaching Civics and cursive writing. Someday, when we go to war again, old codgers will be the Navajo Code Talkers of our generation. We’ll just send messages in cursive and no one else will be able to read them.
I guess a little bad grammar (well, a lot) can be tolerated for the luxury of watching the world go by in your recliner.
* Warren Dixon lives in Liberty with his wife Sandra. For those few who aren’t doing so, contact him through his Facebook page.